Thursday, May 24, 2007

Remington's Model 5

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PhotoI always liked to have a handy .22 rifle around and Remington has made some very good ones. I have an old Remington model 521T that I love to shoot. Here's something new from them.

Remington's Model 5
Story by Ralph M. Lermayer

The latest Remington rimfire to carry the cinco moniker proves it can hold its own with the best of them.

Photo: Remington’s most recent ISP import is an attractive, well-made, quality rimfire that will retail for under $350. It represents the best of European craftsmanship for a bargain price.

The number “5” in a Remington bolt-action rimfire rifle model number is not a casual inclusion. All of the greatest bolt-action rimfires offered in the past by Remington have had a “5” designation. The 510, 511, 512, on up to the great 541 and latest 504, are all evolutions of a line of bolt-action rimfire rifles that are dependable, accurate and affordable. The latest, the Model 5, will attempt to continue that tradition, but unlike all of its predecessors, this rifle did not come out of a Remington plant.

The Model 5 is another in the new line of firearms bearing the Remington logo, but imported from overseas. The Spartan shotgun line, the 798 and 799 Mauser bolt-action rifles, and now the Model 5, are all part of Remington’s expanded marketing philosophy — find high-quality gun manufacturers overseas, bring their products to the Remington quality standard, and offer the U.S. market high-end firearms, branded Remington, at competitive prices. Some take issue with that, although importing is not a new strategy.

PhotoPhoto: The five-round clip fits through a solid steel floorplate. The button between trigger guard and magazine releases the clip.

We have no problems with Brownings made in Belgium, high-end over-and-unders from Italy, or the European craftsmanship associated with Sako or Mauser. They know how to make good guns overseas and can produce them for a lot less money than we can here. We would all prefer to have every gun made here by our workers, but that’s not the case. Enter the Model 5.

When I first saw the Model 5 at a seminar in Nevada, I knew I’d handled it before. As a matter of fact, I tested, hunted with and owned the rifle under at least two of its previous surnames. It is made in Serbia by Zastava, a firm that’s been building firearms for decades. When I first saw it, it bore the Interarms name and was brought in along with the MKX centerfire. Later, Charles Daly stamped its name on it, and ran it through its distribution channels as a Daly rimfire.

Now Remington, aligned with Zastava, is bringing in the barreled actions for the Model 798 and 799 (formerly Interarms MK10), a classic and superb Mauser action, and the Model 5. Zastava is supplying the barreled actions, and Remington employees are mating them to laminated stocks in their Mayfield plant, putting them through final testing and quality control, and shipping them to us. The result: a whole lot of value and European craftsmanship in rifles that hit the shelves for under $350.

The Hardware

The Model 5 is built around a 22-inch carbon-steel, hammer-forged barrel with a 1-in-16 rate of twist — a perfect setup for a .22 Long Rifle. A .22 mag is also available with similar dimensions. It is mated to a solid-steel receiver with a massive all-steel underlug housing the magazine. A single screw through the front of the all-steel trigger guard ties the receiver to the stock. A second wood screw through the rear floorplate hole locks to the stock wood behind the trigger cutout. The receiver accepts standard .22 groove-style rings.

PhotoPhoto: A simple adjustable single-stage trigger is standard on the Model 5. The author found it difficult, but each red dot in the image shows a potential adjustment.

Atop the barrel, a very sturdy flip-up metallic rear sight, adjustable for windage and elevation, is matched to a solid ramp front. That front blade is protected in a removable front hood. It’s a typical European metallic sight setup, and a system that has stood the test of time. They deliver a clear metallic sight picture and are extremely durable.

Five rounds in the detachable magazine and one in the chute make the Model 5 a six-shooter — more than enough for walking the hardwoods in the fall for longears or bushytails. A large button, big enough to work with gloved hands, extends through the floorplate and pops out the magazine.

Fire control is handled with a simple single-stage trigger, military in its simplicity, but set up for a full range of adjustments. Trigger tension, overtravel and sear engagement, as well as what looks to be a mechanical motion stop, are all accessible. But, in keeping with today’s litigious society, all adjustments are sealed with a red varnish or epoxy. It can be adjusted, but I’d relegate it to a gunsmith. These single-stage triggers are ultra dependable, but can be darn tricky to adjust correctly. A mechanical safety located on the side blocks the sear. Its operation is smooth, quiet and positive.

PhotoPhoto: Current rifles show the Zastavo (Serbian Army) crest. This may change to the Remington logo.

The bolt is removed by simply pressing and holding the trigger. It is a solid steel, two-piece bolt with a welded-on bolt handle. Extraction is via two fully functioning claw extractors, set 180 degrees apart and spring loaded for a positive grip on the rim of the spent case. One of my gripes with many of the U.S.-made bolt-action rimfires is the use of only a single spring-loaded claw extractor with the second fixed. It’s done that way to save a few bucks. The European dual approach found in the Model 5 is the better way. Mechanically, there is no skimping in the production of the Model 5.

As I said, this rifle has been around for a long time, and all the operational needs are dealt with. Any kinks in this design were worked out long before most of us were around. Bluing, metalwork and fit are excellent.

The Woodwork

Previous importers housed this rifle in both low-end composite and solid-walnut stocks. Remington has chosen a full-size laminate made up of 25 laminations of what is probably birch, stained a light walnut and checkered nicely in the fore-end and grip. If it’s machine checkering, it’s some of the nicest I’ve seen. A dark wood grip cap and polymer buttplate finish off the package. It is, all in all, a very handsome, hand-filling, good-looking stock.

Wood-to-metal fit is fair to good with the barrel semi-free-floating due to a large gob of some kind of soft material located just back of the fore-end tip. That material keeps the barrel from contacting the barrel channel. The barrel channel could stand a little finish sanding and probably a coat of wood sealer.

PhotoPhoto: Ample checkering in the fore-end and grip may be machine-cut, but it looks good enough to be hand-done.

A single screw through the front of the floorplate locks the receiver to the wood on a steel pillar, with a second wood screw directly into the stock at the rear. For the moment — and this may end when current shelf stock is gone — the Zastava crest (Serbian Armory) graces the buttstock.

The package weighs 63/4 pounds without scope, is 403/4 inches in overall length, sports a nice scratch-resistant satin luster and carries and points quite well — a nice rifle by any standards. In spite of the price tag, there’s nothing cheap or under par about this rifle.

At the Bench

I mounted a 3-9x Bushnell rimfire scope in a set of Warne grooved rings. That brought the total weight up to about 81/2 pounds. After cleaning the factory protective lube out of the barrel, I ran about 10 rounds through at 25 yards to zero it, gathered up an assortment of .22 ammo from lightweight zappers to subsonic stuff, and worked it over at 50 and 100 yards.

I must qualify the results with a disclaimer. As set from the factory, this was one beast of a trigger, taking almost 6 to 7 pounds of pressure to break. I know this trigger can be easily improved because I’ve done it. I owned this same setup under the Interarms name and had the trigger polished and adjusted to break smooth as butter at about 2 1/2 pounds. I didn’t do it with this one simply because it wasn’t mine, and it had to go on to another writer for testing and evaluation.

PhotoPhoto: This soft gum-like material in the barrel channel is the only barrel contact. The rest of the barrel is free floating.

In spite of that, the rifle still managed to deliver groups in the 1 1/2-inch range with standard ammo, and with the Lapua or Remington Ely Match, held to 3/4 inch at 50 yards. I know, with a better trigger, groups far smaller are inherently available in this rifle. It clearly favored the standard-velocity stuff, but every .22 is unique, and only testing will tell you what it likes best. The very next one may prefer an entirely different brand and weight.


The Model 5 is a great rimfire, a well-built, quality product that will give its owner years of service and continue after it’s handed down to the next generation. It’s the kind of rimfire everyone should own. You must be prepared to give the trigger some attention, and maybe run a little sandpaper and sealer in the barrel channel, but that’s no big deal.

Suggested Retail is $350 blued, which means with a little careful shopping, you can probably pick one up for $250 or so. This is the kind of quality we expected years ago, and we may never again in our lifetime be able to buy it for this low price. After a trigger job, my last one became a half-inch shooter out to 75 yards. I foolishly traded it off. My order and check are headed to Remington for one of these, and it won’t be “trading stock.”

–Ralph M. Lermayer
GunHunter Magazine • November 2006


Anonymous said...

Remington Model 5 = Piece of Junk. It is heavy for a .22 and the front sight is GLUED ON, That's right, glued on. A few shots down the barrel and a few bangs here and there and it FALLS OFF. It looks as if Remington realized it is not a prime example of European gunsmithing and de-listed it.

Jimmy Jimenez said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Remington Model Five, (and it's differently name branded twins). As for the above opinion made by Anonymous which states that the Remington Model Five is a piece of junk, I greatly beg to differ! In my opinion, these Serbian made rifles are definitely well built firearms. They are manufactured in a manner that we would find common place in the United States, but only back in American gun making history, nowhere near so common today. Most U.S. gun firms that make rifles in this price range, are cutting costs by using less expensive metals, (like aluminum), or even using less expensive materials, (like plastics). In the process they have managed to diminish a lot of the "pride of ownership" that these products used to give us. These Zastava made Remington Model Five rifles offer us the old school machined steel components and bluing that we in America used to find more commonplace in our own products, but that has since become a rarity, (at least in the affordable options). They are well built guns and have gained a reputation for being good shooters. As for their having a "glued on front sight".... that is incorrect. The front sight ramp is screwed to a dovetailed piece in the front end of the barrel. This screw is hidden under the front sight which is dovetailed to the ramp. As for the rear sight base, it's attached by two screws to the barrel. The rear sight assembly itself is attached to the base by dovetail method. As you can see, no obvious short cuts are taken in the manufacturing of these firearms. Steel and wood are found throughout the entire gun, except for the plastic butt plate.

Anonymous said...

I bought one of these because I wanted a descent open sight equipped gun without spending alot of money. The gun is a great shooting gun for the price. I own a CZ and a Kimber and even though they have scopes, this gun can hold its own. Now the gun review: 1.The trigger will need adjusting. The screws are locktighted from the factory but you can adjust them to make the trigger much better. I found that using the screw adjustments were sufficient and did not need to sand or hone the seer. 2. The front sight is NOT glued on! It is in dovetail that you can adjust with a carefull tap of a hammer to adjust for windage. I did not like this so I replaced the rear sight w/ one that has a screw adjustment for windage which allowed me to dial this thing right in. I shoot standard velocity which mine seems to prefer. Overall I would recommend this solid, well built gun to anyone who is looking for a mid priced .22. Happy Shooting!

Anonymous said...

I bought 2 of these and both of them will not extract spent shells. Bought them for gifts and Remington made me look like a fool. If there is a fix I would like to know.

Almtnman said...

Brett, check the chamber on your rifles, especially the area where the firing pin strikes. Sometimes, when someone dry fires a 22, the firing pin will make an indenture on the edge of the chamber. I had a 22 rifle that was like that and I fixed mine myself by some very careful filing at the indentured. If that's the case with yours, a good gunsmith can fix it fairly easy. The rifles could have been dry fired before you even bought them from potential customer that looked at them before you made the purchase.

Anonymous said...

I bought the "Youth" 5-shot model 5because I wanted a very compact field gun. I was able to buy a used full size laminated stock and combine the two - making a very nice compact gun. When I exchanged stocks, I found several parts of the action within the orginal stock were rusted and the bolt that fastened into the rear tang of the action was completely loose. This bolt, and the metal spacer, would NOT line up in the new stock, and it took drilling and fitting to get it to somewhat line up - but the spacer could not be used. I put on Leupold scope mounts and a used 2.5 X scope. I really like the overall look of the gun - sort of a European stalking rifle. The first shooting experience was while hunting gophers up in Montana. I found a couple of other problems with the gun: the clip release button was very hard to use, the clip took a lot of wiggling to get it to fit back into the action, and spent shells would not always extract. Pretty crummy construction for a $350 rifle, and in my opinion Remington has zero quality control at the assembly plant of this rifle. As mentioned in other blog's, the trigger has a really heavy pull and the gun is quite heavy (due to the laminated stock - the original cheapy birch stock is much ligther) However, even with all the problems, the little 16.5 inch barreled rifle was fun to shoot and very accurate - my longest kill shot was at 98-yards. Would I buy another Remington? Probably not - mainly because of the extremely poor quality control.

horseshoe said...

I purchased a new Remington Model 5 22 cal.When I first shot it at a range .I was shooting Remington bulk hollow points.About every 7 to nine shots the casing would not eject.I had to push it out of the barrel with a rod.I wrote to Remington about this and never received an answer yet.

Hayes said...

I have had this rifle for about three years now.I have it chambered in 17 HMR.The only problem with it is it duds every 3 to 5 shots and doesn not kick out the empty shells like it should.When it does fire i can out shoot the savage 17's.Any opinions on how to fix the mis-fireing?

Almtnman said...

Hayes, I am seeing a lot of comments on here about this rifle having ejector problems. You might want to take it to a gunsmith and see if they can adjust the ejector or find out exactly what's causing this problem.

I have an old Sako 30-06 and it has a manual ejector. It wouldn't eject the cases like it should and I carried it to a smith and he simply stretched the spring behind the manual ejector and that fixed my problem. I'm not sure how the Remington ejector works.

Anonymous said...

Check your ammo for ejection problems....I once had a brick of .22 shells that had a few boxes with excessive lube on them, this caused them to stick fast in the chamber and my ejector just ripped through the rim trying to expel them. The grease was noticeable upon close examination, I did not however notice it in the field and almost returned my gun as "defective."

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