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Old 09-05-2010, 09:18 AM   #1
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Looking For A Rifle...


I've begun a selection process for a rifle in .22 Hornet.

Specs must be these:

Left handed bolt action

Four to five round capacity

Heavy, or semi-heavy, barrel, no sights

preferably MOA accuracy from the box with good hand loads

D&T for a 'scope mount

Reasonable price, similar to that of a Savage

Does anyone know of any rifles like this? The Ruger M77 would be awesome, as would a number of Savage rifles, but they're chambered in .223 on up. I'd really like that lil' .22 Hornet. I figure it will save on powder and will do anything I need it to do out to 200 or 300 yards.

It would potentially be a squirrel gun, so I can't have it passing through trees and stuff.

In other words, I'd like something more powerful than the .22 Long Rifle, but with more potential than the .22 Magnum.

I've never really latched onto the .17 calibers. Seems a mite explosive to me.

Any help?


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Old 09-05-2010, 09:34 AM   #2
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Ruger does make a .22 Hornet bolt action in their line. Not sure about the left hand action though.

I can't vouch for accuracy, but they do look good.

A bit spendy.

Of course Ruger made their #1B in .22 Hornet. That would solve your southpaw issue. Class act, too.


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Old 09-05-2010, 10:53 AM   #3
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I don't know anything about LH actions, but from messing around with a Ruger 77/22 Hornet for a while, I can tell you your MOA accuracy requirement might be possible but will take some tinkering.

I spent a lot on ammo components to weed through. I ended up with one or two bullets that did well, but had to try every bullet I could find in the 40-45 grain range to get there. It's not like a bigger centerfire where you can use 50-55 grain bullets and just about any of those bullets in that range shoot well. The lighter Hornet-type bullets are more of a gamble as to what shoots well and what doesn't.

One of the two big gains I made came after weighing and sorting cases. I found the weight to vary between them. I don't remember by how much now, but it was as much as I saw in larger cases which are a lot more forgiving than the tiny Hornets. In such a small case, that mattered a lot. Winchester was the only case I had available. I hear some of the Euro brands like Norma or RWS are better here, but cost and availability are a big factor.

The result of weighing and sorting is that you buy a bunch of cases and end up with a smaller number you can actually use. How many depends on the standards you want to meet and keep.

The other gain came when I had it rechambered to .22 K-Hornet. After I did that and had a more substantial shoulder to headspace on, I was able to neck-size only, and that was a big help in this cartridge. In fact, it might be the only cartridge I've found that neck sizing was worth doing in a rifle used in the field.

The downside of this was that the thin Hornet cases split easily and I lost quite a few in fireforming, much more than I did in other wildcats I've had to fireform.

So in the end, I had a rifle that used bullets that weren't as accurate as more standard weights in the diameter, used cases that were pretty inconsistent, and shot a tiny cartridge where these things had a big effect.

But it was worth it to have a rifle that was so quiet, right?


That was what I bought it for, to have a rifle quieter than a .223. It was a little quieter, but loud is loud. There is little doubt when you shoot one that a rifle has been fired, it was bigger than a .22, and everybody knows it a mile away. A Pro Stocker is quiet compared to a Top Fueler, but run one down the track and everybody knows a drag racer has made a run.

I traded it off. Somewhere floating around Indiana is a Ruger 77/22 Hornet Stainless Target that was re-bedded, has a trigger job, and muzzle recrowning. Maybe you can find it!
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Old 11-09-2010, 07:50 PM   #4
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I think that Barry in IN has the right idea.

If this was 1930 - the 22 Hornet would be high tech.

As it was - it was just a good round when it came out and has not improved much over the years.

The problem with your needs is that I doubt highly if you are going to find what you are looking for in the price range you are probably looking for.

22 Hornet is one of those round where there were many rifles chambered for it when it was new. Those rifles tends to run in the $500 - $1000 + range.

Then there is a one off rifle that comes out from time to time - that if they made one - the people to talk to would be Grice Wholesale in Clearfield PA

I would imagine that if anyone would have a new one - they would be the people to talk to.

In all actuality - what you are looking for - doesn't exist. At least not with the specifications that you require.

Your needs would be better served in my opinion with a .223 or a 22-250 rifle.

A 22 Hornet is not a squirrel gun. Then again neither is the .223 or the 22-250

The 17 HRM is a very fast round and very expensive to shoot as opposed to the 22 Magnum.

Either of these rounds will perform as good as or better then the 22 Hornet.

The only difference is that in the state that I live in - Pennsylvania, anytime you hunt big game, they specify that you must use a centerfire rifle and not a rimfire - so it would be advantageous to use the 22 Hornet.

But the 22 Hornet is too small to be used as a effective deer round.

So again, it really doesn't matter one way or the other.
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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I also agree with barry. My experience with the Ruger M77 is that it is a finicky sonofagun about loads and sometimes it will only shoot one out of a bluemoonfull accurately. If varmint accuracy is your goal, I'd look elsewhere. Also, I owned a #1 rifle in 6mm Remington and tried for ten years to get it to shoot and finally sold it. I can't recommend a Ruger rifle for your intended purpose unless you're willing to expend an exhaustive amount of time working up a load it will shoot.

The most accurate rifle I've ever owned was a Savage M110CL in .243 Win. It would shoot 1/2" hundred yard groups all day with just about anything I could cram in it.

"We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us." - Winston Churchill
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:16 PM   #6
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I had the bright idea of using a Hornet as an alternative to a .22 Mag once upon a time.

I had a Thompson-Center single shot rifle in Hornet. Shot almost decent with factory ammo. Also had a habit of slinging a bullet sideways occasionally. It had a shorter than standard twist though.

Also had an H&R Topper in Hornet that never shot worth a darn. Extremely rough bore.

Rugers in times past had oversized bores and extremely long throats. I suspect this made it extremely difficult to get accuracy with smaller calibers. Was tough enough with larger bores.

Ruger also tends to let the consumer do their QC inspections. They will USUALLY make good on problems if you don't mind the hassle.

I think rather than dealing with the Hornet (it IS a cool looking round though!) you'd be better served loading down a .222 or a .221Fireball. Or the .22 mag as suggested.

The .22PPC is another option as it has a very small capacity and was developed for accuracy.



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Old 11-10-2010, 07:37 AM   #7
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Check to see if CZ makes their rifles in LH action. I think they make some 22 Hornets.
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