Anyone else have a Ruger 77/22 Hornet that doesn't shoot?
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Old 08-28-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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Default Anyone else have a Ruger 77/22 Hornet that doesn't shoot?

Hello, I'm new to this forum but not at all new to shooting.

I have a Ruger 22 Hornet that has been in the rack for about 10 years now. It sits in the rack because somebody one stated, I almost think it was Townsend Whelen, that "Only accurate rifles are interesting" and this one is surely NOT interesting. I've run across posts elsewhere that lead me to believe that mine is not the only uninteresting Hornet that Ruger ever made.

It has had under 200 rds through it, some factory, the rest handloads, and not a group under about 2 1/2".

I've determined that now is the time to either make it shoot or find somebody else who wants it. Has anyone else here had issues with Ruger Hornets shooting patterns instead of groups? If so, how did you deal with the issue?

I got after it yesterday and suspect I may have found part(maybe all) of the problem.

I neck sized a few cases and started seating bullets way out, moving them in until I could get the bolt to cam, them in and seat the bullets so that they were engaging the rifling. These were Barnes, 36 gr. Varmint Grenades and Hornady 45 gr. Spitzers, the style they used to(maybe still do) call the SX.

Using that as a max length I set the expander stem in one turn to get a safe OAL with the bullets barely clearing the rifling. From that point bullets had to be seated in excess of .180" to almost .200 to fit the magazine.

That seems like an awful lot of clearance there.

I loaded 10 rds of each bullet with appropriate charges set to fit the magazine and 10 more with the same charge with the bullet seated close to the rifling. As soon as I get a chance I'm going to send them downrange and see if the long seated ones shoot better than magazine length loads.

If they do I think it may be time to talk to the folks at Ruger about this.

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Old 08-28-2011, 07:54 PM   #2
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There is a guy that I know on a N. Eastern forum that bought one. He sent it to a smith, (conn. I believe) that could do wonders for them. It still will only shoot 2" groups at 100 w/ handloads, it was 4..5" before. Really kind of sad. He was so happy that he finally found a .22 hornet for under $200.00, and ended up putting $400.00 into it, with no real benefit. I've often thought a .22 Hornet would be a great cartridge to hunt woodchucks on farms with, but then I always read this about Rugers. They are the ones I see FS 99% of the time.

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Old 08-28-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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My son bought this one for me, absolutely gorgeous little rifle. That makes me a bit hesitant to get rid of it, for both reasons, but I just hate a rifle that patterns. Never had one before that I couldn't make shoot.

I want/need something that will shoot minute-of-crow and this would be perfect, if only,,,, I have a big garden and the black critters dealt harshly with me this spring. Weather made it late getting the sweetcorn in and they cleaned out the biggest part of 4 lbs of seed as soon as it sprouted. It's a strong 150 yds. from one end to the other so the Hornet would be the perfect round. With the Barnes "Varmint Grenade" bullets I wouldn't have to worry about skipping one off the ground and any hit should be fatal but the damn rifle won't stay on a crow at half that distance.

If I can find a way to load it so it shoots decent then I will tinker with it a little to close it up even more. I'll glass bed it and make sure the tube floats free and go from there. A better trigger would help a little, as I'm sure bedding will, but I hesitate to put a lot of time/money into it until there is some promise showing.

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Old 08-28-2011, 08:47 PM   #4
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I had a 77/22 Hornet that did the same thing. I rechambered it for K Hornet, glass bedded it, hand lapped the bolt & bore, did a trigger job, and FINALLY found a load it liked. 13.8gr of AA1680 with a cci BR4 primer under a Nosler 40gr Ballistic Tip seated .010 off the lands. It would then shoot 3/4" for 5 shot groups. REMEMBER that I rechambered mine to K Hornet in regards to the load however. That load likely wouldn't be safe in a regular Hornet.

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Old 08-29-2011, 02:53 AM   #5
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Until about 10 years or so ago, Ruger subbed out their barrels. They paid very little for a barrel (I was told $7.50 each). You cannot expect much from a cheap barrel. Their accuracy has improved greatly since, but I have never met anyone with a "tack driving" Ruger.

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Old 08-29-2011, 03:09 AM   #6
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I bought a 77/22 in 22 mag that wouldn't shoot. Sold it at a gunshow. My Winchester model 43 in 22 hornet shot excellent.

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Old 08-29-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robocop10mm View Post
Until about 10 years or so ago, Ruger subbed out their barrels. They paid very little for a barrel (I was told $7.50 each). You cannot expect much from a cheap barrel. Their accuracy has improved greatly since, but I have never met anyone with a "tack driving" Ruger.
I had an early Model 77 in .22-250 that was 'laser accurate' with careful handloads, and very good with Remington factory ammo. I ended up selling it as I needed the money more than the rifle - wish I'd kept it but I don't do varmint hunting.
I have thought of getting the Ruger in .22 Hornet (I have the BRNO ZBK110 singleshot in .22 Hornet) and would love a repeater - but have been hesitant with the stories of problems.
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