22 Hornet fans

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by tidbit824, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. tidbit824


    Dec 14, 2008

    Tidbit here.

    Let's here about your Hornets: rifles, reloading and optics.

    I have a Savage Model 23-D that dates from 1937 to 1944. It wears a Weaver K10-1 that dates from the late fifties.
    I load in Winchester cases with 10 grns of IMR 4227 with a Hornaday 45 grn bullet. It has been my groundhog rifle for years. It was dad's favorite rifle for close in coyotes.

    An oldie but a goodie.

    Let hear about yours: I know there a re Hornet fans on this forum.
  2. GermanS1


    Feb 2, 2005
    Mine is a Ruger No. 1 with a 20X Unertl, no other modifications. I load Ramshot Enforcer, Sierra 40 gr. bullets in Winchester brass, CCI pistol primers and really enjoy it. I plan to do something about the trigger someday but it's low on my priority list.
  3. ollie

    ollie Silver $$ Contributor

    Jul 29, 2006
    I have a ruger 77/22 lam stock medium barrel. I have have glassed it and did a trigger job,it brakes at 1.5lbs. Nikon 4.5x14 scope in laped rings. This has been my go to gun as i have shot everything from squirls to deer with it. On one hunt i saw a black snake on a dirt mound ranged it at 101yds, aimed at his head and let one fly, took his head clean off.

    I load it with lil'gun. 13gr with a 35v-max this is a great g-hog-varmint load. Then i load 8gr to get 22mag velocites good squirel load pretty quite to. These loads are good and safe in my gun.

    Both loads shoot the same poi out to 70yds.

    Be careful of the brass you use as they have different case capasities. I use remington as i have found they are a little bigger.

    Federal small rifle primers are the way to go.
  4. Gmochty


    Oct 15, 2008
    I also love the hornet!
    I have a Savage model 40 topped off with a cheap tasco 6-24 varmint scope.
    LOAD: 13 grains of lil'gun
    40gr nosler bt
    Win brass
    cci sm pistol primer
    Also a light crimp,light) on the bullet!
    Vel is 2800 fps.
    This combo will shoot .5 to .75 all day long.
    With the velocity at 2800 fps this puts the hornet about equal to the 218 bee factory round!
    Side note: the savage 40 barrel is NOT PINNED on the action, it is threaded on the action. their is a set screw in the recoil lug, remove the set screw and the recoil lug will slide right off the action,dovetail) and the barrel will screw right off!!!
    One great round, love the hornet.
  5. Bob3700


    Jul 16, 2006
    My Hornet is a Pre-64 Model 70 Winchester that wears a 12X, 1 1/2 Unertl scope. I grew up reading varmint hunting books by C.S. Landis and always wanted a rifle configured from the 30s-40s. I have owned this rifle since 1968. It's serial number indicates it was made in 1948.

    The rifle is a standard grade and factory stock. Long ago, I came upon a batch of 22 Hornet military loaded ammo. Half the case was 45 gr FMJ, the other half was 46 gr Open Point ammo. All loaded by Winchester. I believe the ammo was designed for the little M4,?) survival rifle. The ammo was in white boxes and the hunting ammo had a warning that is was not to be use for combat purposes.

    That was the most accurate ammo I have ever owned or loaded for my rifle. It would shoot 3/4 MOA all day long at 100 yds. Bagged many a ground hog here in the midwest with that load. We used to hunt right on the edge of town as some of the farms were half in town and half out. The low report was the berries.

    Hand loading was a whole nother issue. Shot a bunch of 40 -45 gr Sierra Hornet bullets and never had much luck with them. Shot them over 2400 and then H4227. Found that small pistol primers were the best in my rifle. I used Winchester brass exclusively.

    When the 35 gr VMax bullets came out, I had to try them. They have produced some of the better groups lately. I do have some of the 46 gr OP Winchester factory bullets that are high on my list to shoot. My powder supply is from another time. Powders that work well with that VMAX are WW 296 and WW 680, they have all been discontinued. That supply is running a little thin so I think that Hodgen's Lil Gun will be the next powder that I use in that rifle.

    20 yrs ago I also owned a Model 43 Winchester in Hornet. That was a pretty sorry example of the rifle with excessive headspace. I strictly loaded that like a 22 magnum RF to keep the cases alive. At a gun show there was a fellow who actually sold factory second, 22 RF Magnum bullets. You could buy either FMJ or the HP version. I always went for the HPs. That was perfect for the Model 43.

    I hardly shoot the Model 70 any more as I have gotten involved with long range HP rifle shooting but the rifle is so unique and fulfills my long term desire to keep the 30-40s style varmint rifles alive.

    Sorry I got so wordy but you can tell that I really like the old 22 Hornet!

  6. GermanS1


    Feb 2, 2005
    Bob, that's a great post, thanks for sharing all that. One of our local Highpower shooters is a M70 collector and has a Hornet like yours but I can't get him to shoot it.

    I got my No. 1 because as a lefty, it works just right for me; I used the Unertl on it from one of my Smallbore rifles as it just seemed to fit the character of the rifle better than a modern scope would. I like the No. 1 a lot, I don't even know what the accuracy level is because that's not my reason for having it, but it seems accurate enough for what it is. I'd like to have another No. 1 in 30-30 someday and have another Unertl stashed away for it.
  7. CT10ring

    CT10ring Gold $$ Contributor

    Jan 10, 2008
    Tidbit, My .22 hornet is nowhere as old or unique as yours, but it sparked my interest in shooting after a 25 year non- shooting period. I had an itch to shoot something other than my .22 Winchester 290 semi-auto I had recently brought home from my parents' house where it had been for many years. Happened to go by a local gun store where a fellow had just dropped off a used Cooper Model. 38 on commission. I bought it on the spot. Nice medium heavy barrel-all metal highly polished. I had never heard of the 22 Hornet nor Cooper Arms before,!), but it really struck me as a beautiful piece of work that surely would shoot better than my old Winchester. It did. I have a Zeiss 4.5 X 14X scope on it & it is a pleasure to shoot & look at. I have found HSM factory ammo with Calhoon bullets very accurate. Quiet, too.
    Have since added more to my little collection, including a Ruger No 1-and it is accurate too, although I have heard reports that the #1 isn't so accurate, not so in this case. Neat little cartridge. Seems to soldier on....
  8. JohnRodriguez


    Apr 18, 2008
    savage model 40, with leoupold VXII 3-9x scope.
    R-P nickle plated brass
    winchester small pistol primers
    14.5gr Lil'gun
    30gr berger, 1.75"OAL
  9. Travelor


    Feb 16, 2005
    I have three Hornets, a TC pistol,for silhouette), a Winchester Lo-Wall,was a car gun when that was OK to do) with a newer barrel, and a Anschutz,belonged to a very nice man whose son taught me to reload and I grew up with).

    Lil' Gun powder is THE POWDER to load this cartridge.

    Watch those thin cartridge necks when seating!
  10. fusionrider


    Nov 3, 2008
    CZ 527 american, leupold VXIII 4.5-14

    It almost got converted to a "K" but the smith didn't have a .223 piloted reamer. No loss though the straight hornet is still great.

    lil'gun and hornady 45gr "HP Bee" in neck sized only Remington brass.,winchester brass is horrible!)

  11. Bob3700


    Jul 16, 2006
    Sawyer brings up an interesting point on the "K" Hornet.

    A common thought years ago was that the straight Hornet didn't shoot accurately or accuracy was hard to achieve. They said it was a hard cartridge to load for. You needed to run a "K" Hornet reamer in to get accuracy. The second goal was more velocity as well.

    Many a fine old Hornet was converted to a "K" seeking better accuracy and punch on the target.

    Then 222 Remingtons came out and the "K" was left by the wayside. To find an older rifle still chambered in standard Hornet can be a challenge.

    The "K"s do shoot very well, I just like the standard version.

    When reloading, how many of you use a FL sizing "bushing" type die? I have always used a standard FL die and was just curious.


  12. dbingen


    Feb 6, 2007
    My favorite is a Stevens 44-1\2 falling block. It's got a fat Douglas 1:14 twist on it, a double set trigger and a Leupold 4-12 VXIII. It's kind of awkward to shoot off the bench with the straight grip, but it is very accurate. It likes 40 gr. V-max, about 13.5 grains of Lil Gun and a CCI 500 pistol primer. It shoots these into a 1/2" hole. leaving the muzzle at just 3000 fps. I have probably put 3,000 rounds through it in the last 4 years. I also have a Ruger 77/22 that has been "k"'d. It is the little carbine and won't do much better than about 1" or so at 100. It was a gift from my wife and my first ground squirrel gun, so I keep it for shooting around 100-125 yards or less.

  13. rickhirsch


    Oct 27, 2008
    i'm new to the hornet game .i always want one. i build guns so
    have a few varmint guns .i like my 17hmr but ammo is to be a
    little on the high side. so i startted looking for its replacement.looked at the cz but didn't like the double set trigger.thought about trying to fit one to a remington could'nt
    make up mind if it would feed or not .look for a browning but
    did'nt find one. os i bought a cooper we order two a k hornet and hornet they screw are order up and sent a 17 ackey and k hornet
    so my friend took the 17 and i ended up with a k hornet.
    and there the adventure starts new dies and brass thats all over
    the place. hornet bullets that go where the wind takes them.
    but after 4 months of trial and error and a lossie chamber
    from cooper to much freebore.its starting to shoot quite well.
    i got a lot of know how from alot of different wedd sites .
    pistol primers sort brass neck size getting in to the lands
    were the keys.to getting my gun to shoot.thank all you guys for
    your posts. my current two best loads are 40gr. noslar accurate1680 15.grs with a federal pistol primer. w/w case.
    vihtavuori n110 12grs. sierra 40gr bk cci500 primer. rem. case. these loads are ok in my gun, work up in yours. thanks again
    keep your posts coming. hornet lives!
  14. KevinL


    Jan 31, 2008
    I love my hornets Ruger and a ruger custom 20 ack hornet thay both are dedly on squerls in Id
  15. martini


    Feb 5, 2006
    I shoot a custom Martini in 22 K Hornet. I use 12g of AA1680 with either the 40g Vmax or 40g Berger MEF. Accuracy is a bit better than an inch and velocity is about 2830 fps. I'm thinking of experimenting with Lil Gun this winter.
  16. V509


    Sep 9, 2007
    I just bought a Ruger 77/22Hornet.
    The first box of ammo I shot,Hornady) showed me the rifle needs work to shoot the way I want it to.
    Worst case I will have it rebarreled with a kit from Calhoun
  17. stosh


    Aug 13, 2007
    I bought my Ruger 77/22 Hornet years ago when I lived in NY,Upstate) and I did a lot of Chuck hunting. It was not the best shooting gun I owned but it was the standard pensil thin blue barrel/wood stock so I shimed the bolt and worked the trigger over and with reloads it shoots into an 1" at 100yds. Thats more than enough accuracy when you consider the effective range on a woodchuck is 200max for an ethical kill with the hornet.
    I wanted a light,short bolt gun for shooting chucks out to 200 yds because I was burning up my 22-250 on 50 yd shots. The other feature I love about the ruger is the 6shot rotery clip, I carry 2 clips and it is very convienient with nothing hanging down from the bottom of the rifle.

    The load I have used to send many a varming to the happy hunting ground is 12.4gr H-110 with a Hornady 35 gr VMAX for 3000 fps. I can tell you this will not ricochet, it will blow up on a twig and will kill chucks like turning off a light switch!

    I have taken it Prarie Dog hunting and my buddies can't believe what it does to them dogs out to 200yds. Last year there were 2 dogs standing about 6inches apart and I shot the one on the right and it killed both of them but I mean exploded both of them! My brother was watching and still can't believe it.

    Love my Hornet!
  18. tdboomer


    Nov 20, 2007
    My hornets are my favorites rifle..I have a Savage Md 40...Sako 78 and a Ruger convered to Khornet. I load the with 4227..lil gun and red dot for cast bullets on squirrels...mowtly shoot 40 gr noslers but I have some 34 and 36 gr bullets to try out in the spring..I'll let you know
  19. jerrschmitt


    Apr 17, 2008
    I sold my K Hornet Savage 23D with K10 weaver about 15-20 years ago. That gun killed 1000's of ground squirrels, Jack rabbits and prairie dogs. Wish I still had it
  20. rmist


    Apr 8, 2007
    I am also a huge fan of the hornet. I shoot several different models. My most accurate is the CZ527 with a 4.5 x 14 Leupold. I shoot 40gr v-max in front of 13.2gr of Lil gun, win case, 205 primer, 2945fps, 1/2 to 3/4 groups at 150yds. Excellent whistle pig gun in this growing suburbia. The Browning,I agree - Hard to find) only likes the 35gr v-max's, 13.1 Lil gun, 205 primer, win case, 2970fps, 1in or larger at 150yds. Not as accurate as the CZ. I have a new 77/22 hornet. The mag is really short for 40 gr v-max's for this rifle. See post about 77/22 Hornet seating depth. We'll have to see how it does. Keep shooting the grand ol' HORNET !!!!

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