Winchester’s Wildcat 22 LR ammunition, not to be confused with Winchester’s new autoloading rifle of the same name, has been around since about 1971. It doesn’t get a lot of press these days, so Editor in Chief Joel Hutchcroft thought now would be a good time to highlight it. It’s a good plinking round as well as a good small-game hunting round.
The Wildcat .22 LR loading carries a 40-grain copper-plated DynaPoint (CPD) bullet, and its factory-rated muzzle velocity is 1,255 fps. The factory-rated energy is 140 ft-lbs. The Wildcat .22 LR ammo comes in 500-round bricks.
I test-fired the Winchester Wildcat .22 LR ammunition in my Ruger 10/22 autoloader (18.5-inch barrel), my Savage Mark I FVT single-shot target rifle (21-inch barrel), and my Smith & Wesson Victory pistol (6.5-inch Volquartsen barrel). The results are listed in the accompanying chart.
As you can see, five, five-shot groups in the Ruger 10/22 with my favorite riflescope for rimfire accuracy tests (an old BSA 6-24X scope with fine crosshairs and black dot reticle) produced an average accuracy of 2.35 inches at 50 yards. Average velocity for 10 rounds measured 12 feet from the muzzle was 1,127 fps. That velocity produces 113 ft-lbs of energy. The Savage target rifle has iron sights (an adjustable peep rear and a hooded aperture front), and it produced an average accuracy of 2.08 inches at 50 yards and an average velocity of 1,202 fps. Energy calculates out to 128 ft-lbs.
In the S&W Victory pistol with aftermarket barrel, fired at 25 yards with a Burris 1X pistol scope (also with fine crosshairs and a black dot reticle) installed, the Wildcat ammunition produced an overall average accuracy of 1.74 inches for five, five-shot groups. Velocity measured 12 feet from the pistol’s muzzle averaged 1,037 fps, and energy was 96 ft-lbs.
I like shooting Winchester’s Wildcat .22 LR ammunition. It’s plenty accurate for sporting purposes, small-game hunting, and plain old plinking. And in my shooting tests through three types of guns, it functioned perfectly. It was 100 percent reliable.
MSRP: $17 to $20 (per 500 rounds); winchester.com