View Full Version : Min. Handgun Barrel Length
I was wondering how different the states are in regards to minimum handgun length for hunting. Its seems for some states there is no restriction but for others it is 4in or 6in min. Also I have heard that some states vary the min. length for .22 vs .44 mag. Is this very common. Thanks for replies.
FL = no minimum hang gun barrel length.
Another reason I asked is because I may be interpreting this incorrectly. but:
§ 141.22. Small game.
(a) Unlawful activities. It is unlawful to:
(8) Unless otherwise provided in the act or this title, hunt or take small game with anything other than a shotgun with fine shot, muzzleloading rifle or handgun .40 caliber or less, rimfire rifle or handgun .22 caliber or less, or bow and arrow with or without broadheads. The caliber restrictions do not apply to rifles or handguns while hunting woodchuck.
Why would it be unlawfull to take small game with anything .40 cal or larger? Still haven't seen anything as far as barrel length or caliber restirction on anything besides elk; must be .27 .... I would hope your using a 27 or above. Anyways sorry if Im stupid and am reading this backwards but it appears to me it is illegal to hunt small game or anything for that matter with a handgun of .40 cal or larger. When in reality it should be the opposite.
Here in Arkansas it is 4" but they used to have a minimum cal of .32. That is insane, hunting large game with anything in the 32 cal family, esp. before the 32 NAA. I wouldn't hunt large game with even the 32 NAA but why exclude the 30 Carbine. I'll agree it was a marginal rifle cal when used by the unknowing in usually unwise fashion but in a pistol and at short range it is a devastating number indeed. Check the ballistics and it is mighty close to 41 Mag. I would never shoot any farther than say 25 yds out of a treestand and never at a B& C type buck. I would limit it to say 160 lbers and less and more so than not on bigger does for eatin' only. JMHO.
Actually I'm surprised by the minimum caliber of .32. Lots of good deer hunting handguns with a smaller diameter than that if you include the singleshot and bolt actions. They come in chamberings up to .300 Win Mag and .300 WSSM. Granted they lose a lot of velocity in the shorter barrels. Firing a .300 WSSM in a 15" Savage Striker get's you about the same velocity as firing a .308 from a 22" Rifle barrel. A 30-30 or 7x30 Waters from a TC contender is an excellent choice for deer.
Here in VA we just have a minimum of .23 caliber and at least 350 ft lbs of energy.
so most states have more of a caliber restriction not really an restriction on barrel length?
I don't know most states.
I know VA and MN (at least when I lived there). I belive MN still has both barrel length (at least 4 inches) and caliber restrictions (they have a list of authorized calibers).
When I adressed the handgun question I was refering to pistols,(semi automatic handguns), and revolvers. I dont know how the state actually classifies shorter barrel non buttstock equipped rifles. I have owned several Contenders and a MOA but personally I never considered them anything other but the above stated description. When I talk handguns I am refering to something able to fire multiple shots of an internal capacity. Forgive me for being so close minded but Arkansas's minimum caliber applied to arms which are handheld and able to fire multiple times without reloading, I think. Now, hopefully, we're on the same page.
In that case I completely agree with you.
In the states I've lived (and it's only 2 of the 50) a handgun was a handgun, didn't matter if it held 1 shot or 100.
Interesting that AR diferentiates. But there are a lot of laws that make no sense to me.
MN used to have a list of approved calibers it had some that made sense and some that didn't. I just checked their web site and they now allow any handgun cartridges that meet rifle rules of at least .23 caliber and atleast 1.285 inches case length.
Here In Texas, there's no limit on barrel length. In Ohio where I hunt, it's 5 inches minimum for deer, and no regs for any other game that's legal to use a handgun on.
In Ohio, it has to be at least a .357 caliber bullet or larger. Has to be a straight walled cartridge. And I read a couple years ago (they may have changed it now.) thet the cartridge case length has to be at least an inch long. That's for deer. the rest of the game animals there's no regs listed. Texas it don't matter as long as it ain't rimfire. I could hunt deer with my dad's Kel Tec .32 if i wanted to.
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