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Thread: Harnessing the 22 Hornet

  1. #1
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default Harnessing the 22 Hornet

    This was my second day of trying to get a Ruger stainless all-weather 77/22-Hornet to shoot worth a darn at 100 yards.

    I took the play out of the two piece bolt by inserting a 0.003 shim washer between the two halves. But that really did not do much.

    So today I tried COL changes.

    I seem to be on the right track. While making it longer does not let me use the magazine, at least I might eventually might be able to hit something single shot. Ruger obviously made the throat too long.

    Load info is on the photo.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 22 Hornet 50gr TNT COL change 001.jpg  
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  2. #2

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    While my 22 hornet is a CZ527 it seems to have a long throat too. Some 0.050" over most hornet speicific bullets seated to 1.725". My long seated bullets are around 0.030" from the lands and will not fit in the magazine.

    My two best bullets are Speer 45gr hornet 224" Spitzer, and the Berger 40gr HP Varmit. I use Lilgun 12.6grs for each with CCI 500 SP Primers and they are a MUST. Federal 205's have for me gone over perssure ALL LISTED LOADS. I get 2980fps with the 40gr and 2920fps with the 45gr. I have one load using AA1680 and the 205's using the Sierria 40gr hornet 244" soft poit at 2720fps. All shot sub-MOA. My CZ has a 1:16 twist as far as I can tell and the 45gr is as heavy and the 40gr Berger is the longest bullet I would shoot, it has 1:15 twist listed on the box.

    I have two 77's a 77/22LR and a 77L22WRM. The LR is a 0.30" ten shot grouping gun at 50 yards while the WRM is about 1.25" at best.

  3. #3

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    I haven't owned the Ruger, but can't help speculating based on tjen's comment about bullet weight. In the Hornet's I've owned over the years (Win M70 and a low wall custom, Anschutz and a Ruger #3) anything over 40 grains just didn't want to shoot. I don't recall any of the twist rates, but I'm sure that was the issue. If your M77 is a "standard" twist, that might be the heart of your issues.

    Another thing to confirm is bore diameter. A couple of those older guns had .223 bores and required that bullet diameter. If your M77 is fer sure a .224 bore, never mind.

    BTW- My bud who rechambered to K-Hornet I referenced in the gunsmithing thread confirms that LilGun is his favorite powder for the Hornet. It wasn't around when I owned Hornets, so I used H110 almost exclusively.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    I had an Anschutz in 22 hornet and tried factory ammo only many years back and never could get it to shoot - I wish I could remember the bullet weights but it was sure a disappointment...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

  5. #5
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    The Rugers are a 1-14 twist while most of the others are 1-16 twist.
    It is a very sloppy .224 bore
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    It is a very sloppy .224 bore
    That makes me wonder if some of the ultra-thin jacketed models pushed at near-max pressure would "upset" a little more on firing for a little better accuracy.

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    Hey Float pilot,
    How about the 15 minutes to setup, shoot and take down on Wednesday?
    I was the other guy there, nice to see familiar faces on the boards. Ruger has definately overthought those two piece bolts, kind of a wierd way to do it.
    Good luck in your quest for accuracy with that bugger, I'm going to be working up some more loads myself this weekend.

    Regards,

    Mountaintrekker

  8. #8
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I just free floated the barrel and glass bedded the action.
    I will see how much that helps. The weird arc shaped group makes me think that bedding or barrel pressure was a problem.
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  9. #9

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    Guys! Keep this one going, I'm looking for reload data soon as I burn a few more factory rounds.....What I have is an old Savage single shot in 22 hornet aquired a short time ago. Had a bit of a time finding bullets so scored all the reloading stuff and a couple boxes of ammo to get me going. First tried Hornady varmit express, 35 gr. v max bullets, says at 3100 ft/sec..gun did not like these. Primers were raised, pin almost going threw, not great groups. Next up federal v shoks, 45 gr speer jsp bullets...2690 ft /sec. lookout! Instant tack driver! So thinking of loading the 40 gr vmax I have at around the 2700ft/sec and hope it is as close as the Fedrals..got any suggestions?..Desertdog

  10. #10
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    If it is an older rifle you may have a .223 bore and not the newer .224 diameter bore. Midway sells bullets in both sizes.
    I am heading out to the range in a couple hours.
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  11. #11
    Member mekaniks's Avatar
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    I have a Thompson Condender 22 hornet 10" barrel and a Savage 24f O/U in 22 hornet. After experimenting with Hornaday 35g vmax, Lil Gun, and 4198. I finally settled on and have been using Speer 45g spitzers with 12.5 g of AA1680 and CCI 400 primers just like the max load in the Speer Manual #13. Both my guns love this load. I havent found any reason to look any further...

  12. #12
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    Well, free floating the barrel was not what this Ruger rifle needed. The action bedding had to help, since it looked like it was originally bedded with a chain saw.

    The groups opened back up to 2.5 or 3 inches.

    I experimented around with some various crimps.
    A 50 grain Speer TNT HP. With a heavy crimp and 12.3 grains of Lil Gun and a CCI-400,and COL of 1.876 inch I was reading 3,045 over the chronograph.
    When I seated to a COL of 1.900 inch with the 50 gran bullet the speed jumped to 3,075 fps.
    Not that it mattered because the groups were horrible.

    I also experimented with some 60 grain Sierra HP (flat base) bullets and 9.5 grains of Lil Gun.
    Loaded to 1,876 inch COL , they were clocking at 2,565 fps. over the Chronograph. They grouped horrible and were 10 inches higher than the other loads.... But oddly enough they did not keyhole.
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  13. #13

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    If you use Lilgun do as Speer lists in ther latest manual and use CCI 500 small pistol primers. The federal 205 did 3100fps with the 40gr bilitz king. Hodgen said to go higher in powder I did and 3200fps was the resault. I then used speers dats and I am spot on their max velocities with slightly less powder.

    the 12.6grs of Lilgun, cci 500, and bergers 40gr is very nice I have printed five groups as low as .23" with .3 a very normal grouping. 3000fps is not hard to get but my best groups come at 2980fps. The speer 45gr hornet shoots equily as good and should be of the same jacket as the Super Explosive hornady sp's.

    My guess is the ruger is not as strong as a front locking bolt and the 40/45 gr bullets with lesspressure will shot better. I can't see why there is a reason to shoot over 45grain bullets in the hornet. The 35gr Vmax does 3100fps and is accurate with the same 12.6grs of Ligun. I have tried the 40gr sierra hornet bullets and 3100 is what I got for velocity but accuracy was not thee at all I think I will try 12.4grs and see what I get. And the AA1680 with fed 205's worked just fine at 2720fps @ 1.723 OCL.

    Primer selction is key some SRP's are to high and are too thick for the hornet and are designed for the high presure cartridges like the 17rem mag, 223, 22-250 etc..

  14. #14
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I bedded the barrel channel, since free floating it made things worse.

    It bedding seems to have helped....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 22 Hornet 50gr TNT 001.jpg  
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    Had a Ruger 77/22 Hornet once upon a time and it would never shoot better than 2", usually 4". Sold it and ran a K-Hornet reamer into my son's NEF and it shoots right at 1" or just a bit more at 100 yds with Lilgun and 35 gr Vmax and it turns crows into a puff of black out to 175 yds or so. Great little cheap gun.

    Good LUCK with your Ruger!!

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    Any time I get a new to me rifle that doesn't shoot as well as I want, I start by free floating the barrel. When that doesn't work, and it hasn't yet, I then put a pressure pad between the front of the stock and the barrel. That has always worked for me. Free floating has never worked for me and I have no idea why as it seems to work for most people. Looks like you are getting usable groups now. The 22H is a picky beast and small changes sometimes make a big difference. Although they may not give the velocity Lil Gun does, other powders such as 2400 or 4227 may produce better accuracy.

  17. #17
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Today's experiments:
    My rifle hates the Remington Bench rest primers.
    It is not all that crazy about neck sizing the brass either.



    34 grain HP Dog Town bullet
    13.0gr Lil Gun
    WW brass “Virgin”
    CCI-SR
    1.798 col
    NO CRIMP
    Vel= 3,182-3,171-3,141-3,156-3,133
    0.450 in grp. At 100 yards

    34 grain HP Dog Town
    13.0gr Lil Gun
    WW brass Virgin
    CCI-SR
    1.798 col
    Roll Crimp
    Vel= 3,136-3,132-3,115-3,193-3,154
    0.940 inch group at 100 yards

    34 grain HP Dog Town
    13.0gr Lil Gun
    WW brass, neck sized only
    Remington 7.5 bench rest
    1.798 col
    Roll Crimp
    Vel= 3,169-3,298,3,210-3,225- no read.
    1.288 inch group at 100 yards

    40grain Sierra flat base HP
    12.3gr Lil Gun
    WW brass neck sized
    Rem 7.5 bench rest primer
    1.798 col
    roll crimp
    Vel=3,154-3,176-3,143-3,259-3,188
    3.70 inch vertical string

    50 grain Speer TNT HP
    12.0gr Lil Gun
    WW brass “virgin”
    CCI-SR
    1.802 col
    roll crimp
    Vel = 2,845 fps
    0.90 inch group at 100 yards

    50 grain Speer TNT HP
    12.0gr Lil Gun
    WW brass Neck sized
    Rem 7.5 bench rest primer
    1.802 col
    roll crimp
    Vel = 2,891-2,844-2,870-2,906-2,960
    2.566 inch group at 100 yards
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  18. #18

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    That first combo bears further shooting, doesn't it? Congrats.

  19. #19
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Yes, I do need to work on this load a little more.
    I am almost out of virgin brass. The chamber is oversized on this Ruger that the primers fall out after two loadings.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 22 Hornet 34 grain Dog Town 001.jpg  
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Yes, I do need to work on this load a little more.
    I am almost out of virgin brass. The chamber is oversized on this Ruger that the primers fall out after two loadings.
    The rem 7 1/2 BR is absolutly the wrong primer to use in the hornet!Or any BR primer IF your using Lilgun try the CCI500 it is the primer to use! Next federal 205 are great primers for the hornet with other powders but not Lilgun.

    Pick up any tipped or HP 40gr bullet they will be longer, or a 45gr bullet. If you want to try a diffent powder I suggest AA1680 you will not get Lilgun velocities but it work get. Try the 40gr bergers and the speer 45gr sp.

    Also trying to push a 50gr at 3000 is way too much pressure and lose primer pockets is the least of what can happen. So far I have loaded cases four times and counting with a lee collet die. I have zero growth in length but I am still very weary of a case weaking down by the head.

    If a 40gr at 2950-3000fps and 45gr at 2950fps sounds good try my advise. The 40gr sierra hornet bullet had great accuracy at 2720fps but at 3000fps it did not. It may be to high of RPM and its flying nose high or just at a node my gun dosn't like.

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