22-250 Rem. He learned the hard way that those small, lightly constructed bullets quite often won’t penetrate far enough to reach the vitals on a body shot. I never heard of the 22 Hornet e as my elderly logger friend from Cana da says. Accuracy did not improve in the colonel’s custom rifle over previous standard Hornet loads, and velocity across the board added about 100 fps bullet-for-bullet. Standard Deviation: 28 fps Great for chicken hawks too. Idaho Department of Fish & Game, State Agency: Sighted to strike 2″ high at 100 yards, a 50-grain bullet starting at 2,700 to 2,800 fps drops about 2″ at 200 yards. 13.0-grain Lil’ Gun Light Hornet loads will turn these birds into delicious campfire fare. 3,012 fps John. Through all of that, the .22 Hornet has refused to die and is still hanging around to this day as a relatively popular varmint cartridge. Like with many older cartridges, the exact origins of the .22 Hornet are a little hazy. 35-grain Hornady V-Max 22 Hornet 1:12, Standard Model, Match Grade Barrels TC Contender G2 Accuracy Barrels® fit the TC Contender and G2 Contender frames. Minnesota Deptartment of Natural Resources, State Agency: If you do a lot of long range varmint hunting, or just really like high velocity cartridges, then you should look into getting something like a .22-250 Remington or a .220 Swift because the .22 Hornet probably isn’t for you. Something to keep in mind is the Savage magazine demands deep seating of high-profile bullets. The Hornets are sweet too shoot & very accurate as is the 222. It’s also pleasingly accurate. barrel. Primers go for about 2.5¢ a shot. Even when the lead is not “scrounged,” the Hornet is gentle on the wallet with handloads. It’s faster than the .22 WMR, but slower 225415 Gas Check Thanks for your comment, Optimized for high velocity, rapid expansion, and devastating terminal performance, Winchester’s Varmint-X ammo is really bad news for coyotes. My best groups at reduced (22AH - 218 Bee range) were with the hornady 45 gr hornet. www.savagearms.com Install resizing die off of ram head; NOTES: Surprising results with 13-grain Hodgdon Lil’ Gun in 33- to 55-grain bullets: higher velocity than anticipated. 225 Win. I inherited a supply of galena some time ago, making my bullets very cheap indeed. Thanks for sharing! Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State Agency: PPU's .22 Hornet ammo is ok, just not terribly accurate. Mountain birds, such as blue grouse, are also legal with rifle where I hunt. So, the biggest advantage the .223 Remington has lies in its higher velocity and flatter trajectory that make it easier to hit targets at longer range. of the super-speed .22 centerfires. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Prime with standard small rifle primer ( I use my faithful RCBS hand priming tool. ) But there’s much more. 2,800 fps The tiny Hornet first saw the light of day as Winchester-loaded ammunition in 1930. Unfortunately, his experience pretty well sums up the two scenarios most likely to play out if you shoot a big game animal with the diminutive cartridge. as Red Dot, in very small doses. But Colonel Harriger did not have Lil’ Gun. The .22 Hornet handles bullets up to 55 grains, depending upon rate of twist of the (413) 642-4262 Accuracy at 50 yards with tang aperture sight and “globe” front sight well within normal applications of the cartridge. I spent more trying to find an accurate reload for my Kimber Mdl 82 22 Hornet rifle than any other rifle I have owned. 12.5-grain Lil’ Gun The Big Game Hunting Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.ca, Amazon.com.au, and other Amazon stores worldwide. Im putting a new modern scope on it and hopefully harvesting some of our overpopuated coyotes this JAN. thanks for the good information I will save your website and buy from your sponsors …. Since it was the first small-bore, high velocity cartridge designed for small game and varmint hunting, the .22 Hornet was truly an innovative development. South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, State Agency: Standard Deviation: 12 fps 20 Nosler. Standard Deviation: 33 fps 13.0-grain Lil’ Gun 2,924 fps Comment: Explosive! The fix involves putting a shim washer between the two halves of the bolt and making a new pin for the bolt that fits tighter. Long a staple in the Ruger lineup, the 77/22 was introduced to the shooting public in 1994, and this new model should be a crowd pleaser. i load my own so my costs are low. I bought a Savage Model 25 LV laminated thumbhole stock, with a 24″ barrel, AccuTrigger, and added a Bushnell Legend 4.5-14x30mm scope. Obviously, changing bore diameter of a cartridge already in mass production can present some challenges. And is the Hornet the exotic little mid-range varminter I’m looking for? I made no attempt to turn the .22 Hornet into anything but the Hornet in deference to recoil too gentle to knock a hibernating anopheles mosquito off of the barrel. It would be perfect to introduce a youngster to the joys of this classic design. Bullets over 55 grains are not recommended because of the Hornet’s small powder capacity. Glad you enjoyed the article. I like the Hornet for varmints and spike white tail deer. It would be a long time before I owned a Hornet. I know this might be a repost of a well known rifle but I thought i'd throw my two cents into the fray. Cast 55-grain Lyman mold No. Make sure you follow The Big Game Hunting Blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, State Agency: Standard Deviation: 28 fps Any help as to reloading hints greatly appreciated. Nebraska Game & Parks Commission, State Agency: 1,361 fps The 34gr dogtowns (I think they're called - the ones from Midway) were super accurate as well but I wanted a heavier bullet for coyotes. There is no doubt Lysle Kilbourn’s invention will better the standard Hornet velocity-wise. I’m hunting with lead free reloads in .22 Hornet, here in California. Sam said it’s so comfortable to carry in the field he doesn’t use a sling. Maybe the Hornet is coming back into it’s own. 2.0-grains Red Dot (V difference considered a normal variable), Barnes 50-grain TTSX FB Bullet With Lil’ Gun powder, the K version will no doubt do better. It was eventually replaced by the M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon, which was a double barreled combination gun chambered in .410 bore and either .22 Long Rifle or .22 Hornet. Hawaii Department of Land & Natural Resources, State Agency: As a result, it shoots at a slightly higher velocity than the original cartridge. Group hovered at .820″. Ninety percent of the time it is more than adequate. Westfield, MA 01085 The Savage Model 25 in .22 Hornet proved to be amazingly accurate. The. The fact that this 1930 baby falls well behind the scintillating .22 centerfires is exactly why the cartridge has never died. Built by fireforming the case in a different chamber, the .22 K-Hornet has a sharper shoulder that can accommodate more powder. styled rifles will be taken with the little Sharps rifle. With a reputation for superb accuracy, the.22 Hornet was seen in some parts as a ‘wonder bullet’. I had to have one. Best 100-yard group: .345″ for four shots (reason for four instead of five shots due to capacity of Savage magazine). Not antelope hunting, just scouting. Center of photo shows (left to right) .22 WMR, .22 Hornet, .223 and .22-250. I have the other Ruger.22 Hornet (#1B) and can say that it … It’s been chambered for over 80 years by numerous arms factories, and is available in pistol, revolver, sporting rifle, and even “survival” and multibarrel guns. I also read a magazine article that said the 22 Hornet “was” the “first choice” for coyote hunting, because a 223 causes too much hide-fur damage (if a person is selling hides) but a 223 can be “hand loaded” with “less powder” to about equal a 22 Hornet. Finally, the cartridge was extremely accurate. 8. Woody, Al Woodworth and the legendary Colonel Townsend Whelen experimenting with the black powder .22 WCF (.22-13-45: .22-caliber/13-grain FFFg/45-grain lead bullet at 1,500 fps) at the Springfield Armory in the late 1920s. Intrigued by the new cartridge, Townsend Whelen tested it out a few years later in a modified Springfield rifle. If set on the cartridge I would certainly go for a handi in 22 hornet. 22 funnel nozzle ideal for installing powder. With a factory load the 45gn bullet starts at 2650fps. Matching .22 LR and .22 I found Pb at 55 pounds for $85. Screw Fl resizing die to full contact with ram head 13.0-grain Lil’ Gun For comparison, it’s not uncommon to see 1:9 or even a 1:7 rifling in an AR-15. Savage Arms Lil’Gun now has published data for the 45 grain TSX Barnes copper monolith bullet, “just sayin”. Using Hornady’s well regarded 35gr V-Max bullet, this .22 Hornet hunting ammo is great for really wringing all the accuracy possible out of an already exceptionally accurate cartridge. Springfield Armory sold a replica of the M6 for several years known commercially as the Springfield Armory M6 Scout and there are still a few of those guns floating around out there. Winchester sees the result as feasible and begins building ammo in 1930 chambered for the—nothing. Powder ALL Accurate 1680 Accurate 5744 Accurate No. How do I know if my rifle is .223 or .224 (does it really matter)? I've heard the Hornet is hard to get good accuracy. This time, he shot it in the head and the deer dropped in its tracks. Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, State Agency: The "K" chamber extends the range about 50 metres. ammo. 13.0-grain Lil’ Gun The Lyman Ideal in .22 Hornet showed great workmanship and excellent accuracy. The rifle used in this test is a Ruger M77/22hornet which I rebarreled with a Lilja #4, fluted 1-10 twist barrel with 24" finish length. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, State Agency: I'm leaning toward li'l gun as pressure is low. A word on the K-Hornet, one of the first blown-out, fire-formed cartridges. Comment: All-around load—excellent in Ideal. Some accounts from that time period state that the .22 Hornet was the most accurate centerfire cartridge the technicians at Winchester had ever encountered up until that point. Inspired by Wotkyns's work with the then-new cartridge, Townsend Whelen and a couple of his Army buddies, G. A. Woody and Al Woodworth, decided to convert three Model 1922 Springfield rifles to handle it. By Sam Fadala, State Agency: We have 2, an 1885 Winchester Low Wall reproduction by Browning and a Ruger 77/22 Hornet rechambered to K Hornet. I routinely shoot 3/4” at 100 yds with 40 gr Nosler b-tips and lil gun. 22 Caliber.224” Diameter. Comment: Penetration with accuracy, Barnes 50-grain TTSX FB Bullet 6. Sectional density and ballistic coefficient are anemic in .22-caliber bullets. The lighter and slower .22 Hornet bullets are also less likely to ricochet. Standard Deviation: 14 fps 5. than the centerfires. I really liked it and thought it was every bit the equal of my normal make of choice, the Anschütz. Reply There are many other powders useful in the Hornet: Green Dot, Unique, H-110, SR7625, IMR-4227, N-110, AA1680 and W296, but Lil’ Gun is ideal. It’s faster than the .22 WMR, but slower than the centerfires. I have a Browning A-bolt in .22 Hornet, and its easily my most accurate rifle. These characteristics make the .22 Hornet a better choice for pest control in populated areas than those cartridges. Removed de-capping pin assembly entirely; 220 Swift. Glad you enjoyed it! Purchased lead is still a bargain. Since most of those rifles were converted from the rimfire .22 Long Rifle cartridge, they had a .223″ groove diameter (more on this in a minute). it was sure accurate for its day. Comment: Penetration with accuracy, Barnes 50-grain TTSX FB Bullet Accuracy runs were conducted with the Savage Model 25 LV rifle scoped with a Bushnell 4.5-14X scope set at 14X. My grandfather told me that he always regretted shooting the deer with that cartridge. Indeed, the .22 Hornet was the third most produced caliber (behind only the .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester) in pre-World War II Winchester Model 70s, which should give you an idea how popular the cartridge was with American hunters in the 1930s and early 1940s,. More recently, Hodgdon Lil Gun powder has breathed new life into the .22 Hornet, boasting velocities of up to 3000fps with 45 grain bullets, along with mild pressures and excellent accuracy. Yes, that s right, Winchester loaded Hornet ammunition before any commercial rifles were available for it. The Ruger M77/22, the Savage 25 Lightweight Varminter, and the Thompson/Center Contender are all in current production and are available in .22 Hornet. Only take that shot if you really know what you’re doing though, because it’s easy to screw up. Buy a nice .22 Hornet hunting rifle here. I had been looking for a 22 Hornet for a while and finally found the one I wanted at Alpine Shooting over in Ft. Worth. I also like your taste in rifles! Standard Deviation: 21 fps Ponder a few Hornet rifles and handguns: Anschutz Model 1432D Classic and 1730, the questionable Herter’s Model Plinker Rifle, Krico 300, Walther 4120 KKJ-HO, Sako L46, Brno ZBK-110, Ruger 77/22H, Kimber 84, Winchesters (Model 43 on beefed-up Model 69 action, the 54 and the 70), Savage Model 25 plus 40 and 24-F, Ballard 1885, Browning Low Wall and A-Bolt, New England Handi-Rifle, CZs, T/C Contender Carbine and the Cooper Model 21. From whence came the Hornet (know as the 5.6x36mmR in Europe)? Case length is controlled with an RCBS trim die. But wait, there’s more. Standard Deviation: 16 fps Using the cartridge for deer hunting is a somewhat controversial subject. Built with a thin jacket and a polymer tip, it will rapidly expand on impact. Standard Deviation: 2 fps Below are a couple of recommendations for some of the best .22 Hornet hunting ammo currently available on the market. Groups with Sierra match bullets ranged from .143″ (only once) to .164″ for three shots at 50 yards. 5.56x45 NATO. After all, that’s most likely the main reason why the 22 Hornet is the number one cartridge of choice of Field Pistol shooters today. Standard Deviation: 27 fps Standard Deviation: 16 fps Comment: Explosive! Since it had very flat trajectory and a well deserved reputation for accuracy, the .22 Hornet performed marvelously in that role and also had the added bonus of keeping recoil to an absolute minimum. 13.0-grain Lil’ Gun The brass is good quality and it's great for reloading, and the loaded ammo isn't much more expensive once fired brass, which is hard to find for the .22 Hornet. Re-chambered Springfield 1922 .22 Long Rifles and newly barreled Martini single shots were the first Hornets (as far as I can tell). Remington’s 55-grain Pointed Soft Point has a cannelure, as does the company’s 55-grain FMJ. But it’s still nice to have the relative quiet of the Hornet compared to the boom/crack! Comment: High accuracy, Sierra 53-grain HP Match Bullet Winchester has a FMJ boattail at 55 grains, a 55-grain Pointed Soft Point, a 50-grain Pointed Soft Point in spire-point design with considerable shank, plus 34- and 40-grain bullets. For perspective, consider the exceptional 1932 Luna Single Shot Target rifle in .22 rimfire, Model 980 falling-block action, fitted with micrometer wind gauge rear sight, disc front sight, plus “perfectly adjustable rear sight,” with both sights removable with a key. 2,901 fps Bud. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, State Agency: It also did well in the Model 23-D Savage showing in the1932 Stoeger catalog for $32.95. After all, Arizona allows the .22 WMR on peccaries, as does Texas, and one of my African outfitters has a cousin in Australia who relies on the Hornet for wild pigs and goats. (me!) I could order up a rack of lamb followed by Baked Alaska at any time. There’s Prvi Partizan with a 45-grain Hornet bullet, Sellier and Bellot carrying a 45-grain special Hornet bullet and Hornady ammo with a screaming 35-grain V-Max ready for handy business in the varmint field. While the K Hornet has proven less finicky, neither of them could be considered problematic and both are a ball to shoot and easy to load for. I enjoyed sleepovers with the old folks because, although foreigners, today they would be called cool. A 50-grain bullet of “big-game” design at 2,800+ fps is an ideal larger game load with 871 foot-pounds at the muzzle. Custom Load for Sam Fadala 11.0-grain Lil’ Gun IF it did not have such beautiful wood on it the dang thng would have long since gone down the "gusnhow highway"! Target-type bullets also prevail. It has been attributed to the two piece bolt that they use. Two powders — Hodgdon’s Lil’ Gun for superb balance between velocity, pressure, and good case life (such as 13 grains pushing a 45-grain bullet at 2,878 fps at 31,000 CUP), and Red Dot for cast-bullet plinking, small game and mountain birds — is all you’ll need. Plenty. I was in for a surprise. Indiana Department of Natural Resources, State Agency: Mississippi Deptartment of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks, State Agency: Quite a cartridge. De-prime case with extended de-capping pin; Accuracy with scoped rifle under 1″ center to center for 10 shots/100 yards. As all of the big farms seem to be falling victim to developers my Browning B78 high wall in 22-250 gets more “safe time” and my Browning 1885 low wall in 22 Hornet seems to get more field time. The .22 Hornet has survived this long because it fits perfectly into a spot between One morning he showed up with a Winchester Model 43 bolt-action .22 Hornet. Note the .164″ spread! My Red Dot load of only 2 grains for low-velocity loads yields 3,500 shots per pound. The thin-walled Hornet case presented no handloading problem following one collapsed neck, suggesting the following regimen: 222 Rem Mag. Jim allowed me to tag along on jackrabbit safaris. Accuracy: 1-holers at 50 yards. Have owned & shot them for 45+ years. Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, State Agency: For that reason, shooters during the early days of the Hornet primarily used customized rifles like the bolt-action Springfield Model 1922 or the single shot Martini Cadet. Sierra even offers a .223 45-grain Hornet bullet suited for some older rifles. .22 Hornet - Manufacturer Loading Data. Many 1-holers occurred with the scoped Savage. However at only .142 sectional density for a 50-grain Spitzer with a “C” of merely .175, these bullets do what they were designed for. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the K version go commercial. Install charge with a tap of funnel to settle powder ( 13-grain Lil’ Gun fills the case Sitting in my deer stand, waiting for first light, it starts. Across the highway from my Wyoming home, the little rifle will be on antelope scouting treks. Is it possible to kill a deer with a .22 Hornet? Consult a reputable handloading manual for details, but the cartridge seems to really like Hodgdon’s Lil’Gun and H110 powder. Comment: Very accurate, Nosler Custom .22 Hornet John, i have owned 2 hornets a bruno fox and a zastavia agree not suitable for red deer in new zealand excelent for goats and wallabys a mate of mine said his grandfather shot hundreds of deer in new zealand with a 22 hornet.In the north island most of the hunting is in heavy bush at close range i have been told the hornet was called the poachers rifle in england .Thank you for good article, Thanks for your comment Geoff.