.22 Hornet...is it semi-obsolete?


August 29, 2009, 10:28 PM
I saw a H&R synthetic handi rifle in .22 Hornet for sale the other day. It looks like a cool little gun but I dont know much about the .22 Hornet. I like the idea of owning "unique" calibers but is the .22 Hornet a semi-obsolete round, or do you think it will be around to stay?

Ammo seems a bit expensive for what it is, and I dont recall seeing it on retail store shelves very often.

What exactly would you hunt with a .22 Hornet?

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August 29, 2009, 10:39 PM
You could hunt varmints with the Hornet.
Foxes and close range coyotes should be OK too, I think.

You might as well buy reloading gear when you buy a rifle in the caliber because ammo isn't available everywhere.

August 30, 2009, 01:18 AM
Yes, it's been superseded in popularity by many more modern cartridges in a variety of actions. At work (FFL), we sell maybe a box of ammo for that every 7 months or so. Next question.

August 30, 2009, 01:47 AM
"...is the .22 Hornet a semi-obsolete round..." It's one of those cartridges, like the .45-70, that refuse to die. Ammo prices depend on the brand. Midway, not the least expensive place wants $21.49 for 50 Privi 45 grain SP's. $54.99 per 50 Nosler 40 grain BT's. Reloading is the way to go with any cartridge. Factory ammo is just too expensive.
"...What exactly would you hunt with a .22 Hornet?..." Varmints for sure. Up to and including coyotes. Knew a guy who used it for Ontario deer too. He told me it was too powerful. Thought he was nuts then and still do. He might have been fooling with the FNG though.
If the Handi-Rifle was priced right for you, grab it. The Hornet isn't going anywhere any time soon. New cartridges get dumped faster than old cartridges.

August 30, 2009, 05:23 AM
the hornet will never go away; to many loaders for it, so many diff loads and bullets available. rifle companies still chamber it, they wouldn't if it didn't sell.
one of the all time best threads on this, is going on right now, just under this one, on this very board... somewhere...

August 30, 2009, 05:24 AM

August 30, 2009, 08:37 AM
Cool thanks.

August 30, 2009, 08:45 AM
One thing to bear in mind about the Hornet and other old cartridges is that it's rimmed, so it works well in single shots like the Handi Rifle. As long as those type of rifles are around I can see a use for it.

August 30, 2009, 11:16 AM
The old Hornet is always fun to shoot and reload, a happy reminder of a simpler era. I've owned several over the years, some were nicely accurate and some were just plain awful. Which I was happy to get rid of, but still have a few of the best ones. For anyone planning to reload the Hornet I suggest they try using cast bullets loaded to about 1500 fps, which is great for squirrel hunting. Casting your own bullets is something everyone who reloads ammo should try, whatever the caliber.

August 30, 2009, 11:57 AM
If the 22 Hornet is semi-obsolete, why is Ruger, CZ and other rifle manufacturers chambering so many models in this caliber. I personally own shoot and love this cartridge and own two rifles chambered for the Hornet. One being a 22 K-Hornet. :)

August 30, 2009, 02:02 PM
plus, for cosmetic's sake, beside the winny 25-35, it is the coolest looking round to look at, plus I'll throw in the 17Aguila.

Carl N. Brown
August 30, 2009, 02:42 PM
Apparently over the past 90 years or so the ground hogs, foxes and coyotes have not taken to wearing body armor and are just as easy to kill as they were in great-granddads day. Plus .22 Hornet appears by all accounts to be easy and inexpensive to reload.

August 30, 2009, 02:45 PM
It's a good varmint round for settled areas where you need more reach than a rimfire but you can't turn loose a .223 or .22-250. The 2300 to 2800fps muzzle velocities the Hornet delivers are just right for some areas. Every other current varmint round is faster....and noisier. So the Hornet definitely fills a niche but, with the current high price of factory ammo, it faces a Catch 22.

Because of ammo costs, you definitely should consider reloading to keep costs down. But, if you reload, you can easily download a .223 or .222 to match the performance of the Hornet.

August 31, 2009, 01:05 AM
just make sure if you get the handy rifle, you tweak it up, and know how to shoot it first. on break opens, where you put the front rest, is critical, especially if off hand shooting.

August 31, 2009, 01:13 AM
Never been that interested in a rifle chambered for the Hornet, but Taurus made a revolver chambered for it that I think would be pretty dang fun to shoot.

August 31, 2009, 01:46 AM
Magnum Research still makes the BFR chambered for it.

Bit more expensive than the rifles thou...

August 31, 2009, 07:20 AM
if by obsolete you mean rare, hard to get ammo for and expensive.

then yes it is.

when the economic meltdown crash comes, you dont want to be the guy with the Hornet handi-rifle and 11 rounds janglin in your pocket. :)

August 31, 2009, 07:30 AM
just make sure if you get the handy rifle, you tweak it up, and know how to shoot it first. on break opens, where you put the front rest, is critical, especially if off hand shooting.

I wasnt aware of this, where should you hold the forend when shooting offhand?

August 31, 2009, 10:57 AM
Great little varmint cartridge for use at moderate ranges, or where a low report is wanted. There are a number of great rifles for this cartridge, from drop blocks like the Browning Low Wall 1885 to bolts like the CZ-527.

Consider the K-hornet variant. You can fire hornet in a K hornet chamber, but the sharper shoulder of the K-hornet makes the necks last much longer and you get a slight boost in velocity.

12 grains of lil gun will push a 40gn SP at decent velocity, and I've killed more than a few Coyotes with the Hornet without messing up the pelts.

My hornets



Hornet, K hornet and 223


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
August 31, 2009, 12:57 PM
Whether it's "semi-obsolete" of course depends upon how you define "obsolete" and "semi", but yes, arguably it's partially semi-obsolete as it's not as popular as it used to be. One thing's for sure - I would *love* to get a Marlin levergun in .218 Bee to complement my 10" contender in Bee.

August 31, 2009, 01:51 PM
Then there is the .17 K Hornet. Even quieter than a Hornet with velocities in the Mach 3 range.

August 31, 2009, 02:00 PM
IMO, I like to stick to popular cartridges like 22 LR, 9 mm, 45 ACP, .308, 30-30, 223, 38s, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 30-06. I'm on the fence if long term 40 cal will still be popular cartridge (give it 20 years and we'll see). I'm not saying that others are bad. I just don't want to have to pay more to shoot because it's a rare cartridge.

However, if you like to collect rare cartrige firearms, there is nothing wrong with that and if it's not your main shooter, the cost is irrelevant if you don't shoot it much.

dagger dog
August 31, 2009, 02:07 PM
It is by no means rare or obsolete, but you must be ready to handload to take advantage of the Hornet, go to any Bass pro shop or other major sporting goods outlet and check out the brass, bullets,reloading dies available. Factory ammo for the Hornet usually comes in boxes of 100 so the $20.00 bucks or so is not so bad, save the brass, buy a
LEE loader, powder and primers and cook up your favorite load.

Besides being fun, the Hornet especially shines when handloaded ,sub moa groups are the norm. The little Hornet is capable of near 3000 fps with 40 gr Varmint bullets and will surpass that mark if the 33-35 gr bullets are used. Pushed to that speed the coyote size varmints will drop dead where shot out to 150 yds, past that the larger centerfires are better. In some states the turkey is legal game with the Hornet,some stalking hunters will take a head shot to save meat, that kind of lets you in on the accuracy dept of the Hornet. I would bet that many white tail deer have fallen to that little round , then and now, where permitted by law.

August 31, 2009, 02:18 PM
I have a Browning Low Wall in .22 hornet. I don't reload. I mainly buy Sellier & Bellot or Privi Partizan soft point ammo, which I bought a lot of prior to THE BIG AMMO SCARE OF 2008. I certainly have more accurate centerfire rifles, but it's one that I'd never get rid of. My gunsmith goes prairie dog hunting out west for a week every year with his. He seems to have good luck with it.

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