THE EXCITEMENT all gun ownersexperience at the thought of a new purchase never seems to diminish,well maybe not all, but it beats going grocery shopping, you’d haveto agree. Although the purchase of this little Martini Hornet cameabout by an error by yours truly; OK, so poor instruction led to anincorrectly filled out PTA form. ‘I am certain my wife didn’t want arimfire anyway’ I thought. Well lucky for me things worked outfavourably. At the news that Mellissa’s new toy had arrived we setoff to sign off on the paperwork and take possession; at first glanceI thought damn that’s ugly! But being optimistic I looked beneath theexterior and searched for the inner beauty. I can tell you I wassearching very hard.
LET THE WORK BEGIN.
First off, anyone who has read my workwill notice that I tend to have a soft spot for older rifles asopposed to shiny new out of the box jobs. This leaves me the task ofa little refurbishment, which I enjoy. In this particular case thetimber work was removed and stripped bare, then with the aid of aspray bottle and hot iron, Yes! You read right – I went aboutsteaming out the multitude of dents that could be seen. After Itackled that job, I had Mellissa apply several coats of stain. Thenmy job was to hand rub an oil finish into the thirsty wood to offerprotection from the elements. With all that out of the way the barrelwas scrubbed, all the screws checked on the mounts and once satisfiedthe little Weaver was there for keeps, I bore sighted the littleMartini, ready to roll.
I sat at the reloading bench, coffee inone hand reloading book in the other pondering, and after muchthought I settled on 10 grains of AR 2205 topped off with a choice ofeither a 40 grain Sierra HP or for the budget minded a 40 grain HP byWinchester.
It being my first experience with the22 Hornet, I am suitably impressed. It is not blessed with awesomepower or ballistics, but is an honest performer, not excessivelyloud, seems easy to load for and very economical. This in turn favorsthe keen reloader who has at his disposal the growing range ofcomponents 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 arediehards.
My wife Melissa and I have put theHornet through its paces over the last few years as, since my firstbasic loads, we have tried almost every projectile on the market. Ourconclusion is that the little hornady 35 VMax is our favourite forVarmits; this little projectile looks like a small artillery shelland although not visually aerodynamic flies straight and true. Theheavier 50 Taipan HP is carried in case we run into a porker becauseit holds together in those situations and can make all thedifference, but I will admit I had to fiddle with this load to havethem shoot very close to the same point of aim, as our varmit load.
Checking out the rifles available atthe moment chambered in 22 Hornet there are the Browning A-boltmicro, Savage and the Ruger, to name a few. These would be the mostreadily accessible through your local gun dealer, and a list of otherchoices would be made available or you can take the path that we tookand purchase a secondhand rifle and refurbish it. If you do get holdof a Martini (and there are quiet a few around) it would be wise toinclude the following procedures on your list of ‘to do’sî. Have agunsmith mill down the action to allow easier access with a loadedround. Also, the fore end timber should be made to clear the actionby a couple of millimeters, Martini’s seem to shoot more consistentlyafter this is done. Our rifle came with side mounts and although theygave good service, we had them removed and had dovetails milled ontothe barrel, after which we installed a set of millet mounts. Thismakes a much neater package.
Having touched on the subject of loaddata earlier, I will list our current loads for you below. Pleaseremember to use caution and start your loads at 5% lower than mylisted charges; all powder used is ADI’s AR 2205 and standardWinchester Small Rifle primers were used also. Speeds for the littlecartridge are modest approx 2650fps for the V-max down to about2300fps for the 50 grainers. Please do not try to turn the littleHornet into a .222 by pushing loads to the maximum and beyond.Medical procedures performed by surgeons are nearing brilliant but Ithink their expertise would be stretched trying to remove a riflebolt 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 havetaken pigs and goats with the little Hornet, the shots were carefullyplaced and the game unaware of our presence, therefore making shotplacement much easier. This cartridge was designed as a smallgamegetter and should be used primarily for that. At roughly 700reloads per can of powder this little gem makes for cheap shootingand in the days of rising prices that makes a lot of CENTS!!!
WHAT IN BLUE BLAZES IS A CRUFFLERANYWAY???
This American explanation appeared in aSurplus Rifle enthusiast’s forum on the web. The author Neil couldpossibly be thus classified – Ed.
No no no no! A Cruffler is not a glazedpastry that one can get at the local doughnut shop, nor is a Crufflersomething that an automobile exhaust system specialist can help youwith. Let me back up a bit.
Since 1968, in order to legally receivea firearm shipped across state lines, the recipient must possess avalid ‘Federal Firearms Licenseî issued by the United StatesDepartment of the Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms(BATF). There are many types of these licenses; for dealers, formanufacturers, for importers, and for collectors. Of all of them, thecollector license (known as a Type 03 license) is unique in that itdoes not permit the licensee to engage in a business, but rather itsprovisions are specifically designed to enable the collector.Furthermore, the holder of a Type 03 license is restricted toreceiving firearms that have been classifed by the BATF as ‘Curios orRelics.î That is, any firearm that was demonstrably manufactured 50years 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 andRelics Federal Firearms License. Abbreviated, this becomes C&RFFL, or CRFFL. Now, CRFFL, if you were to try to pronounce it, wouldcome out something like ‘cruffle.î Hence, the holders of theselicenses have taken to referring to themselves as CRFFLers, orCRUFFLERS. So, we have a whole new lexicon:
CRUFFLER: Noun. Originally the holderof a Type 03 (C&R) FFL, but now anyone who has an interest inold, historical, or just plain weird firearms for which ammunition isusually hard to come by.
CRUFFLE: Verb. To seek out old,historical, and weird firearms to shoot, study, admire, and place inhistorical context. Includes engaging in ceaseless research,correspondence, and conversation about same. Also requires arefinement of fiscal priorities (Hmm-I can eat this week, or I canget that all-matching Norwegian .30-06 conversion K98k-).
CRUFFLING: Active Participle. For atrue 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.