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22 Hornet Rate of twist VRS Bullet weight

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Chamacat, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Chamacat

    Chamacat Well-Known Member

    I am at a stopping point somewhat...I have purchased a Browning Micro Hunter in a .22 caliber hornet...The rate of twist is 1-16..I have purchased also Barnes grenade bullet's in 30 grain..that are manufactured specifically for the 22 hornet..The question I have is with a 1-16 twist can anyone tell me how heavy a 22 hornet go bullet weight wise before the bullet will not stabalize?...I even heard a 40 grain Nosler ballistic tip will not stabalize out of a 1-16 twist..Your thought's please
  2. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    Been re-loading the .22 Hornet and K-Hornet for 50 years or so. The vast majority of Hornets with 1-16" rate of twist will stabilize 50 grain bullets: Some 55 grain bullets are iffy depending on the individual barrel and powder load. Have never used the 40 grain Nosler ballistic tip but I refuse to believe that a 40 grain .22 bullet will not stabilize when fired from a 1-16" barrel.

    Good luck with your Hornet.
  3. Chamacat

    Chamacat Well-Known Member

    I'm gonna call browning when the sun comes up and ask them also...I'm gonna side track my own thread a bit..When I load to the OCL provided by Nosler #6...I notice that the 40 grain bullet seats to deeply..I can see space between bullet and the inside of the neck..So I gonna try and move the bullet out to .20 off the lands..

    Alsaqr...What bullets do you load for your 1-16 twist ..22 hornet..thanks in advance
  4. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member


    Try finding the shortest length bullet in the weight you are wanting. The Barnes 30 gr Varmint Grenade is longer than the 40 gr Hornady VMax, it is the length of the bullet that dictates the twist rate of the barrel, more than the weight.
  5. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    From your last post It sounds to me that you ase not loading "Hornet specific bullets" if you have to set them so deeply that you see powder between bullet and case. I, too, load for both the Hornet and K-Hornet and have found the Honady 45 gr bullet(cat # 2230) to be the most accurate bullet for either cartridge. Hornady also has a 45 gr HP that shoots equally as well and I believe that Cat # to be 2240...I'm not in my reloading room now. Both Hornady bullets are Hornet specific.
  6. jjohnson

    jjohnson Well-Known Member

    55 gr no-go

    Well, I can tell you that for my Savage 340, I can get really good results with 40-45 grains, and when I tried (a few times) 55gr bullets, half of them missed the paper at 100 yards - they were keyholing.

    The 55 grain bullets I loaded were too long to feed by magazine - I loaded them a bit "forward" to see if I could use a bit more powder in the available space. Even with near-max loads, I couldn't get them to stabilize.

    That sort of makes using 55gr milsurp FMJ bullets senseless.

    Your barrel might do better - but mine has the same twist yours does, and just won't do it. I think you're pretty much stuck with "hornet specific" bullets for anything like consistent accuracy and clean kills.

    Hey - it's a fine little cartridge anyway, as long as you stick within the design envelope.
  7. Chamacat

    Chamacat Well-Known Member

    Yep...So I called Browning and the coustomer serivice rep told me that the only information that he would give me is that the Micro Medallion was a 1-16 twist and that he was not a bullet manufacture and would give no advcie..OK..So I got some barnes grenades in a 30 grain bullet that is made for the hornet..and will load some AA1680...I would like to shoot the nosler 40 grain..I think I'm gonna try that all..Please let me know about the hornady loads..Thanks in Advance..Carl

    Loadedround is your Hornet a 1-16 twist? Thanks
  8. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member


    You got to try Lil'Gun powder! It is THE Hornet powder! Hornady 40 gr VMAX, 12.5 grs of the Lil'Gun, Remington 61/2 primers.

    Chances are your Hornet will shoot well with AA1680, IMR4227, Aliant 2400, it will also respond to neck sizing well, some are using small pistol primers and getting great results,don't rule out the 35 gr Vmax or the Berger 35 FBHP they are a tad shorter than the Varmint Grenade and will make HAM"BERGER" when connecting with varmint meat!

    Left to right is Berger 35gr FBHP Varmint Match, Barnes FBHP Varmint Grenade, Hornady 40gr BT VMAX, Nosler 50 BT Ballistic tip, Barnes 50 gr FBHP Varmint Grenade.
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  9. Offfhand

    Offfhand Well-Known Member

    Discussions of the .22 Hornet are always interesting because there are so many differing opinions. I've owned quite a few Hornets over the years, still have a few, and have a different opinion about each of them. Some are nicely accurate and some refuse to group well at all. Of special intrest regarding twist and bullet weight is an old (1950's) Model 70 rifle that was orginally a Hornet and converted to .222 Rem. which was the fate of many of them. It has the original Hornet barrel with 16" twist and has proven more accurate with 52 grain bullets than with lighter Hornet type bullets. The high quality of the 52 grainers partially accounts for the good accuracy I'm sure, but I'm also inclined to suspect that the higher velocity of the .222 tends to compensate for the relqatively slow twist. I've seen similar results with some of my other rifles and I'm also inclined to think its one of the reasons that the higher velocity K-Hornets tend to be more accurate with heavier bullets than standard Hornets. I'd be particuarly interested in hearing from anyone who also owns and loads for M-70 Hornet/.222 conversions.
  10. Chamacat

    Chamacat Well-Known Member

    Aright...I have lil gun powder and will tri it out on the nosler 40 grainers...So what the deal is now is that this rifle won't let me .020 off the lands and have the bullet seated properly in the case..I have always been told that make sure that the diameter of the bullet is seated in the case at that depth minium..So when doing so i figure to be off the lands with a 40 grain nosler @ .034...And I'm gonna shoot in the morning..
  11. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    Most of my Hornet handloads use a 45 grain bullet. Have never used any of the newer 40 grain and lighter bullets. I buy my bullets in bulk. The Hornady 45 grain SP is a good bullet. Am currently using some bulk 45 grain hollow points that I think are from Sierra.

    The major cause of inaccuracy in some modern US made .22 Hornets is the chambers. The SAAMI chamber is huge. European .22 Hornet guns have much better chambers as do the older US made guns.

    A good .22 Hornet article:


  12. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    I don't load for 22 Hornet, but my experience with 222, 223, and 22-250 have given me some insight in dealing with heavier bullets in slower twist barrels.
    You can either increase the velocity, or use the shorter flat base bullets, either or both will help compensate. Increasing velocity is usually not an option unless you alter the case capacity. (K-Hornet?)
    So bullet selection remains as the prime component of change. Boat tail bullets tend to be longer than flat base of the same weight and can be the difference between stabilized or a keyhole on target.
    I recommend picking a reliable flat base, lead and copper bullet like loadedround mentioned.

  13. Gik-tal

    Gik-tal Well-Known Member

    This may go agaist all that you have heard but twist rate has more to do with bullet length than weight. I've attached a samll chart for the .224 diamater bullets.

    0.355 to 0.368 1 in 25
    0.369 to 0.384 1 in 24
    0.385 to 0.401 1 in 23
    0.402 to 0.420 1 in 22
    0.421 to 0.440 1 in 21
    0.441 to 0.463 1 in 20
    0.464 to 0.488 1 in 19
    0.489 to 0.516 1 in 18
    0.517 to 0.547 1 in 17
    0.548 to 0.582 1 in 16
    0.583 to 0.622 1 in 15
    0.623 to 0.669 1 in 14
    0.670 to 0.722 1 in 13
    0.723 to 0.785 1 in 12
    0.786 to 0.860 1 in 11

    if you follow this chart then the optimal bullet for a 1 in 16 would have an over all length of between 0.548 and 0.582 inches.
  14. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    The hornet rifle I shoot won't let me seat out to the lands with any of the 30 35 40 grain varmint style bullets, so I seat them as you stated .224" deep in the case, have had great results even with the short stubby 35 Vmax. Early on in my hornet loading I was trying to replicate the winchester factory load and was using the Speer 33 gr hollow point ,it is shorter than the 35 Vmax and still gave less than 2" at 100.
  15. Chamacat

    Chamacat Well-Known Member

    What a diaster at the range today..the little hornet sprayed using AA1680..I only had the 30 Barnes grenades that were hornet specific and that didn't work out so well..talk about flyers...I shot the 40 grain noslers just seated to .224 sprayed everywhere and tried barnes grebade 36 grain ..all with AA1680 and the bullet key holed at 75 yards..So I have reread all these posts..I'm gonna try the lil gun powder and stay hornet specific..I have one question is the 35 grain hornady VMax a hornet specfic bullet?...
  16. dagger dog

    dagger dog Well-Known Member

    Hornady produces loaded Hornet ammunition with the 35gr VMAX.

    A few tips , bullet to case run out especially when seating flat base bullets needs to be kept to a minimum, primer selection with such small case volume is a factor, "cooler" primers give better results for me, Now that you have brass fire formed to your Hornets' chamber neck size them.

    If you don't have a bullet run out gauge, place a loaded round on a mirror and roll it across the surface with your fingers, if there is any runout it will stick out like a sore thumb, I have had good luck with the LEE dead length seater that came with the Delux Collet die set, and I like the 40 gr Vmax with the small boat tail IMO it helps on starting the bullet true, I also start the bullet then turn the round 180 degrees in the press before seating to the stop.

    Hope some of this helps.
  17. Offfhand

    Offfhand Well-Known Member

    A common cause of poor performance with reloaded Hornet ammo is faulty equipment and loading technique. A simple inspection of reloaded ammo, as described by Dagger Dog, often reveals that something is amiss from the get-go. When there is a basic problem with loading equipment and setups it won't be corrected by trying different loads, bullets, etc. that have made loading for the Hornet so frustrating for many reloaders. That's why handloaders who know how to make the Hornet perform well use Wilson dies and especially the Wilson seating die, which produces truly straight cartridges. Many times, shooters who reported unsatisfactory accuracy with their reloads have been amazed at the improvement simply by using the Wilson seating die. Another trick that can work wonders is to use about a .238" neck sizing bushing and sizing only about half of the neck. Which further aids in centering the cartridge in the chamber and helps compensate for the oversize chambers of many Hornet rifles. Attached is a photo of the dies I use.

    Attached Files:

  18. Chamacat

    Chamacat Well-Known Member

    I went back to the range today.My gunsmith buddy gave me 6 hornets in the 35 grain VMax..He saw the paper targets and said shoot these and if it doesn't straighten up will do something else..I reloaded the little hornets with "Lil Gun"..and continued to use the 30 grain Barnes grenade.."Hornet Specific"...I use the COL..that was recommended and what a difference today was..The Lil Gun out performed the factory loads by quite a bit..I was mostly impressed with the compressed load of 14 grains..At 50 yards I had one holed with the 30 grain 4 outa 5 times.'the flyer was 3/4 in from the rest..The bulet is .054 from the lands..And I'm happy..So I can't say enough of thank you's for all the imput..I'm realizing that I may have had questionable loading techinque..But one thing for sure this gun hates AA1680..I have never seen so much inconsistency in a caliber of bullet..bought some 45 grain Hornandy Honet specfic today and will try that load..Gald I can move out to 100 yards know.And thanks again for the tips....Carl

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