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Remington 597 HB (heavy barrel)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by AStone, Sep 10, 2015.

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  1. AStone

    AStone Member

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    That's the rifle I'd like to discuss here.

    Please note: this is not a thread about the 597.
    It's about the 597 HB. Not the same rifle.
    The former has gotten terrible reviews.
    I know all about that. (I've probably read most of them.)

    But from what I see the 597 HB is a different beast entirely.
    [ETA: As I state subsequently, I was likely wrong about that; I can no longer find the page that claimed it, and may have dreamed it.]

    I'm going to buy one. I can't be talked out of that.

    I sold my Marlin 39A. Fine rifle, but wasn't for me:
    Too long -- I want more a carbine -- and the lever action
    didn't work for me in .22. My Marlin 336 in .30-30 is my favorite gun ever.
    I'll never ditch it. I bought the 39A because I thought I wanted a lever .22.

    Wrong. I want a semi-auto.
    (I grew up with a Remington Nylon 66. Miss it.)

    Yes, yes, I know about Ruger 10/22.
    If I wanted to build my own, I'd go that route.

    But I don't want to do that. No time for it.
    Too busy with professional stuff.
    I want an out-of-the-box shooter.

    I want a Remington 597 HB with a Leupold rimfire 2-7X (already own that).

    So, I'd enjoy hearing your experiences with the 597 HB.

    Again, regardless of good or bad, I'll still buy one.
    This isn't a decision thread. I'll make up my own mind after I buy one.

    Just want to read more about it -- since I've watched all the videos
    and read all the reviews already, and purchase is still a ways off.

    What say you?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  2. AStone

    AStone Member

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  3. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    What differences are there between the 597 and 597 HB? I'm assuming more than just the barrel...

    Every problem I ever experienced and/or heard of regarding the 597 had nothing to do with the barrel.
     
  4. TruthTellers

    TruthTellers member

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    Those 39A's are well made, but they are so long and heavy it has no use other than as a plinker. The other issue with that length is the barrel is so long, all the powder will have been fully burned to the point that it's length will cause velocity to drop. From all the data I've read, 22" is the maximum barrel length you'd want to use with a .22.

    You did not make a bad decision letting it go.

    As for the Remington, I don't have much knowledge about them, but I would suggest doing some research on Marlin Model 60's, Marlin 795's, and the ever popular 10/22. If you don't mind tube fed, Model 60 all the way, if you prefer detachable mags, 10/22.
     
  5. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    I too echo the sentiments about the barrel being the only difference between the 597 and 597HB. My nephews won a 597 in a raffle. I've shot it a few times here and there....when it was operable, which is rare. I've never seen a bigger POS, and can only advise people to stay FAR FAR away. If you need a .22 autoloader, go with a Marlin 60 or Ruger 10/22. The few extra dollars spent will pay dividends later on, believe me. Even their gunsmith told them that if they can get 50 bucks outta the gun, to sell it happily...he said he's worked on enough of them to form an opinion, and it certainly wasn't a positive one. Listen to what people are saying...the 597 and 597 have the same action....which means they'll be plagued with the same issues. Barrels tend to affect accuracy more than operation, and the rifle I shot WAS accurate enough....but firing 2-3 shots in a row without a jam or failure of some ssort was pretty rare. When I first handled the rifle, I admittedly did like it. Shooting it a few times cured me of that right quick.


    I know you said your mind was made up. Please reconsider. Buuing ANY 597 is akin to lighting money on fire and watching it burn before your eyes. The naysayers have NO reason to trash the rifle, other than its a piece of CRAP!!! I try to find something to like about most guns, but would rather use a 597 as a fencepost than shoot one again. PLEASE do more research...its NOT a "different beat entirely"....its the same 597 that pretty much everyone hates, with a heavy barrel. That will NOT fix most of the issues people have with the rifle.
     
  6. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, DaveK. But I'm set on a 597 HB. I've read every review available in search engines (numerous pages in), and I like what I'm reading about the HB. Later downstream, I'll post the one that made the difference for me. At this point, I just want to test it myself.

    Having said that, all opinions are welcome, whether positive or negative.
     
  7. ilmonster

    ilmonster Member

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    I've have owned a 597 HB for a few years now and it's a nice rifle. Mine has the 20" heavy barrel (matte finish) with a target crown in what looks to be a Boyd's laminated stock (what their website describes as Nutmeg color). I purchased it as it is more adult sized than many .22's. I also installed a DIP picatinny rail which makes scope and ring mounting really easy. With the original magazine, reliability was spotty, but Remington sent me a new magazine as they knew the originals had issues. Much better now. As with all .22's, it can be choosy about the ammo it likes.

    Might be selling mine as I have recently discovered silhouette and am looking to purchase a bolt action .22LR, possibly a much more expensive one!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  8. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Seems like this thread exists to give the OP the following opportunities:
    1. Fuel his lust for the 597 HB
    2. Individually address anyone recommending something else
    3. Ignore neutral questions

    Looks like a real winner of a thread. :barf:
     
  9. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    The 597 is a poor rifle compared to other similiar cost options. I have no idea why one would be dead set on purchasing one, with so many better...not in just my opinion, but that of MANY MANY others, options available.
     
  10. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Today is a busy day at work for me, complicated by errands that I have to do.

    But after work, I'll try to explain more clearly what my reasoning is, along with posting a link to an article about the 597 HB with a very long set of comments stretching over years, plus some personal experiences with rifles that either worked well or didn't, and how I addressed those. In a sense, this is a test of a process that I learned with another rifle that didn't work perfectly at first (out of the box), but is no almost flawless, and I learned a tremendous amount about it while spending very little money. I already know that I'll probably spend about $70 and a few hours with the 597HB, regardless of how it shoots OOTB.

    That is, I'm not coming into this issue totally naive. :rolleyes:
     
  11. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Now I'm confused. First you state that you dont have time to mess with a rifle and want an out of the box shooter, now you state "that I'll probably spend about $70 and a few hours with the 597HB". So which is it, do you want a quality out of the box rifle or a project gun? Please elaborate, as I can see why folks are getting mixed up.:confused: Its hard to give advice or pointed comments without understanding the question.
     
  12. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    You want a Remington 597 HB then get a Remington 597 HB. You get whatever trips your trigger, after all, it will be your rifle. Get the rifle and maybe 7 or 8 flavors of 22 LR ammunition and see what it likes. Since it's your rifle I don't see any need for you to explain your logic or choice as to make and model.

    Ron
     
  13. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Hmmmm, first I've heard that the Remington 597 was a turd. I always considered it a better out of the box rifle than both the 10/22 (which I love) and any of the Marlin autos. `Tis the nature of the internet, I suppose.


    This makes no sense whatsoever. Actually, the .22LR typically reaches maximum velocity in 12-14" so really, who cares? Longer barrels are quieter, are usually better balanced and hang more steadily off hand. Does it really matter if it shoots 20fps slower? Nope. One of my favorite .22's is a 24" Remington 541T-HB and I guarantee it weighs more than the Marlin.

    Weight, the Marlin 39A weighs a whopping 6.5lbs. Big friggin' deal. Do you really think that 4" of barrel weight makes the difference between svelte and boat anchor? My lovely little CZ 452FS weighs but a couple ounces less than the Marlin. I guess perception is everything. :rolleyes:
     
  14. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Same here. I have 2 of them. My kids have shot the crap out of them with no issue. They've also proven to be surprisingly accurate. Probably the best gun/dollar purchase I've ever made.
     
  15. AStone

    AStone Member

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    That's a fair question and complaint. I'll address it more thoroughly after work, but for now...

    What I don't want is a project gun. I don't mind spending a few hours with it in the first few weeks to a month. I do that with ALL my rifles; I'll explain more later about that.

    What I don't want is a "project" that's going to stretch over months ... like the minor malf issues that made me decide to sell the 39a (they were not the main reason, but the straw that broke the camel's back, in addition to the other factors that it just wasn't a good fit for my uses as explained in my OP), or trying mod after mod to find the best combo to make a 10/22 into the tack driver of my dreams.

    The mods that I'm pretty sure I'll do with the 597 are simple and cheap, and seem to be the keys to transforming the lemons into minute of lemonade. And if they don't work, I'll learn from the process and sell the gun and get one of the others recommended here.

    Sorry for not being more clear.

    And this thread is already very interesting and useful for me ... just like the comments in the article I'll post later (just need to find it again).

    And it's good to be back on THR again. Feels like the same place: a diversity of opinions, some occasional flames, good pressing questions, and more evidence that communicating only in writing with no spoken words and body language is HARD! :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2015
  16. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Differences between models

    Putting this here so I don't forget to address it later. It's a good and relevant question.

    I need to (re)find the review(s?) that addressed that issue.
     
  17. AStone

    AStone Member

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    OK, Friday night after work. I'll expand a bit on my reasoning for wanting a 597 HB.

    First, let me be clear that even though I've been away for a while, and am now using a different user name than previously -- it was time for a change, to retire my previous user name that I used on several forums -- I've spent a LOT of time on THR (I had over 11,000 posts under my former user name), and greatly value the expertise here. When I want a reliable opinion, I come here far more than any other gun forum. It's why I'm back.

    So I hope members won't hate me in this case that I'm not looking for opinions to make my decision about a 597 HB. I'm interested in opinions just to see what the thinking is about that rifle v others. I'll explain more below about why I've decided to purchase a 597 HB, even against the (reasonable) advice that some will offer against it.

    Second, I have NO -- zero, zilch, nada -- issues against the 10/22 or any other semi-auto. Like someone said above, if it floats your boat, then you should buy it. I have NO doubt that the 10/22 is a fine rifle, and can be made even better making it a project rifle. I'm aware of the HUGE number of aftermarket products for the 10/22, and the small number for 597's. Check. I'm really glad that option exists for those who want to pursue it. Sincerely. It just isn't my thing.

    Third, today, I took the bus (yes, I'm car challenged now) out to Cabella's (which wasn't here when I lived here five years ago) and handled both a 10/22 and 597, both standard (they didn't have and do not sell the HB). I'd never handled either. (Not true; in the late 1960's, a buddy had a 10/22, and I shot it several times. I was a Remington Nylon 66 kid, and loved it. In part because I liked the fore end better --- read on.)

    I spent some time with both. Now I was surprised that the 597's length of pull seemed no longer than the 10/22. I'd read that it was longer. But both in feel and lining them up on the counter, I could see no difference.

    But I'll admit that the 597 felt better to me. I especially like the sculpted narrower fore end -- I have small hands, and it just felt very natural. I also like the synthetic furniture.

    I could visualize the HB with it's 16.5" barrel. That right there is one of the several reasons I want it. I'm in Oregon now, for several months to a year. (Professional reasons) But my home is Maine, near the Great North Woods. After having walked there for years, I know how hard it is to walk there, let alone carrying a gun. In my view, shorter is better in that spruce/fir dominated woodland.

    Now, the other features that appeal. A heavy barrel for $200. (Ruger's is a couple hundred more; not in my budget). I've never owned a bull or heavy barrel (I'm aware they're similar but not the same.) I'm eager to see what they'll do that a standard will not. I'm not a target shooter any more than hunter; about the same. I'm aware that many don't want a heavy barrel for a hunting rifle due to weight. But look, my Marlin 336 weighs 7 lb. The 597 HB is 5.5 lbs. That's nothing to me. Plus, when I sling a rifle, I African carry: barrel down; far faster deployment, much more comfort. So having a heavy front end is fine.

    Of course, I like the idea of a heavy barrel for stability also. We'll see.

    Next, I like the following characteristics of the 597.
    • the double guide rods
    • Piccatiny rail
    • last shot bolt hold open
    • threaded barrel for suppressor; unlikely for me, but ...
    Oh, another point. In my OP, I claimed there were QC or design differences between the standard 597 and the HB. I cannot find that reference. So let's just say I was wrong about that. Memory is not 100%.

    Now, finally, the part that will not please some. I look at this as an experiment. I want to see for myself how good this rifle is, or is not. Where as the 10/22 has millions singing its praises (especially when aftermarket parts are installed), the lowly 597 is either loved or hated; it either works well, or it sucks. Clearly, there have been some QC issues. But it looks to me that many of them have been subsequently addressed by Remington. I want to see for myself.

    Side note. The same is true with the Marlin 39a, which I sold. The main reasons for selling it? Too long, too much barrel (see Great North Woods), didn't like the tubular magazine, too heavy (6.5 lb). But as mentioned before, the straw that broke the camel's back was too many failure to feed and failure to fire issue, with several kinds of ammo.

    Another side note. When I bought my Marlin 336, I started a new way of dealing with new guns: right out of the box, before shooting it, I took it down as far as I could, far beyond field stripping it. I found a manual and took it way down, labeling tiny screws for exactly where they came. I honed parts with emory paper, removing edges and burrs. I lubed it. When I put it back together, it was like butter. It's never given any problem. Not one. AND, I loved taking it down and getting to know parts at that level.

    That's what I intend to do with the 597 HB. Before I shoot it, I want to take it down, clean it, hone the parts, and relube.

    Finally, from reading and watching umpteen million reviews, I've learned that if a 597 is going to misbehave, there are two parts that are usually responsible.

    1. older magazines. The gen 3's (shipping with the newer rifles) seem to solve that. But I'm still going to buy an aftermarket, just in case. Probably this one.

    2. The extractor. Several have suggested, just replace it immediately because the factory extractor will break soon enough. The replacements are reliable, and fix those issues. This one; $20 plus shipping.

    So that's about $45. For a $200 gun? I'm ok with that.

    If needed, I'll replace the hammer and spring kit (another $50), but from what I"m reading, most don't require it, and it doesn't make that much difference. I'm ok with a heavy trigger. We'll see.

    OK, some reading that has informed me.

    The most interesting and positive review, with video, is here.

    Second positive review is here.

    Third.

    Fourth.

    And to appease those who believe the 10/22 to be better, this one, in which the 597 is slaughtered.

    And finally, to those who think I'm making a mistake, wasting my $ (gee, I've never done that before), that the 597 HB is only good for a fence post, look at it this way: months from now, if the one I buy turns out to be a lemon that is beyond redemption, a total POS, I'll admit it here, and you can say, "See! We told you so, moron! You should have bought a _______!"

    And I'll say, yes, once again, THR advice proved right. And I'll sell the 597 HB and buy a ______. Just think how satisfying that will be. :rolleyes:

    So, I hope this thread will become one of lovers and haters. Those that like the 597 (especially HB), and those that hate it. Maybe I should have made it a poll. I'm curious about how deep this hatred goes.

    Enjoy.

    When will I buy it? Not known. There are professional factors relating to my business. I'm waiting on cash flow to increase. It'll either kick enough by early October to allow the purchase, or I'll leave Oregon to overwinter in Florida by November. The latter may actually make it easier to purchase.

    We'll see.

    Ok, flame away. I'm sure I'll learn something. I always do. ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2015
  18. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    There is lots of hate on the internet for the 597. Maybe some of the early ones had issues based on what people have said, but I've yet to find problems with one. They are great accurate rifles. I have three that I loan out at Project Appleseed shoots, they work and shoot well. I've shot Rifleman with them many times, as have several students who borrowed them.

    Only thing I can say to watch for is don't He-man the screws that hold in the guide rails. You'll distort them and cause cycling issues. Gently finger tight is fine. Other than that, enjoy the rifle.

    Oh, and for a scope rail, get an Evolution Gunworks rail. It fixes the problem with pretty much every .22 out there that you can't get the scope far enough forward for proper eye relief.
     
  19. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    The "new" mags started at least five years ago.

    Of course, I've gotten many of the original black plastic ones off ebay for a good price. These have become my favorites for light weight and a lower profile. I have yet to find one that doesn't work.

    Still waiting on a factory extractor to fail. Send me yours if you get the VQ part, I may need a spare someday. :)
     
  20. AStone

    AStone Member

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    So noted. I've seen that in at least one review and a video. Thanks for the reminder.
     
  21. TruthTellers

    TruthTellers member

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    Naturally it wouldn't make sense to somebody who is talking out of their ass, but I'm willing to educate you for the betterment of society. Pull out yo #2 pencil and protractor home boy, you bout to be schooled:

    http://ballisticsbytheinch.com/22.html

    You say that the .22 typically reaches max velocity from a 12-14" barrel, if that's true, which it's not, why is it all the data in the chart shows barrels longer than 14" have higher velocities? Oh, maybe it's because the 12-14" barrel length you be hanging yo hat on is wrong.

    As for the weight of the Marlin, I'm just saying there are lighter and smaller .22's out there and people tend to favor lighter, shorter rifles as they're easier to wield than long, heavy ones.

    Class dismissed.
     
  22. AStone

    AStone Member

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    'specially in the great north woods.

    [​IMG]
     

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  23. AStone

    AStone Member

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    [​IMG]
     

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  24. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Oh boy, a live one! If you throttle back on the snark and avoid accusing folks of "talking out of their ass", you might have a more harmonious outcome. I normally would give the benefit of the doubt to one so wet behind the ears but since you decided to leave your manners at the curb, yes, let's do some "schooling".

    Firstly, you're not the first person in innernetdom to find BBTI. It's linked-to quite often by folks, myself included. This work was also done over 20yrs ago by John Lachuk and with a broader array of .22 loads than BBTI. What was the conclusion? That velocity rose and peaked between 12-14" of barrel for anything up to the usual "high velocity" loads. Only the hyper velocity loads gained a meaningful advantage in longer barrels. Still no more than 18", certainly not 22". All you're looking at is the highest recorded number. You have to look at it like a graph.

    For instance, the Remington GBHP hit 1180fps in 11", then it dropped, then it rose again to 1185fps at 16". Not only is that an insignificant difference but if you stopped anywhere between 11" and 16", you lost velocity. Same for the Mini-Mag. It hit 1221fps at 12", dropped at 13", then peaked at 1224fps in 14". The Winchester hit 1248fps at 13", then it dropped and then gained 3fps at 16". Even the Stinger hit 1496fps in 13" and only got another 14fps in 18". Same for the hyper velocity Velocitor, it reached 1349fps in 14", dropped, then peaked at 1376fps in 17". The biggest thing to learn from the chart you linked to, is that every rifle is a law unto itself. That there is little use in generalities or rules of thumb. If you think the reason for the difference between the Kimber and the Remington is the barrel length, you REALLY have a lot to learn. Bottom line is that the barrel length, as it relates to velocity, is a factor of least concern. What is important is balance, handling and sight radius. So no, you're not schooling me, you're getting your rear end handed to you because you learned everything you think you know from the internet.

    The Marlin is listed as 6.5lbs. My 20" 94/22 is my lightest, right at 6lbs. Naturally, the scoped 94/22M is nearly a pound heavier. I have a factory barreled 10/22 with peep sights and a Vortex Strikefire that is 6.8lbs empty. Another with a 21.5" mid-weight barrel that is over 7lbs with peep sights. A SIG 522 SWAT that is 7.7lbs. My CZ 452FS goes 6.3lbs bare or right at 7lbs scoped. I could go on and on but it would get to be redundant. I would carry any of those all day and I have. So no, the Marlin 39 isn't the lightest but it's far from the heaviest. You guys act as if it's a 10lb boat anchor. As far as length, a few inches makes little to no difference, no matter where you're hunting. I've been hunting in the eastern woods my entire life, from the swamps of Florida and the Carolinas to the hardwoods of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. I've been hunting with 10lb 32-33" muzzleloaders for the past 8yrs so you'll get little sympathy from me over a 6.5lb .22 levergun. When I was 20yrs old, I thought that short barrels were the bees knees too. :rolleyes:
     
  25. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    To the OP, what is the purpose for this rifle? Walking in the Maine woods? Because I've handled the 597HB and it is not 5.5lbs. The standard model is 5.5lbs. I also built a heavy barreled 10/22 and even at 16", it was well over 8lbs scoped. Both being way too much for woods carry. I may hunt big game with a 10lb muzzleloader but I don't want my walkabout rimfires to weight that much and a steel heavy barrel on a .22LR is just dead weight. They don't shoot any better. I'd recommend the standard model over the heavy barrel, even though you say your mind is made up.
     
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