M78 Hornet

Discussion in 'Sako Rimfires and Small Action Rifles' started by douglastwo, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    A friend has offered me his Sako M78 22 Hornet. I've never owned one and never followed the price range until a month or so ago. I've noticed recently, the low end seems to be $800 to $900 and the high end $1,100 to $1,200. The rifle looks like new and I've attached a few pictures. What do you think, am I in the ball park, and do the pictures show anything I need to be concerned with. Merry Christmas to you all.
    IMG_0353.JPG IMG_0354.JPG IMG_0355.JPG IMG_0356.JPG IMG_0357.JPG IMG_0358.JPG IMG_0359.JPG IMG_0360.JPG IMG_0361.JPG IMG_0362.JPG

     
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  2. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I think you're in the ballpark. I recently paid about 800 on Gunbroker for a P72 Hornet, including an old Weaver scope in a good set of rings. The rifle in your photos is in better condition than mine, which lacks the iron sights. Here's a link if you want to compare. https://sakocollectors.com/forum/threads/p72-in-22-hornet.15364/
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    No flies on that one. Also, the stock shows the later style checkering which means that the comb is a little higher than the earlier ones, which were a bit too low for typical scope use. I've noticed the price on these ratcheting upward in the last year or two, so I think you're in the ballpark on this one. After all, "They're not making any more of them, you know".

    Hornets in general have a reputation as not the most accurate round, and some have complained about mediocre performance from the P72/M78's. However, I've had very acceptable performance from my M78 and am quite satisfied with it.
     
  4. robinpeck

    robinpeck Well-Known Member

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    I was not aware of the Hornet's "reputation as not the most accurate round." Is this just in Sakos?

    I had a Brno Fox .22 Hornet that was probably the most accurate rifle I have ever owned.

    It wasn't a nice early model Brno ZKW 465, but one of the later late 70's versions. The exterior finish was a bit rough but it sure was accurate.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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  5. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    The Brno Hornets are definitely the exception that defies the Hornet's reputation for marginal accuracy. They had front-locking bolts with carefully cut chambers. Most Hornets were made on what are primarily rimfire actions and the bolt fit and bedding mechanisms were not conducive to consistent accuracy. The Sako M78 is also a rimfire action, but as with most things Sako, made to higher standards and therefore is a better shooter than most rimfire-action Hornets. However, I would be surprised if the M78 were as accurate as your previous Brno.
     
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  6. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The inherent design of the Hornet case is an example of how to inhibit accuracy. Being a rimmed case with a long sloping shoulder is problematic regarding uniformity. The Brno & the current CZ 527 are true twin lug centerfire designs with consistent headspacing from rifle to rifle & solid lock-up, but even they can be finicky with regard to accuracy. Handloading & neck sizing only will help any rifle chambered for the Hornet. Most rimfire action based Hornets suffer from poor headspacing & a single tiny bolt lug, and although it is possible for them to shoot well enough for the purposes & ranges the cartridge was designed for, one shooting MOA would be the exception, not the rule. I've had three M78 Hornets, none of which shot under 2MOA. I own none now. If I were to buy the rifle pictured it would be for it's potential future collector value & it would be parked in a safe. If I was looking for a 22 Hornet to shoot & hunt with I would get a new CZ & save myself a few hundred bucks & have a better rifle.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
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  7. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    I agree with Paulson's comments about the Hornet and inherent accuracy, but my Hornet problems have had more to do with feeding in bolt actions than with accuracy. I have an early CZ-527 marked Made in Brno, and it gave me fits with jams because the bullet nose would jump up coming out of the magazine and jam against the back of the barrel. I finally learned that it will feed reliably if you slam the bolt forward rapidly and forcefully. Slow and steady will jam it every time. I had some accuracy issues early on but that seems to have been bad ammo. I'm now trying to get reliable feeding from a Sako P72 Hornet. Early testing is promising for accuracy but the feed problem is driving me nuts. It's the opposite of the CZ - bullet nose won't rise enough sometimes and it jams on the bottom of the barrel face. I'll get it sooner or later but I'm getting sick of this. I'm thinking that when gun shows are safe again, I'll unload both of them and and either get a single shot (a Low Wall, a mini-Sharps, or a Ruger #1) or just give up on the Hornet entirely and concentrate on my .222 Sakos and Tikkas.
     
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  8. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    James Calhoon makes a single shot follower that replaces the magazine on the 527. Fits flush with the bottom metal & feeds flawlessly. For accuracy look at his 19 Calhoon (Hornet) barrels.
     
  9. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    How does that work? I understand the later 527's have beveled extractors, but mine is a straight Mauser style that has to pick up the round from a lower level to slide under the extractor. Does the feed tray sit low so it will feed like it does from a magazine? Just curious, I have the CZ working OK as long as I work the bolt just right.
     
  10. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    The top of the follower has a "dip" in the middle so when the cartridge is pushed forward the rim falls down enough to go under the extractor. Then, as it continues forward it slides up behind the extractor and is held between the bolt face & extractor in the "controlled round" fashion as if it had come from the magazine. Showed a friend mine & he got James to send him one for his 300 Blackout. Has never used the magazine since. They are not cheap, but beautifully machined & functional. I would just give James a call & discuss your issue & ask him if the different extractor on your early model would cause any issues. If I get some time today, I'll take some pics of it & post them. My phone(camera) is charging right now.
     
  11. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Here's the pics of the CZ Single Shot follower made by James Calhoon. It's solid steel bar stock. The cut out is to reduce weight. He makes a couple "sizes" for the 527, depending on caliber. I think the pic shows how it works better than I described. As they say, a pic is worth a 1000 words!
    CZ SS follower B.jpg CZ SS follower C.jpg CZ SS follower.jpg
     
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  12. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Thanks.
     
  13. FLT

    FLT Well-Known Member

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    Thats nice , thanks for the heads up.
     
  14. cl_leg

    cl_leg Well-Known Member

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    buy it. :)
    don't worry about those going off topic...
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2021
  15. Jeffy1

    Jeffy1 Well-Known Member

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    For what it's worth I have had exceptional results with Hornets of different makes and models in terms of accuracy. Yes, I have experienced all kinds of feeding problems and extractor problems but just in terms of accuracy I've had some fun times with the anschutz 54, the Kimber, the Brno,the 527 CZ, and all the L46 Sakos. One key is getting good quality brass. Another factor is a rifle with a well designed extractor.
     

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