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Thread: Rebarreling a hornet

  1. #1

    Rebarreling a hornet

    I know of a 1960s BSA hornet with a badly pitted barrel, anyone know of the costs of rebarreling either in the same calibre or 20 or 17 is it worth the effort? Not sure I need it but they do sound like fun

  2. #2
    Do you know it shoots badly ?

    theres quite a few rifles with barrel pitting etc that shoot great

    give it a try and you might have a cheap bargain

  3. #3
    Jake. As you know I have one in 'as new' condition. The BSA Hunter series short action was once much sought after for custom jobs. However the rifles themselves do not command much money at all when coming up for sale. You could still buy one in very good order for less than 300. They are not a popular choice but an excellent rifle.
    As a new barrel would probably cost something in the region of 600+, depending on who did the work, it is not a viable proposition as far as money is concerned.
    If you want to create a custom rifle on an exceptionally strong short action, then the short action Hunter would never let you down.

    Ps. Before someone mentions getting a BSA barrel from John Knibbs.........well they sold out of .22 Hornets several years ago, so not an option.
    Last edited by Uncle Norm; 23-08-2015 at 22:04.

  4. #4
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Yorkshireman in Darkest Cornwall
    What Mark said. Try it, it may surprise you.

    If not you're looking at 500-1000 depending on whether the gunsmith has a reamer/headspace gauge available, labour costs, barrel price/markup etc. You also have the option of .22 Akley Hornet which is a nice little number.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Markfox View Post
    Do you know it shoots badly ?

    theres quite a few rifles with barrel pitting etc that shoot great

    give it a try and you might have a cheap bargain
    That's very true Mark, but I also once tried a Walther KKJ .22 Hornet with a pitted barrel and the rounds struck completely sideways at only 50 yards.
    Jake also would be wise to make sure that it is indeed pitted and not merely accumulated crud, dried oil etc, if its been standing unused for years. I once saw one with a dead spider in the barrel.

  6. #6
    17 Hornet is a lovely round for 100 - 150 yard crows and the like but I dont rate it at all as a reliable fox stopper. I would either leave is as a 22 or maybe come down to 20 so using 32 grain bullets.


  7. #7
    Thanks guys I am just thinking out loud at the moment with no idea on pricing in answer to the points raised the pitting was spotted with a bore scope I saw it shoot a few years ago and it seemed OK then
    I might have another look next week
    Cheers jake

  8. #8
    I stupidly sold a BRNO .222 that had approximatley 1-2" of riflling ...."missing" due to pitting!!
    extremely accurate and wish I had never sold it!

    shoot it and forget about it, bet it makes no difference unless it is right at the muzzle (and it if is just chop that bit off!)

  9. #9
    And if it is a bit pitted and doesn't shoot that well, check the crown, and if necessary re crown it. The key to accuracy is the last inch or indeed the last 1/16" of an inch of barrel and that the crown is nice and square with the barrel. If necessary you can recrown with a brass ball, drilled to take a peg to allow it to be chucked, and some lapping compound. The principle is that a ball and a round hole will always sit square if properly seated. Borescopes are great for creating work for gunsmiths, and whilst the rifle may not shoot 1/2" groups at a 100 yes, it will probably still shoot minute of fox at Hornet ranges.

  10. #10
    Having rebarrelled a BSA Hunter into K Hornet its not a straightforward job. It would have been ok for BSA using fixtures and special cutters but the reliefs and feed ram that are incoprorated into the rear face of the barrel take a lot of time and care to get right and prevent the barrel being set back if you cut the chamber too long.

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