Winchester’s New Wildcat 22 Rifle That Works With 10/22 Magazines

   04.11.19

Winchester’s New Wildcat 22 Rifle That Works With 10/22 Magazines

Winchester has announced a new rifle called the Wildcat. It’s like nothing I’ve seen before, except that it will accept aftermarket magazines for the Ruger 10/22, which in itself is pretty great.

What makes the Winchester Wildcat so different? How about the fact that you can basically remove the rifle’s innards with the push of a single button — and that the two hex wrenches required for adjusting the rear sight and removing the stock are stored inside there? Nice.

The new Winchester Wildcat semi-auto 22 LR rimfire rifle.
The new Winchester Wildcat semi-auto 22 LR rimfire rifle.
(Image: Winchester)

They even made the crossbolt safety reversible, so left-handed shooters can swap it around for easy operation. It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the Wildcat’s design.

The included allen wrenches store inside the stock on the lower receiver.
The included allen wrenches store inside the stock on the lower receiver.
(Image: Winchester)

You can manually lock the action open using the slide lock at front center of trigger guard. To release the bolt, you can pull back on the bolt handle or use the manual bolt release on the left side of the receiver.

Manual slide lock at front of trigger guard for locking the bolt open.
Manual slide lock at front of trigger guard for locking the bolt open.
(Image: Winchester)
Bolt release on left side of Winchester Wildcat's receiver.
Bolt release on left side of Winchester Wildcat’s receiver.
(Image: Winchester)

The sights look good, although a bright bead such as a fiber optic would provide a much more visible front sight… but it wouldn’t be as tough. And a rear peep is about as good as it gets on a nimble little rifle like the Wildcat.

Winchester Wildcat front and rear sights.
Winchester Wildcat front and rear sights.
(Image: Winchester)

The Wildcat’s magazine also looks pretty cool. It’s a 10-round rotary mag, much like that of the Ruger 10/22 — and Winchester says you can even use aftermarket 10/22 magazines in the Wildcat. Sweet!

Winchester Wildcat magazine.
Winchester Wildcat magazine.
(Image: Winchester)

In appears the Wildcat’s magazine will be easier to maneuver than the 10/22’s. It can be released from below or using rails accessible from the side of the receiver.

The Winchester Wildcat magazine can be removed using the tab on bottom or rails on the sides.
The Winchester Wildcat magazine can be removed using the tab on bottom or rails on the sides.
(Image: Winchester)

Another nice touch is the ability to manually relieve spring pressure in the magazine, which should help prevent feed lip wear while making it easier to load and unload magazines.

You can relieve spring tension on the follower while loading the Wildcat magazine.
You can relieve spring tension on the follower while loading the Wildcat magazine.
(Image: Winchester)

The stock is polymer, with sling studs and picatinny rails molded in.

Winchester Wildcat stock.
Winchester Wildcat stock.
(Image: Winchester)
Winchester Wildcat stock includes a cover for front rail
Winchester Wildcat stock includes a cover for front rail.
(Image: Winchester)
Winchester Wildcat has a top rail for easy mounting of optics.
Winchester Wildcat has a top rail for easy mounting of optics.
(Image: Winchester)

Unlike most semi-auto rimfire rifles, you can easily clean the Winchester Wildcat’s bore from the rear by dropping out the lower receiver. This helps protect the rifling at the crown while keeping crud out of the action.

You can clean the Wildcat's barrel from the rear.
You can clean the Wildcat’s barrel from the rear.
(Image: Winchester)

Manufacturer Specs

  • Model: Wildcat
  • Caliber: 22 LR
  • Barrel: 18″ button-rifled matte-blued chromoly steel with recessed crown
  • Rifle twist: 1:16
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Length: 36 1/4 inches
  • Length of Pull: 13 1/2″
  • Drop at Comb: 7/8″
  • Drop at Heel: 7/8″
  • Magazine Capacity: 10
  • Magazine: Detachable rotary, polymer
  • Stock: Gray polymer
  • Receiver: Black polymer
  • Sling Swivel Studs: Integrated
  • Trigger Finish: Matte black
  • Bolt Slide Finish: Matte black
  • Item Number: 521100102
  • UPC: 048702017872
  • MSRP: $249.99

This is one fun-looking rifle, and I’m hoping to get my hands on one. What do you think of it?

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