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Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by OtG, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. OtG

    OtG New Member

    May 9, 2004
    So, I've just gotten myself a 23D in K-Hornet.
    I have a box of regular ol' .22 Hornet that I'll need to shoot before I can get down to business, but I figured I'd ask a few questions first.

    I reload .38 Spl. (yes, I'm broke), but that's the extent of my reloading experience. I know little of reloading rifle ammo, except that it requires weird stuff like "trimming" and "neck-sizing vs. full-length sizing".

    Since I'll be fiddling with a wildcat, is there anything unusual that I'll need to look out for? I know that Hornets come in two sizes, but I'm not sure how I'd go about divining which size I have.

    Powders: does anyone have a favorite powder for this cartridge? I only have Red Dot and Titegroup, so I guess I'll need to make a trip to the gun store (tough break, I know).

    Sorry if I've rambled.
    Thanks in advance for any help!
  2. ~z

    ~z Active Member

    Aug 19, 2005
    High plains of Texas
    OtG, I shoot the plain jane Hornet, but have been considering converting to the K. As far as the reloading goes, Lil'Gun has done well for me. If the rifle is fairly modern, it is most likely the .224. I'm sure someone around here knows the year they changed from .223. But...Hornet cases are thin walled, so you will get more life from just neck sizing. Also when fire forming, use reduced loads. When forming some, a friend of mine was still splitting the neck on about 1 or 2 out of 10. But the main bullet point of my post here is Lil'Gun is a good powder for small capacity cases like the Hornet.
  3. Max Velocity

    Max Velocity New Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Reloading the K Hornet


    Here's an article on the K Hornet. It's a few years old but good info.
    K-Hornet is Old and Improved

    Bob Forker Article

    Speer loading info page on their 33 grain TNT HP bullet
    22 Hornet with 33 gr TNT HP bullet
    Note: Speer recommends CCI small pistol primers for their loads.

    Lil' Gun is a good powder for the Hornet, K or otherwise.

    Lee case trimmers are good choices, especially if you are only trimming one or two particular cartridges. they're inexpensive, easy to use, do a good job and you don't need calipers to adjust the length.

    Hope this is helpful.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2005
  4. Dave R

    Dave R Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Yes, rifle brass need to be trimmed every so often or it will grow too long for the chamber, after several/many firings. With a K-Hornet's pressure, it'll probably go more firings between trimmings.

    You can either buy a case trimmer, or buy Lee's trim die, which basically just lets you file off the excess length.

    If you buy a case trimmer, you'll also need a caliper to measure case length accurately.

    The Lee Trim die is the economical way to go. The trimmer/caliper is better for higher volumes, as its slightly faster.

    Neck sizing vs. full-length sizing just means that, with a bolt gun you can usually get away with just re-sizing the neck, rather than the full length of the brass. Theoretically, the brass has fire-formed to your chamber, and doesn't need to be full-length sized unless it needs to fit in ALL chambers (i.e., if you have more than one rifle in that chambering.) Some people believe you get slightly better accuracy with neck sizing. You can neck-size either with special dies, or just by adjusting your regular full-length sizing die a little differently. The die instructions should explain it.
  5. bisley11

    bisley11 New Member

    Feb 9, 2005

    IMHO call Lee Precision and order a Lee Collet die. Uses an internal collet
    to neck size only without pushing the shoulder back affecting head space.
    Keeps run out to a minimum too. You'll find brass to last much longer since
    a collet system works the brass much less. They even custom make the die
    for you including the bullet seater. They'll want you to send em two fire
    formed pieces of brass for the K as well as a bullet of choice. They send the bullet and brass back to you along with the die set. Have used this die to
    load for my Cooper KHornet and regularly blast the heads off gophers out
    to 150yds. Out of all the "gopher rifles" I own the K is one of my favorites.:)
  6. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Participating Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Lockport, IL
    OTG, I have a 23-D too. It uses .223" bullets, NOT .224". It is the first rifle ever chambered for the 22 Hornet cartridge, (I think 1933), even before Winchester's rifle. The 23-D's barrel was for 22LR, and was chambered for the Hornet. That is why it has the smaller diameter bore. A few years later, (I dont know how many), the .224" bore was used. It will shoot well with a little work. My rifle is still in the 22 Hornet guise, as yours was before someone converted it. Mine works best with Sierras 40 grn. .223" bullet over 9 grns 2400. I use Redding's type S neck sizing die, with no expander on the stem. Neck sizing is a must. Let us know of your trials with loads, and how it shoots. Im thinking of having mine reamed out to K-Hornet, because it has a rough chamber.
  7. Khornet

    Khornet Participating Member

    Dec 30, 2002
    Mine is a Savage single-shot, and I've not been able to find for sure whether it's a .224 or .223, but I've found it shoots .224 best. The current Hornady loading manual has a bunch of K-Hornet loads, something I've never seen in a standard manual before.

    I've had good luck with IMR 4227 and 2400. Just fire-form standard Hornet brass and load away.

    A little too zippy for squirrels from what I can see. But a fun rifle nonetheless. Very flat shooter.
  8. OtG

    OtG New Member

    May 9, 2004
    Thanks for the info, guys.
    I'll try to get out to the range (if it ever stops snowing, that is) this weekend to fireform, and see how it shoots factory ammo.

    I'll need to order dies and bullets, so loading may need to wait for $ reasons :(
    I'll post results when I get them, and hopefully some photos.

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