Hello and welcome back to another edition of The Rimfire Report! The Rimfire Report is all about the rimfire firearm world. Sometimes we talk targets, sometimes we talk guns, and other times like today we’ll be talking about ammunition. 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum (RRM) is a relatively new offering in the rimfire firearm world. The round was designed back in 1969 but wasn’t put into production until the early 70s. Billed as a more affordable high-velocity rimfire cartridge, 5mm RRM was intended to squeeze a little bit of extra range out of the similarly sized .22WMR case but in the long run, 5mm RRM never quite caught on and eventually was discontinued in 1973. However, in 2008, a few companies started producing 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum along with rumors that some companies would begin producing firearms chambered in 5mm RRM. So is 5mm RRM completely dead or is there hope of it being resurrected at some point down the road?
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The Rimfire Report: 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum – Not Dead Yet?
5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum was originally created for the Remington 591M and 592M rifles. The original loading of the 5mm RRM was a 38grain Core Lokt bullet which had a maximum velocity of about 2100 fps and maintained its supersonic velocity out to about 200 yards. Since small game and varmints tend to be more skittish than your larger game every yard of reach you can get will help you gain reliable kills.
5mm RRM never really made its way into the casual shooting community which probably contributed to its short-lived production in the ’70s. No other companies outside of Remington picked up the 5mm RRM cartridge and this was likely another contributing factor. Personally, I think .22WMR offered most of what 5mm RRM offered but at a much cheaper price point and in a wider variety of firearms than what was initially offered in 5mm RRM.
5mm RRM was eventually discontinued along with the Model 591M and 592M rifles in 1973 and owners of said rifles were left with what little ammunition they had stocked up on – that was at least until 2008 when the round was reintroduced by a collaboration effort between Centurion Ordnance and Aguila Ammunition.
Centurion Ordinance and the Mexican-based Aguila Ammunition teamed up to breathe new life into the long-forgotten cartridge in 2008 and have been producing it ever since. With new production ammunition, hardcore varmint hunters and collectors once again had reliable and quality ammunition with a few extra options added as well. Aguila introduces a new 30-grain projectile that promised muzzle velocities closer to that of .17HMR at around 2500 fps .17HMR has by far been one of the most popular “new” rimfire cartridges to be introduced since .22WMR became a thing.
Until the reintroduction of the cartridge in 2008, owners of the magazine-fed 591M and tube-fed 592M had to rely on 5mm Craig centerfire conversion kits to shoot their rifles. The conversion kits required that new firing pins and altered bolts be used so this was at best an occasional modification and the rifles largely sat unused until 2008. In total 51,743 of the 591M/592M rifles were produced. Thompson Center also produced a 10″ octagon barrel for their Contender carbine which was also chambered in 5mm RRM but this was eventually discontinued after 30,000 of the guns were made and the cartridge was discontinued.
At SHOT Show 2008, Taurus introduced the new Taurus Tracker revolver chambered in 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum. The 9-shot rimfire revolver would have featured a 6-1/2″ barrel and featured fully adjustable rear sights and a ported barrel. This firearm was no doubt coordinated in release with the reintroduction of the ammunition by Centurion and Aguila but when all was said and done, the revolver was never produced nor imported for sale. It remains a mystery as to why the Tracker in 5mm was never put into production but I would guess that there simply wasn’t enough interest generated by the reintroduction of the round to justify dedicating the machine time to a new revolver in a relatively obscure cartridge.
The Future of 5MM Remington Rimfire Magnum
As of writing, Aguila is not actively producing the cartridge as part of their standard lineup but it seems that they occasionally do limited runs of the round from time to time giving 5mm owners time to stock up. Despite the current state of the world, boxes of the Aguila-produced ammunition can be found and purchased at about 46 cents per round which is fair considering it is an odd cartridge dedicated mostly to varmint shooters.
The guns themselves (the 591M and 592M) do occasionally go for sale on gunbroker.com for about $500 per rifle and are said to be very accurate and well made. I don’t quite know if there will ever be a new interest in the cartridge or if any gun manufactures would ever consider making new guns chambered for it but if I had to guess at a few companies who would at least consider it would be Ruger, and perhaps Taurus if they ever feel like putting the Tracker to market.
What are your thoughts on this obscure resurrected rimfire cartridge? Have you ever owned a 5mm Remington Rimfire Magnum or any of the rifles and would you like to see more guns chambered in the cartridge or is it effectively obsolete in your opinion? Comments welcome down below as always and thanks again for stopping by to read The Rimfire Report!