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Old July 9, 2000, 01:51 PM   #1
Join Date: May 17, 2000
Location: west jordan, utah U S A
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I want to buy another varmint gun one that will be used out to 150 maybe 200 yds.I am not going to have this one built so I need to stick to a factory rifle.These to cartridges seem to fit the bill.Doe anybody have any experience with either of the two. How does their muzzle reporte compare to a 223. Ive already got one of those so I dont want another one.Also, how about their accuracy and recoil.Maybe even consider a 22 mag.Also what rifle manufacturer would you reccomend . Thinkin about a Rem or Ruger No 1. Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old July 9, 2000, 03:05 PM   #2
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The 22 Hornet is a wonderful little cartridge.
Report and recoil are a lot less than the .223 yet distinctly more powerful than the 22 LR.
I consider it a nice intermediate between the two. If you have been shooting a lot of 22 LR, it will feel like a powerful cartridge in comparison.
If you hand load it, one can of powder will last a long time, which is nice if you have been loading large cartridges..
You need a moderately powered scope to take full advantage of this round. It can be very accurate if the rifle is. Mine shoots about .66" with my hand loads and a 2-7 power scope.
Mine is a Kimber, which is not made anymore. The ruger No. 1 in 22 Hornet, if they make one (?), sounds like a lot of fun.
I have never had a .17, don't really want one, so I cannot comment on those.
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Old July 9, 2000, 03:48 PM   #3
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I prefer the .17 Rem. It is amazing what that little bullet can do. I own several .22 hornets and have not been impressed. The Ruger .22 hornet shot patterns not groups. I have heard that they are now making their own barrels so the new ones may shoot better. Brass life is very short for the hornet if you are a reloader. I own 2 browning hornets and both of them are very accurate. The noise level of the .17 is comparable to the .223. There is just something about the high velocity of the .17. When you smack a varmint with that little puppy stuff just dies. No quiver just instant death.
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Old July 9, 2000, 08:10 PM   #4
Art Eatman
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Several guys over at have spoken very highly of the .17.

Based mostly on reading, I gather that 200 yards with the Hornet is pushing the envelope. 125 to 150 yards seems to be a rational limit.

If noise is a factor in your decision, the Hornet might be less objectionable to the neighbors.

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Old July 9, 2000, 11:45 PM   #5
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I was in a similar position earlier this spring. I decided on the Hornet and could not be happier.

I found a barely used Ruger 77/22 Hornet for a reasonable price and snatched it up. It is the stainless, heavy barrel with the laminate stock. I had my smith rework the trigger as the stock trigger kinda sucks. That's the only thing I've done to the rifle.

Using WW brass, WW sr primers, 12 grains of Hogden's Lil' Gun and a 40gr. Hornady VMax the rifle will consistantly .5" at 100 yds. I have not yet chronographed the load but I am expecting about 2900-3000 fps.

I have killed many groundhogs with this combination this year. Some as close as a few yards and some out to 200 yds.. I am confident that I can stretch this to 250 yds. if the wind behaves.

All shots have been instant kills. That VMax vaporizes hogs. I have taken a few crows also and the results
were dramatic! The performance from this little cartridge is amazing.

The report is very mild compared to my 223. Recoil is almost nonexistant. My target never leaves my scope.

The Hornet is a very versatile round. If you want it to behave like a 22lr you can easily load it for those specs. If you want to hot rod it a little it will do that too.

I have experienced excellant case life using Lee Collet Dies, and neck sizing only. Reloading for the round has been very easy and it's cheap!

Older 77/22 Hornets were said to give poor accuracy. Some said it was the barrel and some said it was the 2 piece bolt. Whatever it was I think they fixed it. Most of my loads have hovered around 1moa but my pet load is .5" and very consistant.

I HIGHLY recommend the Hornet.

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Old July 10, 2000, 02:50 PM   #6
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The Ruger #1-B is available in .22 Hornet but that's a pretty heavy rifle for such a tiny cartridge. A better choice might be the Browning Low Wall which is available in the Hornet. I am considering a Low Wall and having it reamed to .22K Hornet.

The Ruger bolt actions that I've see are not very accurate and need to have the triggers replaced. Anschutz and Kimber rifles may be around on the used market and both are top grade. The Browning Micro can also be hand in .22 Hornet and it is a better rifle than the Ruger IMHO.

The .17 is not as quiet as the Hornet and adds the additional complication of requiring .17 caliber bullets and cleaning rods which are not always easy to find. The Remington Model 7 used to be available in .17 and it would make a good walking around varmint rifle.
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Old July 10, 2000, 11:11 PM   #7
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Some more things to be considered if one is in the process of chooing a 22 Hornet or something else:
The Hornet was the first of the new breed of super fast varmint 22's. It was invented by Wotkyns around 1929 and was based on an old Winchester case. Wotkyns was so impressed with his new round that he got Col. Whelen of the Springfield Armory interested in it. The first rifle that Springfield made for that new round turned out to be the most accurate cartridge/rifle combination that the illustrious old armory had ever produced. Whelen was now so impressed that he got Winchester to put it into production, both rifles and ammo.
This little round started a flury of activity that within two decades or so resulted in the introduction of faster and faster 22 varmint cartridges, most now foregotten: the Wasps and the Bees and Zippers, etc. which finally lead to such impressive numbers as our present 22/250's and 220 Swifts and then the introduction of the new cartidrige family of the .222 Rem. and .223, which you currently own.
One would think that the Hornet would have been left in the dust, but that didn't happen. Instead, as performance got better and better, the Hornet began to fill the void left between the 22 LR and the faster rounds. Today, it is often thought of as filling the gap between the performance of the 22 LR and your .223.
The Hornet has some strengths in filling this role. It probably was the little 22 that was made in the greatest numbers and ammo will be available in more places than any other cartridge in its class. Not only has the Hornet been made by just about every manufacturer at some point, but several still do. It is made not only in this country, but abroad as well. CZ and Anschutz (I think?) are making rifles for it right now. So it is known not only in this country, but around the world. I have even heard that in some countries it is illegal, as it is thought of as a poacher's weapon, but I do not know if this is really true.
So, this cartridge has some advantages.
It also has some disadvantages. If one were to try and invent the perfect cartridge to fall between the 22 LR and the .223, one would be unlikely to choose the 22 Hornet case with its old fashioned long taper. A blown out case with a little extra capacity would probably be choosen. The Hornet is best with 40 and 45 gr. bullets, and one might want to go a little heavier. The Hornet brass is rather thin, and some people think it is hard to reload. I have only reloaded it in hand dies, and even then, I crush a case very now and then. I can only imagine that if one tried to run off batches in a more efficient manner and everything was not set up just right, it could really be a frustrating mess.
All in all, Hornet has tradition, acceptance and availiblity going for it, while a newer round in this class should actually do better in several respects if its designer had any sense in these matters. It should not be hard to beat a 70 year old round.
It all depends on how you weigh these things in your own mind.
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Old July 11, 2000, 02:48 PM   #8
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Here's the bottom line. If you want something nostalgic, low noise, cheap to shoot go with the hornet. If you want something modern that is really a killer go with the .17. Most people that don't like the .17 have never owned or shot one. You hear the same old dead arguments about how the barrel fouls so easy and it is so hard to clean etc. A good smooth barrel in .17 will foul no worse than a good bore in any other high velocity caliber. Yes you do need a .17 cleaning rod but if you can afford the gun you can afford a cleaning rod. Like I said before I like the .17 because it kills deader than dead. Some people like the hornet and thats fine. They are both great cartridges and you won't go wrong either way. But you will be happier with the .17 and it's performance.
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