If you don’t have a rimfire rifle in your collection, what are you doing? Everyone needs a rimfire rifle, and every gun company seems to produce one. Today we are reviewing Remington’s own magazine-fed, semi-automatic rimfire rifle, the 597.
Remington 597 Specs
- Barrel Length 20 inches
- Overall Length 40 inches
- Weight 5.5 pounds
- Caliber 22 LR
- Capacity 10
The Remington 597
Ruger’s 10/22 has been produced since the 1960s, and millions of them have been made since then. The Ruger 10/22 shows that people love semi-automatic, magazine-fed .22 LR rifles. Remington recognized this in 1997 and began producing their own rimfire gun, the Remington 597. Remington produced the rifle in .22 LR, as well as .22 Magnum and .17 HMR.
Remington produced a number of different configurations of the rifle. The most common is the standard 20-inch barreled variant. Shooters can choose various stock options. You can go with wood or synthetic, and the synthetic option offers you various patterns and finishes. Mine comes with a fancy camo finish, but black, green, gray, and more are produced as well.
The Remington 597 feeds from a 10 round box magazine and various aftermarket options bring your extended magazines up to 30 rounds, and heck, Promag even makes a drum for it. Like every other semi-auto .22 LR on the market, the 597 uses a simple blowback-operated design.
It’s not fancy but completely appropriate for a .22 LR rifle. What’s different about the 597 is the bolt guides. Remington installed two very robust steel guide rails that the bolt rides on. This was designed to enhance reliability and durability over long periods of time.
The little 597 is a simple rifle that seems robust and easy to use and perfect for a variety of tasks. It’s a capable small game rifle for hunting squirrels, rabbits, and more. By design, it’s perfect for teaching new shooters and makes for a fun plinker.
Remington 597 Features
1 Removable Magazine
2 Drilled and Tapped For an Optic
3 Adjustable Iron Sights
4 Last Round Bolt Hold Open
The Remington 597 – Our Take
The Remington 597 seems to be a very simple firearm. A blowback-operated, magazine-fed, semi-auto 22 LR should be too tough to produce successfully. The design has been around for decades, and it works. Somehow Remington decided they could mess it up. After handling the Remington 597, I can see why the company went bankrupt.
I won’t leave you hanging. The big problem with the 597 was reliability. The gun just doesn’t run. I found the main issues come from failures to feed and failures to extract and eject. Sometimes it’s easier when the magazine fails to feed. That way, it doesn’t turn a failure to extract into a double feed. I’ve never found a way to get the Remington to function adequately.
I’ve used all sorts of ammo. This includes brands from Federal like Automatch, Remington Gold bullets, CCI Stingers, and Winchester. That’s just what I’ve paid attention to; I’m sure over the years, I’ve utilized more ammo brands that bear mentioning. Regardless, none of them ever functioned in the weapon. I’ve never fired an entire magazine through the gun without an issue.
Sadly reliability kills the gun because everything else isn’t that bad.
Handling the 597
The Remington 597 provides a nice and light rifle platform at 5.5 pounds. It’s easy for anyone to handle. Kids and smaller shooters won’t have an issue handling the 597. The magazine release is easier to use than the Ruger 10/22. It’s placed above the trigger and can be reached with the trigger finger. Pull it rearward, and the mag drops out.
It’s a great setup, the safety sits behind the trigger and is a simple cross bolt design. It’s a lot like the Remington 870 and doesn’t take being a brain surgeon to use it. One issue some shooters may find is that the length of pull is rather long at 14 inches. On a light recoiling rifle, the longer length of pull isn’t a bad thing, and since it’s a rimfire rifle, you don’t need to shoot in a modern tactical position. Shooting in a bladed stance isn’t a big deal either.
The charging handle is on the right-hand side, and it’s quick and easy to access—no big ergonomic complaints.
Accuracy is sufficient for a rimfire rifle. It’s plenty accurate and capable of popping the top off a squirrel. The iron sights aren’t bad and are completely usable. They are big game rifle sights, so they are mounted on the barrel and open sights.
The scope mount is a tip-off design for the little optics, and it’s scoped and tapped for a Weaver scope rail that’s better suited for bigger scopes, like 3-9Xs. The trigger isn’t bad, and it delivers a nice little reset. It’s spongy with a fair amount of take-up, but not bad for a cheap little rimfire rifle.
Recoil is predictably light, as is muzzle rise. The rifle is plenty balanced and easy to handle. It’s an easy shooting rifle that’s not too tough to handle. That being said, you’ll spend more time fixing malfunctions than actually shooting.
In terms of cost, it seems to retail for right around 300 bucks. Not bad by any means, and it competes with the Ruger 10/22 at that price point. However, what tanks the value is the fact that it’s not a good gun. The Ruger 10/22 is way more reliable, has a better trigger, and has a shorter length of pull. Heck, the Mossberg Plinkster is half the price and a better rifle overall.
Remington 597 Pros and Cons
- Last Round Bolt Hold Open
- Great magazine release
- Not superbly accurate
- Hard to Disassemble
The rifle barrel recoils, and muzzle rise isn’t an issue. Heck, it’s even nice and quiet. It handles as a rimfire rifle should. The downside is that you have to constantly fix malfunctions.
It just sucks. It won’t eject, won’t feed, and I spent way more time fixing issues than shooting. It didn’t matter how clean and oiled the gun was and didn’t matter what ammo I used.
The controls are well placed, and the magazine release is awesome. The downside is the 14-inch length of pull.
For a rimfire rifle, it tends to be nice and accurate. You can hit a small target easily enough. To get the most of the 597, I’d install an optic over the open iron sights.
It’s a 300 or so dollar rifle. At that price, I want a gun that runs and runs well.
Reviewed by Travis Pike
Based on 9 Reviews
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Remington 597 Deals
Ammo For Your 22LR
Shooting Starter Pack
If you’ve decided to pick up a new rifle there are some bare essentials you’re going to need in order to maximize its potential and your safety.
- Gun Cleaning Kit: Otis All Caliber Elite Range Box on Amazon or build your own personalized cleaning kit with premium components.
- Shooting Glasses: All it takes it one piece of rogue hot brass, and you’ll learn the importance of shooting glasses. But not all glasses are built the same. See our recommendations for the Best Shooting Glasses.
- Hearing Protection: Firing a gun without wearing proper ear protection can be very dangerous and detrimental to your hearing. Find out the best hearing protection for you in our full length review.
- Storage: Check out our review on the Best Biometric Gun Safes which includes safes for handguns and rifles.
Remington 597 Manuals and Helpful Links
February 6, 2023
February 6, 2023
February 6, 2023
February 5, 2023