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Old July 10, 2000, 08:28 AM   #1
REDMISTMD
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So I'm thinking about getting a 22 hornet or a 17 rem. for my next varmint rifle and because of the shape of the 17 I can pretty much guess my brass life.But, because of the taper on the hornet I have no idea of how long the brass life would be. Does anybody have good luck with brass life with the hornet without turning it to a "K" hornet.
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Old July 10, 2000, 10:20 AM   #2
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I have .22 Hornet brass that I have been using since 1989. The hornet has a reputation for head seperation with continuous "HOT" loads.

It will depend on the frequency of shooting and your loading...
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Old July 10, 2000, 01:07 PM   #3
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I've had excellent brass life in my Hornet. This may, in part, be attributable to my use of a bushing type neck die. At any rate, case growth is about 0.001"per cycle. I wholly agree with MADISON, HOT loads may have an adverse effect on case life.

To my way of thinking, The 17 Remington and the 22 Hornet are perhaps, at least in some sections of the U.S., not best suited for the same type of shooting.

If you would sometimes like to "hunt" varmints, rather than "snipe" at them, the Hornet can be a lot of fun to use. It is, however, IMHO an under "200 yard" rifle, due to its relatively high trajectory, unless you work with it extensively. It is a very nice tool for (safety first) hunting in close to populated areas as the report is minimal.

I'd say that the 17 Remington has been given worse press regarding its range (the usual complaint is wind drift) than it deserves- at least if you live in an area where realtively calm days are fairly frequent. It is quite shootable to 300 yards, and sometimes beyond in good conditions.

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Old July 10, 2000, 07:11 PM   #4
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RED

In the 22 Hornet, case life depends more on how you set your dies, and what brand they are, than any other factor.

If you neck size only, and if your dies do not size the neck too small, and if you have a good tightly breeched rifle, case life just does not enter into the picture.

Some of us remember the original reason for the Kilburn modification to the Hornet case.

It was to provide for *headspace* control, the additional velocity that could be gotten was an unexpected bonus.

In the early days of the Hornet cartrige people would re-barrell all sorts of actions to get one of those "new" wildcat guns <s>

Case head seperation was a problem because of the sloppy chambering jobs done by many of the "gunsmiths" and having a shoulder to headspace on solved most of the problems.

The reason for the "K-Hornet" is still valid, and if you have problems with case head seperation, consider a K-H rechambering.

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Old July 12, 2000, 09:46 PM   #5
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I endorse Bob's remarks completely, but .17Rem cases will probably outlast 22H at near max loads.

The two cartridges are 'chalk and cheese'.....what the hell ...buy both!

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Old March 8, 2021, 05:12 PM   #6
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This is an old thread, but it came up in the search of what I was looking for. For my 22 Hornet in single-shot Winchester Hi-Wall, the main brass life issues I've had are with neck splits and enlarged primer pockets. I've had the same brass for years and don't know for sure how many times it's been reloaded and fired, but the two problems I noted are why I've had to throw the stuff away. I do not recall ever having a head separation.
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Old March 9, 2021, 07:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoudna View Post
This is an old thread, but it came up in the search of what I was looking for. For my 22 Hornet in single-shot Winchester Hi-Wall, the main brass life issues I've had are with neck splits and enlarged primer pockets. I've had the same brass for years and don't know for sure how many times it's been reloaded and fired, but the two problems I noted are why I've had to throw the stuff away. I do not recall ever having a head separation.
Until recently I had a Browning Low Wall in .22 Hornet. As you noted, brass life was short despite my standard practice of loading very conservative hand loads. The usual brass failure mode were split necks. Loose primer pockets were also an apparent problem, but as I have posted in the past, primer pockets can be re-tightened using an RCBS PRIMER POCKET SWAGER COMBO P/N 9495 tool.
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Old March 9, 2021, 12:15 PM   #8
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...and the necks can probably be annealed. They are only about 0.010" thick on the Hornet and will work-harden fast in standard dies. You can resize in a bushing type die or use a Lee Collet Die to size the neck and a Redding Body Die to touch up the body when you need to. Be aware head hardness can differ by case brand, so primer pocket expansion can be more of an issue with on make than with another.
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Old March 9, 2021, 02:30 PM   #9
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Loose primer pockets says to me that your load is too hot. It may be within the range of data listed and still be too hot for YOUR specific combination of rifle and components.

Hornet brass is nearly paper thin at the mouth, and requires care when loading. A even a very slightly tipped bullet can buckle the case mouth. Not enough chamfer can buckle the case mouth. Looking at it wrong, and loading on a day ending in the letter "y" seems to sometimes buckle case mouths...

My experience is that the same amount of chamfer on the case mouth that works with .223, .308, and about every other bottlenecked rifle case isn't enough to work on the Hornet, which needs more or the thin necks can buckle and collapse. Alternatively, you could consider getting a Lyman "M" die to very slightly flare the case mouth.

Another thing to consider is your rifle, and its bore size. Many old Hornets (pre WWII) were made with .223" barrels not .224" though today .224" is standard.
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Old April 4, 2021, 07:01 PM   #10
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My best shooting load is 9.5 gr. of Hercules 2400 driving a Sierra 40 gr. Hornet bullet. This was within the min/max range listed in all the manuals back years ago for this powder, but is high compared to the newer manuals based on Alliant 2400 powder. I'm not sure how many times the cases have been fired, but it would be a lot, so maybe I'm just to the end of the brass life. The barrel was sleeved in the mid-1960's, but I've slugged the barrel and it seems to be close to .223. I've tested both .223 and .224 bullets and the .223's seem to shoot better. I do chamfer the inside of the case mouths EVERYTIME I load and am very slow and deliberate in the bullet seating process so haven't collapsed many cases.
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Old April 7, 2021, 05:07 PM   #11
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The biggest issue I had when reloading the Hornet was the thin necks crushing during bullet seating. I never had a case head separation in my Krico 22 Hornet, but I crushed about 10% of the cases during bullet seating. I know, people use Lyman M dies successfully, and some people only shoot boat-tailed bullets, but I was shooting 40 gr flat-based jacketed or gas-checked cast bullets over Unique or 2400 powder, so there was a sharp corner on the bullets that would often get hung up on the chamfered case mouth, leading to collapse of the thin neck when seating the bullet.

If I were looking at a new rifle in the calibers discussed by the OP, I would look at the 17 Fireball. Almost the same velocity as the 17 Remington with about 2/3 the powder charge.
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Old April 7, 2021, 07:27 PM   #12
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The biggest issue I had when reloading the Hornet was the thin necks crushing during bullet seating. I never had a case head separation in my Krico 22 Hornet, but I crushed about 10% of the cases during bullet seating. I know, people use Lyman M dies successfully, and some people only shoot boat-tailed bullets, but I was shooting 40 gr flat-based jacketed or gas-checked cast bullets over Unique or 2400 powder, so there was a sharp corner on the bullets that would often get hung up on the chamfered case mouth, leading to collapse of the thin neck when seating the bullet.

If I were looking at a new rifle in the calibers discussed by the OP, I would look at the 17 Fireball. Almost the same velocity as the 17 Remington with about 2/3 the powder charge.
As I noted in Post #10, I always chamfer the inside of the case mouths and am very slow and deliberate in seating flat-base bullets in the Hornet case and have not destroyed many cases that I can remember. My technique for seating bullets in all cartridges is to run the ram up until I can just feel the bullet touch the seating plug and very lightly tap the ram up and down to assure the bullet is straight in the die before slowly pushing to seat it in the case to the proper depth. I just have a single stage press, and things seem to work well.
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Old April 9, 2021, 08:49 AM   #13
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I’ve been loading from the same 200 cases I bought when I picked up my Hornet, about 15 years ago. Some of those cases have 20+ loadings through them.

I’ve had a dozen or so that developed cracks at the case head, only had one separate so far. I trim about every 3rd or 3th loading, and don’t run “hot” loads. My go to load is a 40 gr SP, with 10.5 gr of W296, for about 2,750 FPS out of my rifle.

I’ve crushed another 10 or so cases over the years, but have found some “flat base” bullets aren’t as flat as others, and switching to those cut down the case crashing.

I also don’t let the kids seat bullets in the Hornet. I’ll let them help with anything else we are loading, but the Hornet requires a little more finesse than the young ones are capable of right now.
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Old April 17, 2021, 11:10 AM   #14
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From #12 jdoudna--
As I noted in Post #10, I always chamfer the inside of the case mouths and am very slow and deliberate in seating flat-base bullets in the Hornet case and have not destroyed many cases that I can remember. My technique for seating bullets in all cartridges is to run the ram up until I can just feel the bullet touch the seating plug and very lightly tap the ram up and down to assure the bullet is straight in the die before slowly pushing to seat it in the case to the proper depth. I just have a single stage press, and things seem to work well.

Do you ever after gust starting the bullet lower it a bit and rotate the round about 180 in the seating die?? Ive had luck w/ that and wish I had a dodad to measure concentricity..
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Old April 17, 2021, 11:17 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by langenc View Post
From #12 jdoudna--
As I noted in Post #10, I always chamfer the inside of the case mouths and am very slow and deliberate in seating flat-base bullets in the Hornet case and have not destroyed many cases that I can remember. My technique for seating bullets in all cartridges is to run the ram up until I can just feel the bullet touch the seating plug and very lightly tap the ram up and down to assure the bullet is straight in the die before slowly pushing to seat it in the case to the proper depth. I just have a single stage press, and things seem to work well.

Do you ever after gust starting the bullet lower it a bit and rotate the round about 180 in the seating die?? Ive had luck w/ that and wish I had a dodad to measure concentricity..
I've never rotated just after starting the bullet in the case, but once I've run the bullet all the way in I rotate the case about a half turn and run the ram back up. I do this with all cartridges, not just the Hornet, as I find I get more consistent bullet seating depth and in case there is any eccentricity in the seating process.
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Old April 17, 2021, 03:02 PM   #16
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That rotation technique has been around for a long time. I tried it with standard seating dies in the 30-06 long ago and got no joy. Others have claimed it helps. My guess is that either it works or fails depending on the way the seating stem and bullet ogive mate. But I wasn't able to get it to improve on the runout my standard Redding seating die left behind.

Three things I know that do work pretty well:

Seat the bullet only about 1/16", set it on your runout gauge, and tweak it by finger pressure until it is straight (or if you have the Hornady tool, use the adjusting screw to minimize runout) then put it back in the press and finish seating. A bullet that starts in straight and true will generally stay that way through full seating.

Use a Lyman M die or a copycat expander profile to put a short step into the case mouth that lets the bullet sit in it upright and perfectly straight to, again, start in straight.

Use the Redding Competition Seating Die, which costs a fortune but really does seem to straighten bullets well. I hear the less expensive Forster works, too, though the designs are slightly different. When I was working on 30-06, I found the competition die cut my runout by a factor of 4 with no other steps being required.
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Old April 17, 2021, 09:07 PM   #17
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I never saw the point to loading the Hornet hot. If I needed more power, I move up to the .223 Rem.

I went with the K-Hornet more for brass life and accuracy than more power. I usually load them at the starting load in the book or slightly above. I don't see a good reason to load it hotter...

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Old May 10, 2021, 07:26 AM   #18
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What is an example of a solid but not hot load for the .22 hornet (used for varminting). Thanks
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Old May 10, 2021, 09:36 AM   #19
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What is an example of a solid but not hot load for the .22 hornet (used for varminting). Thanks
In a Browning Low-Wall:
10.2 gains of Lil' Gun.
Calhoun 46 grain double hollow point bullet.
seated to an O.A.L. of 1.936
Winchester case.
Remington Small Rifle primer.
Lee Factory neck size (collet).

Very accurate in my gun (well under an inch at 100 yards for five shots, sometimes under a 1/2" group).
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Old May 10, 2021, 09:55 AM   #20
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45 gr Sierra (0.223 for my old Savage 23D)
9.9 gr H110
CCI 500
COL 1.720

This goes 2,585/13.6 Std and <1" at 100.
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Old May 11, 2021, 10:56 PM   #21
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I like IMR4227. Lil'Gun burns to damn hot. After 5 shots the barrel was scorching hot. Not so with #2400 or IMR4227. I've heard enough horror stores about Lil'Gun that I won't use any more...

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Old May 12, 2021, 03:56 PM   #22
Don Fischer
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A friend had one years ago and all we shot out of it was cast bullet's. Even with them we got to many case head separations. Problem as I was told is the Hornet doesn't have enough shoulder. I've though about one but if I di I'd have it reamed out to either a 22 K-Hornet or 218 Bee and get some shoulder on the case. Then you could size the case to the chamber for headspace and maybe eliminate case head separation's.
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Old May 12, 2021, 09:14 PM   #23
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It's common for rimmed and belted bottleneck cartridges to stretch a lot during firing. This is because, in order to control headspace with the rim, it is necessary to prevent any chance of the shoulder making chamber contact before the rim does. For this to be guaranteed, the shoulder tolerance has to allow for the combined headspace and rim thickness tolerance as well as its own. Thus, to allow for the worst-case chamber, the sizing dies for these cartridges tend to set the case shoulder back more than is strictly necessary for the average chamber. That, in turn, results in extra case stretching.

The solution for most belted and rimmed cases is to size them so they headspace on their shoulders instead of on their rim or belt. But I don't know how well that would work with the Hornet's gradual shoulder taper.
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