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.22 Hornet or .223

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hunter125, Jan 13, 2012.

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  1. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    I am wanting to get a rifle more powerful than my .22 lr. I have looked at several different calibers and platforms, not really sure what to get.
    I cannot hunt deer with a rifle where I live, but there are lots of pest coyotes around. It will likely be a while before I can afford another rifle, so this will have to be somewhat of an all around rifle for a while.
    I considered .17 HMR and .22 Mag, but I will probably be buying a reloading press before I get this rifle, so I kind of want to get something reloadable.
    I was thinking just a .223, possibly an AR, but then ran across some info on a .22 Hornet. I know this is all kind of vague, but would that be a suitable round for my purposes, or am I better off with something else?
    Is there another economical round that I'm overlooking here?
     
  2. tubeshooter

    tubeshooter Member

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    From what I understand, the Hornet is going to give you more punch and range than a .22 Mag, without quite the noise level of the .223 cartridge.


    The Hornet will probably do what you're asking, but the .223 will be cheaper and much easier to find.
     
  3. imsobored

    imsobored Member

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    7.62x39 is a very cheap round if you stick with the steel case

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy using tapatalk
     
  4. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    what maximum range do you want to shoot the yotes at?
     
  5. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Really, get a .223.........
     
  6. baylorattorney

    baylorattorney Member

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    22 hornet. Really. So quiet, no recoil, fast flat shooter, accurate and fun. Don't get me wrong .223 is awesomer... Lol... But for what you described, coyotes, I have been shooting both calibers for over 20 years and 22 hornet is ideal for your scenario. I have a sako bolt action and a Brno single shot. Kills every time I hit a varmint. Doesn't kill deer, but ur not deer hunting. Ammo, I have found, is hard to find on the usual shelf, then again I remember a time when 223 or 5.56 was harder to find. 22 hornet is the way to go. Quiet, deadly, accurate, little to no recoil, no muzzle blast or flash.... Good hunting..

    The little 17 is a joke. Don't even waste your time.

    One I've wanted to try is the 218 bee....

    .222 rem will do it all for you too tho and is my favorite round. I've killed all sorta game with this round.
     
  7. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Central Illinois where the ranges are usually short and the cover can be sparse, a .22 Hornet will do what you need to do but a .223 will be easier to find ammo for and in a greater variety.
    I have taken the vast majority of coyote in those bands of cover and the ranges rarely exceeded 150 yards.

    I had a .22 Hornet, actually a K Hornet wildcat and am planning on purchasing another.
    The older I get, the more appreciative I am becoming of light recoil low noise cartridges but bear this in mind,
    the .22 Hornet really shines if you are willing to become a handloader/reloader of the cartridge.
    In factory choices, the ammo today isn't all that great.
     
  8. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    the answer is clear

    get both
     
  9. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    It will be tough to find Hornet ammo and brass. Pretty easy to find .223/5.56mm.

    If you are talking about a bolt-action, the .223 can be loaded to Hornet velocities and noise levels just as easily as it can be loaded to full-pressure velocities and noise levels.

    Not much in centerfire rifle ammo is cheaper off the shelf than the .223, with the exception of the 7.62x39 and 5.45x39, but I sure like the .223/5.56 better than either of those.
     
  10. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    .223s have kind of taken over by virtue of the popularity of AR rifles. But I really wish there was an AR-10 chambered in 22-250. (Apparently the taper is too extreme for it to feed reliably.

    But I do kind of wish there were more guns chambered in .22 Hornet. I think it's a good cartridge for tasks you wish a .22 mag would do better.
     
  11. matt 7mm

    matt 7mm Member

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    i know savage and browning make 22hornet bolt guns does anyone know what else is on the market
     
  12. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    If a bolt gun is a reasonable option for you, I'd get the Hornet. A joy to shoot, quiet, flat shooting and just a damn pretty cartridge to reload for. The expense per round is higher but still, you're not talking about blasting away in surplus ammo quantities anyhow.

    When we do the shooting camp-ins, the Hornet is always the most popular to shoot at the end of the day and oddly, even the worst ammo hogs slow down and enjoy the ride more with it.
     
  13. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    I really like the Hornet as it has very low recoil and a mild report, but reloading for it can be a PITA, specifically with weak brass that isn't always easy to find. Some Hornets are also very picky about the bullet/powder/primer combo they prefer.

    With a 223, you can easily download to Hornet and even rimfire velocities. Ammo & components are everywhere and fairly affordable, and brass tends to be good to great quality.

    I've got some Unique that I plan to use with 40gr V-Max in my 223; with 3.5-5gr I expect to see speeds similar to a 22mag. Blue Dot, Trail Boss, and H4895 are other popular powders for reduced loads.

    Unless you find a SCREAMING deal on a Hornet, I'd suggest a 223.
     
  14. redpitbull44

    redpitbull44 Member

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    I am going to chime in here with what everyone else has said. If you are looking for a hot .22 bullet, go with .223. It is one of the most widely used cartridges, so there is a ton of reloading data, plus there are a ton of bullet choices, surplus ammo, and commercially available ammo for it. Also, loads can be tailored for the situation by flipping through a catalog rather than spending time at the reloading press like you'd have to with .22 hornet. An AR is a great choice also, because you can get a Palmetto State Armory stripped lower for $50 when they go on sale again, get one of their regular or upgraded lower parts kits, and then order any upper you want. There again, you can tailor your upper, and therefor your caliber choice by changing uppers as well. You could have .223 uppers in every barrel length from 10 to 24 inches for everything from chipmunks to coyotes, and then toss on a .458 SOCOM upper for deer and hogs.

    I saw somebody suggest 7.62x39, which is one of my favorite cartridges. If I were going to pick just one intermediate rifle and cartridge it would be my VZ2008 or any VZ58 in 7.62x39. People will argue that x39 is not very accurate, but I can consistently hit regular bowling pins at 150yd with the factory sights and $5 Wal-Mart TulAmmo. And the rifle cost's less than $400 if you look around online. AFAIK it is the best value in rifles there is right now.
     
  15. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Ruger and CZ also produce .22 hornet caliber rifles as does H&R and Thompson Center Arms if you want a single shot but you have to already have one of their frames which you send in to have a barrel fitted or with T/C you can just order the barrel direct, no fitting necessary.

    Ruger makes the Number 1 single shot in .22 Hornet from time to time and had a decent little Number 3 Carbine available in the caliber for several years, it has since been discontinued though I think they should bring it back onto the market, at least in limited runs.
     
  16. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Member

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    this is right on point
     
  17. Hunterdad

    Hunterdad Member

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    I was trying to make the same decision when it came to buying a different battle for my contender. I ended up getting one in .223 because of ammo availability and cost. I'm happy with my decision, the .223 does everything I want it too.
     
  18. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    I'd have to go with neither, and suggest a .22-250. Excellent round that .22-250.
     
  19. Michael R.

    Michael R. Member

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    Hunter125,
    I live in the nw suburbs of chicago and my dad has used his 22 hornet to take around 4 or 5 coyotes in our backyard. He has also killed a deer with it. If i could reccomend you a gun in 22 hornet, then a browning a-bolt micro hunter would be a good choice. He had a leupold 3-9x40 scope on it and it is a great gun and a great cartridge.
     
  20. dagger dog

    dagger dog Member

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    You probably want to go with the .223 if you are going to shoot factory ammo, although Hornet ammo pricing is for 50 instead of 20 r'nds per box, if you don't reload, the .223 will cheaper.

    Advantages of handloading,reloading the Hornet far out weigh any negatives. Hornet brass is available at any BassPro Gander Mountain or Cabela's.

    The bullets are the same as you would use in any .223,22-250 and any other 22 centerfire caliber except 22 Highpower, ditto primers. Hornet brass is no weaker than any other, just takes a litlle more finess 'cause it's so small. Velocity in the Hornet can exceede 3000 fps with the right components.

    Hornet terminal performance drops off at about 200 yds, that's about maximum with Hornady 35gr Vmax factory ammo, the .223 will hold it's killing power with heavier varmint bullets out to 400 yd.
     
  21. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    The Hornet is a good small game/predator round however, the .223 will be an easier round to find, if not reloading, and will only cost a small amount of powder more, in a full power load. Hornet will not carry as far with ammo heavier than 55gr. You can load a bolt gun round up to at least 80gr. in .223. makes for a much better long range load. Yes I have used both on pdogs and coyotes.
     
  22. VancMike

    VancMike Member

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    Wow.....sometimes internet advice seems actually correct! Which means I agree with almost everything stated above (well, I don't have any experience with the 7.62 x 39).

    I've owned Browning Low Walls in 22 Hornet, .223, .243 and .260, and a High Wall in 22-250. I also own a Savage single shot in .222 Rem.

    As superb as the 22-250 is, it's probably a bit much for where you live and hunt. It's great for long-range shots, but it's loud and costs more to buy and/or reload. .243 and .260 fit into that same general category: nice, but too much for your needs.

    That leaves the 22 Hornet, 223 Rem and don't forget the 222 Rem. I can shoot the 22 Hornet all day long without burning out the barrel; the .223 must be shot more judiciously.

    I've loaded the 223 down to Hornet velocities, but my loads were not as accurate as my Hornet. I'm sure I could find a good load, but, honestly, didn't want to make that much effort. A friend tried doing the same with even less success; his rifle is 1-9 twist, mine 1-12. Twist probably makes a difference, and .223 "Hornet" loads with 35 & 40 gr. bullets seemed (he says) more tricky in the faster 1-9 twist. My Hornet is a 1-17" twist.

    Same friend just bought a used 22 Hornet Low Wall, and sent me a copy of a target shot at 75 yds: you can cover 5 shots with a dime

    My 222 Remington is a new acquisition, and I'm amazed at its accuracy. I see now why it's held so many accuracy records over the years. I'm anxious to experiment with various loads.

    Hornet and 222 Remington OTC cartridges are easily 2-4 X more expensive than .223 store-bought. But hand-loading is a different story. According to Midway, the cost of Hornet and .223 brass is about the same; 222 Rem brass is almost double ($48 vs. $28 per 100). All three calibers use the same bullets and primers, of course. It would be easy to amortize/justify the extra cost of .222 Rem brass.

    Theoretically, once you have the powder, 222 Rem & 22 Hornet are cheaper to load, since they take less powder. In reality, powder cost is probably not that big of a factor (although I think one can load a Hornet for a million years with one lb. of H110.....)

    So let's assume you're going to hand-load. .I see CZ makes their Model 527 in all three calibers, 204 Ruger (hmmm, there's another possibility) and 221 Remington Fireball. Or, if you can scoop up a good used 22 Hornet or 222 Remington, do it. Obviously, you'll have more choices in a .223.

    Good shopping!
     
  23. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    The OP said reloading was coming with the rifle.

    Get a .223. When you want to shoot Hornet rounds, down load the .223 cases.

    I have done this exact thing and it works like a charm. You can easily produce Hornet ballistics and use a Hornet 45 grain pill too.

    The Hornet is nice, fun to shoot and has a certain nostalgic flair. It is anemic compared to a .223 round. Once you try some Hornet loads you will be happy you got a .223 so that you have extra power when you want it.

    For the actual rifle don't overlook a Contender or an Encore. Then you can have any additional caliber you want for the cost of a barrel, usually $150 to $250.
     
  24. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    Funny the .22MRF (rimfire magnum) for coyote thread is right below this one. The .22 rimfire mag is quieter than a Hornet and kills yotes DRN to 100 or a little better yards. Don't get me wrong I love the Hornet, K Hornet and .17 Ackley Hornet , but at 50-75 yards the .22mag does work well.
     
  25. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    I just read about .204 Ruger being able to use AR mags. Would that be a suitable cartridge for my needs, or should I just shoot for a .223?
     
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