Bruce Potts tries out the latest model in the Remington 597 range and discovers that it’s one of the best semi-auto rimfire rifles on the market
- One really good feature that enhances the Model 597’s performance stems from the good barrel-to-receiver fit that solidly locks the two together, yet allows the barrel to be removed very easily.
- This is achieved by the elongated breechface that slots into machined recesses in the action, and the union is secured by a separate block that effectively wedges the two together.
- The finish is typically matt blued, which negates any unwanted glare while out in the field, and the muzzle is threaded with a ½in UNF thread for sound-moderator fitment.
- The barrel diameter is 21mm and straight tapered to the barrel contour with a length of 16.5in, making for a shorter, stiffer barrel. This aids consistent accuracy and to some extent helps eliminate the need to free-float the barrel.
- The stock is an injection-moulded type with reinforced areas in the fore-end to eliminate or control flexing; as far as synthetic stocks go it is actually pretty solid and sturdy.
- There is no chequering, but the sculpted pistol grip and scalloped fore-end help.
- There aren’t any sling-swivel studs, which is a no-no in my book, as a hunting arm needs studs to fit a sling while walking and for bipod fitment. However, this is easily remedied and inexpensive to correct.
- The length of pull was 14in, which was good, but I found the comb a little low with a 2.25in drop, though the low-profiled Weaver one-piece base places the scope lower than normal.
- The horrible hard black plastic recoil pad remains.
- It mounts like a shotgun, but is chequered for some grip.
Trigger and safety
The trigger mechanism is in a polymer housing with the vital parts such as the sear and hammer being Teflon/nickel-plated for a smooth trigger pull. With its single-stage pull, the trigger is crisp for a semi-automatic rimfire with a weight of 3.5lb and minimal creep. The safety is the tried-and-tested yet simple cross-bolt blocking plunger sited in the rear of the trigger-blade, which blocks the travel of the trigger. It operates only when the rifle is cocked.