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Thread: 22 Hornet Rifle questions

  1. #61
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    I realize .22 Hornet fans are legion, but I’ve owned 3 different ones and never felt the love. On the other hand, I love the .218 Bee because the brass lasts a long time.
    Never understood why the Bee never got more popular, it's really a better cartridge. I've always kind of thought it's because they chambered it in a lever gun instead of a decent bolt action so no one ever saw it for what it is.

  2. #62
    Boolit Bub
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    OP here - To make a long story short, I want a hornet because I have ammo, dies and bullets for it already.

    Oddly enough, I am looking for a Hornet due to the fact that I have 400 rounds of new Nosler ammo and a set of dies. I had a K hornet in a contender but it didn't do much for me. I already have a 221 Fireball and a 223 in a couple of platforms. The main impetus for the hornet is the low recoil which allows me to keep the scope on the target when I shoot. My Fireball is also good in this aspect. The AR15 in 223 also allows me to see the target when shooting, but the 223 bolt gun doesn't. I could download to hornet levels but then the ammo/zeroing aspects mentioned become a pain to deal with.

    When I hunt ground squirrels, 80% of the shots are taken with a 22lr rifle. But I like to shoot the longer range squirrels with one of the centerfires. So I will always take a 22lr rifle and one of the centerfires. Rockchucks usually demand a longer range solution so the 223 bolt gun is primary platform there.

  3. #63
    Boolit Master

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    Fully understand the enjoyment of another cartridge to figure out, but not sure about the re zeroing problem. If one has a scope that tracks well why not just keep track of adjustments necessary for different loads and use scope adjustments to bring it into zero? Hang an index card on the barrel between uses to specify what ammo the last zero was set at or just turn it back to being zeroed at a specific cartridge performance and adjust from this standard as necessary? Maybe place marks on the scope adjustment that specifies zero for the different ammo and adjust before shooting specific ammo.

    Fewer rifles and fewer scopes means the same amount of money will buy better equipment when spread over fewer rifles and scopes. Also means fewer triggers and stocks to master.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Never understood why the Bee never got more popular, it's really a better cartridge. I've always kind of thought it's because they chambered it in a lever gun instead of a decent bolt action so no one ever saw it for what it is.
    You hit the nail right on the head Rich. A LGS I worked at years ago usually had one or two in lever action. Not a big or fast seller an that was in northern Arizona too. Lots of ranches in those years up there. A good bolt would have done the cartridge wonders.

  5. #65
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    I have a hornet that turned out to be a wonderful caliber for what I was doing. It has what appears to be a reamed out chamber to clean up rust damage which left some tool marks that causes case splits if I'm not careful. That oversize chamber and thin walled R-P cases with a compressed charge of Lil'Gun give it respectable performance. To overcome the rough chamber and hot loads, I allow it to headspace on the case mouth and I lube the loaded cases.

    With its rust damaged bore and my loading technique, it shoots very accurately. With its 1 in 16 twist it shoots 60 gr spire points just fine but I use 55 gr because they are cheaper and do the job just fine and give me a bit longer point blank range. I get 2740 fps with 55 gr Remingtons.

    I considered chambering it in K-hornet but realized that would reduce its performance. The K-hornet only out performs the standard hornet with lighter bullets. For some reason, the increased case capacity and the presence of the shoulder raises pressure. Lil'Gun used to be listed for the K but is no longer. When it was, it showed higher pressure at lower charge. So, the only reason to go K is case life but with a sacrifice of some velocity. With my case lubing and headspacing on the mouth, I get indefinite case life but loading an unsized neck is a pain.
    Last edited by 303Guy; 05-19-2020 at 05:02 AM.
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  6. #66
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    PB234, the problem with wiggling the turrets around a lot is that almost without fail, you end up with confusion as to what they were left set to last (even more so with more than one shooter.) We found that leaving them strictly alone and getting our "organic ballistics computer", i.e. brains, worked wonderfully, you can learn to do it - practice helps, like with any other skill. And that way you don't end up missing an easy shot because someone turned the turret in 73 clicks for their super low power cat sneeze load, or whatever.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I hear the down loading of 222/223 etc vs Hornet all the time. The main thing with me and Hornet is I don’t want to tote around a full size rifle. The small cartridges are my Cruz’n Pieces for walking fields when I’m not sandbagging. You can upload cartridges to stretch them too. Which is OK but I would rather have a cartridge for the job at hand. I got a 220Swift I could down load and get rid of my 222 and 223. If I did that what would I down load to replace my Hornet? Think I’ll keep them all.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    I hear the down loading of 222/223 etc vs Hornet all the time. The main thing with me and Hornet is I don’t want to tote around a full size rifle. The small cartridges are my Cruz’n Pieces for walking fields when I’m not sandbagging. You can upload cartridges to stretch them too. Which is OK but I would rather have a cartridge for the job at hand. I got a 220Swift I could down load and get rid of my 222 and 223. If I did that what would I down load to replace my Hornet? Think I’ll keep them all.
    Another good point. I feel the Hornet is best in a slim, graceful rifle as well. I'm on a couple of pages about the Hornet and always shake my head at how many guys buy a big one and put something the size of the Hubble Telescope on top of it. If you're gonna do that, you might as well get a 12 pound .22-250 and actually have the capability you seem to want.

    That Savage 219 of mine seems about the perfect platform for the .22 Hornet to me.

  9. #69
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    The only Hornet that I have presently is a 219 that I bought cheap last year. The running gears are not working, something broke but gun looks new. Haven’t got into it yet. I have found over the years that the old Savages 23 series, 219 and 340 series were better shooters than 43 Win. Also better than Ruger 3 & 77/H. I never owned a m70 Hornet because I didn’t want full size rifle. The CZ seem to be the choice of Hornet men.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    The only Hornet that I have presently is a 219 that I bought cheap last year. The running gears are not working, something broke but gun looks new. Haven’t got into it yet. I have found over the years that the old Savages 23 series, 219 and 340 series were better shooters than 43 Win. Also better than Ruger 3 & 77/H. I never owned a m70 Hornet because I didn’t want full size rifle. The CZ seem to be the choice of Hornet men.
    There are two pretty different versions of the 219 and the internals are different. The older ones, I know, have a tendency towards broken firing pins. I have one that I need to replace the firing pin in. There's a book on them out now which is the onlt tutorial I've seen on how to disassemble and reassemble one and I've heard from people they are a pain to do. It's on my list of things to get around too. Might just take the parts and book to the local gunsmith and let him worry about it. When it would fire, it was one of the most accurate .30-30s I've ever shot, would put the vast majority of lever guns to shame.

  11. #71
    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    Ditto, on 30/30, I loaded spitzer bullets in 219 and shot better groups than any lever. I have never had a 219 apart. I have had Savage 220 shotguns apart and the are PIA just like most hammerless singles of the period.

  12. #72
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    The groups I shot with this one were with the Ranchdog bullet and would likely give a lot of bolt guns a run for their money.

    I've never given my .22 Hornet one a serious accuracy test. I bought it with a pretty specific goal in mind, reached that goal and stopped messing with it. It also has a rough patch (oddly) in the middle of the barrel. For a 25-30 yard light cast shooter, it's squirrel head accurate all day long, but it may be miserable with full power loads at 100 yards, I don't know.

  13. #73
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    ... The main thing with me and Hornet is I don’t want to tote around a full size rifle. The small cartridges are my Cruz’n Pieces for walking fields when I’m not sandbagging. You can upload cartridges to stretch them too.

    ...
    This is my thinking too. My Anschutz isn't bad, in fact it's a well balanced rifle but I want something in hornet the size and weight of a light 22lr. Till I get one the Annie will do just fine. Ironically, my rifle design also came chambered in 222 with a slightly longer action.
    Last edited by 303Guy; 05-22-2020 at 12:48 AM.
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  14. #74
    Boolit Mold
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    I contender with a Van Horn carbine barrel and a Savage 340 that I have been loading up cast for testing. Now just waiting for the range to reopen.
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  15. #75
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    had a stainless 77 ruger. It was the most accurate ruger bolt gun ive ever owned.
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  16. #76
    I love a 22 hornet. I have had the best experience with as T/C Contender with a 21 inch barrel a 45 g Speer and a little LiL' Gun. Like Shawlerbrook I get all the bullets in one ragged hole. I live on a ranch in OK and this is my truck gun. Let me tell you a 45/70 is not necessary to kill the biggest hog!

  17. #77
    Boolit Grand Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard, ahlosojoe.

    I've been going through my notes and found a record showing a 0.7 MOA group at 200m (220yds) with Hornady 55gr spire points and Lil'Gun with a MV of 2740fps. This same load is exellent on feral goat. Rabbit and hare get shredded with it.
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  18. #78
    Thanks 303Guy first welcome that I believe I have ever had from New Zealand. To keep this going on the original post. The hornet is one of those cartridges that kills better than it should.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahlosojoe View Post
    Thanks 303Guy first welcome that I believe I have ever had from New Zealand. To keep this going on the original post. The hornet is one of those cartridges that kills better than it should.
    Perhaps, but I will say I have made this observation; there are two cartridges that are very attractive to guys who want to push the envelope and try to make it something it is not, the .45-70 is the main one and the .22 Hornet is a close second. It's scary how many good Marlin lever guns you see blown up because some idiot had the idea that he could make it into a .458 Win mag and also how many guys try to get more out of the Hornet in hopes of making it a 400 yards praire dog rifle or worse yet, routinely hunt deer and bigger game with one. I see this all the time on a couple of pages I'm on. Both cartridges are great as they are supposed to be, if you absolutely must have more, get a .458 or a .223.

  20. #80
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    Hornets are a lot of fun especially when they shoot great. A couple of weeks ago I got a uberti baby rolling block in hornet and have been playing around with it but loading it as more of a .22 WCF with jacketed bullets than a hornet. I can report that the results have been very satisfying at 50 yards its one ragged hole using a 35 gr v-max and opens up to about an inch when using a 40gr sierra #1385 also the 40gr varmigeddon run about 1/2" for powders I'm using unique and trail boss. I would like to try cast but not sure which mold to try.

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