Unless you have only recently taken up shooting, chances are you have owned or shot a 22 Hornet. Chambered in rifles such as the Brno, Martini conversions, Lithgow conversions and the notorious Savage 340, the Hornet was a popular calibre for shooting game such as foxes and rabbits.
Most Hornet rifles are fitted with a barrel with rifling twist of one turn in sixteen inches (1/16”) , which is best suited to projectiles around 45 grains in weight. Fired at approximately 2500 fps, the Hornet shoots relatively flat out to 150 meters and possesses sufficient energy at that range to dispatch a fox with a raking shot.
There are still modern rifles manufactured for the 22 Hornet, such as Ruger and CZ. While ammunition is expensive to buy, reloading is extremely cheap, with the cartridge using less than half the powder of a 223 Remington. This calibre rifle will also be licensed on properties around 250 acres in size – less than half the size a 223 Remington would be licensed on. This makes this cartridge still an attractive option for some vermin hunters.
Perhaps more popular than the parent case itself is the 22 K Hornet. The ‘K’ version increases the volume of the cartridge by eliminating much of the taper of the case, increasing velocity by approximately 15%. This modification also increases case life significantly, however it can create feeding issues and tight extraction.