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22 Hornet or 218 Bee; what would you buy?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hinton03, Mar 19, 2009.

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  1. hinton03

    hinton03 Member

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    Interested in any comments from the shooters of these calibers. I am looking at a semi-custom bolt rifle in 22 Hornet, but saw a few folks were buying 218 Bee. Considering I hand load I don't mind having a one off caliber like 218 Bee, especially in a semi-custom rifle.

    The rifle will be used for general field duties (pest control, small game, varmints) in areas where noise is an issue and shots are under 200 yards.

    What would you buy?
     
  2. BMW2

    BMW2 Member

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    I have only a passing familiarity with these cartridges but I would see if appropriate bullets are available for your usage in each caliber and what the components cost in general. You might load your own but are brass and bullets a lot more for the bee?
     
  3. cliffy

    cliffy member

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    Wow! .22 Hornet Versus .218 Bee

    I'd rather load .223 Remington with 36 grain Barnes Varmint Grenades powered by a mere 27.2 grains of Alliant Reloder 10x. Loading any caliber takes the same amount of effort, so go for the the most efficient light charge: .223 Remington. cliffy
     
  4. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Is there a 223 guy under every rock? he said .218 or hornet. I have have shot and loaded a Winchester model 43 in .218 bee for 30 years and it is one of most enjoyable guns I own. It always liked WW 680 and cheap Hornady .223 "hornet" bullets rather then stick powder. When WW discontinued 680 I switched to accurate arms 1680 grain for grain with the same excellent results. One of the cheapest CF rifles you can load for. The bee has a little more poop then hornet but not a whole lot so I would make brass availability/price a determining factor.[With my 1 k bee brass stash,I really don't worry about it!]
     
  5. hinton03

    hinton03 Member

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    Cliffy: I have a 223 that I love, but looking for a reason to buy a new rifle and have always wanted a small center fire .22 caliber, but I may have to try that load in my 223 for ****s and giggles.

    Jim: Any issues with case life for the Bee, some folks here were complaining that they are only getting 3-5 reloads on Hornet brass.

    Thanks
     
  6. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    I would love to have the Win 43 that my Father in Law traded off because a box of 50 218 bee cartridges was more expensive than a box of "20" cartridges for the junky Savage 340 in 222rem he got.

    Looking at case life I would go with a bee over a hornet, but would take either if one was available.
     
  7. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    I went with .218 Bee myself. Brass is stronger, so you'll get more reloads out of it, and it adds a couple hundred fps to the velocity. I'd go Bee or K-hornet. I see no good reason to pick the hornet over the K-hornet, in any event.
     
  8. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    Hornet Brass is more common and you don't have to hassle with re-sizing. You have more choices in factory rifles as well.
     
  9. Harve Curry

    Harve Curry Member

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    I'm new to the 22 Hornet. I shoot them out of a old junky Savage Stevens bolt action.
    Mr.Trooper, How come you don't have to hassle with resizing?
     
  10. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    hinton-Yes I do see signs of case stretching after 2-3 loads just ahead of the web but have never had a actual case separation. I am firmly convinced that is a result of the model 43's rear lock up bolt,rather than weak brass. After all,how can brass stretch if the action doesn't? I believe case life in a front lock up would the same as any other. Also use of ball powder for a given MV greatly helped reduce the effect. Different pressure curve?
     
  11. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    i would buy a 221 fireball if not that then go for the hornet. I have a 221 and a friend has the hornet. The fireball isn't much louder if at all and within 200 yards its very flat shooting and packs 1.5 times the punch when loaded right with lil gun. I use 40grain sierra hp over 15.8 grains of lil gun in remington brass with remington 7.5 primers.
     
  12. dat2

    dat2 Member

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    depends on if you reload or not, can you still get 218 bee in a factory load? reloading I'ld go with the bee
     
  13. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    Since you reload you might as well go with the Bee.
     
  14. woof

    woof Member

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    Wasn't there a .219 Zipper? Is it totally obsolete now?
     
  15. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Yes, there was a .219 Zipper and .219 Donaldson Wasp and 5.7 Johnson Spitfire. And a few others. Yes they are all obsolete now. Only the Bee and Hornet still have a strong following. The .221 fireball does too, but it's a bit more powerful, so arguably in and arguably not in, the same "class".
     
  16. S. Hill

    S. Hill Member

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    K-Hornet

    I have a K-Hornet.

    As opposed to what was previously posted, I have had no trouble forming the brass. You can either shoot regular Hornet factory ammo, or you can load regular Hornet brass in your K-Hornet dies to full factory specs and fire it in your K-Hornet rifle. Incidentally, I have had very good accuracy even during that forming process.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I doubt there is a lot of difference in brass strength between the two.

    The .218 is just 25-20, 32-20 WCF necked down, and they are not noted for being a strong case.
    Quite the contrary in fact.

    I do agree that case stretching has a lot to do with the rifles most often found in either caliber.

    Even the Ruger 77/22 Hornet has a lot going on with the bolt design that allows stretching.

    I have a .218 Bee Browning 65 lever-action. It locks up like a bank vault door, and I have had no problems with case life.

    An old Winchester 42 Hornet eats brass for breakfast, lunch, & dinner.
    But it's not the brass, it's the gun.

    rc
     
  18. t165

    t165 Member

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    Don't reload so 22 hornet. I have a mannlicher stocked H&R 157 and a Ruger 77/22 Hornet. I will admit the 218 bee is superior.
     
  19. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    if i could find a bolt action heavy barrelled bee, i would be all over it, even at 2-3 times the price of an identical hornet... a 218 bee is one rifle i don't have that is on my want list.
     
  20. Auburn1992

    Auburn1992 Member

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    My comment may not be worth much but, seeing as I don't know the ballistics of the .218 and barely know of the hornet, I would go with the hornet only due to the availability of it.
     
  21. hinton03

    hinton03 Member

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    dakotasin:

    Cooper Riles offers several different heavy varmints in 218 Bee for about $1500. I am leaning towards their Classic sporter weight in 218.
     
  22. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    The Hornet seems to have the 9 lives of a cat. Plenty of brass by Win. Rem. and load data, even a few bullets ,35 V-MAX 33 gr Speer ,Berger are prooduced for the Tiny Terror, not to mention the rifles old and new and handguns, that are chambered for this round.

    The Bee is another story either custom-semicustom,or darn near antique firearms are all you are going to find. This is a cartridge that needs to be fostered and then maybe it will become the next Lazurus in the firearm world.

    There are still runs of Bee brass produced by Winchester, all the same weight bullets cross over, ditto powder and primers.

    The Bee has the edge over the Hornet , it just had the misfortune to be in the wrong "hive", a lever gun and didn't show the same pinpoint accuracy as its smooth stingered brethren. Savage needs to get their buzz on and chamber the Mdl. 40 or 25 for the Bee.

    My opinion on which? I would fly with the Bee,the Hornet ain't on the endangered speicies list by no means, and the Bee is. Do your part as a conservatonist and reap the sweet rewards.
     
  23. Random Discharge

    Random Discharge Member

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    K-Hornet

    Of your choices, I like the Hornet best. For unobtrusive varmint shooting, the small performance gain of the Bee won't matter, and Hornet rifle selection will be better (avoid old ones with non-stanadard .223" bores versus .224").

    But I'd get the K-Hornet.

    As previously posted, you can shoot regular Hornet rounds with good performance to make the brass. Doesn't get any easier than that.

    The K-Hornet is in the same class as the Bee performance wise. The sharper shoulder on the Hornet is supposed to reduce case stretching. And its different - adds to the pride of ownership.
     
  24. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Classic! :D I wonder to what extent that the reason the Hornet became more popular is because, as every American boy knows, a hornet is bigger than a bee, stings harder, and can kick a bee's butt!

    You don't really have to go custom/semi-custom, or antique to get a Bee-chambered gun. T/C contender and encore barrels are ubiquitous - very popular.

    In all honestly, it just depends on what you want. The Hornet is the superior cartridge if you value the quieter report and milder recoil over slightly more velocity. It's all relative, and task-dependent.

    And I cannot disagree with this (even though I went with the Bee):

    I really considered the K-hornet before going with the Bee. I cannot as I sit here now remember why I chose the Bee over the K-hornet - probably just wanted to be different.
     
  25. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    The biggest reason I own a Hornet (over even a Bee) is because I wanted a lighter recoiling, softer sounding rifle than my .223s and Swift are when hunting varmints in the more populated areas of country Ohio. I've not experienced any case stretch problems with my Hornet, I suspect because, as jim in Anchorage opined, mine is chambered in a tight, front-locking Browning A-bolt Medallion bolt-action rifle.
     
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