16 February 2017
I started with the .22 Hornet many years ago. I was inspired by Col.Townsend Whelen's articles and books on cast bullets. I have the Lyman 225420 gas check bullet mold. I was mostly interested in cast bullets for edible small game. I ended up with 3.0 grs. of Unique with small pistol primers. I got excellent results at fifty yards in both my Kimber Hornet and my TC Contender Hornet. However, I became dissatisfied with Hornet brass in general. The primer pockets enlarged in just a few uses with full jacketed loads. I sectioned a case head and saw why. There is just no metal there supporting the primer pocket.
I eventually got rid of my Hornets in spite of the fact I actually was happy with the performance level in both cast bullets and jacketed bullets for the small farms I hunted. My game was edible small game with the cast bullets and groundhogs with jacketed bullets.
I later on had a chance to buy a Ruger #3 with custom wood for a decent price that had originally been a Hornet but was rechambered to a .221 Fireball. That gave me the best of both worlds. The power level I appreciated (modest), with excellent accuracy and a VERY strong case. In this case, the theory panned out. It was a most satisfactory arrangement.
I even got rid of my Hornet TC barrel and replaced it with an SSK .221 Fireball barrel. It would give me 1/2” groups (off a rest) at 50 yards with the 3.0 gr. Unique cast bullet load. The #3 also shot that well. I kept that rifle until I lost the vision in my right eye.
To put this back on point. Using the Hornet case, with small pistol primers, the Lyman 225420 ahead of 3.0 grs. of Unique gave me a dandy edible small game load. That flat nose worked MUCH better on squirrels than a .22 rimfire and gave excellent results at the range. If you can find some better cases, the power level of the Hornet can be very useful in the hunting fields, too.