CZ 527 American: .22 Hornet convert to .22 K Hornet questions

  • Last Post 11 January 2017
DaveInGA posted this 06 February 2016

Howdy All, Long time reader, probably my first post on this forum, but I see many of folks who's thoughts I respect posting here, so I thought I'd post this here and try and find an answer. Here's what I have: On the way to me is a CZ 527 American in .22 Hornet. My plan is to have it reamed to .22 K Hornet to save on the brass, based on what I've learned.  When it comes back, I'm wanting to cast for it with bullets in the range of 30 to 45 grains for short range shooting, under most likely 50 yards.  Targets will be pest varmints like grey squirrels and rabbits getting into the wife's garden this spring. (It was bad last year.) I do have .22 LR guns, but the current price is ridiculous for a box. I'd rather buy a new rifle and reload for it so the next .22 LR shortage, I can still reload. A potential problem I see is Lee, my favorite starter die set, doesn't offer a .22 K hornet and I've never had a smith ream or make a die just for a rifle he's reamed the chamber for me.  I've mostly dealt in milsurps and semi autos in my past shooting. I'm thinking on send a Lee FL die along with the rifle to be reamed with the same reamer as the rifle, so I'll have a FL die if need be.  I am going to be buying new .22 Hornet brass and plan to buy some Privi Partisan cartridges to fire form in this rifle as well. But before I do, I'd like to hear from other .22 K Hornet owners on their thoughts about this.  Can ya'll help me out?

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R. Dupraz posted this 06 February 2016

Don't know how hard those Lee dies are but more likely than not a chambering reamer won't cut them.    I have had a custom Ruger K for many years and have never had a set of K Hornet dies until last year when I found a basically unused set of Reddings for $25.00 at a gun show. Up until then I just use .218B dies. Yes, they will work except, you can't full length size.   All I ever did was size the neck half way and then seat a jacket bullet. Even though Lee doesn't offer a K Hornet die set, why not give them call and see what they say.  

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.22-10-45 posted this 13 February 2016

Does the CZ 527 action have front locking lugs? My first Hornet was an Anschutze on the rimfire action..bolt handle locking. That little mannlicher stocked rifle really went thru brass! Now I have a custom Shilen barreled Borchardt..chambered by the late Ed Shilen himself..that I am using the same RWS Hornet brass in for over 10 years...just annealed for 1st. time last winter. I would try rifle in the original chambering first..especially if it has front least you can break in the brl. while your at it. Best of luck!

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 13 February 2016

MY CZ 527 (in 223) has front lugs on the bolt. Single set trigger too!

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bandmiller2 posted this 16 February 2016

Dave, I have the same rifle in 22 hornet and love the single set trigger. If I had to do it over I would have ordered the 221 as the brass can be made from range carpet 223 and will last just short of forever. Why don't you try the hornet before having the chamber work, mine is not hard on brass. Only thing I don't like is the rimmed cartridges in the clip must be loaded with much care. Frank C.

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JeffinNZ posted this 31 July 2016

If you are shooting inside 50 yards with light bullets I suspect you will be running greatly reduced loads. If that is the case I would question case life being an issue. Indeed even running a Hornet flat out on Lil Gun will only put you in low to mid 30K pressure and again I wonder about case stretching. My BRNO Hornet from the early 90s was hard on brass but I was feeding it a decent load of W296. When I recently bought a Zastava Hornet for my daughter I was initially going to have it reamed to K but it shoots so well with mild pressure generating Lil Gun I am loathed to alter it.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 31 July 2016

using a chamber reamer to make a sizer die doesn't really work just makes another chamber ( g ) ... it would be like rechambering empty brass in your rifle to size it. a * rougher * reamer is sometimes used to make a sizer die... but that is a crutch .

your hornet headspaces on the rim, so if you use a gentle neck sizer your brass should last forever.... in my hornet my brass loss is mostly accidently bending those thin necks .

if you finally need to full length size a k-hornet.... you probably really only need to size the lower half of the brass ... dremel cutoff the top of a hornet full sizer die... or have a lathe guy make you a ring sizer ...a 20 minute job .

i agree with using the spec hornet case first .... but find a gentle sizer .... overworking/sizing the brass neck is what will wear out your brass .... the lee collet system is the first thing to look at , with a correct/custom mandrel rod .

that said ... that k-hornet case is a spiffy looking thing ... and we all get a kick out of ” improving ” our toys ... ( g ) .

just some thoughts,


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belongtotom posted this 17 August 2016

I have converted a number of rifles to K-Hornet and it is a very nice cartridge when done . My favorite is a nice Martini small frame .

Regards to dies RCBS makes dies ,they work just fine . Take and fire form the Hornet brass in the rifle and use the RCBS dies as you would with any rifle . If you anneal the brass you will save a lot of brass from spliting their necks .

With jacketed bullets a K hornet is a honest 100yd gun  I never shot one with cast bullets ,but it should work OK . Don't make this project  complicated

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billwnr posted this 17 August 2016

I'd use the same chamber reamer to alter my FL sizing die. Since there's no agreed to spec's on what a K Hornet is, how do you know the chamber and sizing die match.

Otherwise.... you will be overworking brass and running thru them fast.

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tturner53 posted this 17 August 2016

I use RCBS K Hornet dies. That said the conversion to 'K' has not helped in any way when using cast bullets and the loads that go with them. It's great for pushing jacketed faster.

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Larry Gibson posted this 17 August 2016

Been shooting Hornets, including a couple K's, since the mid '70s. I never found the Ks to “give longer case life” if NSing, especially if cast bullet loads were used. Using Lil'gun under 40 - 45 gr jacketed bullets gives the standard Hornet higher performance at less psi than the old favored K Hornet loads.

I currently have 4 Hornets and seldom FL size the cases....actually I don't recall when the last time I FL sized any Hornet cases. The longer neck of the standard Hornet is better for cast bullets with longer bearing surfaces, 225462 being my favorite.

I suggest spending the money on a Lee Collet die or on a Redding Bushing Die to NS the cases instead of reaming to K Hornet and buying special dies for that cartridge. Doing that I bet you will be quite satisfied with the standard Hornet.


Concealment is not cover.........

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dan l posted this 08 January 2017

With  H110 and 40-45 grain bullets you can shoot 1'' or less three shot groups.

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longhunter posted this 11 January 2017

 Ok my 2 cents

I have a Bruno Fox Model II.  I purchsed this gun in Germany when I was there.  I worked up a load of 10.4 grs of 4227 sm pistol primers 40 gr Sierra.  This is a compressed load, but does it shoot.  I have a 100yd group of 10 shots under a inch. If I knew how to post a pic I would.  I never had problems with brass splitting.  I did like the European brass better though.  The little hornet is quite popular in Germany.

Now I am trying to shoot cast in it.  The 45gr, WFN is doing pretty well. NOE makes this mould.  I borrowed a 37 gr Lyman and it shows promise.  The big limiter is twist rate it is slow at 14/1.  I will post more when we get rid of the ice we just got yesterday and I can shoot some more.

Jon Welda

CW5 USA Ret.

Jon Welda CW5 USA Ret. 608 797 0056

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