77/22 .22 Hornet


June 12, 2009, 11:56 AM
After many years of not having, and missing, a .22 Hornet, I bought a Ruger 77/22 last year. After a few months I finally bought a scope to go on it in place of the Tasco 3-9 it came with. I chose a Nikon Buckmaster 6-18 X 40 with a fine crosshair with a dot reticule. I think they are a very good value. After another couple of months I mounted it. Then I finally loaded some test rounds. I bough 40 new brass to work up a load with.

Neither V Max bullets nor Li' Gun powder existed back when I was shooting my old Hornet rifles (Savage 23D & a Sako-Should have kept the Sako-arghh), and I wanted to try them both.

I picked 12.2 Grs of Lil' Gun and 40 Gr V Max's using Fed 200 primers loaded at 1.808 O.A.L. That was as long as the mags would take. It barely kept the ogive out of the neck, but it did.

I shot one shot at 25 yards, adjusted the scope up several clicks, and shot two shots at 50 yards. They were still low, but overlapped.

Then I put up a target at 100 yards. I shot two shots at it. One in a relative calm and another in a good breeze quartering towards me, (A little bit right to left, but mostly at me)

I adjusted the scope up some more and shot two more shots, both in a relative calm.

Then I adjusted the scope up a bit more and shot two more times.

Then I put up a small target at 100 yards, adjusted the scope right one click, and shot a fast 3 shot group (Under 30 seconds) in a relative calm.

Then I put up another small target at 100 yards, adjusted the scope right one more click, and shot my second fast 3 shot group (Under 30 seconds) in a relative calm.

Then I put up another small target at 100 yards, adjusted the scope right one more click, and shot my third fast 3 shot group (Under 30 seconds) in a relative calm.

The black bull on the little target is 1 1/2". The 10 ring is 7/8".

After shooting on target I ran 5 shots over the chrono. 8:30ish AM, 82 Degrees, near 100% humidity, sunny, and gnats for days.


Not particularly good numbers, but I believe they will improve as I bump up the charge .1 at a time.

Overall, for a box stock 77/22 with a gajillion pound trigger, I am real happy with its first outing. :D

Any recommendations on 77/22 triggers?

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June 12, 2009, 12:25 PM
That is one nice rifle! Good shooting too!!!

June 12, 2009, 12:58 PM
Very nice! I need a benchrest like that setup, too...

June 12, 2009, 01:15 PM
Nice detailed write-up; thanks for posting it.

I put a Timney sear in my 77/22 and that improved the trigger weight immensely. It didn't entirely remove the creep, which is probably introduced by the trigger itself. If that doesn't work out in another couple thousand rounds I'll probably swap out the entire trigger group.

Timney sear (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=943284)
a less expensive Volquartsen sear (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=158267)
complete trigger groups for the 77/22 (http://www.midwayusa.com/browse/BrowseProducts.aspx?pageNum=1&tabId=9&categoryId=20167&categoryString=10636***10560***9142***11651***)

June 12, 2009, 01:47 PM
I need a benchrest like that setup
Actually, here is my Benchrest setup (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5099598&postcount=10) and the home made box I keep it in.

I need to get a better front rest for regular rifles. It has been on my "to do" list for quite some time. :)

Thanks for the links Candiru. I have researched triggers a little, but I figured some folks here would have actual experience.

June 12, 2009, 02:54 PM
That looks like a nice rifle and it shoots very well. I would say that recipe works quite well.

With all the "new and better" calibers out there like the .17 Magnum the 22 Hornet has been somewhat forgotten these days. The 22 Hornet is a very capable round and will shoot just as well or better than any .22 Magnum or .17 Magnum. Also, you can reload for the 22 Hornet unlike the .22 & .17 Magnums.

June 12, 2009, 03:20 PM

lol good work i wanna pick one up but i dont have the cash right now

June 12, 2009, 04:46 PM
Yes. After this go around I bet next time there will be even more people prepared than there were this time. ;)

Hey ArchAngelCD.

I recently helped a buddy from work sight in his Savage in .17 Hummer. I can see why folks like them. Very flat shooting. Popping clays offhand at 100 yards was a piece of cake. That little Savage shot some nice 100 yard groups. I was impressed, but I'd rather reload for the Hornet than buy ammo for a .17.

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2009, 06:14 PM
With all the "new and better" calibers out there like the .17 Magnum the 22 Hornet has been somewhat forgotten these days.
The Hornet will shoot rings around those rimfire wonders.

Conquest of the .22 Hornet

The .22 Hornet actually started out in the late 19th Century as the .22 Winchester Central Fire (WCF), a black powder cartridge. Apparently the intent was to produce something with more oomph than the .22 Long Rifle, and to be reloadable.

The black powder heritage is apparent when you look at the case. Black powder combustion products are from 40% to 60% solid (depending on composition) and that's what creates all that fouling. A small bore, plus a large charge makes for real fouling problems. The case is therefore tapered, with a sloping shoulder -- that makes it easier to extract from a badly fouled chamber. That same shape also makes for less than stellar accuracy. Especially when coupled with 19th Century standards in manufacturing -- a standard .22 WCF case is a pretty sloppy fit in a standard .22 WCF chamber.

The .22 WCF didn't set the world on fire, but it did hang on until the 1920s, when Springfield Armory began building honest-to-gosh .22 rifles. These rifles, the M1922, in various marks and mods, were intended for training and competition, and were also sold to civilians to encourage marksmanship.

Among the first civilians to buy M1922s were the craftsmen who made them, who found they were also nice small game rifles. However on heavier game, like groundhogs, the .22 Long Rifle was lacking in power. It was also lacking in range for shooting sod poodles across pastures. This led the boys at Springfield to look at the .22 WCF. They developed a smokeless powder load that better than doubled the velocity of the .22 Long Rifle, and with a 45 grain bullet, rather than a 40 grain bullet, which was more or less standard in the .22 LR. They then re-chambered M1922s for the .22 WCF, and modified the bolt, firing pin and extractor. The story is that when Colonel Townsend Whelen first shot the smokeless powder version of the .22 WCF he remarked, "Boy, that's a hornet!" and the name stuck.

The Hornet was adopted by Winchester, and was soon surpassed by other .22 centerfires, but it has seen occasional times of modest popularity. The general pattern is a new generation of shooters are intrigued by the idea behind the Hornet -- a little case, a little bit of powder, and a fairly mild report with very low recoil. But then reality sets in, the Hornet just isn't that accurate.

I admit to falling prey to the lure of the Hornet -- my Hornet is a Kimber M82, and I've had it for many years. It's a beautiful little rifle, but it just wasn't all that accurate. To me, the Hornet is like a red-headed woman -- alluring, frustrating, attractive and capricious. Being a rather stubborn type, I set out to master the Hornet, and eventually developed a load that will regularly shoot sub-inch groups at 100 yards. Here is the secret to the Hornet.

1. Fire form your brass. The case is a sloppy fit in the chamber, but once fired in your rifle, it is a perfect fit -- in your chamber.

2. Disturb the brass as little as possible. The standard reloading die puts a lot of stress on a case, and Hornet brass is thin. We have to remember that when neck resizing, all the force is transmitted from the head to the neck through the walls of the case. I use a Lee Collet Die, where the only stress is radial.

3. Don't resize the whole neck. The Lee Collet Die is designed to size the whole neck and activates when the base of the collet tube contacts the shell holder. You can't adjust it by screwing it in or out. I put a couple of washers on the shell holder, around the case. The collet tube contacts the washers and activates early. You can look at my neck-sized cases and see a line around the neck, about half way between mouth and shoulder. The unsized portion of the neck acts as a pilot, centering the neck in the chamber.

4. Use the right powder. I use Hodgdon's Li'l Gun. Li'l Gun has a lower but more prolonged peak, than other powders. It is therefore able to achieve high velocities at lower pressure. Typically, a case full of Li'l Gun will develop about 28,000 CUP, and the Hornet's max is 40,000 CUP. I don't weigh my charges, I use the case itself as a dipper. I fill the case and strike it off (draw a straight edge across the case mouth to brush off any excess powder) then tap the case lightly to settle the powder a fraction of an inch. This load breaks 3,000 fps over my Shooting Chrony.

5. Use the right bullet. No rifle will shoot more accurately than the bullets it is fed. I use the 35 grain Hornady V-Max. It shoots accurately, and is deadly on everything from crows to coyotes. But it has one even more important characteristic. Hornets usually shoot best when the bullet is loaded close to the origin of the rifling. This usually results in an overall cartridge length that won't feed through the magazine. V-Max bullets in .22 caliber all have about the same shank length -- the weight differences comes in the length of the nose. The 35 grain looks like it started out to be a round-nose bullet, and changed its mind at the last minute. You can load the 35 grain V-Max out to where the shoulder of the bullet actually touches the origin of the rifling, and still have an OAL that will feed through the magazine.

Follow these five steps, and you will produce .22 Hornet ammunition that will shoot as accurately as any other varmint cartridge, and will bring out the full potential of this fine little round.

June 12, 2009, 06:19 PM
i tried using a rifle basix trigger in my 77/22 hornet and found it had way more creep than i liked. i wound up putting the old trigger back in and am still debating over wether to try something else.

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2009, 06:23 PM
Like it or not, a trigger adds or detracts from actual shooting accuracy. I personally have no use for heavy, gritty, creeping triggers.

June 12, 2009, 07:42 PM
I put a couple of washers on the shell holderLike this Vern? I used epoxy to attach it. I used to use it with a Lee collet sizer. This test was done with new unsized cases. I must get some 35 Gr V Max's and try them like you specified. I also have a Forster sizer now. I may do some side by side testing using the different sizing methods. I have considered getting a Redding insert type neck sizer as well, if they make em in .22 Hornet that is. :)


Like it or not, a trigger adds or detracts from actual shooting accuracy. I personally have no use for heavy, gritty, creeping triggers.You bet.

Vern Humphrey
June 12, 2009, 08:05 PM
Yep, just like that. Sizing only half the neck really makes a difference.

June 12, 2009, 10:17 PM
Put a volquartsen sear and you should be happy. Made a world of difference in my 77/22 mag.

June 13, 2009, 12:50 AM
first off, try reloader 17 powder, it is bran new, and really made for the small stuff. next, go over to Rimfirecentral.com, check out the ruger threads, and look for the sticky, on repairing or trigger mods to the 77 style rifles. I am no metal worker, but with a simple handheld file, I got my 77/17m2 trigger down to no creep , no crawl, and about a 12 oz. pull, so simple.
never mind, here you go...

June 13, 2009, 09:41 AM
Thanks rangerruck. If I screw it up I can always buy a trigger and sear. It should not be too hard. Worth a try.

June 13, 2009, 01:18 PM
it is so easy to do; just follow the blackened out patterns with your file, I just used a simple file, that was barely bigger than a fingernail file, I would say I used no more than 20 strokes per angle,and proly no more than 5lbs pressure per stroke, and got the job done right, baby!!!

June 13, 2009, 01:35 PM
Well. I did it. I don't have a trigger gauge, but it breaks clean, no creep, and is significantly lighter than the factory pull. :D

I need to try it out in the field now. I tried to make it slip the sear and it would not do so. I used the factory spring. (Short notice and all) I am sure a Wolff spring would improve the pull as well.

Thanks again for the link.

June 13, 2009, 02:39 PM
If your case life ever becomes a problem, consder recahambering your rifle to the K-Hornet. I converted my Ruger 77/22 VT rifle to the K-Hornet and doubled my case life and halved my group size. I now get 6-7 reloads by neck sizing only and my 100 yd groups went from 11/4'' to less than 3/4''. You can also shoot regular Hornets in your rifle but they will fireform to the K-Hornet. :)

July 3, 2009, 02:29 PM
Went to the range with the Hornet today. Conditions were not so good, but what the heck. On at least 4 or 5 shots I could feel the wind or see the mirage change and I pulled the trigger anyway. It showed immediately on target. All in all some decent groups. (My measurements are not precise and could vary +/- .010) With patience they could have been better.

While the trigger was much improved, it had a little hitch in it before letting off pretty nicely. I will have to address it because it bugs me.

There was such low pressure on the first load I jumped all the way to 12.7 Grs Lil' Gun with the 40 Gr V Max and Fed 200 primers loaded to 1.808. (Still under max) This time it was once fired cases partially neck sized with a Redding bushing type sizer with a .239 bushing. I misspoke earlier in the thread. My first load was new cases, but full length sized with my Forster sizer. (checked my notes)


Vern Humphrey
July 3, 2009, 02:34 PM
Not bad at all.

Don't worry about max loads with L'il Gun. A friend was shocked when he learned I don't weigh charges for the Hornet, I just dip the case full and tap it to settle the powder so I can get a bullet in. He reported me to Hodgdon and they replied, "You can't get enough L'il Gun in a Hornet case to damage the gun."

The only reason not to use all the Li'l Gun you can get in the case is if you aren't getting good accuracy and want to see if a lighter load will change that.

July 3, 2009, 03:07 PM
12.7 Grs filled the case about 98% full. I was thinking of machining a new brass drop tube for the measure that would trickle the powder in a bit slower and get it down in the neck a bit more. Not absolutely needed, but could help if I go up on the charge more. Compressing the powder a bit more in this load did not affect O.A.L. (no rebound)

I still got primers that were backed out a hair with this load. Zero pressure signs.

I already changed the case sizing and powder charge, so I stuck with the 40 Gr V Max this time. I did buy some 35 Gr V Max's, and they are next. You are right. I can load them out to touch the lands and still get them in the mag. If I had more test cases, I would have loaded some of them this time. :)

Vern Humphrey
July 3, 2009, 03:15 PM
A lot of Hornet shooters say having the bullet actually touch the lands is best. I know in my Kimber, that's how I load them, and I get gilt-edge accuracy.

August 8, 2009, 05:16 PM
I finally got out and shot the 35 Gr V Max loads.

12.9 Grs Lil' Gun. Fed 200 Primer. 1.785 O.A.L. This O.A.L. will fit the mag, and has light enough neck tension so the rifling actually seats the bullet back to around 1.777 O.A.L. I used a Redding bushing type seater with a .239 bushing.

It proved a bit erratic on target. I shot 5 groups on the first target. TL, TR, BL, BR & one in the middle at the bottom where one shot missed the paper down.

Then I switched targets and shot one more group with this load. Then I broke out Load # 2 (Not including the old loads from way back in my hand written load book) with the 40 Gr V Max and 12.7 Grs Lil' Gun loaded to 1.808. and shot one group. It shot just fine, about like it had before. My best group of the day.

I am going to try a .238 Bushing next. Maybe tweak the powder charge.

I shot the last five 35 Grainers over the chrono quickly. I found the results very interesting.

Shot #1: 2818
Shot #2: 2904
Shot #3: 2911
Shot #4: 2943 :scrutiny:
Shot #5: 3159 :uhoh:

ES-341....SD-127 :eek:

Back to the drawing board. :)

Five groups with Load #3 - Swithed rear bags after first group.

One group with 35 Gr V Max (Load #3) & one with 40 Gr V Max (Load #2)

Group with Load #2 - 40 Gr V Max

Vern Humphrey
August 8, 2009, 05:26 PM
This O.A.L. will fit the mag, and has light enough neck tension so the rifling actually seats the bullet back to around 1.777 O.A.L.
That may cause erratic seating depth -- the action itself is not designed as a bullet seater.

August 8, 2009, 05:32 PM
Has anyone tried Remington 6 1/2 primers, or Sm Pistol primers in your Hornet?

Seems like the small case & small charge might benefit from a less enthusiastic primer then a SM rifle primer maybe?


August 8, 2009, 06:14 PM
That is why I am using Fed 200's instead of 205's. I am out of Rem SR primers. Pistol primers would probably be fine with the low pressures Lil' Gun gives in .22 Hornet.

This O.A.L. will fit the mag, and has light enough neck tension so the rifling actually seats the bullet back to around 1.777 O.A.L.
That may cause erratic seating depth -- the action itself is not designed as a bullet seater.
An excellent point that I have considered since I got home.

Originally I figured since the neck tension was so light, they would all push back the same, but I may have been wrong.

August 9, 2009, 12:31 AM
... Man I am following this thread... really can't wait to see how it turns out.
looking for the smaller primers effort, and so far, it seems to really like the 40 grainers, which is a bit of a surprise to me, what is the lightest bullet you have tried so far? Also, where you able to get a bit of some reloader 17 powder yet?
Very interested in that powder, to see how it compares to lil gun, in the hornets. So far, just from dudes I have heard from, it is close, with a a nudge going to the reloader 17.

August 9, 2009, 12:37 AM
By the way, your printout of the trigger group change, looks better than the origional , on the screen version, itself!!!! awesome.

August 9, 2009, 01:07 AM
I have used 4198 for years. I bought it for my 45-70 and then changed powders so it could be a while before I have the need to buy anything different. I found the 22 hornet works great for bigger tougher cows instead of a 22LR.

August 25, 2009, 08:43 PM
I mentioned earlier in the thread that Lil' Gun filled the case almost to the top, and wondered, even though it is ball powder, if a drop tube would settle it any.

I decided to make a "powder drop bushing" for my powder set up on my LNL (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=439181). It is the old drop tube from my Projector with a new linkage. I also wanted to make a new, shorter "powder drop bushing" (my own made up term) for most pistol use because my old homemade one hung out real far and now that I take the whole assembly off (using an LNL bushing), it hangs out too far and is at risk of being hit when putting the assembly back on the press. I did nick the little end of it one time. So I made that one first, and it turned out well I think. I used it today to load some test .38's.

.380/9MM & up powder drop bushings. Old long one & new short one


In the press


Next I wanted to make one for .22 Hornet. I wanted it to be long so the powder would have to go through a "drop tube" sort of, and see if it settled the powder any. It should work for most .22 calibers just fine with ball or fine stick powder, but I intend to make one like it with out the approximately 1/2" long .204 diameter drop tube built in. It will be less than 1/16" vs 1/2".

.22 Hornet powder drop bushing


Then I made one for 7.62 X 39/.308/30-06, and one for .32 pistol.


I have enough brass to make one more. Guess I'll have to go buy another foot of brass.

August 25, 2009, 08:48 PM
I also loaded some more 35 & 40 Gr V-Max bullets using the Redding sizer with a .237 bushing. A good bit more neck tension than when using the .239 bushing. I also used Fed 205 primers instead of Fed 200.

So yea, I changed all kind of things. :uhoh:


August 26, 2009, 12:06 AM
... I know you have worked hard to do all this, but it is even harder to put into words, to decribe how impressed I am by all the fine work, attention to detail, the creativeness on building, ... ' okay, what do i need to make next...' even the fine work of the photography. It is as good as any tech book out there, on loading , really. even the items in the pics, are so bright and clean.
Great job, just fabulous , really.
It's going to be great when you are done, and have some final group pics of all the hardware, and then of course the targets, and groups, and the rifle itself, when it is all said and done. this has to be a top 5 all time thread.
right up there with any top 5 from the movie, High Fidelity.

August 26, 2009, 12:26 AM
+1 to what rangerruck said.

This should be a sticky in reloading for the .22 Hornet.


August 26, 2009, 09:18 AM
I'm sorry if you mentioned it, but I didn't know if you stated what brass you're using?

I've played off and on with the Hornet for many years. I've had excellent groups, and frustratingly dismal groups for what was bizarre reasons.

I've settled on the following "patterns" and get consistent results now.

1. Hodgdon Lil'Gun for bullet weights 40gr and heavier. As you mentioned, a 120fps variation is not unusal with the Hornet with bullets lighter than 40gr wtih this powder. I've also found that larger powder charges than that given don't result in higher velocities uniformly, and may result in larger deviations. Don't ask me why! I've seen this with the .357mag as well. 17.8gr and 158gr bullet in the .357 is my "load". Tried as high as 19.0gr but results weren't as good.....

2. I use Small Pistol Primers. Considering the case volumn, pressures, thickness of brass, ect., ect. the Hornet is essentially a "Magnum Pistol Cartridge".

3. Lot# and of course mfg, of brass is a consideration. I "bench rest" uniform all my Hornet brass to include reaming the flash-holes, uniforming the primer pockets, and neck turning the brass. However, in the future I will simply sort the cases by weight and turn the necks for uniformity.

4. If possible, get some Norma, Lapua, or Sellier&Bellot, YES, S&B brass. The most accurate brass I've ever used is some S&B brass I got from some factory ammo I tried. I had to turn down my decapping pins to fit the tiny flash-holes on this brass, BUT, it gives much smaller deviations. After "lightly" turning the necks to remove some of the "high spots", and loading my favorite loads, I can expect sub-moa groups "on command". Very difficult with the Hornet, IME.

My favorite loads are as follows:

1. Sierra 40gr "Varminter" HP @ 1.780"OAL (fits my Ruger 77/22's magazine), 12.5gr Hod. Lil'Gun, Winchester SP primer. Either S&B or Winchester brass. Nets 3,000fps and Sub-MOA "usually". Have taken more deer with this load than anything else, Usually on depredation permits. Dropped 4, sequentially in 30 sec. one evening at dusk. Deer couldn't figure where I was shooting from and essentially ran back and forth across field like "a squirrel in the road". All were "head" shots, one shot, DRT. Works for me, YMMV.

2. Remington 33gr or Hornady 35gr V-Max. @ 1.755" (Touches lands on my rifle). #2400 @ 7.8gr. Small Pistol primer, Nets 2,300fps and essentially duplicates the .22wrm load. Quiet and exceptionally accurate.

3. Same as #2, except for 8.6gr of #2400. Duplicates factory V-max load in "MY" rifle. Velocity runs ~3,100fps.

4. Hornady 50gr SX, @ 1.855" 0AL (dosent' fit magazine). Acc#1680 @ 10.8gr. Winchester "MATCH PREP'ED" brass, WSP primer. I fired a 0.378" 5-shot group one evening, and had witnesses. Even with exact same 5 cases I have't been able to duplicate it. Velocity is only about 2,480fps. Have shot many 0.6-0.9" groups with this load, however.

5. Lyman #.224-415; 49.5gr SemiPt FNGC with air-cooled W/W alloy @0.225", and Hornady Gas-check. 6.7gr SR4759. Gives 2,300fps and near MOA groups at 100yds. Same bullet w/o gc, nor sized, and tumble lubed w/ Lee liquid alox over 2.2gr of Bulleye nearly duplicates .22lr. Not much louder than an air rifle. Not much more expensive either.

6. Crossman .22cal airgun pellets hand-seated skirt down, over a CCI small pistol or small rifle "MAGNUM" primer. Killed a "gazillion" pigeons while in college in the mid '70s from my Apartment balcony off a power-line with a T/C Contender w/2.5X scope. Duplicates a good "pump-up" air rifle.

Did I mention that the Hornet is one of my favorite rifles/cartridge!.....

August 26, 2009, 09:29 AM
Excellent suggestions.

I am having fun playing with my newest Hornet. You, and many others, have shot way more .22 Hornet than I have. I appreciate the input.

I also used to download the Hornet, but I used 700X. Great little squirrel loads using 40 Gr Sierra HP's.

I'll have to try pistol primers. As I posted, I went up in primer strength this try.

Since this rifle has shown it can shoot well under MOA, better brass is definitely worth a try. It has exceeded my expectations for a stock Ruger 77/22 with a pencil barrel. AC

August 26, 2009, 09:06 PM
L'il Gun needs a fair amount of bullet "friction" to build up enough pressure to burn properly. It may be that you'd need to size the whole neck, or at least the entire part that grips the bullet.

I've seen the same thing in .357.


August 27, 2009, 12:03 AM
Now I have heard it all, a 22 cal pellet loaded over a primer! what were your ranges, and what was your holdover, and did you chrony any of those " loads.."? What was the damage to the birds?

August 27, 2009, 12:06 AM
Daizee, when you say friction between the neck and the bullet, do you mean those two things only; as in uniform tightness from the rim on down, the length of the bullet, or is there anything in between there, any lube, powder, etc., just the two elements touching each other?

Lloyd Smale
August 27, 2009, 07:01 AM
my ruger really likes 35 grain vmaxes and 1680. it will shoot that combo into 3/4s of an inch all day long

August 27, 2009, 05:08 PM

I have worked with 22 Hornet and k-Hornet. I found TC contender a better platform than a Ruger 77/22.

See below for details.


I hit a coyote in the chest at 85 yds with a K-Hornet, 40 gr jhp and 13 gr 2400. The bullet traversed the length of the critter and left a quarter sized exit wound behind his rib cage. He was still kicking when I got to him (he dropped on the spot). I shot him twice in the neck with a Ruger single six 22 LR and CCI Mini Mags. Both Mini Mags were under the skin on the far side of the critter.

I quit pushing the K-Hornet. I was getting case splitting (horizontal) and case head seperation on the second or third reload of the cases.

4o gr hps and 45 gr jsp at about 2600 - 2700 do just fine for me (really I load for accuracy and don't give a Beep about speed).

Good work and God bless


August 27, 2009, 06:19 PM
I found TC contender a better platform than a Ruger 77/22
I'll be honest, the 77/22 has surprised me. I am pleasantly surprised to be sure.

August 27, 2009, 11:42 PM
I would agree with you on the t/c, but then again, man having the ruger pencil bbl, or the cz in 22 hornet, both of them, are just such beautiful classics, they look as if they were made for this round. It's just usually the case, as with Walkalong, that you have to go a long way, to find what your pencil bbl ruger really likes. I wouldn't mind having both in 22 hornet myself, just to have , and the occasional varmint shoot.

August 28, 2009, 08:33 AM
or the cz in 22 hornetThat is what I thought I would get, but ran into too good a deal to pass up on the 77/22. I would still like a full length stock CZ .22 Hornet.

August 29, 2009, 01:10 PM
Total failure today. :o

I forgot my block to sit under my rear bag, so I had to use a front bag to get the height right. I never really got comfortable with it, and wasn't shooting well. I am going to blame half of it on the mag primers though. ;)


August 29, 2009, 07:37 PM
Thats about how the 77/22 Lt sporter I had would do. Inconsistent. Usually this is the wind playing with the Hornet. A sub moa group will sudden "expand" to 3" with a good gust of wind..... and not always just horizontally.

I usually prefer to shoot fir groups with the Hornet in the evening from about 90min before sunset till sunset. The winds are ususally lighter then.

My 77/22 I have now is the Heavy Bbl. with laminated stock. My LtWt had a poorly cut chamber. Very Loose. Max loads for that chamber were as much as 10% over max with the newer rifle.
The Heavy Bbl has a poorly fitted bolt and I've had to put a wire ring inside the flange of the forward bolt half to eliminate some of the slop. I've often thought of sending back to Ruger, but I'm told they don't really fix it. Just put a new pin in it and send it back with a letter telling you thats just how they are. NOT. Without the "ring", I cant extract fired cases without tapping them out with a rod and hammer..... At first I just thought it was the ammo, but even light cast bullet loads were very difficult extraction because of the excess slop in the bolt, I wasn't getting any "camming" of the bolt lugs to aid extraction... I almost "dumped" the rifle then...

There's a fellow in Conneticut that swages a brass ring onto the bolt, and "fixes" this problem.. He also will set back the barrels and recut your chamber to either a K-Hornet, or a match-Hornet. All I can remember is his first name is Randy.... You can probably find him on www.rimfirecentral.com.

RE: pellet w/primer. It was back in the '70's, so cheap chrono's weren't to be had. I'd guess 4o0-600fps. Trajectory was as I said, about like a Crossman pump .22cal pellet rifle. I killed pigeons out to about 70-80 feet. I just used the bottom post taper of the Multi-X reticle in the T/C "Lobo" scope.

Broke college students have vivid imaginations.... Kinda like using Speer plastic bullets....Where I got the idea.

Rancho Relaxo
August 29, 2009, 08:00 PM
This is such a treasure trove of info on the Hornet. It took me a long time to get a good load for my old Anschutz. For me it came down to Lil'Gun, small pistol primers and crimping the case. I like the idea of a drop tube, I never could seem to get more than 12.5grain in my cases easily.

August 29, 2009, 08:38 PM
Randy, I believe would be Randy of CPC fame, who does a ton of bolt/chamber rework, mostly on 10.22's. Those groups in the pics.... well the hornet is an unforgiving little girly, if you are having an off shooting day, even so much as physically off, a little tensiony, a little shaky, a little muscly, a little breathey, she will let you know.

August 30, 2009, 02:04 PM
Is it correct in assuming that the remmy small pistol primers, would be the smallest centerfire rifle primers out there?

Lloyd Smale
August 31, 2009, 07:07 AM
I dont usually give loads out on the net but ill make an exception here. the load that shoots hands down the best in my ruger is the 35 vmax with 12.5 grains of 1680 aa and a cci small rifle bench rest primer. Im not a big fan of bench rest primers as i dont think the cost is justified but the hornet is real sensitive due to its small case as to primers and any other primer opens groups up to about double the size. this load will shoot into 3/4s of an inch for 5 shots at a 100 yards in my gun. this is a max load or near max so dont try to go higher. It is also done with only neck sizing the brass and im sure if you full lenght sized pressure would be a tad higher.

August 31, 2009, 10:02 AM
That is interesting now that you mention that: i was reading some internal ballistics charts recently , and watching or looking at the graphs and animated pics on what happens when the primer goes off, inside a cart. There is quite a bit of geometry that goes on in there, from just the primer, and you are right, you want as little rebounding of the shock wave as possible, from the initial detonation as possible; hopefully if you have it positioned right, and you case is built right, ideally you want as much of that wave as possible, to hit right back on top of the powder plug, as much as possible anyway, and you want it done within 2 or 3 rebound strikes, no more if possible.

August 31, 2009, 11:03 AM
+1 on K hornet.

Also try pistol primers. My groups really shrunk.

August 31, 2009, 12:12 PM
I usually prefer to shoot fir groups with the Hornet in the evening from about 90min before sunset till sunset. The winds are ususally lighter thenI have been doing it in the morning before the winds kick up. There has been some wind, but I have accounted for it. I did not bring wind flags, I just watched the grass and felt it on my face. I would wait for a calm to shoot, most shots anyway. As an semi retired benchrest shooter, I have a real good feel for what the wind will do to a bullet. ;)

This gun has exceeded my expectations. It has proven it can shoot under 1 MOA, consistently, even with the barrel heated up some. It has shot well under 3/4 MOA, and with the right load I think it will do it consistently.

September 3, 2009, 03:44 AM
Gunsmith Notes, Ruger 77/22 Setback and crown L.R, .22 Magnum and .17 HMR:
CPC headspace gages barreled action upon arrival, noting any changes to be made. Setback breech by .175, cuts shank for SAAMI minimum headspace. The newly cut shank area is left larger fitting the receiver hole with a line to line fit stabilizing the barrel in the receiver. A reamer pilot is fit to the exact bore size then hand bolt match chamber reamed concentric with bore. Chamber is hand polished, bore is hand lapped, a new lock down spacer is locktited in barrel's V cut to insure proper tightening. Extractor slots are recut. Muzzle end bore is indicated within .0002, a new 11 recessed target crown is cut for accuracy. Bolt halves tightened. CPC measures the gap between the bolt halves, grinds and installs a pin that tightens the halves. Tested to be a excellent reducer of flyers and tends to round out target groups. If rifle is shooting low, customer should note this so we can adjust.

Gunsmith Notes, Ruger 77/Hornet:
CPC headspace gages barreled action upon arrival, noting any changes to be made. Un-screws barrel, setback breech end by two threads (.100). Match rechamber either in .22 Hornet or K-hornet, customers choice. Both caliber reamers were made with the same minimum length throat so both create similar accuracy.

"BEYOND" BOLT TIGHTENING: A 2 part bolt rework for 77/Rugers. A new heat treated pin is made and lapped in to tighten the gap between the 2 bolt halves. A new tool steel sleeve is heat shrinked and ground to fit inside bolt body. New internal sleeve makes the pin last longer. 2 part beyond bolt tightening is standard with all 77/Combos. On rimfire rifle versions, bolt tightening reduces flyers and tends to round out target groups. On the longer Hornet bolt, it reduces flyers and produces 25 - 30% accuracy increase.

RUGER 2 PART BEYOND BOLT TIGHTENING by itself. Send complete bolt only with $115 plus $9 s&h. Priority mail returned insured for $100.

This is a direct quote from CPC.

September 3, 2009, 10:10 AM
mmm.... I may have to try the bolt tightening procedure, sounds yummy.

Bob K.
February 17, 2011, 06:21 PM
I've sent 3 rifles back to Ruger for accuracy "repairs": A 77/22H, 77/22VHZ, and a 77MKII in 30-06. After following Ruger's instructions for testing accuracy, I sent them back for accuracy work under the Lifetime Warranty. Total cost to me was $20 UPS shipping per rifle because of the free Lifetime Warranty.

I sent off rifles that shot 3-5 MOA. I got back rifles that shoot 1-2 MOA with reloads, have smoother barrels and chambers, and lighter triggers. Give it a shot! Can't hurt to ask.

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