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Thread: Savage .22 Hornet - bad chamber ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
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    Savage .22 Hornet - bad chamber ?

    I have an old 340 Savage in .22 Hornet that is a tack driver but am having problems with split necks in the brass . Factory or my reloads I get the same thing , 6 or 7 out of 10 split and I have to push them out with a cleaning rod . I don't have a bore scope and know of no one local I would trust to check it out or do any repairs on it . I'm thinking a bad chamber and wondering if these barrels can be reworked and setback or if I will need a new barrel . Anyone know of a good barrel man in the middle Tennessee / upper portion of Alabama area ? Thanks for any advice you can give .

    Eddie
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    It doesn't sound like split necks along the length of the case but rather a split around the circumference of the neck or case body.

    That would be two different issues. I consider a split neck to be a split along the case neck from work hardened brass, but that doesn't sound like what you have.

  3. #3
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    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
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    Length wise from the neck . I should have been more specific . And like I said it does the same exact thing with new factory loads .

    Eddie
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Okay I guess the part that is confusing to me is why you have to push them out with a cleaning rod. Definitely sounds like a chamber issue. Has the rifle work correctly in the past and is just now doing this.?

  5. #5
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    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
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    Has done this as long as I've owned it . I bought it cheap a long time ago . The cases that split stick in the chamber and the extractor pops off the rim is the reason for the need for the rod . Been intending to get it fixed but all the gunsmiths ( hesitate to call them that ) I have tried around here are hacks and mess up more than they fix.

    Eddie
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

  6. #6
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    Eddie, are the cases keeping their shape? Someone may have made a k hornet of it. If cases keep their shape except for splitting, most likely you have a bad chamber. At any rate, I would make a chamber cast and compare cast with new factory round or chamber spec drawing. Another issue could be bore size. The early hornets had .223 bores. Modern hornets and factory ammo use .224. Using the .224 in a .223 can result in high pressure causing hard extraction and split cases. The hornet case is a fragile case and will not stand much abuse. Now the good side is the 340 barrel can be cut back, rechambered, and retimed to keep your original sights and barrel markings. Hope this is a help.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I'd like to see pics of the fired case but it sounds like you may just need to rent a .22 K Hornet finishing reamer and rechamber it yourself. You can still shoot factory ammo to get fireformed brass then reload from there. If this doesn't fix it, then the barrel nut is your friend to go further. The K version is truly an improvement of the original.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    my father bought 1 new in 1950 bad chamber from new spliting cases
    had it rechambered to the mashburn 218bee been shooting since then 3000 fps

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy davidheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Whittler View Post
    Eddie, are the cases keeping their shape? Someone may have made a k hornet of it. If cases keep their shape except for splitting, most likely you have a bad chamber. At any rate, I would make a chamber cast and compare cast with new factory round or chamber spec drawing. Another issue could be bore size. The early hornets had .223 bores. Modern hornets and factory ammo use .224. Using the .224 in a .223 can result in high pressure causing hard extraction and split cases. The hornet case is a fragile case and will not stand much abuse. Now the good side is the 340 barrel can be cut back, rechambered, and retimed to keep your original sights and barrel markings. Hope this is a help.
    Just a little input on the Savage 340 bore size. I have a 342 from my grandfather manufactured in ~1952. When I slugged the bore I was coming about .224-.225 if I'm remembering correctly. What I'm trying to say is the 342 (possibly the 340 as well) is able to use modern bullet sizes without issue. I've never had split cases. In fact my cartridges seem to last almost indefinitely. My pet load is 13gr Lil'gun behind a Sierra 45gr SP and I'm still experimenting with a cast boolit for mine and I've used up to 55gr Hornady SP (.224) without issue.

    What's your load? Perhaps your running too high a pressure OR you're seating the bullet too far into the lands. That's the only time I've had stuck cases. My Savage 342 likes to jump the lands quite a bit to function flawlessly. Try seating deeper.
    Last edited by davidheart; 11-23-2017 at 11:08 AM.
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