Ruger 22 Hornet

NOTE: Ruger has not and most likely would not endorse such action be taken on their rifles. USE THIS INFORMATION AT YOUR OWN RISK !

I have never owned one of these rifles, however, it is on my list of things to do. It has been a few years now since their introduction but a constant over the years, has been the report of poor accuracy.

This is a shame too because they are a great looking little rifle and from the little experience I have with them, they handle well and are a comfortable fit.

A friend of mine, Ron Roberts, owns a blued model with the standard walnut stock. I remember when he bought the rifle and the first trips to the range. One and half to two and a half inch groups. Frustrating would be a kind term to use here.

Ron proceeded to bed the barrel and action, no change in accuracy. Then he replaced the trigger with an aftermarket adjustable. Still no change.

Now Ron tinkers with things just a little, ok a lot, but he figured it out. He decided that the two-piece bolt was the culprit. After close examination of spent brass and simply watching the bolt close it became obvious that the "play" in the bolt was contributing to inconsistent delivery of the blow by the firing pin to the primer.

Taking the bolt apart for further inspection, he decided to replace the pin that keeps the bolt halves together. Using a larger pin, hand made of course, the bolt was reassembled and it was off to the range.

Here are a couple of drawings of the pin location and measurements. Retaining pin drawings

Group size was cut to 3/4 inch at 100 yards. Not bad at all for the Hornet. Turns out that the pin material that he used was too soft and began to wear. The groups opened back up over the next few months.

He tried other materials and in the course of trial and error, he decided to try filling the gap between the bolt halves with a very thin washer coupled with going back to the stock pin.

Half-inch groups resulted - Really ! Look here targ.gif

OK so now we know the problem is bolt play. Ron went to work trying different thicknesses of washers and ended up with one about .005 thousandths. It makes the bolt a little tight to close but a small price if you want the gun to shoot. He went out and bought a roll of stainless heat-treated steel that he measured to be .005. He made a punch and cut extra washers. 

Told you he tinkers.

I measured a couple of washers he made and came up with .006 to .007. Either way, using his washer, the bolt is easily closeable but tight.

We discussed methods for reducing the washer thickness and came up with a couple of options. One would be to rub the washer on the surface of a sharpening stone. The other option would be to lap the bolt. Either method would be effective.

Here are pictures of the disassembly, installation of washer, and reassembly of the bolt. Ruger 22 H Bolt

UPDATE 2/20/02

One of our site visitors had this to say about the washers:

 "Good Evening,

I was just surfing and ran across the article on making washers for  the bolt  on a Ruger Hornet. It states that you purchased a piece of stainless  steel to  make them out of. You probably are already aware of this but working  in a machine shop we use shims for various things. They can be  purchased from a machine tool supply company in sizes from .001 up to  whatever in increments  of .0005. 

 Take Care, 


Thanks Frank ! We always appreciate input from visitors and do our best to pass along information.

UPDATE 7/10/02

Check out this site also for work that they are doing on the Ruger 77


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Last Modified: Sunday, May 24, 2009 11:35 PM