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Thread: Stevens Favorite to Hornet
08-29-2007, 01:54 PM #1
I thought that Savage made a Mod. 30 in 22 magnum, I didn't see it on the Savage web site. But, If I could find one... I was thinking it would make a great little Hornet.
Would a 22 magnum action be strong enough to convert to hornet?
08-29-2007, 02:37 PM #2
The original Favorite that was sold as a .22, by Stevens, is definately not a candidate for centerfire conversion, and not really safe for the Mag. rimfire stuff. Skinny pins and links issues.
The newer Model 30 must have been beefed up some, to get it past the liability lawyers working for the company, but I would suggest that it is not up to Hornet pressures by a fair stretch.
IIRC Stevens also labelled the Model 44 and 44 1/2 as "Favorite",in some variations, and these are much more suitable for the higher pressures nd larger diameter barrels. Of the two, a Stevens 44 1/2 action would be better.
Got a library card? Try to get hold of a couple of Frank DeHaas' books on Single Shot Rifles. He went through most of the common and uncommon models, and detailed strenghts and weaknesses, as well as suitability for conversion to other calibers.
I have had a couple oldd Favorite actions, and unless they have REALLY beefed the design up a lot, I would hesitate to use one with aa .22 Mag, and would not consider a centerfire conversion, except maybe to a pistol cal like .32 short or long, maybe.
08-29-2007, 03:38 PM #3
I wouldn't consider the magnum or the hornet safe. From experience I can tell you that anything other than a mild load in 32 smith and wesson long will bend every pin in a 1915 favorite after about a dozen rounds. I am most certain of that..........
08-30-2007, 03:26 AM #4
Forgive this OT question, but did you mean an online or a brick and mortor library?
08-30-2007, 04:54 AM #5
trevj and 2Tite:
Sounds like you both learned by (bad) experience. Thanks for saving me the lesson. I have been looking in the Library (brick and mortar) but, my local book box doesn’t have it. I guess I will have to go online and find Franks book.
I just thought that the current production might be a little stronger. I would like to build a “fun rifle,” something small-22Hornet, 25-20 or even a 32 S&W Long. I am trying to stay under four pounds and I would like to stay away from a break action.
I would consider building my own action from scratch but I am trying to stay clear of the alphabet soup club. [img]tongue.gif[/img]
08-30-2007, 05:40 AM #6
Whenever you discuss the strength of the original Stevens Favorites it's necessary to define whether it's an oldest model Favorite or the Model 1915 Favorite. The 1915 is a considerably stronger action with a beefed up receiver. Much stronger than its predecessor. I am involved in a project of converting two Model 1915 Favorites to centerfire. One was a 32 Long Rimfire that I converted to 32 S&W Long and the other was a 25 Stevens that I have converted to a cartridge that I call the 25 Hornette. I'm currently in the process of working out the loads for each cartridge. Proceeding slowly and carefully.
08-30-2007, 09:21 AM #7
H-Jack, Seems we have the same interests. I agree about the "94's not being as strong. The 1915 I have done in 32 long colt and 32 S&W,shortened 22 Hornet and what I called 25 Stevens CF. You can swage hornet brass down to 25 stevens dimensions. It works really well, you lose a few on the initial firing but it sure makes use of all those 25 rf Favorites out there with good bores. The 32 S&W is the most useful, you just have to settle for factory velocities. I found Aguila ammo very suitable . Have fun with the Hornette....
08-30-2007, 09:42 AM #8
None of the early Stevens Favorites are suitable for anything but .22 rimfire. The recent iteration in .17 & .22 magnum are probably only moderately stronger, and I would not recommend converting them to any centerfire cartridge.
The Model 44 is a larger, heavier action that will handle the rimfire magnums and some very light centerfire rounds. The .22 Hornet is too hot for it. Stevens produced it in Hornet for a very short time, and it failed.
The 44 1/2 is a very different action, and is a true falling block. It will handle many centerfire rounds.
Keep in mind that these actions were designed and manufactured in the black powder era, and are not up to the pressures developed by smokeless powders.
08-30-2007, 10:19 AM #9
precision tools: I was thinking about the curretnt iteration. You said Stevens produced a Hornet. Was that the current Savage/Stevens or the 1915 vintage? How hard is it to find a 44 1/2?
Hawaiian Jack and 2Tite: How has the 32 S&W Long worked out? What action did you build it on and have you been hand loading for it? Why the 25 Stevens? and not a 25-20? You can make that brass from 32-20 and the SASS guys are making sure there is plenty of it around.
08-30-2007, 11:27 AM #10
I ran into a guy that built a 256 winchester mag on a 1894 favorite not smart.I do have a 1894 action that is center fire they ware made in 22 ex long center fire & some rook catridges.Ken
08-30-2007, 10:22 PM #11
While there were many variations of the original Favorite, none that I know of were centerfire. All the literature I have on the subject states they were available in .22, .25 & .32 rimfire versions as well as .22 & .32 rimfire shot versions.
The .22 Hornet was on the 44 frame, which is a significantly larger action than the Favorite. They are both the same design, and neither are suited to this high pressure round. The 44 action has the barrel retained by threading, while the Favorite barrel is unthreaded and retained only with a thumbscrew.
I have not examined a recent model Favorite, and am not familiar with it's construction, but believe it is the same general design as the original Favorite. If so, it is not a true falling block, and it would not be suitable for .22 Hornet.
44-1/2's are totally different, and are quite desireable as collector guns. Bare actions are hard to come by, and are snapped up quickly when they do turn up. They will generally run $500.00 or more depending on condition and model.
Frank de Haas has this to say about the Favorite;
"Under no circumstances whatever should a .22 caliber Favorite be rechambered for the .22 WMR, or rebarreled for this cartridge using a regular .22 rimfire barrel which has a .222 or .223 groove diameter. Even if rebarreled using a barrel having a .2245 groove diameter (which is correct for this cartridge) and using a sound action, I feel the Favorite action is still marginal in strength mfor the .22 WMR......."
"This naturally answers the question about rechambering or rebarreling the Favorite action for the .22 Hornet (or any other similar centerfire cartridge) which should NEVER be done. The same applies to rechambering the .25 rimfire caliber Favorite to any other .25 caliber cartridge."
"A .32 caliber rimfire caliber Steven's Favorite can be rechambered for the .32 S&W short revolver cartridge provided only factory loaded ammunition or equivalent handloads are used. No attempt should be made to increase power of this cartridge by handloading....."
The Favorite is a neat little gun, and fun to shoot. A good action, rebarreled or relined in .22 rimfire can give a lot of enjoyment. Trying to stretch it beyond this can lead to a lot of grief.
08-31-2007, 01:53 AM #12
Ah, this is a favorite topic of mine (pun intended).
2Tite - I agree with you that the 32 S&W is the most useful and also the easiest to convert. Regarding the 25 Stevens, I didn't want to get into swaging the cases so what I did was put a pilot the same dimensions as the 25 Stevens bore on a 22 Hornet reamer and just ran the reamer in to the chamber to normal Hornet depth. The result was the front of the chamber stayed the 25 Stevens dimensions and the rear conformed to the Hornet. To make the brass, I shorten the 22 Hornet case to the 25 Stevens length and open the neck to the 25 Stevens dimensions. So far this has worked well with no loss of brass.
Huntingguy - The 32 S&W Long is an easy conversion from the 32 Long Rimfire. I have been hand loading and working up loads very slowly. As to why not converting the 25 Stevens to a 25-20, it's because of the pressure. The 25-20 is much too powerful for even the 1915 Favorite.
Precision tools - I respect de Haas very much but if you read his comment re the Favorite, he says to not rechamber for the .22 Hornet or any similar centerfire cartridge. Key words being "Hornet or any similar". de Haas was speaking of factory cartridges and was correct. By converting to a shortened Hornet case I am able to hand load to a low level while insuring that no one would be able to stick a Hornet cartridge in by mistake.
We have been only discussing Stevens Favorites but I have also converted a Hopkins and Allen Model 932 from 32 Long Rimfire to 32 S&W Long.
These are fine rifles as well and it's great to be able to get them shooting again.
08-31-2007, 10:20 AM #13
de Haas cautions against rechambering the Favorite to any .22 centerfire cartridge. He also cautions against anything except the .32 S&W short, specifically stating not to use the .32 long.
I would not recommend anyone chambering the Favorite for anything except the cartridge it was originally intended for.
The gun was a low priced boy's rifle, the frame is cast, the barrel is not threaded, and the action relies on the screws to retain the breechblock. It can shoot loose even with a .22 to the point of being unsafe, and that condition will be reached sooner with more powerful cartridges.
Failure will occur, and it will be over a period of time as things work loose. Eventually loss of headspace will result in case separation, and/or the breechblock will open. This will happen about 3" in front of your right eye. If you are willing to take that risk, that is your choice, but others should be aware of the consequences.
While making special brass to .25 caliber may result in an acceptably low pressure cartridge, a great deal of caution must be used to ensure pressures are not exceeded.
The H&A 932 is a true falling block action, and is capable of using more powerful cartridges. It is still limited in that the barrel is not threaded, but retained with a thumb screw. There were several sizes of that action that can handle some pistol cartridges such as the .32 long or .38 Special, but these are also not capable of higher pressure cartridges including the Hornet.
09-27-2008, 09:48 PM #14
How did you convert your H&A 932 to 32 S&W Long? Did you make a longer link? Did you relocate the firing pin? I've got a 932 with a near perfect bore. Have wanted a 32 S&W Long rifle for years and I recently found this Hopkins & Allen. It seems far more substantial than a Favorite. Any information or insight would be appreciated. Thanks in advance from the central CT hardwood forest.
10-10-2008, 04:16 AM #15
Higganum, Sorry I'm late in answering your questions but I didn't realize that this particular blog was still alive. I just happened to look back here. Anyway, I relocated the firing pin in the Hopkins and Allen conversion, that is the hardest part of the conversion. I know I considered changing the link length but right now I can't recall why I decided against it. I think it was because the breech block would ride up too high. I've tried several ways to relocate the firing pin with both the H&A's and the Favorites and have still not found a completely satisfying way to do it. Looking back I think it would almost be easier to just make a new breech block. If you have any other questions, please let me know.
12-28-2008, 09:50 PM #16
A belated Thank you.
Thank you for your response. I haven't not much contemplating over the Hopkins and Allen project for some time and thought I would see if anything had come down here on the forum.
I made a new link. The breech block raised and the firing pin centered nicely, but the hammer nose barely contacted the firing pin. I, too, have considered making a new breechblock as I have a lathe and Bridgeport down cellar. A tool room grinder is at work.
It just occurred to me to re-install the long link to see if the hammer nose could be built up with weld and reshaped. As long as you didn't anneal the sear area of the hammer. Maybe hold it in a vise with an aluminum plate on each side for heatsinks. What do you think of this idea?
02-11-2009, 02:57 PM #17
Looking for Hawaiian Jack
Hi Jack ,
Looking for fellow shooter/enthusiast/machinist in my area, ( Kauai ).