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Straight-Wall, Pistol-Caliber Rifles Allowed for Deer Hunting In Delaware


Rifles chambered for straight-wall ammunition may be used to hunt deer as follows:


  • Only manually-operated rifles may be used, consisting of lever action, bolt action, pump action, single shot and revolver rifles.


  • Only straight-wall cartridges usable in commercially-produced handguns may be used that are of .357 to 38 caliber with a case length no less than 1.25 inches and a maximum case length of 1.82 inches, or .41 caliber to maximum of .50 caliber and a maximum case length of 1.82 inches. Case length excludes the bullet portion of the cartridge.


  • Open, metallic/mechanical, optical and telescopic sights may be used.


  • These rifles cannot be loaded with more than three cartridges in the chamber and magazine combined when hunting deer.


  • These rifles may only be used for deer hunting in place of a shotgun during the November and January shotgun deer seasons or in place of a handgun during the January handgun deer season.


  • These rifles cannot be used for deer hunting north of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.


For additional information on deer hunting, please call the Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

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