Wichita Mk. 40: Silhouette pistol

Ian Hogg

The Wichita Mk. 40 us a highly-specialized pistol known more specifically as a Silhouette pistol since it is primarily designed for the competitions organized under the rules of the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Association. Briefly, these involve shooting high-velocity ammunition against life-like animal silhouettes at long ranges; there is, though, no reason why this pistol should not make a good hunting weapon, fitted with suitable sights.


The Wichita Mk. 40 pistol uses an aluminum receiver which has a steel insert for attachment of the barrel within the receiver slides a breech bolt using three lugs to lock into the breech, giving an extremely secure lock. The bolt handle is on the left side of the pistol and has a flattened and turned-down handle which can be operated by the shooter’s left hand while he retains his hold on the pistol with his right. There are three holes in the bolt which will allow a safe venting of gas should a primer be punctured.

Wichita Mk. 40 Silhouette pistol
Wichita Mk. 40: Silhouette pistol is chambered in .308 Winchester caliber (Photo. Wichita Arms)

The stock of the pistol is of glass fiber-reinforced plastic and is shaped into a comfortable pistol grip with a thumb rest. The trigger is fully adjustable for travel and weight of pul and is smooth in action with a crisp let-off point.


The sights consist of a tubular front with a post insert and an open rear with an arcuate notch; the two combine to form the ‘Wichita Multi-Quick’ system in which the front sight can be adjusted in elevation and the rear sight for both elevation and windage. The rear sight has a knurled adjusting knob which can be used to set predetermined values once these have been established by zeroing and the sight settings recorded by tightening specified screws in the rear sight unit. The front sight can be used for making corrections on the day to compensate for minor meteorological and other changes.

Wichita Arms Inc Silhouette pistol with optics mounted
Wichita Arms Inc Silhouette pistol with optics mounted (Photo: Wichita Arms)

Practical use

In practical use, the Silhouette pistol is heavy, but necessarily so when one considers that this is firing a full-sized rifle cartridge. The sights are clear and the pistol is extremely accurate; indeed, some observers have said that it really needs a telescope sight to bring out its full potential, though this, of course, is going beyond what the designer set out to do. For its specified purpose of the Wichita Mk. 40 sets a very high standard and reaches it admirably.

Like most target weapons it needs to be fired with various types of ammunition to decide which suit it (and the shooter) best, but with this question settled, two-inch groups at 100 yards are well within its capability. It can be obtained chambered for a specialized wildcat cartridge, the 7 mm IHMSA, a round developed for silhouette shooting, and based on the .308 Winchester case.

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Technical specifications: Wichita Mk.40 Sihouette pistol

Manufacturer: Wichita Arms, 333 Lulu, PO Box 11371, Wichita, KS 67211, United States
Type: bolt-action single-shot target pistol
Caliber: .308 Winchester (7.62 mm NATO)
Barrel: 13 in (330 mm)
Weight (empty): 4.5 lbs (2.04 kg)
Magazine capacity: single shot

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