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22 Hornet/K-Hornet Question

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

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  1. Chamacat

    Chamacat Member

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    I have a Browning Micro-Hunter in a 22 Hornet..I've been shooting the Barnes Grenades 30 grain bullets with "Lil Gun" Hogden powder with some luck with groups...Then A guy at the range tells me he had a buddy that took a regular hornet and had the chamber machined to a K-Hornet..He said that the few grains more of powders tightened the group up...Then he says that the rifle cases are fire formed in the chamber to the new case...So I have looked at the RCBS website and cannot find where there are dies for the 22 K-Hornet...Is this also a custom die?...How many of you took a regular 22 hornet and modified it to a K-Hornet?..What was the outcome?..Do you wish that you would have left the hornet alone?...I looked in the archives but did not see any debate on this issue...My main question is really about the dies and where do you get them?...Carl
     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    My understanding was the K-Hornet was designed to increase velocity by reshaping the case.Hornet cases have to be fire formed and RCBS should be able to make the die. I have shot the Hornet for some years,now a 77/22Hornet. Using a 35 grain Hornady and Lil Gun, my groups are tight and will touch holes at 100 yards if I do what I am suppose to. I never saw the need to go to the K-Hornet as it does all I want to just being a Hornet. Byron
     
  3. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Chamacat: I have had some experience with and own a 22K-Hornet and a regular Hornet rifle. I became interested in a K-Hornet when I could only get two loadings out of my Hornet cases before case head splits started showing up on my cases. I had my gunsmth check head space and my Ruger 77-22H VT Rifle was right on. Since the Hornet chambers on the rim and the K-Hornet on the shoulder, I decided to rechamber to the K-Hornet. Best move I ever made as far as case life is concerned. I easily get 5-6 reloadings now before mouth splits occurs. More than several big advantages of the K-Hornet such as longer case life, increased velocity of 300 fps or better, and better accuracy. You can still fire the standard Hornet in your rifle, and that's how you form your K-Hornet cases, no other steps. My K-Hornet dies are Redding with both neck and FL sizing. RCBS lists 22K-Hornet Dies under their Group D dies. BTW, My K-Hornet shoots 3 shot groups under 3/4" now. My other rifle is an older Ruger 1B with a tight chamber that shoots under 1". That rifle will not be rechambered. :)
     
  4. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Quote from above, regarding K-Hornet advantages over standard Hornet:
    "better accuracy"
    Very interesting statement. Please explain.
    thanks
     
  5. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    The Hornet has been buried and left for dead many times over the years, but it must have zombie genes , 'cause you can't kill it. Yes the K Hornet has that nice little shoulder, in some eyes that makes it a more modern cartridge with a few more grains of capacity and a trifle more velocity, and there isn't ground hog out there or a paper target that can measure those differences. Go look at the difference in your loading manuals you might gain 100 fps,but accuracy, I doubt it, that being all else is equal.

    If you are trying to develope a bug hole shooter and the little .22 calibers are where you want to focus, go with a 222 Remington .22 PPC or .22 BR then your talking some significant difference, heck even the 218 Bee or 221 Fireball in a bolt rifle have the edge, over the K and although the Bee was intended to be shot in a lever gun,loaded with the modern ballistic tip bullets it is as accurate as the K or the original, same said with the reativley modern Fireball cartridge.

    The major thing in loading for the original Hornet is the twist question, along with the older .223 bore, the more modern 1 in 14 usually shoot the modern bullets better, and the 1 in 16 especially if they are .223 bore, usually shoot the old Hornet specific 45 grainers better.

    A .10th grain increase or decrease in powder or a change of primers in the original makes a big difference, in a small capacity case, might not in a cartridge like the .222 Rem. or .223, but you have to remember the old fella started out as a black powder round, and your trying to feed him fast food!
    Case life is directly proportional to the charge weight, the more you stuff in there the less you'll gain,the old guy's used to fried chicken not hot wings:D
     
  6. mhblaw

    mhblaw Member

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    I have a Kimber of Oregon Model 82 I had re-chambered to K-Hornet in 1982. K-Hornet case allows a little more powder of your choice that will increase the muzzle velocity for a given bullet, but not necessarily the accuracy. That being said, after many groups before and after the re-chambering, I cannot say the K is more accurate. But will second the motion on case life. I use Redding dies.
     
  7. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Thank you Mr. Dagger Dog, I think you made a sincere effort to address my question about relative accuracy of .22 K-Hornet and .22 Hornet, for which I thank you for your effort. But there seems to be confusion on your part concerning the .22 Hornet and .222 Remington. They are definately not the same. There is a large book "Cartridges of the World" which describes each, with pictures of each. In the wildcat chapter of the book also a description of the K-Hornet, which again, is not the same as the .222 Rem, which apparently you have mistaken it for. You will find this book, and other chapters quite helpful, certainly moreso than gun related websites, which apparently, and very understandably, may have been the source of your confusion. Perhaps you will find other, less confusing, information on other wedsites or books. As to the response of Mr. mhblaw, (above) thank you Sir for your timely response. You obviously understood my inquiry and gave a valid answer. I think we will all learn something from subsiquent responses, which, hopefully, there will be more of.
    Thank you all.
    offfhand
     
  8. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    Offhand,

    I may be confusing:confused: in my attempt to show the differences of powder charge increments in a more modern cartridge as the tripple duece over the older black powder Hornet.

    sorrry Bud
     
  9. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Black Powder? I don't think either the .222 Rem or Hornet are loaded with black powder. Better check your sources. Hodgdon Powder Co. lists lots of loads for these and other cartridges but nothing about black powder. I think you will find it enlightening, and there are several other sources of basic information for beginning reloaders that you will find helpful. I think most experts will recommend that you get copies of reloading guides by Sierra or Hornady, they include tips for beginners that will get you started off safely.
     
  10. Rancho Relaxo

    Rancho Relaxo Member

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    From talking to other varmint shooters, I've heard the most important result of a rechamber to the Kilbourn Hornet was the extended brass life. Secondary was a higher velocity and I've rarely heard that it made their rifle more accurate. I love my hornet, but even with neck sizing, brass life is 2 or 3 reloads and they start to crack.
     
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I missed the part where dagger dog said the Hornet or K Hornet was the same as the .222, both of which I have, or have had, over the years. No one can confuse the Hornet/K Hornet with the .222 if they have ever seen them.

    I have never had a K Hornet, but all the K Hornet fans talk about better case life, a little more case capacity/velocity, and many say it is more accurate.
     
  12. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I've been asked why I claim my 22K-Hornet is more accurate after conversion and I can only reply with this statement. The increasd velocity at 2700 fps seems to better stabilize the Hornady 45 gr bullet with out of my 26" Ruger 1B barrel. My groups were almost halved since I converted to the 22K-Hornet. Nothing else was changed on my rifle except a chamber reamming.
     
  13. longone

    longone Member

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    I don't have my exact load data with me but I'm using the 35gr. vmax, 13.0 gr. of Lil-Gun @ sammi max lenght. cci small rifle primer. I have shot sub .700" 5 shoth groups @ 100 with this load. I let my 10 year old shot 12ga shotshell hulls off the boards @ 75 & 100 yards. It is crazy accurate considering this cartridge has been left for dead many times. It also makes a fantastic deer rifle for HEAD SHOTS ONLY. Ruger 77/22 stainless / lam stock. 3x9 50mm Var X II. 5 shot chrono avg is around 2850fps.
     
  14. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    To set the record straight , the Hornet uses a case designed for blackpowder ,it is the 22 Winchester Centerfire converted to smokless powder around 1920, the 222 Remington was designed and brought into production 1950 well beyond the smokless era.

    Trying to stress my point, is that in loading the Hornet you have to remember you are shooting a case designed to use black powder ,22 WCF the parent case of the Hornet, in loading with smokless powder (Lil' GUN) very small changes cause GREAT results, not so in a modern cased cartridge (222Rem.) which is designed from the consepction to use smokless.
     
  15. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Dagger Dog, at this time, just what is your point?
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    re read the thread and it should be obvious
     
  17. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Correct. The .22 WCF was overbore for a blackpowder cartrige. Depending on formulation, from 40 to 60% of the combustion products of black powder will be solids, and much of this gets deposited in the bore. When you eject the case, smoke can be sucked back into the chamber, fouling it. The .22 WCF fouled the little bore and chamber badly.

    To compensate for this, Winchester made the chamber bigger (relative to the case) than is the modern practice. They also made the case quite tapered, to allow it to break free from a fouled chamber with the first movement of the case.

    The big chamber and tapered case affect accuracy, which is why the Hornet has such a poor reputation for accuracy. My formula for accuracy in the Hornet (I get 0.5 inch 3-shot groups from my M82 Kimber) is:

    1. Fire form your brass. Once fire-formed to the chamber it fits properly.

    2. Disturb the brass as little as possible. I use a Lee Collet die. I make the collet activate early by putting a couple of washers on the shell holder. As a result, only the front half of the neck is resized, leaving the back half to act as a "pilot," centering the bullet in the throat.

    3. Use Hodgdon's Li'l Gun. I use the case itself as a powder measure, dipping it full and tapping the case to settle the powder. The cases are placed in a loading blockand examined by flashlight to be sure all powder charges are at the same level.

    4. Seat the bullet well out -- almost touching the lands.

    5. Use Hornady 35-grain V-Max bullets. In the V-Max, all the changes in weight are in the nose. The 35 grain bullet has a much shorter nose than the 40 grain and heavier bullets. This allows you to seat the bullet until it touches the lands and still have an OAL that will feed through the magazine.

    6. Cheat. I can see most of my pasture from my front porch. I know exactly where to hold for every rock and stump, so when a crow lands there, I know where to hold. I like to lie flat on the porch, with my hand on the lower railing, the rifle rested on it -- steady as a bench rest.
     
  18. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Dagger Dog, thanks to others who have sent me private messages and explanitions, I now understand the confusion about black powder. As an astute and apparently experienced member pointed out, you must have been shown some smokeless powder which you apprently assumed was black powder because smokeless powder is actually black or quite dark. Therefore your miss-identification is understandable. I'm sure other beginning amateurs have made the same mistake. However, understanding this difference will make it more clear to you that smokeless powder used in loading .22 Hornet and .222 Rem. is actually NOT black powder which you obviously thought it to be. I trust this simple clarification will be of help to you and further aid your introduction to different cartridges and the science of reloading. Please buy or borrow some books on cartridges and their seemingly endless loading optons. They have been most helpful to me and I'm confident you will benefit similarly.
     
  19. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    ????????????????????????????????????????
     
  20. Offfhand

    Offfhand Member

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    Thank you everyone for your imput, this has been most instructive. It should all be put in a book. But, back to my original question about the relative accuracy of the .22 Hornet, vs K-Hornet: There have been statements that the K-Hornet is more accurate, but noone as yet has explained why this may, or may not, be true. It really is a puzzle.

    Merry Christmas Everyone, and I hope there is at least one new gun under the tree for each of us. Santa has already told me he's bringing one to my wife.
     
  21. P51D

    P51D Member

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    Offhand & DaggerDog - I think I followed exactly what DaggerDog was saying: small changes in smokeless powder charges, in a small volume cartridge case that evolved from the blackpowder era, can cause substantial variations in ballistics, pressures, etc.. That is, the Hornet can be ESPECIALLY sensitive to changes in powder charges and primers. A cartridge with a larger case capacity (e.g., the .222 Rem), may not be as sensitive. I'm willing to bet DaggerDog knows the difference between black and smokeless powders, and that the .222 is not a BP cartridge.

    Offhand - for what it's worth, I'm still fine tuning loads for my CZ 527 in 22 Hornet, and my best so far has been about 0.80" (five shots, 100 yds). That was using Hornady 35 gr V-Max and Lil'Gun. So it can certainly be a good shooter. But I've shot a lot of other combos that were much worse. My experience with the Hornet is true to its reputation: It can be very finicky. But I absolutely love it! :D

    P51D
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  22. villemur

    villemur Member

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    The K-Hornet has more accuracy potential because it can be made to headspace on the shoulder, as opposed to the rim.
     
  23. twice barrel

    twice barrel Member

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    That makes two good explanations!
     
  24. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    P51D,

    You're my main man!
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The Hornet is like a red-headed woman, intriguing, exciting, and totally exasperating.
     
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