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  #1  
Old 03-16-2009, 08:09 PM
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218 bee vs 22 hornet


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I just started to compare the two as i have never even given either one consideration with so many good varmint cartridges available. Im thinking either a contender barrel or maybe Taurus revolver or even a ruger bolt might be nice. I still dont reload YET but it seems the only factory load is for the 218 is winchester super X, maybe i didnt look hard enough. What would these be comparable to in the 22 family and what kind of range could you get ive even seen that the hornet is able to be improved. Thanks for any ideas.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2009, 04:00 AM
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Here's the comparison from Wikipedia

218 Bee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.218_Bee

22 Hornet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.22_Hornet

You can't get a Ruger bolt gun for the 218 or I believe a Taurus revolver. The Bee comes close to 222 velocities, but getting loaded cartridges is really limited as you've found out.

You can get a Ruger 77-22 chambered in the Hornet and CZ makes their 527 in that caliber.

The Bee is quite a bit more powerful than the hornet, but short barrels reduce the velocity even more. Even an improved hornet may not come up to bee velocities. You might look at the 221 fireball or the excellent 222.

I shoot a CZ Varmint in 204 Ruger and really like that cartridge.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2009, 04:56 AM
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I've owned both calibers: .22 Hornet in several bolt action rifles, and singleshots, plus had a couple of Winchester M-43 in .218 Bee. Both were very accurate with the Bee being a bit more powerful and able to handle 50-55 grain bullets better than the Hornet. Like the late Frank C. Barnes once said: "....The .218 Bee was a better performer than the .22 Hornet, and it's lack of popularity has always been something of a mystery to me...."
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2009, 05:57 AM
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Ya, there is the K Hornet and the 218 Mashburn Bee for improved cartridges... Don't forget the 219 Zipper and its improved version, the 219 Donaldson Wasp. Neat old cartridges the lot of 'em! Both the Raging Hornet and the Raging Bee revolvers by Taurus are long gone from production. The Hornet version is easily found, but fetching around $600+. I haven't seen a Bee listed in years...

Jim
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2009, 07:53 AM
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If you don’t reload you are really better off with a 223. The factory Hornets and Bee loads are pretty expensive. If you reload you will really enjoy working with all three cartridges: 22 Hornet, 22-K Hornet and 218 Bee.

My current Hornet has a 21” barrel and a good load is a 45-grain bullet at 2,600 fps.

My Bee has a 22” barrel and a good load for it has a 45-grain bullet at 2,850 fps.

My 22 K-Hornet has a 24” barrel and a good load for it has a 45-grain bullet at 3,000 fps.

My experience with the Hornet is it is a 1 ½” rifle unless you purchase a higher quality rifle or you do a little work on your low cost rifle. I do not say this to disparage any brand of rifle just that it has been my experience. Most of the problems involve heavy triggers, rough barrels and poor bedding.

With the TC barrels I have found that no two TC chambers are the same dimension.
I have found the Hornet to be at its best on less than 40 pound critters, under 150-yards. In my opinion the Hornet is not a coyote cartridge except possibly under ideal conditions – others may disagree with this assessment.
The 218 Bee has a little more energy and will anchor a coyote at ranges under 100-yards – you generally will not experience one shot kills.

The K-hornet has a little more energy but it is still not really a coyote rifle.

All three cartridges are easy to load for. All three cartridges will perform better with higher quality bullets. By this I mean that you will generally shoot smaller groups using a Nosler ballistic tip than you will with a bulk Winchester or Remington bullet. Some of the lower cost rifles have rather rough barrels and copper fouling will be a problem until the barrel breaks in. This can frustrate initial attempts at shooting small groups. Many hornet and Bee rifles have triggers which will support the entire rifle if it is lifted gently. You don’t shoot your best groups with a 7 pound + trigger.
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  #6  
Old 03-17-2009, 09:48 AM
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I realized I hadn’t mentioned the performance of these fine cartridges on light critters. All three cartridges perform very well on skunk size critters and they are real fox rifles. If you hit a skunk on the point of the shoulder and cross the body cavity you will turn the lights out instantly. With some bullets the energy transfer is so sudden that when they fall I have seen skunks hit the ground and have all four feet off the ground. This is not from being "blown off its feet" but rather from the critter expiring so suddenly it falls toward the shot and rolls up on its side.

Use caution when shooting at well muscled critters such as adult raccoons and bobcats. Tough critters require good bullet placement and bullets constructed for the task.

For ground squirrels and other light bodied critters the 35-grain bullets perform very well with few ricochet’s on hard ground.
The Bee has two very good bullets - Speer and Hornady for the lever-action rifles and any of the Hornet bullets work fine in the single shots. I don’t often talk about it but I load the plastic tip 40-grain bullets in the Magazine of my Marlin 1894 without a problem and I like the performance of the bullet at Bee speeds.

The K-Hornet is special in that there are several different chambers that all are commonly referred to as “K” Hornets rather than “Improved” Hornets. Today if you buy a K-hornet it will probably actually be a KE-Hornet designed by Ken Howell for the Kimber rifle company. The KE hornet chamber will accept all other improved Hornets so it is quite flexible. You need to be certain of the chamber your rifle has before you buy reloading dies for the K-Hornet.

There are a few tricks to loading for the standard Hornet cartridge and when you have shot your first one inch, five shot group at 100-yards from a low cost Hornet rifle you have accomplished something.
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Last edited by William Iorg; 03-17-2009 at 09:51 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-17-2009, 10:13 AM
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All the above are correct. I have guns in both, and like them both. It is MUCH easier to find a repeating rifle in Hornet than Bee, however - and Bee ammo is REALLY high-priced compared to the Hornet. The last factory ammo I found for the Bee was listed at (you'd better sit down for this) $85 a box of 50. Brass is much less common, too.
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  #8  
Old 03-17-2009, 03:42 PM
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I wanted 200 + for my small stuff so I opted for a 221. I am reloading but I believe you can buy factory ammo when available

bones
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  #9  
Old 03-17-2009, 08:02 PM
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Quiet Hornet

Thanks for all the great replies. I read an article about the hornet being as quiet as a 22 LR. Any loads that might be that quiet or anyone had that experience.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
Thanks for all the great replies. I read an article about the hornet being as quiet as a 22 LR. Any loads that might be that quiet or anyone had that experience.
Try 7.0 grains of SR-4759 powder with a 45 grain bullet. Muzzle blast is on par with a .22 Magnum.
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2009, 07:39 AM
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I use 6.0 Blue Dot with a 40-gr softpoint to duplicate 22 Mag speed and sound, and the Hornet is more accurate. Small pistol primers work best with that powder.

I've duplicated 22LR Hi-vel with 3.5 Bullseye and the 35 gr VMax, but have used it only once or twice. The load above is more practical.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2009, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky Raab View Post
I use 6.0 Blue Dot with a 40-gr softpoint to duplicate 22 Mag speed and sound, and the Hornet is more accurate. Small pistol primers work best with that powder.

I've duplicated 22LR Hi-vel with 3.5 Bullseye and the 35 gr VMax, but have used it only once or twice. The load above is more practical.
Another good low velocity & quiet load is using 4.0 grs/Unique/40 grainer. Great for Squirrels!
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  #13  
Old 03-18-2009, 06:20 PM
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quiet load

Published handload data from major handloading-product companies shows how versatile the .22 Hornet can be. For instance, it is easy to use these data to load .22 Hornet ammo with heavier bullets than the major manufacturers offer, to produce loads that are significantly more powerful than the .22 WMR but that are no noisier than most commercially loaded .22 Long Rifle high-velocity ammo. According to the Hodgdon reloading data, the heavier bullets show a serious affinity for Lil'Gun powder to produce much higher velocities than other powder with heavy bullets in this small case.
Thsi quote was taken from wikipedia, Has anyone tried this combo. <sup id="cite_ref-hodgdon_0-1" class="reference">[1]</sup>
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2009, 05:05 AM
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I've haven't tried Lil'Gun powder for my Hornet, as of yet. I still have a can of WW-680 and also use H-110, and SR-4759.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2009, 08:45 AM
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I became a fan of Li'l Gun in my Hornet and will use nothing else. Great powder.
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  #16  
Old 07-07-2009, 05:49 AM
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I have a CZ 527 hornet that shoots sub MOA with Super-X factory ammo (46 grain HPs) that I'm actually considering getting rid of (need $ badly). PM or email me if you want any more info. But as everyone said prior to me getting one- the CZ hornet is a tackdriver.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2009, 05:50 AM
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I'll add that I've never reloaded for it- just the factory ammo.
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