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  #1  
Old 12-17-2009, 01:00 PM
white house
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TOZ 78-12 by Winchester (Wildcat)



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I just got back from the gun shop to pick up another rifle and saw this on the shelf.
I looked it over and knew it has been a hit as one of the best values today.

So I brought it home with the rifle I was picking up. Here are photos:


Wow! What a rifle! Barrel bore is straight as an arrow showing perfectly concentric
swirls (Twist is LEFT not right!) with diffuse light reflected through either end.
It's also free floated.
Trigger is phenomenal--absolutely a dream trigger!
Action is small and positive and you get FOUR METAL MAGAZINES with the grooved receiver rifle.

All parts are METAL! There's a nice blade post up front and a folding leaf rear
sight matching the quality of a Browning BL-22's!
Trigger is phenomenal! Did I mention the trigger?
I am in utter disbelief! How did this end up in the US with a price tag around $200?

Swivels are installed, the wood is hardwood but attractively finished.

The rifle is lightweight but with a barrel and action and trigger like these I have a feeling it will
easily outshoot the Remington 580 series rifles that I liked so much myself.
And those Remingtons had plastic parts and crooked (bent) barrels or uneven bores.

I am simply excited!

I will tell you all how it functions and shoots shortly.
I am feeling like a kid back in the 70s with his first bolt action.......

Last edited by white house; 12-17-2009 at 04:07 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:34 PM
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Nice Little .22 ... Dovetail Width

Nice looking little .22.
I especially like the Schnabel forend tip.
The flip-down rear sight should make it easy to scope.

Winchester® Wildcat
Quote:
The Wildcat rifle’s checkered hardwood stock features
the familiar look of the historic centerfire Model 70 Featherweight...,
One thing I'm very curious about.
What is the width of dovetail rail?
If I remember correctly some Winchester literature stated 3/8 inch.
However, I can't find any current reference to the dovetail width at the Winchester website.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:55 PM
white house
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Hi AOM,

The grooves are exactly (I measured) 3/8" from innermost groove to innermost groove on the other side. Another thing, the magazines are actually plastic--I was thinking since they were packed in grease inside an air tight bag (and looked and felt by weight metal) they were metal. But after cleaning them up from the grease and cycling 35 rounds (10+10+10+5) using all magazines I realized they were made of plastic. However, they are made well and remind me of the magazine material used in thermoplastic type magazines in AR-15s.
Everything else, including magazine shroud, trigger, safety latch, is metal.
A closer look at the iron sights reveals each one is almost hand cut/milled individually--not on a standard machine! Firing pin and bolt are stainless steel--even the dual extractors are stainless steel (not stamped metal like so many .22s have today). I separated the stock with two screws I backed out. One under the forward receiver and the other on the bottom of the rear end of the bolt shroud. Amazingly this screw on the rear into the stock wood is a machine screw (not a wood threaded screw) that mates into a metal bolt planted inside the stock (instead of traveling out to the other side). My stock is a little close to the right side of the barrel (the barrel channel there) but paper slides free from the receiver clear out the schnabel forend. Barrel is not threaded into receiver as far as I am able to see but it is masterfully sleeved within and tight. Six lovely lands twisted to the left instead of to the right. Crown is recessed and has a perfect muzzle free of any machining marks. Chamber does not reveal any cartridge to bullet ring at all. I ran a dry patch down and got a light coating of black grease. The bore rivals my Anschutz 1730 DKL MC in appearance. Firing pin strike is fast and positive.
I'd love to try out the iron sights before putting a scope on it. Trigger has no backlash although it is a two stage type. Feeding and ejection of live rounds is flawless with only a streak area on one side of the lead bullet where the bolt rides over the next cartridge. Compared to a Marlin bolt this one is more polished and refined.
Here I am spending half a day looking over this $200 TOZ like it was jewel of the Nile. I am fascinated by the intricacies of metal machining without MIM and CNC. It's like looking at a 513T or 75 Winchester from the 60s.

Last edited by white house; 12-17-2009 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:00 PM
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I have the heavy barrel version of this and my magazines are plastic as is the trigger guard. Are you sure yours are metal? Also, your photos are huge and some will have trouble downloading your post. In the future you may want to consider cropping your photos to leave out the non-gun areas. I do it and it makes it easier for those with slower connections to read your post.
Someone stated on the board that your barrel is the same as the heavy barrel version but turned down to a sporter profile. I have found my heavy barrel version to be very accurate and made the 13mm challenge the first day I attempted it. These are very nice rifles and I look forward to hearing how your rifle did on the range.
As for the scope rail, I temporairily mounted a scope using 3/8 rings but I am switching over to the Weaver bases. It seemed to hold okay but I only fired 100 rounds or so of standard velocity ammo.

- Frank
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:21 PM
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Rail or Flange Outermost Edge Width

Quote:
Originally Posted by white house View Post
Hi AOM,

The grooves are exactly (I measured) 3/8" from innermost groove to innermost groove on the other side.
Thanks white house I appreciate you quick response.
However, I looking for another related dimension.
The grooves cut into the receiver form a flange at the 12 o'clock position..
Could you tell me what the width from outermost edge to opposite outermost edge of the flange - aka: rail.
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you must know what-to-do, and ... then ... do-your-best.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:57 PM
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Your pictures aren't large enough . . .
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:11 PM
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Weaver Base Part Number

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiremanFrank View Post
As for the scope rail, I temporairily mounted a scope using 3/8 rings
but I am switching over to the Weaver bases....
What is the part number for the Weaver bases you are going to use?
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you must know what-to-do, and ... then ... do-your-best.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:14 PM
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I was told Weaver #15 but that is for the Wildcat heavy barrel version. I haven't put them on yet but it is on my to do list for tomorrow. I don't think the regular Wildcat is drilled and tapped for bases but I don't see why a gunsmith couldn't drill and tap the receiver for you.

- Frank
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:32 PM
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Congrads.......White house on the new rifle.
I can't wait for a range report.

Swiss
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Old 12-17-2009, 09:39 PM
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How about some close up photos?
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:43 PM
white house
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlotte View Post
How about some close up photos?
I don't know why some are seeing enlarged photos and having problems. I did open an account in ImageShack because I was getting tired of Photobucket's slithering around with my account settings.

I am mounting a Weaver T-36 on the TOZ 78-12 and going to the range with CCI SV, Federal Gold Match, Eley Remington Rifle Target, CCI Mini Mags, Winchester 36gr Super X HPs, and others to see what's what with this real gem of a rifle.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:00 PM
j.r. guerra in s. texas

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I have a original TOZ 78, and the model of scope mounts that work with it are standard Leupold rimfire tip-off mounts (I wanted to use original irons, as the front would be extremely difficult to remove). The paddle sight is certainly original.



The mounts were purchased for $11 at Wally World, and without paddle sight (which is removeable - I did and put it back) would fit a large objective scope.

Fwiw. The finish on that Winchester is certainly more refined than the one on my rifle.



Good luck with the shooting experience white house.
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Old 12-18-2009, 02:49 PM
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If it shoots anything like mine I think you will be pleased. These are definitely sleepers. I think the trigger guard is some kind of coated metal. Doesn't feel like the same plastic as the mags.

Let us know how it shoots. Mine loves CCI SV.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:18 PM
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I like the blonde look. I haven't come across one like that for sale yet but I like it better than the dark finish on my Wildcat.

- Frank
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Old 12-18-2009, 04:34 PM
white house
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AOM asked me to detail strip my TOZ from Winchester and I promised I would AFTER I take it to the range with the T-36 Weaver and a large assortment of .22LR brands I have on hand.
I am leaning toward limiting the test to match or standard velocity unless others here want HV results. Anyone?

The magazine is like the thermoplastic ones many have for their AR-15s. The shroud/magazine holding apparatus is metal underneath an enamel type coating the CZ 75s used to have. That's why it feels like it might be plastic but where it is worn away metal shows.

Someone mentioned their Wildcat was bought in a store where the clerk had to keep the 10 round magazines because of local law.

I have an answer about why the Wildcat Rifle needs to be sent to Winchester to fit new magazines (and maybe also why they issue the rifle with 4 magazines).

There are serial numbers on my magazines matching the serial number of my rifle. My guess is that some initial Wildcat owners had a hard time inserting some magazines and the problem was resolved by Winchester individually testing each magazine to a rifle before letting it go out of QC.

Something about the magazine holder is critical regarding putting "any magazine" in one without some final touch ups or replacements with other magazines of different size or something.

Someone else also mentioned the breech area being sharp to shave a small amount of lead from each feeding bullet. I have that sharpness there on my rifle and it does scrape off wax from wax coated bullets but the plain lead ones do not get scraped at all except to have a small streak line there.

I wouldn't mess with that sharp area underneath the chamber entry and I'll tell you why: it might mess with the functional reliability of the rifle to grind that edge down.

Otherwise I don't care if a little wax is left there!

About the Blonde Stock on the TOZ's photoed here and elsewhere. The reason I never gave a TOZ a second thought is because I hate that blonde color just like I hate Maple Wood on a rifle.

For me it's either Walnut or Walnut colored wood.

Sorry to disappoint you lovers of the light colored stock but that is one NO WAY option for me.
I think is looks a bit fruity to have a gun colored that way in the stock.....
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