Latest flyer has these for $550.00. Says 13,000 made between 1955 and 1962. Looks like Buck Rogers' ray gun. Anyone know anything about these? Seems I heard they had reliability issues but they sure do look cool. The price seems a bit steep.
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February 11, 2004, 11:48 PM
To the contrary, the Whitney Wolverine was a very good pistol, and is a legendary design from the early days of "space-age" materials.
Even today, it's still one of the most streamlined guns ever built, and has a great grip angle.
Whitney's are PURSUED by collectors, since production was very low. That price is not unheard of for a good example.
The Whitney was unique in that the "frame" was just a shell for the actual mechanism. The barrel, bolt, and firing pin were all contained in a tubular arrangement that slide into the frame-like shell.
The frame held only the magazine, trigger, and hammer assembly
Whitney was noted for the high speed at which it's action operated, and at one time, it was nearly renamed "The Lightening".
The original name was the Wolverine, but a reloading press was already using that name, and (unusual for today) Whitney and the press maker just made a gentleman's agreement that Whitney would just stop using the name.
Whitney's failure is often attributed to it's "Space gun" look, but the actual reason is somewhat different.
Whitney made the mistake of contracting with large gun importer and wholesaler, J.L. Galef. Whitney agreed to sell their guns ONLY through Galef.
For unknown reasons, Galef just didn't push the gun, refusing to advertise it or make any effort to move it.
Whitney had the excellent idea of making guns for the name brand stores like Sears, Wards, Western Auto, Gambles, and other national chain hardware stores who sold guns, usually with their name on them.
Since the frame on the Whitney was just a shell, it could be made to look quite different, so Whitney thought that they could offer the large retailers a pistol with not only their name on it, but also with a distinctive appearance for each company.
The project was well along, when J.L. Galef brought suit claiming his contract with Whitney stated that he was to be the ONLY seller of Whitney pistols.
Unable to fight a probable losing law suit, Whitney shut down, killing one of the most interesting and unique pistols ever made.
Since Whitney shut down, there have been several attempts to restart the design, all fading away with no production ever taking place.
The latest revival is supposed to be Olympic Arms, who has announced a new Whitney to be available eventually in aluminum, stainless, and Polymer.
The new Whitney was SUPPOSED to be available last year, but I've seen nothing yet.
I've owned several original Whitney's, and I think enough of the gun, that I won't hesitate to buy a new model. All of the originals I owned were totally reliable, accurate, and a pleasure to shoot.
Those look really cool. Grip angle looks way steep. I would like to see and handle one in person. Thanks for the history lesson. :D
February 12, 2004, 04:02 PM
Oh man... Wish I had some slush funds. I would love to get one of these guns.
Funky or not, it's one of the more unique pistols ever.
February 12, 2004, 05:58 PM
dfariswheel: Thanks for history info on the Wolverine. You had several tidbits in there I wasn't aware of. I was lucky enough to be given one a year ago. A non-shooting friend inherited it and gave it to me. I had to come to this forum to learn how to disassemble it. It's a unique design - very comfortable in the hand. I've only fired one box of ammo through mine and it functioned perfectly. Mine is currently in the safe. I retired it from shooting for the time being due to its rarity. When I received mine, it had a broken cocking piece, probably the reason the pistol had been used so little. Discovered there's a couple of places on the net to get parts. Poppert's is where I got my replacement part. So anybody looking to get one should know that parts are still available. (One piece of advice I was given via this forum was to hold it in a pillow case the first time I took it apart. Thought that was funny at the time, but did it anyway. Glad I did so. There's a couple of small parts in there that surprise you the first time you disassemble it.) Thanks again for the history on this unique gun.
February 12, 2004, 06:48 PM
Neat looking gun. Does sort of look like something out of Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon.
February 12, 2004, 07:43 PM
Wow! Call me weird, but it looks nice to me. Thanks!:)
Gary in Pennsylvania
February 16, 2004, 11:11 PM
I, personally, freekin' LOVE the look of this pistol! On 12 Feb, i actually e-mailed Olypic Arms to ask about the status of the Wolverine's revival. I just got the reply today - here's the exchange:
From: Roberts, Gary (PKI)
Sent: Thursday, February 12, 2004 3:29 AM
Subject: Web Site Question
Please . . . . What is the status of the Olympic Arms Whitney
Wolverine revival project???
Is there a timeline for production? Is this just a pipe dream? Any
information would comfort my anticipating mind!
Seriously though - I'd love to see this firearm come back - and soon!
Be Alert. Be Strong. Be Safe.
Gary G. Roberts
Command Control Guidance
Scheduling & Support Division
Tobyhanna Army Depot
DSN 795-6211 CML (570) 895-####
FAX Ext. 7651
Here's his reply . . . .
Sorry it took so long to reply as I was out of town at the Shot Show in
Vegas. We should start shipping the Wolverine with in the next 4 months.
It will retail at $279 Give me a call with any quick questions or drop
another email! 1 800 228 3471.
Wooooo Hoooooo! I gotta get pics!:what: :what: :what:
February 16, 2004, 11:29 PM
$279??? I am all for good value guns but .. can it be good enough at that price ... and someone still make a profit? Just the skeptic in me!
So - I know nothing about the Whitney ... what cal is it?
Ok - just saw on the label .. .22lr, right?
February 17, 2004, 12:58 AM
In it's day the Whitney was sold at a cheap price.
This is because it's made from very simple components, most of which are stampings.
Very simple means cheap pricing, and I'm somewhat surprised the new model will sell for AS MUCH as $279.00.
I imagine the dealer price will be considerably lower.
The frame is an aluminum shell that holds everything together.
The main mechanism is a stamped steel tube that holds the barrel, an ejector, a firing pin, and a simple bolt together.
This slips into the frame and is held in place by a star-shaped barrel nut.
The magazine is one of the best .22 pistol mags ever designed. Really strong, and it uses a spent .22lr casing as a loading assist. You just slip a case into a hole in the follower, and use that as a button to pull the follower down.
In all, it's a really inovative design. WAY ahead of it's time.
In any case, as soon as they hit the market, I'm in for one.
They're accurate, reliable, and FAST. They also feel like nothing you've ever shot before.
February 17, 2004, 11:06 AM
Ver cool . Has that 1950'ish Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon look about it.
Gary in Pennsylvania
February 17, 2004, 12:33 PM
Well . . . . . . Go to OlyArms website --> http://www.olyarms.com/usa.html
Click to download the "new 2004 catalog"
Scroll alllllll the way down to page 72 & 73 to see the pics of the actual Wolverine as Olympic Arms will produce it.
I DON'T LIKE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why couldn't they keep to the original look???? :banghead: :cuss: Toggle back and forth between the pics in the top of this thread and the pic in the olyarms .odf catalog.
It's ugly! Whaddaya all think???
February 18, 2004, 02:01 PM
I was looking up some Winchester exploded diags in my old DBI book .. found a pretty good diag of the Whitney ... in case anyone wants a copy of this .. just say and I'll scan it and post.
February 18, 2004, 02:29 PM
P95Carry: I'd really appreciate a copy of the diagram. Thanks in advance.
February 18, 2004, 03:28 PM
OK - here we go. The book is old and pages a tad yellowed .. and the diag itself is unfortunately on a gray background. I have lifted this as much as I dare for now. Also tried not to over compress so diag is a bit of a large file (for me) .. too much more and it'd lose too much.
I have split the page into two ... I would suggest that perhaps you not only save these images but .. whilst on your screen, take a grab ... and if you print from that (72 or 96 dpi) .. then it should be big enough to work. Sorry quality not better .......
I see serious potential for sound suppression here people.
I’ll take a polymer and stainless one with an extended and threaded barrel nut. It would be a really cool (and hopefully less PC) alternative to the P22. I can see my Gemtech on it now.
How does it actually fire? Is it single action only, or DA / SA. Can the hammer be raised and lowered manually?
Where’s a picture of the Olympic Arms Whitney? I cant find it any where on the sight? Hopefully this is a serious endeavor on their part.
Gary in Pennsylvania
February 18, 2004, 04:09 PM
I just fixed the bum link in my post above. Go back up and follow my instructions. Download the 2004 catalog and the picture is on the last 3 pages of the .pdf
February 18, 2004, 06:21 PM
P95Carry: It copied fine. Thanks!
In response to action question: the Wolverine is single action only. It has an external hammer that can be cocked or lowered via thumb.
February 18, 2004, 06:53 PM
http://www.bedford.net/design/images/smilies/y-welcome.gif ........ Glad it worked OK.
February 20, 2004, 06:28 PM
I emailed Don myself and received some more information I deemed important to my particular application.
The gun frame will be polymer with aluminum, and all steel parts will be high carbon (no stainless) and parkerized (which is very good).
They will “eventually” offer extended threaded barrels, but are not sure what thread pattern yet.
I also asked about integral locks and was informed that for now it will only be offered with a thumb safety. However he said things may change after it goes into production. That last comment wasn’t reassuring.
February 20, 2004, 07:58 PM
I had a chance to handle a non-functioning Wolverine at the Oly Arms booth at the SHOT Show. This pistol feels very comfortable in the hand, and I imagine it will make for a great plinking pistol once it is released.
The only thing that might give me pause would be that Oly Arms isn't known for having the highest quality AR's, which would cause me to wonder if they'd cut corners on this pistol as well.
But that's all just conjecture on my part. If the thing is minute-of-tin-can accurate, and functions reliably I'm all for it.
February 20, 2004, 09:17 PM
The thing about the Whitney design is: There AREN'T many corners TOO cut.
The Whitney was one of the simplest auto pistols ever made.
This brings me to a probable problem. First, the price is too high.
I know they have to recoup the extremely high cost of the frame mold, but that's just TOO high to be justified.
As an example of too high a cost/simplicity of design: The firing pin lock, part #015 is in fact, a TINY half-moon shaped piece of stamped steel, with a small notch in the bottom.
On the original gun, the rear sight, #047, was a small piece of stamped steel, that looks like somebody cut a short length of tubing in half, and cut a notch in it.
Almost all parts are VERY simple, almost crude steel stampings.
When you see this, you will be astounded at how "perfect" and well designed and engineered those "crude" stamped parts are.
This is a design that gives new meaning to "Simple is better".
My problem is, I just think a plastic framed pistol at that price, AND the fact that they've subtly changed the look, will make me re-evaluate whether I'll buy one.
The Whitney was a American marvel of advanced engineering, but that price is too high a retail for such a simple, low-tolerance design.
I'll wait and see what they do with it, but if you can hack the cost...GO FOR IT. The Whitney does shoot and feel like nothing else in the world.
February 21, 2004, 10:27 AM
I don't like the vented rib at all. This is very unnecessary in my opinion, although maybe it is only to raise the sights, as the gun is very low.
Wonder if they could be machined off.
February 21, 2004, 01:02 PM
Ok, i've tried twice to load thier Oly catalog and it's takes forever. Anyone got pics of the current crop of Wolverines they're to offer?
March 3, 2004, 09:27 PM
Here's a cut and paste for you. For some reason when I downloaded it, I got some sort of text error and almost none of the text shows up. I believe that the dots in the picture are where the words on the page should be. I've got to admit that I hate the vent rib also. I hope that it will be fairly easy to remove or maybe they might make one without it but I doubt it.
Hope this helps, Heath
March 4, 2004, 12:14 AM
Thank you Heath for the picture. Love those gun totin computer geniuses.
March 4, 2004, 01:28 AM
flinch, no problem This gun has me pretty excited. I really hope it is well executed. I think it would make a heck of a fun plinker. Doing a little research I came across this old TFL thread where a gentleman had a really nice one in the original box. There's a pretty good picture of it at this link: