P72 in .22 Hornet

Discussion in 'Sako Rimfires and Small Action Rifles' started by icebear, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Re: Hornet headspace.

    Yes, headspacing on rims of inconsistent thickness is the bane of every Hornet. But I've found that by reloading using the Lee Collet neck sizing die that the headspace problem is solved (and there's no lube to be removed from the tiny cases).


    It is a myth that the Hornet doesn't have enough shoulder to headspace on. Despite the very shallow taper of the Hornet shoulder, the thin brass of the Hornet swells to fill the entire chamber, thus allowing fired cases to hold firmly against the bolt face and the thrust of the firing pin.

    While neck sizing-only will always improve case life in any cartridge, it doesn't necessarily always improve accuracy. But with the Hornet the improvement can be substantial. My Sako M78 Hornet won't match the accuracy of either my Brno ZKW 465 or my Kimber 82, but it is quite acceptable using an appropriate load in neck sized brass.
     
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  2. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    Thanks. I'll mike some of the assorted shim stock in my toolbox and give it a try. Hopefully the Hornady brass will be in spec for rim thickness.
     
  3. icebear

    icebear Sako-addicted

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    After reading Paulson's post above, I checked my stash of .22 Hornet ammo for rim thickness. To my surprise, the PPU miked right on the nominal spec of .065, while the Hornady was about .004 thinner. I'd have expected the other way around, especially since the Hornady is significantly more accurate in my CZ 527 than the PPU. Just reinforces the fact that every gun and every load is just a little bit different and they interact in complex ways. I went to the range to try out the P72 last weekend, but didn't even get out of my truck. The county range was a zoo. At the 7:00 opening time, there were more cars in the parking lot than there are shooting positions. People were lined up from the check-in desk to the gate waiting to take a number, and there were knots of people (without masks) standing around all over the place. The temp was already in the mid-80's (it went up to 106 that day), the wait would have been at least an hour and probably two, and there's no comfortable place to hang out while you're waiting. So I went home. An hour and a half wasted. The county range is normally open four mornings a week, but post-lockdown it's only open Saturday and Sunday morning for a few hours so four days of business gets crammed into two days. I don't know when I'll get to deal with my backlog of scopes that need a final zero, let alone any serious shooting. Next time I'll try getting to the range by 6:30 and see if I can get a place. That means getting up before 5; not a big deal for you ranchers but I'm not a pre-dawn riser.

    In the meantime, I've finished the basic cleanup of the P72 Hornet. I rubbed the stock with Watco Rejuvenating Oil, sanded out a couple of scratches, then renewed the finish with Watco Danish Oil. It looks quite a bit better but I couldn't capture the difference in photos. I also cleaned up the buggered slots on the action screws and did them and the magazine base plate with Van's Instant Blue. I have a whole bunch of cold blue products, but I got lucky with the Van's and it blended nicely with the existing bluing, improving the appearance without a glaring contrast between the renewed parts and the rest of the gun. Pics below. The top photo is after the renewal. The base plate and screws still show wear, but the slots are no longer buggered and the once-shiny baseplate blends better with the rest of the metal. You can see what a mess the front action screw was. Cleaning up the screw slots with fine files and honing stones is laborious and time-consuming, but it eliminates that "wrenched by monkeys" look that is all too common on guns that have been worked on with conventional tapered-blade screwdrivers.
    Bottom 2.JPG Bottom 1.JPG
     
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