Teague is considered to be the Rolls-Royce of chokes - and its founder used to work there. Patrick Galbraith visits the factory ...

In the 1960s, in the Rolls-Royce factory in Chichester, a young man was toiling away. Nigel Teague — who’d been there for seven years — had been identified for his relentless pursuit of quality.

When Friday afternoons rolled round, Nigel’s mind turned to shooting. There are many of us — and I would put myself firmly in this category — who are almost total strangers to the intricate inner workings of a shotgun. However, being cut from a different cloth, Nigel looked at the guns in his cabinet and thought he could do things better.

The invention of  Teague chokes

It isn’t quite true that Nigel invented the multichoke because Winchester had been making its Winchokes since the 1970s. But in Nigel’s mind they were “really chunky things and the barrels flared out”.

In 1980, Nigel set up Teague Precision Chokes, which is now recognised as the Rolls-Royce of the shotgun choke world. When I went to visit Nigel in his Malmesbury factory I asked him about his secret to success. “People love nice things,” he answered, “and I keep the quality right at the top.”

I also suspect that people are willing to part with money for things they believe will make them a better Shot. Nigel said that some of his American clients have as many 
as 36 pairs of Teague chokes.

Teague chokes

Teague chokes are not cheap but they are beautifully made and of the highest quality

If you were to invest in just one set of Teague chokes …

At some £200 a pair that would 
be a considerable investment — well beyond most people’s reach — but 
I was interested to know what Nigel would recommend if a Shooting Times reader were going to invest in one set.

“If you had to decide on one for game shooting, you’d go for a half-choke,” he replies. “If it were for clay shooting you’d probably go a little bit less because the cartridges are a vast improvement on what they used to be; something like three-eighths.”

However Nigel believes cartridge choice and gun fit come before choke in terms of being 
a good Shot. “Choke is the cherry 
on top,” he said.

It is often said that Britain 
doesn’t manufacture anything 
any more. The decline of our industrial output in the past few decades might be stark but shooting 
is an industry that provides 74,000 jobs and a good number of those are 
at places just like Teague.

It’s true that on many shoots 
today the cars are often Japanese, 
the guns Italian and the jackets more than likely Scandinavian. But in the barrels of discerning Shots, you almost always find a set of Teagues. This is a testament to the fact that, when it comes to engineering, we Brits still have it.

  1. 1. The invention of  Teague chokes
  2. 2. Should I get Teague multichokes fitted to my gun?
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