the 25 Hornet

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  • Last Post 28 August 2019
badgeredd posted this 20 August 2019

 I am in the process of creating a rifle based on a Stevens 44 action. I have been trying to find sufficient information on the cartridge, use, and history as well as sources of loading information. It was with great anticipation and interest that I read of a similiar project in the July-August No. 260 Fouling Shot. I had kind of abandoned the 25 Hornet idea and started focusing on other production cartridges that are more available. I have been concerned about the strength of the Stevens action and the potential for someone to load a HOT factory load that could damage the action or the shooter. My reasoning is that with the 25 Hornet, it is quite likely any new ownwer would have adequate knowlwdge about the cartridge and the rifle so to preclude potential disaster.

 

What do you think? Am I daft?

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M3 Mitch posted this 20 August 2019

Well, what about a 25-20 instead?  Or is the 44 action too weak for even 25-20 factory loads?

I guess one advantage of the 25 Hornet is that, at least for now, no factory loads exist, and doubt any will ever be made.  I would think a factory 22 Hornet would develop rather low pressure if fired in a 25 caliber barrel, but that is not to say that it definitely would not blow up the Stevens 44 action.

Maybe the thing to do is to make it into a .22 LR rimfire, and let it go at that.

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joeb33050 posted this 20 August 2019

A Stevens 44 action is of 22 rimfire strength. No center fires, lug or not. I've seen one blow up, heard of several more. Lugged hammer or not.

They're the\ only set of eyes you'll ever have.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 20 August 2019

I've done a 25 Hornet in a Martini Mk II action. 

 

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badgeredd posted this 20 August 2019

Since the action is trom a 25-20 Single Shot, my opinion is the 25 Hornet could and should be loaded to like pressures. The 25-20 Winchester COULD be loaded soft enough, but there is factory ammo that exceeds the action strength. Same thing goes for 32-20 and many other cartridges of the same approximate age. Stevens 44 actions were factory chambered in 22 Hornet BUT the cartridge proved to be too much for the action design. Everything I have read says the action is ok up to 20K psi (black powder pressures) as long as there is NOT very much bolt thrust. Basically, it is an oversized and very slightly stronger Favorite action which relies a lot on the pivot pins to contain thrust and pressure.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 20 August 2019

i tend to go with joeb on the 44 strength; it relies on friction and momentum to keep the block from opening when fired.

it is similar to running a bridgeport mill ... if you are not very wary of the possibilities, you should hesitate, meditate, and recalculate.

that said, i would personally use a 44 action to shoot hornets and bees with cast loads ... IF the action was in good ... and tight .... condition.    many were chambered in 32-40, but if /after the action wears loose, that would bother me a lot.

ken

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Reg posted this 20 August 2019

 Like Badgerred the article on the 25 Hornet provided a lot of thought and am in the process of making up a chamber reamer right not.  Have a 1-10 barrel and plan on fitting it to a small martini action.

Had a friend up in Alaska that did this exact job years ago but alas Jim is no longer with us to ask all he learned in the process.

One thought on barreling up weak actions for hotter cartridges even if you are going to hold back the loads is what happens later on.  None of us will last forever and as such I consider myself only a custodian of the few firearms I have.  Some day someone else will own them and what happens then.  Now we know a lot about the actions and various cartridges, what is safe and what is not but what about then or also consider someone who may not know too much at all would get one of them and say Ah Ha !  I know where I can find a box of that super whiz bang shell to fit that old Stevens action.

Do owe it to the future to make future time bombs ?

All of the above of course is my own humble opinion

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Bud Hyett posted this 20 August 2019

What do you think? Am I daft?

This is a good idea. I agree with all of the pro's you list. I have only one con, the variance in .22 Hornet brass between manufacturers. Buy one brand and stick with that manufacturer. 

I am thinking of the same cartridge, but in a Stevens 44 1/2 action, This will be a straight wall case and easier to load when seating a wad for Quarter-Bore matches. 

You are not daft, you are a DABRAT. Dedicated Amateur Ballistics Researcher And Theoretician. 

Farm boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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M3 Mitch posted this 22 August 2019

 Like Badgerred the article on the 25 Hornet provided a lot of thought and am in the process of making up a chamber reamer right not.  Have a 1-10 barrel and plan on fitting it to a small martini action.

Had a friend up in Alaska that did this exact job years ago but alas Jim is no longer with us to ask all he learned in the process.

One thought on barreling up weak actions for hotter cartridges even if you are going to hold back the loads is what happens later on.  None of us will last forever and as such I consider myself only a custodian of the few firearms I have.  Some day someone else will own them and what happens then.  Now we know a lot about the actions and various cartridges, what is safe and what is not but what about then or also consider someone who may not know too much at all would get one of them and say Ah Ha !  I know where I can find a box of that super whiz bang shell to fit that old Stevens action.

Do owe it to the future to make future time bombs ?

All of the above of course is my own humble opinion

Just your opinion, but I heartily agree with you on this.  I do think we owe the future to not make up guns that less educated people (and we were all there at some point in the past) are likely to blow up.

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DBW posted this 24 August 2019

The first rifle I loaded for when I was 20 years old was a mod. 44 in 22 hornet. I bought a handloading book, powder and bullets picked the hottest load in the book and proceeded to flatten primers and split brass. I fired about 60 rounds of this before deciding that I needed a more powerful cartridge. It held up to this mistreatment til I traded it off. This was in late 1961. When living in alaska I took another mod. 44 in trade chambered in .218 bee. I used book starting loads and it seemed to do fine though it had a very rough bore and was not very accurate. Both of these were factory chambered.

I now have a contender rifle in 25 hornet and using loads based on loads in Wildcat Cartridges, Volume II by Wolfe Publishing Co. P.634. It is my go to light rifle for squirrel and other light game up to turkey. I use unique with cast bullets 75 gr. @ approx. 1300 fps.

DBW

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badgeredd posted this 27 August 2019

Thanks to all that have commented. I am going to proceed with the 25 Hornet. My next hurdle is getting a chambering reamer. The big question in my mind is where do I find a good drawing of a reamer? The illustration in the Fouling Shot isn't all that clear to me and my old eyes.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 27 August 2019

here is one thing to try ::   contact ch dies ...; i think they can make you dies for the 25 hornet, and so you could make your reamer to shoot cases made in their dies ... 

they should be able to furnish you spec sheets for their version.

http://www.ch4d.com/support

hope this helps.

ken

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tedly posted this 28 August 2019

 I guess, with mention of the Stevens 44 1/2 this has become an old actions thread, so i hope I am not side tracking too much. I have  2 rolling blocks Model 2 in 32 RF, and two Model 4 in 25 RF. I know the 2nd model is much stronger, but I could most easily go to 32 S&W long in them. 

Would the Model 2s be suitable for .25 Hornet? Or Would a Hornet shortened to 10 gr on FFg be suitable?

... certain dangerous habits of thought. One is that, while all important enterprises need careful organization, it is the organization that needs organizing, rather than the enterprise. And another is that tranquility is always a good thing. - Terry Pratchett

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