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Author: Mike Schoby
They don't make 'em like they used to.....until now.
Being somewhat of a small bore aficionado, I have always had a soft spot for fine rimfires. From Anschutz to Kimber, I have had the pleasure of shooting, as well as owning, many great .22's. In years past, high-quality .22's were more the norm than today. Winchester, Savage, Marlin and Remington all produced top-notch guns for fun as well as competitive use, but somewhere along the line rimfires changed from serious rifles to novice plinkers and inexpensive mass-produced rifles won out over high-end quality. Today, inexpensive plinkers can easily be had, but fine .22's are few and far between and when available usually come with a hefty price tag.
Since the rimfire world has changed to one of inexpensive stamped metal and plastic, I didn't think there would ever be a resurgence of the high-quality once exemplified by any of the major manufactures.
Then, Remington introduced a new model of .22 this year called the 504 and I was right, it is not of the same ilk as their previous 513 or the infamous Winchester 52... it is much, much better! When Remington engineers designed the 504 - they went all-out, incorporating many great features with plenty of quality.
The solid walnut stock exemplified classic big game rifle lines and dimensions with such niceties as a rubber butt pad, a stylized pistol grip cap, cut checkering and sling swivels. But this rifle is not simply about a nice piece of wood and reconfigured cosmetics - the changes go much deeper.
The totally redesigned action is a good example. Machined from solid steel bar stock, the action provides a rigid shooting platform. It comes drilled and tapped for scope mounts which also are far superior to standard dovetails found on most rimfire rifles. While most rimfire rifles have limited bedding area with often only a single screw securing them to the stock, the 504 utilizes dual bedding areas for a more precise stock-to-action fit, which in turn equates to more accurate, consistent shooting.
Moving farther down the action, one encounters the newly designed magazine - a first for Remington. Most .22's, including the older Remington 513T, generally left shooters lacking in the magazine department. Most are ugly, stamped-metal affairs protruding from the bottom of the stock like a sore thumb. In addition to the poor styling (which consequently catches on everything and does not allow for a good hand position) most are an absolute pain to remove - often requiring two hands. Not so with the 504. This magazine fits flush with the bottom of the stock for a classic look and provides a more stable shooting platform. It is also spring loaded for easy, one-hand ejection. Classic features like this used to only be found on semi-custom .22's costing much more than the 504.
The new barrel design is another unique feature new to the 504. The designers at Remington used a technique that works - namely the 5-R button rifling that has proven so accurate in their 40-XR target rifles. The sporter contour of the barrel is perfect for small game hunters and plinkers as well as serious competitors looking for a perfect silhouette rifle. While the barrel design and contour is pretty close to perfect for the vast majority of end users, Remington created a secure, action-to-barrel lock up that can still be easily removed to accommodate future modification/customization with other barrels.
Another feature many .22's are lacking is a good-quality trigger. Most are made with stamped parts, are non-adjustable and have a pull that almost takes two fingers to fire the gun. Not so with the 504. This rifle encompasses a specifically designed trigger assembly that is adjustable for over-travel, weight and engagement. Fresh from the box, the trigger is first rate, but should adjustments need to be made, any authorized Remington repair center can handle it.
Field Tested and Approved
I recently had the opportunity to field test the 504 at the 2004 SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) show and if you can't already tell, I was impressed. The first thing that caught my eye was the high-quality classically shaped stock with nice checkering. Without slighting Remington, it was hard for me not to look at the barrel stamping to make sure it really was a Remington as their standard production line up has never included a rimfire rifle of this quality.
The satin-black finish on the barreled action and trigger guard metal likewise suggested pure class. Saddling up behind this shooting machine on the bench, I was anxious to see if this rifle would shoot as good as it looked.
Unfortunately, the wind was howling that day to the point that it made holding the reticle on target extremely difficult and I was a bit unsure of how good of a test this was going to be. But the trigger broke extremely clean, the bolt worked smooth as silk due to its nickel-plated finish and when I looked through the spotting scope after 10 rounds, I was amazed to see one ragged hole that would probably measure around .65 of an inch. Over the course of the day the wind slackened off a bit and I tried several varieties of match ammo in the gun. All fed from the magnesium alloy magazine with ease and without a single hang up. The 504 digested all the different ammo with about the same degree of accuracy and I can only imagine on a calm day the groups would shrink from a large ragged hole to a much smaller one - not that it mattered, the gun was accurate enough even under these harsh conditions for any small-game hunting and even some competitive shooting.
If you are looking for a top-of-the-line silhouette rifle at a fraction of the normal cost, a fine piece to complete your collection, or simply looking to get a young shooter or hunter their first rifle that will last several generations, the 504 is a perfect choice.
To fondle this gun for yourself, head to one of Cabela's many retail store locations.
REMINGTON 504 SPECS:
Magazine Capacity: 6
Barrel Length: 20"
Overall Length: 38 1/2"
Average Weight: 6 Lbs.
Length Of Pull: 13 3/4"