Gun Review: Zastava MP22R (Remington Model Five) .22 Bolt Action Rifle

In many ways, a .22lr bolt action rifle is the perfect firearm. Ammunition is cheap and plentiful, recoil is almost nonexistent, and the gun is inexpensive enough that any mistakes in care and maintenance are easily forgiven. It’s perfect for new owners, occasional shooters, and even those of us who are on a first name basis with the RSO at every local range but want to save some money. One of the finest examples of a bolt action .22lr rifle I’ve ever fired is the Zastava MP 22 R, also produced for a time by Remington in the United States as the Model Five.

Most of the guns in my collection were new when I bought them, but this one has a bit of a sordid history with a happy ending. The previous owner was a friend of a friend and a bit of a drug addict. And by “a bit of a drug addict” I mean he snorted his life savings up his nose in a single night. Broke and scared, the very next morning he decided to sell off his firearm collection in order to finance a trip to rehab. I handed him $250, he handed me a .22lr rifle the make and model of which I had never heard of before in my life, and he’s been clean ever since. If memory serves it’s been about three years.

After giving the rifle a VERY thorough cleaning, the next thing I did was start to look up exactly what this thing is.

The MP 22 R is made by Zastava Arms, a Serbian arms manufacturer, and imported by KBI Imports in Harrisburg, PA for Charles Daly. After 2006, remington Arms started importing the barrels and actions from Zastava and slapping on an American made stock, selling it as the “Model Five.” While the stock changed between the models, the action, barrel, and even magazine are almost identical to the MP22R.

Remington discontinued manufacture of the Model Five within the last few years, and Charles Daly hasn’t restarted their importation yet. In other words, there aren’t really many of these guns out there.

The scarcity of these firearms really is a shame. Everything about this rifle is polished and sleek, from the polished blue barrel to the absolutely beautiful stock. Even the triggerguard is smooth and aesthetically pleasing. The quality reminds me of the Weatherby Vanguard, a highly polished and sleek appearance at a cheap price. The only differences are the caliber and the fact that the MP22R’s stock is wood (and less craptacular).

The action itself is, to me, perfect for the .22lr caliber: cheap and simple. The firing pin is cocked as the bolt is pushed forward (much like the Lee Enfield series rifles), meaning that the “forward and down” motion is a little tougher than normal. Ejecting a case, however, can be accomplished in one fluid movement of the weapon hand. The action is so smooth that it feels like I’m back behind my 1960′s era Anshutz target rifle.

The other reason this feels like my old Anschutz is the heavy barrel. Despite being a .22lr rifle, the thing weighs as much as the Weatherby Vanguard’s .30 cal barrel. It gives the rifle a little more heft compared to something like the Marlin 980, which decreases recoil, increases accuracy, and in my opinion makes for a better balanced and more solid firearm.

Something that separates this rifle from my “college sweetheart” is the trigger. Which sucks. There’s a very noticeable “stack” in the trigger, and by that I mean it hits the stack and then acts like a set. It doesn’t move forward if you release pressure on the trigger, instead it just sits there and waits for you to continue your pull (if those terms confuse you, check the Trigger Terminology article for some help). The look and feel of the actual trigger paddle is very nice and smooth, but the mechanical bits could use some TLC.

The rifle ships with a set of iron sights (IRON SIGHTS!) already in place, but these are pretty clunky to use. The rear sight is a flip-up square notch that the shooter can adjust by loosening two screws and then moving around. There’s no nice and simple adjustment screw (like on most rear sights), just a bit of metal with some lines on it. The front sight is a hooded post, easy to see but fixed in place. The iron sights aren’t horrible, but they’re no “globe and diopter” setup.

Thankfully the rifle also has a weaver style rail milled into the receiver so a scope can be mounted on top. With a good scope, this thing is an absolute tackdriver (well, at least as far as .22 rifles go). At 50 feet it’s almost as accurate as my old Anschutz, putting one tiny jagged hole in the target. At 50 yards the pattern opens up a little, but it’s still probably 1.5 MoA at most.

The rifle comes with a 5 round detachable magazine, which is a nifty feature but causes the vast majority of my complaints with this rifle. Beyond the standard “cycling the action shears off some of the bullet!” complaint (which is inherent with staggered magazines, rimmed ammunition and non-jacketed bullets) more often than not the bullet will fail to properly feed into the chamber from the magazine and instead faceplant directly into the top of the receiver. This is why, when training new shooters with this rifle, I usually have them load one round at a time rather than worry about the magazine and its special issues.

Despite the issues, loading from the magazine is definitely faster than loading each round by hand. The small cutout in the receiver makes cycling the action a little easier, but makes loading a lot harder. The squared off edges don’t help much either, as it reduces the visibility of the chamber and feeding areas. Most times, when feeding the chamber by hand, I just have to do it “blind” and hope for the best.

Everyone needs a good cheap .22 rifle, whether for keeping the cost of a range trip down, keeping the noise to a minimum, or training new shooters. And for that purpose the Zastava MP22R is the perfect rifle. The sad part is that the only sites I found that still sell these rifles are in French, so the used gun market is your best bet in the States to find one.

Zastava MP22R (Remington Model Five)

Specifications
Caliber: .22 Long Rifle
Barrel: 22″
Weight: 6.2 lbs.
Operation: Bolt action
Finish: Glossy blue
(Rifle DOES NOT come with bipod or scope)
Capacity: 5+1
MSRP: $525 (EU Price, used USA price about $200-$250)

Ratings (Out of Five Stars)

Accuracy: * * * * *
For a .22 caliber bolt action rifle that I picked up for $250, this thing is remarkably accurate. Like, “minute of G.I. Joe figure at 50 yards” accurate.

Ergonomics: * * * * *
I have no complaints whatsoever. The stock puts your eye at the perfect position to look down a scope, and everything about this rifle feels solid and smooth.

Ergonomics Firing: * * *
The awful trigger and the finnicky magazine feeding issues led me to mark it down a little. In terms of recoil and “feel,” however, it’s just dandy.

Reliability: * * * *
There aren’t many things to go wrong with a bolt action. Except the feeding issue (which knocked off a star).

Customization: * * *
Other than putting a new scope on top, there’s really nothing to do.

Overall Rating: * * * *
It’s not the best .22 rifle I’ve ever fired, but it’s amazing for the price I paid. If I could only have one gun this would probably be the one I choose. Cheap to buy, cheap to operate, easy to clean, accurate, and so fun that even my anti-gun sister loves to shoot it.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

32 Responses to Gun Review: Zastava MP22R (Remington Model Five) .22 Bolt Action Rifle

  1. avatarTyler Kee says:

    Excellent review. I’ve been in the market for a nice .22LR bolt action. Too bad these things are nonexistent…

    • avatarScottA says:

      CZ 452 is what I’m looking at (Seems someone below has also suggested it). It’s a bolt action 22 for under $500. I just don’t want to spend any more money on guns for a few months. When I finally do pull the trigger (heh) on a 22 rifle it’s going to be the CZ or the Ruger 10/22 which everyone seems to have.

  2. avatarChris Dumm says:

    The .22 bolt-action seems to be a vanishing breed, at least if you’re looking for a mid-grade rifle. The Marlin .22 bolts are still plentiful at the lower end of the price range, but I’ll carefully test anything Marlin before spending any money on one. I’ve got to spend more time with Joe Grine’s CZ .22.

  3. avatarMiddle Man says:

    Ditto Chris. Try a CZ 452…

  4. avatarAaron says:

    What, no love here for the Savage MK II? I’ve had one for nearly three years and love it to death.

    • avatarMurdoc says:

      Agreed. My little ‘vag will put 10 rounds of wolf match inside a dime at 50 yards, the trigger is amazing, and it feeds like Precious at Golden Corral. Basically its as good or better than the reviewed rifle in every way, and can be had for around $275.

  5. avatarJoe Grine says:

    I agree with you when you tout the virtues of the .22Lr. Because of the economy, I’ve cut way back on the amount of .308 Win I’m putting downrange, and instead have been mostly shooting my .22 LR CZ 452 America and my “Bi-Mart Special” Savage 93R17 BTVS. Both are superbly accurate, although I really like the refinement of the CZ over the relatively crude looking Savage.
    One thing I’ve noticed with most (if not all) .22s is that accuracy results tend to be highly dependent on the brand and velocity of ammo you are using. There is a HUGE difference between the accuracy you will get from bulk Wal-Mart ammo (whether it be Remington, Winchester, Federal or CCI) versus something that is categorized as “match” ammo. Anyone who wants to improve the accuracy of their .22 should really try out Lapua, SK Ind., Eley (one common variety often found in the U.S. as “Remington Target” etc), and my favorite for the price : Wolf Match Extra (Yes, you heard me.. Wolf… It’s actually made by SK Ind. in Germany, which explains why it doesn’t suck). Granted, a box of 50 rounds of the good stuff will cost $7-10 (or more in some cases) as opposed to say $1.60, but I find that the accuracy improvement is dramatic. For example, the CZ will shoot sub-dime sized groups with many of the match ammo brands at 50 yards, whereas “Wal-Mart” or “Bi-Mart” ammo only yields quarter sized groups in the same gun. I hear a lot of guys complaining about the “waxy” or “lubricated” feel that you get with a lot of these brands of Match ammo, but that lubrication is one of the things that make these round so accurate.

  6. avatarGabriel says:

    Diagnosing a feeding problem from an article is iffy at best, but you might try squeezing the feed lips together ever so slightly on the magazine. That should keep the round lower and correctly oriented in its magazine to chamber path. You may also need to do some work on the extractor to get that to happen. Sometimes too much extractor tension keeps a round from getting seated all the way on to the bolt face as it travels towards the chamber.

  7. avatarBrett solomon says:

    CZ 455 on order for review…will keep you posted!

  8. avatarPete says:

    A friend of mine has one of these, and likes it – except for the difficulty of buying spare magazines. It came with one, and he had a tough time finding any more.

    Personal recommendation: Ruger 77/22 bolt action. Takes Ruger 10/22 magazines, available nearly everywhere, probably including your local convenience store.

    Or if you have a freakish taste for high-end .22s, get one of the Kimber bolt-actions.

    At the lower end, I have seen several Russian straight-pull bolt action .22s (can’t remember the brand name) that were ugly, but excellent shooters (made for biathlon competitions). Again, magazine availablity was an issue with these.

    And anyone who doesn’t have a Ruger 10/22 semi-auto is probably not prepared for TEOTWAWKI, or even FEMA’s predicted Zombie Apocalypse. (Hey, gotta have something to shoot the zombie ground squirrels, right?)

    • avatarJoe Grine says:

      Speaking of freakish taste for high-end .22s, have you checked out the Cooper Arms LVT (Light Varmint/Target)? Want!

  9. avatarJEC says:

    My personal 22LR bolt action is a Canadian Lakefield , now sold as the Savage MkII. It’s a brilliant little gun, and has far better manners than you describe. The action is smooth and reliable and not at all prone to jams (a ten round single stack mag helps). Trigger is light and has a nice progressive feel. And it is damn accurate; I mounted a cheap 10x Bushnell scope and it will shoot tight groups out to 50 plus yards easy, and that’s with bargain American Eagle rounds. I got the rifle when I was 16 as a gift from my dad, I think at the time he paid about 150$ in lightly used condition (that was 10 years ago). I still use it to practice my marksmanship.

  10. avatarRight! says:

    I’m shocked that the reviewer believes that the performance of this rifle merits such praise.
    There are many CZs out there that will shoot the pants off this rifle and not jam while feeding.
    My ancient ($89.00 new) 10-22 will doubtless match it’s performance, without jamming.

  11. avatarViktor says:

    Hi, guys, somebody can me said where can I find rem model five 5 22lr 5 shot magazines?

  12. avataraj says:

    looking for a magazine clip for remington model 5, wondering if anyone knows where I can find one, most places I looked they are out of stock

  13. avatarMark says:

    This gun is still produced on for sale through k-var. Imported by Arsenal.

  14. avatarUtahGuns says:

    Excellent rifle for the money. Accurate, beautiful wood and superb metal finish. Definitely a keeper to pass down to the youngin’s.

  15. avatarM. L. Cory says:

    I bought one of these at a Pawn Shop about a year ago…. mine shoots great, less than 1/2″ at 50 yds., especially after I put some good glass on it. I found the “hard to find” extra mags at Hoosier Gun Works” for $25. After a good cleaning I have had absolutely no feeding problems at all. Actually, I enjoy shooting the Model 5 as much as I do my Ruger M77/22, and that is saying alot!!!!

  16. avatarF. W. Ruple says:

    I just picked up one at my LGS for $250.00. With 711B GMT I can hit golf balls at 100 Yds with a 3×9 Bushnell scope mounted. It passes my test my Winchester 75 Sporter now goes in the safe. Extra mags can be had at Cabella’s. Looking for the Mannlicher stocked one now.

  17. avatarPhil Johnston says:

    I bought a Remington No. 5 a few years ago for target practice. Your review is spot on, right down to your complaints regarding the magazine and loading single shots when teaching others.

  18. avatarJeff Lassiter says:

    Anybody know if and where I could buy a larger capacity mag for a Remington Mod. Five?

  19. avatarDan says:

    I would choose a zastava, because it’s a .22 (obviously), it can be dissassembled and stored in the stock (so you can store it in a backpack or duffel bag), it weighs 2.5 lbs., and it floats in water (so if you drop it in a river by accident, you won’t lose it underwater), unlike other rifles which can sink in water.

  20. avatarAaron says:

    well for $540 here in Australia I’m going to get a zastava mp22 brand new with a scope bipod extra mag and scope here’s a picture of one from another website for proof
    http://thegunsmiths.com.au/guns-shop/images/s7-188.JPG

  21. avatarAaron says:

    that picture doesn’t have the whole layout because that’s a different deal from a different shop (that one only comes with a torch and scope)

  22. avatarsteve says:

    The drop at the comb is not sufficient to use the iron sites. In order to view down the site line you have to hold just the bottom corner of the butt against the top of your shoulder. I just mounted a Leupold 4X to my new MP22 and, with medium or tall mounts, it seems to be just fine.

  23. avatarPhil says:

    The trigger mechanism, easily accessed by removing action from stock, has TWO set screws for adjustment. Very simple to get a very good light and short trigger pull. Just do not adjust either too far OR you get a dangerously light pull , or the firing pin will not cock at all.

  24. avatarKen Tylosky says:

    I’ve been using my MP22 for almost a year now. It is just excellent. It required some minor emery cloth work to clear up the feeding problems, The wood is great as is the metal finish. Accuracy of 1/2″ at 50 meters with CCI standard velocity ammo. I am Totally Pleased with this Rifle.

  25. avatarM. L. Cory says:

    I too am totally pleased with my Remington Mod 5, except for the quality of wood in the stock. But, I am a gunsmith and have recently finished restocking mine with a high grade of walnut in Mannlicher style. WOW, the level of accuracy actually increased, but I did change the way the receiver was held into the stock. Rather than just the front retainer screw, I added a rear receiver screw and full length bedded the stock. It now shoots well under 1/2″ at 50 yds. This truely is a GREAT RIFLE. For those of you looking for extra magazines, Hoosier Gun Works had some when I last checked.

  26. avatarJoey Bolz says:

    I spotted these about 5 years ago on sale at Cabela’s advertised as a Remington Model 5 for 129.95. Then, as usual Cabelas had the old bait and switch going and didn’t have nary a one. (They pulled the same crap with the Russian made 22 Winchester Wildcat around that same time frame) Anyhow I came to the conclusion that this was a nice sleeper and a bargain. Finally nabbed a Charles Daly variant for 200 bucks. Beautiful polished finish, lovely walnut, a very nice gun. Gave it to my son and he loves it. Today I seen one on GB. Guys asking 395.00. I would like to have one with the Mannlicher stock as I have a CZ-452 FS and it is absolutely my favorite 22 rifle. It points perfectly.

  27. avatarThomas says:

    Came across this article while researching bolt action 22′s, and specifically the Model Five which is now listed under Compact Rimfire rifles on the Remington site:
    http://www.remington.com/product-families/firearms/compacts/compact-rimfire.aspx

    Any chance this is the same rifle? Any chance you’ll review it?

    Thanks Nick.

  28. avatarJim Lee says:

    I was looking for another backup detachable magazine for my Zastava 22 at a gun show and noticed that the little “Linda” semiauto handgun magazine looked identical except it held 8 rounds instead of 5. Further examination revealed the Zastava had a shallow file line that the clip used to keep it locked into the gun. I gambled 12 bucks and took it home, filed the shallow notch into the magazine, and it works perfectly. Good luck with your magazine search. I found mine and it was inexpensive and held more ammo.

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