THE EXCITEMENT all gun owners experience at the thought of a new purchase never seems to diminish, well maybe not all, but it beats going grocery shopping, you'd have to agree. Although the purchase of this little Martini Hornet came about by an error by yours truly; OK, so poor instruction led to an incorrectly filled out PTA form. 'I am certain my wife didn't want a rimfire anyway' I thought. Well lucky for me things worked out favourably. At the news that Mellissa's new toy had arrived we set off to sign off on the paperwork and take possession; at first glance I thought damn that's ugly! But being optimistic I looked beneath the exterior and searched for the inner beauty. I can tell you I was searching very hard.
LET THE WORK BEGIN.
First off, anyone who has read my work will notice that I tend to have a soft spot for older rifles as opposed to shiny new out of the box jobs. This leaves me the task of a little refurbishment, which I enjoy. In this particular case the timber work was removed and stripped bare, then with the aid of a spray bottle and hot iron, Yes! You read right - I went about steaming out the multitude of dents that could be seen. After I tackled that job, I had Mellissa apply several coats of stain. Then my job was to hand rub an oil finish into the thirsty wood to offer protection from the elements. With all that out of the way the barrel was scrubbed, all the screws checked on the mounts and once satisfied the little Weaver was there for keeps, I bore sighted the little Martini, ready to roll.
I sat at the reloading bench, coffee in one hand reloading book in the other pondering, and after much thought I settled on 10 grains of AR 2205 topped off with a choice of either a 40 grain Sierra HP or for the budget minded a 40 grain HP by Winchester.
It being my first experience with the 22 Hornet, I am suitably impressed. It is not blessed with awesome power or ballistics, but is an honest performer, not excessively loud, seems easy to load for and very economical. This in turn favors the keen reloader who has at his disposal the growing range of components which are imported by the likes of companies such as Nioa; it is a shame that the caliber is not heard oF much round the traps, but there are a few Hornet owners tucked away out there and we are diehards.
My wife Melissa and I have put the Hornet through its paces over the last few years as, since my first basic loads, we have tried almost every projectile on the market. Our conclusion is that the little hornady 35 VMax is our favourite for Varmits; this little projectile looks like a small artillery shell and although not visually aerodynamic flies straight and true. The heavier 50 Taipan HP is carried in case we run into a porker because it holds together in those situations and can make all the difference, but I will admit I had to fiddle with this load to have them shoot very close to the same point of aim, as our varmit load.
Checking out the rifles available at the moment chambered in 22 Hornet there are the Browning A-bolt micro, Savage and the Ruger, to name a few. These would be the most readily accessible through your local gun dealer, and a list of other choices would be made available or you can take the path that we took and purchase a secondhand rifle and refurbish it. If you do get hold of a Martini (and there are quiet a few around) it would be wise to include the following procedures on your list of 'to do'sî. Have a gunsmith mill down the action to allow easier access with a loaded round. Also, the fore end timber should be made to clear the action by a couple of millimeters, Martini's seem to shoot more consistently after this is done. Our rifle came with side mounts and although they gave good service, we had them removed and had dovetails milled onto the barrel, after which we installed a set of millet mounts. This makes a much neater package.
Having touched on the subject of load data earlier, I will list our current loads for you below. Please remember to use caution and start your loads at 5% lower than my listed charges; all powder used is ADI's AR 2205 and standard Winchester Small Rifle primers were used also. Speeds for the little cartridge are modest approx 2650fps for the V-max down to about 2300fps for the 50 grainers. Please do not try to turn the little Hornet into a .222 by pushing loads to the maximum and beyond. Medical procedures performed by surgeons are nearing brilliant but I think their expertise would be stretched trying to remove a rifle bolt from your forehead, so please err on the side of caution.
1. 10.6 grains 2205/ 35 grain V-max
2. 8.5grains 2205/ 50 grain Taipan HP
3. 10 grains 2205/ 40 grain Sierra HP
Please understand that although we have taken pigs and goats with the little Hornet, the shots were carefully placed and the game unaware of our presence, therefore making shot placement much easier. This cartridge was designed as a small gamegetter and should be used primarily for that. At roughly 700 reloads per can of powder this little gem makes for cheap shooting and in the days of rising prices that makes a lot of CENTS!!!
WHAT IN BLUE BLAZES IS A CRUFFLER ANYWAY???
This American explanation appeared in a Surplus Rifle enthusiast's forum on the web. The author Neil could possibly be thus classified - Ed.
No no no no! A Cruffler is not a glazed pastry that one can get at the local doughnut shop, nor is a Cruffler something that an automobile exhaust system specialist can help you with. Let me back up a bit.
Since 1968, in order to legally receive a firearm shipped across state lines, the recipient must possess a valid 'Federal Firearms Licenseî issued by the United States Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF). There are many types of these licenses; for dealers, for manufacturers, for importers, and for collectors. Of all of them, the collector license (known as a Type 03 license) is unique in that it does not permit the licensee to engage in a business, but rather its provisions are specifically designed to enable the collector. Furthermore, the holder of a Type 03 license is restricted to receiving firearms that have been classifed by the BATF as 'Curios or Relics.î That is, any firearm that was demonstrably manufactured 50 years or more prior to the current date, and/or is on a special 'Curios or Relics Listî published by the BATF.
As a result of these specializations, the Type 03 Federal Firearms License is known as the Curios and Relics Federal Firearms License. Abbreviated, this becomes C&R FFL, or CRFFL. Now, CRFFL, if you were to try to pronounce it, would come out something like 'cruffle.î Hence, the holders of these licenses have taken to referring to themselves as CRFFLers, or CRUFFLERS. So, we have a whole new lexicon:
CRUFFLER: Noun. Originally the holder of a Type 03 (C&R) FFL, but now anyone who has an interest in old, historical, or just plain weird firearms for which ammunition is usually hard to come by.
CRUFFLE: Verb. To seek out old, historical, and weird firearms to shoot, study, admire, and place in historical context. Includes engaging in ceaseless research, correspondence, and conversation about same. Also requires a refinement of fiscal priorities (Hmm-I can eat this week, or I can get that all-matching Norwegian .30-06 conversion K98k-).
CRUFFLING: Active Participle. For a true Cruffler, this is often equated with breathing-
In Australia, we have become known as 'Clunkerphiles'.
This article was first published in Sporting Shooter, February 2009.