Posted By Mac66 on July 24, 2013
Out of the box target rifle?
Was in a local sports store last week ago picking up some sling swivels for one of my Appleseed loaner rifles www.appleseedinfo.com. I don’t typically look at guns in stores because they are A-usually priced too high. B-I pretty much have everything I need and C-most chain sport shop salesmen don’t know much about guns and seem reluctant to let anyone touch them. However a quick glance over and a nice looking rifle caught my eye. It had a short heavy barrel, a grayish green stock, and scope mounted on it.
I asked the guy behind the counter to take a look and he handed it to me. Turned out to be Remington 597 heavy barrel .22. It had a 16″ bull
Properly mounted and sighted in scope. Set up with studs, swivels and sling ready for the range.
barrel and was nicely balanced. The 597 has a full size adult stock which makes it feel like an adult sized rifle. I was impressed. It felt and looked good.
When I got home I looked it up online and saw that is was going on sale for $199,99 the next two days. I did some online research and got mostly favorable reviews..
I am an Appleseed rifle instructor and have seen a number of 597s on the line. One of the other instructors has several of them but I had never shot one. I’ve seen some people shoot some very good scores with them but my recollection of them was that the 10 shot detachable magazine was pretty cheap looking and not very reliable. Reviews mentioned that early mags had problems but newer ones weren’t a problem. I contacted the other instructor and he thought they were good to go.
Back to the store a couple days later with a couple C notes and change and I brought the 597 home for inspection.
-Very nice looking rifle. Has the short bull barrel and greenish stock. Kind of tactical looking. The look is what drew my attention.
-Well balanced. The stock is for grown ups and the bull/heavy barrel adds nice weight to the front. It holds very steady.
-Very accurate out of the box, -Trigger was actually pretty good out of the box. Some have reported 3-4lbs triggers out of the box. I didn’t measure mine but I would guess it to about in that range.
-Comes with a scope and rings.
-There is a pillar in the forestock for drilling and adding a sling stud. -The ten shot magazine is relatively flush with the bottom of the stock. -Extended 30 shot mags are available. – Mags drop free -Has a last shot bolt hold open (though there is no external bolt hold open lever, you can reach up into the mag well to engage the internal one)
Sling pillar inside fore stock
Zinc mag? Put a couple hundred rounds through it with no malfunctions.
Everybody knows to remount rings so the knob doesn’t interfere with the bolt handle, but some don’t.
-The scope is cheap,
I was unable to focus it enough to even see the holes in the paper at 9x. It will likely be replaced soon.
-The rings are too high to get a good cheek weld. That is a pet peeve of mine with scopes that come with rings. Somebody at the scope factory needs to match the height of the rings with the scope, i.e, the lowest possible for the size of the scope bell. I sighted it in with the regular rings and shot it ok by adding a cheek pad. I’ve since put lower rings on it.
-The rings come on the scope and they are on backwards. Most experienced shooters know that you have to take off and remount the rings (always use Loctite on the screws). New shooters might not be aware of that and they don’t mention it in the owner’s manual or scope manual
-Another pet peeve is that you can’t move the scope far enough forward to get a good sight picture using the head position/cheek weld. Probably OK if all you do is shoot from a bench, not so much shooting prone, sitting or off hand.
-Doesn’t come with sling studs/swivels. Not a big deal since neither does the 10/22. Again, not a bid deal if all you shoot is from the bench but a front sling swivel allows one to mount a bipod as well. -The 10 shot magazine is made of (zinc) pot metal and seems pretty flimsy.
Sighting it in…
I mounted and bore sighted the scope. Took it up to my hunting property the next day to sight it in at a measured 25 meters. Took me three
One in black square 5 shot group.
shots to get into the black 1″ squares. The scope was so out of focused that I couldn’t see the holes in the paper even at 9X. Once in the black I then shot a 5 round group. When I walked down range to take a look I was astonished to see a 1/4-3/8″ group. Note that I was shooting from prone using a loop sling (Appleseed style) and using CCI Blazer ammo.
I then tried standing off hand. The 5 shot group was all in the black one inch square. OK, that makes me look good, it’s a keeper.
Five shot group covered by half inch square.
Overall Impression… I own lots of Remington nylon rifles but this is my first new Remington. On sale and out of the box this is an exceptionally good bang for the buck for a target accurate rifle. It could be used in various Civilian Marksmanship Program events or .22 stock rifle competitions. Add a sling, studs and swivels and you have an Appleseed AQT Appleseed Qualification Test) killer. Add a stud and bipod and you have a very good rifle. If you are looking for an tack driving target rifle at a bargain price, you can’t do better than the Remington 597 HB.