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  #1  
Old 12-25-2010, 07:24 PM
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Good idea?


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Let me start by saying I am not seriously considering making another wildcat rifle...

Anyway, I am somewhat enamored by efficiency of the .22 Hornet and the K-Hornet. It beats the rimfire magnums hands down and cost to reload isn't much more than buying .22 WMR or .17 HMR, if only it had better brass life. I don't have one but I have shot a friend's rifle. Probably because I can't justify spending $500 on a rifle when I already have a .223 (5.56).

As I've turned it over in my mind, I wondered what could be done with a .204 Hornet/K-Hornet. So, I started looking around... and was surprised at what I couldn't find... I couldn't fine anyone who has done a .204 Hornet.

Could it be true? It's hardly likely that I would be the first one to think of it. I've seen a .17 Ackley Hornet and a .19 Calhoon, but no .204.

Aside from the thin necks, it seems to me that it would be a great little cartridge... so there you go, the .204 Kludge-Hornet. It's a 30 degree .17 Ackley Hornet necked up to 20 caliber. You heard it here first.

To form brass, it would take some ingenuity, but if you could find a way to run it up into a .204 Ruger die, then fireform, that should work.

But if that one is already taken... how about a .204-5.7x28mm (.204x28 Kludge)? Although based on some rudimentary measurements I think there's probably 15-20% less case capacity, and the necks are just as thin.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2010, 03:30 AM
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There was a company out east, OTT or on target technoliges, that offered the 5.7 case with a 17, 20 and I believe 25cal bullets. Alas the last time I looked up their URL it wasn't active anymore. In a side note, They offered the neatest thing, an over and under 22LR or 22 WMR barrel for the TC G2 contender. Top barrel fired on the bottom of the rim by the rimfire pin and the bottom barrel fired at the top position from the centerfire pin. Only needed to recock the hammer and flip the switch. Not unlike the old Savage 24V.

I don't know right off hand of any 20 Hornets, but I have seen and shot the 20 Bee. Actually it was a 20 Ackley Bee. It could really get your jones on for the small bores.

Yes the brass for the hornet is thin, but keep your chamber dimensions to a minimum to eliminate overworking of the brass and you will be suprised at their life. If you go with an improved version such as the "K" (which there are about 6 different variations) the Ackley, or probably your best bet the KE hornet by Dr. Ken Howell. It was developed for TC so that the chamber would digest all the "k" variations. It is the most "improved" having a shorter .224 neck and longer body and isn't far behind the bee in capacity.

Contact Dave Manson of Manson reamers as he could tell you if there is anything like the 20 Hornet already and help you out if you really get serious.

Todd
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2010, 05:59 PM
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.20 Ackley Hornet

Kludge,
The Fall Edition 2002 (Vol. 5 No. 3) issue of Small Caliber News magazine had an article by Todd Kindler about the .20 Ackley Hornet in a Cooper Model 38. His top velocity loads were 16.2gr AA1680,33gr V-Max for 3477 fps and 14.4 H4227,33gr V-Max for 3445 fps. He used WW brass and CCI 400 primers.
You might contact Todd at The Woodchuck Den (330-897-0614) for a possible back issue or more info on the cartridge.
Dave
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2010, 08:22 PM
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Well that's what what happens when you google 204 Hornet instead of 20 Hornet!

Thanks, Dave!
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  #5  
Old 12-27-2010, 05:17 AM
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You've got to love a country where we have a magazine called, "Small Caliber News"...God bless America!

One reason you haven't seen too many 20 caliber 'cats is until Ruger came out with their 204, bullets were difficult to come by. What I love about the 204 Ruger is that it is just as "overbore" and hard on barrels as some of the WSSM/WSM cartridges released in the last 10 years, yet nobody hates on it, like they do the short mags. This is basically due to the fact that there is no other cartridge to compare it to, in that caliber, so folks just accept it for what it is. Ironically, you can choose to do the same thing with any new cartridge, but more than a few people fail to make that choice.

Also, if you slow things down too much from the 204 Ruger, those bullets lose the velocity needed to kill effectively and you fall into that 'tweener category where you're too fast for small game and too slow for coyotes and other bigger varmints. I think a 20 Hornet might be fairly limited in the range for which it could be used for yotes but would still be a fun round to shoot.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2011, 10:27 AM
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easy as to make a 204 hornet.have done it 2 years ago.machine the neck expanding mandrel and neck size.did not see the point as as .22 are better bc pills.did i overlook something. scrapped the project.hope you have better lucky.i made the reamer for the barrel and would cringe if i had to buy it. personally i think a 40 gr 22 will shoot flat as, and the 55 at modest speed for larger game.-a 30 degree shoulder is a minimum with the other pills.hope you have a win.

Last edited by gunho1954; 01-17-2011 at 10:35 AM.
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  #7  
Old 01-17-2011, 08:44 PM
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Or you could go down this road:


(L-R) 17 Squirrel, 22 Squirrel, 17 Mink, 20 Mink, 22 Mink, 22 Hornet

I have had the 22/20cal version for a few years and to say it's an over achiver is an understatment. It uses WW296 Pistol powder and with 10.6gr and 32gr VMAX it'll move it around 3200fps from a 20" barrel. The 17cal will move a 20gr bullet 3600fps with 10gr of WW296, and last, the 22 Mink will move a 40gr bullet 3000fps with 10.6 gr of Ramshot Enforcer from a 22" barrel.



Here is a coyote I shot (in the head) at 270yds with a 32gr Vmax from the 20 Mink. It'll blow squirrels up like a grenade hit them.

The OAL is 1.150" and is .250" shorter than the original 22 Hornet case.

The Mink does require custom Redding dies but trust me it's worth it. The 22 cal version kicks the 5.7's butt and the 20/17 caliber versions both run right there with the full size versions.

If you want to know more about the small caliber addiction please visit: http://www.saubier.com/forum.html

Adam Bentley


I shot this Belding Ground Squirrel at 100yds and you can see it cleanly cut the head off.


Here is a rabbit I shot at 100yds and you can also see the head (at least half of it) is gone.


My Mink rifle is a CZ 527 with a Pac Nor 1-10" 3 groove barrel finished @ 22" in the American Contour.

Last edited by ab_bentley; 01-17-2011 at 08:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2011, 04:07 PM
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Thats a nice rifle Adam. I am a big fan of the Hornet. but that 22 Mink has a lot of appeal. What kind of brass life do you get with it? And how about accuracy? It must shoot pretty good, looking at your pictures. Id be interested in learning more about it.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2011, 07:38 PM
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So far my brass life has been crazy, about 40 reloading with top end loads, more with annealing. The accuracy is also outstanding, several .25" 3 shot groups have come from that rifle at 100yds. I have killed Beldings Ground Squirrels out to 400yds (after 4 shots).
There is a man (KingCanis) on Saubier that has killed Coyotes at 400yds with the 17 version and the 25gr Bergers. Adam
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2011, 01:57 AM
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Welcome to ShootersForum, AB. It certainly looks like you're our kinda guy.

My question is about the relative wall thickness of the shortened 22 Hornet cases you're using for that interesting family of 'cats: Is the brass of greater thickness than a traditional Hornet neck, after being trimmed back? I just can't imagine 40 reloadings from that old, paper-thin case! Looks like a very neat and efficient little round, especially the 20 and 22 Mink.

I take it you're down under, somewhere? I look forward to more posts about these wildcat cartridges, including maybe a full rundown of their history, case-forming process and some more load data?
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2011, 03:46 AM
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Im thinking I might want to rechamber my Hornet. Have you shot any heavier 22 bullets? Like 45-55 gr? Ive always stuck with 40gr bullets in my Hornet for the higher velocity. Keep us posted.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2011, 05:27 AM
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Welcome, Adam, and thanks for the info!
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2011, 08:45 AM
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Originally from Ohio but the Navy relocated me to California.

The Mink was originally designed by Kevin Harrington of New York. After seeing the Squirrel series he thought a slightly longer case was needed for larger game. He created the Mink series with a few things in mind, 1) Easy forming; with the exception of the 17 Mink you can use just the FL die to form the case (minus the trimming) 2) No neck turning; The Mink case uses the same shoulder datum as the Hornet and the neck of the Mink in still the neck of Hornet. The case was designed to use Winchester brass and have a neck clearance of .002-.003" in the chamber. This allows the brass nominal movement and allows for just neck sizing. There are only a few rifles out there wearing this chamber, close to 100 or so from what I can gather. As for dies the only place I know that stocks them is Todd Kindler @ The Woodchuck Den in Baltic, Oh. (http://www.woodchuckden.com). They are Redding Customs and run close to 175$ for a set of dies also Hornady offers a full bore custom with neck bushings and what not. I have a few sets of them and they are worth their weight in gold. The Bushing dies can be backed out and used on full length Hornet variations as well (22K, 20H, 17AH, ect.) with the proper bushing. Speaking on the topic of down under there was a man (Andy Montgomery) of AUS that made a very similar round called the Tarhana Hornet, instead of the OAL being 1.150 (mink) it's OAL is 1.250". I haven't seen one in real life but have had several conversations with Mr. Montgomery about the performance and they are identical. The other nifty thing about the 22 Mink is the 1-10" twist. The normal (read standard) twist is 1-14 or 1-16". Now the Benchrest crowd is at the top its game and their saying is this: Use the slowest twist rate to stabilize the bullet desired at the fastest speed and that equals accuracy. Since we're using 10gr of powder the twist rate doesn't impart as drastic effect on the bullet as it does at 3000+fps. The 1-10" twist stabilizes the bullet much better at longer ranges and allows for more retained energy at those distances. I have shot the 50gr Vmax and believe they have a place with the 22 Mink but not for my purposes, you’ll only reach around 2500-2600 fps with the weight gain. The 40gr VMAX is the sweet spot with the 22 Mink, it allows for high velocity and hard hitting power. I believe that the 22 is a better performer than the 20 and 17 calibers not just the ease of reloading but the field performance it has shown. Accuracy is phenomenal, with the normal group size being .25”@ 100yds and easy .5-.75” @ 200-250yds it makes it very easy to just point and shoot. The powders suitable for this little guy are: N110, H110, Ramshot Enforcer, 2400, WW296, True Blue, and Trail Boss. There are several others but those are the ones I have experience with. Trail boss is the best low speed powder I have used, gives superb accuracy and a speed of 1600-1800 fps with compressed loads, this is the best load for edible game (squirrels, rabbits, ect). It’s also as loud as a 22Lr. Anyway, the Mink is one of the better rounds I have found and probably rates in the top three all time favorite rounds in my book (20VarTarg, 22Mink, 17M2). If you have any questions regarding the building of a rifle and the gunsmith with reamers and anything else please don’t hesitate to ask me or visit http://www.saubier.com/forum.html.
Adam Bentley
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