June 9th, 2009

Remington Offers AR-Styled 597 VTR Rimfire

Capitalizing on the strong consumer interest in AR15-style rifles, Remington Arms recently introduced its 597-VTR, a semi-automatic 22LR with AR-style ergonomics. Inside the matte black, slab-sided “upper” is the venerable Remington 597 receiver, updated with a nickel-Teflon® plated bolt, hammer and sear. On the outside, the 597-VTR features a AR-15 pistol grip, and AR collapsible stock, and a round AR-style float tube/handguard. On top of the receiver is a 1913 Picatinny-spec scope rail. Street price for the new rifle is about $450.00, complete with compact 10-round magazine. A standard Remington 597, without the tactical goodies and black paint, costs under $200.00.

Remington 597 LSS

Good for 3-Gun Cross-Training and Tactical Rimfire
While we snicker a bit at an older rimfire design tarted up in new tactical clothing, the 597-VTR makes sense for some users. Three-gun competitors should like this rifle. Most multi-gun match shooters use ARs for the rifle stages. With the 597-VTR, they can cross-train using inexpensive 22LR ammo, while maintaining the same basic ergonomics. For 3-gun shooters, who engage targets from a wide variety of shooting positions (often behind barriers), the collapsible stock has utility. It will allow the shooter to make his rifle more compact when practicing CQB or house-clearing stages.

Remington 597 VTR

With mods, the 597-VTR should also work well for the tactical rimfire discipline. The Picatinny rail makes it easy to swap over good optics from your centerfire gun. The tubular forearm should provide a strong mount for a bipod. However, for the tactical rimfire game, which is shot mostly prone, we don’t like the collapsible stock at all. Junk it. The LOP is too short, the bottom of the stock is terrible with sandbags, and the cheek weld is wrong. Tactical rimfire shooters would be wise to replace the collapsible stock with an upgraded design with longer length of pull and a proper cheekpiece. (The 597-VTR will accept most AR15 stocks). And, in reality, with a bedding job, a basic 597 in a laminated stock (see below) would probably work just as well.

Remington 597 LSS

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