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(This is a reader gun review contest entry, click here for more details.)

By Demetri Mosca

I began the search for my first firearm a few years ago, and felt I should begin with a semi-automatic rifle chambered in 22lr. Eventually it came down to the classic and timeless Ruger 10/22 versus the Remington 597. I opted for the Remington because the reviews I had read from those who possessed both stated that the Remington had better accuracy without modification. I then needed to choose between the various models that Remington offered. They offer this rifle in a variety of configurations including: an open sight model, a scoped model, a tactical model, a heavy barreled model, and a model with a pre-threaded barrel. I decided upon the open sighted model because I wanted iron sights on the rifle in addition to the scope I would mount. The rifle itself is a magazine fed, semi-automatic rifle, designed and intended for plinking and small game hunting . . .


The rifle is fun to hold and handle with a full length stock and a 20-inch long barrel, and a joy to carry in the field at about 5.5 pounds. The stock’s hard plastic is void of seams that would irritate one’s hands, and fits into the shoulder very well. One complaint I will voice, the rifle came without sling mounts pre-installed. It does include the plastic post to drill and put a sling swivel in the forward part of the stock and the rear stock has plenty of places to install the second. I chose to install the sling mounts with one in the forward post, and the second on the side of the stock.

When shooting the rifle, the bolt catch on the right is large enough to find easily but not so large as to get in the way of shooting, and very easily pulls back to chamber a round. The magazine release sits upwards and in front of the trigger, and pulls backwards to drop the magazine. The latch smoothly pulls back and the magazine drops free with little to no friction. The cross bolt safety, located right behind the trigger, pushes back and forth without difficulty.


I have had very few problems with this rifle. Chambered in .22lr, occasionally you will experience a failure to fire or failure to eject. The FTFs I have experienced could have resulted from faulty and unreliable rimfire ammunition instead of the rifle, and I have a FTE incident at a rate of about 1 in 100 on a bad day, but more often around 1 in 250.

Another issue that I have experienced: infrequently the last round will not feed into the chamber, and the bolt will lock open with one round left in the magazine. However, I believe that this problem was self induced by leaving the magazine fully loaded with 10 rounds for about eight months.

As far as which brands of ammunition to use, I have run all brands of bulk ammo from bricks without issue, Remington subsonic ammunition, CCI high velocity, CCI hollow points, the tin of unknown brand shells in my grandfathers garage, and Winchester target loads, and all of them have functioned quite well.

For the few years I have owned this rifle, I have always been impressed by the rifle’s accuracy. For this review I took the rifle to the local shooting range, and after sighting in a few deer rifles and playing with some Smith & Wesson revolvers (all the while waiting for the dude with twenty pounds of toys hanging of the rails of his AR-15 to leave the 25-yard bench) I shot these groupings from a bench with a few sandbags supporting the barrel, using 40 grain Remington solid lead round-tip loads.




I have a 4-times magnification scope mounted on the rifle, and it sits low, but high enough that the iron sights (adjusted with a small Allen wrench for windage and elevation) do not interfere with the sight picture.

I shot the first grouping from 25 yards, and all ten rounds fell within a one inch square, some of the rounds passing through the same holes. The second grouping opened up a bit at 50 yards, and I am willing to bet that the shots touching the outer edge of the circle could be fliers due to user error, but I will leave that determination up to you. I will end this section by saying that I have shot much better groupings with this rifle on better days at twice the distance, but I cannot prove it to you now so take with as many grains of salt as you please.

For those of you who enjoy cleaning your firearms (and who doesn’t?), this one will not be too much trouble to add into your routine.


The rifle breaks down into the receiver and the barrel, and the plastic stock by removing the two screws holding them together, one to the rear of the trigger, and the other forward of the magazine well. These unscrew with a 1/8 inch Allen wrench.


From here, you disassemble the trigger mechanism and the magazine well from the barrel and receiver by removing a single pin located upwards from the safety. Now you can use a 3/32 Allen wrench to take out the two, very tiny screws holding in the bars that carry the bolt, located horizontally from each other on the back of the receiver.


Now pull the bolt back to push the two bars out, and hold your hand over the bottom of the receiver, as the springs that push the bolt may fly out. Now you can remove the bolt itself and thoroughly clean the receiver section of the rifle. As you can see, this rifle breaks down into a plethora of teeny-tiny little pieces, so don’t even think about trying this in the field!

For those of you who are familiar with the Ruger 10/22 (which includes basically all Americans who shoots guns), I am going tell you up front that this rifle has nowhere near the choices of customization that the Ruger enjoys. However, if you buy the Remington, you are not stuck with the rifle you purchase and nothing else. You can replace the standard 10-round magazine with either a twenty or thirty round alternative, both of which work very reliably. Remington offers the open sighted version with a large variety of stock configurations and camouflages. A few companies offer after-market options ranging from heavy target stocks to AR-15 styled tactical stocks with rails galore (just in case the rifle looks too… rifle-ish for you).

As you can see from the photos, I have installed sets of rails off of the barrel and off of the scope, and I have also added in rails over the 3/8 inch dovetail rails included with the rifle (the set only cost about 10 dollars to acquire).


Length: 40 in
Barrel length: 20in
Magazine capacity: 10 (larger variants available)
Weight: 5.5 pounds
MSRP: $204


Ratings (out of five stars):

Ergonomics: * * * * *
The rifle is comfortable to handle, fun to shoot, and if I can stumble out of my cot and put down a running raccoon that picked the wrong ice chest in the dead of night with a single shot. I’d say all the controls are pretty intuitive.

Reliability: * * * *
I do not enjoy malfunctions when shooting. They detract from the amount of highly limited time I have to send lead downrange. This rifle functions well enough that when properly maintained I have very few issues, and I appreciate that.

Accuracy: * * * *
My favorite thing about this gun is the accuracy I can achieve with it. I don’t think the groupings I shot for this review does it justice, but they certainly show its ability for small game hunting or teaching youth the fundamentals of marksmanship.

Cleaning/Breakdown: * * * *
This isn’t a tactical rifle meant to field strip in half a minute, but my preference is that it could at least be done without tools. All in all, it’s not a challenge to clean or take apart as long as you have a set of Allen wrenches handy.

Customization: * * *
Once again, compared to the 10/22 where the options are essentially limitless, this rifle barely has anything, but enough options are commercially available that you can use this weapon for a variety of purposes and it has enough configurations to keep most shooters satisfied.

Overall: * * * *
I enjoy this rifle more than many of the firearms I own, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the market for a semi-automatic .22. I have had great times with this gun and many raccoons have met their end from hot lead from this barrel.

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  1. I am hesitant to buy any .22lr firearm until .22lr, .22long and .22short are back on the shelves in steady supply…. which is probably gonna be never. If I won the MegaMillions or Powerball I would open a .22 ammo factory.

    • I don’t know where your looking for .22lr ammo at but it’s all over. You can go online to and buy any brand you want delivered to your house as low as $40 for 500 rounds and that’s what I do. I buy armscor, which is a phenomenal grade ammo for price and just as good as CCI to me.

  2. This was my first rifle and for reason I got a serious lemon, mag problems, ejection problems, the stock cracked, that’s when I turned away from Remington.

    • TravisP.. if you have the factory gen 1 or 2 plastic 10 round mags then yes, those were lemons, but you can get the gen 3 metal mags and not have any issues, I have 5 10 round metal mags have shot about 900 rounds with not one FTF or jam… the black 30 round mags I hear are better then the clear ones and promag makes a 24 round mag that I have not heard anything bad ….. grab-a-gun has the promags on sale right now for $11.49, with shipping they cost me $15.75.. no issues with the two I got yet.. about 400 rounds so far

    • +1

      I have had many 22 semi auto rifles over the years. From Glenfields to Brownings. Only the Remington 597 had FTE problems and I sold it within a week. My Remington nylon 66 went to a brother and his kids and it still runs like a champ 30 years later. No other 22 suffers this kind of FTE rate, not even close.

      • My dad bought a Nylon 77 new in 1973 as his Christmas gift, bought me a Remington Wingmaster 870 (I think ) 12 gauge. When dad passed in 04, my sisterhood got the Nylon and Continued to keep the 12 gauge. Recently found a 77 at a training center/gun store (High Caliber, Urbana illinois ). Man what a dream. Accurate without a scope. Fun to shoot, NICE.

        • “When dad passed in 04, my sisterhood got the Nylon and Continued to keep the 12 gauge.”

          Your sister is a hood? 🙂

  3. I remember when I was trying to decide between the 597 and the 10/22. The scales tipped slightly in favor of the Remington but not enough to overcome the popular “prevalence” of the Ruger. So that was the path I took. The slight shortcomings are easily overcome with aftermarket products and mods. I also think the Ruger mag design is a little better.

    I just wish it were easier to clean and the receiver had more “meat” on the top. Those are my only two real complaints.

  4. Thanks for the review. I’ve owned one of these for a little over a year. I have found it to be reliable and accurate, and I also like the handling. Many reviewers have commented on the magazines for this rifle. The latest version of the standard 10 round magazine from Remington works reliably as does the after-market version from Keep Shooting. The Remington 30 round magazine is, however, another story. Assuming you can even load the full 30 rounds, an accomplishment in itself, feeding is extremely unreliable. I’ve tried everything from advice given on various blog posts about this issue and nothing works. To their credit Remington does very readily replace any defective magazines you have without even asking or the original one back. I just got a replacement and will take it to the range soon for a test, but even this one, as usual, will not accept a full load of 30 rounds. As for customizing, I did add sling swivels, a bipod and changed to a different scope. It’s a good value.

      • We can’t, because leaving magazines loaded DOES affect the spring. Less so than through use, but it does nevertheless.
        This is especially true of lesser quality alloys, and poorer designs which place excessive pressure on the compressed spring. Fortunately, most springs function well even when compromised, so it is less of a problem than it was in years past. Better designs and materials both make this so.
        For those who will naysay, it should be pointed out that even a static mag in storage goes through simple things like temperature variations, which act as very small scale tension variations. Truly static loads are rare.

        • Cyclical deformation and return are much more damaging to springs. Compressive force not past the point of permanent deformation (standard loaded magazine) are just not noticeably damaging to the spring. You can argue creep all you want but for the typical user this just isn’t n issue. If creep was an issue, you would have every magazines fail in short order, which doesn’t happen. For those that argue about inexpensive magazines with inferior allows, those will fail regardless of what you do, compress, cycle, store empty.

          What’s next? Stories about glass flowing over time?

        • Your own statements verify my words. Thank you. Of course, you seek to minimize, and in some cases, that is correct. I guess you just needed to feel heard, restating what I said. And yet, then you seek to belittle, what you yourself agreed with? Maybe you have self-esteem issues.

  5. You’re making me miss my 597. I bought it used for $98 and it was indeed more accurate than my 10/22, plus it sported a recessed muzzle crown and a very crisp, if heavy trigger. A double feed or other malfunction blew the magazine out of the gun while at the range, and I learned two things: 1. my son was smart enough to put down the gun when the BANG felt bigger than usual; 2. Remington’s customer service was awesome — they inspected and reconditioned the gun and gave me a new magazine. Big Green may have slid into near-irrelevance but they did right by me.

  6. Your gun is more reliable than my friends farm gun, which seemed to FTE more often. So I got a 10/22 in stainless with a wood stock. It’s a classy, very reliable .22 with a terrible trigger.

    For me, the 10/22 takedown is the clear winner, and the trigger on that is less terrible than on the stainless one.

    • A friend of mine bought one of these at Walmart a few years back. It broke so frequently after about 1000 rounds that he ended up leaving it at my house permanently. It was the only gun I have ever literally thrown away and I do not regret it one bit.

      Get a 10/22

      • The remington 597 is a complete dissapointmen. I chose one with a threaded barrel for my slincer gun. And the gun has failed to empty 1 10 round magazine with out a malfunction. I bought 3 nice heaver that factory magazines and the gun still jams on the feeding the next round. I’ve tried 7 brands of ammo and none of it was the cheap bulk ammo. It somehow leaves the empty in the breach and tries to feed the next round. 4 round in a row is all it has ever made with out a jam. Plus the trigger pin has broken in half once and had to be replaced. I have shot less than 1 brick of shells threw this gun and I’m trading it off for a Ruger 10/22 with a threaded barrel. I’ve even called Remington they didn’t request I send it back. So Ruger here I come.

  7. I chose the Marlin with a similar model, just a different order, 795, a few years back.

    Similar scope, but absolutely no problems encountered, and dead nuts on with a li’l 3×9 scope. Almost
    boringly spot on, and reliable.

    It is, sadly, gathering dust along with the 10/22 I got later, and the rest of my beloved .22LR collection…

  8. Good overall review.

    There were a few things I noticed though that I’d like to hear some feedback from some of the regulars around here on…
    1. The mini-rail clamped on the barrel seems like it could lead to accuracy issues if used for a bipod as well as effecting POI with or without accessories attached. I usually try to mount anything to the stock instead because it seemed like the best idea but I haven’t really tried it any other way.

    2. You said you used sandbags on and under the barrel instead of under the stock where I learned to rest them. I was wondering if Dispeptic or any of the precision guys on here might have any insight on how/if that would effect accuracy as well.

    3. The main reason those jumped out at me is because those groups look a bit large for 25 and 50 yds.. You said you’ve shot better groups so it made me wonder if those may be partially to blame.

    On a side note, I’ve heard friends complain about magazines for this rifle “wearing out” and causing problems that seemed to work themselves out with new magazines. I don’t recall any specifics but they weren’t my rifles either.

    Thanks for the review.

    • I e very recently learned that you should place sandbags under the action instead of the barrel (you miss these things when you’re self taught unfortunately) but I can imagine that this would effect the precision in some way. AS for the rail on the barrel, I have had that on there since before I ever shot the rifle, so all sifting in has been done with that attached. The better groups that I have shot were with a bipod I this rail actually. And for the magazine, I’ve loaded and emptied it many times, but only tone will tell.

      • It wouldn’t surprise me if you get better groups from the bipod depending on the rifle and your style of shooting. I just don’t know the science behind it. One of my Mosins(out of 4) will shoot drastically better with the Bayonet extended than with it folded. Another one shoots better after I removed the Bayonet completely. The others don’t seem to care.

        • Could have something to do with the flexing of the barrel during firing. The added length of the bayonet might change the harmonic whip. Saw a video in slow motion and man that barrel looks like a noodle flexing.

  9. The only reason I bought this rifle was the stock pistol grip being more wrist friendly than others I was looking at, especially the Ruger’s. Having owned the rifle for nearly ten years now, it’s the least used and least desired rifle in my safe. Feeding failures, Firing failures, Double feeds, Double fires, Ejection failures… this is the most failure prone rifle ever made. However, it is accurate and the trigger is slightly better than a stock Ruger 10-22s. The sling issue: I wrote Remington and asked how to mount a sling. Their response: You mount a sling to our plastic stock and void the warranty.
    The last Remington product I’ll ever buy.

    • I owned one of these for a very short time, traded it away and focused on the 10/22. That said, I seem to remember that most of the feed problems were related to over-tightening of the guide rails in the receiver. They need to be barely secured, any binding induced by tightening can manifest itself in feed problems.

    • Had a friend with one of these that was a bit of a POS. We did find that if we replaced the standard trigger spring with a JP Enterprises reduced power AR-15 trigger spring (which I had lying around) it made it more dependable with a slightly better trigger pull.

  10. I went with the Marlin 60 for my first .22 (which was only 4 or so years ago).

    I hemmed and hawed about the tube magazine for a while before smacking myself and saying “It’s a .22, dummy. It’s not like you’re going to be taking it in to a firefight. Save a hundred bucks and spend an extra 8 seconds on reloads at the range.”

    I have been vey happy with it. More accurate than my friend’s 10-22 and better looking to boot.

  11. I’ve been very happy with my Remmy 597 for a few years now as well. Apparently Big Green redesigned certain aspects of the magazines some few years ago and they’re much more reliable than they used to be (for those who will comment that the 597 has a history of mag issues). For sure, my factory 10-round magazines have been 100%. The 30-rounders aren’t as reliable but they function just as well as Ruger’s BX-25 does in a 10/22.

    I’m still digging the 16″ heavy-profile barrel that my gunsmith threaded for me. Now Remmy offers a factory-threaded heavy barrel as well. The profile looks awesome with a rimfire suppressor and this rifle is super quiet suppressed! Plus highly accurate and reliable. I’ve had MUCH better success with my 597 than I have ever experienced from any 10/22, and I’ve shot maybe 8 different 10/22s in various configs. None of them ran as reliably as my 597.

    Originally I was going to get the Volquartsen trigger/hammer/extractor parts but the trigger in the heavy barrel version surpassed my expectations and the reliability has been nearly flawless over close to 1k rounds so I’ve left it untouched (other than threading the barrel). Of course, my expectations were mostly set by feedback from past owners and I think the rifle has improved significantly in recent years. Insanely heavy trigger pulls and extraction problems (as folks mentioned above) were very common complaints that I really haven’t seen from rifles made in the last few years. Which is actually weird considering, for the most part, Remington quality seems to have slipped since the ownership change and whatever else. Regardless, the aftermarket extractors that were almost necessary to get the gun functioning perfectly don’t seem as important anymore and, sure ’nuff, I have never had one single extracting problem with my 597. It won’t eject some of the weak, subsonic ammo on the market, but practically no other semi-auto .22 rifle or pistol will cycle that stuff either.

    • I’ve had the same experience as you, Jeremy. Mine functions very well and is, as you said, highly accurate. I get much better groups than this at 25 yards. And with a $200 at rifle I feel greedy wanting better performance. 5 stars for me in the accuracy department. Also I didn’t see any of the aftermarket hammers or extractors mentioned in the list of available mods. So customization I would have put at 4 stars.

  12. Your first rifle should be a bolt action .22. Single shot if you can find one. Slow your roll. Learn the basics and master them. Once you’ve moved up, hang onto the bolt gun for training new shooters.

    • I know quite a few people who had semi-automatic rifles for their first rifle. Actually, select-fire rifles for that matter. The trigger still works the same way.

      • Why is a single shot a waste ? I have 2, both Marlins (mod 25, 81DL) and I have NO problems with taking my time firing them.. A single shot bolt gun is a good tool for teaching others..
        Now, as far as semi’s goes, I have a Remington 550-1 which is post war and will out shoot Ruger, Marlin or Savage..
        My newest rifle is 40 plus years old..

  13. I hate reviews of rifles chambered in an exotic, expensive, and unobtainable caliber like .22lr. It makes me want to shoot my 10/22, but then I look at my dwindling supply of ammo and reconsider.

  14. The Remington 597 has had an abysmal reputation for years. Can’t believe it’s still in production. The original poster boy for POS. Wish TTAG would start running a POSterboy Of The Month column to warn novice shooters what to stay away from. What a great public service that would be!

    • Second.

      They wouldn’t make any new corporate friends, but it would be a fantastic public service, especially for new shooters.

  15. I bought this gun new based on an earlier TTAG review that lauded the gun super highly. Even with an upgraded Volquartsen trigger and ejector, the gun was horrible. The 10 round mags held 9. The 30 round Remington-branded mags wouldn’t function even with YouTube hacks. I called Remington and they wouldnt stand behind it. Sold it at a loss. I laughed at the early adopters of the R51 knowing that Rem couldnt be trusted.

  16. Green lost it’s way with the intro of the 522 and followed up with this…. a partially better option. Having owned both I much prefer the 10/22 reliability and handling. Maybe Marlington can use the model 795 mechanics in their next offering??

  17. From reading various articles…
    The 597 has had FTE since it was introduced due to the crap ejector it comes with.
    Replacing the ejector and spring with an after market kit ( Brownells) makes the 597 run much better.
    My 10/22 is just as accurate as the 597 reviewed and probably is a simpler design.
    My 10/22 is much more reliable than the 597 reviewed.

  18. One Remington .22lr rifle that I am happy with is the Nylon 66 which is like the Energizer Bunny. Good rifle with iron sights, scope not so much. Very, very reliable rifle.

  19. I bought my Ruger 10/22 Sporter over 30 years ago and have never regretted it through 10s of thousands of rounds with only simple and expected maintenance. It is my favorite go to field “scoped” 22. I use an Anschultz 1416 for range shooting and several lever actions for play-time plinkin’.

    When my son came of age, I bought him a model SR10/22. He uses all of my mags and as expected, it’s a beast!

    I never considered the Remington. I do however, wish I’d have picked up a model 66 Nylon in my travels.

  20. I bought my nephew a 597 a couple years back…package deal with a cheap-o scope, olive green synthetic stock. Around $160 if I recall.

    Not a terrible deal for $160, but I wish I would have spent the extra $50-60 on a 10/22. The 597 just feels cheap and the trigger pretty much sucks. Admittedly I’m spoiled by my 10/22 that has a nicer .920″ barrel, some trigger work, and a couple of other goodies, but the 597 is just kind of “meh.”

    I’ve had what I consider to be more than acceptable reliability issues, but mostly with Remington .22 ammo (any port in a storm, amirite?). Feed it good stuff, and it generally does OK. I bought an extra 10 round mag for it…one of the two does much better than the other. I consider it good practice for my nephew to safely clear jams and malfunctions.

    Having to drill into the plastic post for a sling swivel was kind of annoying….is it too much to ask to pre-install a sling swivel? I would have paid the extra $0.25.

    All in all, even though I MUCH prefer 10/22’s (especially mine) over the 597, it’s probably not a bad buy at the $160 I paid for it. Just not as good of a buy as a 10/22 for $220 (or whatever they are going for now). At $160, it’s “meh.” Add $20 worth of improvements, it could be a competitor for the 10/22.

  21. My 597 is a .22 magnum, which isn’t an option for the 10/22.That’s why I bought it. I’ve had it for a good 10-15 years at least. It’s very accurate for coyotes and ground hogs at up to 100 yards, which is what I use it for (may be accurate to farther than 100 yards, but I don’t really shoot farther than that, so I can’t say).

    The factory magazine for it was a piece of garbage plastic magazine with a terrible quality spring. After keeping it loaded for a couple years, the spring was so weak it wouldn’t even lift the last couple rounds to chamber.

    If I remember correctly, they recalled those magazines and replaced them with metallic ones. I have several of the metallic ones, but I still don’t keep them loaded — I keep one half-loaded in case I see a groundhog in the field and want to fetch it quickly.

    The .22 magnum ejects with a lot more force than .22LR. I’ve never had an FTE, and that may be why.

  22. Sorry, but on takedown… hex wrenches??? I undo one screw to lift off the stock and pop out two simple pins to get the same level of breakdown on my 10/22. As far as accuracy, I routinely shoot cloverleafs with a cheap scope and standard velocity CCI at 50 yards. Not sure that the 597 could improve on that.

    As far as FTF/FTE, you can’t always blame the rifle. I pulled a bad batch of ammo. Several boxes of cheap AE. Literally 1 in 3 was a misfeed. I tested it across different guns and magazines, as well as switching ammo. It was definitely the AE. It did have one use, though. It was great for slipping into magazines while teaching my son to clear misfires. Still, quite glad when it was gone.

  23. I could write a doctoral dissertation about my 597 but here is the best and most condensed version I can supply: I bought my 597 after buying my first self-purchased-and-owned firearm, a Glock 23, so my 597 was my first longun. In short, it sucked… couldn’t get much of any shots off without failures to feed, fire ,eject, etc. It sucked. I tried some different ammo the next weekend at the range, and it sucked even more. I was so disappointed (I bought a Dick’s Sporting Goods combo pack w/ scope for $199.99, od green stock w/ 3-9x32mm scope) … that the next few weeks after that, I returned to DSG, and bought a Savage Mark II GXP bolt action .22LR. It was so much fun, so classy, and so cheap @ $149.99 w/ scope, I soon after bought a S&W M&P 15-22, and that was that. I had a semi-auto and bolt-action .22LR and my 597 got dumped into my closet, sitting for a year.

    After almost a full year, around Christmas, I started getting a guilty feeling of having a gun I gave up on and lying dormant and idle. I did some reading, got information and motivation on the 597, and decided I needed to spend some time, money, and TLC/effort on it. I purchased the Volquartsen “Exact Edge extractor” & also their VQ “Target” hammer .. and a nice Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40mm scope. I had them all gunsmith installed (at the time , 6? years back, I wasn’t comfortable doing any work on a gun . Now I would do this stuff in my sleep, and have.) … I asked him to check out the gun, baby it a little if necessary, and do the upgrades.

    I cannot stress how amazing my 597 is now. Since those upgrades, 5 years back, I have not had a single failure, straight up. The shells fire perfectly, with amazing accuracy, and are thrown violently out of the gun perfectly every time. As fast as I can squeeze the trigger. And the accuracy of this gun is SUPERB, Remington dumped a ton of the 597 project budget into barrels .. these are simply superb factory rimfire barrels that are much higher quality than a stock and comparably priced 10/22.

    Now I have a bipod on my 597, a sweet camo spray paint job, sling, etc. and the gun is simply the bomb. I liked it so much as did family members, I gave my father a 597 HB (heavy barrel) combo for Christmas last year, and bought him the VQ hammer & extractor , plus a Nikon ProStaff 4x32mm rimfire scope. I installed them all myself, and this rifle is perhaps even more impressive than mine, match quality. Just amazing.

    While I will admit the 597 has a bad reputation, and perhaps has earned some, if you want something amazing and are willing to give it a bit of time and perhaps effort to shine, and/or you do NOT want the same damned thing as all of america seems to have, the Remington 597 can be an EXTREMELY rewarding rifle for you. It has been certainly for me and mine.

  24. I have a 597. Very unreliable to start with. Working very well after some tweaks.

    Three things to get it working reliably:
    1) Ditch the stock 30 round plastic magazines. Would not feed or extract reliably while using them. Then the plastic feed lips failed (causing all loaded ammo to spray everywhere), and the top of the magazines split apart. Bought the standard 10 round metal magazines.

    2) The mating surfaces on the underside of the bolt, and where it rides on the hammer were very rough. The underside of the either cast or metal injection molded bolt had a rough, as-cast appearance. It looked like sandpaper. The friction between the two was so great, that I could carefully pull back and release the bolt, and it would hold itself open through friction! And no, that was not using the bolt hold open catch, just friction. Judicious application of progressively finer grained sandpaper on the bottom of the bolt did good enough. 600 grit got it functioning. I should have spent more time on the bolt. The hammer wasn’t all that smooth either, but it didn’t require much attention to get it working.

    3) Do not over-tighten the set screws on the bolt guide rods. They may have been over-tightened from the factory. The factory spec is 10-12 inch-pounds of torque! For me, this is less than finger tight. I basically screwed them in until they touched the guide rods, and used a thread locking compound. This did not appear to be a problem with my rifle, but that’s a major issue with others. Diagnosing this could be done during dis-assembly, after removing the action from the stock. If there’s resistance moving the bold with the trigger group still attached, check the bolt and hammer. If the bolt still resists moving with the trigger group removed, check the guide rods.

  25. this is the worst 22 i ever bought.was a xmas present for wife . still dont have parts to correct problems.should have bought ruger .gun lost bolt handle .took 3 months to get part . but did not get bolt handle. called today told will ship handle . very unhappy .still have other reminton guns ,

  26. I have 2 and they are very accurate. I absolutely HATE how the scope mounts to this gun, it is PATHETIC! Just today at the range I set 597 on the table and scope and mounts came off gun. Absolutely the poorest design I’ve ever seen. The scope that comes with these is like looking through smoke from a campfire. Put a decent scope (and mounts) on and it would be a great gun

  27. Tweeked the quide rails by polishing them on a buffing wheel and not tightening them as much as the manual says – cured the feed problem gun – put a Volquartsen hammeer/spring package in it – now shoots consistent 50 yd 1.5 moa groups with some ammo brands – great little 597 HB c/ Leupold 7x variable sope

  28. 597HB – buffed the quide rails/rods and did not tighten the quide rods as much as the manual calls for – used a Volquartsen hammer/spring – consistent 1.5 moa groups at 50yds with some ammo brands

  29. I’m a .22 rifle guy. I own 10 different brands, including a 10/22. The 597 is the most accurate out of the box and extremely accurate with a good scope. I’ve fired thousand of rounds thru it with just a few failure to fire rounds, and they had dents in the primer (bad ammo). It’s fun to hold, fun to shoot, and impressive to look at. I see some negative posts and can only assume they’re from 1st or 2nd generation ammo clips. Remy fixed that with 3rd gen clips identified by a # 10 with a circle on the side of the clip. It should earn a place in your gun rack. Love mine.

  30. Why does the Ruger crowd always seem to point out, that if someone states, that the Remington 597 (or Marlin, Mossberg, Savage etc) is more accurate out of the box, that with a few mods and after market parts, the Ruger 10/22 will out shoot the aforementioned rifle.
    A quick check of prices of Ruger vs. Remington at CTD shows the cost at $219 vs. $188 (the cheapest models with iron sights) in favor of the Remmie. Add the mods to the Ruger in order to make it as accurate as the other, and you easily get past the $300 mark, so nearly double the cost than the off the shelf Remington or other brand.
    I own a Marlin 70PPS that I did nothing to besides adding a scope, and I can shoot 1/2″ groups all day at 25 yards. It only fails after several hundred rounds of bulk ammo have fouled up the receiver.
    I recently purchased a 597, onto which I mounted a 3-9X scope, and while I haven’t had a chance to take it to the range, I have high hopes for a successful test. I consider a minimum of 200 rounds in order to break it in, and after that I hope it will run flawlessly. I consider one failure for every 100 rounds fired to be above average reliability for any .22 rifle or pistol.

    I’m not saying that I have the best .22 rifles out of those available, and reliability and accuracy of the 597 is yet to be tested, but I am very happy with my reliable Marlin. I don’t presume to have the Holy Grail in my gun safe, and to each his own, so I will not bash others for what they have purchased or what they are happy with.

  31. I bought a 597 in 22 WMR in 2007 for jackrabbits in NM. I also bought a dozen or so of those aluminum magazines (I think they’re aluminum; they’re not plastic.)

    For the following 2 years I used it to hunt jackrabbits at night; during that time letting off 1000s of rounds and killing many 100s of rabbits.

    The gun’s “wield-ability” and accuracy was superb and I never once had any kind of failure — not to feed, not to eject, no FTFs.

    I should point out that the only ammo I ever used was Federal 62 gr solids.

  32. I have 2 early 597’s one u fired in the box one heavily used and played with ,the original plastic mags eventually have become sort of reliable the newer metal ones pretty good the Keepshooting mag great,great design rifle,they should have worked more on the mags and a nice walnut stock would be great in a traditional sporter style,not the buck rovers styles you see all over.10/22 s are boring and need all the accessories they sell for them to shoot good but the magazine does work well,I often thought about the ruger mag and the 597 rifle ….

  33. I purchased my 597 in 2016 and have not had any serious problems with it.
    I got the version with a synthetic stock and scope because, frankly, my old eyes don’t do well with iron sights now.
    I’ve run various brands of ammo through it with no FTF or FTE until…

    I was dialing in the scope in preparation for the upcoming squirrel season and took along a 100 round case of very old Montgomery Wards 22LR. (Very old ammo.) I’d been using some Aquila ammo because my rifle seems to like it, getting sub-inch groups at 25 yards before I moved to the 50 yard line. I decided to see how the old Monkey Wards stuff patterned before moving on.

    The 2nd round blew up in the chamber with a full case-head separation, blowing the magazine loose, leaving part of the casing in the chamber, jamming the bolt open with the case head fragment and spreading shards throughout the receiver region. After letting life settle down a bit, and examining the bolt I found that the ejector had been blown out of the bolt. All the rest of the extractor mechanism was either still in the bolt or laying on the shooting bench. I’ve no idea where the extractor itself ended up.

    I ordered a replacement from Remington, and was able to put it in this last week. I’ve had to throughly clean debris from the bolt and receiver. I removed, inspected, and cleaned the firing pin assembly and replaced it all. I had to tweak the hold-open spring as it had been bent out of shape a little in the explosion. I inspected and cleaned the magazine as well. Visual inspection under magnifying glasses has not shown any hairline cracks or deformation to the rest of the parts.

    I’m looking forward to returning to the range and seeing how well my zero has held throughout the process. But I am expecting that the functioning of the rifle will be as reliable as I have found it in the past.

    With the synthetic stock the butt plate removes by finger pressure to reveal a void that can be used as a storage compartment for items like lens wipes, cleaning wipes, a bore snake, etc.

    I do wish Demetri had shared what he used to mount the sling, as I have been considering doing that myself. But otherwise, I have been very pleased with my 597.

  34. Through the years I have owned an entire fleet of 22’s. Many different brands and models over 53 yrs. of shooting and hunting. The Remington 597 has been the worst . Mine fails to eject about 10% of the time. Installing a new magazine and aftermarket ejector has made no improvement. Accuracy is good, but being totally unreliable doesn’t give any confidence to use it for hunting. What I own is a $200 tomato stake. You should not have to repair or redesign a brand new rifle. Take my advice and steer clear of the Remington 597.

  35. Comments noted. Volquartsen Exact Edge Extractor is the first improvement to make to improve function in the 597. Trigger can be improved with 597 Trigger Improvement kit from (made by McCarbo). Reasonably priced for the improvement in trigger function. Lube the pin as you install the kit. You will probably not need a Volquartsen Target hammer if you use the kit. Checking tension on action rods is very important. Screw in tiny screws just to touch rods then back off slightly, about 1/4 turn. The Keep Shooting magazines seem to be the best. Go to for a good 597 stock. Laminated wood designs that can use sling swivels and be truly free floated. You can get custom barrels from Jarvis for $250.Get the “budget blaster” 597 to perform properly. Adjustable triggers available from Jard. Sadly, 597 was discontinued in 2019. With gun buying panic going on, get parts and remaining 597 rifles while you can if they fit your needs.

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  37. The failures the author described, which he relates in his hands were infrequent, is not the experience I’ve had the 597.

    It’s a beautiful rifle. I love its accuracy when fired by an accomplished marksman…like me.

    Like me? I’m a former Marine Infantry Captain and also a Mustanger for those who know what that is. And, I know better than most how to clean and lubricate a semi-automatic weapon.

    At first, the rifle’s reliability was absolutely excellent, both at the range and in the squirrel woods. Over time (perhaps having but several 100 rounds down range and even with meticulous cleaning and lubrication) its malfunctions as described by the author above became more frequent…to almost near constant.

    Despite my best efforts to clean and lubricate the weapon it ultimately became un-serviceable for something as non-demanding as squirrel hunting.

    The rifle now sits in my gun safe unused for more than a decade.

    I still hunt squirrels with a .22 caliber rifle. But now I choose to take to the field a cheap as hell Rossi break open single shot .22 rifle that I once used, perhaps 25 years ago, to train my two kids in marksmanship. It’s accurate and it never has a FTF or FTE or any other failure.

    I would not recommend to anyone to buy a Remington 597 semi-automatic rifle, no matter the price.



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