Remington 597 LS HB Review

Rem05

NOTE: This product review was made possible by GunsForSale.com.  To get up-to-date information on where to find cheap Remington rifles for sale, please visit GunsForSale.com.

I think most of us can agree Remington makes some of the finest rifles ever made. Remington .22’s have been used to teach thousands of American youth in learning how to shoot. As adult hunters many of us have taken some of the largest game animals on earth with Remington rifles. Military snipers in several wars used them to take the enemy out from unbelievably long distances. From Vietnam to present day the Remington 700 stills serves and most likely will for many years to come.

For a lot of us the .22 caliber family of rifles holds a more practical interest for everything from teaching your own children to shoot, enjoying family outings on the range to formal competition.

The rifle I chose for this review is the Remington 597 LS HB. It’s only my opinion but I believe this is one of the best looking .22 rifles made. The contrasting colors of the laminate stock as well as the sleek receiver design make it very appealing. On the practical side the magazine is a staggered design that allows the same number of rounds to be loaded as the long single stack magazines most other brands use. These longer magazines always seem to get in the way even when using a bi-pod. The magazine capacity is ten rounds. In the picture above you can see the low profile of this magazine design.

The barrel on the 597 is a 20 inch heavy barrel, free floated, made of carbon steel. This design is unique compared to most other .22 semi auto rifles. This Remington has a dual rod spring loaded design the bolt rides on.

Takedown is simple and straightforward. Once the receiver is separated from the stock two pins are punched out giving the user access to the bolt and guiderods. Using a supplied hex wrench both rods are removed by unscrewing them from the rear of the upper receiver allowing the bolt to be removed for cleaning. The lower portion of the receiver contains the trigger mechanism, which can be cleaned in the usual fashion. After cleaning reassemble in reverse order.

Specifications

Action type – Autoloading
Caliber – .22 LR
Magazine capacity – 10 cartridges
Barrel length – 20″
Barrel material – carbon steel
Barrel finish – satin blue
Sights – none; receiver grooved for tip-off scope mounts and drilled and tapped for Weaver base (supplied)
Overall length – 40″
Weight – 6 pounds
Stock material – brown laminated wood
Stock finish – satin
Length of pull – 14″

This particular example was lacking any lubrication. It’s probably best if the new owner takes the rifle down and lubricates the guiderods at the very least. The trigger and extractor are Teflon coated which makes for a smooth trigger requiring very little lubrication.

The receiver has cuts for direct scope mounting. I prefer to use the sturdier method using the pre-drilled and tapped scope rail. I picked a scope made just for the .22 LR. The BSA Sweet .22. While this scope is inexpensive it works well compensating for bullet drop with the correct turret. This model is a 3x9x40 supplied with target turrets for .22 caliber bullets in 36 grain, 38 grain and 40 grain.

Range Time

After mounting the scope I thought I’d head out to the range and sight the scope in and get familiar with the rifle. I set a target up at 50 yards and had the scope sighted in pretty quickly. Everything was going just fine until about round 275. I pulled the trigger and nothing happened. I pulled the bolt back and the last round fired was still chambered. This about the time I noticed the extractor was gone! Not loose but gone. I never did find the thing. To say I was irritated would be an understatement. Of course not finding the extractor ended my shooting.
After heading home I started some online troubleshooting and found the 597 has a bit of history with extractor problems. Normally I don’t pay much attention to postings on Internet forums until it happens to me and I can validate it. Rather than send the rifle in I ordered a new extractor from Volquartsen called “The Exact Edge”.

After the new extractor arrived I installed it in very little time. No fitting was needed. I tried another range session firing 150 rounds just to check function and where the empty cases were landing. This session turned out fine with the new extractor working well.

I went out the next day to do some serious shooting to see just what this rifle could do accuracy wise. I took ammunition from Remington, Federal Match and American Eagle. All of my shooting was again done from 50 yards. The rifle needed some additional sighting in after handling it so much replacing the extractor etcetera.

I fired a total of 500 rounds of these three types of ammunition. The Federal Match 40 grain load was the most accurate. I fired 200 rounds of this ammunition. The second 100 rounds were in 10 round groups. The average was slightly over 1 inch. I actually believe I could get the groups under 1 inch on a calm day shooting from the bi-pod. This is a very accurate rifle.

After this range trip I was satisfied with it’s performance and the feel of the stock. The front of the stock is wider than some other variations of the 597. The grip of the stock is also wider making it easy to get a firm lock on your shoulder.

Conclusion

As I said in the beginning this is one very handsome, accurate rifle. I suppose the question is would I advise someone to buy one? To be honest I would as long as the potential buyer realizes the extractor may be a weak spot. I have a good friend who has the less expensive version that he’s shot for over two years now with no problems at all. In the last couple of days I’ve shot an additional 200 rounds I called “just to be sure rounds”☺ So, with a total of 700 rounds fired after replacing the extractor I’ve had no malfunctions of any kind. I’ll leave the decision to purchase this rifle with the reader.


Phil White

Retired police officer with 30 years of service. Firearms instructor and SRU team member. I still instruct with local agencies. My daily carry pistol is the tried and true 1911. I’m the Associate Editor and moderator at TFB. I really enjoy answering readers questions and comments. We can all learn from each other about our favorite hobby!


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  • Komrad

    I think I’ll decide to keep my 10/22. There isn’t anything wrong with Remington, but the aftermarket marketplace just sin’t as big.

    • Phil White

      Komrad,

      That’s for sure. There are more aftermarket parts for na 10/22 than any other rifle outside of the AR.

      • Oneyeopn

        Phil…so it has been two years….what do you think now? I am salivating over the 597HB with the 16.5″ barrel with the 5R rifling. I have a Marlin/Glenfield Model 60 that I have had over 30 years, it still shoots fantastic and it has been rode hard and not put up. Last year I purchased a Marlin 795 to get a magazine fed Model 60. It has a heavier profile barrel than the Model 60 but my model 60 has the 24″ barrel. The 795 is a great gun, after I got the little bugs out but as accurate as any 22lr I have ever owned and my Marlins are way more accurate than any 10-22 I have ever owned. So how is the long term on the 597? Thanks

  • justin

    I have one of those 597s with the synthetic stock and have had a lot of problems with FTFs and some fail to fires. And when I purchased the 30 round extended mag. I had to whittle on the plastic of the mag to make it sit right due to a screw that held the stock on being directly infront of the mag well.

    • Phil White

      justin,

      One thing I found was a need to keep the guiderods snug to prevent any FTF’s. I used a little blue loctite on mine. The reason it will do that is one rod backing out if it’s not snugged down causing the spring on one side to be weaker than the other. This is my opinion only but I believe that has an effect on the rod recoil on that side making the bolt strike a bit off center. I could be wrong but it made sense to me.
      I do know what you mean about aftermarket mags. I’ve had problems with 30 round mags on the 10/22 among others. Design glitches like you mentioned that should have been caught before the mags were ever sold.

      • justin

        Not an aftermarket. A Remington brand hi-capacity magazine. And that one does tend to feed better than the old 10 shot magazine.

        • Phil White

          justin,

          Ok I gotcha— They do indeed feed better than the old ten rounders.

    • Chris P

      I have one of the synthetic stock 597s as well. I picked it up in about 2003. I’ve continually had FTFs. In general, it seems that the mag springs are weak and inconsistent. If I load more than 7 rounds in a mag, I’ll often have one stand up on me.

      At least in my case, it seems that the issue is with the mags not the rifle. When I can feed it, it shoots straight and fast. It’s still the first rifle I hand a new shooter, and will likely be the first rifle my son fires.

      I did install the tech-sights adjustable aperture sights, while I like them better than the stock open sights, I think I’m going back to glass.

      • Phil White

        Chris,

        Have you replaced the mags since 2003? I bet if you get some new ones it will solve that issue. They did have that mag recall on the .22 version back then. Since they are pretty inexpensive it might be worth a try.

  • Ian O.

    I have the same rifle pictured but in .22 mag. I like it a lot and shots great. I had a few issues with rounds not feeding from the magazine when I first got it. I think it just needed to be broke in. the last time I broke it down and cleaned it I had an issue get getting the springs seated correctly over the guide rods. It took some patience to get them back in place. I do love the feel of the rifle. It seams to be balanced really well.

    • Phil White

      Ian,

      I’m not sure when you got yours but Remington did have a magazine recall on the 17’s about two years ago. I do know what you mean as far as balance and overall feel. It’s very nice to shoot and makes a avery stable platform. You couldn’t be more correct sometimes it does take some patience to get things running right—but it’s worth it to keep such a nice rifle.

  • Todd

    Hmmm…. barrel isn’t threaded for suppressor use. I think I’ll pass.

  • George Osmer

    I love my Ruger 10/22 all twelve of them, the first one I bought in seventies while in college (1973-1977), the last one was just a couple weeks and if the aftermarket accessories ever arrive (on order for five weeks and counting), it may make it to the range before snow flies..

    The Remington M597 was a Ruger 10/22 wanna be with many problems. Most of these problems have been listed on various website and I would urge others to read and then check them out on the range. I bought a Remington m504 but it was less than I expected. It was never supported by the factory or the market place.

    I saw a Remington m547 but it did not make the grade because the example was really beat up for a so-called factory exhibition gun.

  • W

    I am a big fan of Remington. I agree with this article: that Remington firearms are fine weapons. The extractor issue should be easy to remedy. I have a Ruger 10/22 that has a stupid quantity of ammunition shot through it. Perhaps ill consider buying a 597.

    • Phil White

      W,

      The Rugers do run forever. I have a very old 44 mag Ruger that looks like an upsized 10/22. I believe I got it around 1968. The extractor on the 597 really wasn’t that big a deal. When the new one came in I spent about 20 minutes installing it. It does tend to kick the empties further than the stock extractor.
      This particular 597 really is a beauty.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/ Steve (The Firearm Blog)

      I am a Ruger 10/22 man myself, but I will be the first to say that Ruger’ stock 10/22 extractors are AWEFUL. Really bad. The first thing I tell new owner of a 10/22 it to buy a titanium aftermarket extractor. They are cheap an easy to install.

      • fw226

        I hate to post this on a Remington rifle thread, but for some reason it never occurred to me to do that. I’m sick of yanking those rounds out of my 10/22. Any suggestions for purchasing one?

  • mosinman

    this is an interesting article. i have a savage model 64 thats been pretty reliable, except when it gets dirty it sometimes jacks up the nose of the soft lead bullets, so plated rounds work the best in it.. 1st gun ive ever had and i love it

    • Phil White

      mosinman,

      The Federal Match rounds I used in this review were lead. In general though I use plated rounds as well.

    • mosinman

      yeah nothing wrong with plain lead if your rifle will feed em. mine does most of the time except when dirty lol

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        I’m a cleaning fanatic except for my .22’s:-) I should clean them more but I’m kinda like you the .22’s don’t get as much attention.

    • mosinman

      phil, yeah i know what you mean dude, when i take my mosin out and shoot the corrosive ammo out of it, the 1st thing i do is clean the thing! hahahabut i guess since .22 ammo isnt corrosive, i think its ok to clean the .22 less frequently ;D. thanks for the replys

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        Oh yea! I had corrosive ammo for the Century AK review and I scrubbed that barrel like crazy with black powder cleaner. Glad to interact with everyone:-) That’s really one of the enjoyable parts of writing these reviews for you all.

    • mosinman

      last time i cleaned it i used boiling water, sounds crazy and, well it is, i put a funnel in the chamber end and poured a little water down the barrel, and then dryed it completely.

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        No it doesn’t sound crazy at all. Soapy water is what I used to do before I found this small company making a black powder cleaner that cut my cleaning time down a bunch.

    • mosinman

      yeah i heard hoppes works too although h2o is cheaper hahaha
      what do they call that cleaner you use?

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        It’s called Uncle Dan’s Black Powder Solvent. They aren’t on the internet but you can call them at 501-292-3268. It’s been a long time since I bought any. By the way that’s an Arkansas phone number.

    • mosinman

      alrighty thanks for the info

      • Phil White

        mosinman,

        My pleasure sir:-)

  • Mark F.

    No guns for sale at gunsforsale.com.

    • Phil White

      Mark,

      It’s being worked on right now:-)

  • Niceness

    Bought a 597 in Europe this year, synthetic. Love the rifle, bought a pair of new mags as it only came with one ten rounder (can only fit nine, tho). The only problem is the trigger. It’s awful. I’ve ordered a new hammer (and extractor while I was at it) from Volquartsen. Supposedly that should fix the (too) heavy trigger pull. Also can’t pull the rear sights back enough to make it fire fine at 25m. 50m is fine. Installed a scope, tried only at 50m. Shoots like a charm, no failures whatsoever with the 250 rounds I was able to put through it. Hopefully it will group even better with the new trigger/hammer.

    • Phil White

      Niceness,

      Glad to hear it’s an enjoyable gun for you! When you get that trigger group in you’ll love it. I don’t have one but I did get a chance to shoot my buddies gun and that trigger will cut your groups down for sure! It’s also good to know that you were able to buy this gun in Europe.

  • tommy2rs

    I’ll stick with my JC Higgins (made by Hi Standard in 1954). My Dad bought it new and in all the years since I’ve only had to replace one worn out spring and that just a year ago. 17 round tubular mag and puts three rounds inside a dime off hand as fast as I can pull the trigger.

    It always boggles my mind when products get a glowing write up even with parts breakage. What ever happened to expecting quality for your dollar.

    • Phil White

      tommy2rs,

      I remember those. Plain as dirt but shot very well. They made them for Sears and Montgomery Wards as well I believe. My Dad bought a Hi-Standard 9 shot .22 revolver at the same time about 1959. Better times for the gun industry? Maybe—–

  • “Dr.”Dave

    The first rifle I ever owned was a Remington 597. It took me about a month to hate it.

    The rifle was accurate and handsome, sure. But the magazines were weak and did not like to feed, the rifle seemed to be incapable of firing more than 30 rounds with out a malfunction of some type and all in all I was horribly dissatisfied.

    I traded the rifle and a little bit of cash for a Ruger 10/22 and was as happy as a man can be. I would recomend against purchasing a 597.

    • Phil White

      “Dr.”Dave,

      It’s obviously difficult to compete with the 10/22!

  • John Doe

    Not as fan as a 10/22. Solid as hell, and with the right mods (or a good finger), full-auto is your friend.

    • Phil White

      John,

      I have a friend who has a Ruger 10/22 converted to full auto/select fire as well as being suppressed. That was one fun rifle!

  • Ripper

    i have always wanted a 10/22 but have not got one yet but my Mossberg 151m is the best 22 I have ever owned dime size groups at 50 yards all day long

    • Phil White

      Ripper,

      Mossbergs are very underrated guns and that 151 is a good .22!

  • HelloNiceKitty

    Here’s a short follow up of my recent Volquartsen target hammer purchase: what a difference! I love the rifle again! You simply need to try it to see the difference. The trigger is like night and day! Rem 597 owners: purchase it, if you haven’t already done so as it takes the rifle to a whole new level.

    After some more shooting: needed to file some rough aluminum edges of a magazine, the follower would get stuck below the first round. Works fine now.

    In the last 40 rounds I did today, there was one failure to fire, firing pin mark was shallow, fired fine after retrying, who knows it could’ve been the ammo.

    Maybe with some more winter sun I can take it out for a longer range.

  • disapointed

    in the hopes that someone considering buying this rifle actually scrolls down this far, let me discourage you. i wanted a semi-automatic 22lr because the 22 magnum rounds for my marlin bolt action cost about twice as much. i was really looking for a marlin model 60, but when i went to bas pro shops this one caught my eye because of the superior sights (i bought the synthetic model). i brought it home very satisfied because remington makes very high quality firearms. however, this time that was not the case. after experiencing problems with the slide jamming which i attributed to it being a new rifle, i began to experience FTFs (fail-to-fires)
    due to a light strike of the firing pin. it got to wear only 1 in 2 shots would actually fire. i took apart the rifle, lubricated the firing pin, put it back together very carefully, i’d like to emphasize the care i took in handling it because i didnt want to ruin it. i did not touch the trigger group i didnt bang on it, but after another 50 rounds i pulled the trigger and nothing happened. i dont mean another FTF, i mean the hammer didnt disengage and the pin didnt move a millimeter. i have taken the rifle apart and found that when i pull the trigger, it does not move the lever that catches the hammer far enough to releas both of the hammer-catches. after all of these problems, i plan on selling the rifle to greentop (if i can fix it) and use the money to buy 22 magnum rounds for my reliable marlin. i will say this for the rifle, when it did work i could hit a quarter 4 times out of 5 at 50 yards. still, i wish i had saved my money or at least gotten the marlin model 60. the reliability on this gun, in my opinion based on my experience with it, is way below par with what i expect from remington which is one of my three favorite gunmakers along with colt and heckler-and-koch.

    • not-so-disapointed

      hey an update to my comment, while in my case the rifle wasnt great their customer service is. i was on the phone with them for literally five minutes and fifteen seconds while in comparison i ws trying to exchange my girlfriend’s shoes with toms customer service for weeks until i finally got up at 6 am and called them the second their customer service center opened. but back to the gun, they are going to mail me a package with instructions on how to ship the gun to them for repair with a prepaid freight label (or something along those lines) so that i dont have to pay a dime to get it repaired. i think i will keep the rifle, because this is the kind of service i expect from remington, and im hoping that any future problems will be resolved with the same ease. plus i just love their guns…

  • jerry

    I love my 597, better trigger and more accurate than my 1022 and super reliable, the thing is that when putting the rifle together the rods shouldn’t be too tight because they bind, and is when the rifle fails, the new mags work perfect too honestly I like my 597 better than my marlin 60 and my Ruger 1022.