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Old June 13, 2013, 09:30 AM   #1
WIN1886
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Did I make a mistake getting a model 1885 in 22 Hornet?

Okay , I love the rifle and I like the nostalgia of the .22 Hornet and wanted a .22 center fire with less report and about 200 yard useful range.....however , I simply can't find much ammunition for it and when I do it is very costly for a little cartridge that uses 30 to 45 grain bullets ( so the amount for the components shouldn't be that expensive for the factory's to load ) ! I do eventually want to handload for it but I'm having trouble getting supplies for that as well ! I'm now wondering if I should dump this rifle for a .223 Rem. version or be patient and wait for reloading supplies and ammo to be more plentiful ? I have found some ammo here and then for it so I at least have gotten a chance to shoot it.....I was busting clay targets at 200 yards (fun ) !
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Old June 13, 2013, 09:47 AM   #2
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You did not err. The Hornet is still here for exactly the reason you bought it, quiet, accurate shooting at moderate range. Ammo is showing up on the shelves again, and reloading supplies will follow. I have not reloaded that cartridge, but I understand that the cases are on the thin side, requiring more care in sizing.
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Old June 13, 2013, 02:21 PM   #3
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Them Hornets is expensive to feed! Not because its a small round, but because its a niche round. Still commercially viable, but only made in small numbers, so its spendy. A specialty piece, not run of the mill common.

I have a T/C Contender barrel and a Ruger No. 3 in .22 Hornet, and am very happy with them. A reloader with over 40 years experience, reloading for more than 30 different rifle and handgun cartridges, I can tell you that while the process is standard, the Hornet brass takes extra care, and you will mangle a few cases before you get it figured out right. A good chamfer on the case mouth and slow careful bullet seating, so you can "feel" it helps a lot.

9mm Luger is cheap, because it is the most produced centerfire on the planet. The Hornet is on the other end of the scale, and expensive. I have seen cheap(er) European ammo on line, but not recently.

If you aren't attached to the Hornet for other reasons, going strictly by the economy of the ammo, you should consider a different, more common cartridge. A .223 can be loaded down to Hornet levels, but each rifle is an individual about what it shoots best, and there's no guarantee that a .223 will shoot well at Hornet levels. Most will, but some might not. And then there is that whole "nearly empty" case thing....

Choose what best suits you, both you desires, and your wallet. The Hornet isn't for everyone, it has costs and quirks. But it does deliver, within its limits, and sometimes that plenty of reason to have one. Or two.
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Old June 13, 2013, 02:22 PM   #4
WIN1886
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Thanks, I think when I start reloading for it...I'll enjoy the 22 Hornet more when working up some accurate loads !


If that 1885 in .223 Rem I've been eyeing up does not get sold soon I may have to nab it as well !
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Old June 13, 2013, 05:44 PM   #5
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S&B 22 Hornet sells for $17 a box of 20 and currently available. Not cheap, but also not outrageous by today's prices. Prvi is typically less than 50 cent a shot but hard to get at this time.
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Old June 13, 2013, 07:53 PM   #6
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Today 02:21 PM 44 AMP Posted:
Them Hornets is expensive to feed! Not because its a small round, but because its a niche round. Still commercially viable, but only made in small numbers, so its spendy. A specialty piece, not run of the mill common.

I have a T/C Contender barrel and a Ruger No. 3 in .22 Hornet, and am very happy with them. A reloader with over 40 years experience, reloading for more than 30 different rifle and handgun cartridges, I can tell you that while the process is standard, the Hornet brass takes extra care, and you will mangle a few cases before you get it figured out right. A good chamfer on the case mouth and slow careful bullet seating, so you can "feel" it helps a lot.

================================================================
My thoughts exactly. I think this cartridge would have died out a long time ago if it were'nt for the actions of several gun writers and a semi successful attempting to save it.
Introduction of the 222 began its demise.
For the money, 22 WMR and the many 22 centerfires that are out there are better choice unless you must have a hornet.
44 AMP also made it clear of problems with reloading the little cart. I found best results were by neck sizing only. I sold my hornet and accoutrements several years ago and have not regretted it.
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Old June 13, 2013, 09:23 PM   #7
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You did just fine, I think.

Hornet is just plain FUN and a 1885 is just plain FUN ... so

FUN + FUN = FUN X 2
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Old June 14, 2013, 04:20 AM   #8
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If you're going to get serious about reloading, consider having the rifle chamber gut to the .22 K-Hornet. You will get a lot more loads per case that way. Even more if you stick with standard hornet load data rather than the hotter K-Hornet loads...

All ammo and loading supplies are hard to find right now. Be patient and it should get better...

Tony
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Old June 14, 2013, 04:38 AM   #9
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Set up and reload for it ! You will not get your best accuracy that way, you can develop a load to get the potential out of your rifle. You will hear a lot of folks talk about a persnickity round to reload, but it's just a rather thin case and not that much of a problem. So you mush up a case now and then..no big deal. I've set up a Dillon to run off 500 at a time for them and they run through just fine. You can load a bunch of them with a pound of powder and have a great little cartridge.
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Old June 14, 2013, 09:57 AM   #10
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22 Hornet

Thanks for replies , for reloading would you'll mind suggesting what brass , primers ( small rifle or other ) , and powder choices you've had the best results with ?

I did pick up some S&B 22 Hornet ammo but I heard the brass has a very small flash hole that the primer punch gets stuck in !
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Old June 14, 2013, 01:28 PM   #11
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I use Winchester brass. I load 10.0gr of IMR-4227 with a 45gr bullet. I don't know the fps, but it works fine in my M1885, Savage 19 & 23, Winchester 43.

The K-Hornet is a good idea ... you'll drop some more money up front, but it's a good option... and another fun castridge.

When I reload Hornets I work SLOWLY (if you get wild, you will crush a case or bugger the mouth). I also use a Lyman "M" die to prep the case mouth. I have the die set so I get just a little bit of "step" , maybe 1/16" at most" in the mouth. I can then seat the bullet in position before putting it in the shell holder. I have NEVER had a problem with improper full seating with this method.

FWIW, I use only a single stage press.
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Old June 15, 2013, 10:45 AM   #12
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I use Hornady V-MAX® 40 grain bullets mostly in .22 Hornet and because these bullets have a boat-tail, they guide themselves into the case mouth. I also use a Forster competition seating die which is designed to align the bullet perfectly before seating. Haven't lost a case yet from mis-seating with that combo.

Case stretching does not seem to be an issue in my Ruger No.1. Maybe I lucked out with a gun that has tight headspacing. Cases last until the case mouth splits. No hint of head separation problems. I neck resize only.
The reason the K-Hornet chamber makes cases last is because once fire formed to the chamber, the case effectively headspaces on the shoulder instead of the rim and by neck sizing only, you have zero headspace.
The standard Hornet has a shoulder that is too straight to effectively headspace the cartridge on, it acts like a straight sided case.
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Old June 16, 2013, 12:13 AM   #13
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I second the going slowly on seating the bullet and on the V-max. Mine shoots 1/2 moa with V-max 40gn. Save your brass! It took me some time but I stocked up on brass and ammo hasn't been an issue since. I just buy a few hundred brass a year to keep my stock up to snuff.

Fun little cartridge. You did well.


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Old June 16, 2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
You did just fine, I think.

Hornet is just plain FUN and a 1885 is just plain FUN ... so

FUN + FUN = FUN X 2
It also means that I now officially hate you.

translation: congratulations you lucky so-and-so
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Old June 16, 2013, 10:21 PM   #15
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I've been reading Lil Gun is the powder of choice for some....I have a bunch of 2400 on hand that I use for my magnum handguns ! I appreciate the replies , thanks !
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Old June 16, 2013, 10:31 PM   #16
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I have had good results with Li'l Gun. I have also gotten excellent accuracy with Accurate 1680 but with lower velocities.
2400 works well also, in fact this powder was originally formulated for this cartridge if I have my info correct. The name of this powder came about for the velocities acchieved by this cartridge or so I hear.
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Old June 17, 2013, 12:53 PM   #17
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I use 2400. I get about 2500 fps with my loads.


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Old June 17, 2013, 01:09 PM   #18
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All good advice here. You DID NOT make a mistake. And, once you get the empty brass, the hornet is cheap to shoot. At approx. 10 grains a charge, a pound (7000 grains) of powder goes a long way. I have a browning low wall, and a ruger 77/22 KVT chambered for the hornet, and I would hate to be without either rifle. Some specific thoughts:

1. For best accuracy and brass life, don't over size the brass. Just re-size until the bolt or breech block closes snugly on the round.

2. Small PISTOL primers (not rifle primers) usually give better accuracy.

3. For the lighter weight bullets (35 gr), I just use the classic 2400. For the heavier bullets, Lil Gun and Accurate Arms 1680 are your friends.

4. This doesn't apply to your 1885, but some longer ogive, heavier bullets are too long for some magazine fed rifles, and consequently have to be seated pretty deeply in the case to fit in the magazine. To avoid that, I pretty much use nothing else but the 35 grain hornet bullets in my hornet rifles. If I want more power or a heavier bullet, then it's time to get out the .223's, the .204, or the .220 swift
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Old June 17, 2013, 05:57 PM   #19
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If I want more power or a heavier bullet , then it's time to get out the .223's , the .204 , or the .220 swift

Or my .243 Win. stainless bolt action ! Locally , I need a rifle with less noise and power to hunt varmints without disturbing the neighbors too much which is why I opted for the Hornet ! Other hunters in the area do use more powerful calibers like the .223 , 22-250, 204 , etc. and it is legal but I would prefer not to where I hunt ! Now my .243 is so deadly accurate it almost unfair....sorry , I needed to lighten up a little !
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Old June 17, 2013, 08:10 PM   #20
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@Win1886: Exactly. Due to increasing urbanization, the hornet has more of a place than ever. I know you will enjoy your low wall.
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Old June 18, 2013, 03:23 PM   #21
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22 Hornet is a great cartridge. SG Ammo stocks Prvi Partisan ammo for $20 a box of 50. Good brass, nice to reload.
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Old June 18, 2013, 07:28 PM   #22
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I have the same gun. Mine is topped with a Leupold 3-9X40 scope. It's a great gun.

You can find ammo at MidwayUSA and Cabelas for about a buck a round.
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Old June 19, 2013, 05:33 PM   #23
WIN1886
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Quote:
SG Ammo stocks Privi Partisan ammo for $20 a box of 50.

Speaking of Privi Partisan 22 Hornet ammo , I did find some at a decent price but have not used it yet ! I've read from one source the the bullets were generally undersize and did not group very well for this individual ! I would think the Miroku made Winchester 1885 low wall has a .224 groove diameter but heard that originally 22 Hornet rifles were .223 groove diameter ! Anyway I guess I'll find out at the range and the brass will come in handy !
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Old June 19, 2013, 05:55 PM   #24
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Quote:
Them Hornets is expensive to feed!
Not so. I have an 1885 Hornet and it only needs some small rifle primers, some Li'l Gun powder, some Calhoun bullets (which I stocked-up on a couple of years ago), and the R-P or W-W brass that is mine already. I have said it before, I will say it again: "Hand loading is a no-brainer for anyone who likes or wants to shoot". The answer to the problem of expensive to shoot is the same now as when I started to hand load in the '60's. Hand load!
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Old June 19, 2013, 09:19 PM   #25
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Primers

For 22 Hornet Remington 6 1/2 work the best IMO. Lil Gun and H110 are both good powders. 40 Vmax worked best in mine (I traded it) over Lil Gun and using 6 1/2 Primers. Calhoun and Barnes 30 gr. Varmint Grenades shot fairly tight groups, using H110.
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