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Old January 24, 2012, 07:08 PM   #1
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.22 Hornet

Hey guys. I'd consider myself an experienced reloader but always like to ask about new rounds i'm going to start producing...

About to start reloading for my Ruger 77/22 in .22 Hornet that I recently picked up. Any tips for that cartridge that you guys have come across in your experience? Good powder/ bullets that you prefer?

Thanks in advance!!
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Old January 24, 2012, 07:53 PM   #2
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A similar post came up not long ago... there's some good reading there.

First, your rifle has a 1 in 14 twist, I think (I ought to check that, but that's what is rolling around in my foggy memory) so conventional theory is, relatively short bullets (flatbase, semi-round nose) of 40 to 50 grains should work best. Most bullet makers have Hornet specific choices for you.

Second, the cases seem somewhat thin and fragile in that long tapered neck... make sure they're round and chamfered before seating the bullet to avoid crumpling the neck.

Third, have fun, the Hornet is cheap to shoot, (WHEN YOU RELOAD)and fun. Finding a good load shouldn't be too hard.
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Old January 24, 2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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I always shot H-4227 in my Hornets, but haven`t loaded them much since Lit Gun came out and they are claiming alittle more velcoity with it.
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Old January 24, 2012, 10:08 PM   #4
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My go-to load for my Ruger 77/22 Hornet is 10.5 grains of W296 with a 40 Grain SP/HP.

I find that the 1 in 14" twist works best with 40 and 45 grain bullets, but still gives acceptable accuracy with 35 grain.
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Old January 25, 2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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Careful case preparation really benefits a very small case like the .22 Hornet. In weighing new cases I have found variations of up to 8% and so I always weigh new cases to choose a group of uniform weight. I also debur the flashholes and I measure the thickness of the case mouths, using those with the most uniform measurements. I neck-size only upon reloading. The standard powders (2400, 4227, 1680) work well, and best for me when I don't try to max the velocity. I have not tried a lot of Lil Gun, but it seems like a winner. I like the 45-gr bullets but also found that Sierra's 50-gr SMP worked very well in my Ruger No. 3. For general plinking around you don't need to go to all the trouble with the cases, but if you do, you might find that the Hornet can be a very accurate cartridge.
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Old January 25, 2012, 10:58 AM   #6
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Be sure to use "Hornet" bullets that have a thinner jacket if you want proper expansion. Also, Hornet brass is thin too. Go easy on the case lube or you will wrinkle some shoulders. Be sure the bullet is centered exactly in the case mouth when seating or you can crush a case and not even feel it.

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Old January 25, 2012, 01:56 PM   #7
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I just bought one too a Rem 799 NIB, the research I have done is Lil Gun gives a high MV and very low preasure according to Hodgdon site. So you get better case life and neck size only if possible. Good Luck and injoy. You may have to use the designated Hornet bullits because of OAL, they seem to be a shorter bullit in the same wieght.
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Old January 25, 2012, 03:08 PM   #8
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make sure you have a generous chamfer on the case mouths. Hornet brass is very thin, and without a good chamfer I have had cases buckle when seating bullets.

Go slow, and pay attention to the "feel" when seating, and if something is "off". back off and see what's wrong. You might just save a case or three that way.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old January 25, 2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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I use a Lyman M die on the case neck and have had no issues with "thin brass" or "delicate neck" with the hornet. Also helps with getting the bullet started straight [ funny that my fingers don't work as well with those 45 grain pills as they do on the 350 grain 45-70]

Favorite load: Remington Brass, Winchester small pistol primer, 12.8 grains Lil-Gun, 45 grain sierra [#1210] SP. Out of my 1951 mdl 43 Winchester these shoot 100yard cloverleaves all day.

I use a Lee Factory Crimp die at the end to put a "very light" crimp on the round.

This is by far an away my favorite round to load / AND SHOOT.

Have fun.

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