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Thread: Cast in a .22 hornet

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Cast in a .22 hornet

    What is a good mold to use in a hornet and the classic question to gas check or not to gas check? Iv'e been thinking about the lee 55 gr but I know 55 is heavy for a hornet.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    225438 with check,,is my favorite hornet boolit.

  3. #3
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    I use a NOE 45 grain WFN design and I ordered mine with all plain bases. You can have the same bullet with checks and even hollow pointed if you so desire. That bullet in front of two grains of Bullseye in my Savage 219 is a Fox squirrel killing machine.

    If you can find one, the Bator bullet Midsouth used to sell is a very good one. Despite the fact that it weighs 55 grains, it's shorter than the 225438 so it stabilizes fine in my old slow twist Hornets. I use that one in a Stevens 322 with six grains of 2400.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Hawkeye View Post
    What is a good mold to use in a hornet and the classic question to gas check or not to gas check? Iv'e been thinking about the lee 55 gr but I know 55 is heavy for a hornet.
    The Bator is about 55 grains also and if you watch Ebay they come up. Every cast bullet Hornet rifleman should have one.
    I don't have any great trips on bullets other than the standard known good bullets like 225438.
    The one item worth passing along is primers. If you are not finding the accuracy you think you should be getting, keep trying different ones. Small pistol primers are often said to be the way to go and no doubt that is often true. The Hornet can be a fussy little bugger and one load using H-2400 came alive for me when I tried Remington's No 7-1/2. Who knew?
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 05-24-2020 at 10:05 PM.
    Chill Wills

  5. #5
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    My old Midsouth Bator mold drops boolits that weigh 50gr.
    The Bator is short, with a RNFP type nose, it works great in my 22 Hornet.

    I don't have one, but I believe I read reports that the New Lee 55gr mold drops boolits closer to 60gr.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master marshall623's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    My old Midsouth Bator mold drops boolits that weigh 50gr.
    The Bator is short, with a RNFP type nose, it works great in my 22 Hornet.

    I don't have one, but I believe I read reports that the New Lee 55gr mold drops boolits closer to 60gr.
    At a quick weighing I came up with 59 gr out of the mold , I misread the big weight on my lyman scale they actually drop at 54 gr. and were very consistent checked and lubed at 57gr.

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    Last edited by marshall623; 05-25-2020 at 06:26 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chill Wills View Post
    The Bator is about 55 grains also and if you watch Ebay they come up. Every cast bullet Hornet rifleman should have one.
    JonB you got me wondering if my memory is slipping. And so this morning, with coffee in hand, I went to the shop to weigh a few Bator's. Short and stubby, cast in Lino, lubed with check seated, 53.2 grains and almost nothing to average. One after another, they just kept weighing 53.2 grains. For me, the Bator bullet is an easy to work with bullet that casts well out of LEE's 6 cavity mold. I use it for anything around the place out to 100 yards max. I don't load it up fast and inside 50 yds on a racoon that is busting the top out of my trees is about right.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 05-25-2020 at 10:06 AM.
    Chill Wills

  8. #8
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    The NOE 46gr WFN PB shoots very well with 2.4 to 3.0 red dot. As Rich said, its a squirrel killing machine. Lymans 225415 is very good also but the little 22 gcs are a pain to deal with IMO.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    If you can find one, the Bator bullet Midsouth used to sell is a very good one. Despite the fact that it weighs 55 grains, it's shorter than the 225438 so it stabilizes fine in my old slow twist Hornets. I use that one in a Stevens 322 with six grains of 2400.
    Count me in too for that load. It would seem to be the sweet spot for it works in every Hornet I've tried it in.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnoahhh View Post
    Count me in too for that load. It would seem to be the sweet spot for it works in every Hornet I've tried it in.
    Actually, I think you're the one that told me to try it and it was great advice. Because it is gas checked, I cast them real soft, trying to duplicate .22 LR bullets. It's a bit more destructive that that 45 grain WFN, but the bolt gun won't feed the WFN. It was suggested to me that it could be a weak magazine follower spring that keeps it from feeding, but I haven't tried it yet.

    I have the itch to go squirrel hunting now. Season opens back up here in June, but being from the deep south, I can't bring myself to hunt squirrels until we've had a frost.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I here ya, Rich. Just doesn't seem right somehow!

    That load is really easy on brass too. I must have loaded one batch of 50 about ten times now and they look fresh as a daisy. (Neck sizing only of course.)

    The load clocks right at 1600fps for me.

  12. #12
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    I use Lee collet neck sizers and factory crimp dies, but have never warmed up to their molds. I agree with mainiac (post #2) that the Lyman 225438 is about as good as it gets for the little Hornet. Feed that iron mold linotype for effortless casting!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master dh2's Avatar
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    I am using MP 227-640 Hornet, 4 cavity solid mold from group buy, there was a few extra on MP sight, it is 39gr. because I found the Lyman225415 to be a bit heavy for my Hornet

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    In my Bee I tried RCBS-55, 225107, and 225415 and 225415 was the clear winner.

  15. #15
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    lyman 225438 over 10 grains aa1680. pc, no gc.

  16. #16
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    I have high hopes for a LEE Ranch Dog 50g I just found and bought. Should be here in a couple days. I have been using bators cast by a friend. They work well but I would
    Like to powder Coat them and he doesn't Do that. When I saw this RD I jumped! Only regret is its a GC and I dont need that. Plus its a hassel on a lil 22 boolit.

    CW
    NRA Life member • REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwlongshot View Post
    I have high hopes for a LEE Ranch Dog 50g I just found and bought. Should be here in a couple days. I have been using bators cast by a friend. They work well but I would
    Like to powder Coat them and he doesn't Do that. When I saw this RD I jumped! Only regret is its a GC and I dont need that. Plus its a hassel on a lil 22 boolit.

    CW
    That NOE design I mentioned can be had in plain based, that's how mine is. I'll never powder coat, but that bullet does very well at the velocities I shoot it at and with that meplat, kills way better than it should on small game.

    I lucked into one of those Ranchdog molds a while back, but have yet to cast any, I need to get to that.

  18. #18
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    Yuppers!!

    I have been shootin the Speer 46g jacketed. I agree even with ghat real small
    Meplat it makes such a huge difference!!
    NRA Life member • REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  19. #19
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    I have toyed with the idea of a 22 Hornet over the years but never went there. I did pick up a Handi Rifle that sat on a local gun store's shelf for years. 24" heavy barrel, 1-12" twist,really a good cast shooter. I have the Lyman 225-415 and I agree, those pesky little checks are hard to handle, even harder to make. I ended up buying an NOE 225-62 RN which is plain based and smooth sided for powder coating. Although I can launch them accurately to 2450 fps, I have really enjoyed 1000-1100 fps for general plinking and vermin. The slower speed but heavier weight gets the job done.

    Since I powder coat, I use a different color for light loads as opposed to the faster loads. I still have about 10 pounds of the 225-415 cast and coated, (20 of the NOE) just in case I get the urge to mess with using the little checks. If I find a 22 Hornet I might take the plunge but it would be hard to justify another rifle - that is unless she gets one too! That would be worth getting another mold from NOE at around 40-45 grains.
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  20. #20
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    I like the NOE 37 gr. with a GC for use in my magazine fed Anschutz's and I have the NOE 45 gr. WFN both in PB and GC that I like in my single shot Hornets.

    In the PIC below you can see some culls that I GC'd and sized for samples.

    L to R:

    NOE 55 gr. copy of the RCBS mould
    NOE 45 gr. WFN with the plain base
    NOE 37 gr. I use for magazine fed Hornets.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check