22 Hornet help?


Gary O
August 30, 2011, 07:41 PM
Well, my first 22 Hornet single-shot rifle is on the way. Is there anything I should know about it or any special counsel you might offer? Thanks...

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dagger dog
August 30, 2011, 07:47 PM
Wadja get ?

Lil'Gun powder 12.5 grs -13 grs ,35-40 gr Vmax bullets, small rifle benchrest primers,neck size your brass.

See you're already shooting 1" groups from the bench.

Wadja get ?

August 30, 2011, 08:05 PM
My 22 Hornet Contender Carbine likes the 40 grain Speer Spire points over W296. 35 grain V-Max bullets do well as well.

I have only used small rifle primers in my Hornet loads but the current Speer manual recommends small pistol primers. I have not loaded any 22 Hornet since the Speer manual came out a couple years ago so I have not tried the small pistol primer loads yet.

Like dagger dog said, neck size. Case life, at least for me, is short. Neck sizing helps.

Gary O
August 30, 2011, 08:11 PM
Low Wall Browning. I heard that Lee collet dies help with the case life. Any thoughts?

Para Cassatt
August 30, 2011, 10:53 PM
Nice rifle Gary O. If you already have a full length sizer then go for the collet dies. However I haven't used the collet die on a single shot yet.

August 31, 2011, 03:20 PM
Pm sent

August 31, 2011, 03:33 PM
I have both a 22 Hornet and a 22K-Hornet and love them both. My only advice to you is to watch out for case head separations. The Hornet case is very thin and headspaces on the rim making ideal for this. Your case life will be on the fair to poor side if you reload; expect 2 to 3 reloads at the most. That's why I converted my Ruger 77/22 to the K-Hornet version to increse case life.

Doug b
August 31, 2011, 05:31 PM
I found the Lee dead length seater die was a major plus in preventing wrinkled case mouths.

dagger dog
September 1, 2011, 08:58 AM
I use the Lee collet, you don't have to lube that's a plus, and yes it's easy on brass. Don't see why it wouldn't work for that new Browning.

You got to make sure you chamfer the inside of the case necks well, then with care you can load flat base bullets with out crumpling the necks,boat tails bullets like the 40 gr VMax, 40 Nosler Ballitic Tips seat very well, the 35 VMax is flat base along with the Bergers and Barnes. If you are going to shoot cast bullets then you'll have to expand the necks, I use a Lyman M Die for that, and I use the seater die that came with the Lee Deluxe Collet set too,and no crimp. The Lee Collet die takes a little getting used to, but it turns out very accurate ammo

I have some brass that is on the 5-6th reload with no sign of a case head seperation, had some cases that had the "bright ring" in the right spot, as matter a fact I was so worried I sawed a half dozen cases in 1/2 length wise with a jewelers saw to make sure, tried the bent wire gizzie thing first but couldn't "feel" any ridge.

Keep the velocity in the 2800 fps range for the 40-45 gr bullets, and under 3000 for the 30-35 gr bullets, you shouldn't have any thin brass problems. Most of the thin wall varmint style bullets will do the dirty deed goin' that fast.

Gary O
When you can turn loose of it long enough to take a photo, post it so we all can drool.:D

Thanks to every one for letting me rant! :cuss:

September 1, 2011, 09:32 AM
Daggerdog: Not to rain on your parade, but from my experience that "bright line" on the case resulted in a case head separation on the next reloading. However all rifles are different and this was just my observation however.

dagger dog
September 1, 2011, 10:39 AM
I think my bright line was from the Lyman full length die I ran my cases through when I was experiancing some extraction problems with my Savage 40, which turned out to be the extractor.

But you are correct in your saftey tip ALWAYS BE SUSPECT OF THE RING!
I had traded for some bullets and received a Hornet case with that bright ring, it was one I cut open to verify that my cases weren't suffering from stretching. It DEFINITLEY had the groove!

Doug b
September 1, 2011, 12:18 PM
Dagger Dog the seating die that comes with the Lee collet die set is the dead length seater die.

dagger dog
September 1, 2011, 01:55 PM

What do you shoot?

Doug b
September 1, 2011, 06:29 PM

dagger dog
September 1, 2011, 09:08 PM
Let me reword, Doug, with what type, make, model, rifle do you kill that paper, could it be chambered in 22 Hornet ?

Doug b
September 1, 2011, 10:45 PM
Ruger 77/22

September 2, 2011, 06:45 AM
The 77/22 was the rifle I was having short case life plus case head separations and therefore subsequently converted it to the 22K-Hornet. The original headspace was correct on this rifle. Just FYI.

September 2, 2011, 08:04 AM
The 77/22 was the rifle I was having short case life plus case head separations and therefore subsequently converted it to the 22K-Hornet. The original headspace was correct on this rifle. Just FYI.

I have read, and my details may be a bit fuzzy, that the US companies are not as careful in chambering rifles for the 22 Hornet as the Europeans are. It has something to do with the rim area of the chamber. I believe the rim area is a bit sloppier in the US rifles.

Case life in a European 22 Hornet is supposed to be better than a US rifle.

In any case, I neck size only for my Contender Carbine and do not let the die touch the shoulder. Case life is better but still shorter than I would expect, maybe 4 to 6 reloads.

I keep case extraction tools on hand whenever I shoot my 22 Hornet.

The gentle slope of the shoulder on the 22 Hornet does not give restriction for the case to bump up against in the chamber. The 22 K-Hornet with its distinct shoulder solves that problem and case life is much improved.

K-Hornet brass is easy to make, just fire form 22 Hornet cases in a K-Hornet chamber.

I enjoy shooting my 22 Hornet. It is my critter gun on my farm. More oomph than a 22LR and not as noisy as 221 Fireball or 223 Remington.

September 2, 2011, 01:18 PM
+1 on the 35 - 40 grain over 12.5 grains of Lil Gun.

September 3, 2011, 05:01 PM
Case life in a European 22 Hornet is supposed to be better than a US rifle.

It is better. US companies make some weird oversized .22 Hornet chambers. Last year a tool and die maker friend and gunsmith made me a .22 Hornet chamber reamer to European specs. My old Sako was re-barreled in July using that reamer. i'm not sure what the case life is but some of my cases have been reloaded six times.


The Lee dies I have do size down the cases to the nominal factory-ammo dimensions so they will properly fit the European guns. In 1997 I had a custom reamer made by JGS in Coos Bay, Oregon, which is even smaller than the SAAMI minimum chamber dimensions. The Hornet pressure barrel I'm using was made by Bo Clerke and incorporates this tight chamber. As you can see from the target, it shoots just great. The downside is that you certainly have to full-length resize any case that's been fired in an American chamber. That's not a big problem either, and it's a small price to pay for better accuracy. After all, if a light varmint rifle isn't accurate, it isn't worth keeping around.

September 5, 2011, 12:18 AM
Gary O, I've owned and loaded for a 22 Hornet Browning Low Wall since new (mid-90's). I've fired several thousand rounds (mostly at sage rats, i.e., Belding ground squirrels). I guess our rifles are Japanese-chambered?!

Most of the current posters advocate L'il Gun powder, but I have no experience with that. I load 35, 40 & 45 gr. bullets over W296/H110. I also note I have some 55 gr. bullets over IMR 4220; the reasoning for 55 gr. bullets in a 22 Hornet are lost in the labyrinths of my mind (maybe I was thinking I might see a coyote?), but nonetheless.....

I "half-size" my brass, i.e., push a full-length sizer down just far enough to size the mouth, and I use a Lee collet die. Most of my brass is RP, with some WW, and is now on its 5th re-sizing. I recall only a few case failures, most of those in WW brass.

I honestly don't see the point of a K-Hornet....if I need to speed it up, I'll shoot my 222 Rem or my 223 Low Wall.

Enjoy your Low Wall.....Browning made one of the most elegant versions ever produced, and mine has not only been completely reliable, but is very, very accurate.

October 8, 2011, 12:18 PM
Just purchased a 77/22 in Hornet but haven't fired it yet. While working up some loads I noticed I was getting case neck buldge when seating.

Not sure where I read it but someone said that the original bullet diamiter for the Hornet was .223 and some dies still use ,233 expander ball; sure enough that was the case. I purchasesd a .224 expander ball and that solved the neck buldge issue.

October 8, 2011, 01:03 PM
I like H-110 and 35 or 40 gr. V-max's out of my heavy barrel NEF Hornet. The barrel is 22", and I get 2,955 FPS with 35's over 10.8 grs., 40 grainsrs hit 2,835 with 10.5 grains.

As mentioned, the brass is thin, so FL sizing is not a great idea. Neck sizing helps with accuracy, too.

I use mine for varmints in more settled areas, where a .22 rimfire is inadequate, but the report of my .17 Rem or .220 swift is a bit much.

October 9, 2011, 11:02 AM
Being that your rifle is a modern one, load bullets that measure .224" and don't buy the ones marked "22 Hornet" that measure .223". (The .223" bullets are for the very first Hornets). The undersized bullets will work, but won't give the best accuracy, I have found.

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