22 Hornet question

This looks like a stainless steel ball bearing. The ball is magnetic. Apart from the M4 and M6 survival rifles, were there any other military application for the 22 Hornet, or was this commercial?


Wouldn’t think a hard stainless steel bearing would do a rifle bore any good.

Why not a round lead ball?, or a soft steel?, if steel was the preferred material.

I’ve not seen any military application other than you mention & those used normal FMJ bullets.

Have you seen a box?


Interesting cartridge.

Do you have any way to measure the diameter of the steel ball?

That headstamp would indicate 1970s or later manufacture.


no luck on the box. Not much description in my notes nor any mention of where it came from

Measurement 5.45mm (.214") at case mouth


I remember seeing something on the internet quite a while ago now about a .22 Hornet “aircraft instument panel destructor cartridge”. This was apparently loaded with a steel ball and was used in some way to destory classified equipment on military aircraft to prevent it falling into enemy hands.

While some aircraft had the little .22 Hornet survival rifles in them, I wonder how many guys in an aircraft they felt was going down (no other reason for destroying anything) would have the thought, or the “physical equipment” to get out the rifle, make sure it has the “destructor” ammo in it, and shoot the five or six rounds it would take to do much damage, before bailing out?

If that was one reason for the manufacture of this round, which is probably post-Korean War from the headstamp, it probably didn’t go far.

I was never sure whether this was fired from a rifle or from some sort of automatically actuated device.

The website I read it on didn’t give any more of a detailed explanation.