Remington 597...shoots great...craptastic magazines.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by benEzra, May 10, 2020.

  1. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Years ago I picked up a used Remington 597 at a pawn shop for $140. I have mixed feelings about it.

    I took it to the range yesterday, and for a cheap pawn-shop .22, it shoots well. 50 yards, Federal match, with a cheap 2.5x shotgun scope:

    10956C3A-0E96-4161-BC2A-6426EBC3E5AC.jpeg

    100 yards, cheap Federal bulk stuff:

    D051CCEA-DEAB-4886-95FD-E6DA9DDB40B8.jpeg

    But it is the most unreliable .22 I’ve ever shot. I already replaced the extractor with a Volquartsen one, but the problem appears to be the cheapo cast-aluminum (or cast-zinc/zamak, not sure) magazines:

    6F9A1490-70BF-4322-98AF-CD31C55CB6DD.jpeg

    It has so much internal friction that sometimes rounds jam when you’re *loading* it. Sometimes it holds 10 rounds, sometimes 9. Sometimes it locks in place and sometimes it doesn’t. Some days it feeds fine. Some days every 4th or 5th round is a failure to feed or a misfeed.

    I’ve tried cleaning it, lubricating it, and running it dry. I’ve tried two brands of aftermarket polymer 30-rounders, too...one black Remington brand mag, and one a clear polymer from an unknown company. Neither worked.

    I’d pay good money for a working magazine (preferably 20 or 25 rounds rather than 10, though).

    I wish Remington had just spec’d it to take 10/22 magazines...
     
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I remember when those first came out a gunwriter did a review of the 597 and had similiar problems. IIRC, the factory rep told him they were Zamac. I dont know if later production guns had improvements to resolve the feeding issues or not, but there are so many nice, accurate, and (more) reliable .22 options out there, I wouldnt waste any more time on that one, personally.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    I am definitely leaning in that direction. My last hope was to try the United Defense/keepshooting.com magazines, which are supposedly better, but the website no longer has those in stock.
     
  4. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    Ive owned 3, and really like them, far better in fact than any other semi auto .22s ive owned.
    The origin plastic mags got a bad reputation for reliability, then the aluminum ones did too. Ive actually never had a problem with the aluminums after taking them apart and polishing the insides, and the plastics worked just fine as 9 rounders.
    If you dont want to polish an aluminum soak it in clp.
    Im currently using one new manufacture aluminum, that came with a new rifle last year, and one from probably the first batch or two that ive had for 18-19ish years now rattling around in my parts bin.

    https://www.keepshooting.com/remington-597-magazine.html
    These guys seem to be producing the best 597 magazine, but Ive not had the chance/need to try any.
     
  5. Zarthab

    Zarthab Member

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    I have 8 Remington circle 10 magazines that I empty 3-4 times each range trip and have very little issues with them.
    The biggest issue I have is the mag not dropping free, due to soot and wax buildup in the top/sides of the mag and well, just wipe it out.
    For the magazines I like to rub hard wax on the internal wear surfaces or use a dry lube, I hardly ever clean and relube them(years).
    Also when I load I find that if the first round in the mag is on the side if the window it is easier to get 10 in it.

    For 30 rounders I have 2 of the clear Remingtons,
    I sprayed dry lube and very gently bent out the bolt hold open so it actually worked, no more issues.

    Keep the action rail screws loose and use a .27cal brush to keep the chamber clean.

    These guys have all the 597 answers
    http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=218&order=desc&page=2

    Magazine assembly
    https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67286&highlight=follower
    The spring orientation is correct in this photo
    &
    https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=292197
     
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  6. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    My 597 is the 22 Mag version. When I first got it, it would not make it through a magazine without a jam. I bought it with the plastic mag and quickly found out the updated zinc mags were better so I bought 2 of those. I also bought the Volquartsen hammer and extractor. It was probably just the magazines but it has functioned 100% with 3 different types of ammo for 500 or so rounds. Those rounds are the only ones I use so I am not fussed about it being 100% with all ammo which is a pretty tall order for any rimfire anyway.

    I guess I would try a new magazine and keep them clean.
     
  7. bearman49709

    bearman49709 Member

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    In 1998 I bought a Ruger 10/22 and a Remington 597. The Ruger went down the road the same year and the Remington is still here.
    I still use the plastic magazine it came with and never had a problem loading 10 rounds in it or any problems with it feeding all 10. I've shot over 30,000 rounds over the years with it and consider it much better than the Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin 60.
     
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  8. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Much of my research has suggested the same. The barrel attachment method is superior and the receiver and bolt seem more robust to me. They have better accuracy in general as well. Many factory 597s shoot just as well as full custom 10/22s and the OP's pictures are good evidence of this. There are just a lot of horror stories out there. If you bought a brand new one, I bet there wouldn't be a problem of significance that couldn't be solved with different ammo. Older ones definitely seem to have more problems for whatever reason.

    Another thing about my magnum, and this is pretty common and well known, is that the 7 round magazine is a de facto 5 round mag. I have been able to load 7 on occasion and had it shoot fine but it is hard to load 7 in there without screwy things happening. I think the 597 magazines, generally speaking, just plain suck. They can work and many do work but they are still poorly executed. Don't really know if a magazine redesign would work or if the entire rifle would have to be changed.
     
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  9. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    My 597 is a different beast.
    A docile and well mannered one.
    I dislike the zero tolerance magazines, but, kept flushed with OneShot, I experience no problems.
    I has the most rounds of all my rifles through it, thanks to a couple 25 round bananas.

    Reliability is of no question for my example.

    Really, it is boring. It has no real aftermarket add ons or mods, because it really doesn’t need any. The stock is stiffer than average. The accuracy is great, nearly rivaling my three bolt Savages. The mags fit nearly flush, and the rifle carries easy.


    Some may call it perfect. I am a fiddler. I need to tinker and tune.
    It is without flaw. That is it’s flaw.

    Don't get me wrong though. I do like it. It isn’t going anywhere...
     
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  10. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Member

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    The 597 magazines are very sensitive to how the rounds are loaded. The tip of the bullet must be angled upwards when loading or it will not feed properly. Mine is also a magnum and is a great shooter but the magazines could surely use a little improvement.
     
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  11. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    They are frustrating like that....

    the only upgrades mine have are volquartsen hammers, and mcarbo springs.
     
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  12. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    I just wish his magazines worked, that he, too, may feel the joy of a 597 ticking like a clock.

    I must say though, my magazines are not that dirty. I clean them out often. An auto loader pukes soot into the chamber and mag with every cycle. I stay on top of it.

    I wonder if that combined with a worn magazine latch causes some issues.

    There could be a reason, other than finances, it was found a pawn store.
    Tolerance stacking...;)
     
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  13. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Zarthab, thanks for the advice...I never thought of waxing the interior of the magazine (tried oil but that didn’t really help). I notice that the exposed surface of the Zamak is oxidized and is *very* grippy, not smooth at all like most magazines. I will try that.
     
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  14. Zarthab

    Zarthab Member

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    benEzra, I cleaned the mags rubbed the candle wax into a popcicle stick and rubbed that into the places the rounds would rub.
    I would also take a dowel and see if you can push the follower to just below the window.
    If it will go down that far it will take 10, as I can still see the follower just at the bottom of the window.
     
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  15. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I clean and use Dri-Lube in all of my 597 magazines once a year or so. First time apart I smooth out the mold lines on the followers. And make sure the spring is in the correct orientation to push the bullet nose up. They can be and sometimes are installed backwards.
     
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  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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  17. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Do you happen to have one of those kits to measure the wire diameter on the spring?
     
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  19. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    yep lemme take it apart this evening.
    The hammers have a shallower engagement angle as well, ill TRY measure that also. Mine are Volquartsen tho, so the Mcarbos might be different still.
    Supposedly they are supposed to produce a 2lb pull, when used with a spring kit. On my new 597 I "THINK" thats what it was, ill have to test it again. On my older heavy barrel locking safety it sits right at 3.5, even with the spring kit.
     
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  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I put a Volquartsen hammer in mine and temporarily put in the MCarbo kit.

    Trigger pull was 8 ounces. Yes. 0 lbs 8 oz.

    Put the stock setup back in and left the Volquartsen hammer and it was 3.5 lbs. Much better.

    This is not typical I guess so I must have gotten a slightly bad part from MCarbo or the hammer. I am quite happy with just the hammer.
     
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  21. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    .043-.045 depending on where measure the spring. Stock spring is .047-.048
     
  22. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Thank you.
     
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  23. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    No problem ill try measure the change in angles on the sear at some point soon. My son decided I was done tinkering.
     
  24. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    That would be wonderful!

    Gah, darn. Little Bear like to use this one sometimes. It’s his “AR”. It will have to stay un-hot-rodded...
    For now.
     
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