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Old December 26, 2008, 11:58 AM   #1
republican24/7
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.22 Hornet deer loads?

I am looking to load some .22 hornet bullets for my daughter to hunt deer with. She will be 6 when the next hunting season opens. I have seen that sierra makes a 70 grain semi spitzer soft point that interests me.

My question is, can I load a bullet this heavy in the .22 hornet. OAL is not a concern as it will be fired in a single shot break open rifle. If not, what is the heaviest that I can get away with? Has anyone loaded really heavy bullets in 22 hornets before? If so, I would appreciate any load data that you have.

Thanks!

***Please keep your comments about whether or not you think that a .22 hornet is an adequate bullet for deer to yourself, as I don't care. It is legal where I hunt.***
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Old December 26, 2008, 12:28 PM   #2
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I am not sure if the rifling will stabilize the 70gr bullet. Most Hornets have a 1 in 14 or 1 in 16 twist barrel and they will not stabilize anything much longer than a 55gr BTSP. The other concern would be OAL with that long bullet. Hornets are set up for 45 grain very short bullets I have 2 Hornets; a CZ Bolt action and a T/C Pistol. I would maybe try a 60gr bullet Like the Hornaday 60 SP flat base. That would keep the length down and allow it to stabilize in the slower twist barrel. The heaviest bullets I have tried out of the hornet are 55 grainers and they did not do too well. Here is a URL to a good bullet:

http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=231616

These hold together good at 222 rem velocity and are short enough for a slow twist bullet. My main concern would be this:

1. Will it be accurate in the gun
2. Will it penetrate deep enough to kill a deer
3. Will it hard enough

You must have some concern over the 22 hornet as a deer cartridge looking at your post. When thinking about hunting with a marginal caliber like the 22 Hornet the only edge you will have is accuracy so I would load with that in mind.
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Old December 26, 2008, 12:58 PM   #3
Tom Matiska
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My Speer #7 shows no data the 70gr for the Hornet, and it is their bullet, so that should tell us something. They do list data 70gr data for 222 Rem, 22-250, etc..... but those have a faster 14" twist and can push the bullet far enough above 2000 that it will perform reliably.

If your older vintage 16" twist can stabilize the bullet, or if you have a more modern 14" offering (such as the Contender), I would only use that load if I was trying to not damage the pelt on small critters.

I know folks who have taken deer with the Hornet, and even the 17 Rem for that matter. Any round that can ruin a few pounds of neck can do the job. I’m not against it, but those rounds are what they are. Unobstructed chest shots are debatable. Take a quartering meat shot and you might do more hunting after the shot.

I’d stick with 50’s or below, and spend more time at the range with her so she can make necessary shot.
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Old December 27, 2008, 02:21 AM   #4
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I'm not a Hornet loader or shooter so I can claim no particular expertise in that regard but based upon game I have observed shot with various calibers including hot .22s I have a suggestion. In the bigger .22 centerfires I'd grab 60-70 grain controlled expansion bullets and go for all the speed I could get..... but the Hornet is going to have stabilization problems with heavy bullets so I would take a different tack. I'd try 50 grain bullets loaded just hot enough for good accuracy, or I'd take the standard Hornet 40 grain softpoint and load DOWN to around 2000-2200 fps. My reasoning is to avoid tearing those little bullets apart-slowing them down will help them expand but hang together so that they penetrate.
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Old December 27, 2008, 04:33 AM   #5
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55gr is the heaviest bullet in my load data

win296 starting load 8gr for 2100fps. Max load 10.3 for 2527fps.
IMR4227 starting load 9.1gr for 2130fps. Max load 10.8gr for 2424fps.

They are the two powders that show best fps in my book. Approach max loads with caution.

My uncle has a hornet and has attempted to take pigs and goats with it. Success has not been great due to lack of penetration. Neck shots have worked but dont always present themselves. Last thing you want is for your daughter to shoot and wound a deer and not be found.

I hope this data helps and the shot taken is a well presented one. Happy hunting
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Old December 27, 2008, 08:44 PM   #6
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I think a Lyman 225415 cast bullet and IMR 4227 or some 2400 would be the very best bet in using the Hornet on deer. The velocity can be as high as 2200 FPS with #2 alloy, and a bit higher with linotype. It weighs 50 grains, and shoots very well in most small capacity 22s such as the Hornet, Bee, and K-Hornet. If you must use jacketed, use the Hornady 50 grain SXSP. It will expand reliably at Hornet velocity, and still have velocity to spare.
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Old December 27, 2008, 09:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Last thing you want is for your daughter to shoot and wound a deer and not be found.
But it's legal where he hunts. :barf:

Chris
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Old December 27, 2008, 09:59 PM   #8
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Old December 27, 2008, 11:16 PM   #9
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FWIW, I have a real jaundiced eye against the Hornet as a deer load, and I'm not really enthused about a six-year-old doing serious hunting. Looking back on my earliest years, I ran loose in my grandfather's back pastures with a .22 rifle at around age seven, but I pretty much understood that my target selection was pretty limited. Mostly, rocks, tin cans and knots on trees.

Skilled shooter, close range, head shots: Otherwise, uh-uh.
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Old December 28, 2008, 12:25 AM   #10
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Sort of where i was going with my post Art. We used my uncles .22 Hornet on small goats for meat consumption, we had a hard time knocking them. All neck shots were quite successful. The broadside shots seemed to wound more than fatally wound. Always needed a follow up shot.

These are animals weighing no more than 30kg-40kg. It's a great little varmint load but thats where it ends for me.

You might not care and not read this post republican, but others might.

Hope that perfect neck shot presents itself, if not dont take the shot.
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Old December 28, 2008, 12:45 AM   #11
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I have a Ruger 77/22 Hornet, and have found the best accuracy with 40-45 grain bullets. The cartridge was introduced with 45 gr bullets I believe, and I have never really seen load data for bullets above 55 gr. The heaviest I shoot are the 45 gr, since those are where i get the best accuracy and the heavier bullets are to long to work in my rotory mag anyway. As stated in previous posts, most barrels run a twist rate better suited for the lighter weights, and I believe your accuracy will suffer if shooting bullets over 50-55 grains. You will also loose quite a bit of velocity, witch, with the small cartridge size you are starting with, really makes it loose effectivness on larger game animals. Another thing to remember, is most bullets designed for the Hornet, are fairly light weight in construction, meant for varmits such as rabbits, coyotes, skunks, etc, so the bullet may break apart before penetrating far enough into a deer, to really put it down.

I have taken my Hornet along on elk hunts, but it stays in camp for that one in a million, elk in camp, standing perfectly still, broadside, at 25 yds, just staring at me shot. It is legal to hunt with in Utah, and if I ever got that perfect shot, I would probably send a 45 gr soft point into its skull, but even a well placed body shot on a deer size animal may still allow it to run a pretty fair distance before it goes down. Not trying to jump all over ya, but, with a shooter that young, I would really lean towards at least a .223/.243. Recoil still isnt too bad, but bullet performance in a larger animal is much better.
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Old December 28, 2008, 07:02 PM   #12
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At 6 years old you can have hunting license? What does a 6 y.o know about anything ? let alone how and where to place a inadequate bullet any where on a deer.
Republican, (I doubt it)your a disgrace to humane hunting, a ,22 magnum for elk is next? Take her hunting for squirrels. She would'nt be hunting in Wyoming.
You deserve some heat on this subject
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Old December 28, 2008, 09:07 PM   #13
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LongRanger..... you got it right..... Anyone who thinks it is ok to take a Deer with a .22 is.........:barf:

I don't care if this guy does not want to hear this or not.... I have been lurking around here for a while but this post triggered my first post!!! OMG
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Old December 28, 2008, 11:00 PM   #14
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My daughter shot her first deer with a 22 hornet..when she was 8 yrs old...She had taken several squirrels before the deer season opened, I was in the stand with her and had my 6mm to back up her shot..she made a perfect heart shot and the deer dropped 10 yards after the shot.. btw..its legal to use any centerfire rifle for deer here in TN..
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Old December 28, 2008, 11:51 PM   #15
HiBC
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Without endorsing the plan,(because i don't) There may be some kind of a heavy shot/dead coyote bullet somebody made for the Hornet,but I don't remember where I saw it.
Perhaps,if Grandpa sat with her holding a 30-30,and they pretty much got it together as a team,it could work clean.

I raised a daughter.I guess I'd suggest thinking about things from a childs mind point of view,and not from a "Stories Grandpa can tell" point of view.

I'm not convinced little girls (and maybe even little boys) are quite ready for the complexities of killing ,death,blood,etc,any more than they are ready for the complexities of being lovers.
As a 6 year old,my daughter prefered catch and release fishing.One day She consented to keeping an 8 inch brookie for the pan,so I whacked it back of the head with a stick.She said,"I don't want to fish any more" and left the stream.Maybe I didn't do that just right.
I'm a grandpa of a little girl now.It might be wonderful to imagine a first deer at 6 for a Grandpa.Please just consider,for a little girl,the tongue hanging out,the lifeless eyes,the bloody owwie on the deer just might not be the happy memory.I might be nightmares.

Last edited by HiBC; December 29, 2008 at 04:28 PM.
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Old December 29, 2008, 01:24 PM   #16
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Poor Accuracy Past 40 grains

Okay, I'm not going to say anything off topic....

My Savage 340 in 22 Hornet does very well with 40 grain bullets, then anything much heavier, accuracy is gone. I tried bullets up to 55 grains. I couldn't measure the 100 yard group because it missed the paper. A test at 25 yards showed it to be keyholing out of control. Back at 40 grain reloads, about 2MOA on a bad day. If memory serves, the twist is about 1:16.

You may have to look for a 40 grain deer bullet :barf:
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Old December 29, 2008, 03:35 PM   #17
butta9999
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my uncle shoots 50gr and 55gr from his .22 Hornet with no problem. Grouping is not fantastic with about MOA being best at 100yds. There is no sign of key holeing or the bullet being unstable. Rifle is a browning Abolt.

I am not too familiar with the hornet but dont they make bullets especially for the hornet. I'm sure the ones my uncle showed me were shorter than say a 50gr SP for a .222 or swift. They were more or a round nose.
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Old December 29, 2008, 04:14 PM   #18
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HiBC, The dead Coyote bullet is made by hevishot. Here is a link to it:

http://www.hevishot.com/products_dea...s_results.html

I have not used them but they are supposed to"Blow up" within 2" of entering the body of an animal. This would not be good on deer but great for Fur hunters using guns like 22-250 and 220 swift.

I am not going to say what I think because the OP is going to do what he thinks is best and I for one am not going to tell him what to do. That said I agree with what most have stated above and I hope when he does take his 6YO hunting they take the best shot they can and she is very accurate with the hornet. A missed deer is OK but a crippled deer with a long unsuccessful follow up would be disastrous in starting a young person out hunting. The Op lives in NC as do I and there are plenty of Ground Hogs out there that are great Targets for the Hornet and not to bad to eat fixed right..........Sam
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Old December 29, 2008, 11:54 PM   #19
Pathfinder45
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I'm Just Gonna Say It.......

A 6 year old hunting deer..... and with a .22 Hornet?????????? Irresponsible on both counts, especially the first.
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Old January 1, 2009, 09:25 AM   #20
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Well... This went about like I thought it would. Thank you to those with advice or constructive ideas.

To the rest of you... I did not want to start this, but I feel personally attacked, and I think that I probably need to say something in my defense since people on here have gone so far as to question my parenting skills.

To clarify a few things:

We will be hunting 60-90 lb. does from an enclosed blind with a rifle rest for her to shoot from. The max range that I expect her to make a shot is around 40 yards. I feel that she can make that shot. I will be in the blind with a rifle also and I will provide a back up shot if she fails to put a deer down.
She has been hunting with me before and has seen me kill deer. She has also helped me skin and butcher deer, so I am not worried about emotionally scarring her as some of you have suggested.
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Old January 1, 2009, 11:14 PM   #21
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Way to go republican24/7!

Get her out there early and often. My daughter is 12 and she shoots with me. I wish I would have gotten her out younger, but we all live and learn. My father took me out shooting when I was 7 for the first time. My father has some recipes for .22 hornet, he loved to load them hot for a T/C I will look up his old load recipes and send them to you in a PM. I Hope they help you out.

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Old January 2, 2009, 11:20 AM   #22
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Any centerfire is legal here too, The only bullet you might get to work is a single loaded 53 grain triple shock. whether you want to here it or not, the hornet on deer would be for an expert marksman not a young child, if they cant handle a 223, 22-250, or 243 class calider maybe they should wait a couple years until they can, the animals deserve the right to a clean quick humane death just as much as you deserve the right to hunt them.
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Old January 2, 2009, 02:57 PM   #23
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Given the fact that this shot would be on a doe... I don't understand why so many people are trying figure out the proper bullet for a penetrating shot.

Load up a fairly solid 40-45 grain bullet.

Make it a brain shot.
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Old January 2, 2009, 05:25 PM   #24
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yeah, You guys have no right to attack a father for wanting to take his kid hunting. there are enough rules , laws , and requirments not to mention the hoops you got to jump through to go hunting these days. Hunting licences, hunter safety course, land permits, is enough to keep a person from taking a kid hunting. He dont need your help in not hunting. We have to keep this sport alive, and that means taking kids hunting.
a 22 Hornet wil take a deer jsut fine with a neck shot, or head shot. Just take that kid shooting before hand.
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Old January 2, 2009, 06:10 PM   #25
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I have no problem taking kids hunting. I think its great, take mine all the time. So if the shot comes off not so good and it takes a while for the deer to die while it bleeds out internally is that ok? With the hornet the shot is going to need to be perfect not just good, it will kill a deer no question, but how quickly who knows? All I'm saying is try to get the kid to shoot a gun with a little more energy, doesn't have to be a 30-06, try a 223 with a recoil pad.
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