A recent proposal being considered by the Ohio Wildlife Council may permit pistol cartridge rifles to be used for deer hunting. These rifles are commonly referred to as Pistol Caliber Rifles (PCR). These guns use the same caliber as other handguns that are legal for deer hunting.
The benefit to using PCRs is that they generally boast less recoil than traditional shotguns, which makes them beneficial for young hunters or those with more petite frames. They also weigh less, which makes them more convenient for trekking outdoors over rough terrain while deer hunting. These designs also have shoulder stocks that are substantially easier to shoot, while simultaneously delivering more accuracy than handguns.
Despite the caliber size, pistols and rifles shoot differently. For example, a .44 Magnum is extremely powerful, with a mighty kick, but a .44 rifle packs a mild punch.
Ohio’s neighboring states all permit using PCRs to deer hunt, so it seems like a logical transition for hunters to be able to use these accurate weapons, too. In fact, the current law reads that handguns that feature a 15-inch barrel and use .45-70 calibers are permitted for hunting, but anything longer is considered a rifle and is deemed illegal. Under the law, shotguns and muzzleloaders are still legal, but this would give hunters a wider selection of weapons to choose from.
The law proposes that the following calibers be legal for PCR hunting opportunities, as noted on Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources website: “.357 Magnum, .357 Maximum, .38 Special, .375 Super Magnum, .375 Winchester, .38-55, .41 Long Colt, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .444 Marlin, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, .45 Long Colt, .45 Winchester Magnum, .45 Smith & Wesson, .454 Casull, .460 Smith & Wesson, .45-70, .45-90, .45-110, .475 Linebaugh, .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.
Additionally, the law introduces an extended muzzleloader season and more bag limits, which is a direct reflection on reduced deer populations. These reductions could impact 44 counties, with five counties seeing an increase in deer limits. Counties would have limits that range from two to four deer, with some having restrictions on antlerless deer.
To help hunters prepare for fall deer season, Jumping Targets offers several steel rifle targets. The AR-500 Dueling Tree, 36-Inch Steel Shooting Gong and the Tree Hugger are ideal for practicing with muzzleloaders, rifles, pistols and shotguns. These metal targets are specifically designed to improve aim and accuracy, giving hunters the optimal field advantage.