Puma Hunter JW 15A .22 Rimfire

The latest version of the Chinese Norinco, the Puma Hunter, has received an upgrade with better finished stock and bluing.

Norinco rimfire rifles are made for plinking and small game hunting, not as a showpiece for the gun room. Initially characterized as being utilitarian and rather crudely made, they nevertheless turned out to be robust, reliable and accurate. The Puma Hunter is a classic bolt-action rifle made in China, but marked on the  receiver “Puma Rifles Hunter .22LR”, the hardwood stock is stained to give the wood a walnut-like appearance. It’s innocent of any checkering and the comb appears to have a bit too much  drop at heel. Evidently, it was designed for use with iron sights, but in this respect it’s no worse than my old Brno Model 2, and I don’t have any trouble using both rifles with a scope.

Highland Sports attached a Nikko Stirling Mountmaster 4×42 AO scope in high rings which just cleared the rear sight. I checked if it would be possible to fit a scope with lower rings, but the bolt handle wouldn’t have cleared the eyepiece. However,  the rifle balanced well and handled responsively. The forend is well proportioned and rounded to fit  comfortably in the hand and the grip is slim and nicely curved.  The grip cap and buttplate  are black plastic and a pair of fixed  sling swivels are fitted. All things considered, there’s little to criticize about this budgetary rimfire.

It’s well known that the JW15 action is a “poor man’s” copy  of the Brno (CZ 452) action and has most of the desirable  features of the Czech rifle. It cocks half on the uplift and half on the down turn of the bolt, and has dual locking lugs. The root  of the bolt handle engages a notch in the receiver and a second  lug on the left side of the bolt sleeve engages a matching recess in the left side of the receiver, forming a very uniform locking  system. Bolt travel is smooth enough and while the Puma is a relatively cheap gun, it is sturdy and businesslike being  constructed of high quality materials in the traditional way.




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Nick Harvey

The late Nick Harvey (1931-2024) was one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He wrote about firearms and hunting for about 70 years, published many books and uncounted articles, and travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject was unmatched. He was Sporting Shooter's Technical Editor for almost 50 years. His work lives on here as part of his legacy to us all.