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Thread: .22 Hornet

  1. #1

    .22 Hornet

    I seem to have a gap in my arsenal between .17HMR and .243 (already have .22 LR) I am looking for a shortish range foxing rifle, nothing over 100 yards.

    Do any of the esteemed members have experience of the .22 Hornet ? Any info gratefully received.


    Thanks

    Sticks

  2. #2
    I do believe our very own jayb will tell you as much as you need to know regading the hornet ,he maybe along shortly.

  3. #3
    I was thinking of either a Hornet or a 222 for fox and long range vermin and decided on a 222, greater range and less affected by wind.
    Hornet is a good round from what I read, cases are a little thin and can break on reloading.

  4. #4
    Can I jump in? I am a real Hornet fanatic and probably squeeze off 1000 rounds of Hornet a year controling prairiedogs and other vermin.

    The Hornet is a great rifle provided you get the right gun. I bopught my first Hornet in '78 and immediately learned why some people curse them. Depending on the manufacturer they can give spotty accuracy. I have owned Hornets from the cheap Savage bolt actions to custom single shots and the ONE AND ONLY .22 Hornet to own is the CZ 527 American. The bottom of my list is the Ruger. The CZ's are consistently accurate, gun to gun.

    The first CZ Hornet I saw work was my buddy's gun shooting slat-shaker sized ground squirrels down on the Mexican border. He was flipping these little critters at 200M with an amazing regularity while sitting on a lawn chair and shooting off of a camera tripod. I bought an Anschutz to "one-up" him but the Annie didn't shoot anynear as well as the CZ and the brass came from the chamber oversized and hard to reload. Soon afterwards, my son's birthday and a deal on a little used 452 American collided so I bought the CZ for my son. Amazingly, it shot just as well as my buddy's gun with groups well under 1 inch at 100 yards. I continued with the Annie.

    The following summer I sold the Annie and bought a 452 American. Never will I look back. Last June my son, my buddy Tim, and I were all together at the range shooting identical handloads, firing identical cloverleaf groups at 100M. Amazing gun to gun consistency. I have killed prairiedogs to 300+ yards tho that is a very long shot for a Hornet.

    We tend to shoot 32 - 35 grain bullets and while my son and Tim have settled on "Lil Gun" powder by Hodgdon, I also dabble with Hodgdon H-110 and Accurate Arms 1680. All shoot well but the Lil Gun gives the lowest, brass conserving pressures. The Hornet is frugal with powder. With any of these powders 12-14 grains is top load. With most loads, Hodgon's Lil Gun is my #1 powder as well.

    For the kind of shooting you describe, the Hornet will work excellently. Hornady's 35 grain V-Max or MidwayUK's 32 grain "Dogtown" HP are tops.
    ~Muir

    PS: I do hope you are a handloader!!


    Three shots 100M. (That's a 1" square!)


    The Kid with a winter dog at 135 yards. Head-shot from a Camera tripod rest.


  5. #5
    I couldn't resist posting this pic I found while looking through my files. Can anybody guess who that smiling Horneteer on the right is? (and it ain't me...) ~Muir


  6. #6
    I see all the handsome genes stayed on your side of the pond eh Muir!

  7. #7
    I had a hornet for some time, it's a very good little round for what you want to do with it.

    I'll second the comment on the CZ being good. I just sold mine and the chap who bought it is getting 1/2" groups at 100 yards. I could match that with ease. You do need to reload it and ideally with Lil-Gun powder. I used to use 35grn V-Max bullets and crimp them in place with a Lee factory crimp die.

    If you do go for a hornet you can load it for not much more than you can buy factory HMR ammo. I should warn you though that the HMR will seem much less impressive when you get one! I had a HMR and I'm not sure I fired it after I got my Hornet. They're very similar to shoot except the Hornet can shoot both Rabbits and Foxes out to 150 yards (more for bunnies). My best shot was a head shot on a Rabbit at 250 yards

  8. #8
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    I have owned and used a Hornet and it is a great improvement on any and all 22 LR. Except not by very much. It is quite "marginal" and I think that the 222 is a better option. Really.

    The only advantage of the Hornet is if you can find one of the sweet BSA Hunter rifles then it really comes into its own. If I were going to ever have something like that again I'd really go 222 or 223.

  9. #9
    Ahhh yes the BSA Hunter I thought I had located one in .222 Rem but it turns out it's a Regent Circa 1956 the very year they changed from the Hunter to the regent:-




    5 shots ............... sorry I dropped one distance was 75M (82 yards) So as it's not a Hunter I suppose I ahd better keep looking for one and as I have the .222 Rem that makes a Hornet a good idea

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares
    I have owned and used a Hornet and it is a great improvement on any and all 22 LR. Except not by very much. It is quite "marginal" and I think that the 222 is a better option. Really.

    The only advantage of the Hornet is if you can find one of the sweet BSA Hunter rifles then it really comes into its own. If I were going to ever have something like that again I'd really go 222 or 223.
    Sorry Amigo.
    I can't let this one pass without comment.... especially the "Except not by very much." statement and the "quite marginal" quip. I have been shooting Hornet for almost 4 decades and can't find truth in either of these statements especially when the range is to be "nothing over 100 yards" (See original post) I think a Hornet's 32 grain HP at 3200 fps kicks a 22LR into the ditch and covers it with moldy leaves. I have shot and killed 40 pound coyote with a 45 grain SP at 200 yards with no problems. My current "heavy bullet" load is a Winchester 46 grain HP at 2860 fps. I think it will handle fox at 100 yards.

    A .222 or .223 has more range, perhaps (I own both) but at close range? I'll take an accurate Hornet any day. In fact, one frustration I have with my Winchester M-70 .222 Varmint is that for the generally <200M distances I shoot, the Hornet will do the job with less powder. My "triple deuce" is remarkably accurate but so is my CZ Hornet. ~Muir

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