A gifted design engineer who left his mark with Wildey, Winchester, and Kimber recently passed away of leukemia.
Peter J. "Pete" Hylenski was born in Port Chester, New York in 1944 but grew up in Connecticut, where he graduated from the J.M. Wright Technical School in Stamford. He quickly found a home in the New England firearms community and helped turn Wildey J. Moore’s gas-operated pistol into a market-ready product, serving as Wildey's Vice President of Engineering in the 1970s and 80s, occasionally even custom building some of those classic pistols himself.
Hylenski went on to work at U.S. Repeating Arms/Winchester Firearms, in 1991, remaining a staple there until he left as Senior Design Engineer in 2002. During his time at Winchester, he was known as "Mr. Model 70" as he was the long-term Model 70 Rifle Design Engineer during the era that saw the return of the "pre-’64" type Model 70 control-round feed action.
He then went on to become Kimber's rifle engineer, working for that company between 2003 and 2010 when he retired, with at least two different patents secured during that period.
An avid outdoorsman, in retirement Hylenski still contributed his time to the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, reportedly creating cartridge and chamber technical drawings until recently.