by your own quote
"but when I saw the flexibility the Circuit Judge offered, I thought I wanted one. ...until I found out it was not legal for deer hunting in Ohio. ...unless it was a pistol. ...and shot .45's."
The law states that in order for it to be a pistol it means "a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand." There is no limit on length so long as it does not have a butt stock, in which case it ceases to be a pistol. However, as I am sure you know, you cannot take a rifle, cut the stock off and make it a pistol. Pretty much, once a rifle, always a rifle and the only way to make it shorter (16" bbl, 26" OAL) is to SBR it. There is no catagory for a long barreled pistol like there is for a short barreled rifle.
It is still a rifle........ anyway you cut it.