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I just got a Ruger 77/22 .22 Hornet and need some help with a few questions before I attemp to reload for it. I have heard that this cartridge can be tricky to reload. Do the newer dies help prevent crushing the long neck on this cartrige. Is it as easy to reload as say a .223 Remington? I have got a good idea on the load I want to try, 35 gr. V-max with 11 gr. AA1680. I will mostly shoot target, just for plinking. Any other ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

:confused:
 

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It is easy to load for, I would back out your full length sizer 1/2-1 turn so that you only neck size, hence your once fired brass will headspace on the shoulder. The Ruger has a fairly long and large diameter throat and I have found that if you seat the 35gn V-max's 20-40 thou into the rifling it helps accuracy. See my post also to Englander about std versus K it maybe helpful to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks...but

Thanks, Lasre, but what about the rumors of crushing the necks on these cartridges. Are you having to take extra care or does it seem to go as other cartridge cases? Would it be a good idea to get a neck sizing die or is that not necessary? This may be the wrong place for this question but since Australia lost their firearms how are things going in New Zealand?
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LarryE. I lose most of my cases during bullet seating. That hornet brass is so thin that it will generally collapse unless the bullet is pretty close to being true. Personally I wouldn't spend the money for a neck size only die.
 

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Back in the 80's I had several Contender barrels, one of which was in 22 Hornet. I wasn't even aware of any special reloading techniques back then, worse yet actually employing any of them! But I had no real problems reloading the Hornet. I think snake river rufus hit the nail on the head - if you lose cases it'll be during bullet seating. But I never personally had that happen, even in those unsophisticated days when I was reloading the Hornet. The only case neck I've ever ruined while bullet seating was on a 35 Rem.
I believe much of people's difficulty with the Hornet is with short case life and in achieving superior accuracy. Careful sizing without setting the shoulder back should help both! ID
 

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Hornet Answers

Thanks, Guys, now I think I have a good idea what I want to do. Think I'll get the dies and give it a try. Sure appreciate the help.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Larry,

If all else fails, get a Lyman "M" die for expanding the case necks. That will prevent bullet-seating woes.
 

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Lyman M Die

Thanks, MikeG, it sure is great having all this knowledge passed on to me. Hopefully some day I will be able to give back a little. Thanks again, everyone!
 

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22 Hornet

Have #3 Hornet that shot quite well, but never got what I considered great accuracy out of it until I had it K'd. Could hold under an inch (just) with standard hornet, but with heavy standard hornet loads in the K, will stay in the 1/2-3/4 at 100 for 5 if I do my part. Advise on Lyman M die is good, as is a good campher tool from lyman that helps on seating. The thin wall on a hornet makes it really easy to make it a paper punch like tool on your finger if you are not careful. Also I like standard pistol primers for most of my hornet loads. Have had good luck with 35 gr. hornet, but a bit better with the 45 grainers. Have a couple of 200 yd plus kills on P-Dogs with both, but know that is a stretch for even the K version. Good Luck! Paul
 

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I've always found if it's going to go wrong inloading the Hornet it 'll be in the seating stage ! I've found just be gentle & feel the bullet into place ! (ps they've tried to make life difficult for shooters in Australia.But we're still hanging in there ! It's the English I feel for )
 

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Paul Nichols said:
Have #3 Hornet that shot quite well, but never got what I considered great accuracy out of it until I had it K'd. Could hold under an inch (just) with standard hornet, but with heavy standard hornet loads in the K, will stay in the 1/2-3/4 at 100 for 5 if I do my part. Advise on Lyman M die is good, as is a good campher tool from lyman that helps on seating. The thin wall on a hornet makes it really easy to make it a paper punch like tool on your finger if you are not careful. Also I like standard pistol primers for most of my hornet loads. Have had good luck with 35 gr. hornet, but a bit better with the 45 grainers. Have a couple of 200 yd plus kills on P-Dogs with both, but know that is a stretch for even the K version. Good Luck! Paul

Another vote for the K-Hornet...makes your brass not only last MUCH longer, but youll get a little more velocity and accuracy out of the 22 hornet. Any good gunsmith should be able to ream your chamber out for fairly inexpensivly.
 

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The Lee Collet die has helped improve accuracy immeasurably and extended case life with my Hornet. I have the 77/22 stainless, and my groups halfed when using this die. My cases are on their 10th reload with this die. Also, my problem was with seating the bullets as well. The bullet you have choosen is the worst for this scenario. It is very short, and difficult for me. I choose to use my gun as a single shot, and prefer most any 45gr. Hornet bullet (works very well on prairie dogs), and the 40gr. Vmax. I don't care about using it as a single shot because of the increased distance I can use the gun with using these bullets. The 35gr. hornady Vmax seems succeptible to wind.

Also, my favorite powder is Lil Gun by FAR! 13gr. of Lil gun, collet die, and a 40gr. V-max and watch out!
 

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Hornet

Larry you got some good advice, here's my observations.
The hornet relaoding woes are largely a bi product of "I heard tell" advice, largely by folks who don't load it, me thinks. I've had no problems loading mine--even with big fingers. Some thicks I've learned: Lil Gun (13 grs) is definitely the powder of choice for me. The 40 gr V Max is my bullet of choice. Small pistol primers (vs small rifle) produce better accuracy, probably because the less forceful primer detonation doesn't blow the bullet out of the case before power fully ignites therby causing more consistant pressure spikes. Crimping with Lee factory crimp dies contributes to improve accuracy by uniforming neck tension ergo more consistant pressure spikes too. Set-off (bullet to lead distance) makes a big difference in some guns so don't be adverse to experimenting with same. Once you get a promising load, start playing with set-off. I start with .020 off and work forward in .005 incraments It's a 200 yrd gun... at best. Some folks expect more just because it's a centerfire cartridge, Then get disappointed when it doesn't function beyond that. Think of it as a reloadable 22 WMR and it won't happen to you.
 

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Love the Hornet..may be my favorite centerfire round. Had problems getting them to shoot at first but have developed a system that works for me.

1. Do sort out the brass...event new stuff from the same box. Sort by weight or by volume (weight is a LOT easier). Really just looking for the occasional odd-ball light or heavy case.

2. One of the few round where I will scale weigh every charge. 4/10 variation in a typical 40-50gr. charge for a larger case just isn't much....but a 4/10ths variation on a 12gr. charge is a much larger precentage.

3. Its' worth it to try different primers.

4. Bullet seating depth seems more critical in this round than in others.

5. Judge a max. load by case life. If you aren't getting at least 10 loads without having the primer pockets get loose (or otherwise ruining a case) then the load is too warm for that rifle.

6. Honet brass is delicate...getting it seated straight and without ruining the case takes care.
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Word about primer choice. Some .22 HOrnets are running with rather weak main springs...they just don't wack the primer with the same force as a larger action. These guns may be worth trying pistol primers...but usually I've found the Rem. 6 1/2's do well.
 

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Larry E - I had a Contender in the Hornet for a couple of years and really had fun shooting the round. I used Remington brass because I thought it was a mite thicker than the Winchester stuff. I used a Lee full length die but backed it out so the cases would fit in the chamber without "undue" force. I found if I "full length" sized the cases they would not last beyond about 3 loadings, but "partial" resizing extended them at least 3 times that amount. Because of the small case, I probably "pinched" my fingers more times trying to get the bullet seated in that tiny case neck than all the other calibers I have combined; boattail bullets helped alleviate that problem, but didn't cure all the "blood blisters" I accumulated. I tried all matter of "hornet" 45gr bullets, 40, and even 50gr bullets and found the 40's the most accurate in "my gun", whether it was the V-Max Hornady's or Sierra's hollowpoints. It could have been the "twist" of the barrel that selected that weight; for they shot into small groups and were very effective on "vermin" (even at the reduced velocity of a 10" Contender). The 50gr bullets shot fairly well, but velocity suffered terribly and at most extended ranges did not expand well. Alas, I sold the Contender, but will probably buy another Hornet, maybe a CZ. Have a ball :D Riley
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Guys.... for any thin-mouthed case that has a reputation for being crushed while seating bullets..... do yourself a favor and get a Lyman "M" expander for that caliber!

You'll save enough money in ruined brass to make it pay... not to mention band-aides and cuss words :D
 
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