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Paul L Mohr 01-14-2008 07:12 PM

Legal rifle calibers by state
Since this topic has come up a few times recently I decided to look up and read all the states hunting regs and see what calibers were legal in each state. I even added a few places up north.

If you live in a state and think I got it wrong feel free to correct me. I would like to know where the information came from though.

Over half the states and provinces allow .22 caliber centerfires for big game hunting.

Alabama- centerfire
Alaska- centerfire
Alberta- .23 and up centerfire
Arizona- centerfire
Arkansas- .22 and up centerfire
California- centerfire
Colorado- .24 and up, 70grn or larger bullet/ minimum of 1000ft/lbs at 100 yards
Connecticut- .243 and up if legal in your area
Delaware- shotgun/muzzle loader
Florida- centerfire
Georgia- .22 and up centerfire
Hawaii- Any rifle with at least 1200 ft/lbs of ME. This would start at around .223 I think
Idaho- Centerfire (cannot weigh more than 16 lbs?)
Illinois- Shotgun/ML/Pistol only
Indiana- Rifles with pistol calibers/shotgun/ML/Pistols
Iowa- .24 or larger centerfire only for antlerless season in part of the state.
Kansas- .23 or larger centerfire (actually says larger than .23 so maybe .24 is the mininum)
kentucky- centerfire
Louisiana- .22 and up centerfire
Maine- .22 magnum rimfire and up!
Manitoba- Centerfire, but it says .23 and below not recommended. Does not say illegal though.
Maryland- ME of at least 1200 ft/lbs
Mass- Shotgun/ML
Michigan- centerfire in certain areas
Minnesota- .24 and up centerfire
Mississippi- No restrictions that I could find
Missouri- centerfire
Montana- No restrictions
Nebraska- Rifles with 900 ft/lbs or more at 100 yards
Nevada- .22 centerfire and up
New Hampshire- centerfire
New Jersey- shotgun only
New Mexico- centerfire
New York- centerfire
North Carolina- No restrictions
North Dakota- .22-.49 centerfire
Nova Scotia- .23 and up
Ohio- Shotgun/ML
Oklahoma- centerfire with 55 grn or heavier bullet
Ontario- centerfire
Oregon- .22 centerfire and up
Pennsylvania- centerfire
Quebec- 6mm/.243 and up
Rhode Island- shotgun/ML
Saskatchewan- .24 and up
South Carolina- centerfire
South Dakota- rifles with 1,000 ft/lbs or more ME
Tennessee- centerfire
Texas- centerfire
Utah- centerfire
vermont- No restriction
Virginia- .23 centerfire and up
Washington- .24 centerfire and up
West Virginia- .25 rimfire and up and all centerfire
Wisconsin- .22 centerfire and up
Wyoming- .23 centerfire and up


isatarak 01-14-2008 07:16 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
Lot of unethical weapons allowed there!

matters 01-14-2008 07:33 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
is this gun enough? Here we go again.

Bocajnala 01-14-2008 08:51 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
To each his own. If a person can ethically kill their game with their weapon of choosing I will not argue. just don't risk hurting an animal due to stupidity. Know your limits in range and shot selection/angles. And no matter how tempting, don't stretch your limits.

zrexpilot 01-14-2008 10:40 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
great post !

MikeVT 01-15-2008 08:39 AM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
Vermont - centerfire only, no rimfire ammo for big game.

hurley0816 01-15-2008 10:35 AM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
its kinda funny you can't find one for mississippi.

Paul L Mohr 01-15-2008 02:33 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
When I say I couldn't find one or there is no restriction I simply mean no where in the regs I read does it list a minimum calibe restriction for large game or deer hunting.

It is very possible I could have missed it though. Some of these regs are a pain in the butt to read and understand, and others are extremely vague. Then other states are very detailed. One state actually listed every caliber that was lega, and every caliber that wasn't! No getting around that one I guess;).

I will have to re read vermonts and see if I can find it. Can you give me a clue as to were it is listed?

I looked again and couldn't find it, the only restrictions I could find listed were for moose.


cjwink 01-15-2008 04:25 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
Mississippi.. No limits other than you can't use any centerfire rifles after dark.

Legal weapons for hunting from one-half (1/2) hour after sunset to one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise are restricted to handguns or rifles using no larger than .22 standard rimfire cartridges (no 22 magnums) and shotguns with shot no larger than No. 6. When hunting migratory birds, a shotgun must be "plugged" so that it can hold no more than three (3) shells at one loading. The hunting of turkeys during the spring gobbler season shall be restricted to shotguns only and with no shot larger than number two, compound, recurve and long bows. However, any quadriplegic may hunt turkey with a rifle.

"Primitive firearms" for the purpose of hunting deer, are defined as single or double barreled muzzle-loading rifles of at least .38 caliber; single shot, breech loading, cartridge rifles (.38 caliber or larger) of a kind and type manufactured prior to 1900, and replicas, reproductions or reintroductions of those type rifles; and single or double-barreled muzzle-loading shotguns with single ball or slug. All muzzle-loading Primitive Firearms must use black powder or a black powder substitute with either percussion caps or #209 shotgun primers or flintlock ignition. Breech loading single shot rifles must have exposed hammers and use metallic cartridges. Cartridges may be loaded either with black powder or modern smokeless powder. Scopes of any magnification are allowed on primitive weapons. Sidearms are not allowed during primitive weapon season.

NiceAndBlue 01-15-2008 07:24 PM

RE: Legal rifle calibers by state
I want to shoot a giant big woods Maine buck with a 22 mag.

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