Wants More Penetration For His Hornet
Q: I've been reading your column for many decades now and in the autumn years of my life I have sold all my rifles with thee exception of my beautiful Anschutz .22 Hornet. In my area wild dogs are a major problem and I am helping local farmers by shooting them. On your advice, I have been loading Nosler 40gn Ballistic Tips over 11.5gn of W-296.
Accuracy is adequate for the limited range of the Hornet (150 metres), but I have found this bullet is expanding too quickly, so I am going to increase bullet weight to 45gn hoping to get more penetration. Can you suggest some good loads using W-296. In Sporting Shooter you have listed up to 11.5gn of W-296 behind the 45gn bullet, but in your 7th edition of Practical Reloading you list 9.3gn of W-296 as maximum? I don't own a chronograph so could you suggest a starting load? My rifle has a MAB barrel with 1:14 twist and I'm using PPU cases which are slightly heavier than Winchester, so I'll probably have to reduce my loads slightly.
Why can't we get L'il Gun powder here? Will my rifle with 1:14 twist stabilise the Barnes 45gn TSX? David Tithers
A: Most of the lightweight bullets intended for use in the Hornet lack penetration because they are designed to give maximum expansion on small animals and pest birds. My Hornet rifle was a Brno ZKM 465 and it performed quite well with W-296 powder. My pet load was the Sierra 40gn and 11.5gn of W-296 for 2800fps.
But I used AR2205 as well - with the Speer 45gn a charge of 11.5gn of AR2205 delivered a strong 2720fps. You could try this recipe and see how it goes in your Anschutz. A 1:14 twist should stabilise the Barnes 45gn TSX FB. Try working up from 10.5gn of AR2205 1/4gn at a time. Let me know how you go. You should be able to get L'il Gun from your local gunshop.