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22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets (Read 1240 times)
SBoomer
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Ft Atkinson, Wisconsin, USA
22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Sep 23rd, 2013 at 7:38am
 
I know this is not a SS but I am shooting it as a single shot!

I just picked up a 1933 Winchester 54 in .22 Hornet in great shape! I was pleasantly suprised to see a nice "KILBOURN" stamped below the factory caliber stamp. I made a chamber cast within minutes of gettting it home and was thrilled to see that it is a nice tight chamber. It slugs a .223" groove diameter. My question is, must I use .223" jacketed bullets? I really dont want to cast for this rifle and just want to use jacketed bullets. I realize that Speer and Sierra both make a .223" bullet specifically for the Hornet, but both are non-existent right now. I would appreciate comments on the use of .224's.
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FITZ
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REGARDS

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MASSACHUSETTS, Massachusetts, USA
Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #1 - Sep 23rd, 2013 at 11:33am
 
sboomer, an  experience in the past. I once routinely test fired and sighted in Rifles built by a pair of gunsmiths. One time they asked me to test a M70 Winchester .22 Hornet that they had rechambered to "K" Hornet for a customer.  I took it to the Range and tested it with GI survival Ammo. It shot well and most of the cases reformed succesfully. I sighted it in and returned it. A few months later when I stopped by they asked me if I wanted to see how it had turned out. The owner who loaded his own ammo had done something really bad. The Primer was non existant. the Gas had gone back throught bolt and blown out the complete magazine assembly. It had then vented into the stock and had split the wood all the way to the forend tip and back to the toe of the stock. We never could find out what the load was as the owner refused to provide either the information or any samples.I at the time wondered about bore and grove size but had no opportunity to check. I am providing this information for your consideration. I do believe the owner probably loaded a max "K" Hornet load with .224 Bullets. And or threw an excessive powder charge of something like 2400 or Unique HTH Regards, FITZ. Smiley
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FITZ
 
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gewehrfreund
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Cortland, New York, USA
Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #2 - Sep 23rd, 2013 at 1:16pm
 
I don't claim to be an expert, but right now I have two older hornets: a Martini sporter with 22 rimfire barrel (found out after buying it when I took the fore-end off) and a Win. M70 from 1951 that was rechambered to 222. THe Martini obviously has a tighter than normal barrel, but I have noticed no problem shooting sane loads with .224 bullets or with factory ammo.
I am unsure whether the M70, being from the '50s, has a 223 or 224 barrel, but it gets a steady diet of 224s, what little I shoot it.
I think 224s in your M54 is fine as long as you don't try to load it up to something that it's not.
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SBoomer
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Ft Atkinson, Wisconsin, USA
Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #3 - Sep 23rd, 2013 at 1:28pm
 
I have no intentions of loading anything hotter than mid-range loads. I do wonder about the neck sizing portion of the modern dies....no doubt dimensioned for .224" bullets. I wonder if sufficent neck tension would result from using .223" bullets?
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slumlord44
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Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #4 - Sep 23rd, 2013 at 9:58pm
 
I had a friend load up some .223 bullets in .22 Hornet for my 417 Stevens Walnut Hill and he had no problems with the .223 bullets. I was able to order them at the time but it was a few years back and I have not looked for them since. I would think they would be available but possibly not with all the ammo shortages today.
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rglenz
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Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #5 - Sep 23rd, 2013 at 11:54pm
 
My pre-war model 70, in .22 hornet, doesn't seem to care if fed .223 or .224 bullets.It shoots well with either,as long as they are 50 grains or less. RCBS dies handle either size.
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JCHannum
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Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #6 - Sep 24th, 2013 at 10:32am
 
The current Hornady catalog lists a .223 Hornet bullet, Item# 2220, 45g, in their Traditional Varmint series.
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Jim H.
 
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Wapiti
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Colorado, USA
Re: 22 Hornet .223" vs .224" bullets
Reply #7 - Sep 26th, 2013 at 12:25am
 
FWIW- Rule's M70 book lists the Hornet barrel specs as .217/.222.

Good shooting. Wink

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