Winchester Wildcat Target/Varmint .22lr

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  • Winchester Wildcat Target/Varmint .22lr

    Winchester Wildcat Target/Varmint .22lr look nice but who play with one.
    What you though on it, I like a review from someone who owns one, eg feel of it, following target, bolt movement good bad etc etc.
    would you buy it again.

  • #2
    Hi Rob,

    The Wildcat is the same rifle as the Toz 78-04M made by Baikal, but rebranded to Winchester. It is nothing like anything else by Winchester and is made in Russia. I use a Toz78-04 as my go-to rifle and it is nearly identical.

    Mine is a lightweight, very reliable and accurate hunting rifle. Relative to the numbers sold, they aren't commonly found secondhand...seems that people like them enough to keep them around for a long time. Mine is unfussy about ammo and will take anything well *except* for Remington yellow jackets. I consider the single-piece, metal magazine housing and trigger guard a very sturdy design. It is a very good rifle for the money and has taken hundreds of small vermin for me in just a couple of years. Make sure you receive four magazines when buying it new, this is the standard 'package' in Australia and a retailer offering a new rifle with less than that is likely ripping you off.

    The downside is that the dovetail size for mounting a scope is 8.5mm, narrower than the standard 11.5mm European dovetail, so get the seller to mount a scope for you if possible. The light weight (2kg!) and short length of pull make it a very good choice for ladies and youths, but tall people might not like that. Everything about the rifle is metal and wood, but the magazines are plastic - still, mine are very durable. Another member on here has noted seeing a Wildcat on shop shelves with a barrel that did not appear perfectly centred in its stock, so examine closely before buying.

    Edit: Just forgot to add, regarding the bolt, it will feel a bit rough when you get it new, but will smooth out beautifully after a couple of hundred cycles in front of the television or so and give no trouble when hunting.


    • #3
      I have one that I bought from a member on the old forum.

      The good:

      Pretty little rifle, very light and easy to shoulder, if I was any sort of a hunter it would be at the top of my list. I do occasionally carry it around the farm on walks looking half heartedly for Hares and Indian Myna, it no trouble at all, in fact you don't really notice it.
      Very accurate, mine loves cheapo Winchester bulk.
      All wood and metal except the mags, which look awful compared to CZ mags, but they work fine and you get 35 shots worth of mags as standard. (Although I have issues feeding from the 10 round mags if I put more than 8 in)

      The bad: (and I am a picky prick, so some may not even notice)

      The trigger is fiendishly heavy (but crisp) it's a two stage so at least you get a good idea when it's going to break.

      The machining on the bolt is a little rough to look at but functions fine.

      It's never going to win my heart like my CZ 452 Varmint, but she has nothing to be ashamed of either, all things considered.

      I can't imagine anyone, other than a benchrester not being delighted with it.