Bruce Potts takes a nostalgic look at a pump-action rimfire, which makes a classic vermin control tool
The Remington Fieldmaster dates back to 1954 and has been a successful series of pump-action rimfire rifles from Remington. It is relatively short at 40in long, and is nice and light at 5.75lb. However, it has the great ability to shoot not only .22LR (long rifle) cartridges but also .22 long and .22 short ammunition. This makes it a practical pest control tool, if a little unorthodox.
The one featured here is an earlier 572 model with the plain walnut stock and ribbed fore-end; later models can be found with a chequered, more rounded fore-end and a cheekpiece for
I like these little pump actions; as a second gun they are great fun and practical, and best of all they are cheap. You can pick up an old 572 pump for as little as £75, with worn bluing and scratched stock.
They are fairly reliable but do need to be kept clean to function correctly. This is easily achieved as the trigger mechanism is in one piece and drops from the bottom of the action with only two retaining pins removed.
The action takes its design from the Remington range of 870 pump-action or 1100 automatic shotguns. It has a typically swept-back profile and is made from aluminium with a tough, blackpainted finish. Twin dovetails are cut into the top of the action to attach scope mounts if desired. Remington fitted a crude set of open sights, with a ramped adjustable rearsight, but they work fine. A small red dot sight is also effective.
The Fieldmaster’s capacity to shoot .22LR, .22 long and .22 short ammunition is due to the tubular magazine sited below the barrel that can handle any cartridge length, unlike a dedicated box magazine that most rimfires use. In .22LR you can load 15 rounds, in .22 long the payload is 17 and in .22 short it can handle 20. To load, the magazine tube is removed from the front so, if you do have a sound moderator fitted, this is where things could get tight!
Put in the required number of rounds and refit the magazine tube, which is sprung-loaded to feed the rounds into the action as you pump away — a simple classic but it works. Problems occur with dirty ammunition or a bent inner magazine tube.
The trigger has a single-stage pull and is heavy at more than 6lb weight, complemented by a typical Remington cross-bolt safety catch sited behind the trigger-blade in the trigger-guard itself.
Accuracy from these classics is not in the modern-day bolt-action class but their ability to shoot a Winchester subsonic 40-gr bullet at 1,068fps for 101ft/lb energy, and the ability to change to a reduced load CCI CB long sized round for 721fps and 34ft/lb makes the Rem 572 pump a versatile little rifle.
The styling is unmistakably American and will certainly not be to everyone’s taste, but once you have tried a few of these pump-actions you do tend to get a little hooked on them. They are cheap to buy and a nice classic to own for some nostalgic vermin control.
What to look for in a secondhand Remington Fieldmaster Pump .22LR
Barrels: If threaded for a sound moderator, check that it will sit square on the barrel as it will foul the magazine tube if not.
Action: Usually reliable but a light strike by the firing pin is often due to a build-up of grease and unburned powder, so keep it clean.
Features: High-capacity magazine with fast action
Prices: Available second-hand from £75