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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market for a couple new rifles. Already have the new .308 picked out. But, I'm torn between 22WMR, 22 Hornet or 17 Hornet. I have very little experience with any of these calibers but wanted something a little more powerful than 22lr for shooting at the range or for small game hunting. From what I've seen, 22WMR is probably the most readily available. But, since I reload, I can reload the 22 Hornet or 17 Hornet. Obviously can't reload 22WMR. Well maybe you can, but I have no interest in reloading a rimfire round. The 17 Hornet uses the polymer tip and probably covers a longer distance than 22 Hornet or 22 WMR. But, it's only been around for a little more than a year and not a lot of options yet for rifles. At least, not that I've seen. Sooo, if you were in my position, which of these three would you probably choose?
 

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If you haven't picked one up yet, an inexpensive black powder rifle in say .50 caliber can be very versitile. and as of yet, do not require a whole lot of paperwork to purchase. I've got an older CVA Bobcat that I can load down to squirrel velocity or up to 2100 FPS with a 300 grain Sabot. Since that's almost the same load that T.R. carried to Africa with him in about 1909, I'd say it would be a good bet for anything on the N.A. Continene
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you haven't picked one up yet, an inexpensive black powder rifle in say .50 caliber can be very versitile. and as of yet, do not require a whole lot of paperwork to purchase. I've got an older CVA Bobcat that I can load down to squirrel velocity or up to 2100 FPS with a 300 grain Sabot. Since that's almost the same load that T.R. carried to Africa with him in about 1909, I'd say it would be a good bet for anything on the N.A. Continene
Thanks. I do have access to a couple black powder rifles. Was unaware you can load a round for squirrel. Everything I've shot out of them was for deer. They are definitely fun to shoot.
 

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Yes a BP rifle can be loaded down considerably. The smaller calibers such as the 45 lend themselves well to this more so than the 50 and 54's do and allow for more efficient taking of small game. Granted a 36 would be better suited to that purpose. The biggest problem I see to BP is that they use a lot more powder than a smokeless chambering would and will gobble up a pound of powder pretty quick. The up side is that it can be made although its a bit hazardous to make.

Of the 3 cartridges you mentioned in the OP I think the 22 WRM and the 22 Hornet are the only real choices. I say this becuase while the 17 can be extremely accurate, the 17 to 20 grain bullets dont pentrate into soft tissue very deeply or break shoulder bones well and still have enough to penetrate. Yes they will lay waste to a squirrel but once you move beyond a bobcat sized animal, quick humane kills will depend a whole lot on precise bullet placement. The 22 Hornet however can be loaded with bullets up to 55 grains and up to 2300 fps. Thats pretty dang potent for a small round. The 22 WRM would possibly be a better more economical option providing a path of least resistance. It however can not be reloaded like the 22 Hornet can.

When I wanted a chambering that was cheap to shoot but more potent than a 22 lr but much milder than a 308, I went with the 223. I know your sitting there saying what? Shooting a rabbit with a 223 there aint gonna be nothing left. See thats where your wrong and need to think outside the box. I can load a 223 with a 55 gr bullet, fill the case with 4 gr of Trailboss and get 1100 fps. With loads that mild the brass cases will last a very long time. Need something a little hotter than that substitute 10gr (IIRC...) with Bluedot and the same bullet and ypour looking at 1800 fps! Solidly in 22 WRM territory and approaching mild loads in the 22 Hornet. 4 gs of Trailboss will allow for 1750 loads from a pound of powder. 10 grs of Bluedot will allow you to get 700 loads from a pound of powder. Compare this to a very mild load of 70grs of BP for a 50 cal and you only get 100 rounds per a pound of powder. The other thing I liked about going to the 223 instead of the Hornet, is the fact that 20 rounds of Tula was only running about 4.97 a box and American Eagle was running about 6.47 a box for full throttle 223 loads allowing for a lot of shooting. Additionally I am a lot more likely to encounter more 223 than I am 22 Hornet or 22 WRM after the SHTF. Furthermore just about everyone and their brother make a 223 rifle and finding one thats within your budget is a breeze, cant say that about the 22 Hornet!

Just something to possible consider...Dont get me wrong cause I love the Hornet and the K-Hornet even more, but the 223 just gives me far more options from mild to wild and from 45 grs to 75gr bullet weights and there is a ton of reloading data out there for it to boot making it incredibly versital. And I am all about options!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes a BP rifle can be loaded down considerably. The smaller calibers such as the 45 lend themselves well to this more so than the 50 and 54's do and allow for more efficient taking of small game. Granted a 36 would be better suited to that purpose. The biggest problem I see to BP is that they use a lot more powder than a smokeless chambering would and will gobble up a pound of powder pretty quick. The up side is that it can be made although its a bit hazardous to make.

Of the 3 cartridges you mentioned in the OP I think the 22 WRM and the 22 Hornet are the only real choices. I say this becuase while the 17 can be extremely accurate, the 17 to 20 grain bullets dont pentrate into soft tissue very deeply or break shoulder bones well and still have enough to penetrate. Yes they will lay waste to a squirrel but once you move beyond a bobcat sized animal, quick humane kills will depend a whole lot on precise bullet placement. The 22 Hornet however can be loaded with bullets up to 55 grains and up to 2300 fps. Thats pretty dang potent for a small round. The 22 WRM would possibly be a better more economical option providing a path of least resistance. It however can not be reloaded like the 22 Hornet can.

When I wanted a chambering that was cheap to shoot but more potent than a 22 lr but much milder than a 308, I went with the 223. I know your sitting there saying what? Shooting a rabbit with a 223 there aint gonna be nothing left. See thats where your wrong and need to think outside the box. I can load a 223 with a 55 gr bullet, fill the case with 4 gr of Trailboss and get 1100 fps. With loads that mild the brass cases will last a very long time. Need something a little hotter than that substitute 10gr (IIRC...) with Bluedot and the same bullet and ypour looking at 1800 fps! Solidly in 22 WRM territory and approaching mild loads in the 22 Hornet. 4 gs of Trailboss will allow for 1750 loads from a pound of powder. 10 grs of Bluedot will allow you to get 700 loads from a pound of powder. Compare this to a very mild load of 70grs of BP for a 50 cal and you only get 100 rounds per a pound of powder. The other thing I liked about going to the 223 instead of the Hornet, is the fact that 20 rounds of Tula was only running about 4.97 a box and American Eagle was running about 6.47 a box for full throttle 223 loads allowing for a lot of shooting. Additionally I am a lot more likely to encounter more 223 than I am 22 Hornet or 22 WRM after the SHTF. Furthermore just about everyone and their brother make a 223 rifle and finding one thats within your budget is a breeze, cant say that about the 22 Hornet!

Just something to possible consider...Dont get me wrong cause I love the Hornet and the K-Hornet even more, but the 223 just gives me far more options from mild to wild and from 45 grs to 75gr bullet weights and there is a ton of reloading data out there for it to boot making it incredibly versital. And I am all about options!
Thanks for the info. I do have a bolt .223 to compliment my "evil" black rifle. I love shooting the .223 so much I'm buying a second one. Well, I want a "lefty" since I'm tired of always shooting right handed rifles. My wife, whose not into guns, really enjoys shooting my bolt .223 also. Being able to shoot targets at 3 or 4 hundred yards is more enjoyable to her than shooting 50 and 100 yards with the 22lr. I'm still pretty new to reloading so I'm learning all about working up my own loads. Just got some 53 grain vmax bullets to put together. I'm wondering, after reading your post, maybe I'll just stick to the .223. Have to see how prices go after all this ban crap is worked out. There's a 22LR/WMR revolver I want to get at a local gun store for $190. Maybe I'll just get that for something different to shoot and focus on getting my next .223 rifle. Saw a Savage Axis both in .223 and .308 for around $329 at a local gun store, both for leftys.
 

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Bro for whats its worth this is my Squirrel Sniper rifle! Its brutal to say the least although a bit on the heavy side compared to a pencil barreled 22 LR or WRM. With the proper load I am ready for anything from Squirrels to Coyotes or even BG's way out there and everywhere in between. I will warn you that the Polymer tipped bullets dont explode on impact at the low velocities of the Trailboss and Bluedot levels, in fact I use standard thin jacked soft or hollow points instead. For full throttle loads I do like Varget, BLC-2 and I am starting to gravitate to CFE here lately and understand that they have released even more data for more calibers using this powder. Once I see this additional data I may just burn up my existing supplies of the previous two and stock only the CFE.
 

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Have you thought about a 204 Ruger. If you reload ammo cost are about the same as the 556 but a whole lot more performance. I do have a few AR's in 556 but they just sit and collect dust. The Savage model 12 204 and the 204 AR get used for target shooting and varmints. Great caliber that gets overlooked.
 

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I'm always a tad out of step. While everyone else is scrambling to smash and grab what I've already bought, I'm sort of going the other way.

You might be interested in the Rossi Wizard. It is a single shot rifle, and you can buy different barrels for different caliber needs. I'm figuring that would be efficient, to have sleeved barrels rather than a trunk of many rifles, were I have to hit the woods a running.
 

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I'm always a tad out of step. While everyone else is scrambling to smash and grab what I've already bought, I'm sort of going the other way.

You might be interested in the Rossi Wizard. It is a single shot rifle, and you can buy different barrels for different caliber needs. I'm figuring that would be efficient, to have sleeved barrels rather than a trunk of many rifles, were I have to hit the woods a running.
As goes quality and shootability , the H and R Handi Rifles are a much better piece along the same lines..........I have several , barrels can be fitted to interchange and combo kits are available.

H&R Ultra Rifles
 

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As goes quality and shootability , the H and R Handi Rifles are a much better piece along the same lines..........I have several , barrels can be fitted to interchange and combo kits are available.

H&R Ultra Rifles
I have a Harrington and Richardson single shot .12ga that was my first shotgun. It's had ejector issues since I got it, but that's OK, nothing a knife blade won't pop right on out. I thought about getting the H&R version but decided to go the Rossi route. For now.

I know me. Once the thought takes root, the actions are sure to follow. I'll have an H&R by next year.

Er, I should say, this coming year, sometime.
 

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I have a Harrington and Richardson single shot .12ga that was my first shotgun. It's had ejector issues since I got it, but that's OK, nothing a knife blade won't pop right on out. I thought about getting the H&R version but decided to go the Rossi route. For now.

I know me. Once the thought takes root, the actions are sure to follow. I'll have an H&R by next year.

Er, I should say, this coming year, sometime.
Open it up with an empty chamber and see if the extractor pops into ejection mode , and have you had that roll pin out?

There's a nice tutorial on exactly these problems floating around , let me see if I can find a link to it.
 

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You might want to consider a Remington 700 in .22-250. Very flat shooting and 4000 fps.
 

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I don't know why, but I want one those H&R Buffalo Classic's. I know impracticle..LOL
 

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As fond as I am of the .22 Hornet it isn't the best choice for reloading.
I may have lost some memory [clarity] as it has been a while since I
played with them. Fun, yes ! Fast, yes.
The brass was too fragile. I remember crushed brass without any warning.
Also, there were different molds I had to use for the lead.....depending
on which rifle I loaded for.....a difference in bore diameter.....but I am
no longer clear on what I had to deal with.....only that it was better to
move on to something else.
A .22WMR is hard to beat though, with the 45gr FTX Hornady and
the 30gr Varmit.........
I am so off into the .32H&R and .327Federal these days[aside from the .38/.357]
that I don't load much rifle anymore......
so I really am not much help......sorry.
But one suggestion......
Load for .223...........you can load them down and have a serious kick-ass light
round.....and maybe NEVER have to trim the length......
Then you still maintain continuity with your components......
dies, powder, projectiles........etc
Then, you have your 'bubba' full blown .223 for da zombies !!!!!
 

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You might want to consider a Remington 700 in .22-250. Very flat shooting and 4000 fps.
uh huh.........maybe you should actually get into the cartridge and tell *the rest of the story* , you'll only see 4k fps and above under 50 grains of slug weight , and you'll need a 26 tube or longer , I see 4300 with a 40 grain nosler over 40 grains of Varget , but that's out of a 27 inch , and I'll see the 4500-4600 mark with a Berger MEF 35 grain.however at those levels you'll be watching barrels and you WILL burn them.

And the .22-250 AI is a significant improvement , so is the .22-243 middlestead , both of which I've knocked on the 5k fps door with...............BUT and this is a HUGE caveat , chasing velocity is a process of diminshing returns in these cartridges , you WILL run into slug problems beyond the 4500 mark with many available slugs and you WILL burn barrels.

With .22-250 it's better to rack it back a notch and load something such as the 52 grain A-max to around the 3500-3600 level , you can see 35ish out of a 24 tube and it's easier on throats and the 52 berger or A-max over 37 and up grains of varget or 40 plus of N550 makes one hell of an allaround combo , coyote killer extraordinaire.

You can go up as far as the 80 grain Berger VLD and still see 33 and above , and that slug and the 69 grain Matchking are the best of the heavier slugs for the cartridge.
 

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But one suggestion......
Load for .223...........you can load them down and have a serious kick-ass light
round.....and maybe NEVER have to trim the length......
Then you still maintain continuity with your components......
dies, powder, projectiles........etc
Then, you have your 'bubba' full blown .223 for da zombies !!!!!
Exactly what I was trying to elude to Ozo. Great minds think alike dont they? With as many guns as I own...the last thing I need is another type of powder, size of bullet, Brass or Primer to keep on hand. And your right, the down loaded brass seems like it last forever before needing to be trimmed to size or discarded with such low pressure rounds. In fact I may even consider another 223 rifle to be rebarreled for the 6x45 which I like even better!!! I think it would be even more flexible than the 223!
 
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