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Thread: .22 Hornet Loads

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    .22 Hornet Loads

    Hello! Brand new to reloading. My dad bought me a CZ 527 .22 hornet when I was a kid and we reloaded for it but had a hard time getting a good, consistent load. I want to start reloading for it, and wanted to get other peoples opinion on what powder/bullet combinations they like to use.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Electrod47's Avatar
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    A couple things I'v learned over 48 years tinkering with Hornet loads is "Don't go over 40 grain on the bullets" and "Keep it under 3000fps"
    The reasons why are manifold. Enjoy the journey. There are few like it, attempting "getting a good consistent load."
    “You should tell someone what you know. There should be a history, so that men can learn from it.

    He smiled. “Men do not learn from history. Each generation believes itself brighter than the last, each believes it can survive the mistakes of the older ones. Each discovers each old thing and they throw up their hands and say ‘See! Look what I have found! Look upon what I know!’ And each believes it is something new.

    Louis L’Amour

    The Californios

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Tatume's Avatar
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    Loads from Hodgdon are pressure tested and reliable. Use starting loads. Work up from there if you wish. I find starting loads are accurate and powerful, and rarely use more.

    https://hodgdonreloading.com/

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electrod47 View Post
    A couple things I'v learned over 48 years tinkering with Hornet loads is "Don't go over 40 grain on the bullets" and "Keep it under 3000fps"
    The reasons why are manifold. Enjoy the journey. There are few like it, attempting "getting a good consistent load."
    Excellent, thank you!

  5. #5
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatume View Post
    Loads from Hodgdon are pressure tested and reliable. Use starting loads. Work up from there if you wish. I find starting loads are accurate and powerful, and rarely use more.

    https://hodgdonreloading.com/
    Perfect, thanks for the link. I will look into that.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold birdshot's Avatar
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    full case of Lilgun with 45 grain hornet bullet lightly crimped with small pistol primers.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I know that, these days, availability dictates our propellant choices more than anything else. Even so, I'd suggest that you steer clear of propellants which list compressed charges in the data. While rarely hazardous (when using published data), compressed charges can become another factor with which to contend, on the road to getting a good, consistent load.
    SOMETIMES, a bit of load compression will tighten groups (most often when done with great uniformity), while in other cases, compression will increase group size. Each rifle is something of an "individual response", when loading for it. Don't let this discourage you, but bear it in mind, if things you try do not seem to work as well as you hope.
    There is also the matter of propellant utility. If you intend to reload only for .22 Hornet and have no plans to do so for other cartridges, well and good. If you contemplate reloading for other calibers in the future, it will not hurt your budget to use a propellant that works well in those, also. H110/W296 and IMR-4227 are "velocity champs" for the original magnum revolver rounds, so if you buy one of these and wish to reload for it, you need not go in search of a different propellant. H4198, while not useful for the original magnum revolver rounds, is remarkably versatile in small to medium-capacity rifle rounds, ranging from your .22 Hornet, to the voluminous .45-70 Springfield.

    These are factors and considerations that might save you some serious money (with propellants above $45/lb. in many place), down the road. Having a good idea of your reloading plans beyond the .22 Hornet (if any) can be very cost-beneficial. I wish you EVERY success in reloading your .22 Hornet, but I suspect that you may wish to "branch out" at some point. Moving to another caliber and having many of the desired components already on hand can greatly simplify your life.
    For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. Ecclesiastes 1:18
    He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool become servant to the wise of heart. Proverbs 11:29
    ...Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40


    Carpe SCOTCH!

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'll second birdshot's recommendation. Mines Winchester brass, Hornady's 45 Hornet bullet and a small rifle or pistol primer (varies by rifle/Contender) and a case full of LIL'GUN.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    My gun hated lilgun but loves 1680

  10. #10
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    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokeasajoke View Post
    My gun hated lilgun but loves 1680
    Yup...with a Sierra 45 gr. RNSP!!

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by birdshot View Post
    full case of Lilgun with 45 grain hornet bullet lightly crimped with small pistol primers.
    I ended up loading 11.8 grains of Lilgun with the Sierra 45 grain Hornet bullet. Just over half-inch groups first time out with the rifle and about 6 rounds to sight in. I have no idea on velocity as I didn't have the chronograph out that day. I don't think I'm going to change a thing with my load and rifle. I probably could get a little more Lilgun in the case if I used a long drop tube on my Little Dandy measure.
    Good Luck, and I hope you find accuracy as easy as I did.
    Rick

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    12.6 grains of 296 with a Sierra 1310 in a Ruger #1 is hard to beat. When I still had decent vision, 3/4", 5 shot, 100 yard groups were pretty common. Embarrassed more than a few guys at our monthly varmint shoot with that load.

    "A hornet can't shoot like that!"

    Load came from an older Hornady manual that had a separate section on Hornet loads just for Ruger #1's and #3's.

  13. #13
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Lil'gun for J-words.
    RL-7 for cast boolits.
    OR
    if you want to try to create 22LR equivalent loads, I use Red Dot. I started at 2 gr and worked down until chrono read about 1000.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy muskeg13's Avatar
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    I have a CZ527 LUX .22 Hornet that has proved accurate with almost everything I've tried, but that's no factory ammo, light-moderate loads, jacketed bullets from 33-45gr using LilGun and 1680 and cast boolits of less than 50 gr. It really likes the Lyman 225438.

    As stated twice above, try small PISTOL primers. With my modest loads, SPP groups were 1/2 the size of the same loads with small rifle primers and there's no problems with ignition or blown primers. For the Hornet, pistol primers are good enough (actually better).

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    elk hunter's Avatar
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    My Winchester 43 Hornet is sensitive to primer changes. It prefers Federal small rifle over any other.
    BIG OR SMALL I LIKE THEM ALL, 577 TO 22 HORNET.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kosh75287 View Post
    I know that, these days, availability dictates our propellant choices more than anything else. Even so, I'd suggest that you steer clear of propellants which list compressed charges in the data. While rarely hazardous (when using published data), compressed charges can become another factor with which to contend, on the road to getting a good, consistent load.
    SOMETIMES, a bit of load compression will tighten groups (most often when done with great uniformity), while in other cases, compression will increase group size. Each rifle is something of an "individual response", when loading for it. Don't let this discourage you, but bear it in mind, if things you try do not seem to work as well as you hope.
    There is also the matter of propellant utility. If you intend to reload only for .22 Hornet and have no plans to do so for other cartridges, well and good. If you contemplate reloading for other calibers in the future, it will not hurt your budget to use a propellant that works well in those, also. H110/W296 and IMR-4227 are "velocity champs" for the original magnum revolver rounds, so if you buy one of these and wish to reload for it, you need not go in search of a different propellant. H4198, while not useful for the original magnum revolver rounds, is remarkably versatile in small to medium-capacity rifle rounds, ranging from your .22 Hornet, to the voluminous .45-70 Springfield.

    These are factors and considerations that might save you some serious money (with propellants above $45/lb. in many place), down the road. Having a good idea of your reloading plans beyond the .22 Hornet (if any) can be very cost-beneficial. I wish you EVERY success in reloading your .22 Hornet, but I suspect that you may wish to "branch out" at some point. Moving to another caliber and having many of the desired components already on hand can greatly simplify your life.
    Wow, very thoughtful response. I want to reload for other calibers down the road, namely .30-06, .30-30, and .45 acp so I will try and get powders that will work for most. I know that the hornet can be a bit picky. I was doing a bit of research and found that some folks like loading Lil' gun but then others say it's not great, as seen from a few others in this thread, even. One thing I will agree with, is that every gun is different. I will need to figure it out as I go; it will be a fun journey. Thank you for your insight!

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    Lil'gun for J-words.
    RL-7 for cast boolits.
    OR
    if you want to try to create 22LR equivalent loads, I use Red Dot. I started at 2 gr and worked down until chrono read about 1000.
    That's really awesome, actually. How did you like those loads?

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by muskeg13 View Post
    I have a CZ527 LUX .22 Hornet that has proved accurate with almost everything I've tried, but that's no factory ammo, light-moderate loads, jacketed bullets from 33-45gr using LilGun and 1680 and cast boolits of less than 50 gr. It really likes the Lyman 225438.

    As stated twice above, try small PISTOL primers. With my modest loads, SPP groups were 1/2 the size of the same loads with small rifle primers and there's no problems with ignition or blown primers. For the Hornet, pistol primers are good enough (actually better).
    Noted. This is all very good info that get. What distance were you shooting?

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy muskeg13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timboslice View Post
    Noted. This is all very good info that get. What distance were you shooting?
    Most of my shooting is in a 50yard backyard range. Several jacketed loads produce one hole groups ~0.3" with most I've tried staying at or below 0.5". Cast boolit loads go about an inch. At 100 yards last summer, using 45gr Hornady jacketed and IMR 4227 and LilGun, I shot 0.75" and 1.00" groups respectively. I use an old Weaver V8 (2.5-8X) with external adjustments (no turrets).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by timboslice View Post
    That's really awesome, actually. How did you like those loads?
    I tried a few other powders. those are the ones, that my gun liked the best.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

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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