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Reply with quote  #1 
I spend more time reading about guns than shooting them. I've read that the 19/20 caliber is superior to 22 or 17 caliber because of the physics involved. So, I head over to and read up on various loads.

To compare ballistics, I look at 17 Ackley Hornet vs the 19 Calhoon, and the 17 Remington vs he 20 VarTarg. In both cases, the 20's go faster with similar bullet weights.

I think I'm leaning towards a 22 Hornet based cartridge that is smaller than 22. I want the best trajectory as my first priority. My second priority is to have good barrel life. Third is to have moderate loads that don't wear out brass very fast. Which is a better caliber to invest myself in?
Reply with quote  #2 
The 19 Calhoon is a great cartridge in my opinion. With the 32 grain "Slick Silver" double hollow points it's very effective on grounghogs out to about 250 yards. Jim built my rifle about six or seven years ago. I formed 50 pieces of brass and they've been loaded six times with no problems. The trajectory isn't all that flat compared to the 20 BR, the 204 Ruger or the 19-223 Calhoon but it's very quiet, cheap to shoot and at 12 grains of powder per shot the barrel should last almost forever.

Don't have a 17 Ackley hornet but I do have a couple 17 Fireballs and a 17 Remington. The 17 Fireballs are "fussier" than the 19 and 204's about barrel cleaning but they're factory barrels. The 17 Remington is a Cooper which isn't so fussy. I feel confident in the 17 Remington out to about 300 yards but will trust the 20 BR or 204 Ruger another hundred or so. The wind is hard on the 17's even with 25 grain Bergers at 4000+ fps.

Only down side to the 19 Calhoon is there's only one source for bullets. They're good and not expensive but they are the only choice. Would be nice if someone would factory chamber an Ackleyized Hornet for 204 bullets. Or I guess I could have Dave Kiff make me a reamer now that 204 bullets and barrels are widely available. Maybe a new winter project.....

Reply with quote  #3 
I prefer the 20 VarTarg gives up very little to the 204 Ruger with one third less powder, zero recoil, very little fouling and much slower to heat things up. With great barrel life it a prairie dog's TRUE NIGHTMARE !

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