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Which .22 for varmints #15971977 04/07/21
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davet Offline OP
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I live in a rural setting, looking for something more than a .22lr for 40lb and smaller varmints and pests.

.22WMR or .22 Hornet?

Which is the better option for 125 yards and under?

I would intend to plink with this rifle as well as having it close to the back patio for everything from crows to unwiley coyotes.

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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972075 04/07/21
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If you're in a rural area where muzzle blast noise isn't likely to cause the neighbors to call the law, why not go with a 223?

223 ammo is inexpensive and easy to find, think Wal-Mart, compared to either the .22 MAG or 22 Hornet.

When I lived out in the country, I kept a .22 MAG and a 223 on pegs over the back door, the .22 MAG for shooting foxes and feral cats/dogs that were close in and a 223 for coyotes that were farther out.

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972115 04/07/21
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Given your choices. Hornet


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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972190 04/07/21
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yeah, hornet.... the 17 version

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972345 04/07/21
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Pappy348 Offline
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Definitely something reloadable. The past year should make that pretty clear.

Also, rimfires put you at the mercy of lot variations and changes in product lines. While I futz around with this and that, my standard Hornet recipe has been the same for about 20 years. Got one (I think) for .223 now as well.


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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972552 04/07/21
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Bighorn Offline
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.22 Hornet! Here's mine, a CZ 527.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Last edited by Bighorn; 04/08/21.

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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972580 04/07/21
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I have most varmint calibers and the Fireball is the one I favor.


Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972624 04/07/21
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I would go with the Horner and a small loading press... One pound of powder with load lots of bullets... For years the hornet was one of the most used rifles in my collection... It is great for grouse, tree squirrel, cottontails, turkey etc.. Also gophers to coyotes, the larger varmints take good bullet placement, but no matter what a coyote is hit with he is tough.. l used mine on fox for their skins.. I have 2 .22 mags and love them the Hornet has more snap..


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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15972662 04/07/21
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Blackheart Online Content
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A .223 will kill the shyt out of varmints out to 125 yards.... And way beyond. If you don't reload .223 ammo is more widely available and cheaper than .22 Hornet and there is also a much wider variety of .223 rifles available.. If you do reload there's a .22 Hornet inside every .223 if you wish to down load it to that performance level..

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15973037 04/07/21
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Pappy348 Offline
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Much as I like my Hornet, there’s not many rifles available for it, and no inexpensive ones, if that’s important. If you don’t reload, ammo is spendy too.


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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: Pappy348] #15973437 04/07/21
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Originally Posted by Pappy348
Much as I like my Hornet, there’s not many rifles available for it, and no inexpensive ones, if that’s important. If you don’t reload, ammo is spendy too.


What it comes down to, imo.

But if can get a hornet at whatever price point you desire, and if reload, prefer the hornet. Significantly more pop on target. Once you’ve the components, you're set for a good while, too - a free man.

But if cannot locate a hornet priced right, or not going to reload, go 22wmr. Or, consider 17hmr & others, as ammo availability in hard times is sometimes better yet.


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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15974519 04/08/21
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davet Offline OP
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I do reload and do have a .223. Mostly I'm looking for a new toy since the tax man wasn't overly belligerent this year.

The 22WMR's that interest me cost about the same as the 22 Hornets that interest me. Both seem to have positives going for them, but I don't have much experience with either.

I'll keep looking at what's available until something pops out.

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15974542 04/08/21
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The .22 WMR will kill out to 125 easy. I have a Marlin bolt. Crows at 200 yards ain’t nothing.

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15974587 04/08/21
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I have a Savage 93F in 22 mag. I have been really impressed with that little round, it is a ton of fun and packs a punch. I also have a 17 hornet and that is in another ballpark. If I was shooting at things 25 to 40 pounds I would pick up the 17 hornet no questions asked. I am sure the .22 Hornet is the same way in that aspect. If you like a 22 Hornet that is in stock and you got some of your money back from the government.........grab it.

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15974639 04/08/21
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Not sure why the 222 has not been mentioned yet, esp if handloading is involved.

It would be perfect for this.

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15975089 04/08/21
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Another vote for the 17 Hornet here.

Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15975193 04/08/21
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My most used .22 centerfire is a 22-250. My standard, reduced load for it is a 45gr bullet for a 218 Bee over Bluedot which covers most of my needs but I do have other/faster loads when needed.

My 22WMR was replaced with the 17HMR.

If you reload and have some components on hand, you can load to the level you want.


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Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15975274 04/08/21
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22 WMR is a pretty wicked killer but the Hornet is a step above especially with hand loads. I’ve got both and as long as you’ve got rimfire ammo available to you, the WMR is solid out to 125 that you ask about. Beyond 125 the Hornet is as sweet medicine as you’ll ever need inside 200. Beyond 200? Take your pick .222 & up.

I’d go Hornet if it were me - such a fun gun to shoot and plays that middle range like no other .22 IMO.

Last edited by PintsofCraft; 04/08/21.
Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15975291 04/08/21
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bmoney Offline
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I am sure the OP knows this but in a perfect world with Bluedot available you can literally make 223's into a 22 Hornet. But if you want a new rig, my vote is always yes.

Last edited by bmoney; 04/08/21.
Re: Which .22 for varmints [Re: davet] #15975630 04/08/21
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My 22 Hornet is as accurate as my 22 WMR should be, but never will.


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