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22 Hornet or 17 HMR

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Unread 12-14-2004, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 171
22 Hornet or 17 HMR

Just a hypothetical here guys. I have a 77/22 sitting around and am thinking about sending it to clark customs. I have the option of chambering the new barrel in 17HMR or 22 Hornet. I know they are not apples to apples, but which cartridge would you go with? Is the handloading advantage for the Hornet factorable. How is factory ammo for the HMR? Thanks for your input guys.
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Unread 12-14-2004, 09:22 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Stamford NY
Posts: 160
Re: 22 Hornet or 17 HMR

I would definatly go with the hornet, alot more hp for hunting, and very little added report.
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Unread 12-14-2004, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: on the rifle range in Utah
Posts: 2,704
Re: 22 Hornet or 17 HMR

I have a friend who has probably done more tinkering with the hornet than any 50 men combined. He has a Ruger varmint 77, and has settled on the 40 grain ballistic tip pushed by Li'l Gun powder. He tried about 5 other bullets and about 8 other powders. He also did every kind of benchrest technique to the brass and gun. I have been out shooting our gong with him several times and I have to tell you I was impressed with the final product. We sat there one calm day and proceeded to lay shot after shot on our 9" gong at 500 yards! Yes, I said 500 yards. I was commenting on how cool it was to do this with a Hornet and that I might like one when he said "No, you don't want one". I was confused until he started to explain why I didn't want one. First off, you have super thin brass that is very finicky. Second, it's case capacity is so small that a .1 grain difference in charge might produce frustrating fliers or possibly even get dangerous pressures on a max load. Third, the case itself is very antiquated and doesn't take to being sized very well. Crushing cases is quite common. Fourth, it doesn't feed very well, especially from a rotary magazine. Fith, getting close to the lands with ANY bullet is a laugh. Sixth, no good quality brass unless you luck out on a good lot. And finally, the best reason not to own one is because there's only a dozen other cartridges that can do the same thing with less hassle. Two that come to mind are the .17 hmr and if you like centerfires, the .221 fireball deserves a look. I realize you can't do this chamber on your 77/22 but it still is good to consider. I eventually bought a 17 hmr and I can tell you that it really is cool. 250 yard ground squirrels are in BIG trouble, and it's nice having one gun that you can buy factory ammo for and not worry about where the brass flies when the action is fast and furious. Just my 2 cents!
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