Big bore semi-auto pistols fans can rejoice: the Wildey, which was made popular by Charles Bronson in Death Wish 3, is back. This impressive handgun had been developed in 1973 and was the first gas operated, double/single-action pistol and was designed as a hunting firearm.
The movies greatly contributed to its popularity to this day, so much that it is still referred to as "The Bronson Gun". Besides Death Wish 3, the Wildey Survivor also appeared in other movies like Natural Born Killers, Desperado, Romeo Must Die and Robocop 3. Unfortunately, production was suspended in 2011, but in 2015 the rights were purchased from its designer, Wildey J. Moore, by USA Firearms Corp.
After the acquisition of the Wildey line of handguns, USAFC introduced some innovative solutions, further refining the Wildey design and improving performance to “deliver the best Survivor ever made”, according to the company’s claim. Amongst the improvements:
- Machining the slide and piston from solid to make them stronger and more consistent
- Adding a mating surface to the barrel for consistency in manufacturing
- Lengthening the thread engagement between the barrel and extension for added durability
- Matching the angle on the lock bar on the rear of the extension to reduce stress fractures
- Fixing the cycling issue to improve reliability
- Using a proprietary honing process on every barrel, producing a smoother polished rifling which results in an increase in accuracy
Survivor: the gun
The Survivor is a large caliber, gas operated, stainless steel handgun with a patented gas operation can be set for different loads and helps to greatly reduce recoil. The three lug and enclosed face rotary bolt design increases action strength, while the fixed barrel results in increased accuracy. The Survivor intended uses include hunting of hog, bear, elk, moose, etc. (where allowed by law, of course) and/or target shooting. Barrels are interchangeable, and you can change your one receiver to any available calibers or lengths with ease.
The Survivor is available in .475 Wildey Magnum, .45 Winchester Magnum, or .44 Auto Mag, with 8”, 10”, or 12” barrel. Finish can be brushed stainless, high buff stainless, or matte stainless, with gray or black rib. Available front sight colors are: red, orange, or black, while grips can be Pau Ferro Smooth or Textured, or American Walnut Smooth.
Lastly, you can also choose which logo you want on the slide: Survivor or Wildey. The price tag? It starts from 2750 USD.