Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Hi everyone.

    I am new to hunting so I am wondering,

    Is it legal to hunt deer in PA with .223?

    For some reason, I always thought that this wasn't legal in PA but now I've heard otherwise.

    Anyone here know?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Yes it is LEGAL. But remember the linking factors with taking a deer with a .223
    Use the right kind of ammo. The Barnes TSX all copper bullet is amazing on deer and is the best round IMHO for deer in a smaller caliber.
    Distance. I wouldn't take a shot at more than 200 yards at a deer normally, and more than likely no more. Than 150 yards with a .223 on a deer.
    Placement is everything. Put the bullet right where it has to go and the deer will go down. Hit the vitals properly.

    Follow the three basics and a .223 will take a PA deer easily
    Guns don't kill people, it's mostly the bullets.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    You are correct at one time the 223 were not legal to hunt Deer in pa, the wording has been changed to include all center fire ammo for Deer Hunting in the hunting digest. There is a requirement for 270 and above for elk. It would not surprise me too see a caliber diameter added once again for Deer, I can see some one hunting with one of the new 17 caliber’s. The 17 or 223 will both take a deer, just not the best choice, old wording 25 or above for Deer hunting.
    Last edited by hornady; May 15th, 2012 at 07:36 AM. Reason: added text

  4. #4
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Kinda pointless without the iconic rifle that's an inseparable part of its identity.
    "You can't stop insane people from doing insane things by passing insane laws--that's insane!" -- Penn Jillette

    "To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." -- Ted Nugent

  5. #5
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Quote Originally Posted by stud40111 View Post
    Hi everyone.

    I am new to hunting so I am wondering,

    Is it legal to hunt deer in PA with .223?

    For some reason, I always thought that this wasn't legal in PA but now I've heard otherwise.

    Anyone here know?
    Can I ask what gun you plan to shoot? From the Big Game Regulations in the Hunting Digest:

    Lawful Arms & Ammunition:
    Deer and Bear: Regular Seasons - 1) Manually operated (pump,
    lever, bolt actions, single-shot) centerfire rifles, shotguns and handguns
    (revolvers or single-shots) with all lead bullet or ball, or bullet
    designed to expand on impact;
    2) muzzleloading long guns of any
    type, 44 caliber or larger, or a muzzleloading handgun 50 caliber or
    larger; and 3) long, recurve, compound bows or crossbows with
    broadheads of cutting edge design. The use of buckshot is not
    legal, except in the Southeast Special Regulations Area.


    No semi-autos.

    Here's a link to the Hunting & Trapping Regs you get when you buy a hunting license:

    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...=968783&mode=2

  6. #6
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hornady View Post
    old wording 25 or above for Deer hunting.
    That was for RIMFIRE ammo and I think it was larger than 25 caliber.

    Anyhow, it's a moot point. Other good factory 223 ammo would be the Winchester 64 grain powerpoint or anything with a Nosler partition.

    Certainly not an ideal choice but it will work.

    Dale

  7. #7
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    There is only (1) .223 caliber rifle that I would consider taking a deer with......a highly accurate and properly sighted rifle.

    My choice from some sort of tree stand rest, the Tikka T3 Sporter.



    Put the round where it belongs and the deer will drop humanely.

    - The Delta Force

  8. #8
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hornady View Post
    You are correct at one time the 223 were not legal to hunt Deer in pa, the wording has been changed to include all center fire ammo for Deer Hunting in the hunting digest. There is a requirement for 270 and above for elk. It would not surprise me too see a caliber diameter added once again for Deer, I can see some one hunting with one of the new 17 caliber’s. The 17 or 223 will both take a deer, just not the best choice, old wording 25 or above for Deer hunting.
    Not being a smartass here but could you verify that?
    When was this restriction in place and when was it lifted?

    I ask because the .223 Remington was designed in 1964 (to the best of my knowledge) and I know my uncle and several others who hunted deer before that with .222 Remington as well as .22 Hornet and .218 Bee. (I'll add that they were seasoned veterans of hunting all sorts of game), these were not their primary cartridges but depending on where they were going to hunt they would sometimes take the smaller cartridges to suit the situation.

    ETA:
    I re-read your post and noticed that you also mentioned "old wording 25 or above for Deer hunting".
    I know for a fact that my dad has been hunting deer with .243 since 1957.

    No question about the .270 for elk.
    Last edited by mauser; May 15th, 2012 at 12:15 PM.

    There are three kinds of people in the world:
    Those who make things happen;
    Those who watch things happen;
    Those who wonder what happened.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    Quote Originally Posted by CL3 View Post
    Can I ask what gun you plan to shoot? From the Big Game Regulations in the Hunting Digest:

    No semi-autos.
    Not planning on hunting but would a gas pistol semi-automatic dialed down to 0 (not self loading) be legal, just curious.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: .223 legal for deer in PA?

    no, it's still an auto-loader even if disabled. Unless it is permanently disabled, but why would you do that?

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