Polymer Punking – In Pink?
Olympic Arms has reintroduced the Whitney Wolverine .22 pistol. The original 1950s-era Wolverine had considerable potential as a sport/plinking pistol. It was undone by the startup costs inherent in a new business, a few initial teething problems, and costly legal wrangles. The biggest obstacle was competition, namely the Ruger Standard .22 auto pistol. Through the 1950s Ruger kept the price at $37.50. To compete you had to make a basically sound, durable, reliable .22 sport pistol at a competitive price. Otherwise, Ruger would bury you.
If anything, the competition today is tougher than ever. So if the Wolverine couldn’t compete successfully in 1960, what has changed? Can the Wolverine of today compete successfully? Time will tell, but current Wolverines have a couple of advantages. They are being made and sold by Olympic Arms, a company which holds its own in the very competitive AR market. They have production facilities, trained personnel, manufacturing and marketing experience. They don’t have to start from scratch, as the original company did.
The other advantage is the proven utility of high-strength polymers. We don’t have to question anymore whether polymer pistol frames work. And, although equipment to make polymer frames is expensive, actual production cost per unit is low.
The design of the original Wolverine makes it ideally suited to the use of polymers. The Wolverine frame is simply a housing for the operating components and is not subject to heavy impacts or stresses. Molded in one piece of high-strength polymer, the Wolverine frame houses the steel barrel and bolt in an upper tube, while the grip portion houses the magazine and lock work.
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