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Old January 24, 2017, 05:56 AM   #1
HALL,AUSTIN
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22mag or 22 hornet?

Looking for a bolt action 22. Make and model are already decided. Now to choose the caliber. Is there any reason, aside from ammo cost, to choose one over the other? If you own one or both, what do you use yours on? I hunt predators (bobcat, coyotes, fox) small game, and hogs.
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Old January 24, 2017, 08:17 AM   #2
taylorce1
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I only own the .22 WMR, but with the game you mentioned I'd choose the Hornet everyday and twice on Sunday. The Hornet is far more powerful and can take larger game at a longer distance than the .22 WMR. The WMR is better suited to smaller varmints such as pararie dogs, ground squirrles and wood/rock chucks. I wouldn't use either as my first choice for hogs, but if you can slip a bullet into a hogs ear you'll have a dead hog.

My .22 WMR is strictly a prairie dog, Jack rabbit, and other varmint of opportunity rifle. I've killed coyote, fox, racoons, and skunks with it as well. Coyote are about 80% run off to die with a solid body hit and a 30 grain TNT hollow point or V-Max bullet, 40 grain soft points hit a little harder but very rarely do I get a DRT with a body shot and any bullet. I only use the .22 WMR on coyote if it's what I have at the time, if I'm calling coyote my .223 is the rifle I grab.

I also wouldn't really use the .22 WMR on any small game I wanted to eat, unless you can get a head shot. It is far to destructive on small critters, if you are making body shots use the TMJ (total metal jacket) bullets. With the TMJ bullet don't expect instant kills either, I tried them on prairie dogs and a lot of solidly hit animals made it back down their holes.
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Last edited by taylorce1; January 24, 2017 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Add what I've killed with .22 WMR
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Old January 24, 2017, 08:23 AM   #3
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What taylorce1 said.
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Old January 24, 2017, 09:23 AM   #4
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+3. No comparison between the two and I owned both. My favorite caliber for what I do is the .22mag. It's a poor choice for hogs....as is the Hornet really.
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Old January 24, 2017, 12:11 PM   #5
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I would choose the .22 Hornet. I do have a .22WMR (Ruger Single Six), and a Contender .22 Horent and a Ruger No.3 .22 Hornet. So, I have a little experience with both rounds.

I would chose the .22 Hornet, though not for hogs, I wouldn't choose ANY .22cal for hogs, if there were other options.

I would choose the .22 Hornet because I reload the .22 Hornet. By tailoring my loads, I can create any level of power from a .22 Short up through the full power Hornet. I can duplicate .22LR or .22WMR by downloading the Hornet.

Yes, Hornet ammo is pricey, it's a niche round, but unlike rimfires, you can reload it. And as a reloader, I have a much larger choice of bullets than just what is loaded in factory ammunition.

Hornet brass is thin, and extra care needs to be taken reloading it, or you will damage it. And in my experience, even being very careful, you will still have some cases damaged beyond use (in the beginning, at least ), but only a few, unlike the WMR where the only thing ALL the fired cases are good for is scrap metal value.

If both do the job you need, and the main factor is the purchase price of factory ammunition, then cheaper makes the most sense. If you reload, then many other factors come into play.
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Old January 24, 2017, 12:24 PM   #6
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I prefer using my 22-WMR on small game. Late night yard skunks to yotes seen mousing in my fields in broad daylight and everything in-between. Its preferred here more so than a 22 lr or a noisy 223.
I've found in my hunting WMR meat damage can be held to a minimum simply by the hunters aim. All small eatable game no matter has areas of preferred meat parts and other areas that are marginal or less preferred for a hunters skillet. Just saying. Aim for those areas not preferred or usable. 22 mags bullet shock alone is substantial to traumatize its quarry into staying put. Yotes_Fox & Cats are a whole different ball game in hunting and to depose of.

Now to get back on track.
22 Hornet is a dandy medium range cartridge when compared to the 22 WMR. Although the Hornet is re-loadable it isn't all that easy to reload so I've read. But I do know there is a advantage of using store bought ammo for the 22-WMR. For the most part once the rifle is sighted for a specific brand bullet profile and weight. Seldom is it necessary to adjust the rifles sights from one box of cartridges to another >its a convenient little cartridge.<
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Old January 24, 2017, 12:41 PM   #7
aarondhgraham
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Cost is not the main determinant,,,

Cost is not the main determinant,,,
Availability is the concern.

Is .22 Hornet readily available?

Aarond

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Old January 24, 2017, 12:44 PM   #8
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I agree with taylorce1! The Hornet is so much more decisive on small game, I would pass on the hogs unless they were in a trap.
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Old January 24, 2017, 12:56 PM   #9
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.22 Hornet can be a quite successful hog round IF you can be in a position to safely place your shots accurately 100% of the time. For instance, sitting in an elevated stand overlooking a feeder. A .22 Hornet behind the ear will drop ANY size hog dead in its tracks.
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Old January 24, 2017, 01:56 PM   #10
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The .22 Mag is a rimfire that starts at around $12 per 50. The Hornet is a center fire that starts at around $20 per 50, but is reloadable. There is no comparison.
Well, maybe a little. Typical Mag bullets run 40 grains at 1900ish fps. The Hornet drives the same weight at roughly 2800 fps. Nope. No comparison.
You're not going to find the same rifle chambered in both anyway.
Never saw a great deal of meat damage with the Mag. Used HP's mostly for ground hogs long ago. Drilled neat holes, but really didn't do much damage. The very first chuck I shot took the bullet in the teeth and exited out one eye, I think. Might have just blown the eye out. No other damage though.
Knew a guy years ago who used the Hornet for deer when there were no .22 calibre 'deer' bullets. Any centre fire is legal for deer here. Rimfires are not.
"...behind the ear..." From the saddle? snicker. Suspect it has more to do with the size of the porker than anything else. Don't think I'd use either on a pig myself.
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Old January 24, 2017, 05:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Is .22 Hornet readily available?
What person who considers himself a shooter, rather than a colletor, does not handload? I have a Browning B85 (a low wall) .22 Hornet that is my favorite practical varminting gun. It stands next to a window of my handloading/computer room. When I see something that requires killing (opossums, woodchucks, skunks, fox etc., anything that has predicated upon my geese or chickens), I open the window and deal with it. Reloading the .22 Hornet has been a challenge, but the problems are not insurmountable. I find that a charge of LilGun under a Calhoun 46 grain double hollow point works very well in my gun. The .22 Hornet being a reloadable centerfire, I do not have to worry about shortages that seem to be inherent to rimfires. .22 Hornet case life seems a little short (primer pockets loosen and those thin necks are easy to ruin), but as a working gun I purchased a lifetime supply of new cases so I do not anticipate running out in my lifetime.
Note to handloaders: My gun did not like the powders traditionally suggested for the .22 Hornet (including 2400). I did not find the accuracy until trying LilGun.
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Old January 24, 2017, 05:09 PM   #12
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For the specified game, varmints, and furbearers, I think I'd:

A) Take the Hornet and be hesitant to use it on larger hogs.
B) Take the .22 WMR for smaller stuff, and pick up a .223 Rem class cartridge for the bigger animals.


I only own a .22 WMR, but I have a lot of respect for .22 Hornet and have dealt with one in my family (from reloading bench to exploding varmints).

That being said... I wouldn't buy a .22 Hornet unless I planned to reload for it.
And, .22 WMR ammunition can be difficult to come by (at least at a reasonable price) in some areas and at certain times; so consider that as well.


(I do actually save about 90% of my .22 WMR brass. It's perfect for use as 6mm bullet jackets.)

Quote:
The .22 Mag is a rimfire that starts at around $12 per 50. The Hornet is a center fire that starts at around $20 per 50, but is reloadable. There is no comparison.
Well, maybe a little. Typical Mag bullets run 40 grains at 1900ish fps. The Hornet drives the same weight at roughly 2800 fps. Nope. No comparison.
You're not going to find the same rifle chambered in both anyway.
Ruger 77/22.

Discontinued, yes. But still out there.
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Old January 24, 2017, 05:25 PM   #13
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I had a 22WMR in a Win 9422. It was a very accurate shooter, but ammo was sky high.

I have a 22 Hornet in Browning Micro A-Bolt. It will shoot the lights out and I reload it. Lots of good bullets for it.

I like it better than the the 22 WMR simply because it is much cheaper to shoot.

I have killed hogs with a 22LR, but it is not my first choice for that task.

If the 22 LR can kill a pig, then I know the 22 WMR can as well.

My BIL shot a pig with his 22 Hornet but he was using a varmint bullet and the animal hardly recognized the hit as it blew up on the hide with out penetrating.

Once again, bullet choice is predominant, second is placement.
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Old January 24, 2017, 06:52 PM   #14
dahermit
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Quote:
My BIL shot a pig with his 22 Hornet but he was using a varmint bullet and the animal hardly recognized the hit as it blew up on the hide with out penetrating.
I love this kind of post. The bullet blew up, did not penetrate, but the pig was not recovered to verify it? Or, was it a miss? Explain please.
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Old January 24, 2017, 07:37 PM   #15
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I currently have bother the .22 WMR (marlin) and a Ruger 77/22 H in .22 Hornet. If for some reason I could only keep one it would be the Hornet without any hesitation. I do reload for the Hornet and hav had no problem with finding accurate loads, easiest was with H110, most accurate was IMR 4227, Lil Gun never worked out for me. However I will add if you are going to reload for the Hornet not to treat it like a .223 and hot load it, I never had good accuracy with hot loads and merely succeeded in splitting a lot of cases. Moderate to mild loads were accurate, easy to make and easy on cases, and still way beyond what the .22 WMR is.
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Old January 24, 2017, 07:58 PM   #16
HALL,AUSTIN
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I should have clarified, I've got a 22lr (like the cal, not the rifle) a really accurate AR in 223wylde, a 204ruger, and a 270. I've got the game rifles covered really, this would be a "method hunting" rifle. IF it ever sees a hog, it'll be a perfect shot or pass. The AR will probably sit in the stand too.
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Old January 24, 2017, 09:19 PM   #17
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I understand, I have a few .22 lr, a .22 WMR, .22 Hornet, a couple .223s, and a .22-250. I have hunter with my Hornet for various things and had to pass on a lot of shots that were just not "right enough", which was OK wih me, if I had been hunting just to take a critter I would have had a different firearm with me.
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Old January 24, 2017, 09:21 PM   #18
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22mag ammo is still difficult to find. My old favorite WW 40gr JHP is still very hard to come by.
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Old January 25, 2017, 01:09 AM   #19
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HALL,AUSTiN: I have a CZ 22MAG which is a great little rifle, and very accurate . But I also have a CZ 527 22 HORNET, and I have been reloading for a 22 Hornet for many years. And my CZ 22 HORNET is just scary accurate. My 22 Hornet is cheaper to shoot than my 22 Mag. And My 22 Hornet is much more powerful and almost twice as fast as my 22MAG. I shoot Coyotes, Fox, Jack Rabbits, Badgers, Prairie Dogs, Ground Hogs, and Rock Chucks. With my 22 Hornet out pasted 250yds but that is pushing a 22 Hornet a little I think. IMHO I think my CZ 22 Hornet is head and shoulders above my CZ 22 MAG for Hunting Varmints, or most anything else. And I shoot my CZ 22 Hornet more than most any rifle I have, excluding my 223`s.
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Old January 25, 2017, 02:44 AM   #20
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Hornet

I don't own a Hornet, but wish I did. For all the reasons previously listed, I'd pick the Hornet over a .22 mag every time.

A Hornet story. I knew two old boys who started their career as "hog hunters" for the Park Service. Both of them shot scoped .22 Hornets, personally owned...originally Savage 34's or 340's, (?) , later they bought Ruger 77/22 Hornets when they first came out. Those fella's killed a bunch of hogs... I mean a bunch, mostly with the old Savages. They did not get to hunt the Rugers very much, as the agency wrote policy requiring them to use a (much) bigger rifle shortly after they acquired the new Rugers.

When they were shooting the Hornets, they used a reload consisting of I believe a 50 gr PSP (Speer maybe?). The comment from the one fella I knew quite well was that the heavier bullet was more reliable at breaking the neck/skull bones, than the factory slugs. That was the only shot they took, high on the neck, base of the skull. I actually had a chance to buy my pals's Savage.....but when he showed up with it, the old rifle had been modified beyond my tastes. It had been shortened to 18-20 inches, and had been fitted with a GI style flash suppressor. Fella said the longer barrel kept getting hung up in the laurel. The flash suppressor was hoped to aid shooting in bad light, which they did quite a bit of apparently.

Now, I wish I'd bought it anyhow.
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Old January 25, 2017, 08:53 AM   #21
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Here is an example for the neighsayers that say a Hornet isn't sufficient for a hog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSWWRydL1wA

Like I said before - in a stand, overlooking a feeder, aim for the soft spot in the back of the skull and they will drop like a sack of potatoes.
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Old January 25, 2017, 09:37 PM   #22
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I went through this same decision process many years ago. So I listed the pros and cons of each.

* The 22 Hornet is more powerful, but it is not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination, it launches a 40 gr bullet at about 2400 fps. The 22 WMR will launch the same bullet at about 2100 fps. So not a great big advantage.

* 22 Hornet is way more expensive to shoot than a 22WMR (about $1/round vs 30 cents/round for the 22WMR), and harder to find than 22 WMR.

* 22 Hornet is a 150-200 yds cartridge. 22 WMR is a 150-200 yds cartridge.

* Neither is really a good varmint cartridge, although either can be lots of fun to shoot.

What I ended up doing was selling my 22 Hornet and buying a 22 WMR instead for the intermediate size animals. But in reality, I shoot 22LR or 223 for just about anything of appropriate size for the cartridges. Now (30-ish years later), I have been given a 22 Hornet and am wondering what to do with it (too expensive to shoot very much, and a real pain to reload).
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Old January 25, 2017, 09:49 PM   #23
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I've used both, the .22 Magnum is poorer ballistically, to me, and also louder. The .22 Hornet is much flatter and I just prefer it.

I won't use either one of the cartridges on anything bigger than a groundhog unless it's a coyote.
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Old January 25, 2017, 10:06 PM   #24
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Ill take the hornet of you hands Scorch!

If it were me Id go with the hornet. It packs enough umff to knock down medium game. On that note I reload so price is really negated.

My experience with 22wmr is not impressive. Does it have more smack then a 22lr? Yup, is it worth serious pursuit? Not in my opinion.
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Old March 3, 2017, 01:02 PM   #25
Don Fischer
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I don't have any use for a CF 22 anymore. I have a 22 mag that is awesome for doing what you do. I would not hesitate to use it on all but the hog's. I think about a Hornet quite a bit. Never owned one but a friend had several many years ago and I shot the tar out of them. We only shot cast bullet's from them. Huge problem with them, rimmed and really shallow shoulder and the thing's split case's on a regular basis. I'd still get one though and take it to a gunsmith and have a K Hornet reamer run in it. That would give me a shoulder worth head spacing on. Even if I did that though, I would not part with my 22 magnum.

I doubt a good cast bullet in a Hornet would bounce off a hog but, were it me hunting the hog, I'd prefer my mod 788 in 308 with the 180gr bullet I shoot in it. I suspect a hog is just a bit tuff to experiment on with very light cartridges.
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