Compare 22 Hornet, K-Hornet, & 221 Fireball


June 13, 2012, 03:50 PM
I am obsessing about which rifle to buy; a 22 Hornet, a 22 K-Hornet, or a 221 Fireball. I mostly shoot p-dogs and recently shot a bunch with my 17hmr. In so doing, I found that I would have liked to have with me a bit heavier bullet in a small caliber rifle. I have .223 and .204, but like the idea of a 22-Hornet; not as much noise and not as much powder to reload. In the course of my looking around, I stumbled upon the K-Hornet and the 221 Fireball. What are your thoughts/experience with these, especially if you have shot all of them? I have only shot the Hornet.

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June 13, 2012, 04:31 PM
Since the K-Hornet is on your list, I'll assume you reload. And you can load your .223 to duplicate any of the 3 on your list, lower noise included.

If I just HAD to have another rifle, in one of the 3 calibers you mentioned, I'd go with a little carbine sized .22 K-Hornet. The Fireball would be a close second; the standard Hornet trailing well behind.

I'd figure on a slim 18-20 inch barrel, lightweight low powered variable... I'd really like to see total rifle weight around 6 pounds for these little shooters.

Honestly, unless your .223 is a heavy brick I'd just stick with it and get something that doesn't overlap quite so much. But don't let me stop you from having fun and getting a new rifle.

June 13, 2012, 05:35 PM .223 is a heavy beast. a Remington 700 VSF with a 26" barrel Actually, most of my varmint rifles are heavy for a reason; I have a tremor and have some difficulty if the rifle is too light. So, I am looking at the Savage 25 Lightweight Varminter in .22 Hornet, which weighs 8.25 lbs without a scope. Makes me wonder why they call it light weight. A bit lighter option is the CZ 527, which others have said is really accurate. BUT.....there is a really nice Anschutz on Gunbroker that I may bid on, but doubt it will sell for what I am willing to pay. I'll keep looking and thanks for the input.

June 13, 2012, 05:49 PM
I have both a 22 Hornet and a 221 Fireball (actually 2). Both are nifty cartridges for shorter range stuff.

You can shoot heavier bullets out of the 221 Remington than the 22 Hornet if the twist is not too slow in the 221 Remington.

US 22 Hornet chambers tend to be a bit sloppy and accuracy suffers. European 22 Hornet chambers are better.

22 Hornet case life is shorter than the 221 Fireball case life.

The 22 K-Hornet fixes some of the issues with the 22 Hornet case and you get a little more performance with it. I do not have any actual experience with the K-Hornet though.

I like them both, enjoy shooting them both, and enjoy reloading for both so I guess I am not much help

June 13, 2012, 11:22 PM
In 1967 nobody wanted to ream my XP100 to shoot all that 5.56 ! Said it would blow it all out the barrel, what a crock!
Like the hornet since I shot my first one in the 50s, allways had one since. Got my K Hornet Martini 30 years ago and for nonbolt guns it is the way to go (all though my Anschutz Exemplar handles the Hornet case well) IMHO for varmints up to 250 yards, 50 yards more than the standard Hornet. After that you want more Horse power and the .221 Fireball has only a little more than the K Hornet.The .221 Fireball is VERY reloader friendly but the .223 is much more versatile and is at least a 350 yard varmint gun.

June 14, 2012, 11:47 PM
Sniper66: Ihave shot both the 22 K-Hornet and the 221 Fireball but never owned either and I thought they were very nice. ((( BUT ))) My Son and I have two CZ 527 22 HORNETS and they are two of our most favorite rifles we own.Both shoot under an inch at a hundred yds all day long, they are light to carry, low noise level, and very light recoil, and are very cheap to reload for. We use our 22 HORNETS to hunt with PD`S, GROUND HOGS, COYOTES, and other varmints and small game. The actions on both are smooth as glass and they are very special to us and we are very proud of them and the SINGLE SET TRIGGERS are just great thes two rifles have spolied us. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

June 15, 2012, 01:34 PM
Itís been said, "There's no substitute for displacement." That was in reference to the internal combustion engine but it's also applicable to the performance potential of a firearmís chambering. How much powder the case holds is THE most important factor when modeling internal ballistics.

That said, the Hornet has an overflow capacity of about 15 grains or water, the K-Hornet 17, the .221 Fireball 24, and the .223 Rem 31. Their relative performance, when defined as muzzle velocity, is proportional to those capacities and little else.

I've shot them all extensively .... mostly in computer simulations. Saves on primers. :p

June 15, 2012, 11:03 PM
I have a 527 in .221 Fireball and like it a lot. It's a nice compromise when I'm looking for more than a rimfire but don't want to bring the full weight varmint rifle (which has now been sold). It's a nice middle ground and field rifle that's enjoyable at the range too. That 527 isn't the lightest rifle in the world but it's much nicer to carry than a heavy barreled varmint rifle.

June 16, 2012, 12:29 AM
I have used the 17 HM2, 17 HMR, 17 Fireball, 17 Rem, 204 Ruger , 22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 Rem. 223 Rem, and other cartridge rifle for shooting prairie dogs. Since getting the 221 Fireball the old 22 Hornet stays at home. I see no point in getting a K Hornet or Hornet since the 221 has become available.. I like low recoil and muzzle blast rifles so a 17 Hornady Hornet will find a place in my gun case.

June 16, 2012, 04:46 PM
I own a CZ 527 and had mine chambered for KHornet, It will do the job on any varmit out to 250 yards. The Khornet cases last a lot longer and the extra capacity makes for a very nice load. 13 grains of Lil Gun will push a 40g bthp over 3000fps, and will shoot into a 3/4" group at 100yds. Mine is sporting a Mueller APV and has worked like magic on coyotes.

June 18, 2012, 11:06 AM
I appreciate all your help with assessing my options. Eight years ago, I started out shooting p-dogs with my .204, then built a .243 and a ..223..then a .17 HMR, then a better .17HMR (Anschutz). Last time out I shot the Anschutz almost exclusively and started thinking about a Hornet and in my search discovered the 221 Fireball. I'll let you know what I end up with. Eventually, I might end up with all 3....the hornet, a 22 mag, and the 221...unless I run out of money first:)

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