Remington Model 504 Series Rifles
By Chuck Hawks
The 504 series is Remington's entry in the deluxe rimfire rifle sweepstakes. These rifles are designed to compete with other upscale rimfire rifles, and perhaps most of all with the Ruger M77 rimfire series. (See the Rimfire Guns and Ammo Page for a comparison of the Remington 504-T LS HB and Ruger K77/17VMBBZ.)
As part of Guns and Shooting Online's continuing series of reviews of .17 HMR caliber rifles, I contacted Teressa Carter at Remington to request the loan of a Model 504-T LS HB varmint rifle. ("T" for target, "LS" for laminated stock and "HB" for heavy barrel.) This is a new for 2005 model, the first 504 series rifle available in .17 HMR.
In the course of that review we learned a lot about the Model 504 series of rifles. You can find the complete review of the Model 504-T varmint rifle on the Product Review Page. For the purposes of this article is it is sufficient to say that the 504-T LS HB acquitted itself well in the shooting part of our testing.
At this writing the Model 504 line includes three models, in three calibers. The basic models are the 504-T LS HB varmint rifle (in .22 LR and .17 HMR), the 504 sporter rifle (in .17 Mach 2 and .22 LR), and the 504 Custom C Grade (in .22 LR).
The Model 504-T LS HB comes with a heavy barrel and a brown laminated hardwood stock of the varmint style. This incorporates a fluted Monte Carlo comb, right hand palm swell, and beavertail forend. There is no checkering, but a rubber butt pad, black plastic pistol grip cap, and detachable sling swivel bases are included. The heavy barrel wears a recessed target crown and the .22 LR version comes with an Eley Match chamber.
Here are the basic catalog specifications of the Model 504-T LS HB varmint rifle:
The standard Model 504 is a sporting rifle designed by someone with an eye for line. It is supplied with a sporter contour barrel and an American walnut stock in the classic style. This is a pistol grip stock with a straight, fluted comb and point checkering patterns at pistol grip and forend. A black plastic pistol grip cap, rubber butt pad, and detachable sling swivel bases complete this restrained looking stock.
Here are the basic catalog specifications of the Model 504 sporter rifle:
The elegant Model 504 Custom C Grade is an upscale version of the standard 504, assembled in the Remington Custom Shop. It features a fancy black walnut stock with cut checkering and a rosewood grip cap and forend tip. This stock has a straight comb, a right hand cheek piece, and a semi-gloss finish. The barreled action is hand-fitted and epoxy-bedded, and is treated to a high polish blued finish. The 24" barrel is made from a 40XR blank and comes with a concave target-style crown.
Here are the basic catalog specifications of the Model 504 Custom C Grade rifle:
The stock finish on the standard 504 and 504-T models is a synthetic satin, and the metal finish is described as "satin blued." That translates to a flat black barreled action. The trigger and bolt body are silver, the only bright spots on these rifles. While not in the same class, appearance wise, as the more expensive 504 Custom, these are generally handsome rifles.
Included with every new Model 504 series rifle should be an owner's manual, warrantee cards, gun lock, and magazine. (I say "should be" because our test example was supplied with none of these.) The warrantee period on a new Model 504 rifle is two years.
The owner's manual, when we finally got one, contains useful information if you can read past all of the safety warnings that constantly interrupt the text. Well over half of this manual is devoted to safety warnings.
The action of our test rifle was nicely inletted into the stock, as is the trigger guard, magazine housing, and escutcheon. The channel for the free-floating barrel is narrow and precisely cut. The barreled action is bedded into the stock at two points.
The magazine fits flush with the bottom line of the stock, a nice touch. Pull the magazine release (located at the front of the magazine well) rearward and hold to release the magazine.
No iron sights are supplied on 504 series rifles, which is just as well. One less thing to catch on brush. The receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mount bases, but it is not grooved for tip-off scope rings.
The 504 series rifles are an interesting blend of quality and economy. The barrel is secured to the front of the receiver by a "barrel clamp screw," rather than being screwed into the receiver.
The very thick walled receiver (I measured the rear receiver ring at .301") is machined from steel bar stock. The bolt assembly is all steel. As far as my magnet can determine, the escutcheon, magazine release, and magazine latch are steel, the trigger is stainless steel, and the trigger guard and magazine housing are an aluminum or magnesium based alloy. The loading/ejection port cut into the receiver is rather small, which when coupled with the very thick receiver walls makes the 504 series rifles difficult to single load. This was painfully apparent, as we had to do our test shooting by single loading the rifle.
The round bolt body was left in the "white," while the bolt handle assembly and bolt plug (rear cap) were finished in the same satin black as the receiver. The bolt is locked closed by a square lug at the root of the bolt handle that drops into a deep matching cut in the receiver wall behind the rear receiver ring. This is typical of mass produced rimfire bolt action rifles.
There is also a shallow secondary locking lug spaced about 120 degrees from the bolt handle that engages an equally shallow cut in the left receiver wall. This appears to have been included so that Remington could advertise "dual locking lugs" more than for any significant gain in strength or security.
There is a cocking indicator at the rear of the bolt, which allows gas and powder particles to blow straight back into the shooter's face should a case fail, which happened during our testing. These lawyer-inspired cocking indicators are a menace, so remember to wear your shooting glasses.
The bolt handle appears to be held on by a setscrew (!), but incorporates a comfortable round knob. The bolt handle should be longer for comfortable operation by adult hands.
Cases are extracted by dual, spring-loaded extractors and ejected by a fixed blade as the bolt is pulled fully rearward. This is the system typically employed in bolt action rimfire rifles.
The bolt release is a button at the left rear of the receiver. It is a good design, small and easy to use.
The safety is located at the right rear of the receiver. It is the usual Remington two position type, which is easy to understand and use. Forward is "fire" and back is "safe." I have always liked the position and operation of Remington bolt action safeties, and this one is no exception.
The die cast detachable magazine deserves special mention because it is not made from sheet metal like most such magazines. It is a staggered-row box magazine cast in one piece from a lightweight magnesium-based alloy. The detachable magazine floor plate is black plastic and the follower is orange plastic. The follower has a wide rail on one side that matches a track cast into the magazine; this keeps the follower level, preventing it from tipping fore or aft. This very lightweight magazine is dimensionally precise and appears more substantial than most of its sheet steel counterparts.
The trigger also deserves mention. The test rifle's trigger broke at 3.75 pounds with only a tiny hint of smooth creep before let off. This is excellent for a factory trigger, and I did not attempt to adjust it. The trigger is adjustable "within certain limits," but supposedly for competitive target shooters only, and all adjustments are supposed to be carried out by an authorized Remington repair center. After so informing the new owner, the owner's manual rambles on for paragraph after paragraph, telling the owner why he shouldn't mess with the factory trigger settings. I assume that the company lawyers are responsible for this rhetoric.
It is good to see Remington back in the deluxe rimfire rifle business. The 504 series is definitely a contender in this market.
Note: A full length review of the Remington Model 504-T LS HB .17 HMR Rifle can be found on the Product Reviews page.
Copyright 2005, 2012 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.