I see some shooters change chokes a lot and others hardly ever change chokes. Why is that?
Are there benefits to be gained by changing chokes? Yes, within reason. Focusing bit harder on the target will gain you a whole lot more than changing chokes at every station for another 5/1000” constriction. Your time outside the box, in preparation for your turn in the box, is best spent studying the target presentations and developing a target plan. I know this sounds like blasphemy to some, but there is much more to be gained by conducting pre-shot planning before stepping into the shooting stand than there is in fumbling with chokes. Use a good middle-of-the-road choke like an IC or light modified and leave it in. Change your chokes for the extreme targets: those within 20 yards and in excess of 45 yards. You won’t see a lot of the top shots changing chokes on every station. Many will even use fixed choke guns with fairly tight chokes (Modified or IM), although I’m not necessarily suggesting that for novices. If you do change chokes, you might want to think about a tighter choke on minis, midis, rabbits and on-edge targets as they are harder to break than standard targets showing face or belly at the same distance. Of all the targets we encounter on the sporting clays course, battue targets are the easiest to break, particularly at shorter distances, so a more open choke is advisable. When it comes to choke changing, remember the saying: “Moderation in all things”. That’s not doctrine but rather my opinion.