A while ago, I picked up my Remington 597 on one of those impulse buys at my LGS. I liked how it came up to my shoulder and was easy to put on target. But after I got it home, I noticed two things that made me pause and relegate it to the gun safe. (More on this below) Fast forward, and a bargain on a laminate stock for the rifle on Ebay, I decided it was time to get to work on this rifle. First, a Volquartsen hammer and Tandemkross trigger spring kit give this little rifle a crisp 1.5 to 2 lb. trigger pull with just a little work. If you do nothing else on the 597, add these two trigger parts. Here’s where the Rifle stands now: What I’m looking for out of this 597 is fairly accurate 22lr can work well punching holes in paper as well as punching holes in small varmints. I’m looking for something less than a MOA precision, hopefully something around .75 MOA. I could turn this into an extremely precise 22lr. (.2 to .3 MOA), but that would involve an expensive barrel ($400), match trigger ($175) and a new stock ($300) and a new scope ($400+). Lots of money for something that would be basically relegated to just targets. My Thinking: The usual disclaimers, I’m an amateur fiddler. Take what I express below with a grain of salt. It’s my thinking and probably could use some input from others. My mentor on barrel accuracy is the guy who works on my Thompson Contender barrels. The guy is a fanatic on precision barrel work. His approach is best summed up in that a bullet needs to enter the bore straight and leave the bore straight. While indeed the condition of the rifling and the bore itself is important, a perfect bore doesn’t matter if the bullet gets tipped leaving the muzzle due to a poor crown. So he’s taught me to put the bore light away as the only judge of a barrel’s condition and focus on headspace, the throat and the muzzle crown. Here are some articles of his: http://www.lasc.us/BellmThroats101.htm http://www.lasc.us/BellmChamberThroatWhatIs.htm http://www.bellmtcs.com/store/index.php?cid=559& Here’s an example. I sent in a brand new Thompson Contender 22lr barrel, straight out of the package, to have a scope mount added. Mike checked out the barrel and found that the crown was coned and pinched and the throat was so misaligned that there little hope of any real precision out of this barrel. The solution was to whack a full inch off of the muzzle and re-chamber it to a 22 WMR. Don’t think you can see the pinch, but here’s what was cut off: So the above philosophy is how I approached my 597, or any other rifle accuracy for that matter. First thing that I noticed on my 597 was this: As you can see, the bolt face isn’t making contact squarely with the breach. This would probably result in an uneven headspace and most likely stringers. My amateur measurement also found that the headspace needs tightened up. So some machine work on the bolt is needed here. Second thing I noticed was this: Definitely a poorly cut crown. So now I’m faced with a choice. Have the barrel reworked or buy a new barrel. A new barrel is about $250 for a basic 20”, Bentz chamber barrel. However, I can get the Rem barrel re-crowned, the chamber swaged, and the breach re-faced for $60. I like my short 16.5” barrel. The Rem heavy barrel also has 5R rifling, which is also a plus. On to some more checking on the barrel before I make a final decision.