Hornet Loads in a .223 Case??


January 6, 2008, 10:14 PM
Anybody have any experience shooting Hornet loads from a .223 Rem?

For example using 2400 or Lil Gun under a 35 grain VMAX??

I have an Encore .223 Rem Barrel that I was thinking about making some reduced loads for and this is one route I was thinking might work.

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January 6, 2008, 10:47 PM
NO NO and NO

You DO NOT want to reduce the charge weights on powders like 2400, WW296 and H-110

No way No how there are REAL reduced .223 loads out there

from Hodgon

For those loads listed where a starting load is not shown, start 10% below the suggested maximum load and then approach maximums carefully, watching for any sign of pressure (difficult extraction, cratered and flattened or blown primers, and unusual recoil), H110 Loads should not be reduced more than 3%.

January 6, 2008, 11:00 PM
Here is some interesting reading.


Informative articles --> To Bee, or 223 Revisited

The use of blue dot loads for the 223 is common over on the accuratereloading.com forum. There are varied opinions on this. Read and draw your own conclusions.

I love these loads.

January 7, 2008, 10:28 AM
There IS in fact some data for reduced loads in the .223 using both cast and jacketed bullets using #2400.

Hodgdon Lil'Gun and H110/Win296 don't lend themselves well to reduced loads. Speer/CCI even recommends using small rifle magnum primers if using Spherical or Ball powders and their primers......

Lyman's Cast Bullet Manual (currently in 3rd edition), lists a number of loads for the .223 using powders such as Red Dot, Green Dot, Unique, 700X, Sr-7625, ect.
The Lyman #48 edition Reloading manual also lists data for cast bullets using various pistol powders which include what you are looking for. Note that the maximums are around 25,000cup which is maximum for the lead bullet due to leading. These will be "OK" for jacketed bullets as well. I'd recommend not going below the start load due to possibility of "sticking" a jacketed bullet in the bore.....

I do something similar, by shooting ".22winmagRF" loads in my .22Hornet.

7.8gr of #2400 under a 33gr V-max gives 2,300fps and sub-moa groups from my Ruger M77/22KBZ. One of the few loads that will do so from this rifle.....

Alliant has some data for "Shiloutte Loads" for handguns, which include the .223 for use in a T/C Contender. These too, work equally well through the rifles.......
Such as: 55gr Sierra Spitzer, Rem.Case, 2.250"oal, 15.9gr #2400, 2,430fps, @48,500cup. (Contrary to what "Krochus" asserts.....) This was taken from the Alliant Reloaders Guide, circa 2001...

The 1999 DuPont/IMR publication lists loads with SR-4759, which is my favorite powder for Cast bullets and reduced loads in both the .223 and .22Hornet. They list 17.5gr of SR4759 under a 45gr bullet for 3,040fps @ 51,000cup. This could be reduced to about 15.0gr to give you a .22Hornet equivalent loading....

Accurate also lists simular data for XMP-5744.

Don't pay any attention to the "Nay-Sayers" or "NO-NO's".........

Just be careful and research the data carefully, for yourself....

Also, if using reduced loads with the various pistol powders, be especially vigilent against double or even triple charges.....

I locked up the bolt on my .30/06 once using Unique and cast bullets with an accidental double charge..... Fortunatly the rifle wasn't damaged.

January 7, 2008, 11:16 AM
7.0 Grains 700X. I have shot a bunch of this as well as 6.0 Grains in the .222 with 40 & 45 Grain bullets.

Try it at your own risk.

January 7, 2008, 11:24 AM
I have T/C Contender carbine. My reduced loads are Sako 50gr 105G FMJ, VihtaVuori 3N37 powder 8,2-8,7gr. VihtaVuori has the new "Tin Star" -powder N-32C. Its burnings rate is beween N-320 and 330. (Special powder because it has low bulkdencity= less free space in the case). I use it for silencer loads to .308 Win. I hav not yet reduced loads for .223 Rem. ( mayby I must to beg You, do not use Vihtavuori powders, because it is too hard to find those made in Finland-powders here in Finland. This was no joke).

January 12, 2008, 11:48 PM
KI.W. What is the barrel twist and length on your Contender Carbine?? I have my eye on one of these as a very handy woods carry carbine.

Thanks to all for the cautions and the replies. I never take offense if someone is telling me to be careful because you do have to make haste slowly with reloading. Half of the fun is the research. With the homework I have done I am on solid ground.

I went to http://www.jamescalhoon.com/ as suggested and he has some fairly extensive experience with reduced .223 loads.

I got a pound of Blue Dot and loaded 4 grains under a 35 grain VMAX and 7 Grains under a 50 Grain SPSX. I will go give these a try tomorrow.

The cool part is that 4 grains gets me 1750 rounds!!! Even 7 grains gets me 1000 rounds to a pound!!

I have just recently treated my Encore .223 barrel with Sprincos MSO2. I am looking forward to some great Hornet Class plinking.

I will let you know how this goes.

January 13, 2008, 01:20 PM
Yup, done that. Great fun. I used a double base pistol powder but changed to MP300 which is very similar to IMR4227 because a double charge would fill the case completely. I have recently used AR2205 (H4227) and found it burns well without 'back pressure'. I am able to shoot air rifle pellets with it from my hornet (at pretty high velocity). But, the warnings about reduced loads with some powders stand!

January 13, 2008, 02:50 PM
Hello mr Coltdriver. My .223 Rem T/C carbine is facktory gun. It has 21" long and 12" twist barrel. I think that You will to like .223 carbin. :)
Mr peterotte, powder like H4227 is too slow for reduced loads :uhoh::rolleyes::uhoh:

January 13, 2008, 03:03 PM
I have thousands of experiences with .223 15 gr Blue Dot 35 gr Vmax moly 2.170" OAL

It does 3500 to 3600 fps depending on the rifle.

This downloads the .223 to a .218 Bee, still a little hotter than a 22 Hornet, but is sounds like a 22 Hornet.

I have shot .46" 5 shots 100 yards.

It makes rodents explode.

I can shoot 100 rounds per hour and the barrel does not get dirty or hot.

At 250 yards, I need to see a puff of dust on the misses to compensate for drop and wind.

January 13, 2008, 06:52 PM
Here is what I shot today.

These are from a 23" .223 Barrel on an Encore frame using a relatively inexpensive Simmons 6X20 40 scope.

The holes with the blue lines were from a 35 Grain VMAX loaded with 4 grains of blue dot. They were all over the place. I was aiming at the center of the diamond in the upper left hand corner! This is just at 50 yards.

The little ones were hard enough to get on paper that I just left the target up at 50 yards for the other two.

The one marked number 2 in the Bullseye is 50 grain Hornady SPSX over just 7 grains of Bulls eye! The ones that are not on top of each other are all my fault. That bullseye has four rounds in it! These were shot from a bench but it was cold!!! There was a slight tailwind, maybe 5 MPH.

The ones on the right marked 3 are a 50 grain sierra blitzking over 28 grains of Varget. These are probably in the 3500 fps range. My old Ruger #3 loved this particular load and it looks like the Encore does well with them too. I just shot these for a sort of .223 control group. Why they shot high and to the left I do not know but they did it consistently. I was aiming at the diamond in the lower right corner.

The barrel would not even warm up with the 50 grain spsx over 7 grains of blue dot. I think this combination is a keeper.

With the 35 grainers it truly sounded like a cap gun and there was almost no perceptable recoil. I noticed the powder would dirty up the barrel very quickly so I may not be getting full combustion. I am going to try progressive loads in the 35 grainers up to 7 grains to see if they get more predictable. I don't know if they were not stabilized well or if the jump from the case to the lands is too much or what but they are not going to be repeated over 4 grains of powder!

The Sierra Varget combo is a great one but the barrel will get hot right away with these!!

Low end loads are a whole new dimension of fun. The little Encore is very well suited to these. I can't see working up a 30-06 or .243 reduced load because hauling those rifles around the woods is a chore! Now I am thinking Contender Carbine for a woods plinker in this reduced charge.

January 13, 2008, 06:57 PM
KI.W. Thanks for the info on your barrel.

I was thinking that if I had a short, 16 inch barrel on a Contender that they might increase the twist rate a bit to help stabilize the bullet. I am going to do some more homework on this because that sounds like a lot of fun for a woods plinker.

January 14, 2008, 01:11 AM
That's fair comment, KI.W.. I have an idea that IMR4227 is quite a bit different from H4227 and MP300 different still, but gives an idea of its 'type'. I did load a few reduced loads with AR2205 in my 303 and got the results I expected (with lighter bullets). I have found AR2205 fast enough to burn well behind an air rifle pellet with the case half full as well as totally full. Even at half full, the pellet produces more damage than a 22lr (at the muzzle). Of course, this is not to say that it is suitable for reduced loads, just that it works under some conditions. The MP300 loads were derived from published data. (I think MP300 is fairly close to 2400? Or at least, closer than it is to IMR4227?).

Once again, the warnings about reduced loads with some powders stand!. And that would include Lil'Gun in a 223 case! And to be safe, H4227 as well. These warnings are to do with detonation.:eek:

January 14, 2008, 01:28 AM
Coltdriver, I have an old Speer manual, and it lists SR4759 for reduced loads in the 222 and 22-250 and even the 280 Remington. For the 303 it lists IMR4198 which is a fast powder for the 223. I was using MP300 which is a large pistol powder (single base) suitable for 44 mag but not 45 ACP. I guess you will just have to go by the makers recommendations.

January 14, 2008, 02:47 PM
Mr Peterotte, I was trying the denation with Mosin Nagant, but no luck. Will You please to give me some recipe. :uhoh::uhoh::banghead: :uhoh:

January 14, 2008, 03:11 PM
Mr Coltdriver. Something to think. Bullet .224, 55gr Pointet soft point:
Barrel 24" 3617 fps. 23" 3629 fps. 22" 3569 fps. 21" 3513 fps. 20" 3491 fps. 19" 3422 fps. This was not exact for You. The gun was 22-250 Rem

January 15, 2008, 01:06 AM
KI.W., when say you were trying detonation with your Mosin Nagant, were you actually trying to blow the gun up? Was this a test you were conducting? (By detonation, I was meaning what happens when powder only partially ignites initially, then burns too rapidly for the bullet to be accelerated down the bore before extreme pressures develop. This is not true detonation. True detonation is when the chemical reaction takes place at the speed of sound in that material).

I do not have a detonation recipe. They say this can be achieved with a heavy bullet and a reduced load of a very slow burning powder. Some say the explosion can be so violent that the bolt lugs and action shatter and shrapnel can be driven right through the shooters head! So please do not try to find out.:uhoh:

January 16, 2008, 06:05 PM
Mr Peterotte. -They say this can be achieved.......who says? Some say then explosion....Who is this some. I was using VihtaVuori N-170 powder. I haven´t slower burning. My powder weights was smaler and smaler. No explosion. Only bullet stuck in the barrel. The gun was bindet to truck tyre. I was using the roup for trigger. I was very sad, no explosion. Truly ****ty. With smiling Yours Kauko. :)
P.S. Mayby somebody will to try with some very slow burnin ballpowder. :uhoh: :confused: :uhoh:
Maybe "they" and "some" knows the recipe. But I do not think so.

January 17, 2008, 01:01 AM
Hello KI.W. OK, so you really do want to experiment. My understanding is that there is a possibility of 'detonation' with reduced loads of slow powders. Apparently, these powders burn erratically when reduced too much. There have long been reports of 'detonation' from reduced loads but the phenomenon was not well understood for a long time. I think that some powder manufacturers have done some tests and have been able to achieve this 'detonation'. Because it could happen, we are warned to stay away from the danger zone and we do.

I agree when you say, "Maybe "they" and "some" knows the recipe. But I do not think so. "

You may find that you cannot get the results you want because your rifle has a worn barrel and does not give the required bullet resistance. I should not say this, but, you might want to try 8mm bullets. They might fit your bore better. You might even get some degree of accuracy out of your rifle. (Before you blow it up).:)

If I might take the liberty - one gun enthusiast to another - please be careful! ;) And good luck! :)

January 17, 2008, 08:20 AM
The rifle has not worn barrel. I had 9,3x53R-barrel for it. Because I know nobady have had denation in laboratorio or field, I was trying it for amusement. I was thinkig, if had denation it is first time and make cool to some gunmagasin. Anyway I knew useless hope. It is now some others turn. P.S. Why 8mm is better? Mayby .50 is very good.

January 17, 2008, 09:50 PM
I suggested the 8 mm bullet for a worn 7.62 (7.7 mm) Russian because the slightly larger 8 mm (7.9 mm) bullet might fit the bore better, thus raising the pressures quite a bit.

January 27, 2008, 12:19 PM
I have asked Hodgdon if detonation is a problem with reduced loads of
H110 in 44 mag and 357 mag. I have been told the only risk there is a
stuck bullet.

In the February 2001 "Handloader" magazine, John Haviland's article on
reduced loads quotes Ron Rieber of Hodgdon as saying that there is a
problem with reduced loads in cartridges with large powder capacities
compared to their bore. The powder partially ignites sending the bullet
into the bore and then lodging and stopping. The charge then fully
ignites causing a pressure spike. He has been unable to reproduce this
phenomena in the lab with a new barrel, however, in a rough throated
..243 with a slow burning powder and reduced charge can make a pressure
spike that will lock the bolt shut.

I fired 3 shots in a row with the same load in a rough throated .243. I took a picture of the brass. It has been downloaded over 10,000 times at THR. It took me a while to realize that it was not a pinched bullet or detonation that caused the increase in pressure. It was Copper fouling.


If it were detonation, and I could reproduce detonation, I might be the first:)

There may be some other guys who did this and called it detonation, but I don't think so...

January 27, 2008, 02:23 PM
Very interesting Clark. Your post leads me to wonder whether this phenomena of 'detonation' with reduced loads with certain slow powders is in fact a combination of factors. (1) incomplete ignition (2) bullet gets driven into rifling and stops (3) bullet stays there (4) next round is chambered and fired! Bang – ‘DETONATION’. This could be why it cannot be reproduced in the lab. They are leaving out the most important ingredient - the lodged bullet.

I have witnessed this phenomena of incomplete ignition. It was in a Martini Henry loaded with rifle powder in the Varget class. Not reduced loads – just not a heavy load. There would be a ‘fizz-bang’ with noticeable recoil during the ‘fizz’ stage. (Or was it a ‘fizz-pause-bang’)?

January 28, 2008, 12:04 AM
You don't think someone would screw up and call it detonation, do you?

January 28, 2008, 02:11 AM
That's what I'm thinking. It might seem like detonation to the shooter!:eek: There would be no evidence of a bullet in the bore after the fact. And if the second bullet wasn't moving fast at collision, there would be no bulging of the bore. The use of the term 'detonation' is wrong anyway, but conveys the meaning. I heard of a guy who loaded up his new rifle with double base pistol powder. It shattered in his hands. He was OK. He brought the pieces in a bag to my uncle - a gunsmith.

Still, we don't know so we will continue to head the warnings!

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