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Old February 16, 2019, 02:40 AM   #23
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 19,802
Really?? how much more? Not very much I'd think. Hornet rounds aren't THAT much fatter or longer than .22WMR.
I was wondering who would be the first to object to that statement.
My estimate is about 15-20% more.
Or, looked at from another perspective: You can put just as much in your pocket, but the .22 WMR won't take up as much room or weigh as much.
I went and looked at some specs, and I think your estimate of 15-20% more WMR rounds over Hornet is..overly generous.

Loaded, the Hornet is approx. 0.37" longer than the .22WMR. And the widest part of the case (the rim), the Hornet is 0.056" larger in diameter than the WMR. I don't think those small differnces (especially in diameter) will allow 15-20% more WMR than Hornet in the same space. 2-3%, maybe, which is kind of minor, to my way of thinking.

Scorch, my experience with the Hornet is a little better than yours, at least I've lost fewer cases during reloading. But my situation is a bit different. I don't crimp them. There's no need, as I shoot a Ruger No.3 and a Contender. SO, no trimming (all are still below max length), I don't flare the case mouths, but I did learn to add a generous chamfer. I don't recall my Hornet dies (RCBS) being any more expensive than "regular ones". And I wonder at your data,
22WMR launches a 40 gr at 2,100 fps, 22 Hornet launches a 40 gr at about 2,300 fps,
I checked a couple sources and one said 40gr .22WMR was 1875fps, and another said 2000fps, so 2100fps is not too far off, I suppose, but no source I could find lists the .22 Hornet 40gr an less than 2600fps, and one said 2790fps for factory. Hornady list a 40gr Hornet load that hits 2900, though most powders top out at 2800fps, some a bit less, but everything they list does 2600fps or more. Even taking the WMR at 2100 (a high number) and the Hornet at 2600fps (a low number) that more than a 10% difference.

Does that justify the difference in price between the two? No. Nor does the performance difference between the .22WMR and the .22 LR justify the high cost of the WMR to me, either. I didn't think the WMR was worth $6 a box when .22lr was less than a buck. (yes it was that long ago the last time I bought WMR). They are "niche" rounds, and have always been expensive,
much more so than the materials used seem to justify.

Hornet cases are "paper thin" at the mouths, and even being careful, gentle and slow a few will still buckle very easily. I've only lost 2-3 since I figured out a generous chamfer made the difference for me, with jacketed bullets.

Someone mentioned "why not the .223?" and pointed out the advantages of cost and availability of ammo, etc. And this is true, but the .223 is a more powerful round, and if you want WMR or Hornet speeds, you have to download it further, and there can be issues with that, including possibly needing a filler. Also, even the smallest lightest .223 rifles have to be a bit bigger than WMR or Hornets have to be. If you're looking for the lightest possible "walk around rifle" this might make a difference, too.

Just my opinion, but I consider the WMR a waste of money, for me, and while the Hornet is more expensive, I feel less of the money is wasted.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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