Straight Walled Cartridges for Hunting

Starting December 1, 2014 Ohio hunters will be legally allowed to use straight walled cartridges for hunting during Ohio’s  deer gun season and youth deer gun season.  This has been touted by many as the most significant of the regulation changes implemented on April 9, 2014 by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (“ODNR”) Wildlife Council.

Straight walled cartridges for hunting have capabilities that are very similar to those of modern muzzleloaders and shotguns,.  While some of the smaller caliber straight walled cartridges for hunting do not generally cover the same range of distance as the ammunition traditionally allowed for deer gun season, straight walled cartridges for hunting perform better overall and tend to be more accurate on target.  Many experts believe that this new law will expand hunting in Ohio and allow hunters to humanely harvest more deer going forward.

Here is a list of allowed straight-walled cartridges for hunting as listed by ODNR:

  • .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 Cassull
  • .460 Smith & Wesson
  • .45-70
  • .45-90
  • .45-110
  • .475 Linebaugh
  • .50-70, .50-90, .50-100, .50-110 and .500 Smith & Wesson.

Shotguns and rifles with straight-walled cartridge for hunting chambering can be loaded with no more than three shells in the chamber and magazine combined.

Ohio Hunting and Straight Walled Cartridges for Hunting

Hunters and others who have questions about straight walled cartridge for hunting or general hunting information can contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s toll-free at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).  Special call center hours are from 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Nov. 29 through Dec. 6 for the deer-gun season.  The hotline will also be available from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. after Dec. 6 through the remainder of the year but is closed on weekends and holidays.  You can also CLICK HERE to access the full ODNR 2014-2015 Hunting Regulations Handbook.  Another great resource is Buckeye Firearms Association, CLICK HERE to see their article on straight walled cartridge hunting in Ohio.

The ODNR also decreased deer bag limits in many counties and removed bobcats from Ohio’s threatened species list.

Before approving these new regulations, ODNR’s Division of Wildlife held accepted public comment.  Because of the overwhelming support for these new measures, they were approved.  This is a good reminder that the voice of the people can still have an impact.


If you have any questions about your legal rights and responsibilities give Attorney Erik R. Blaine at Wright & Schulte LLC a call at 937-435-9999 or email him at

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