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Old February 23, 2014, 10:39 AM   #1
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22 Hornet

Anyone here shoot the 22 Hornet. Would like your thoughts on this round.
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Old February 23, 2014, 11:03 AM   #2
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I use to shoot a .22 Hornet quite a bit. My thoughts are that this is one of the smallest cartridges that you can reload for (when I was using it, it was the smallest). Additionally there are a number of scaled-down rifles available at reasonable prices for the hornet. With the cost of RF ammo these days, it is still a winner for plinking, small game & varmints - if you roll your own!


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Old February 23, 2014, 11:31 AM   #3
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I use it. Lil Gun powder is fantastic. It's nearly impossible to over charge the cartridge. Small Pistol primer, I use a lee factory crimp die to lightly crimp everything.

Nice, quiet little round that I got as a replacement for my 22lr because the powers that be in Kommifornia have banned lead for hunting. Since there are no viable lead free rounds in rimfire this has been an excellent replacement.

Inside 100 yard, very accurate. 100 to 200 yards the bullets are so light that you had better have a calm day or the wind will push them around quite a bit. Most barrels are 1:16 twist and will not stabilize bullets much heavier than 45 grains. I believe Ruger and Savage make 22 hornets with faster twist rates. My CZ is 1:16, though.

I've used mine for squirrels and rabbits, mostly. I've nailed a few coyotes out to 150 yards with the 30 grain lead free "Varmint Grenade", and one coyote with the 40 grain V-max bullet.
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Old February 23, 2014, 02:20 PM   #4
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Been shooting and reloading the .22 Hornet since the mid 1950s and i like the round. .22 Hornet factory ammo is very expensive.

Presently i own several .22 Hornet rifles. My BSA Martini with Winchester model 43 barrel makes consistent .5" 3 shot groups at 100 yards.

A good article on reloading the .22 Hornet:
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Old February 24, 2014, 08:31 AM   #5
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Bought a Ruger 77/22H in 22 Hornet years ago and still have it. Factory ammo is silly expensive for it, but reloads are very cheap to make. Mine shoots as well as I do, is relatively quiet and hits hard and fun to shoot in a small light rifle that for some reason tends to be around me a lot and thus gets used a lot. I reload with H110 (used to use IMR 4227 which made the most accurate loads I have tried), never could get Lil Gun to shoot well. It is easy to load them too hot and end up with a high percentage or split necks. If you get one don't try to make a .223 out of it, load it to .22 Hornet levels and enjoy it.
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Old February 24, 2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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The .22 Hornet is like a .22 Magnum Rimfire on steriods, but reloadable - yet under the noise & power levels of most other .22 centerfires (except maybe the .218 Bee).

Most rifles in .22 Hornet are lighter & handier than those chambered in larger .22CF round.

The Hornet is an excellent choice for the hunter that would like more power than RF's, for a bit larger game - like 'yotes and/or grounghogs @ ranges longer then a RF round offers.

The Hornet's also an excellent choice for those who's shooting/hunting opportunities are relatively near populated areas - where the noise reduction from other/larger/noisier CF's will reduce the "call the cops" factor present in some of those areas.

The Hornet is not:

A long-range round ( effective to 250-300yds, max)

A target round (various Hornet barrels have different bores)

A round effective on game much larger than a 'yote - unless the shooter's close enough to give a deer an earache.

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Old February 24, 2014, 11:06 PM   #7
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I have a Ruger #1 in .22 Hornet and with the right loads and if the planets line up just right, it'll make "one hole" 5-shot groups at 100 yards.

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Old February 25, 2014, 09:47 AM   #8
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I have several... & actually will be chambering 2 of my guns into 22 K Hornets, which are supposed to offer a bit more velocity ( not necessarily what I'm after ) a little better accuracy, & longer brass life...

the ones I'll be chambering in K Hornet are a pair of fast twist customs ( in in 9" twist instead of the standard 1 in 12 or 1 in 14" twist )

it's a fun round, with acceptable accuracy ( I've had trouble getting exceptional accuracy, hence the switch on 2 of them to the K Hornet )... the K Hornet straightens the long tapered case, offers a distinct shoulder, in many ways looks like a mini 223, it takes special dies to reload, but firing factory rounds in the K chamber fire forms the cases, & still offers acceptable accuracy when fire forming, so nothing is wasted
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Old March 3, 2014, 09:41 AM   #9
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Love my Hornet, its an awesome quiet lil round. When you reload for it you will learn to love it & hate it. If they could only make stronger cases life would be wonderful!
Its my coyote round.
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Old March 3, 2014, 11:34 AM   #10
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I have had a couple different Hornets over the years (Ruger #3 and a custom Martini) shot lots of P dogs with them. I got caught up with the larger faster
.224 bores but as of late I've been on the hunt for a Ruger 77/22 Hornet or a CZ.
I had a large coffee can full of brass which a buddy talked me out of, along with all my 218 Bee brass, sure wish I had that back.
The Ruger 3 was not very accurate by the way, I have heard very good things about the CZ heavy barrel small caliber varmint rifles.
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Old March 3, 2014, 07:39 PM   #11
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When you reload for it you will learn to love it & hate it. If they could only make stronger cases life would be wonderful!
I haven't ruined a single case since I invested in a Forster Precision Bench Rest seating die.
Also, boat tail bullets like the Hornady V-Max 40 grain .224 bullets are a lot less likely to catch the case mouth during seating.
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Old March 4, 2014, 01:51 AM   #12
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Several decades ago, I traded into a nice little Krico rifle in 22 Hornet. Owned it for about a year. Shot OK, never great, and it was hard to predict the trajectory beyond 200 yds as it headed for dirt pretty quickly beyond that point. Reloading it was a major pain, I could count on crushing about 10% of the case necks while loading (yes, I chamfered the cases but shot flat base bullets as I did not have a good choice for BT 45 gr bullets). I traded it to a friend who loved it, and I got a then-new Ruger 77/22 Mag. Never looked back. Until recently, that is, when I picked up a Winchester Model 43 in 218 Bee, and I am in love again.
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Old March 13, 2014, 08:00 PM   #13
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I shoot a Ruger 22/K Hornet. I am really getting into it lately. My next move will likely be to float the barrel and I am trying to decide what the bedding will be. At this time I load the Hornady 35gr. A max and it is not only a accurate bullet but it has just enough taper on the base to slide into the cases with out damaging them. My powder is Lil-Gun and Rem.6 1/2 primer. The loads work for me and I like the Higher Vel. with lower pressure. The K chamber allows me to just neck size and so far the cases are not stretching much. I have been considering a non led bullet for the marsh areas I hunt but haven't tried any of them out yet. I prefer one bullet for all shooting.

Last edited by Longshot4; March 13, 2014 at 08:23 PM.
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Old March 15, 2014, 10:34 PM   #14
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Great round.. Hard to find... Better reload..

I have a Ruger 77/22 in .22 Hornet and it is the perfect varmit gun. I use it on Groundhogs, Coons, Rabbits, etc.. I had a hell of a time sighting it in one year and it never seemed to be accurate. It starting ******* me off as I shot 200 rounds through it and they were always all over the place. Here it turned out that my scope was max'd out and was useless. Picked up a cheap 3-9x40 and it finally was on the bullseye. At 100 yards with my reloads which is H-110 (forget the charge.. would have to look at my records) and using 35gr V-Max. I am getting groups of 3 to hold within .5 of an inch. Factory ammo is impossible for me to find.. Can find it anywhere.. Thinking about just buying a simple Savage Axis in .223 to replace it.
You can never have enough ammo. If you can count it, you need to buy more.
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