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Old April 6, 2021, 03:24 AM   #1
Geezerbiker
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Oh the anticipation

My Ruger 77/22 Hornet is going to be coming home soon. I sent off the last payment on the $870 bill and I'm really hoping it's going to be worth it. A couple miscommunications led me to being shocked over the repair bill a on a rifle I got taken on the rifle in the first place.

It's now officially the most expensive rifle I have by a wide margin. I suppose I'm cheap but I prefer to think of myself a frugal. Well it sounds better anyway.

The rifle will be wearing a Benchmark barrel in .22 K-Hornet and I told my daughter it had better shoot through Cheery-O's after I get it sighted in but I don't really expect that.

More to come.

Tony
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Old April 6, 2021, 03:33 AM   #2
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I just aquired a 22 hornet from my brother who passed, I do believe it was his favorite plinker, I took it out with handloaded ammo and at 50 yds off a bench I was highly impressed 100 yds was another story but I am just getting used to the rifle and I loaded some ammo for it (to the grain) so we will see how that goes..update to follow. Good luck with yours.
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Old April 6, 2021, 12:24 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that the 'K' is not the same as a Hornet.
Knew a guy years ago who used a Hornet for deer. That was long before there was such a thing as a suitable .22 calibre deer bullet.
And there's lots more to shooting through Cheerios than the barrel.
And what's a 'frugal'? Just curious. I consider myself to be frugal but not cheap too.
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Old April 6, 2021, 08:22 PM   #4
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So you're going to call me out on a typo? What's this world coming to... Anyway I do realize I'll have to break in the barrel and do some load development.

I first wanted K-Hornet many years ago and at a time when no one was making a rifle in that caliber so I set off on a quest to build a Martini single shot in that caliber. Well that rifle still isn't working and I bought this one that was supposed to have been all dialed in and ready to go. Right about when I got it I also got pneumonia and I was unable to shoot it much but when I did, I found the rounds hard to extract. That was more than a year later and talking to the owner of the gun shop where I bought it didn't get any results.

Then I moved (and split up from my old lady) and it took me awhile to get back to it. When I figured it had a gouge in the chamber, I talked to the owner of the shop where I got it hoping he would get me a deal on the repair. He wouldn't even look at it and told me I didn't know s**t about guns. That's when I sent it to someone reputable for repair work. It's now about a $1300 rifle and it's a good thing I plan to keep it, I'd surely loose my tuchas on it if I sold it...

I asked the gunsmith to return the barrel with he damaged chamber. I hope he didn't toss it. I'd like to hang it on the wall as a moment of caveat emptor...

Tony
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Old April 6, 2021, 10:38 PM   #5
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@Geezerbiker: Congratulations. The hornet is one of those special cartridges, which is just "useful". Low noise, cheap to reload, and can do what needs to be done for most of us for most of the time.

I have the factory target version of your rifle, and also a browning low wall, chambered for .22 hornet. The problem with the ruger is that the magazine limits overall cartridge length. For highly ballistic efficient, long bullets (e.g. Hornady V-max), you have to seat the bullet pretty deeply in order to fit in the magazine. The loaded bullet can end up looking like a missile in a silo. I've been using hornady 35 grain hornet bullets, and they seem to function best and give the best accuracy in my ruger. I've also found that small pistol primers seem to give better accuracy.

Oh...and "T O'Heir" was not criticizing your grammar. There was really nothing to criticize. That's just his tag line which appears on all his posts. It's a general statement.

Last edited by hammie; April 6, 2021 at 10:54 PM.
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Old April 7, 2021, 12:03 AM   #6
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Hornets

I've wanted a Hornet since I hunted with my great uncle and his Savage 340. I"d never seen anything like it and was fascinated. Old Harry ran up on hard times and sold that rifle before anybody in the family knew of it. I had a chance at another Savage, this one belonging to a co-worker that got his start being a hog hunter for the gov't in the Smokey's. At that time, the gov't allowed their hog hunters to use personal weapons. Murph's Hornet had killed a ton of hogs .......when I got a chance to see it, it looked the part. The barrel had been docked to about 18", and a GI type A2 flash hider installed. Why? Murph claimed the factory barrel length got hung in the mountain laurel all the time, so he had it shortened. They shot a lot at night , he thought the muzzle attachment might help reduce flash and allow a quicker second shot. I passed on the old rifle, but it had quite a pedigree. Murph bought a 77/22 in Hornet.
Last Hornet I saw for sale was at a small pawn shop in WV about 10 yrs ago, a 77/22 in walnut. If I remember right it was when Ruger had announced there would be no more 77/22's, and they wanted $750 for the rifle then. Local Walmart closed out several hundred rounds of Hornet ammo about 15 years ago for a song, I was sorely tempted to buy the ammo, even though I did not own a Hornet!
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Old April 8, 2021, 11:14 AM   #7
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I love my 77/22 Hornet. Had it for about 15 years now, probably my favorite plinking/small game rifle.

It’s at the smith getting threaded for suppressor use right now, should really up the giggle factor when I get it home.
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Old April 8, 2021, 09:08 PM   #8
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Always thought the 22 hornet was a cool cartridge. I am leaning towards a 17 hornet, as my 17hmr is a riot to shoot, but reloading rimfires is not something I am interested in.
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Old April 10, 2021, 03:01 AM   #9
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Awhile back I took a .17 HMR barrel and had it rechambered to .17 Hornady Hornet and put on one of my center-fire frames. So far it's a pretty good shooter but I don't get out enough to enjoy it... I'd post a pic but it looks just like any other Handirifle single shot.

I'm hoping for more shooting this coming summer than in the past few years.

Tony
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Old April 13, 2021, 01:30 AM   #10
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I got the tracking number today and it should be here tomorrow or the next day. I hope to have pix up PDQ. I don't like to know how much I'm in my guns but in this case I couldn't help it. I paid $450 for it and $870 to get it fixed.

I'll know in a week or two how well it groups...

Tony
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Old April 13, 2021, 06:47 PM   #11
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I can't believe it she's home. Actual 2 day shipping from a far flung corner of Oregon to another BFE town.

The work looks beautiful and I will post some pix later tonight. Right now I'm thinking old man afternoon nap....

One thing that bothers me is he didn't send back the old barrel. Am I wrong for thinking I should have gotten it back?

Tony
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Old April 13, 2021, 09:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geezerbiker View Post
I can't believe it she's home. Actual 2 day shipping from a far flung corner of Oregon to another BFE town.

The work looks beautiful and I will post some pix later tonight. Right now I'm thinking old man afternoon nap....

One thing that bothers me is he didn't send back the old barrel. Am I wrong for thinking I should have gotten it back?

Tony
That's your barrel. it should have been returned unless you explicitly asked for them to dispose of it.
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Old April 14, 2021, 08:48 AM   #13
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I'm without web hosting at the moment so I can put up a picture. The company I use to host my website no longer allows the old website software I use to do updates so I have to redo the whole thing before I can make any further changes. I don't know when I'll be able to put up any pix.

I specifically asked for the old barrel back and he either just forgot it or is ignoring my request. I asked what happened to it and I hopefully will have some good news about it soon...

A couple of ups and downs so far... I was initially PO'ed at what he charged me for the threaded ring to protect the muzzle threads but on close inspection, it fits so perfectly that once tightened down (even finger tight) it's near impossible to see the line were it mates with the barrel.

Now for the down, he laser engraved the name of his business on the top of my barrel. I can sort of see that is like signing one's work but not in so obvious of a place and it should be in small text so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. I was rather upset about this at first but I'm getting over it but still not thrilled...

Tony
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Old April 14, 2021, 06:16 PM   #14
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On the top of the barrel? Um no.... I could see the side near the receiver but to top.... no.... Unless he had pictures posted showing barrels being like that, or told you up front no... Granted I have never had a barrel up on, and don't know how barrel makers do thins, but that seems incredibly tacky at best.

If it were me he would be getting an ear full and I would be considering sending the barrel back.
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Old April 14, 2021, 11:00 PM   #15
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Putting the name of the barrel smith and the exact cartridge it's chambered in is good practice, else eventually someone ends up with a custom wildcat job and no idea what the rifle is chambered in.

A common place to do so is actually on the bottom of the barrel where it's only seen when the stock is removed. Along the sides of the barrel as seen on a factory gun is very common also. Don't know that I've ever seen anybody do it on the top. On more modern and aggressive custom guns like in the competition circuit I might expect to see that.

On a more traditional gun like your hornet I would expect to see it done in a way that doesn't call attention to itself, like an artist signature in the corner of a painting. I'd also expect your barrel to have been sent back if you asked
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Old April 15, 2021, 05:38 AM   #16
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He claimed that he recycled the barrel over a year ago when he started the project. I'm not going to fight him over this and the engraving of his business name on the top of the barrel. I told him it was tacky and I'm leaving it at that. I also not send any more work to him but I'll no trash him in a public forum as that would be even more tacky...

I hope to get it out shooting this week to see how it groups. I'm still looking for the safe places I put away all my K-Hornet stuff.

Tony
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Old April 15, 2021, 06:18 PM   #17
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Me and my Bro bought 77/Hornets when first out. I was disappointed in it to say the least.
I have 77/22 from 1st out and it will shoot Cheerios at 40yds. I’ve not had good luck with Hornets. #3 Ruger, 43 Win and H&R. The truth, the Savage 23s, 219s and 340s all outshoot the better guns. I hear the CZ shoot very well too. Lots of deer shot with Hornets before there were fancy bullets. Stationary at practical range Hornet will do the job. They don’t make a 22 bullet for any cartridge that is a good deer choice in the woods.
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Old April 15, 2021, 10:07 PM   #18
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One of the reasons I bought this rifle in the first place was that it had bolt work and a trigger job done to it as well as being rechambered to K-Hornet. It was a good shooter with the original barrel but the gouged chamber, extraction was a bitch.

The smith has dug his heals in on every concern I've had on the work. He told me he'd eat the work on the original barrel if I had it rebarreled and as far as I can tell he just padded the bill another $140 to cover that and then kept the old barrel. It doesn't make sense to me that a barrel with potential use left in it would be sent out as scrap steel... Anyway the bitching an moaning are over and I'm hoping to shoot it by this weekend and if not, within the next week.

Maybe when funds allow, I'll look for a scope with a long lens shade to cover the engraving on the top of the barrel...

Tony
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Old April 17, 2021, 04:08 AM   #19
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I was up until the wee hours of the morning loading ammo for this rifle and after I got the first 3 rounds with bullets seated I tried to feed them from the mag to see how well they cycle. Well they didn't. They catch on the edge of the chamber and will go no further. These are .22 K-Hornet cases that are once fired and full length resized. At present, it will only feed rounds one at a time by hand. BTW, I went ahead and loaded 40 of the 90 cases I had prepped.

Before I go any further, I never had a feed problem with the original barrel...

This is what I've tried to solve the problem...
Thinking it didn't like the kind of blunt hollow point 45g Remington bullets, I switched to Sierra spire point of the same weight. No change,

I tried crimping the cases to see if maybe the case mouths were sticking out. Also no change.

Lastly I wanted to see if standard profile Hornet cases would feed. It turns out I only had 4 really old but unfired Hornet cases so I made up 4 dummy rounds. They wouldn't feed either.

So right now I'm pretty sure it's not my fault that it doesn't feed from the mag. I eMailed the gunsmith about it. I'm expecting him to tell me to pound sand but I'm hoping I'm wrong.

I'll post updates as I have more to tell.

Tony
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Old April 17, 2021, 06:09 AM   #20
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Funny how a gun Smith that’s so proud of his work he engraves a billboard on top of the barrel, but not proud enough to actually back his work. I’m not that guy that goes around giving negative reviews of products, in fact I basically don’t give any reviews. But to me this is one of those instances where I’d say some form of online review of your basically screwed experience is more than due.
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Old April 17, 2021, 01:29 PM   #21
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If he ignores me on this problem, it will be the other shoe dropping and I will tell all of my experiences with him on this project.

In retrospect, I wish I had bought a Savage .223 and screwed on a new barrel in .221 Fireball. It would have been a lot easier and cheaper. However it all started with my buying a used rifle that I thought was in good working order...

There's also a wildcat round called the .223 Short that is in between the Hornet and .221 for power. For just a little more money than converting a Savage to .221, I could have had a rifle in .223 short. The .223 Short was designed so that a cut down and renecked .223 Rem case doesn't need to be reamed to be used. It's a cool little round and a better choice than the way I went...

Tony
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Old April 17, 2021, 03:45 PM   #22
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You need to look at the .22 TCM.
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Old April 17, 2021, 06:15 PM   #23
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Did you have the magazine worked over for the .22 K-Hornet?

Every smith I’ve talked to about converting my 77/22 Hornet required sending my magazines along with the rifle. They all told me the shell cutouts inside the magazine need to be reshaped, and the feed lips need a little love to reliably feed the straighter wall of the K-Hornet.

Maybe true, maybe not, just thought I’d mention it.
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Old April 17, 2021, 08:57 PM   #24
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When I bought the rifle, the mags would only hold 3 rounds because they had not be adjusted for the K-Hornet. It didn't take me long to figure out where metal needed to be removed so they'd work properly. I took a set of precision files to them and it wasn't long before I had solved the problem.

With the original barrel (that had a damaged chamber) it would feed fine from both mags. The one has a weak spring and sometimes wouldn't lift the rounds without rattling it some so I rarely use that one. One of these days, I'll remember or order a new spring for that mag...

From what I can see the back of the chamber has a sharp edge when the original barrel had a small radius there. It's been a day since I eMailed the gunsmith and I'll give him until Monday to reply before I'll trash him on the net. He should pay the shipping both ways and fix the problem but I'm not holding my breath on this one...

I shouldn't have to fix it myself.

Tony
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Old April 19, 2021, 03:55 AM   #25
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I got a reply and he's blaming the problem on the mags. Both the mags I have were moded to work with K-Hornet but I'll give it due diligence and see if there's anything I can do to make it better.

To me it seems like there should be slight radius on the mouth of the chamber rather than a sharp edge... I wish I could post pix right now.

Tony
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