Pistol Caliber Rifles For Deer Hunting

Columbus, Ohio — A policy proposed by Greene County Farm Bureau member Larry Moore supporting the use of Pistol Caliber Rifles (PCRs) for deer hunting was approved at the 95th OFBF Annual Meeting.

The quorum of delegates from around the state voted for state policy that would support new rules/regulations allowing for such firearms to be used as legal firearms during the deer gun season. These rifles are normally chambered in .357, .44, or .45 cartridges.

The new policy reads as follows:

  ~ Encourage the use of Pistol Caliber Rifles (PCR) to be included as legal firearms during the statewide deer gun season

 Why allow PCR?

 1.    The Ohio deer herd is healthy and the Division of Wildlife sees no adverse effects to the deer management program by allowing the use of PCR.

2. Ohio deer hunters are asking for the ability to hunt with this type of firearm.

3. This type of firearm is lighter than shotguns and muzzleloaders, making it ideal for youth, the physically impaired, or any hunter who wishes to carry less weight.

4. The pistol cartridges are currently legal in handguns. They have been used for decades without incident.

5. The pistol cartridges are actually less powerful than the newer shotguns with rifled barrels, inline muzzleloaders, and sabot bullet technology.

6. This caliber rifle is popular in the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. Many participants want to deer hunt with the rifle they shoot in competition.

7. Because it is a rifle with a shoulder stock, it is easier to shoot more accurately than handguns.

8. All states adjacent to Ohio allow PCR hunting for deer.

9. Indiana moved to allow PCR for deer several years ago without reported problems.

The policy has a strong backing from the Buckeye Firearms Foundation and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Ohio Farm Bureau was specifically sought out to support this policy as many firearm and deer hunting enthusiasts recognized the political power of Ohio Farm Bureau and found value in having the state’s largest agriculture organization support a policy that will impact rural Ohio.


Devin Trout is the media and marketing specialist for Franklin County Farm Bureau and designer for Edible Columbus. She is a Columbus Pittie Committee foster and active with the Central Ohio Young Ag Professionals.

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