22 Hornet in 22-250


March 25, 2013, 10:13 PM
I picked up 2 boxes of Nosler SPBT 45 grain Hornet at a gun show. I know they were old because the original price was 6$. There was no reloading data in my Nosler reloading book, but spear #14 gave data for 45gr spitzer, also Hornady listed 45 gr hornet data for22-250. Anyway, I worked up a load using H380 39.5 gr, RLR primer, COAL 2.235. I was getting a 1.25 inch group with MV of 3736. A friend who has been reloading for years said the hornet was a low to medium velocity bullet, not designed for velocities I was getting. I had NO sign of bullet instability or fragmentation. Am I living on the edge by pushing these bullets to this velocity?

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March 25, 2013, 11:52 PM
Yes, the Hornet bullets are made to a lighter construction so that they expand at the lower velocities of the 22 Hornet and other lower velocity 22 caliber centerfire cartridges.

If you are not seeing the bullets self destructing, then you are probably Ok but I would say you are living near the limit.

Given the lack of supplies these days, if they work, I would use them. It might be an interesting experiment to see at what velocity they self destruct

It is the spin rate of the bullet that causes it to blow up in flight. A fast twist rate barrel will cause a bullet to self destruct at a lower velocity than a similar barrel with a slower twist rate.

March 26, 2013, 08:38 AM
Fortunately, the Noslers are made from their "solid base" design. This like their Ballistic-tip siblings makes them better suited for the high velocities of the .22-250. Though they have a soft thin nose section, the base of the bullet is more like the 40-50gr Ballistic Tips as regards performance at higher velocity/rotational speed.

I'd be more concerned with the accuracy you are getting. I nearly dumped my .22-250 at first bacause it shot ~1.25" groups. However, it was with "cheap" bullets such as Remington and Winchester 55gr bulk soft points.
When I switched to Sierra's, and found the 'sweet' spot for H380 and Reloader15, accuracy was phenomenal considering it's a sporter weight barrel. It's definitely a "keeper".

I've shot a lot of the so-called "medium velocity" Sierra Spitzer soft points through my .22-250 with completely satisfactory results.

The bullets you have to avoid are the Hornady "SX", Speer "TNT", and Sierra "Blitz" bullets (but not newer "blitz-kings"). Even the Hornady 45gr "Hornet" bullet is built somewhat heavier than the "SX" bullets which were intended to give near .22-250/.220Swift expansion/splat from the .222 when used on varmints. However, we are 30-40yrs past that time now. With the increase in the popularity of the AR15 platform with their fast twist barrels and plastic tipped bullets, it's hard except in some dusty out of the way store-rooms shelves to find a bullet that won't take the velocity of a 1/14" .22-250.

March 26, 2013, 09:30 AM
Thanks for your input. Regarding the 1.25 inch group, it's probably more an operator issue than a bullet issue.

March 26, 2013, 09:41 AM
Seems hot to me, I have never felt the need to push a 22-250 that hard, seems way hot for a hornet.

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