22 Hornet bullets


July 14, 2012, 12:42 PM
Hey out there...which bullets do you prefer for the 22 Hornet??? I am buying a Hornet and plan to load all my own ammo, so this is the perfect time to experiment. Midway has some 35gr poly tipped blems for cheap, so gotta try those. I am relatively new to reloading; I started reloading about 6-7 years ago. I have mostly used Sierra, Hornady, and Nosler for all my other rifles, but am eager to try other bullets. The other issue is that the 22 Hornet is a special breed so hope I can get some tips about bullet preferences. Thanks a bunch.

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dagger dog
July 14, 2012, 01:31 PM
My over all favorite for the Hornet is the 40gr VMax,over 12.5-13grs Lil Gun and a CCI small rifle benchrest primer, that's good for 2800-2900 fps out of a 24 inch barrel, 2nd is the 30 gr Barnes Varmint grenade with the same charge and primer fo 3000-3100 fps.

The 30 gr hollow points driven to that velocity are explosive they won't exit and are 1"@ 100 yd capable out of my Savage 40, the 40 grain VMax are eyeball of ground hog @100yds.

The Berger line has some very accurate 36 gr, and the 35 gr Vmaxs ain't to shabby either.

July 14, 2012, 03:14 PM
My 22Hornet Contender carbine likes the Speer 40 grain Spire points. It also shoots the Sierra and Hornady 40 grain ballistic tips well but they are construted a bit heavier than the Speer so they do not explode as violently at Hornet velocities.

I believe Sierra makes a 40 grain hollow point or soft point made for Hornet velocities.

The Hornady 35 grain V-Max does not shoot as well in my Contender as the Speer.

You will have to try some different bullets and find the best flavor for your rifle.

July 14, 2012, 03:19 PM
Sniper66: My SON and I shoot 2 CZ 22 HORNETS his the FS model and mine the American model. We have tried many different bullets but the 35gr V-max Hornady works for us the best. And we haven`t used anything else for 2 ot 3 years. We shoot PD`S, Groundhogs,Coyote, fox and hunt small game with the 22 HORNET, we shoot it a lot. I have taken Coyotes out to 200 yrds, that is pushing the 22 HORNET to the limit IMO. Our two rifles will shoot under an inch at a 100yds. How much are the 35gr blems and are they Hornady 35gr V-maxs. You are going to really like your 22 HORNET. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

July 14, 2012, 03:38 PM
Thanks everyone for the info. Forgot to specify that I am buying a Savage 25 Lightweight Varminter, provided I don't have to wait too long. It is back ordered. I have some Nosler 40gr ballistic tips and some Hornady 40 gr V-Max. The blems from Midway are unknown manufacturer, but look like typical V-Max 35s. They only cost $11.00 per 100 so that is pretty cheap. Maybe I'll order 200. One fella told me his Savage 40 likes 50gr V-Max. Hope the one I end up with likes the 35s, because I would really like the speed and the wallop you get with high muzzle velocity. I'll let you know how it works out.

July 14, 2012, 08:44 PM
I have always used the Sierra 45 gr. SP bullets in 22 Hornet. They provide excellent accuracy out of my old Winchester Model 70.

July 14, 2012, 11:10 PM
I like the Hornaday Hornet PSP type bullets in 40 grains. Don't forget that they need to be designed for the hornet as the others have thicker jackets and will not expand reliability within the hornet velocity limits. Also use Lil Gun as your propellant and neck size for your maximum enjoyment of this round. There was a discussion about loading for it earlier this summer IIRC that had a lot of good info to this end.:)

July 14, 2012, 11:20 PM
Thanks for the reminder about bullets needing to be hornet specific. Actually I have known this for awhile but, you are the first person who explained why. That's why I like this site; I learn stuff all the time. Just in time too as I am ordering bullets.:)

July 15, 2012, 04:14 PM
dagger dog; You said you are using the 30gr Barnes Varmint Grenade. I have wanted to try this bullet for a long time, But in Wichita Ks I can`t seem to find any of them. I have tried to order them but my order was always put on back orrder. Powder Valley said they had never heard of them. But that has been some time ago. I even called Barnes and they sent me 10 bullets to try. While I was talking to the guy at Barnes, He told me that their 30 gr VG was designed for the 22 HORNET. I will have to start looking again. Because my supply of 35gr V-MAX`S is getting low. What kind of groups are you getting with the Barnes 30gr VG`S and are your hits expolsive like they addvertise . GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

July 16, 2012, 11:05 AM
I like the 35 gr. Hornady NTX. My hornet is a single shot, so I can load long, which is good, given the longer, secant ogive of the NTX.

Sound Dude
July 16, 2012, 11:34 AM
Be careful not to crush / tear the thin case walls when seating the bullet. I tore up 7 out of the first 100 I loaded. I then bought a Lyman 22 Hornet Neck Expander die, and that really helps. I have a Savage 40 Varminter single-shot. If I use longer 22 bullets, I have to "help" them into the chamber. Hornet specific bullets, not a problem. Like other have said, Lil-Gun seems to be just made for the Hornet.

November 26, 2012, 04:50 PM
Here in UK the hornet has love / hate status. Personally, if I could only get factory ammo it would be the first rifle out the door...Reloading is what make the Hornet so good for my use on rabbit, fox, crows etc.
I load two bullets, mostly, both with Lil-Gun powder. sometimes Vhit N110 or Blue Dot are very effective in my Ruger No1. 40 grn V-Max plus 13.5 grns L.G. at 1.880" c.o.l gives 2950fps off 26" tube and 30 grn Bergers with 11 grns N110 gives 3250fps with zero pressure signs and long case life. Accuracy with both is around 0.75" without trying too hard. Anyway, so long as it's within minute of rabbit bonce at 150yds, that's fine for me.
I also use Blue Dot in 223 with 55grn loads for Running Deer range days and 14 grns gives 2800fps and soft to shoot all day whilst being very accurate.:)

November 26, 2012, 05:03 PM
Thin Hornet necks...I use the Lee flaring die to open case necks a few thou when seating flat based bullets followed with a light crimp. Never crushed a case in more years I care to remember but after a few pinched stubbies bought the RCBS Competition seating die which solved my problems.
Hornet in UK, where population spread is also a real problem, is a great round and easily moderated to a whisper.
Although we have some pretty tight / stupid Firearms rules / laws we can possess moderators almost at will (with an FAC) which is one result of other stupid Health & Safety rules, where rifle users threatened to sue Police Licensing Depts. for not allowing tools to protect hearing.

November 26, 2012, 05:06 PM
I have always used the Sierra 45 gr. SP bullets in 22 Hornet. They provide excellent accuracy out of my old Winchester Model 70.
The classic Hornet load in a classy rifle. (Same here.)

November 26, 2012, 05:13 PM
1+ on the Sierra 45gr. SP. Also, the 45gr. V Max. But for the last several years now, all I have been shooting in my Hornet is cast! with much work, was finally able to equal best jacketed bullet accuracy at 100yds.

November 26, 2012, 07:11 PM
Mine likes the 40 Gr V-Max best. I have tried the Hornady 35 & 40 Gr V-Max, the Sierra 40 Gr HP, a Speer Spire point (45 Gr?), and a Dogtown 34 Gr HP as well. 1680 shoots better than Lil Gun in mine. 1680 made it all come together.

November 27, 2012, 12:51 PM
I finally gor some 30gr Barnes Varmint Gernade`s and tried some Little Gun powder. I got about 1in to 1 1/2in groups at a 100 yds. Nothing to wright home about. I am going to try some 40gr V-MAX`s and 40gr Sierra BLITZKING`s with Little Gun, other people have had good luck with them. I shoot a CZ 527 22 Hornet, and so far the Hornady 35 gr V-MAX and IMR 4227 seems to shoot the best out of my Son and I`s rifles, he shoots a CZ 527 also. The old 45 & 46gr REM & WIN HP`s and SP`s seem to shoot very well in our rifles. I just wanted the Barnes 30gr VG`s & Little Gun to work, we bought quite a few of them. But I have not giving up on find a load our rifles like out of this combination. Any Ideas?

Float Pilot
November 27, 2012, 04:49 PM
Mine likes the bulk varmint bullets from Midway. The 34 grain Dog-Town hollow points.

dagger dog
November 27, 2012, 09:00 PM

Try neck sizing ,or set your full length die to size about the first 3/10" only. Just enough to grip the first 0.224" of the base of the bullet, or the maximum C.O.A.L. which ever fits your rifles chamber without jamming the bullet into the lands.

The Lee collet neck die is my favorite, I use it ALA Vern Humphery, with a couple washers dropped over the case onto the shell holder, that starts the collet closing early and only squeezes the very top portion of the case and leaves the rest undisturbed.

The Hornets case capacity is so small that primer brilliance, (the ability to ignite the powder) can make a big difference in accuracy. Some loaders have had good luck with small pistol primers or "benchrest" small rifle. I have found the CCI small rifle bench rest to work very well, along with Remington 6 1/2's, they both cut 0.25" off my groups with WSR's.

Lil'Gun with the 40 Vmax's gave me smaller groupings when I dropped the charge from 13grs down to 12.5 grs, again changes as small as 1/10th grain in that tiny case can cause big differences.

As posted by Spitzer224, bullet run out in that little long necked case is a big factor, try to keep it at a minimum. When I seat the bullet I start it into the case and then rotate the case in the shell holder 180 degrees then seat it deeper, turn again and then fully seat.

The RCBS Competetion seater Spitzer224 mentioned, and other seaters that are similar, hold the bullet in alignment with the case mouth to keep run out at a minimum.

Hope some of this helps.


November 27, 2012, 09:24 PM
Thanks Guys: I am making copies of your posts, to use later. Are any of you using a Mag fed CZ 527 Rifle, and CZ told me not to single load there rifle. So what ever I wind up with it has to fit in the Mag. Guys I am getting old and more recoil sentive all the time. So the 22 HORNET, 218 BEE, 17 REM, and 223 are what I shoot the most. But the Hornet and the Bee are really fun and I really enjoy them. But all 4 of these rifles are magazine fed, and I guess this can cause a problem.

Para Cassatt
November 28, 2012, 01:20 AM
You may want to try some of the 52/53 gr. match bullets too. I've had good results with Hornady's 53 gr. HPM with both 9.0 grs. of H110 and 11.7 grs. of MP 300 out of my Sav. 40. Both are published loads and I'll be trying Sierra's soon. Sorry I couldn't post a pic here but they're up elsewhere.

November 28, 2012, 07:34 PM
40 V-Max and 1680 works well in both 22 hornet and 22 k hornet for me. I know Lil Gun gets alot of praise in 22 hornet, but it give too much velocity variation in my rifles.

November 29, 2012, 02:53 AM
my understanding was that .22 hornet actually required a .223 bullet and the other 22 centrefires a .224 bullet?

is this not the case?

November 29, 2012, 04:27 AM
Some of the older rifles were converted from the 1922 Springfield. It was chambered in .22 long rifle with a .223 bore and needs a smaller bullet. Now all the rifles manufactured are are .224 diameter. So unless yours is a rifle that was converted from .22 long rifle there should be no need for the smaller bullets.

November 29, 2012, 07:13 AM
I had an old Savage with a .223 groove diameter. I should have hung onto it, it was a very good shooter.

Float Pilot
November 29, 2012, 12:18 PM
From a bedded Ruger M-77/22 Hornet

34 grain HP Dog Town bullet
13.0gr Lil Gun
WW brass “Virgin”
1.798 col
Vel= 3,182-3,171-3,141-3,156-3,133
0.450 in grp. At 100 yards

45gr Speer "Hornet" soft point
12.0gr Lil' Gun
WW virgin brass
1.766 col no crimp
Vel= 2,835 fps and a 0.85 inch group

40 grain Sierra HP flat base
11.7 grain IMR-4227
Rem virgin brass
1.790 col
Vel=2,578-2,595-2,574-2,655-2,602 (0.75 inch group)

40 grain Sierra HPs,
12, grains of Lil Gun.
WWVirgin brass
CCI-500 Pistol Primer.
At 100 yards they gave a 0.60 inch group. Good load.

50 grain Speer TNT HP
12.0gr Lil Gun
WW brass “virgin”
1.802 col
roll crimp
Vel = 2,845 fps
0.90 inch group at 100 yards

November 29, 2012, 07:48 PM
I wonder why CZ would say to not shoot their rifles single shot without a magazine. I used to shoot mine single load for the longer ballistic tip bullets that were too long for the magazine.
these look promising: http://www.midwayusa.com/product/974335/hornady-varmint-bullets-22-caliber-224-diameter-35-grain-ntx-lead-free-box-of-100

November 29, 2012, 08:22 PM
I understand that they are controlled feed and the extractor is pushed excessively and is liable to break if single loading without a mag. Loading one in the mag will work well however.

November 29, 2012, 08:48 PM
oh you are right, it is a controlled round feed (mini mauser) . i use a mag under but not another round. there is a way to modifiy the mags too by removing material from the black plastic block at the end.
and you would have to alter the follower.

November 30, 2012, 01:05 PM
FROGO207: Thank you for pointing out that I could still single load the magazine. And seat the bullet out as far as I want. I don`t know why I could not see that, I have complained about that on all the CZ RIFLES we have. (( WHAT A DUMB A$$ )). Just goes to show when you get old and fat you are just in the way. At least for me that is. I really just get alot of enjoy ment out of My CZ 22 Hornet. It will be sorta of a pain in the hind end to single load the Magazine each shot. And I have 2 or 3 magazines for my 22 Hornet. The Idea of me altering one of my magazines is out of the question, For I am dangerous with a screw driver.

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