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Wildcat Whisper .17 Moderator by Matt Gilley

Wildcat Whisper .17 Moderator by Matt Gilley

Initial testing made me a believer very quickly, as that tiny, 17 grain, V-MAX pill ran at around 2500fps and was stupidly accurate; for me the future of rimfire hunting changed forever! The accepted 100 yard long shot for a 22 rimfire was entry level for the 17; put simply, it offered a potential 200 yard standoff capability that a 22 could not get near!

However, the trade-off was its loud muzzle signature! Moderation came in the form of any 22 rimfire can and they worked well enough. However, the smaller, high-velocity bullet going down that 22 bore gave a fair bit of windage, the logical thought then, was how much more efficient would a dedicated 17 can be?

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Enter UK Custom Shop/Wildcat Custom Rifles, who were then one of the few successful UK fullbore moderator designers and manufactures. Up until then, 22 rimfire cans were all muzzlemounted and the centrefire reflex or over-barrel types had not long made an appearance. Wildcat were the first to offer this style in a 22 rimfire in the form of their Growler, I still have one and it does the business and perhaps more importantly allows for a shorter overall length.

Careful Whisper

Wildcat then introduced the 17 Whisper, a reflex design specifically for the 17HMR. The build uses an alloy outer tube with a black crackle finish. Inside are two components – up front, a hard-anodised, aluminium alloy, four-baffle stack with end cap; integral to this is the stainless steel muzzle adaptor (1/2 x 20 UNF) that also locates the inner wall of the reflex chamber. Ports are cut at the top to direct the initial expanding gases backwards into the rear chamber before they vent forward, run the baffles and exit. The front, rear and middle parts are O-ring sealed and the baffle assembly is colour-coded, as are all Wildcat moddies, in this case gold for 17HMR. Plus, it’s easy to strip and clean!

It’s debatable whether a reflex rimfire can is any better than a muzzle-mounted, but the Whisper offers a significant expansion chamber volume by comparison and I found it copes well with the gas volume produced by the HMR. Down range testing shows it quells the muzzle signature well, though the supersonic bullet crack is unavoidable, but if you hit your quarry it won’t care! It weighs 5.6oz and is seven inches long and when fitted increases barrel length by four inches and can accept barrel diameters of one inch. Wildcat also offer the Whisper with .22 internals and also state: “not applicable for .17 hornet”; sounds logical but you know what some people are like!
Overall, a good little reflex can for the HMR, if you feel the need. My one caveat is that likeany rimfire reflex design, unburned power can build up in the expansion chamber, so a regular cleaning regime is to be recommended!

Price

: £120

Contact

: 01905 797 060 www.wildcatrifles.co.uk
  • Wildcat Whisper .17 Moderator by Matt Gilley - image {image:count}

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  • Wildcat Whisper .17 Moderator by Matt Gilley - image {image:count}

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  • Wildcat Whisper .17 Moderator by Matt Gilley - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Wildcat Whisper .17 Moderator by Matt Gilley - image {image:count}

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