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22 Hornet Makes It To The Field
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February 18, 2017 - 12:55 am
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I got this carbine a couple weeks ago. After finding a period scope and rings, I sighted it in as well as you can with a 2 1/2 power scope with a post. I shot this rabbit in the head, loaned it to a friend and he shot a prairie dog at 200 yards with the gun. Definitely, his was the shot of the day…

 

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February 18, 2017 - 3:51 pm
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Off subject here, but something I don’t understand about this site…how can you be labeled as a “WACA Guest” and then down below it says “member since Jan 13, 2010”. I no savvy. Peter

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February 18, 2017 - 4:22 pm
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The “member since” is how long the person has been registered on the forum.  It has no relation to the WACA membership date.

Regards,

WACA Life Member #6284 - Specializing in Pre-64 Winchester .22 Rimfire

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February 18, 2017 - 4:26 pm
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So when it says “WACA guest” and then “Member since”, it does not mean they are a member, but are in fact a guest? Not trying to cause a rumble, but can that status go on forever? Just wondered. Peter

Thinking about what I just said, I guess it can go on forever as that is how other forums are. I belong to the Colt forum etc, and am not a member of the Colt Society. Makes sense then

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February 18, 2017 - 5:04 pm
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Looking at this post, I just noticed the same about mine.

Member for 4 plus years, but labeled a guest.

Oh well, still get my quarterly and calendar!

I knew that carbine would see action, have three hornets,

but haven’t come close to acquiring a carbine, yet…..

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February 18, 2017 - 6:22 pm
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Never understood the attraction of the 22 Hornet but I certainly like this one. Nice rifle, congrats on getting it together and out doing what it was built to do!

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February 18, 2017 - 9:11 pm
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Eagle said
Off subject here, but something I don’t understand about this site…how can you be labeled as a “WACA Guest” and then down below it says “member since Jan 13, 2010”. I no savvy. Peter  

Peter,

I am a bit confused by your concern ?  You are listed as a “WACA Member” versus a “Guest”.

Bert

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February 18, 2017 - 9:13 pm
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Gregory said
Looking at this post, I just noticed the same about mine.

Member for 4 plus years, but labeled a guest.

Oh well, still get my quarterly and calendar!

I knew that carbine would see action, have three hornets,

but haven’t come close to acquiring a carbine, yet…..  

Greg,

If you are a WACA member in good standing (paid up), you should not be listed as a “Guest”.  Contact Trish Smith and ask her to update your status.

Bert

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February 18, 2017 - 9:17 pm
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Thank you Bert, I just sent her a message…

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February 18, 2017 - 9:24 pm
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TXGunNut said
Never understood the attraction of the 22 Hornet but I certainly like this one. Nice rifle, congrats on getting it together and out doing what it was built to do!  

You my friend, are one seriously deprived Winchester collector!!  To start with, Winchester was the first commercial firearms & ammo maker to adopt the 22 Hornet.  For that reason alone, you should have one.  Townsend Whelen gets the credit for developing the 22 Hornet (converting the 22 WCF cartridge to a high velocity varmint cartridge), but he worked with Winchester to bring it to fruition.

As far as the cartridge itself, shortly after it was introduced, it set the world record for accuracy in the .22 caliber class.  The 22 Hornet is capable of superb accuracy in a quality rifle.  In its factory loading, it is a great cartridge out to 200-yards.  If you upgrade it to the 22 K-Hornet, it becomes a 300-yard cartridge.  I have shot a lot of varmints with both cartridges, and it a pure joy to shoot.  My current favorite is a Model 43 that I acquired about 7-years ago.  It loves the Remington 45-gr HP load, and shoots dime-sized groups @ 100-yards.

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February 19, 2017 - 5:11 pm
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TXGunNut said
Never understood the attraction of the 22 Hornet but I certainly like this one. Nice rifle, congrats on getting it together and out doing what it was built to do!  

I have to agree to being slow to join the fan club of the Hornet. I came across a pre-war Hornet and had to get it. They are really nice guns to begin with, but pre-war and in high condition, I bought it. After I got to loading for it and getting over the fear of finding 224 bullets, I found the 223 40 grain V-Max shoots just great. Since then I have shot lots of gophers with it and wondered why it took me so long to find such a fantastic old cartridge…

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February 19, 2017 - 5:45 pm
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Are the 22 Hornet rifle and the 22K-Hornet the same rifle, just different cartridges, or are they two different rifles all together? Peter

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February 19, 2017 - 8:03 pm
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Rabbit head-shots and dogs at 200 with a 2 1/2 scope; I can feel the attraction while just sitting here!  Nice one, Shrapnel.

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February 19, 2017 - 8:04 pm
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Eagle said
Are the 22 Hornet rifle and the 22K-Hornet the same rifle, just different cartridges, or are they two different rifles all together? Peter  

Peter,

The K-Hornet is a modified Hornet cartridge, and it is shot from a Hornet rifle that has a modified (reamed) chamber.  The K-Hornet blows out the tapered Hornet case to a straight case, and forms a 35-degree (or 40-degree) shoulder.  There are several iterations of the K-Hornet case dimension.  The K-Hornet modification increases the case capacity by approximately 11-13% over the standard Hornet case.  With the larger case capacity, you get increased cartridge performance.  The standard 22 Hornet factory load launches a 45-gr bullet @2,700 fps.  My 22 K-Hornet launches the same 45-gr bullet at just over 3,000 fps.

Bert

 

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February 19, 2017 - 8:35 pm
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Very good explanation…thanks for that Bert. Couple of other questions…is it similar to “Ackley improved”? Also if one were to do this to let’s say a nice model 43 in 22 Hornet, is the value of the original gun now compromised. Knowing that I can’t afford a pre-64 model 70 in 22Hornet, would a model 64 be the next best rifle or are there others? I would probably like to stay with an older type rifle verses a new model if I was going to do this. Thanks, Peter

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Eagle said
Very good explanation…thanks for that Bert. Couple of other questions…is it similar to “Ackley improved”? Also if one were to do this to let’s say a nice model 43 in 22 Hornet, is the value of the original gun now compromised. Knowing that I can’t afford a pre-64 model 70 in 22Hornet, would a model 64 be the next best rifle or are there others? I would probably like to stay with an older type rifle verses a new model if I was going to do this. Thanks, Peter  

Peter,

Yes, it is similar to the Ackley Improved, but the 22 K-Hornet predates the 22 Ackley Improved Hornet. I believe that the only difference in them is the shoulder angle.

Modifying any pre-64 Winchester rifle (Model 43 or Model 70) to shoot the 22 K-Hornet will devalue it in the collector market.  Personally, I would not recommend punching a Model 43 chamber out to the K-Hornet, as the increased pressure will push the limits of the action to the limit, and could cause headspace problems to develop.

The Model 64 cannot be adapted to shoot the 22 Hornet (or K-Hornet).  Winchester did experiment with making the Model 65 in 22 Hornet, but did not procede with it.

If you want a pre-64 Winchester in 22 Hornet, the Model 43 is your best option from an affordability standpoint.  There are lots of them out there in the $600 – $1,000 range.  I suggest that you read the article that I wrote about the Model 43 (published last year).

Bert

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Eagle said
Very good explanation…thanks for that Bert. Couple of other questions…is it similar to “Ackley improved”? Also if one were to do this to let’s say a nice model 43 in 22 Hornet, is the value of the original gun now compromised. Knowing that I can’t afford a pre-64 model 70 in 22Hornet, would a model 64 be the next best rifle or are there others? I would probably like to stay with an older type rifle verses a new model if I was going to do this. Thanks, Peter  

The gun world has run amuck with trying to improve something that needs no improvement. The Hornet is another one of those. Any advantage a “K” Hornet may have in velocity is inconsequential to a gopher and it definitely ruins the value of the original rifle. This is one time to leave well enough alone… 

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February 19, 2017 - 9:37 pm
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Peter-

I think most would agree that rechambering to Kilborne Hornet pretty much kills the collector value.  I’d say reduces the value by half.  Of course that might be a good thing if you can find an already rechambered one that shoots accurately.

The funny thing is that many M70 22 Hornet rifles have been rechambered to K Hornet and not marked as such.  I presume this is b/c the way you make K Hornet brass is by firing 22 Hornet ammo in a K Hornet chamber.  In effect a rifle chambered in K Hornet can fire either safely.  One of my shooter M70s is a transition era 22 Hornet that has no external sign whatsoever of having been rechambered.  But I promise you that if you fire it you will extract perfectly fire formed K Hornet brass!!!!

This is also a reminder for M70/43 collectors.  If buying a Hornet either get the seller to show you a fired case before buying or get permission to ‘test fire’ the rifle with return privilege if it has been rechambered.

Best, Lou

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February 20, 2017 - 12:45 am
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All very helpful info. Thank you all for the education. I’m going to be on a hunt for a nice deluxe one ASAP. Bert, I have read you article and have been interested in one of these since. I will drag out the mag and read it again. Peter

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February 20, 2017 - 2:59 am
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I enjoyed the 43 article last year, Bert. I’m pretty sure it was instrumental in getting my shooting buddy to join WACA. I’ve helped him scavenge ammo and marveled at the performance of his Hornets. If I could see the end of my project list I’d consider adding the 22 Hornet to it. Wink I don’t think I’d ever try to cast for it so I’ll be able to forgo my customary expense of moulds, gas checks, sizing dies and punches. There’s a good chance I have some 40gr V-max from my last foray into the 22 CF world 20 or so years ago…I suppose it could happen if the right rifle comes along. I suspect throat erosion isn’t an issue with Hornets considering the miserly powder charge; I like cartridges that are easy on barrels and my powder supply.

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