Several years ago, Remington began importing Serbian-made .22 rimfires manufactured by Zastava. Remington, however, wasn’t the first American company to stamp their name on this Zastava rimfire. Previously, both Interarms and Charles Daly had imported the Model Five (under different names) for the American Market.
Remington did, however, give the rifle a new look by having the imported barreled-action stocked in the U.S. They chose a full-sized laminated stock with plastic buttplate and grip cap.
While I’m convinced laminate stocks offer advantages over their solid hardwood counterparts, I’ve never warmed to their appearance. This rifle was no different. In fact, I was disappointed that Remington didn’t initially offer the Model Five in walnut. In 2008, Remington did start offering a walnut stock version, although I’ve never actually handled one.
When I saw a Model Five wearing a hardwood stock (most likely beech) in a Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2006, I figured I was obligated to bring it home. It appears that Dick’s was the only dealer to initially offer this configuration. While the stock was very poorly finished, at a price of about $200 it was a perfect project rifle.
There’s a lot to like about the Model Five. It has a “big boy” centerfire feel with a very nicely blued 22″ barrel and an almost-flush fitting 5 shot magazine. All the parts on this rifle that should be solid steel are, including the floorplate and trigger guard. The finish on all metal parts is nicely polished and deeply blued – almost black in appearance.
Unlike many rimfire bolt-actions manufactured today, the Model Five is equipped with an adjustable, flip-up rear sight, and a solid ramp with blade front sight. Although most buyers will probably mount a scope using the grooved receiver, it’s nice to have the open sights as an option.
The fully adjustable, single-stage trigger, which had terrible creep out of the box, actually turned out nicely after some work. It certainly doesn’t break like glass, but by adjusting the sear I was able to eliminate most creep. For a budget rifle, I’m pleased with how it functions now. There’s a possibility a good gunsmith (which I am not) might be able to squeeze even more from it.
The hardwood stock of my Model Five left a lot to be desired. With average checkering and numerous runs in the finish, I made a refinish job my top priority. After stripping and sanding the original finish from the rifle, I used the Birchwood Casey Tru-oil Finish Kit to refinish the stock with good results.
From an accuracy standpoint, I was pleasantly surprised. While not a tack-driver, my example is accurate with a variety of ammunition, including most offerings from Federal, CCI and Winchester. I’ve consistently averaged 0.75″ 5-shot groups at 50 yards since the rifle was purchased over two years ago, making the Model Five an excellent plinking and small game gun.
After 2 ½ years and a couple thousand rounds, I’m happy with the Model Five. It’s a rifle I can throw in the back of my Jeep for a day in the backcountry and not worry about dinging or denting. I’d recommend this rifle to anyone with only one caveat: price.
As of January 2009, Remington lists the MSRP of the laminate version of the Model Five at $349 and the European walnut version at $279. In my opinion, this is just too much for the Model Five. At this price point, Remington has stiff competition with some excellent rifles offered by CZ and Savage. Using gunbroker.com as a reference, it appears the laminate version is actually selling in the high $200′s, with the walnut in the mid-$200 range.
At the prices closer to $200, it’s definitely worth pulling the trigger on the Model Five.
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