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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new member and would like info on how to fire form brass in my K-hornet. I have on hand 100 new Remington brass for Hornet( winchesters were sold out at Midway til sept.), 40 grain v-max, 45 grain sierra hornet varminter SP, and 45 grain Speer spitzers. I will be buying Rem 6 1/2 primers and have ordered the 22 hornet Lee Factory Crimp Die. I have an RCBS 2 die set for the K-Hornet.

My question is in regards to the new hornet brass and whether or not it should be sized or anything before fire forming. If it needs to be neck sized maybe I will buy the Lee Collet die. Would also like to now if lil' gun is suitable for fire forming.

I have a T/C contender with a 20" custom barrel chambered by Mike Bellm. I was given some handloads by a friend but I don't know how many times the cases have been reloaded and would like to start with some new brass.

Thanks
 

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I have never lost a K-Hornet case for any reason while shooting the TC Carbine and pistol.

I generally seat my bullets .224" deep which is well off the lands.

I fireform using IMR powder - either IMR 4227 or 4198 - Hodgdon will work just as well.

I neck size only and then just about .230".

I suggest you do not use ball powder for fire forming the K-Hornet. I have experienced high velocities and early signs of high pressure while fireforming K-Hornets using Winchester 296. I have duplicated this so I am certain of the result. After the case is formed Winchester 296 works fine for full power K-Hornet loads.

I suggest you invest in a primer pocket bottoming tool and a flash hole uniforming tool. This will be money well spent.
 

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I think William means he never lost a Hornet case when fireforming it to K-hornet in the TC? Personally, I've been playing with using a case 90% filled under the bullet with Trail Boss for fireforming any rifle case. This is a lower pressure load and tends to push the whole case to the rear rather than form a pressure ring. My idea is have the shoulder blow forward rather than have the case stick to the chamber wall and stretch the head back by any small gap in the headspace that may be there? I am doing this in lieu of putting an o-ring over the case to force the rim back against the breech face, a practice that is another way to do the same thing that is popular in some quarters for all rimmed cases.

Besides, the little plinkers are fun.
 

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You may want to buy small pistol primers for that hornet rather than use small rifle. Latest Speer manual finally come out with that advice after most serious hornet loaders have done for years.

K-Hornet cases can be formed by shooting loaded hornet cases in the K-Hornet chamber. Doing it your way is another possibility. I've done it both ways with excellant results. If original factory ammo then I just shoot in the K-Hornet. Always best to use virgin brass when fire forming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My buddy has some IMR 4227. I have reloaded rifle and pistol cartridges before, just inexperienced with the fire-forming routine. I take that I should at least neck size new hornet brass to shape up the necks and possibly crimp the bullets before firing the loads. Are the fire-forming loads with IMR 4227 typical hornet or reduced?

Thanks
 

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Nick is correct; I intended to say I have never lost a case during fire forming.

It is not uncommon to break a Hornet or K-Hornet case at the pressure ring. The cases last a long time but they will occasionally break. A broken Hornet or K-Hornet case will push out of the chamber using a brush on a rod. A better way to pull a broken case is to use a pistol rod and a good quality brash brush. Shove the brush into the case from the chamber and give the rod a sharp tug and the case will pop out without difficulty.

In my 24” KE-Hornet barrel 12.2 grains of IMR 4227 behind the bulk 45-grain Winchester Hornet bullet give me 2,625 fps and 1” or lest groups at 100-yards. This is in cases with the flash hole deburred and the primer pocket deburred. This is my favored fire form load.

I am pressed for time but would enjoy spending more time discussing one of my favorite cartridges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies,

William is the IMR 4227 load you use for fire-forming reduced or the full 12.2 grain with the 45 grain bullet. From your earlier post I see that you seat your bullets .224" deep. Which primers do you use for the fire-form load. I currently have CCI 400 and will soon buy REM 6 1/2 to try. If you have a specific fire form recipe I would love to see what works for you.

I just recieved my order from Midway which included the new Rem Hornet brass and the Lee Factory crimp. Do I need to worry about full length sizing or neck sizing this brass prior to fire-forming? If I can get by with just chamfering the case mouths, cleaning up the primer pockets then seating a bullet and crimping them in place, that would save a lot time. Not worried a whole lot about accuracy with these, just want the fire forming to be successful. Plus I don't have regular 22 hornet dies.

Thanks,

Eric
 

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I have been fireforming K hornet for several months now. I use a modified Lee deluxe die set..I sent one of my fireformed cases to Lee and had them modify my Hornet necksizing die. I bought a few pounds of 50 grain Sierra seconds at their place in Sedalia and use them with a light load of Little gun ...about 12 grains does it....forms like no bodies business.....I then load with a Lee collet die and crimp with a factory crimp die. Still working up loads...but I am getting one hole accuracy at 100.
 

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Remington 6 1/2 primers are actually 1 1/2 primers, so just get the regular small pistol primers.

I have the regular hornet, which I am content with. One thing is for sure though Remington brass > Winchester brass in the hornet, it has more case volume. I use RCBS dies, regular sizing die turned up so it only sizes the neck about 1/2 way (one full turn from contact with the shell holder) and the Competition seater die which guarantees the bullet goes in straight, a big problem in the hornet.
 

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Let me simplify this a bit for a new guy.

Your brass, primer and bullet choices are fine. The 6 1/2 is meant for the Hornet and Bee. Do size and load as normal. (You can use your K dies for this and they will only neck-size because the die won't touch the case body in the shoulder area.)

Use a standard (not reduced) load for the standard Hornet, and simply fire them in the K-Hornet chamber. I do prefer a slightly faster powder like 4227 for this job, as a slower and low-pressure powder may not fully form the brass. William's load of 12.2 4227 is a good one in standard Hornet, and very good for fireforming.

You might lose a case or two during the process. That's almost to be expected. For subsequent loads, try to not set the shoulder back at all, or just barely touch it with the die, for longer case life and better accuracy. Check your manual and use LilGun for your full-power loads. Do use the Lee Factory Crimp Die, as it DOES improve accuracy in the Hornet, regular or K.
 

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Better late than never, I just found Williams post concerning Ball Powder/High Pressure while forming K cases. I can definitely confirm this! I'm currently developing accuracy loads for a 14" Contender hornet barrel that I've had rechambered to K configuration by MGM. I decided to use some of my existing hornet loaded rounds which were 12.0 grains of LilGun under a Hornady 50 grain SP-SX. Upon firing, All rounds showed very flat primers & visible pressure rings, one may even show a hairline crack thru the ring, & one blew the primer...that's when I quit, Contacted Hodgdon, the powder manufacturer & they had no explanation, but it's obviously related to Williams comment about ball powder.
An additional note, when looking at load manual listings be aware that some seem to switch between IMR & H powders (4198 & 4227) as thought they were totally interchangeable powders & in the small hornet case, they're not & can get you into an overload senerio is you're not paying attention !
 

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Thank you posting this, I was beginning to think I was the only one who encountered this.
I shoot several “Improved” cartridges and have not encountered this phenomenon in larger cases.

I like the Hornet but spend quite a bit of time with the Bee now. My wife prefers the .17 Ackley Hornet and has me shoving the little pills into the cases as fast as I am able.
 

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Fire forming? I have never fired a case that was not formed first, after firing a formed case the case is ejected as a once fired case.

But when I fire form I use a different set of rules, I do not want to wonder as did Hatcher, Hatcher fired formed cases to the 30/06 and ejected 30/06 Hatcher wildcats.

And I am not a fan of the reduced load, I know about fillers, cereal etc., still I am not a fan, time is a factor, and I follow a different set of rules.

F. Guffey
 
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