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-   -   Will this work? down loading 223 to 22 hornet levels (https://www.huntingnet.com/forum/reloading/403636-will-work-down-loading-223-22-hornet-levels.html)

Father Forkhorn 01-04-2016 10:22 AM

Will this work? down loading 223 to 22 hornet levels
 
A gun chambered in 22 hornet would be an ideal gun for me to take predators without tearing up pelts. However, affordable guns in 22 hornet can be hard to find, especially for left-handers like myself.

I've had the idea of getting a 223 and handloading to performance levels comparable to 22 hornet, as lefty 223's can be found in entry level rifles (one is the savage axis).

I would be new to handloading myself, but I would be learning under experienced handloaders.

jeepkid 01-04-2016 10:42 AM

They are 500-600 fps slower then a .223, correct? I doubt you will find a published load that is that slow for a .223.

I wouldn't do it.

Can you use a different bullet to mitigate the pelt damage? Maybe an all copper bullet...

Big Uncle 01-04-2016 11:38 AM


Originally Posted by jeepkid (Post 4237576)
They are 500-600 fps slower then a .223, correct? I doubt you will find a published load that is that slow for a .223.

Speer actually lists a reduced load with 11.0 -12.0 grains of AA 5744 powder that is projected at 1,900 - 2,000 fps so I believe it could be done. That is slower than most Hornet loads. Accuracy might be a problem, or not.

I have not tried this load.

Ridge Runner 01-04-2016 11:55 AM

according to hodgdon any load that is suitable for H4895 powder, can be reduced as long as you do not drop below 60% of the max listed load, the 223 will work, do not try it with other powders, an under pressure load can be just as dangerous as a severely over pressure load. go to hodgdon's site and search youth loads.
RR

Father Forkhorn 01-04-2016 01:30 PM


Can you use a different bullet to mitigate the pelt damage? Maybe an all copper bullet...
This is the kind of thing I am hoping to learn.

I curse the day they started bending bolts on rifles...It really is a problem for lefties.

super_hunt54 01-04-2016 01:33 PM

I'm right there with Jeep. Rather than reducing your loads, go with a harder bullet. One that won't expand explosively like a typical varmint bullet. The 55gr FMJ hornady comes to mind. It should poke right through.

Father Forkhorn 01-04-2016 01:42 PM

What I'm seeing repeatedly on predator hunting websites is that a .223 load will often give a large exit wound and massive pelt damage on fox and bobcat, especially if you hit bone. The 22 hornet greatly reduces that, at least that's what I'm seeing and reading.

I want this gun for fox, bobcat, and coyote, and I absolutely want to preserve the fur. The pelts will be displayed.

jeepkid 01-04-2016 01:50 PM


Originally Posted by Father Forkhorn (Post 4237590)
What I'm seeing repeatedly on predator hunting websites is that a .223 load will often give a large exit wound and massive pelt damage on fox and bobcat, especially if you hit bone. The 22 hornet greatly reduces that, at least that's what I'm seeing and reading.

I want this gun for fox, bobcat, and coyote, and I absolutely want to preserve the fur. The pelts will be displayed.

Get a .223 and shoot em in the head :party0005:

Oldtimr 01-04-2016 02:27 PM

FFH, do you understand that a non expanding bullet will not do the damage an expanding bullet does? That is what these folks are trying to tell you.

d80hunter 01-04-2016 03:16 PM

Try the 223 and decide for yourself. I haven't had any problems with a .223. I have also dropped coyotes with larger calibers and heavy bullets like a 139 Interlock out of a 7mm-08 and a 180 grain XTP from a .357 magnum and didn't wreck the hide. Coyotes do not have a lot of density so with the right bullet, and shot placement, you will be good to go. Heck I killed a pesky Racoon with a .450 bushmaster, a 250 grain FTX bullet, last weekend and it wasn't as bad as I thought after seeing what it does to deer. I assume small predators do not offer enough resistance to allow a bullet of heavy construction to expand much.

super_hunt54 01-04-2016 03:35 PM

Back in the dark ages when I was young and living in Tennessee, I hunted Bob Cats quite often. They are a soft bodied animal and a hard bullet won't open up in them. If you use a solid built bullet like a monolithic or a FMJ you will get caliber holes in and out. Fox and Yote are a slight bit tougher but again, a solid built bullet will not open up in them very much if any. I poke holes in Yotes on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis with a 22-250, 220 swift, and .223. I could care less about the pelts on them so I use varmint bullets. MOST of the time I don't get an exit since the bullets pretty much blow up inside them. If they are out to between 100-200 yards I will get a pretty good exit hole because the speed has reduced and they don't blow up but they do expand and there have been some mighty drastic holes in them there critters. But again, I use bullets designed to blow up in little critters.

Father Forkhorn 01-04-2016 05:36 PM


FFH, do you understand that a non expanding bullet will not do the damage an expanding bullet does? That is what these folks are trying to tell you.
Yes. I understand that fully.

What I'm picking up in other places is that this doesn't always work out well. For instance, while I certainly agree that shot placement is key, sometimes you don't always make the best shot, hit the shoulder, and end up with a mess/ruined pelt.

I'm consistently reading that the 22 hornet is a round that is more forgiving in this respect, but guns chambered in it are relatively harder to come by.

Hence, I'm curious about a .223 loaded down.


Try the 223 and decide for yourself.
Due to unusual circumstances, I could be stuck with the gun for awhile. That "Father" in my title refers to my occupation: I'm a priest and a monk, and that means I'm under restrictions as far as spending allowances. It could be awhile before the funds are there for a different gun.

Nomercy448 01-04-2016 06:33 PM

What part of NE KS?

223rem can be loaded down pretty low. Hornets typically use short ogive bullets so they get away with moderate velocities and slow twists - given a stubby bullet, the 223rem will still stabilize.

I went on the same journey several years ago with 22-250, and then again with 223rem. The ultimate answer was to buy a 22win mag, or use harder pills in the 223rem. Never hit anything hard, you'll be ok. I shoot cats and fox every year with 223rems, rarely ruin any of them unless I pitch a V-max at them.

I'll be easier to get down in speed with a shorter barrel in 223rem. A 16" carbine is half way there even with max loads compared to a long barrel. Getting that slow in a 24-26" tube might be more difficult.

CalHunter 01-04-2016 08:16 PM

Out of curiosity, do you have an older left handed rifle with a worn barrel that you can have re-barreled to a .22 Hornet? Or maybe buy one cheaper? Maybe even buy a single shot to get around the bolt issue.Just thinking out loud here. I've never researched left handed rifles so I honestly don't know how rare they are or not.

Father Forkhorn 01-04-2016 09:06 PM


What part of NE KS?
On the Missouri boarder.


Out of curiosity, do you have an older left handed rifle with a worn barrel that you can have re-barreled to a .22 Hornet? Or maybe buy one cheaper? Maybe even buy a single shot to get around the bolt issue.Just thinking out loud here. I've never researched left handed rifles so I honestly don't know how rare they are or not.
Those are options that might be worth exploring more. What I've seen advertised in single shots were pricey guns.


Edit: I just came across an ad for a handirifle. Somehow, I had overlooked it in my earlier research. That's a definite option.

Lefty rifles, once you get away from Savage, are generally available only in pricier guns. e.g. Remington offers a left hand BDL but not an ADL nor a model 783. The Savage 110 and its variants are designed in a way that left hand versions can be produced easily. Savage dominates the left hand market.

There are some affordable older savages in 22 hornet, but they are right handed. I might have to go with one of those. I want the caliber more than anything.

alleyyooper 01-05-2016 02:34 AM

Not wanting to be with out a good squirrel rifle and both 22 Mag ammo and 22lr ammo being nearly impossible to buy local and what I consider pricy I set out to see about down loading my 22 swift.
I never did find anything on it so I would feel safe doing so.
How ever in the quest I ran across a article in Hand loader Magazine on down loading the 22 hornet and 223 to 22lr speeds.
If you can down load a 22 hornet and a 223 to 1350FPS and 1500 feet per second then some thing in between should be OK too. I hit all the guns shops with in 100 miles of home looking for a used 22 hornet rifle bolt action. Never did in 7 months find such a critter. Had just about decided to go with a 223 when I was able to buy a New Ruger in 22 Hornet Yup pricy but new and does a great job on squirrels.

I did get a notice from one of the shops a few weeks ago they had a used CZ in 22 hornet come in if I was interested. With a Simmons 3x9 scope it was 10.00 more than my New bare bones Ruger.
As for the holes in the hides learn to sew them up. Fur buyers don't mind buying hides that were properly sewn.

:D Al

SecondChance 01-05-2016 03:43 AM

Way back in the day I was doing some critter control work at a very restrictive locale and had to be selective on what I could use. I took my 22-250 and loaded it down with 45grn Sierra Hornet SP's and I cant remember the powder but had to use a tuft of filler to keep the powder charge flat and they shot great out to 150yds. No sight adjustment at all. Dead on. So, with that being said, it can be done as others have said, just go to Hornady or Sierra website. Or call them directly and tell them what you want to do and they should be able to help you out.

bpd1982 01-05-2016 12:25 PM

Checked my Lyman #49 and they show Min. charges of 3031 about duplicate Hornet top loads. I would also look at 18 or 19 gr. of 4198. Other options are aa5744, blue dot or 4756.

Father Forkhorn 01-05-2016 04:33 PM

Thank you, gentlemen. This is all very helpful.

bronko22000 01-05-2016 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by Father Forkhorn (Post 4237587)
This is the kind of thing I am hoping to learn.

I curse the day they started bending bolts on rifles...It really is a problem for lefties.

As a fellow leftie, I see no problem. I've learned to use a RH bolt but since then I've purchased a few LH ones.
Back when I started hunting 50+ years ago there weren't many manufacturers that offered LH bolt actions. At least that I could afford. Savage was about the only one that was in my price range. Today just about every leading gun manf. has a LH model. Some of them even offer one in the Hornet.

North Texan 01-08-2016 05:25 PM

.223 can be downloaded to 22LR velocities with the right powder. People shoot subsonic ammo through suppressed rifles all the time, and a subsonic load is just a reduced power load. It generally takes a smaller amount of powder, and you'll be using a shotgun or handgun type of powder with a relatively faster burn rate, like Blue Dot or the like. Do a google search for .223 remington and blue dot powder and you'll find lots of info. Hodgdon's webside lists data for several subsonic loads.

That said, I have shot lots of coyotes with a .223, and damage to the pelts was generally very minimal. The 40 grain Hornady V-max bullets I've used will generally not leave much in the way of an exit wound. The 55 grain Sierra Gamekings I carry with me most of the time will exit, but the exit wound generally isn't very big.

MudderChuck 01-10-2016 09:12 PM

Neck sealing with reduced loads. The neck of the case expands and forms a seal, keeping the burning powder in the barrel and not back flashing into the chamber.

Something to look at when you are working up low power loads.

Easy to check, polish the outside of of a case neck, shoot it and see if you can see powder burns rearwards down the neck and/or on the case.

Most of what I was doing was experimenting on cast lead bullets (for the zombie apocalypse). Lower velocities really reduces lead fouling.

If you go too low on velocity the neck may not seal and the back flash can get to be an issue.

Burning powder bypassing the neck and getting into the chamber can have long term corrosive effects on the chamber wall.

I'm sure some of the hand load experts can explain this better, maybe use better words.

MudderChuck 01-11-2016 03:30 PM

Velocity isn't the only consideration. Barrel twist rate combined with reduced velocity just may make the end results worse and not better.

I'm not going to say it won't work, I'm just saying the engineers spent a lot of time and energy developing combinations of velocity, bullet weight and twist rate that do work.

I spent hundreds of hours trying to improve .308 performance in one of my rifles. And eventually ended up right back where I started, following the manufactures recommendations.

I'm not saying the journey wasn't enjoyable, but in the end, basically a waste of time.

I've shot hundreds of Fox, the vast majority with a .308. Usually on a Deer hunt near the end of prime time. And have rarely messed up a pelt.

The vast majority were hole in, hole out.

Even with my .222 Remington. Pointed soft point bullets rarely expanded any in Fox, Nutria or even Hare.

The majority of my shots were just behind the shoulder, broad side. The next most common was down, starting near the backbone, shooting from the rear, bullet exiting between the front legs or low chest.

No exploded or severely damaged pelts I can remember.

I did explode one Fox using a buddies 30-06. He bounded just as I shot and I gut shot him. What a mess and one of the more unforgettable odors I can remember.

MudderChuck 01-14-2016 10:37 AM

I had an IMR 3031 hunch and found this to support that it may work well.

Page 22-23

http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/OM/Lyman44.pdf

If you want to get even slower, some of the cast bullet loads may work.

The only way to know for sure is to try it. Check to make sure the case is sealing well. Experiment to see if the bullet stabilizes well enough for accuracy. And then hunt with it and see if the bullet stabilizes enough not to tear things up a lot.

Different barrel twist rates are going to preform differently. The trick is to match your velocity and bullet weight with your twist rate. .223 rifles (I've seen them all the way from 1in14 to 1in7) are kind of notorious for having radically different twist rates, usually depending on barrel length, velocity and the recommended bullet weights.

http://www.gunsandammo.com/ammo/pair...st-rates-ammo/

Father Forkhorn 01-14-2016 04:51 PM

Appreciating all the advice. Thanks!


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