Review Winchester Wildcat .22 LR

Winchester Wildcat .22 LR ammunition 500 box

Last weekend a buddy invited me to the shooting range. Among the guns I was asked to bring were a .38 revolver and .22 LR pistol. A friend of his wife was recently separated. She owned a .38 revolver; the .22 LR was to introduce her to shooting. Looking under my ammo bench, I came across a brick of Winchester Wildcat .22 LR.

Winchester Wildcat .22 LR ammunition 500 box
Standard round nose lead bullets have taken plenty of rabbits and squirrels over the years, and should not be dismissed as obsolete for rimfire hunting.

Winchester Wildcat has been popular for more years than I can remember. I am not sure if it is what I started on, but I have shot it for years. The Winchester Wildcat .22 LR ammo is constructed with a conventional 40-grain round nose lead bullet. The Wildcat cruises at about 1,225 fps at the barrel’s edge and speeds along at 1,017 fps as it crosses the 100 yards line.

Good ‘ol standard round nose lead bullet have been taking rabbits and squirrels over the years and should not be dismissed as obsolete for rimfire hunting. That being said, I prefer the Winchester Wildcat for plinking and target shooting more than hunting. When hunting, I typically move to a hyper velocity hollowpoint load.

During my more recent range session, teaching a new shooter, the distance was less than 25 yards, so no wild accuracy claims. Likewise, my .22 rifles are equipped with iron sights, so accuracy is a function of the shooter and not the optic. My buddy also brought out a .22 LR Lever Action rifle. All totaled, we had six .22s banging away. The only failures to fire, feed, or eject were the result of the operator and perhaps a dirty gun or two on a snowy day.

At 25 yards, even the new protégés were shooting “minute of bunny” …after they got the hang of it. Best of all, .22 LR ammunition is affordable. We shot for a couple of hours and still had well over 200 rounds left over.

At less than $30 for 500 rounds, Winchester Wildcat ammunition is worth having a brick or two under your ammo bench, but when you catch a sale and find it for $22-$23 for 500 rounds you should stock the shelves deep!

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Comments (4)

  1. I got my first 22 back when I was 6 years old and I am 65 now !!!!!! I am so SORRY to say this but every 22 shell no matter who makes it has been using a very dirty powder used to fire the lead ???? I am confused as to why all the ammunition makers use bad powder then sell at a higher price ???? I shot all three 22 ( SHORT – LONG – LONG RIFLE ) shells in the same weapon and hardly ever had to take it apart to clean it but now after a few hundred rounds I have to clean it or it jams from all the dirty powder they us now but why do they do it ?????? Well I PRAY one day they clean up the powder or do they have a deal with the gun cleaning companies just wondering one never knows in these days and times when all big companies want your $$$$ I JUST PRAY they clean up the powder ???????


  2. I started with Wildcat in the ‘70’s in. Ruger RST 4, and still have a couple thousand rounds put away. It actually burns pretty clean for me, cleaner than the Rem Thunderbolt, which has the exact same specs, 1255 FPS with a 40 grain lead RN bullet. Gives 139.88 ft lbs.

    Almost identical loads are the Federal Lightning at 1260 FPS, and the more expensive Browning Performance Rimfire at 1255 FPS. Federal Hi-Power is the same as the Lightning, 1260 FPS, but with a copper coating.

    If you can’t find the Wildcats, Winchester’s M-22 is the exact same round in my book, except the lead is coated with “black copper,” to keep it cleaner when handling, and I guess in the bore. Wildcat is usually a better deal though.

    Unlike the Thunderbolts, which have given me fits for reliability, the Wildcats have been very reliable and consistent for me.

  3. How dirty do the Wildcats burn?
    The Remington “Golden Bullets”[36gr hvhp,525 rd brick]are often similarly priced..They -used to be-$9.95/525 rds brick.
    I’ve found that CCI Stingers burn dirty-noticeably in a revolver
    Feels like we shooters are getting ripped off by the ammunition manufacturers and the retailers.

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