During searches for a better varmint cartridge, gunsmiths and tinkerers of the 1920s took a close look at what could be done to improve the performance of the .22 Winchester Centerfire (.22 WCF) introduced in 1885. First available in the Winchester 1885 rifle, it was sometimes also cataloged as the Winchester .22 Single Shot and the 22-13-45, with the latter two numbers indicating the charge weight of black powder and the weight of the lead bullet. Beginning during the 1920s and until its discontinuance in 1935, the .22 WCF was loaded with a charge of smokeless powder that duplicated the original black-powder velocity of 1,300 fps. According to some sources, bullet diameter was .228 inch, but the bullets in my 1920s Winchester factory ammunition measured .226 inch. Winchester’s “200-yard small game cartridge” promotion was overly optimistic to say the least.
Those who began loading the .22 WCF case with smokeless powder needed jacketed bullets capable of withstanding the increased velocity. Some were made by forming jackets from fired .22 Short cases, inserting a lead core and swaging to the desired shape. Others pushed 43-grain bullets made by Remington for the 5.7mm Velo Dog revolver cartridge through an annular draw die. Barrels used were originally chambered for the .22 Long Rifle and had a 1:16 twist with a groove diameter of .223 inch. Bullets were sized accordingly. Winchester waited until others had done all the work, and since the .22 WCF was still being produced, stamping .22 Hornet on the heads of .22 WCF cases made the job easy. Factory ammunition loaded with 45-grain soft-point and 46-grain hollowpoint bullets at 2,600 fps was introduced in 1930. The barrels of early factory rifles in .22 Hornet, including my wonderfully accurate Winchester Model 54, have a groove diameter of .223 inch and a 1:16 twist rate.
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SHOOTERS WORLD AR-PLUS
THE SAME OLD – OVER AND OVER
LOADS FOR THE 6MM GT
LOADING THE .32 ACP
Not Easy, but Worth the Effort
Handloading Harder, Denser Shot
The Evolution of Tungsten Shot
IMPROVED COYOTE PELT LOADS
CRIMPING THE .45 COLT
BULLETS & BRASS
CIMARRON UBERTI MODEL P ORIGINAL FINISH .45 COLT
FROM THE HIP
.22 RIMFIRE SHOT CARTRIDGE
.22 CREEDMOOR EXCLUSIVE
The Ultimate Varmint Catridge?
Savage Model 110 Ultralite
A New Rifle with a PROOF Barrel
Shoot your way into the Unknown
.256 Winchester Magnum
Reviving a “Failed Varmint Cartridge”
Prewar Model 70.257 Roberts
A Favorite Cartridge for Western Hunting
Special Target or Special Sporting Rifle
.22 LR WINCHESTER MODEL 62A
I was taught rifle marksmanship at a young age by my father and clearly remember being nervous to shoot in front of him, as he was, and still is, one of the best shots I know. I was started on his Ruger 10/22 Bicentennial, which he had scoped with a Tasco 3-9x, and once in a while we’d let a full magazine loose as quickly as possible, just for fun.
SAVAGE .17 WINCHESTER SUPER MAGNUM
Hunters get excited when something new comes along – a rifle, new ammunition or even a scope. As a serious rimfire shooter since adolescence, the thought of a new rimfire round that pushes a 20-grain bullet out the muzzle at 3,000 fps is indeed news. Faster than the .17 Hornady Magnum Rimfire (HMR) by around 26 percent, the Winchester Super Magnum cartridge was destined to be the velocity leader when it comes to present-day rimfire ammunition. Along with the Winchester Super Magnum (WSM) ammunition from Winchester, Savage Arms was first to introduce a bolt-action rifle for the cartridge.
M1 CARBINE MIRACLE
FOR WANT OF ONE MORE ROUND
Rifle Talk- .22 Hornet Lineage
Varmint shooters are well aware of the .22 Hornet. Yet in my neck of the high desert, for unknown reasons, few acquaintances have owned one. Fewer yet have actually shot one. The great exception includes ardent handloaders. Probably due to the widespread use of the far more potent and generally more accurate .223 and .22250 Remingtons and the .204 Ruger – more versatile options all – the Hornet is often ignored. The cartridge can also be temperamental when it comes to accuracy.