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Thread: savage 342

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Yukon Canada

    Default savage 342

    anybody have any experince with the savage 342 in 22 hornet? Is the hornet a good predator cal. (wolves coyotes)

  2. #2
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!


    Not exactly…………. But I do have a Stevens / Savage 325 chambered in 30/30 and if I recall correctly these rifles are pretty similar i.e. bolt action, detachable magazine and single lug bolt. Yours probably has a regular bolt know, while mine has the “butter knife” style.

    I paid $150 for mine, and with that in mind I would have to say it’s a great rifle for the money! Accuracy has been far better than I would have ever imagined considering the design of the bolt and that funky tapered cone section of the barrel were the chamber is, and of course the way they attached the stock to the barrel instead of the action………. I fully expected it to shoot like crap but was surprised and pleased to see very respectable groups out of it considering it only sports the original open sights. On the negative side, it probably has the roughest bolt throw of any rifle I have ever shot! And so far, no amount of polishing or lube has been able to make it “smooth” as it just doesn’t have enough support to prevent it from binding. Only 1 lug, and no “anti-bind” rail makes for a rough and sloppy bolt throw. But the trigger is surprisingly light and crisp? So all in all not a bad little gun. I sanded the holly heck out of the stock to narrow it down from its original “club” like profile and then had Andy Hawk shorten the length of pull and add a decelerator pad to it. Should make a good starter rifle for the boys when they get old enough.

    As for the 22 Hornet round; I don’t own one, but have shot a few and consider them as accurate as most any other 22 caliber round, but with less report, velocity and therefore effective range. But it should work great on everything up to Wolf size at reasonable distances. I seem to recall that the early Hornets used a .224 diameter bullet rather than the standard .223, but am not sure of this. The one I shot recently was on a TC Encore and it much preferred bullets of around 40 gr. I don’t think it had the twist to stabilize anything much heaver and for some reason didn’t like the lighter bullets either.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    The Hornet is a cute little round but honestly it is more of a small game and plinker round. I hunted coyotes with a call and various 12" barreled single shot pistols of the 22 Hornet, 22 k Hornet, 218 Bee, 221 Fireball, 222 and various wildcats, back when we could still sell the hides.

    Granted in the shorter barrel velocity was lower but even with the "K" and the Bee, both of which equal or exceed 22 Hornet rifle velocities, they were just not a killer of even smaller coyotes. The 40 and 45 grain bullets of the Hornet are thinly jacketed but still fail to expand unless range is kept close to say inside 50 yards. And its velocity is such that fmj "hide hunter" bullets failed to make good kills even with heart shots. Penetration is not its strong suit.

    The Hornet was originally designed for .223" bullets and that is still considered the standard but I do believe the contenders and other pistol barrel makers just make barrels for the 224" bullets. Either way the 224's were more accurate and all I used as all the other 22 cals use .224" Sierra and I think Speer make or used to make "Hornet" bullets of 40 and 45 grains in both .223" and .224"diameter. Your Savage will probably shoot either and likely the .224's better. Just work up loads accordingly.

    I began to make wildcats for the single shot pistols and used the 7.62x39 case for a 22, a 24 and a 26 caliber cartridge and the 22 calibers suffer badly when compared to the 24 and 26 caliber guns. I also necked down the 256 Win mag (a good round on its own) to take 224" diameter 50 & 52 grain Sierras and it was a much better performer than the K Hornet pistol. Even had a S&W model 53 with 8 3/8" barrel for a while, in the 22 Jet, and it would out perform the Hornet in the fields. I once shot a pheasant with the little Hornet Contender (on the ground, I was hungry) It flew off apparently unharmed then fell from the sky in the middle of thick cover. It took most of the morning to find that thing. That was the last of my Hornet hunting. I used to joke that a yellow jacket sting had more venom than a 22 Hornet.

    I will say it is a very quiet round similar to the 22 RF mag and as such has been used as a poachers round (see above) but honestly I'd rather have good 40 grain loads for my 22 Mag than a Hornet.

    I don't mean to rain on your parade here, my dad was a big fan of the Hornet round too and I tried to like it and find it useful but did not. From the rifle it will be better than the lower speed pistol but nothing big and a wolf is a much heavier target than a coyote and I would think a bit much for a 40-45 grain Hornet bullet.

    Ammo for the Hornet is hard to find now days and brass not much better. Also the brass for the Hornet is paper thin and necks can collapse if care in expanding and seating isn't taken.

    I always loved the 218 Bee. Partly because my dad had an old Winchester in the caliber but also because the case design was more modern with a good thick rim and wall thickness and it held more powder than the skinny Hornet. The Hornet was the golden child of the era, however and every one loved it. The R-2 Lovell was a much improved caliber and dad had one in a single shot Winchester highwall. He really liked that one and like it more when I started loading for it.
    Last edited by Murphy; 07-31-2008 at 23:50.
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  4. #4
    Member Darreld Walton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Arco, Idaho

    Default Yep, Got One...

    Actually, I bought the thing, re-did the stock, recut the checkering and gave it to my Dad.
    It doesn't shoot bad at all, but not a target gun, by any stretch, but I also have to admit that I never did do a lot of load development for it, either.
    The .22 Hornet was originally built up and developed by converting M1922 Springfield .22 target rifles to centerfire. Whelen and the boys at Springfield Armory where it was done left the original .22 rimfire barrels on, and that's the reason the earlier rifles had the .222 bore and 1-16 twist. Most Hornets these days have a .224 bore, but still hang onto the slow twist. Could be part of the reason that 45-50 grain bullets are such a pain?
    I figure it'll do anything that a .22 mag will do, and a heckuva lot cheaper, especially if the rifle isn't too hard on the brass, and you have good dies and take care when reloading them little tiny thin cases.
    My little Savage is one of the later guns with the 'checkered' walnut stock. The trigger's not bad on this one, and the bolt's not tough to operate, either, but getting the tin magazine in and out on the rail setup they put in the things is, well, an abortion waiting to happen. I considered doing away with it and going single shot, but it doesn't feed easily from the top, either.
    If it was a tossup between one of the Savages and an NEF or H&R, I'd have to go with the break open gun, or save up the bucks and order up a CZ 527 in .221 Fireball!
    Last edited by Darreld Walton; 07-31-2008 at 16:33. Reason: .


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