I’m currently in love with an old Winchester Model 69A .22 and maybe that’s given me a soft spot for Winchester plinksters. Nevertheless, of all the guns I saw at SHOT show, the new Wildcat 22 is probably the one that I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on. It’s lightweight, it’s got useful new features and modern styling and the price is approachable for anyone willing to step into a plasma bank.
Drop Away Action
The standout feature of the Wildcat is that the lower receiver assembly drops away with the press of a button. .22 long rifle ammo is notoriously dirty–I’d be embarrassed to have you look at the feed ramp on my model 63–but this feature makes it easy to keep your gun clean and cycling smoothly. Or, if you have trouble at the range, you could take care of it quickly and safely.
You also won’t have to worry about forgetting the right tool when you go to shoot because the necessary wrenches to disassemble the stock, sights, and barrel are housed right inside the action group. This is a smart design.
10/22 Compatible Mags
Any 10/22 mags will fit this gun, including the big bananas. It comes with one ten-round rotary magazine with a new easy feed wheel. The magazine also releases from the well much quicker than most other guns and makes quick changes possible.
It’s peep sights have a much bigger aperture than my old 63A (match version) which should make acquiring moving targets much easier. The trigger sits between 4 and 5 pounds and is surprisingly crisp. The 13.5″ length of pull makes it suitable for youths as well as smaller statured adults, but even tall adults will appreciate that it weighs only 4 pounds. Lastly, it’s got standard Picatinny rails on the top and on the forend under the barrel.
The Wildcat will be available in the Spring of 2019 and its full MSRP will be $249. It’s a serious plinkster and I expect to be pleased with its accuracy out of the box. When I get to review it, I’ll put it through its paces and let you know. Best of all, I’m excited about it because as I spoke with one of the engineers who developed this gun, his own passion was contagious. I could see that he had made a terrific tool and that he was excited to see how people would put it to work. It makes an impact when people and companies put heart into their work, and I expect to fall in love with Winchester’s new Wildcat 22 as much as I love my classic Model 69A.