.22 Hornet owners sound off!


Dave Markowitz
February 21, 2006, 07:52 AM
Last Saturday I picked up an old H&R Topper combo in .22 Hornet with a Weaver K-4 scope, and a spare 20 gauge shotgun barrel. I also got two boxes of Winchester 45 grain JSP Super-X loads. I'm looking forward to getting it to the range and doing some groundhog hunting.

Who else here shoots the Hornet? What are your favorite factory loads and handloads? Has anyone tried the Sellier & Bellot .22 Hornet ammo, and how does it compare to Winchester or Remington Hornet ammo?

BTW, I got the rifle at Seneca Arms in Green Lane, PA, whose owner is a member here.

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February 21, 2006, 08:35 AM

I usedd to have an H&R 22 Hornet with a mannlicher stock but sold it....stupid of me! The 22 hornet is a great little cartridge in its own right, will move a 40 grain bullet 2500+ fps. My youthful mistake was trying to make the 22 hornet into a .223, now I know I didn't need to do that.

Don't have any reloading data that would be of any value to you, just the recommendation that you not push it to hard, you'll get case head separation problems.

Good Luck

41 magnum
February 21, 2006, 09:28 AM
I shoot a Ruger #3 in the Hornet. Use 13 grains Lil,Guns 35 gr vmax. Great load out to about 100 maybe 150 yards. This will shoot under an inch at 100, on a good day closer to 3/4. I use the little charmer for the little sage rats that are about 1/4 the size of a prairie dog.

February 21, 2006, 02:12 PM
.22H is a new interest -- bought an M6 Scout in that caliber. Still working through the Winchester factory loads (which are surprisingly accurate) to make brass to start reloading.

February 21, 2006, 02:34 PM
I have noticed that the Winchester and Remington factory loads are all reasonably accurate from my Winchester.

However, as far as reloading goes...do yourself a favor and get the two "Hornet" powders.

1680 and Lil'Gun

Hornady and Sierra make excellent "Hornet" bullets for use...Just remember to neck size and be careful with seating bullets as its fairly easy to crush a case while seating a bullet.

Other than that...enjoy shooting it. :) Its a nice little round.


February 21, 2006, 02:34 PM
I agree with 41 magnum, that load is very nice.

February 21, 2006, 03:17 PM
Stay with the loading manuals. I use IMR 4227 per the Speer #10 and a 45 grain Remington bullet. Hornady maulas are very good.
I have two Hornets,one is the Ruger 77/Hornet and the other is like the H&R you bought. I got mine in 1975 w/the 20 gauge barrel and have no idea of the number of rounds fired. The firing pin broke last week. It is replaced.

February 21, 2006, 04:07 PM
Byron, how does your 77/22 shoot? I have back shelved mine for now as I have not been able to get better than .55" at 100yds with exaustive work.
.25" has been attainable with EVERY other cal with some time. I plan to convert it to K-Hornet, and if that wont shoot, sell and buy another. Just curious if this is a factor of Rugers #*%$@* 2 piece bolt.

Bullet Bob
February 21, 2006, 04:15 PM
Here's my Browning Low Wall .22 Hornet with a Burris 6x Compact scope in Conetrol mounts. Guns don't get much more fun than this. I only handload handgun cartridges at the present, but until I start on rifle calibers this one likes Hornady 35 grain V-Max factory loads.


February 21, 2006, 04:24 PM
Z, you are doing better than I. Mine is the standard tapered barrel.At 100 yards, I am getting about 1" groups. Again, I am shooting the bulk Remington 45 grain bullet from Midway. At a friend's farm, I find it to be a good walking around varmint gun.
What bullets are you using to get those groups. I would be estatic to get the groups you have. Now my Remington 700 in 222 will do under an inch at 200 yards. Byron

February 21, 2006, 05:33 PM
Sierra 40gn Hornet varminters. LilGun powder, I cant recall the load at the moment, as I said, shes been on the back shelf for a while. One problem I was having was I could only get that accuracy (.55") by seating the bullets too long for the magazine. I figure cut the chamber to K Hornet asn set the bbl back a bit may help. No point in having a load that shoots but wont fit the mag. Now the .222 on the other hand, thats a shooter. What is your load on yours? Mine, 22.8 gn of IMR 3031, seated .02 off the lands. Best so far .118", now that I can live with.

February 21, 2006, 07:13 PM
Z, I have shot many different bullets and brands through my 222. I ordered Hornady 55 grain SP. These work. I load per the manuals(25.5 grains of 748 and a SRM primer CCI). I seat the bullets to the rifling and back off 1/500ths of an inch. This outshots any bullet tried before. My 700 is a Classic and a 6X18 Bushnell Banner scope.Now to work on the Hornet. Byron

February 21, 2006, 08:49 PM
Currently I have a little Mannlicer Krico .22 hornet that is fun but has become a walk around varmint rifle. My old school BSA Martini Cadet heavy barrel Unertl scope is .22 K Hornet as is my 4x Scoped 10" Octagon contender. I have an M-6 scout and my son has one too, we shoot 45 grain heavy jacketed softpoints in these as we stretch the purpose. I also have a Uberti Rolling block pistol and a 1908 Colt Bisely which was converted by Christy Gun Works to .22 K Hornet.
Quess you can say I like .22 Hornet!:)

February 21, 2006, 09:24 PM
Hornets are great little rifles, but I got tired of trimming the brass. The cases stretch a lot because the brass is relatively thin and the headspacing is off the rim. Just had my 22 Hornet barrel for my Handi Rifle reamed out to 22K Hornet. This will change the headspacing to the case neck. If everything I've read about the K Hornet is true, my brass trimming days are over. As an added bonus I should also get a velocity boost and often times I've heard the accuracy improves. It will be a couple of more weeks or more before I find out if all the hype is actually true ;) I hesitated to convert my Savage 340 to 22K Hornet because its a bolt action and converting the round to K Hornet might not help the feeding reliability :mad:

February 27, 2008, 10:33 PM
I have 1 H&R and 1 NEA . I shoot a 35gr.vmax with 11.8 gr of WW680. When shooting such a light load primers make a big difference I get my best groups with Winchester small pistol primer The load is great for 100yds or so

February 27, 2008, 11:13 PM
I have 2 H&R .22 K-Hornets , are loaners for people who come to visit my place. It seems even people with little or no history with rifles can hit crows and other pests with them. Low noise and no recoil makes training new shooters much easier.
K-Hornets are simple to reload. I uses 2400 and the hornady 45gr hornet bullets with CCI small rifle primers. I uses 2400 because when I start loading the K-Hornets I had 8# of it. It gives good results.

M1 Shooter
February 27, 2008, 11:46 PM
I have an old Winchester Model 43 in .22 Hornet that I inherited along with a few other old guns. I haven't tried handloading for it yet, but it shoots pretty decent with Winchester Super-X 45gr. factory loads. That is the only .22 Hornet ammo available locally, and at $35 per box of 50, I don't shoot it much.

February 27, 2008, 11:53 PM
Just neck size the cases with a Lee die and crimp with the FCD. I don't trim every time but I also don't load them past 2400 fps with 45 grainers.

February 28, 2008, 02:43 AM
i love hornets. ive always liked light "walkabout" varminters, and the 22 hornet (or k-hornet) in a light rifle is just the ticket. i really like hornadys 35 gr v-max.

i really enjoy playing around with my 14" contender, but i can only really shoot that off the bench if i want to hit what im aiming at. guess ill have to work on that some more.

February 28, 2008, 03:54 AM
I've been considering a Hornet rifle (REALLY like Bullet Bob's Low Wall !!) but haven't decided on a modl yet. The Savage Model 40 single-shot looks good but it isn't the best "walkabout" rifle. The Ruger #3 would be great but they're scarce. Not really too interested in break-opens though they may be worth a look.

Just bought a 10" Hornet bull barrel for my G2 Contender but haven't gotten a scope for it yet. Plan is to see what can be done with that while I second-guess myself re: a Hornet rifle.
Lot of handgun silhouette shooters swear by "L'il Gun" for the Hornet but, for a while, I'm going to stick with Hornady V-Max factory ammo. Not too interested in going to the K-Hornet as I haven't convinced myself to get into reloading. I like concenience. :)

Hope a lot more guys will join this thread as the input on Hornet rifles will be appreciated - especially the Ruger 77 version.


February 28, 2008, 06:23 AM
I have T/C Contender pistol 10" Hakko 1,5-4xscope and Brno 110 Break open 21" rifle 3-9x scope.
I use Sako 103G 45 gr and 105G 50 gr bullets. With VihtaVuori N-110 powder

T/C 10" barrel 16" rifling .223" VihtaVuori-powder:

103G N-350 4,32 gr 1732 fps very accurate with my T/C
103G N-3N37 4,32 gr 1607 fps
103G N-3N37 4,93 gr 1801 fps
103G N-110 7,87 gr 2098 fps
BRNO 21" barrel 16" rifling .224 VihtaVuori
105G N-110 8,8 gr 2419 fps
105G N-110 9,41gr 2449 fps
103G N-110 8,80 gr 2471 fps

PS: T/C 10" N-110 8,8gr 2149 fps

dagger dog
February 28, 2008, 08:31 AM
i have the Savage MDL 40 Varmint hunter 24" bbl single shot in22 Hornet it likes 12.5 gr LiL' Gun 35gr Vmax WIN brass WSR prime will shoot MOA @100yds
i wish they would have made it with a magazine instead of single shot.

it also shoots just about all powder and bullet combinations well . love to be able to spot your own shots due to the mild recoil. want to get into bullet casting and see how well the Hornet will do with cast bullets.

February 28, 2008, 09:02 AM
I am a long time Hornet shooter and have five of them. Most of my re-loads are with 2400 or IMR 4227 powder and a 45 grain bullet. I get my 45 grain bullets by the 1,000 and have used several different brands. They all worked well for me.

Hornets have gotten a bad accuracy rap over the years mostly due to some weird chambering practices by US gun manufacturers. This guy says it much better than I can.


"Accuracy can be another problem with Hornets. There are all sorts of stories, and the general thrust seems to be that some Hornets shoot great and others are terrible. A while back I was shooting an Anschutz Exemplar in .22 Hornet. The gun shot--and still shoots--very well. At the same time, I shot the same ammo in a couple of rifles. Neither rifle shot well by varmint standards. When I tried to put some of the cases that had been fired in the rifles into the Exemplar, they wouldn't chamber. They were much too large. That caused me to do some serious thinking about chamber size.

It turns out that even the minimum SAAMI chamber specifications are a loose fit on maximum Hornet ammo. With a maximum chamber (but still to spec) and minimum ammo (again, still to spec), you have room to throw a cat in the chamber along with the cartridge. The guns fire, and safety isn't an issue within the specified limits, but it does make for poor accuracy. It turns out that all the guns that I could find that shot well had minimum (or smaller) chambers."

February 28, 2008, 09:06 AM
Ruger #1 with Leupold 6x20 target scope. It's nice to be able to crank up magnification and see hole appear in target when you pull the trigger. Also have a little CZ (452 American Deluxe, think that's model #) . Feeding is a little tricky but it's a nice accurate little fun gun.

Magnum Wheel Man
February 28, 2008, 09:10 AM
I guess I have 3 Hornets... 1 CZ Rifle, ( very accurate... story is a guy came in & traded it in on one of the new Rugers, I bought the CZ the day it came into the shop... went to the range with it... 3 days later the guy came back in wanting the CZ back, because it was much more accurate than the Ruger ) not dissing the Ruger... I have several, but the CZ shoots better than I do... I also have a Taurus Raging Hornet, & an old 10" Hex Contender barrel... I don't have any pics of the CZ rifle, but these are my hornet handguns...


February 28, 2008, 11:19 AM
First rifle (loaned to me from my Uncle) was a ruger #3 in 22hornet.
Ammo was $3.50 for a box of 50 at Otasco.
Life was good,
Carried that around in my homemade scabbard on my honda folding handlebar minibike. Carried that to the police station to buy skoal, for the sum of 2 bits and a dime.Seasonal carry, the bolt .410 was my bird gun. Just not crows.
Times have changed in 40 years...

February 28, 2008, 03:21 PM
Hey Dagger Dog...

What kind of range do you figure the Hornet is good for from your model 40 ? What scope do you have on it ? Are you using it for varmints ?

Hey jkingrph - Wow ! A #1 with a L'pold 6x20 ! Gotta be AWESOME !!!
Are you using it for varmints ? What do you figure the usable range is with that rig. 26" barrel right?

Hey Mag Wheel - What scope is on your Contender ? What are you using it for ?

Many thanks, Gents ! :)

February 28, 2008, 03:54 PM
Hey jkingrph - Wow ! A #1 with a L'pold 6x20 ! Gotta be AWESOME !!!
Are you using it for varmints ? What do you figure the usable range is with that rig. 26" barrel right?

I have no idea what max range would be. It's zeroed at 100, but longest shot I have made was a bit over 200 at a fair sized turtle in my sisters pond.

What I like about the scope is that it is good as a spotting scope when shooting targets, plus you can see bullet impact on other things cause with that weight the gun does not move, at least enough to keep you from seeing impact.

I almost purchased one of the 77/22 Hornets, but they were scarce at the time so talking to a young man at the local dealer, he suggested the #1, cost a little more but not that much. I still had to wait about 10 months to get it due to Ruger's production schedule.

dagger dog
February 28, 2008, 06:51 PM

some of the older Hornets were designed in.223 bore most newer are.224 the parent of the Hornet .22WCF was a blackpowder round and i guess the carry over of the .223 groove diameter on the earlier bore was attributed to that fact. i know of one bullet manufacturer that carrys both sizes.

dagger dog
February 28, 2008, 07:05 PM

i would not go over 150yds with the 35grs maybe 200yds with the 40grs.
i got a Burris Fullfield II 4X14 with the ballistic plex reticule.

i got this one specific grey fox that i've been trying to get, the little sucker makes it in and out before i can get there with the Savage, one of these days i'm going to try to call him and send a Hornet after him. its deadly on ground hogs with the 35 grs . i imagine it would be good on coyotes but i haven't been sucessfull in getting a shot off on one. the 40grs would probably be better for them

Dave Markowitz
February 28, 2008, 07:44 PM
Holy necroposting, Batman! Two-year old thread. :)

February 28, 2008, 07:58 PM
Yeah, I didn't even remember posting in this thread. :D Coincidentally, I was looking at the 2008 Savage catalog the other day and noticed that they're still listing the Model 40.

February 28, 2008, 08:43 PM
"Some of the older Hornets were designed in.223 bore most newer are.224 the parent of the Hornet .22WCF was a blackpowder round and i guess the carry over of the .223 groove diameter on the earlier bore was attributed to that fact. i know of one bullet manufacturer that carrys both sizes."

Yes, it was a carry over.

The Savage model 19 and some other early Savage guns had .223 bores. Some early Winchester .22 Hornets also had .223 bores.

The very earliest .22 Hornets were built on the 1922 Springfield .22 rimfire action. The Springfield model 1922 was an 03 Springfield in .22 rimfire. Have one of these rimfire guns that I bought for the princely sum of $6 from surplus sales at Ft. Bragg, NC in 1960.

Here is a link for the Springfield model 1922.


March 1, 2008, 04:52 PM
I also have a Ruger 77/22Hornet that I bought used. First reloads
I fired were 13 gr Lilgun and 35 gr VMax. Ten rounds will stay in
just over an inch (sometimes under!) at 100 yards. I use the Lee
Delux Crimp Dies. The above load is very low pressured and velocity
around 2800 fps. Inexpensive BSA Contender 6X24 with AO scope is
used. Very accurate and fun rifle!:D

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