.22 Hornet

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by warpig, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. warpig

    warpig Guest

    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 395
    (8/16/01 2:23:18 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All .22 Hornet
    Just picked up a new Ruger 22 Hornet at the gun show this week end. Never owned, shot or even seen one before Saturday. Bought a box of ammo at Wal mart today, OUCH! $22.00. I would like a little input on this round, such as Max effective range, what cal. is below and above this round. What is it generally used for, just a lil general shoot the bull, tell me about it type stuff. Oh! Yea, anybody got any ammo cheaper than Wally World. I thought that was high way robbery, but what do I know.
    rules for survival: Sight alignment, Breath control, & Trigger Squeeze

    Posts: 629
    (8/16/01 3:10:58 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: .22 Hornet
    I think you could categorize the Hornet as being between the .218 Bee and the .222 Remington. It's a fairly old round, had almost dropped off the scene, but now it's becoming popular again.

    I would think the maximum realistic range would be around 200 - 250 yds on varmints. Further than that and trajectory becomes a problem.

    Factory ammunition (50 ct boxes) are high. Might find some import stuff, or set up to reload.

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  2. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    The .22 Hornet is just a step BELOW the .218 Bee, in performance, but anything, well shot, will never know that.
    Biggest single problem with the Hornet is brass life. The brass wants to grow, and ultimately separate at the base, just forward of the case head, because the chamber is oversized to the brass, in many rifles.
    On firing, the pin drives the round forward prior to ignition, and when the round fires, the thin brass expands to the chamber wall, allowing the head of the case to be driven rearward until stopped by the bolt face, stretching the case.
    Also, SAAMI shows the min chamber at .297, while most commercial brass runs .294, at the case head, allowing diametric expansion, as well, at the area just in front of the case head, leaving a little swell at or near the base of the case.
    My #1 Ruger has a .294 chamber mouth and will just, with a bit of effort, close on a "GO" headspace guage; accordingly, brass life is 12-15 reloadings.
    In a bolt gun, with a rear locking bolt, like the 77-22, accuracy is usually poor, and all of the problems above, usually exist.
    For all of that, the .22 Hornet is still one fine round for game up to deer size, if you do your part; biggest critter, to date, for me, was a 440 pound sow, who dropped like a rock, when head-shot.
    Hope this helps,

  3. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2003
    Hesperia, CA
    I have owned two different 22 Hornet rifles over the last 15 years.

    The first was a used Ruger Number 3 (single shot modern looking, inexpensive version of the Ruger number 1). It shot a best of a 1/2 inch group (5 shots) at 50 yds using 45 grain Hornet .224 cal bullets (much older guns used .223 bullets which are also available) over about 11.3 grains of Hodgdon 4227.

    The latest one replaced the Ruger which I had sold and is a CZ American 527 (I think that is the number-It has an exposed magazine just ahead of the trigger guard). It comes with a set trigger which can be adjusted down to less than 8 oz. I found that I like it best at one lbs. I just shot it two weeks ago for groups. The best group (5 shots) was 0.4 inches at 50 yds. and the average of 15 five shot groups at 50 yds was 0.78 inches. The bullet was the Hornet .224 Seirra 1200, 40 grains over 10.0 grains of Hodgdon 4227. I think I am approaching the limit of my old eyes as they don't even like to use scopes anymore. By the way, the best three shot group was 0.2 inches.

    I bought a couple of hundreds pieces of Hornet brass 15 years ago. I am still using it. I have not seen any of the brass related problems as stated by the earlier emailer. But I load for accuracy not velocity so my loads tend to be less than maximum loads. Maybe that is the secret (?).

    Good luck with your Hornet. I love the caliber. You will too.

  4. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Or maybe you got lucky, in buying two of the best.
    The 22 WCF, the black powder progenator (sp?) of the Hornet, was first chambered in the 1885 Winchester, I think. No headspace problem here, it's a single shot, falling block, rifle.
    And the Brno/ CZ that you now are shooting is among the few that are FRONT LOCKING bolt guns, for the caliber; also, with a Poldi Steel barrel. I have owned three, and still have one, a Bauska imported " Fox", in .22 Hornet. I wish I could hold as well as it shoots. With 9 of 2400, and a 40 gr Nosler, .6 at a hundred is not a question; if you have a stash of WW 680, 11.6 or so is about right-same bullet.
    Played with 296, and it shot well, but it's really touchy when accuracy is good, in that it takes a close to top load, around 11.3 to 11.5 gr, to make it come in. Funny part is, when I was shooting half inch groups, velocities were in the 2900 range, which makes 296 the ONLY powder, to my knowledge, that will exceed factory ammo in velocity and accuracy.
    Back to the point, when Winchester offered the M43, in the hornet, it did not shoot real well; 2" was a good one. The 2 model 70's (front locking) I have shot in the caliber, shot ok.
    If headspace is held to a minimum,since the case headspaces on the rim, and you have a chamber that agrees with YOUR brass, it should last almost forever; an oversize chamber, enen 4 thosandths, or 3 or 4 thousandths of headspace, whether in the barrel or the bolt (rear lockers), and brass is a 3 to 4 time deal.
    This is one of my all time favorites, so please understand, I am not trying to flame anyone, but, rather, share some info and advice I've gathered over the years about the little cartridge that CAN! (P.S.- I'm in the process of building another .17 Ackley Hornet, on a Stevens 44 1/2 action, as we speak)