View Full Version : CBC 22 Hornet rechamber

02-01-2008, 06:07 PM

I have a couple of Hornets and have been enjoying reloading and and shooting this under rated caliber.

One of my Hornets is a Brazilian single shot break action CBC (which is boxed with a 410 shotgun barrel which my daughter loves to shoot)

It is currently with a gunsmith to have th trigger polished and lightened and the are looking to asses this rifle to be re-chambered to either 222 or 223.

The rifle is mint condition and i suspect has barely had any use prior to me purchasing it whatsoever, It has the deluxe walnut stock and the case was handmade by the previous owner. I like this rifle a lot and have no intention of selling it.


Should I re-chamber this rifle?

What Caliber should I choose?

Does anyone know what twist rate the hornet barrel might be?

Is it possible to get barrels for this rifle (and perhaps keep the hornet barrel)?

Given it will have a "hornet twist" is it worth re-chambering?

Any help/thoughts/advise appreciated


chuck furniss
02-01-2008, 07:20 PM
Go for the K-Hornet,longer case life,more capacity.and you can shoot those cute little boattails with a good degree of accuracy.
As I recall 22 hornets are generaly 1-14 twist.Be sure to have your smith slug the barrel,it could be a .223 or a .224.


02-04-2008, 02:46 PM
I did ask the gunsmith about the K hornet and that may be the way I have to go depending on the twist rate (it could be a 1:16) .

They still haven't looked at it yet (probably just as well .. I still have a scope to pay for ... May be sleeping in the garage if my wife sees my credit card).

Thanks for the help :)

Guy Pike
02-05-2008, 08:48 PM
One other advantage to the K-Hornet is that you can headspace on the shoulder. The added capacity is really very minor but I have found the ability to control headspace to be invaluable in the hornet. Others may disagree. Good shooting, Guy

chuck furniss
02-06-2008, 02:54 PM
Another option is the 218 bee or better yet the ackley bee.
You will have difficultys with that particulair rifle if you go with a rimless cartridge.


02-06-2008, 11:49 PM
I agree with the other guys. Go with the K Hornet. Can be loaded a little faster but the main gain is case life with much less trimming. The level of accuracy one can expect from the type rifle you have would not be enough to rechambner to a high intensitive cartridge. However, if you like the Hornet, you'll love a .221 Fireball. I have a .221 barrel for my TC Contender.
With a .223 or bigger, go with a bolt action that can shoot the really accurate cartridges well.

02-08-2008, 09:39 PM
I recieved 1 of my 2 hornets back from the gunshop. This rifle a bolt action 22 hornet (stirling M1800) was failing to eject some cases and had to remove cases with a rod from the barrel end. (factory, handloads any load any weight) and had been in to sort this out.

The smith was a little unclear on what he did but assured me all was fixed ...so off to the range to re-sight the scope and try a few loads... things were going well .. no stuck cases so i moved to some of my (very light) handloads and again things were going well. At the 50 grain load (50 grain tiapan projectile with 11.5g 2208 seated for magazine fit) I had a real flyer .. ejected the case ... well some of the case... I have the front half of the shell stuck in the chamber ...I am not happy.. the case was on it's second load (after the factory load .. winchester case) .

I have been told that my problem is likley caused by a head-space issue and this is normally resolved by barrel removal machining and re-fitting.

Can anyone point me to information on exactly what this means. I think it means there is too much gap between the bolt face and the chamber but i am not sure ... If someone can point me to a webpage with picci's that would be helpful.

and... the CBC single shot is going to become a 222 next week.

02-08-2008, 09:41 PM
that should read 11.5 g lilgun ...

02-09-2008, 03:01 PM
First, Hornet brass is much smaller than most Hornet chambers so the brass gets worked really hard when fired and resized. There is little to do about this other than a custom reamer made to fit your brass. And that likely means a new barrel because your current chamber can't be made smaller and usually there's not enough meat in the barrels to set them back.

The Hornet case is thin and the head is not made for the pressures you'd expect from a modern rifle cartridge.

The shape of the standard Hornet case is hard to get a good fit of case to chamber. There's not much shoulder so its easy to size the case too much and have excess clearance so more overworking of your case.

Finally, most Hornet rifles are a bit "stretchy". So when you load them up just a bit hot the case is not that well supported. This combines with the other problems to create a difficult situation.

The K Hornet chamber design helps but you're fighting a losing battle. A "modern" cartridge like a .222 is so much easier to work with. There is a reason the .222 took over when it came out in 1950.

02-09-2008, 08:10 PM
I think/know you are right. I don't like things to beat me though. I might have omit 22 hornet in my caliber library .... 22, 22 hornet, 222, ???243??? , 308 , and 410 shotgun and 12 gauge.

I had a marlin 22 magnum (bolt action) that i sold when i bought the second 22 hornet. I am still kicking myself for selling that gun. I really enjoyed shooting it and it was a very versatile and accurate gun.

Sam Walker
02-10-2008, 03:07 PM
G'day ebognz, I have the same rifle and have K'd it, recrowned and the trigger cleaned up. The K cases last a lot better, can't tell what velocity gain there is cos I've never Chrono'd it. Great spotlighting cartridge especially for foxes and feral cats, a bit heavy handed on rabbits under 100m. Mine shoots 50gn Win SP's with 10.5 gns AR2205 as the best load. Gotta go to work, talk soon !

02-13-2008, 03:50 AM
it looks like i have not much choice here.

my gunsmith is already down the path of makin' this rifle a 222 . I will be limited to lighter weights but i am hoping the 222 is a little easier to load and will have a bit better case life.

Sam Walker
02-13-2008, 05:50 PM
Hi ebognz, the.222 is probably a better option ! better case life as long as the headspacing is right and you don't overdo the FLS. I was in West Oz where they have some very restrictive regulations on calibres related to property size so I had to stick with the Hornet case.
I'd like mine to be a .222 too ! Keep us posted when you get to shoot it a bit and let us know how it goes. I'd assumed the action was not up to the job of a higher powered cartridge...