Lil' Gun, the hornet and disagreement in manuals


May 25, 2013, 04:45 PM
I have a Ruger in .22 hornet. I was told that Lil' gun was a wonder powder in this cartridge so I bought some.

I've been told you almost can't put too much of this powder in the case.
I've never seen signs of pressure but I never got it to shoot well so I've moved on to trying 1680 and 296.

Well today was looking though some manuals and see that Sierra and Nosler go light on powder compared to Hodgons data or Hornady's.

For example 40g bullet
Sierra Manual 9.2 to 10.6 Max
Nosler Manual 9.0 to 11.0 Max
Hornady Manual 10.0 to 13.5 Max
Hogdon Web 12.0 to 13.0 Max

Could someone that reloads for the hornet clue me in a bit?


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May 25, 2013, 06:23 PM
You will find that a lot with any caliber and different tests.

Take the average of the low and the average of the high. Use something in the middle.

When in doubt I use the Powder Companies data as they made the product and tested it to be safe per their published data. Not to say the manuals are not safe or correct, it is just a whole different day, test barrel, lot number, temp, humidity and Moon phase.;)

May 25, 2013, 06:24 PM
I've never used Lil' Gun in my Hornet; only H110 & W296. They meter out so nicely and the velocity improves a bit on factory speeds. I get sub moa groups with these two powders.

May 26, 2013, 09:49 AM
I am told you cannot fit enough Lil Gun in the case to hurt anything. Dunno, but I do know AA 1680 is what made my .22 Hornet finally sing.

dagger dog
May 26, 2013, 12:01 PM
I've heard a few loader here on this sight that dip the Hornet case in a bowl of Li'l Gun and seat the bullet.

I've chrono'ed Hornet loads with new Winchester brass and CCI BR4 primers with 12.5 -13 grs Little Gun, pushing a 40 gr V-Max set to 1.90" coal @ 2,800 avg. and 3,050 fps, avg.

13 grs is a little hard on brass, and the extra 250 fps ain't going to make a difference that a ground hog can tell any way. If you want some thing hotter go to the Barnes Varmint Grenade in 30 grs with a 12.5 gr charge.

My gun is super accurate with Lil' Gun, I've used 2400,IMR4227,AA1680,W296-H110, Lil' Gun out shot them all, had a 7/8" 20 round group @ 100 benched, with the 12.5 40 Vmax load.

May 26, 2013, 12:28 PM
Try 2400 also. It works great in my rifles. 8.7 gr behind a 45 gr Sierra SP gets me up to 2425 fps and good groups.

Still Shooting
May 26, 2013, 02:58 PM
I loaded 75 rds. of Hornet yesterday with the 40gr. Nosler BT's and noticed the differences between Hornady, Nosler, and Hodgdon loads. I went straight for the Nosler load recommendations using Lil Gun. I also put up 30 rds. of K-Hornet, because my rifle is actually re-chambered to K.

I have previously used 2400 and IMR4227, but have yet to "wring out" what I would consider to be a sweet spot for any of the 3 powders. It's good to hear about some others that people are using with good results!

The rifle is a Ruger 77/22H, and I took it down to Randy at Conn. Precision Chambering a couple of years ago. He did a beautiful job of cutting back the barrel shoulder by 0.100" and doing a K-hornet minimum chamber. He also reworked the 2-piece bolt with a tapered pin (now it's a 1-piece bolt, no "slop"). He reworked the trigger to a nice, crisp 2lb-4oz. pull, and put an 11deg. recessed crown on the barrel. The re-bluing is undetectable, and the accuracy has gone from mediocre to passable. Now I want to make it "sweet!"

May 26, 2013, 05:46 PM
Well a Hornet is a Hornet after all.;) I do get my best out of it with a FULL case of Little Gun, compressed with a Speer 40 grain JSP bullet. I find that you need to neck size after fire-forming the brass for anywhere near a long case life. I shoot a Savage 219 single shot and a NEF Handi Rifle FWIW.:) You need more out of the rifle than that go to a 222 or 223. Even the .22 WMR ends up with marginally better ballistics it seems.:scrutiny: The real advantage is a light round that is reloadable.

Comrade Mike
May 26, 2013, 06:17 PM
I've noticed that with a '96 vintage Hornady manual I have. My lee and hodgon manual out 11.4 grains or so as a max behind a 140 grain XTP where Hornady has it up to 13.5. I still haven't convinced myself to use Hornady's data yet.

May 26, 2013, 07:59 PM
I am told you cannot fit enough Lil Gun in the case to hurt anything. Dunno, but I do know AA 1680 is what made my .22 Hornet finally sing.

I loaded a range of 45 to 50 g bullets for my Ruger K77/22-VHZ using AA1680 tonight.

I've been told the same thing about filling a case with Lil Gun but it is at odds with the loading manuals weight data. I wonder what other chamberings Lil' gun is popular for? I'm sitting on 3# of the stuff.

dagger dog
May 26, 2013, 10:34 PM
.410 28 gauge shot shell 357 ,44 Magnum, some hot 45 Colt, 454 Casull .

Using the case you're going to shoot filled to the brim with any powder except holy black is a crap shoot !

May 26, 2013, 11:40 PM
I was told to use LilGun with 45 grain bullet. Have you tried a full case of Lil Gun with a small pistol primer, 45 grain hornet bullet, and crimped with Lee Factory Crimp die? I use that load in my Savage 340 with good accuracy. I have always crimped after being told that was the secret to getting consistant loads.

May 28, 2013, 06:41 AM
Yes, we all know W296/H110, 4227, 2400 and all the older magnum powders will work well in the 22 Hornet but the question was about Lil'Gun. My shooting buddy stopped shooting his 22 Hornet years ago because it just didn't "do it for him" any more. Well, at the advice of another shooter at the range he gave Lil'Gun a try and he claims it was like shooting a completely different cartridge. The claims are Lil'Gun has breath new life into the 22 Hornet and I think it just might have. He's using Remington 6 1/2 SR primers and a Hornady 45gr bullet over 11.5gr Lil'Gun.

He has not tried AA1680 but I'm sure it works very well too. I'm also wondering how well Allaint's new Power Pro 300-MP will do in the 22 Hornet. I'm especially interested in that powder because while looking through the Hornady manual the data for a 158gr XTP bullet in the .357 Magnum surprised me a lot. As you know Hornady gives they data in velocity steps and in that data 300-MP goes 3 full steps above any other powder listed, including W296/H110, the second highest velocity powder. W296/H110 stops at 1250 fps while 300-MP lists data for 1300 fps, 1350 fps and an amazing for these days 1400 fps. It's too bad they don't supply pressure info too because I'm very curious as to what the pressures are with those loads. I can only imagine how much velocity Power Pro 300-MP will add to the 22 Hornet if it can perform in that cartridge in the same manner as reported in the .357 Magnum. BUT, none of that data includes Lil'Gun so I'm not sure if 300-MP is as superior to Lil'Gun producing high velocity as it is to the other powders tested. :confused:

May 28, 2013, 07:22 AM
Sunday morning I shot my Hornet at 300 yards right along side the .308s. It barely marked the steel and we couldn't hear it, but after getting the drop right with a couple of shots centering hits on the steel was easy.

Lots of fun, not boring or outdated. Also shot my .222 Mag. Never got the .308 out of the vehicle. (Shot it the day before ( :)

May 28, 2013, 09:19 AM
i have tried Lil'gun was not as accurate as 296......11gr 296 behind 40g ragged hole at 100y.....

the Black Spot
May 28, 2013, 09:51 AM
My load was 12.5 gr of lilgun with a 40gr Sierra hp. Out of a NEF handi-rifle. Would shoot half inch groups at 100yds on a windless day.

May 28, 2013, 08:37 PM
I have 2 hornets both like 50 grain bullets better than 45. I shoot the Hornaday SP or SPSX. I have shot up to 13 grains and accuracy is excellent both rifles are CZ and will shoot 10 shots in an inch at 100 yards. You can use small pistol primers. My best 10 shot group was .845" with 12.6 grains and Remington 6.5 primers. I don't do 3 shot groups with the hornet

Lil Gun is a winner for the hornet sort your brass by weight and manuacturer for best results.

By Bryan Armatys

He has some excellent advice for reloading the hornet. If you cant find it lmk I will post it.

Good Luck

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