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Depends on what you are shooting them in. I shot Hornet for years in a TC for Silhouette. Crimping was not needed.

But for a bolt action, I would take a hard look at doing the crimp.

As they say in the movies....Couldn't hurt.

I'm considering a Hornet barrel for my SB2 Handi-Rifle. Now this has me thinking.

Thanks for asking the question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
K hornet

Depends on what you are shooting them in. I shot Hornet for years in a TC for Silhouette. Crimping was not needed.

But for a bolt action, I would take a hard look at doing the crimp.

As they say in the movies....Couldn't hurt.

I'm considering a Hornet barrel for my SB2 Handi-Rifle. Now this has me thinking.

Thanks for asking the question.
My Ruger 77/22 in K hornet drives me crazy. I get a 3/4 inch 5 shot group then a couple of inch or inch and a half goups. Then a 2 inch group. Then a 3/8 in 3 shot group. The gun fired a seven shot 7/8 inch group while fire forming. How can a gun have such a spread?
 

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Crowhunter...........

the wind really tears up a hornet...sounds like that is your problem. Also, if your barrel gets hot, the barrel may be walking on you!
 

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Yes, a Lee Factory Crimp is a definite help for the Hornet. Short description why: bullet pull.

Long description on request.
 

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Now that you mention it!

Yes, a Lee Factory Crimp is a definite help for the Hornet. Short description why: bullet pull.

Long description on request.
I would like to hear the long discription if you dont mind. I've had a Micro hunter for the last year. Been loading 13gr of LittleGun with CCI500's.Also use the LFCD. Shoots better then I'm capable of. Guess I need more practice. Thanks, OD
 

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You got it, OD

I've typed this so often that I finally saved it as a "stock" text block...


The .22 Hornet is often called an inaccurate cartridge. It is - and it isn't. The difference is in how it's loaded.

The Hornet has very little case volume, and the case neck brass is so thin that reloaded rounds have little neck tension. The two factors combine to cause great inconsistencies at ignition. First, some primers may be powerful enough to actually unseat the bullet and jam it into the rifling before the powder fully ignites. The resultant "double shuffle" of the bullet first causes the case volume to increase, then stop changing, and then increase again as the bullet finally engraves and moves on down the bore.

All that happens as the powder is lighting, and the abrupt changes in case volume mean that no two charges ever ignite the same, build pressure on the same curve, or burn out at the same time.

Likewise, the bullet never obturates the same, never engages the leade the same and never engraves the same. None of these results are conducive to accuracy or consistent velocity.

So how can it be fixed?

First, a mild primer in this or any other small-capacity case will cause the least disturbance of the rifle, won't dislodge the bullet and has all the ignition energy needed for such small charges of powder. The Hornet is also a relatively low pressure round and a thick hard primer cup isn't needed for safe pressure containment.

I recommend and use the Rem 6 1/2 small rifle, the CCI 500 or the Fed 100 small pistol primer (all very mild). Avoid Winchester primers, rifle or pistol, any magnum primer and the Rem 7 1/2, all of which are way too hot for the Hornet.

With normal 40- or 45-grain bullets, I favor a case full of LilGun as propellent because it is a low-pressure powder in this use. Next best is AA1680, followed in distant third place by W296/H110. LilGun is better with 40 and 45 grain bullets. If you absolutely must try a lighter bullet like the Hornady 35 Vmax or the Calhoon 37-gr Double Hollowpoint, then W296/H110 works very well indeed.

Finally, the best results will come if you use the Lee Factory Crimp Die. Remember those super-thin case walls? You really must crimp to make double sure the bullet doesn't do that double shuffle, and the Lee FCD can be used even with bullets that don't have a cannelure.

Try all three remedies together (mild primer, LilGun under a 45-gr bullet, AND the Lee FCD) and your Hornet will shoot like a different gun. Honest.
 

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Rocky has some fantastic information there. And as Keith mentioned, the wind with such a light and basically low velocity bullet can ruin your entire day.

Nearly every Hornet shooter I knew in Silhouette's used Rem 6 1/2 primers. But we all shot the 22 Hornet, not the K-Hornet.

Most of us used the Hornady dies with the bullet alignment sleeve. Sure prevented misalignment and possible case collapse. But that was our choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lil Gun

Opinions on crimp verses non crimp on the 22 hornet.
I tried some lil gun and blew a primer. I think I was using Win small pistol primers. I was not near the max load. So I am shy of Lil Gun and pistol primers. I have some Rem 6 1/2 primers. Maybe I will try Lil Gun again.

How hard of a crimp do you use?
 

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I set up my Lee FCD to duplicate (at least to my eye) the WW factory crimp. It definitely indents the bullet jacket a small amount.
 

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I don't crimp my loads in either my Win. 43 22 Hornet or in my TC Contender Rifle barrel. None of you guys have mentioned AA#9-C Powder for the Hornet. I use 11.3 grs of AA#9 with a small pistol primer and a 40 gr. Hornady Vmax. Gives me 2930 fps and is real accurate. Godsdog.
 

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I'll mention it then. In my rifle, 9.0 of AA#9 was maximum under 45-grainers. You 11.3 load made my eyes water.

In my own Hornet, AA#9 seems a bit faster than W296/H110, and a bit slower than Alliant 2400. Definitely faster than LilGun. In other cartridges, that apparent burn rate might change (the .357 Magnum, for example) but in the Hornet, I believe that AA#9 is a squint too fast except with the very lightest bullets.
 

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Agree with Rocky...

I crimp, maybe not quite as hard as Rocky, but it made a difference. I have also found that crimping will reduce fliers, and fine tuning the seating depth is equally as important for accuracy.

unfortunately, my best loads will not fit inside the factory magazine. since i single feed most of my rifles anyhow, it's no real bother to me, but something to be considered.

also, lil gun and CCI small pistol primers is a good combo in my hornets.
 

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No crimp

Been loading the Hornet for more years than I care to remember. Stay away from pistol primers in a rifle cartridge. 4227 used to be my std powder until lilgun came along,,,,,good stuff for the hornet. As long as the rounds will feed
from the mag to the chamber, crimping is not necessary. If you are going to crimp, make sure your cases are trimmed all to the same size. Even a tiny difference in length will make your crimps different from one round to the next
and your groups will open-up too. Fired in the same gun, try sizing just 1/2 of the case neck. The Hornet IS very sensative to different primers. A mild RIFLE primer seems to work best. The Hornet is not the easiest round to make shoot really well, it takes a good rifle and a little extra effort on your part at the bench. I have never had a Hornet rifle or handgun that did very well with factory ammo. The rewards are great, the ole Hornet is a joy to shoot. No recoil to speak of, very little blast and a pound of powder last a VERY long time. By the way....of all the Hornet rifles I have owned, (5) the Ruger 77 gave me the most trouble. Seems like mine had a sloppy bolt lock-up right from the factory. The Cooper and the Browning micro I have now both shoot sub-moa with ease. (unless the wind is really blowing)

Hope this helps........Good luck and Good shooting.....Don in SC
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Been loading the Hornet for more years than I care to remember. Stay away from pistol primers in a rifle cartridge. 4227 used to be my std powder until lilgun came along,,,,,good stuff for the hornet. As long as the rounds will feed
from the mag to the chamber, crimping is not necessary. If you are going to crimp, make sure your cases are trimmed all to the same size. Even a tiny difference in length will make your crimps different from one round to the next
and your groups will open-up too. Fired in the same gun, try sizing just 1/2 of the case neck. The Hornet IS very sensative to different primers. A mild RIFLE primer seems to work best. The Hornet is not the easiest round to make shoot really well, it takes a good rifle and a little extra effort on your part at the bench. I have never had a Hornet rifle or handgun that did very well with factory ammo. The rewards are great, the ole Hornet is a joy to shoot. No recoil to speak of, very little blast and a pound of powder last a VERY long time. By the way....of all the Hornet rifles I have owned, (5) the Ruger 77 gave me the most trouble. Seems like mine had a sloppy bolt lock-up right from the factory. The Cooper and the Browning micro I have now both shoot sub-moa with ease. (unless the wind is really blowing)

Hope this helps........Good luck and Good shooting.....Don in SC
I contacted Hodgdons before I read your post, and they cautioned against using pistol primers in the hornet.
 

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crowhunter, you STILL can't get that Ruger to shoot

I'd bet you've got problems other than load/crimp problems.

If you have not shimmed that sloppy bolt, you're never gonna get it to shoot right. If you did, then maybe bedding is the problem, or poor barrel/crown. Trigger could be inconsistent also. I replaced my sear with a Timney and it helped out 1000%. As Keith said, wind could be getting you. Or even your rest setup. A sloppy front rest plagues me from time to time, especially if I'm shooting a wide forend gun and switch to a narrower one without adjusting the front bags.

Also, and please don't take offense, have you let someone else shoot the rifle? Sometimes you're just not "doing your part".

Try to eliminate the easy stuff first. Start with the basics. Use a wind flag (or surveyor tape of some kind). Check your rest setup for slop. Let someone else shoot it. If none of those things work, start checking for bedding issues, bad crown, free-float the barrel, etc.

To answer your question, yes, I crimp and it makes a BIG difference in my gun. Like Rocky and Steve B said, it helps eliminate fliers. It greatly reduced extreme spread and SD readings in my reloads.

FWIW, I had a Ruger 257 Roberts and a Win 300 mag I never could get to shoot and I finally got rid of them. Good luck getting yours straightened out.

Charlie
 

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In my ruger i use 13gr of lilgun under a 35vmax. I have learned that if i seat mine out to 5k into the lands they shoot a lot better. I dont crimp ,have never been a fan, always thought it killed accuracy.
Ollie
 

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My hornet likes 10.5 of imr4227. Just purchased some 35 & 40 grain v-maxes today. Dont know when i will be able to shoot some, preety wet around here.
 

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Pistol primers

I've used 13 grains of LIL' Gun with small pistol primers for a couple of thousand rounds in my 82 Kimber Hornet. It shot very good groups at 100 yards but at 150 they would open quite a bit. I have had a pierced primer or two so I've quit using pistol primers and would not advise folks to use them. I've gone to a mild rifle primer (6 1/2 Remingtons) and have not had anymore problems.
 
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