Monday, May 21, 2012

Whitney Wolverine

My friend in Nevada collects some interesting guns.  This is one of those Atomic Age designs that really wears very well.  It is the Whitney Wolverine, a .22 target pistol that was only made from 1955-1957, and which Olympic Arms has recently revived.  Here is the original:

Instead of an aluminum cast frame, the Olympic Arms version uses a polymer frame with some very minor differences forward of the trigger guard:

The polymer frame version is very slightly lighter.  Both guns are very pleasant to shoot, in spite of their light weight, with a very interesting Buck Rogers look to them.  We were having some jamming problems, but I believe that it was because the .22 LR ammo we were using had been stored for a long period under poor conditions.

I have the view that I do not need any more guns.  But I might change my mind about the Wolverine.


  1. We're talking guns and modern America - need has nothing to do with it.

    Sure, when you need a gun, you need a gun but that's still relatively rare.

    Ah, but wanting a gun...

  2. About the jamming, what ammo did you use? I thought I had a bunch of bad mags or something because my Buckmark would not feed, but I found that it really, really hated Remington ammo. CCI or Federal, no problem.

  3. Here's a current (and for only 3 hours more, but it'll probably be relisted) auction for a nickle plated one, which really brings out the coolness of the original. I'm afraid that after looking at it I can't see myself buying the polymer knockoff; even ignoring the difference in materials and their inherent finish there seems to have been a lot of details lost.

    Thanks for telling us about it, the original is indeed very very cool and appealing to people like you and I who grew up when the space age was new and shiny.

  4. ... the .22 LR ammo we were using had been stored for a long period under poor conditions.

    Clayton, I hope you weren't shootin' up your friend's stored-in-a-hole-in-the-ground Armageddon Ammo!!!

  5. well, damn. Had one when I was a kid and have been looking for another original. Now the price will go nuts.

  6. We were shooting up older .22LR that the owner thought might be past its sell by date. Some of it was Wolf, some of it was CCI. There seemed to be two separate problems:

    1. Failures to feed, and these were specific to the old Wolverine and its magazine. This problem did not appear in the new Wolverine, or when using the new Wolverine magazines in the old gun.

    2. Failures to fire and failures to eject. Multiple tries sometimes caused the cartridges to fire, but usually not. That includes old or damaged ammo. Failures to eject looked like insufficient energy to cycle the action. Since ammo from the same box would often work perfectly, it suggests individual rounds, not a deficiency in the brand.

  7. the Whitney is a fun gun, thats why Hillberg designed it. its good for target pratice, feels good in the hand , easy to shoot, and light. As far as Failure to feed,
    all.22 pistols do that. Its a little unusual, but you need diversity in shooting.