22 Bee


November 4, 2009, 01:19 AM
An aquaintance gave me a box of bullets that she found in a house she just bought. Yes.., I can use them :D.

The box is labeled Winchester 45gr JHP, .224 in. diameter. They are in good shape, about a thousand of them.

I experimented with 20 rounds for my 223 rifle and found them lacking enough in the accuracy department to not want to use them for varminting at longer ranges.

So.. my plan is to use them for blasting in my AR.

My query to the forum is this: Anyone have any comments on using these short little bullets in an AR? I think they were designed for the 22 Hornet and simular bolt gun cartridges. Seating depth, neck tension issues, or bullet set back during cycling to consider for safety?

Your thoughts or suggestions please.

Thank You!

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November 4, 2009, 07:24 AM
From past experience you will be wasting your time and effort in loading those 45 gr bullets in any AR15 with a twist any faster than 1/9. I have a Colt H-Bar with a 1/7 twist that will absolutely refuse to group any bullet weight under 62 gr. I'm afraid your rifle, depending on rifling twist may "pattern" those bullets instead of grouping them. But to answer your question, yes you can load and fire them.

November 4, 2009, 10:20 AM
Yeah, your twist is probably way too fast to get much accuracy. You have a big enough pile of bullets it'd be worth your while to trade or sell 'em. There's plenty enough of us that have .22 Hornet and other rifles they'll work well in.

Let me know if you want to give 'em away :p

November 4, 2009, 11:16 AM
You messed up. Now you must buy a new rifle to shoot them in. :)

November 4, 2009, 11:33 AM
The other problem you will have with 45 grain bullets designed for the .22 hornet / .218 Bee class of cartridges is, they have very thin jackets designed to promote expansion at lower velocity.

They will very likely disintegrate in the air at .223 velocity.


Ol` Joe
November 4, 2009, 12:17 PM
The twist in your rifle may not be a problem. IMO you can`t wreck its accuracy by over spinning a bullet like you will by under spinning. I`ve shot 40 gr Ballistic tips from my 1/9 twist 223 and they were very accurate out to 200 yds, the farthest range we have at my club. 100 gr 6.5 bullets fly very straight from both my 1/7.5" 6.5x55 and 1/8" 6.5x284. The problem with a too fast rate of twist is the possibility of the jacket failing due to the high rpm and pressures being higher then one would expect due to the resistance of the rifling.
There also is nothing that says you need to drive plinking/target ammo at top velocity if you suspect fragile jackets. Run the bullets at a mid range level, say 28-2900 fps and you shouldn`t have trouble with jacket integrity. The point I`m trying to make is try the bullets out before you give up on them. You might be suprised...

November 4, 2009, 12:24 PM
The biggest problem will be what rcmodel pointed out. They are designed for much less velocity. In a 1 in 7 twist, with enough velocity, they may not even hang together all the way to the target.

Trading with someone who needs them sounds like a good idea.

November 4, 2009, 08:03 PM
Use them to load up some subsonic “Gopher Loads”. Performance and noise about like a 22LR. Plink or hunt small game at close range.

From Jim Calhoon’s 9/99 Varmint Hunter’s Magazine, .223 Rem, 24” barrel:

Bullet: 42 gr JHP
Powder: 800x
Charge: 3.0
Velocity: 1170

Bullet: 42 gr JHP
Powder: 800x
Charge: 4.0
Velocity: 1270

Bullet: 42 gr JHP
Powder: Blue Dot
Charge: 4.0
Velocity: 1165

From Handloader by NRA Press, .223 Rem, 24" barrel:

Bullet: 45 gr JHP
Powder: SR4759
Charge: 8.0
Velocity: 1524

November 5, 2009, 12:55 PM
Yeah, about velocity - you can load those Hornet/Bee bullets in .223, but it would be wise to call Winchester with the stock number and ask 'em how fast you can push them.

I bought more Hornet bullets than I needed, and got to the same point - how fast can I push them before they disintigrate. I called the bullet manufacturer and was told (in THIS CASE) the bullet I have is good to 3400 fps, so .223 wasn't a bad idea, but .22-250 loads would not be advised.

They should have their specs handy and know what velocity was used for a "design point."

Can't disagree, though, for your mistake, you should either have to buy another rifle or give the bullets away to one of us veteran reloaders :evil:

November 5, 2009, 12:58 PM
Velocity & rifling twist both play a part.

A 1/14 22-250 won't work, and 1/7 .223 probably won't either.

But a 1/14 .222 probably would.


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