|Wildey .475 Magnum|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||Wildey J. Moore|
|Manufacturer||Wildey F.A. Incorporated|
|Weight||1.8 kg (4 lb) (with 5-in barrel)|
|Length||127 mm (5 in)|
|Feed system||7 or 8-round detachable box magazine|
The Wildey is a gas operated, double action/single action pistol designed by Wildey J. Moore. The pistol was designed to fire several high pressure proprietary cartridges including the .45 Wildey Magnum and the .475 Wildey Magnum.
The Wildey was purposefully designed to be a hunting firearm. The pistol is built to withstand breech pressures of over 48,000 psi associated with Moore's proprietary cartridge lines. The Wildey was the first gas-operated semi-automatic pistol.
The Wildey employs a unique short-stroke gas operation which has allowed for the adaptation of the pistol to fire several high pressure cartridges ranging from the 9mm Winchester Magnum to the .475 Wildey Magnum. Moore described the Wildey patented gas system as an "air-hydraulic piston powered by the firing gases through six small holes in the barrel. This piston forces the slide rearward, initiating the cycling of the pistol." A further advantage of the Wildey's gas operated system is that it allows for the reliable operation of heavy and light loads for each cartridge type. The gas system must be tuned for each load and is done so manually by opening or closing the gas regulating collet. Another advantage of this gas system is that it is capable of reducing felt recoil.
The Wildey uses a fixed barrel, three lug, rotating bolt design. The bolt locks into the aft barrel extension. The bolt is linked to the slide via one of the bolt lugs. When the cartridge is fired, the piston is forced against the slide. The retracting slide catches the extended bolt lug which causes the bolt to rotate open. The spent cartridge is ejected by the bolt through the retracting slide's ejection port. The fixed barrel design is considered to promote greater accuracy over pistols designed around an articulating barrel design. The Wildey can be used as either a single shot or an auto-loading pistol.
All pistols feature a ventilated, ribbed barrels and an angled frame similar to that of the Colt 1911 design but considerably larger. The pistols will accept scope attachment which are mounted on the barrel rib. The pistol uses a single stacked magazine. Magazine release is located at the base of the pistol behind the magazine feed port like some European made handguns such as the SIG P210. The Wildey features a frame mounted auto-resetting decocking lever which will drop the hammer safely. The pistol also incorporates a number of safety features including a firing pin block, trigger block and a rebounding firing pin.
The Wildey allows for caliber and barrel conversions. To change caliber one would need to install a new barrel assembly using the same frame and slide of the original pistol. Whenever the caliber and barrel conversions are made, the gas regulator will need to be tuned to allow for the pistol to function reliably.
Stainless steel is used for all major parts of the pistol including the frame, slide and barrel. The pistol is offered in four models: the Survivor, Survivor Guardsman, Hunter and the Hunter Guardsman models. The Survivor models come in a bright stainless steel, high luster finish while the hunter models are available in a matte finish. The Guardsman models have squared off trigger guards instead of the rounded trigger guards found on the non-Guardsman models.
The Wildey Pistol is extensively customizable, from changes to barrel length to caliber conversions. According to Wildey F.A. barrel and caliber conversions can be made by replacing the barrel assembly. The pistol is available with either single action or double action trigger mechanisms.
Barrels are available in 5 (127 mm), 6 (152 mm), 7 (178 mm), 8 (203 mm), 10 (254 mm), 12 (305 mm), 14 (356 mm), and 18 (457 mm) inch lengths. Barrel changes can be accomplished by the means of loosening the barrel chuck, replacing the existing barrel and re-tightening the barrel chuck. The pistol is available in 9 mm Winchester Magnum (discontinued), .41 Wildey Magnum (discontinued), .44 Auto Mag, .44 Wildey Magnum (discontinued), .45 Wildey Magnum, .45 Winchester Magnum and the .475 Wildey Magnum.
Wildey F.A. manufactured a pin gun for duck pin shooting which features a 5 in (130 mm) compensated barrel to allow for fast follow up shots by reducing recovery time. A silhouette shooting version of the pistol is also available featuring a wooden fore stock and an 18 in (460 mm) barrel. A carbine version of the Wildey pistol is offered, similar to the Wildey Silhouette Pistol but also features a removable shoulder stock.
All the Wildeys have adjustable rear sights and removable front side blade inserts (high and low). The front side blades are interchangeable and available in three colors: red, orange, and black. Special tools are not required to disassemble or reassemble any of the Wildey's four configurations.
In popular culture
The firearm was integral to a large number of scenes from the Charles Bronson film Death Wish 3. The appearance is credited with increasing Wildey sales enough to rescue the company from a near collapse and bankruptcy. Founder Wildey J. Moore says that every time Death Wish 3 is aired on cable TV, sales spike.
- "The Wildey". Wildeyguns.com. Wildey F.A. 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- Wahl, Paul (1980). "First Gas Operated Semi-Auto Pistol". Popular Science 216 (4): 148.
- Hartink, A.E. (2003). The Complete Encyclopedia of Pistols and Revolvers. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books, Inc. pp. 375–376. ISBN 978-0-7858-1871-7.
- Taffin, John (2005). "The Wildey survivor: a man-sized magnum semiauto pistol". Guns Magazine (FMG Publications). Retrieved 7 May 2011.[dead link]
- Taffin, John (2005). ""My friend Wildey": Dirty Harry watch out, Wildey's back! | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET". Findarticles.com. Retrieved 2008-09-05.[dead link]