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Winchester Wildcat

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by marineman, Aug 7, 2008.

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  1. marineman

    marineman Member

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    Does anyone have experience with the Winchester Wildcat? I saw that you can get one at CDNN for something like $170-180. It comes with a five round and three ten round mags. That seems like quite a bargain. However, I have no experience with it. How does it compare to CZ in fit and finish, accuracy, and trigger? Thanks.
     
  2. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    I've only seen a couple locally. From rather cursory visual exam I wouldn't put it in the same league with the CZ 452's I seen as far as fit and finish go. However, since they retail for about half the price I'd say that pretty much precludes direct comparison from having much real validity.

    All I can tell you is that they were/are made in Russia and stamped with the Winchester name. Apparently this was done so that FNH and the brand could gain a presence in the lucrative and important 'economy' end of the US RF market again.

    From the magazine accounts, they're pretty much typical of most of today's Russian-made "sporting" arms in that what they might lack in sophistication or cosmetics they make up for to a great degree with solid construction of decent materials and what they can offer in terms of performance and durability for the price.

    The Russians must know a little something about building accurate RF's, as the Soviets managed to stay highly competitive in Olympic and ISU competition against the rest of the world using weapons of their own design and ammo of their own make.

    With some experimenting to find what flavor of ammo it likes best, I expect that you'd find one to be at least as accurate as most any modern .22 sporter and perhaps even a cut or so above the run of them.

    For $180 you'll at least have a solid utility rifle, and that can't be too bad a thing.
     
  3. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    That explains the Mosin-Nagant look.

    :)

    An old gun magazine compared Wildcat, CZ, Henry Single Shot and another rifle. It shot pretty well.
     
  4. Vermont

    Vermont Member

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    I have one. I bought it to learn on. As of right now, it is my one and only rifle. I think that will change tonight. Anyway...

    Since it is my only rifle, I can't do a good job of comparing it to other rifles and since I just started shooting a few months ago, my thoughts about accuracy are not to be trusted. So now that you know my opinion is worthless, here it is:

    I was disappointed with the fit and finish. The checkering was uneven. I would even call it ragged in a couple of small spots. In the right light, the bluing looked rather sloppy too There were what looked like some machining marks on the top of the receiver - faint lines in the shape of a semi-circle. I don't know if that is typical.

    The magazines have functioned flawlessly. The gun has never failed to load a round when I cycle the bolt and it has always ejected the round when I cycle the bolt. That is probably par for the course with a bolt action.

    Accuracy is fine for my purposes. I can shoot 1/2 to 1 inch groups at 25 yards with the iron sights and the forestock resting on a block of wood. This 2-4 MOA shooting is probably more a commentary on my shooting skill (and eyesight) than on the rifle. I feel like the rifle can shoot better than that.

    I have shot my Wildcat, a Rock River AR (about 5 rounds), my dad's Win 94 and my CZ 75b. The Wildcat had what I would consider the best trigger of those four guns. It feels crisp to me. There is some initial takup (which requires almost no pressure), but then it breaks cleanly.

    As a counterexample, on my CZ 75b, there is a slight initial takeup then you start putting some significant pressure on the trigger and it travels backwards then breaks. With the Wildcat, after the initial takeup there is no trigger travel before the trigger breaks. I don't exactly know what makes a good trigger, but from how I've heard others describe good triggers, this gun seems to have one.


    Hope this helps!

    Overall I am happy that I bought it.
     
  5. SGW42

    SGW42 Member

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  6. akolleth

    akolleth Member

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    Its a re-branded Tula Toz 78, IMO very, very much worth that price.

    I have one of the Tula 78-03 ones that came in about 2 years ago that I picked up from Centerfire for $100. Yes the fit and finish are absolute crap, but the accuracy is amazing. Mine is a serious tackdriver. With the good ammo I can put a 5 round group right around 1/2 inch at 50 yards. I don't know if it carried over to the Wildcat, but my Toz has an adjustable trigger, which I have down to about 3 pounds right now (Big Plus in my book).

    If you want a pretty gun, don't bother. If you want a really useful tool, this is a fantastic value for the price.

    Here is a great thread started over at the Rimfire Central forums that talks all about the Toz and the Wildcat.
    Wildcat Thread
     
  7. Vermont

    Vermont Member

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    I don't think the Wildcat has an adjustable trigger. If it does I don't know how to use it and it wasn't mentioned in the manual.
     
  8. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    Many imported rifles have the feature but don't mention it in the translated-and-abridged user manual with the ones sent here.

    Yes, it's deliberate and it is to forestall and discourage the kind of amatuer tinkering that provides product liability lawyers with beachfront vacation homes and BMWs here in the US.

    Jeez! I'm surprised at the number of nits there seem to be available for picking when we're talking about a sub-$200 wood-and-steel utlity RF rifle.

    What is it reasonable to expect for the price, anyway? Fancy grain in the wood and flawless hand checkering? Mirror polish and meticulous machine work on all the metal? Olympic match winning groups at 50 yds?

    Seems to me that in more practical and realistic terms one's getting quite a good deal of value for the price as they come, at least in today's marketplace.
     
  9. marineman

    marineman Member

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    Thanks for the feedback thus far.
     
  10. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

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    I recently acquired a Wildcat.

    Cons:

    It is too little.
    The action is too stiff.
    The trigger is very heavy.
    On mine, the barrel channel is very off center - smashed against the barrel on one side and is about 1/8th inch away on the other side.
    Accuracy is so-so (50 yard target - 2 inch flame dots and one 3 inch flame dot)
    [​IMG]
    2 inchers were fired at with Eley Sport
    3 incher was fired at with SK Rifle Match

    Pros:

    It is compact ;)
    It feeds and extracts reliably.
    It came with elevendy million magazines.
    I finally have a rifle that is scaled for my neat little Weaver Rimfire Classic scope (2.5-7X28mm).
    It photographs well.
    WinchesterWildcat-2.gif
    Abouuut hace!
    WinchesterWildcat-1.jpg
     
  11. Vermont

    Vermont Member

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    I didn't mean to insult the rifle. I just wanted to give an honest and detailed review of it. I definitely think it is worth the money and I'm glad I have it.


    Interesting. I wonder how common that is. Mine is very even. I can slide a piece of paper under my barrel, all the way to the receiver.
     
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