Wildcat Cub-2 Moderator
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- Last updated: 14/12/2016
Wildcat offered their original Cub a few years ago, made from Delrin it was only for 22 Hornet and less. Last year they launched the Cub-2, which bridges the gap between the magnum rimfires and smaller centrefires; 204, 222 and 223. This necessitated a re-think on construction as it’s now made from aluminium alloy and shows a different internal design.
Small but Practical
It measures 167 x 35 mm making it larger than the original. This puts it roughly in the same ball park as Wildcat’s Growler and Whisper rimfires. However at 240-grams the Cub-2 is around half the weight and size of comparable centrefire moderators and though very much in a calibre class, still offers near rimfire proportions for smaller centrefire needs.
The design unscrews for cleaning and shows three components: muzzle cap, one-piece baffle-stack/end-cap and outer sleeve, all sealed by O-rings. The seven baffles are convex, thereby deflecting more gas away from the bore and trapping it in each expansion chamber, and absorbing the maximum possible energy at every stage. The resulting profile is pretty easy to clean too.
I tried it out with four calibres; 22 WMR .22 Hornet, 222 and 223 Remington. The latter is obviously a higher-pressure round than the .222 for which it was proofed. However, designer Andrew Banner assured me that the difference between the two (a S.A.A.M.I. maximum of 50,000psi as opposed to 55,000psi) wasn’t critical, and the Cub-2 would hold up just fine – which it has.
For control I used an Ase Utra CQB, because its modest internal volume ensured it wouldn’t be over-capacity for any of the calibres and I know it to be an effective design. I wasn’t surprised to find the CQB outdid the Cub-2 on each of the cartridges. Does this mean you should buy a CQB? That depends on whether sound reduction is your only criterion: because even though the CQB is smaller its extra 300g at the muzzle is hard to ignore. So if you have a light rifle and want to keep it that way, or one that’s already heavy enough, I’d go for the Cub-2.
What about the Cub-2’s performance with comparable Wildcat moddies? Well, those present all reckoned it did a marginally better job on the 22 WMR than either the Whisper or Growler, and although the extra 40g was felt, it wasn’t regarded as a problem. So if you shoot a magnum rimfire and a small centrefire it will do double duty.
The Cub-2 is well-made, with a simple but advanced design that makes it light, relatively compact and easy to clean. It also does what it was designed to do; by providing 22Hornet and 222 shooters with a moderator that ably meets the demands of these cartridges with a minimal effect on handling.
For: Compact and well made design
Against: Perhaps a bit stretched with 222 compared to other designs
Verdict: In its calibre class a true lightweight option
Sorry to be so late with this reply, but perhaps someone will find it of interest.
It was a good question, and the answer was good too.
For ALL moderators, there are two factors to think about when trying to dampen down the noise :
1. The MASS of the gas leaving the muzzle (i.e. the weight of powder)
2. The PRESSURE that this mass of gas will create inside the moderator body.
The longer the barrel, the more the fixed mass of gas has expanded, and for two reasons that can make a BIG reduction in muzzle pressure. As gas expands the PRESSURE DROPS and also, the gas temperature COOLS, and so when the fixed mass of gas leaves the hole in the front of the moderator its PRESSURE, TEMPERATURE and VELOCITY have been very greatly reduced.
This is explained by Charles's Law and Boyle's Law - I bet you wish you had paid more attention in physics classes!
So in principle, in THEORY, for best sound moderation "all else being equal", you want to have a long barrel rather than short, and a smaller charge of faster powder rather than a larger charge of slower powder.
Also, all moderators reduce felt RECOIL, and the MORE the muzzle pressure is, so the more will be this recoil reduction effect. This needs two opposite factors to NOISE moderation, as in high MASS and PRESSURE of gas as the bullet exits the bore and passes into the moderator. In practice (which is all that matters) I don't think any of us would be bothered about the differences regardless of what loads we used. Moderators WORK.
However, as sound is measured in DeciBels on a logarithic scale, you won't notice small changes in moderation. Every 3 dB alters the noise by a factor of TWO, so 103 dB is TWICE as loud as 100dB, with 97dB being HALF the noise of 100 dB. You might well NOT notice a 3dB difference in noise, more or less, so don't be too influenced by small differences in claimed noise reduction in sales brochures.
Typically, a decent centrefire rifle WITHOUT a moderator will produce a peak impulse sound wave with a sound pressure level of 150dB, and possibly a good bit more. Some cartridges are noisier than others, e.g. 270 Win, which tends to be a very noisy beast, as many of us know.
My opinion is this - pretty much all moderators do what we want them to do, and the NOISE differences between them are probably of little importance "in the field". So, what matters enough to affect which one we buy ?
For me, WEIGHT, COST, and CORROSION RESISTANCE, are the most important factors. A little noise or recoil more or less isn't going to worry us much when foxy is all lined up in the cross-hairs at 200 yards . . .
charles20 May 2013 at 01:17 PM
The 204 uses a 222 Magnum case and so offers a larger powder capacity than either 222 or 223 Rem, so might stretch the CUB-2 a bit more than is sensible. A longer barrel should to a degree be easier to moderate as more powder is being burned in the barrel and there would be less muzzle blast too. To be honest and though th CUB-2 seems a good design it is probably too small for much over 22 Hornet...
peter moore14 Feb 2011 at 09:20 AM
I was wondering how this would go on a .204? Also, do you think a .204 with say a 24" barrel would be easier to moderate than say a 20" barrel (less muzzle blast)?
Is a .204 harder to moderate than a .222 or .223?
Colyn12 Feb 2011 at 06:48 PM