What's with the 22 Hornet?

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by rcol317, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. rcol317

    rcol317 Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2012
    I'm very curious as to what the appeal is to the 22 Hornet. 30 years ago it was a slow little dog and today nothing has changed but it seems to keep attracting shooters. The 221 fireball looks to out perform it in virtually every way but it doesn't seem to have a following like the little hornet. Please clue me in to what I'm missing?
  2. digger11

    digger11 Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    The Hornet is just plain fun to shoot.Get one in a little CZ rifle or a Ruger.Put a pocketful of shells on board and just go have some fun.
    A pound of powder lasts a long time and you don't blast everything out of the area
    when it goes bang.


    HARPERC Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    Not everything can be reduced to math, and logic. Whims, memories, traditions, connections to people past and present.
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    There are lots of reasons to own/shoot a 22 Hornet in my opinion.

    Also as in most cartridges there are cartridges that will out perform them . so you look for a cartridge
    that best fits the game and your needs.

    It also is used in actions not designed for high pressure cartridges (Lots of older actions are/were
    designed for a max pressure of 45,000 to 47,000 psi and not suitable for modern cartridges that may
    reach 67,000 Psi.

    The 22 Hornet is plenty powerful for varmints, fun to shoot, cheep to load, very accurate.

    Every cartridge has its following, some more than others. The fact that it is still around says lots
    for it.

    The only down side to the hornets is that there cases are fragile when loading.

    Look at the ballistics and the cost of reloading compared to the 22 rimfire cartridges and you will see the advantage.

    I have a 1885 Winchester low wall built in 1886 that was in 30 cal short that I re-barreled to the
    22 Hornet and it is one of my favorites.

  5. lewwetzel

    lewwetzel Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    To me, the one and only reason I own a .22 Hornet is because it's the quietest centerfire round out there. I think of it as a glorified .22 WMR. Had the Hornet out last week and found it's back to shooting shotgun groups, after being returned to Savage for accuracy and feeding problems and coming back a little better. Now I'm done with both the Hornet and Savage. I'll try some reduced Fireball loads.
    However, if I had the cash to burn, a .19 Calhoon Hornet rifle would probably be in my safe somewhere.
  6. Tnwhip

    Tnwhip Well-Known Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Like they said quite and fun and cheep to shoot. The LiL' gun powder made it come to life. I am getting 3000 fps with a 45g bullet with 13g of powder, It is good for 200 yards or a little better. Mine is an Ackley Hornet and cases last a long time. I have shot 22 pellets with just useing a mag primer just for fun in the back yard. The heavy part of the duplex scope is dead on at 15 yards. don't have to adjust from the regular loads. LOL
  7. tuck2

    tuck2 Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2010
    I tried a Kimber 22 Hornet rifle some years ago . Did not like reloading the long thin walled tapered case. Others also must not have liked it and have had their rifle chambered for the K Hornet to extend the case life. When rifles were chambered for the modern 221 Fireball cartridge ,I got one. I found accurate reloads simple to make for the Fireball. But I jest got a CZ 527 Varmint 17 Hornet rifle. What a joy to shoot. With Hornady 20 Gr bullet ammo. Last week while siting in the 17 H rifle at 100 yards off a bench I was getting sub 1/2 inch groups. Went out and shot a few prairie dogs with the 17 H before it got windy. I can understand why someone who has a 22 Hornet will try to make the best of it. But for someone who looking for new low muzzle blast ,low recoil rifle take a look at the energy and bullet path of the 17 Hornet and 221 Fireball cartridges and compare it to factory and reloaded ammo for the 22 Hornet. I m an old timer and have used 17 HM2, 17 HMR, 17 Hornet, 17 Fireball, 17 Remington, 204 Ruger, 22 RF, 22 WMR, 22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 Remington ,223 Remington, 22-250 Remington, 220 Swift , and 243 chambered rifles . With the fine cartridges now available I could not tell any one to get a new 22 Hornet rifle.
  8. antietamgw

    antietamgw Member

    Feb 22, 2009
    Yes, they are! Quiet, fun, cheap and usually in a nice light package, perfect for walking around. I prefer the .218 Bee - mine isn't near as touchy to load for as the Hornet T/C Carbine barrel I had. A nice quiet round that doesn't make everything disappear for the next hour... Groundhog in the pic stood up about 40 yds in front of me right I had shot one at about 100yds. The load was a 50 gr. cast bullet at 2000FPS, give or take. It's great for tree squirrels at 1000FPS too. Or run it full speed for more noise. The 2000FPS load works fine for what I need. What I really need is a little more time to take the rifle for a walk...
  9. jfseaman

    jfseaman Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    My 22 Hornet is a Contender 14" with a pistol scope.

    It's just plain fun :D to shoot.

    I missed out on a trade for a Ruger but get to shoot it sometimes anyway. Very nice.
  10. milkie62

    milkie62 Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    The ticket for the 22 Hornet for me is the non-noise factor.I hunt alot of small fields for woodchucks.At times a 22LR will be sucked up by a fat chuck if a non-lethal body shot happens.I want to anchor him on the spot if the grass starts to get a little high.A 243 will do it nicely but will also scare another other varmints away whereas the 22 hornet does not have as loud a report and will anchor them on spot with a nice HP bullet.

    I remember John Wooters once wrote in Outdoor Life magazine years ago.He was a 308 lover and I am also.He said that a 30/06 holds 10 percent more powder than a 308 but it is not 10 percent better.

    Maybe this is why I like the 22 Hornet.
  11. rcol317

    rcol317 Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2012
    Thanks for all the feed back, now I have a better understanding to the appeal of the little Hornet. I understand that performance isn't everything and if you enjoy what your shooting that's the point, keep shooting. If the little Hornet fits the bill that's what it's all about. Sounds like most of you that like it just like it. Keep having fun.
  12. 204tcAK

    204tcAK Active Member

    Oct 30, 2012
    i own a 22 hornet in a Thompson Center super 16. it's been my trap line gun for many years. my brother takes it out when he checks his line to when i'm not using it. deadly accuracy with my reloads.
  13. Hunter2678

    Hunter2678 Well-Known Member

    May 2, 2012
    I've got a CZ 527 that shoots sub moa all day at 100 with a 40 gn nosler BTBT in front of 11.6 gns of A1680 at 2650 fps.. I can shoot golf balls at 200 yds with regularity. Its a nice little cartridge, cheap and easy to reload and a good gun for vermin control in higher concentrated residential areas.