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wookie810 08-19-2008 04:29 AM

.22 Hornet, how good of a caliber is it?
Just wondering because my friend had one I shot years ago and it was really accurate for a .22 at distance. I was just wondering how it stacks up against other .22's besides like a .223 which would obviously be more accurate. I haven't really heard a lot about the hornet round besides his praise for the gun. Wait a minute I didn't realize it was only for .22 rimfires I might be wrong but I think the hornet might be centerfire?

cpttango30 08-19-2008 05:38 AM

the hornet can be very accurate. There are other iterations of the Hornet, 22K hornet, 17 K hornet, 19 Calhoon hornet, 17 AI Hornet, 22AI Hornet, 22 squirrel (Shortened hornet).

The Hornet in a Savage 342 was my first centerfire rifle. If you reload you can do a lot with them. It is good on only the smallest game out to 250 yards. Ground Hogs I would not try to push past 200 MAX. P Dogs and Ground Squirrels would be good to go at 250. It is quiet when compared to other 22 centerfires. The Hornet is a great little rounds if you need more punch than a 22lr or 22mag but not as much as a 222 or 223.

The Hornet is one of the original hi velocity 22 centerfire cartridges along with the 218 Bee and 219 zipper. It still has it's place in the varmint world but I think that the only reason it is still around is the fact that CZ, Savage and Ruger make guns for it. In today's world of bigger shorter fatter faster is better the hornet is losing ground. I had the privilege of shooting a Ruger 77/22 Hornet that had been re-barreled into a 17 Ackley Hornet it was one heck of a shooter. I think with the 17 and 20 cal bullets it does better. I plan on having a 17 Ackley Hornet made in a few years. Loaded with 25gr HP and VV N130 powder it is a great accurate cheap to shoot round.

You have to watch it though if you get an old rifle some needed .223" bullets not the standard .224" that 22cf use today.

If you are shooting in a slightly more populated area say small farms then this is an ideal round for ridding gardens and small farms of varmints without disturbing the neighbors all that much.

alsaqr 08-23-2008 08:10 PM

Have several .22 Hornets and .22 K-Hornets in the gun safe. They are fun to re-load for and all are very accurate. Killed a lot of coyotes and wild hogs with the .22 Hornet.

The most accurate .22 Hornet I own has a Martini action and a very old Winchester model 43 barrel. My CZ runs a very close second and will probably outshoot the Martini when load workup is complete.

Due to very strange SAAMI specifications for .22 Hornet chambers, some newer US guns do not shoot with a darn: The chamber of a SAAMI spec gun is huge and cases sometimes separate on the first re-load.

Anyone who contemplates buying and/or re-loading a .22 Hornet should read this article by Bob Forker. I use two powders in reloading the .22 Hornet and K-Hornet: IMR 4227 and Alliant 2400.

Dgunsmith 08-23-2008 10:41 PM

.22 Hornet is a lot of fun to shoot...low noise, no recoil..great for teaching beginning varminting !

Had a Win 43...somebody offered too much money for it and I sold it..Big Mistake !

I have a heavy barrel H&R break top that shoots pretty well.

It is a must to handload and get tack driving accuracy...brass holds up real to many reloads.

Kind of a sleeper in todays world...friend has the CZ and loves it.

2gun 09-01-2008 04:21 PM

More of the same: I couldn't live with out the 219 Savage break top rifle.So when I found one I bought it. Great little gun. By my calculations I think they droped production and the .22Mag came out and then the 22 special fell by the way side.I don't know of anyone that has even fires the .22 WRF after they ran a large batch of ammo.

Bigdog57 09-11-2008 01:09 AM

Good article on the Hornet! They don't list my favorite powder though.
I have just begun loading for the .22 Hornet, to be used in my Czech BRNO ZKB-110 singleshot rifle.
I had been using some 40-grain V-max loads I bought from a gunshow vendor - they were moly-coated. VERY accurate, with many 5/8" at 100 yard groups shot! I don't see him at the gunshows anymore, so I am having to 'roll my own'.
I am starting off with the 45 grain 'Hornet' JSP from Hornady, in my once-fired cases already sized for my rifle's chamber. I am using Hodgdon Lil Gun powder - 12 grains starting load and 13 grains max load, by Hodgdon's published data, with Winchester small rifle primers. On my very first batch, I got a consistent half-inch group at 50 yards - a good start, I think! I'm going to work with this basic load before trying the 40-grain V-max bullets I bought (non-moly coated). The Lil Gun powder meters very nicely, as it has the small grains. I have been told that the Hornet can be very picky and cantankerous to load for.
So far, I am pleased with my early results. I will try the H4227 powder eventually too, having originally bought it for the Hornet.
But, the Lil Gun works so very well for my .357 Magnum loads, that I am trying to use it for other calibers too.

2gun 02-23-2009 02:14 PM

I have the Savage 219 The difference is the older ones use a.223 dimater bullet. The newer ones use a.224 bullet. I know for sure one gun that wouldn't fire a decent group becasue the owner insisted the bullet size didn't matter. But on mine the bullet did matter and the .223 size bullet make it a very deadly small cartradge.

Gene L 02-23-2009 07:10 PM

One of my favorite rounds! I've got two rifles and a TC Contender pistol. Like others, my first rifle was a Hornet.

It's a good, quiet, economical round. Hornady loads their Ballistic Tip round for it, advertising around 3000 fps in the 33 grain bullet. Which is about max. They use, I"m pretty sure, Li'l Gun powder, which is what I use for mine. It's knocking on the door of 3K, if it's not there. Don't have my data with me and can't check.

I've got a Brno Fox, and a 77-.22 H in the rifle category. The 77-.22H is very accurate, making it a ~ 200 yard gun for small varmints and with the right bullets. I haven't grouped the Brno yet, but had one before that, when bedded, would do 3/4" most of the time.

The very old ones, pre-1950 or so, were .223 rifled, but that's history, probably since the .222 established .224 as the standard bore for .22 caliber. I don't think you can find loaded ammo in .223 bullets any more, but you can buy them at reloading sites.
They used to sell "Hornet bullets" in .224 which were very thin-jacketed to expand at the Hornet's modest velocity.

IMR 2400 is a good powder, developed for the Hornet to give 2400 fps with a 45 gr. bullet, hence the name. Not as good as Li'l Gun in my rifles, but there it is.

You can get maybe 500 reloads from a pound of powder, making it a very cheap round to load. The .222 and .223 dampened enthusiasm for the Hornet, but it's still popular here in the US and quite popular in Europe for hunting chamois and other stuff in that ballpark. The problem with cutting edge accuracy is because it's a rimmed cartridge, which makes those gilt-edged gropes harder to find.

gcrosson01 10-09-2011 03:02 PM

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The 22 Hornet is a screaming little round. Very accurate. Very fun to shoot. I have killed many hogs with mine. I have two Winchester Model 43's. I also have a Model 43 in 218 Bee which is just a fun to shoot.

Oohrah 10-11-2011 01:20 AM

IllGun powder, a case load is about 13 grs. A great load with Hornady 35 gr bullet. Approaches near 3000fps, low pressures, not a lot noise, and fairly accurate in a Ruger M77/22 Hornet :D

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