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Old February 16, 2019, 01:46 AM   #22
Scorch
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Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 13,689
OK, longish story here.

Back in 1981, I picked up a nice little Krico rifle in 22 Hornet. I had wanted a 22 Hornet because I had read about how much more powerful it was than a 22WMR, how much flatter shooting it was than a 22WMR, and how much cheaper it was going to be to shoot because you are reloading the brass and so that reduces the cost. So I picked up this little Krico rifle, beautiful little rifle with a 3X Kahles scope on it. I was pretty happy. Then I went to buy ammo. I was shocked at the cost of the ammo, it was $20 for 50 rounds, literally 5X-6X the cost of 22WMR ammo and 30X the cost of 22LR ammo (this was the early 1980s, so don't get all excited about cheap ammo, we made a lot less money then). So I went out hunting with my buddies who shot 22LR and 22WMR rifles. Out to 100 yds, there was no advantage over the other two rifles. None. Sure, when I fired it was louder and a little more spectacular when I hit a rabbit, but no real advantage. 150 yds, and the 22WMR and I were neck and neck, but the 22LR shooter would sit it out. 200 yds and both the 22WMR and the Hornet were biting the dust but I still had a little oomph. So OK, I was still in the game. Except the Hornet cost 5X more to shoot. No problem, I thought, because when I start reloading the cost will be really low! When I bought dies, I was shocked at the cost of the Hornet dies, they cost 25% more than any other dies. But I bought a pound of 2400 powder for $9 and a box of 100 little Hornet 40 gr bullets for $5 and started loading (already the price of 4 boxes of 22WMR ammo before I loaded the first round). First, size the cases then trim because you have to crimp and you want them all the same length. But during sizing, I lost about 10% of the cases because they are paper thin. Trimming is also a challenge because the case mouth can tear because they are so thin, but I only lost a few. Then flare the case mouths because if you don't you'll crush the case necks (did I mention they are paper thin?). Lost another few cases. Started out with 150 cases, ended up with about 120 or so loaded rounds. No problem, I thought, I'll get better. And I did, but still lost about 5-10 cases per loading session. Finally gave up on jacketed bullets because of the cost and started casting and gas checking lead. Yes, a pain. One day a friend of mine was all excited about the 22 K-Hornet, and mentioned it to me, so I sold him my Krico, and he took it to the smith to rechamber while I went down and bought a Ruger 77/22 Magnum and never looked back. Lessons learned? Go for convenience. Chrono tests later proved what I had learned the hard way: 22WMR launches a 40 gr at 2,100 fps, 22 Hornet launches a 40 gr at about 2,300 fps, so 10% faster. 5X the cost. That's what I learned, YMMV. So if you fall in love with a Hornet, sure, load for it and enjoy it. But I wouldn't go looking for one just to have one.
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Last edited by Scorch; February 16, 2019 at 01:51 AM.
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