Remington Fieldmaster BDL .22LR rifle review.
Several useful features include the ability to shoot .22LR (long rifle) long and short cartridges.
It is 40in long and light at 5.75lb, and its sleek lines make it quick to shoulder.
The stock is comfortable and practical for vermin control despite its highly lacquered finish.
BARREL, ACTION AND SIGHTS
With its swept-back profile, the action shares its design, layout and many of its controls with the Remington range of 870 pump-action and 1100 semi-auto shotguns.
It is made in aluminium with a tough black-painted finish, which is sensible for what is essentially a rabbit gun.
A small ejection port to the right of the action deflects spent cases away from your face and the bolt system is cycled by a short pull of the fore-end, which operates the guide rods attached to the bolt.
The whole movement is less than 2in, making it very quick to cycle. I was expecting lots of jams, but the cartridge cycling and ejection was surprisingly smooth via twin claw extractors and I found that a faster pump caused fewer problems than a more deliberate action.
Unusually, there is a crude set of open sights with a ramped adjustable rear sight.
Though they work, they are redundant in today?s world, as you would always fit a scope. For this purpose twin dovetails are cut into the top of the action, but at 4in your choice of scope may be restricted.
MAGAZINE, TRIGGER AND SAFETY
Though the rifle is chambered for a .22LR cartridge, the Fieldmaster is capable of handling both long and short ammunition due to the tubular magazine sited below the barrel.
Unlike the standard rimfire dedicated box magazine, it can handle any cartridge length.
In .22LR you can load 15 rounds of .22LR, 17 of the long and 20 of the short. To load the rifle, you first twist the magazine end cap to release the bayonet fitment, then you pull out the tube to expose the loading port.
After filling the tube with rounds, you lower it and refasten the end cap. This applies pressure to the cartridges, feeding them up a ramp into the action as the bolt is cycled. Despite its old design, it works very well.
The barrel does not come threaded because the tubular magazine makes it difficult to fit a sound moderator.
However, it is possible to fit one if you choose a slim model.
The trigger unit is a modular group attached to the action via two cross-pins. If you punch these through, the trigger mechanism drops out as one.
It has a single-stage pull and was a touch heavy at more than 6lb, but it breaks cleanly with a typical Remington cross-bolt safety catch sited behind the trigger-blade in the trigger-guard itself.
This blocks the trigger and makes the rifle safe.
There is also a bolt release catch in the front trigger-guard, which releases the bolt after the last shot by pushing it up into the body of the action.
ACCURACY AND TARGETS
The test targets revealed that the Fieldmaster shoots well with slower velocity subsonic ammunition and not so well with the higher velocity rounds.
Remington Yellow Jackets had a high velocity of 1,423fps and only managed 1.25in groups at 30 yards, whereas all the subsonics, with the exception of the Lapua, shot within 1in at 30 yards.
The Eley and Winchester rounds were best, with groups of 0.65 and 0.85in respectively for five shots.
Even out to 50 yards the Eleys only just crept above the 1in mark and would be my choice for rabbits.
I tried some CCI CB long reduced loads that grouped five shots within 1in at 20 yards and proved very effective against the rats around the grain store.
If you miss, the pump-action allows for a swift second shot.
STOCK AND FORE-END
The fieldmaster is an elegant looking nimble rifle with deluxe woodwork, which comes as standard in the BDL trim.
The wood grain has a good pattern and depth of colour.
The typically American highly lacquered finish is too gaudy for me, but there is no doubt that it is weatherproof.
The stock is made in two sections. Though the Monte Carlo comb has no cheekpiece, it is a good height for scope use and the slightly slippery thin plastic buttplate can be replaced if necessary.
The small fore-end is nicely rounded with a firm grip for the pump-action.
There is machine-cut chequering on both the butt and fore-end sections, which provides good grip and the 13.5in length of pull is in proportion to this size of rifle.
The Fieldmaster shot best with slower subsonics which nearly all shot below 1in groups at 30 yards.
It is 40in long and light at 5.75lb, making it quick to shoulder.
The trigger has a single-stage pull and a typical Remington crossbolt safety catch.
Comfortable and practical for vermin control, despite its highly lacquered finish.
A bit different, the Fieldmaster is a fine choice for serious pest duties.
The Fieldmaster will not appeal to most people who like bolt actions, but it shouldn?t be dismissed as less practical.
Its accuracy was more than good enough for pest control at sensible ranges and despite it being awkward to reload, once it?s full you have between 15 and 20 shots.
The styling is very American and not to everyone?s taste but I have to say I quite warmed to the Remington?s charm.
I enjoyed some fast-paced rat shooting and target shooting with my brothers.
Contact: Edgar Brothers on 01625 613177