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Couple of cheap .22s

This is a discussion on Couple of cheap .22s within the Rifles forums, part of the Long Gun Forum category; Somewhere around 1976, I bought a Remington 581 .22 rifle to use for squirrel hunting. I'd owned a couple of Remington 788s and both were ...


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Old 12-13-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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Couple of cheap .22s

Somewhere around 1976, I bought a Remington 581 .22 rifle to use for squirrel hunting. I'd owned a couple of Remington 788s and both were pretty accurate. The 581 was patterned after the 788, with rows of rear locking bolts, and I assumed it would be accurate. I wasn't wrong, for a change, and used this rifle to put a lot of squirrel meat on the table. With the right ammo, it still groups under an inch @ 100 yards. You probably wouldn't win any bench rest matches with it, but it has plenty of practical accuracy for hunting. The 581 uses a detachable box magazine and has a 24" barrel. It was introduced in 1967 and discontinued in 1978. They originally had walnut stocks, but after a couple of years they replaced the walnut with birch. Mine has the birch stock. I don't squirrel hunt much anymore, so I don't shoot it very often.

I was at the range shooting it one day in October. There was a fellow there that I've talked to a few times and he was shooting a variety of old .22 rifles. He haunts the pawn shops and will buy just about any .22 rifle that is priced right. He noticed my 581 and said he had one just like it in his SUV, but it wasn't any good. Parts are hard to come by for these rifles, so I asked to see it. He drug out this dirt and grease-caked rifle and handed it to me. It turned out to be a 582 - same rifle with a tubular magazine. He told me that the trigger was locked back and he figured something had broken. He said he had taken to a friend of his who does a little gunsmithing in his spare time, but was told that the action was all pinned together and couldn't be fixed. I knew right away that this guy and his friend didn't know much about this rifle! I asked him what he would take for it, and we settled on $50. I brought it home with me and took the action out of the stock. The action was caked with some kind of thick, sticky yellow lubricant . It looked a lot like STP. I drove out pins to remove the safety, sear and trigger, but the trigger wouldn't come out. I unpinned the trigger housing from the receiver and put it in my ultrasonic cleaner. After ten 4 minute cycles I could move the trigger slightly. I then put it in a pan of Hoppes# 9 for an hour. Voila! I was able to remove the trigger. I cleaned the inside of the housing thoroughly, but it all back together, and the action worked perfectly. After a lot of cleaning, the bore and the metal on the rifle looks great. Even the stock cleaned up pretty good. Unfortunately some moron installed a sling swivel stud about 1" from the butt plate instead of where it should be. This one was made in 1967 and has the walnut stock. It also has no serial number because it was built before the 1968 Gun Control Act.

The moral of this story is don't take another's word for it that a firearm is junk. This rifle shoots very well also. These rifles are starting to receive some interest from collectors. A look on Gun Broker shows they are selling from $300 to $450. I guess $50 was a pretty fair price.

581 on the left - 582 on the right



581



582


Last edited by rman43; 12-13-2013 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 09:44 AM   #2
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A friend of mine Larry Brown started the BR50 game and tested a hundred different brands of ammo for gun magazine. with a 582 and it was a super accurate and I owned after he did his test . SUPER GUN . NO pics but it had a 2 oz trigger and Mc Milian firber glass stock .

NCG you would like this game . It is a super game for Air gun and 22 rifles and they also do the postal stuff World Wide .

http://www.airguns.net/comp_br50.php
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Old 12-13-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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OMG, rman, have you been reading some of my old posts on the 580 series guns? Great minds think alike, once again. You are preaching to the choir with this girl. (These guys are probably sick of me posting about these old Remingtons. ) Anyway, nice to know I'm not the only nut around here about these guns.

I have two of the 580s, a gorgeous mahogany stocked 582 and the ultimate in the 541 S. Every single one will shoot down to a third of an inch for five shots at 50 yards with high grade target ammo. They are the most accurate 22 for the dollar ever made, if you ask me. The only gun that we have that will outshoot one is our much, much more expensive Savage Anschutz 54 Sporter, but the difference is not all that much, even so.

Word is out on these guns, though. Prices have been steadily rising. Still need to find a 581 to complete the series, though.

Here's our 60s vintage 580, one of the early ones with a walnut stock.



Here's a closeup of our mahogany 582


And our 541 S

Last edited by north country gal; 12-13-2013 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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No, NCG, somehow I missed your posts on the 580's. You sure have a nice trio of them. The stock on that 582 is beautiful! I have my eye out for a 580 I can afford. I think the 541's are a little out of my league on price. It's nice to know that someone else appreciates these fine little rifles. They sure are fine little shooters. If I remember right, I paid about $110 for the 581 new. I thought that was pretty expensive for a .22 bolt with a birch stock, but it's been worth every penny. They made your 580 in a smooth bore and they are RARE, as are the left-handed models.

Last edited by rman43; 12-13-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:36 AM   #5
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You can still find a 580 in the $100 price range sitting in some pawn shops or gun shops, but it's getting harder all the time. $150 is a more likely price for a nice one and that's what we paid for ours. Be darn hard to find a 581, though, for under $200, now, but, again, who knows what is sitting in the back corner of a pawn shop? The 541 S is now a bona fide collectible and most are bringing $700 plus, but, then, they always were the pricey version.

You know, birch stocks never bothered me at all. I do prefer walnut for its look and beauty and it does add value to the gun, but birch is every bit as good as far as a choice in gun stock wood. it sure wouldn't stop me from buying a 581 if I can find one at a decent price or even its bigger brother, the 788.
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Old 12-13-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Birch makes a good, serviceable stock. One of the prettiest (in my eyes) gun I ever owned was a Remington 660 carbine in 6.5 Remington Magnum with a birch/walnut laminated stock. The cartridge kind of turned out a bust, but the carbine was a great little shooter. I also had one in .243 that was accurate enough to shoot prairie dogs with, as long as you let the skinny barrel cool off between shots.
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