22 Hornet


November 2, 2008, 01:12 PM
I finally bought another .22 Hornet a few months back after having foolishly sold my others years ago. I have missed it for years and finally did something about it. I picked up a nice Ruger 77/22 (http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=83997&d=1220281333) in .22 Hornet at a good price.

I had 400 cases, but decided to buy 40 new ones to experiment with. I have a variety of 40 & 45 Gr bullets, but also bought 100 "Dogtown" 35 Gr HP bullets to try as well.

Back in the day it was pretty much IMR 4227, with a few exceptions. I have read a lot about Hodgdons LiL 'Gun powder being good in .22 Hornet, so that is what I am going to try. It shows excellent velocities at lower pressures than the old standard Hornet powders on paper, and that has to help cases life with these fragile beauties.

I used to download the Hornet with 700X to .22 Mag velocities and they were fun to pop squirrels with at treetop distances.

I don't have a shellplate for my Projector, so I bolted my trusty RCBS Partner press to my bench and sized the 40 brass with my Forster sizer die.

I also bolted my RCBS trimmer to the bench and trimmed them all to 1.394, which was as long as I could get them and still square up all the case mouths. My Forster trimmer is set up for .38 Spl right now and I still have a couple hundred cases to trim, so I used the RCBS. They both work great, although the Forster does a little better job.

Anybody have any favorite recipes to share?

If you enjoyed reading about "22 Hornet" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
dagger dog
November 2, 2008, 04:44 PM

I shoot a Mdl. 40 Varmint Hunter Savage, haven't shot the Dogtown in 35 gr, but load the 35 gr V-Max from Hornady with 12.5 grs Lil' Gun Win. brass and CCI small rifle benchrest primers. You will be be amazed at the small groups! You will have to find the OAL your Ruger likes. I went on to find that the 40 grainers shoot a little tighter than the lighter 35's but if you're looking for that 3000fps plus velocity along with minute of varmint accuracy try the Bergers in the 30 gr class.

You have the right idea with the Lil' Gun, all you have to do is the homework and you'll find the right load! The Hornet is a small volume round so work up your loads in
1/10th gr increments.

November 2, 2008, 07:30 PM
I too use the 35 grain V-Max and Lil Gun. A tech at Sierra suggested using small pistol primers and that tightened the group more. Byron

November 2, 2008, 09:40 PM
I am waiting on a pistol barrel for my Contender in 22 hornet. I look forward to experimenting with it. I am going to try casting some 22 gas checks too. I just wish someone made a lever action 22 hornet.

November 2, 2008, 11:20 PM
One of the gun mags had an article recently about loading 22 H.

Was suggested that the round needs a little crimping. Anyone do that--or do all but me do that??

November 3, 2008, 08:42 AM
I never used to crimp my Hornet loads. I may try it this time around.

November 3, 2008, 10:38 AM
Lil' Gun is your friend. I shoot 22 K hornet in my Browning 1885, using pistol primers and Lil' Gun and am very happy with the results.

November 3, 2008, 10:51 AM
I don't crimp, except for cast bullet loads that have a cannulure. I also use Winchester Small Pistol primers. Federal may tend to crater sooner as they are a bit more sensitive, thinner, and hotter. CCI's SP's I've used were "ok", too.

I also found that my R77/22Hornet has a "tight" chamber. The first one I had, was an early carbine w/20"bbl. It had a "loose" chamber and would take loads all the way up to, and over max. The current one, needs loads ~10% below max.

I use 11.2gr of H110 with the 35gr and 33gr V-max type bullets. Velocity is somewhat better than the H.Lil'Gun and accuracy better too. (3,100-3,300fps). With 40gr and Heavier, the H.Lil'Gun is superior, however.
I use 12.5gr of LilGun for 3,000fps with a Sierra 40gr Varminter HP at 1.78"oal (max for my magazine). Accuracy is superior to everything else with this gun, except for a reduced load of 8.0gr of #2400 under a 33gr V-max (blem's from Midway last spring). These are seated to 1.723" (SAAMI recommend max) and get 2,400fps. Extreamly accurate for my gun- 0.75moa at 100yds w/no-wind.

I've found that full-lengt sizing works better in my Hornets due to the sloppy-ness of the chambers. By allowing the rounds to "lay" in the chambers in a consistent manner, accuracy is actually better.

However, I once had some brass that had been fired and then necksized and expanded and flared with a Lyman M-die that I'd intended on loading with some cast bullets. However, I decided to load them with the first batch of Hornady 35gr V-max's. Over the aforementioned load of H110, and seated out to where they were "pushed into the lands" and back into the cases, shot some unbelievable groups, though were a tad on the "hot" side.

Another "sleeper" load is AccArms#1680 and the Hornady 50gr SX. Seated to be single fed, touching grooves, over 10.4gr of 1680 I got 2,400fps and the only sub 0.5moa 5-shot group I've ever fired with a Hornet. Unfortunately, I've never been able to duplicate the feat, even with the same components, even the same 5 cases...... Wind was optimum at "0". So was everything else. Perhaps it was the phase of Pluto ?????

My best brass is some Sellier-Bellot with "tight" flash holes. These ususally net about 0.25" tighter groups, everything else constant. (When is it ever ???).

If you enjoyed reading about "22 Hornet" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!