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  #1  
Old 07-02-2011, 02:39 PM
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Angry .22K Hornet, Case forming Problem


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I ran into a situation firing case forming loads for the .22 K Hornet that uncovered a problem I'd never seen discussed, so I thought I'd share it.
I'd had a 14" TC .22 Hornet barrel rechambered to .22k by MGM. I fired some loads I'd made up for different purposes, most were low to moderate loadings. !0 grains of IMR 4198, and 8.0 grains of 4227 under 50 grain Hornady SP-SX bullets with no problems, nicely formed cases.
I then fired some cases loaded with 12.5 grains of LilGun, a load I commonly use in my .22 Hornets, & started to notice very flat primers with pressure rings visable on the majority of cases. Ultimately, (20th round or so), I had a case show soot around the primer area/case base, & then blew a primer. Recognizing that something was really getting worse, I quit & started asking questions of every source I had available. A Hodgdon phone rep indicated that He'd heard of LilGun becoming unstable & producing pressure spikes when it got hot, but ultimately I found a web site entry which warned of the exact same situation I'd encountered. It appears that, for reasons undetermined, ball powders, when used in .22 K Hornet case forming, can produce these random spikes of high pressure. He had the exact same thing happen with another ball powder commonly used for the .22 hornet, Winchester 296. Either of these powders can subsequently be used in the formed .22 K cases without difficulty.
Oddly, most comments on case forming the .22K simply suggest firing any old .22 hornet load, & I'd never seen any expression of caution when using loads of ball powder for this purpose until I started looking for it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:41 AM
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First, thanks for the info on the Lil'gun powder issues. I've noticed there is a lot of loading data using this type powder, but never heard any negative things about it's use in reloading a REGULAR .22 Hornet. When I had an old Winchester Model 70 .22 Hornet rebarreled to the K-Hornet; I simply formed my cases by using factory ammo, which formed perfect K-Hornet cases. Afterwhich, I loaded up K-Hornet ammo using IMR-4227 or WW-680 (Discontinued) with great results & accuracy. My rebarreled Hornet had a 1-in-14" twist so I could use 50 grain bullets.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:33 AM
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It's a curious problem. 296/H110 has long come with a warning not to underfill the powder burning space, but that has always been due to risk of it snubbing out in revolvers, not pressure spikes.
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Old 07-03-2011, 05:44 AM
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Davers, I hope I didn't give a wrong impression, I also have never heard of, nor had a problem using LilGun in regular .22 Hornet loads fired in a .22 Hornet chamber. The issue I attempted to discribe is limited to loads used case forming from the .22 Hornet configuration, to the .22 K Hornet configuration. To furthur my "frustration" with these loads, I've yet to duplicate the accuracy that they produced in spite of the pressure problem. I got one three round group at 50 yds that measured 0.100" center to center, but that's why 'ya keep looking for that majic load! Keeps life interesting
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shenandoah bill View Post
Davers, I hope I didn't give a wrong impression, I also have never heard of, nor had a problem using LilGun in regular .22 Hornet loads fired in a .22 Hornet chamber. The issue I attempted to discribe is limited to loads used case forming from the .22 Hornet configuration, to the .22 K Hornet configuration. To furthur my "frustration" with these loads, I've yet to duplicate the accuracy that they produced in spite of the pressure problem. I got one three round group at 50 yds that measured 0.100" center to center, but that's why 'ya keep looking for that majic load! Keeps life interesting
No, you didn't give me the wrong impression about Lit'Gun powder. IF & WHEN I can find some Lit'Gun; I look forward to usinng it in my Hornet. I've noticed that Lit'Gun gives somewhat lower chamber pressures then say other powders, but the velocity makes up for it. Here's a website on the .22 K-Hornet also giving several loads: http://www.reloadersnest.com/frontpage.asp?CaliberID=13
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2011, 07:39 AM
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I have never fire formed Improved Hornets using Lil Gun.
I have experienced high-pressure indication - high velocity on the chronograph and flat primers when using Winchester 296 and Hodgdon 110 for fire form loads in the Improved Hornet. I have not experienced these problems with these powders in the standard Hornet or when used in previously formed cases.

Foolishly or not, I have duplicated this phenomenon on separate occasions using different lots of powder.
The last time using R-P cases, bulk 45-grain Winchester round nose Hornet bullets, 10.4 grains of Winchester 296, CCI 450 primers and a COAL of 1.735” From my 24” barrel this load chronographed 3,056 fps and flattened the primer out even with the edges of the primer pocket.

I recently shot 10 rounds of K-Hornets across the chronograph using bulk 45-grain JHP Remington bullets ahead of 12.5 grains of Hodgdon 110 and read 2,927 fps. This is in line with what I expect to see.

My chamber is not a Kilbourn Improved Hornet but a KE-Hornet designed by Ken Howell for Kimber. This KE chamber seems to have become the standard for some reason (Thompson Center uses this chamber but describes it as a K-Hornet and the reamer rental companies are using it too) and has caused considerable trouble when selecting sizing dies for the Improved Hornets.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:38 AM
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Slim, I've used WW-296 in my Kimber Hornet when using 50 or 55 grainers. This powder has proven (to me) to be the most consistant for these bullet weights. I have 1/2 can of WW-680 which I've used mainly for 40 to 46 grainers giving very good accuracy. Too bad Winchester discontinued 680 powder.
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:16 PM
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I like Winchester 296 in the formed Improved cases and in the standard Hornet.
I have thought the problem may be that when the standard cartridge is fired in the Improved chamber and the case opens up to the larger shoulder diameter and pushes the shoulder forward, the pressure drops for a moment and the bullet slows or even stops at the throat or leade. The powder is burning and the pressure rises rapidly as the bullet begins to move or speeds up. I don’t know if this is true but I do know I am able to duplicate the result in the same rifle and I stopped using ball powders for fire-form loads in the Improved Hornet.

Have you tried Accurate Arms 1680 in the Hornet?
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Old 07-03-2011, 01:01 PM
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I envisioned something similiar, ie, the expanding brass is consuming some of the energy produced by the detonation gases but that suddenly stops as the brass contacts the chamber walls causing the pressure spike. I have no idea though, as to why that would occur with ball powders but not other powder types.......
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2011, 02:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Iorg View Post
Have you tried Accurate Arms 1680 in the Hornet?
Nope, never tried it and I doubt if I can even find it locally. I'll have to read-up on it, just hope I can get some additional powders, for my Hornet, to experiment with.
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