To K-Hornet or not

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rockhunter, Sep 23, 2010.

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  1. rockhunter

    rockhunter Member

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    I have an older Ruger 77/22 22 Hornet All-Weather (24 inch barrel) and am debating the desirability of cutting the chamber over to 22 K-Hornet. Let me state that it is basically a no cost conversion I have the loan of a reamer from a friend and have both Hornet and K-Hornet dies. The rifle will be my close to town Jackrabit rifle, development and the population is continuing to expand into areas that some years ago were miles from the nearest building but now are only a mile or so from buildings in one direction.

    I know that with recent new bullet designs and some new powders the basic Hornet gets very close to what used to be K-Hornet velocities and the K-Hornet performance has moved up also.

    My two issues are outside balistics (which are not greatly different) is there a reason to make the change (accuracy?, case life?) and what is the impact on the value of the rifle?

    rockhunter
     
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Let me follow your request and address your two issues:

    1. Accuracy: How accurate is your rifle now? If you understand the Hornet, it can be very accurate indeed. If you are having accuracy problems now, we can talk and perhaps I can give a few tips on how to improve Hornet accuracy.

    2. Value: I would expect the value of the rifle would decrease -- your pool of prospective buyers would suddenly shrink to "handloaders only." And not all handloaders are willing to load wildcats.
     
  3. rockhunter

    rockhunter Member

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    1. Accuracy is acceptable, in the 0.7 to 0.5 inch for 5 shot groups at 100 yds with occasional fliers (resolving the fliers is why I am considering the K-Hornet)

    2. I can see your rational about the change in value and right now there seems to be a lot of used 22 Hornets on the market but your point is more to market size/demand then value. Let me pose the question differently, if given a choice personally would members of the forum picking between two similar rifles pick a Hornet over a K-Hornet if they were the same price or the K-Hornet over the Hornet. (both being offered with reloading dies in the deal)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I doubt re-chambering to K-Hornet will solve the flyer problem.

    On the other hand, re-chambering can make accuracy worse -- all it takes is a little out of alignment between chamber and bore.
    If the K-Hornet were popular, factories would be making K-Hornets.

    As for myself, I'm not put off by handloading or wildcats. I just don't happen to be in the market for a .22 centerfire right now -- but before I bought a re-chambered rifle, I'd definitely want to shoot it to be sure the re-chambering was done right.
     
  5. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I have the exact same Ruger rifle as you do and I converted mine to the K-Hornet several years ago and have never looked back. I reload and originally was getting two reloads out of new Hornet cases before experiencing case head separations with both Remington and Winchester cases. I went as far as sending my rifle back to Ruger to check headspacing and had it returned as normal. My 'smith had a K-Hornet chambering reamer(new) and we rechambered my rifle. What a difference now, I get at least 5 to 6 reloads now and my rifle will shoot 3/4'' or better groups at 100 yds. Before I could barely get 1" groups. Since I use my K-Hornet as my primary varmint and crow rifle and I am extremly pleased with it. Only disadvantage I see is that the K-Hornet don't feed through Ruger's rotary magazine smoothly, but a magazine of two is fine for me. :)
     
  6. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    My suggestion is to buy another barrel and have it rechambered to K-Hornet and keep your original barrel.

    The K-Hornet improves case life, can be loaded with more versatility than the Hornet case and you can gain a bit of velocity.

    Loaded around is correct that the Ruger rotary magazine will not feed the K-Hornet and if you rechamber, it is best to use the rifle as a single shot.
     
  7. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Onmilo: I don't think my orginal reply was too clear. The Ruger rotary mag will feed one or possibly two cartridges, anymore and you will have a jam. At best the Ruger 77/22 will be a two shot rifle. BTW, Ruger will not sell replacement barrels, will only rerbarrel a firearm to it's original caliber upon return to the factory. Been there, done that.
     
  8. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    :)
    Ruger won't.
    Shilen and Douglas will.

    Been there done that myself.

    I was going to post that the magazine will work to feed one cartridge giving a two shot rifle but decided to let that go.
     
  9. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    I would also say the flyer is not a thing solved by going to the K... my only issue I guess, would be convenience at this point. I would not suggest going to a K, just to get an extra 50 to 75 yards of trajectory, even for better reloading capabilities. For me, I would do the tweeks to the current rifle, especially a trigger job, and a muzzle recrown, and keep as is. I don't personally own a rifle, that is a handload only proposition; Even if I have plenty of time and money to do it, I still would want a rifle, I could at least hunt with, with at least hunt capable accuracy, with off the shelf bought, factory ammo. But that's just me...
     
  10. Still Shooting

    Still Shooting Member

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    Another Ruger Answer

    I have a Ruger 77/22H Standard that I bought a few years ago; it spent more time in the gunrack than doing what it was designed to do. I did a quick sight-in shortly after I bought it, and I wasn't impressed. While I didn't necessarily expect it to be in the same class as my very first rifle - an old Savage 340 Hornet that would drive tacks at 100yds - I wanted more than it had to give me. When I finally got it on bags at the range a few moths ago, it was shooting a 3 - 3 1/2" group at 100yds. NOT impressive.

    I heard about a guy in CT who does good things for 77/22's via a blog, and decided to give him a crack at my 77/22H. I was headed his way on vacation, so I took the barrelled action to him personally. I dropped it off on Sept 8th, and it arrived back via USPS on Sept 18th. First surprise! Cosmetically, the gun looked beautiful - really nicely done.

    What did I have done? -First, a "barrel tune-up," as the guy advertised: re-crown to 11 deg., take a couple of threads off the barrel and re-chamber (shortens the throat), and just for kicks, do the re-chamber as a 22 K Hornet. Rework the bolt by replacing the factory pin to take the "slop" out of the 2-piece assembly. Along with this, I had the trigger done.

    I took the gun out last Saturday to fire form some brass. In spite of doing barrel break-in (oiled patch after every 3 shots), the gun printed 1-1/4" at 100yds with factory Hornet ammo. The trigger breaks clean at 2lbs-2 oz., no over-travel.

    Sound expensive? -Not really. The total was $228, plus $19 to ship it back to me USPS Priority. If anyone's interested, here's his link:

    http://www.ct-precision.com/ruger77.html
     
  11. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Rangerruck: I have no intentions of starting any type of argument, but please bear in mind that you may fire standard Hornet ammo in a K-Hornet any time you need ammo. Therefore the 22K-Hornet rifle is not strictly a hand loaded proposition like say the long discontinued 219 Donaldson Wasp.
     
  12. Still Shooting

    Still Shooting Member

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    The fact that the K Hornet is pretty viable with factory stuff - incidentally, it was Federal V-Shok; 45 gr. Speer JSP. I'd like to try it with some 40 gr. stuff also...
     
  13. rockhunter

    rockhunter Member

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    Thanks for all the input you folks have given me several other points to consider.
     
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