Remington 597 vs Ruger 10/22: Which Is the Perfect Beginner’s Rifle?

In this article, we’re comparing the Remington 597 vs Ruger 10/22. Both of these .22LRs are popular amongst beginners and gun enthusiasts. This is true likely because they’re easy to fire, maintain, low-recoil, and affordable for those who are just getting started. 

We’ll take a side-by-side look at the accuracy, reliability, price, and overall functionality of these semi-automatic rifles. 

Remington 597 vs Ruger 10/22 Review: Which One is Superior? 

The Remington 597 

Remington 597

If you’re in the market for a semi-auto .22LR then you might immediately turn your attention to the Ruger 10/22, Marlin 795, or Marlin Model 60, not so quick. The Remington 597 is a great .22LR, and it costs about the same as the Ruger as well. Now, if you stack the Ruger 10/22 vs Remington 597, you’ll see that while they are similar, they have many differences. 

You can pick up 10-30 round magazines for the 597, and it comes with a high-quality scope included with the stock. There are plenty of different models of the Remington 597 as well so there’s a bit of customization potential. 

It features a composite stock, which is nice and lightweight, providing better shooting quality from a standing position. Overall, this firearm is just as good, if not better than, the Ruger 10/22. That said, there are plenty of shortcomings like the advanced science of tearing it down. The Remington 597 is tough to tear down, and it’s not something you’re going to do real quick in the field in a pinch. 

The main thing that draws a lot of people to this rifle is the history of the company, the reputation of Remington, and the fact that it’s a great starter rifle that comes bundled with a decent scope and a magazine to boot. 

The Ruger 10/22 

ruger 10/22

On the other side of this Remington 597 vs 10/22 review, we have the Ruger. It’s considered one of the most beginner-friendly rifles on the market, it’s highly customizable, and it’s been around since 1964. Ruger offers simple operation, low maintenance, and a low profile design that is lightweight and popular in a variety of applications. 

But, we all know the reason people turn to this gun is that it’s like a blank canvas. Pretend the Ruger 10/22 is like a Bob Ross painting, and you’re Bob Ross. You’ve got a million different options of compatible upgrades ranging from scopes, to rails, to triggers, to stocks. Nothing is off-limits, and that’s what has drawn so much attention to this rifle over the years. 

Rifle Specifications 

First, let’s look at the specifications of these rifles side-by-side. You’ll be able to see what factors may impact your accuracy and performance. We’ll look at things such as size, length, weight, and twist rate. 

Remington 597 

This Remington model is new to the market only debuting in 1997 from Remington Arms. It has an overall length of 36.5 inches with the heavy barrel coming in at 22 inches. The rifle weighs 5.75 pounds without any upgrades and you’ll get a velocity of 350 to 1,750 feet per second. 

The 597 has a manual safety and trigger guard which is standard in most rifles, and for the most part, it stacks up pretty well against the Ruger 10/22. You’ll soon find out that many of the specifications and features of this are closely mimicking that of the Ruger 10/22. 

Ruger 10/22 

If we use the Ruger 10/22 Carbine or Rimfire as an example, it has an overall barrel length of 18.5 inches with a total length of 37 inches. So, the barrel is a bit shorter than the Remington 597, but it’s a little bit longer. The good news is that the Ruger 10/22 is only five pounds so it weighs a little less than the Remington 597. It features a ten-round rotary magazine which is considered one of the best designs on the market. 

This model has been around for a lot longer than the Remington 597 and that’s why we believe so many manufacturers have upgrades on it. Overall, when you stack them up side-by-side you realize that the differences are almost unnoticeable. In terms of specifications, you could go with either of these. 

Rifle Customization 

Both the Remington 597 and the Ruger 10/22 offer plenty of customization and aftermarket upgrades. You can customize things like guide rails, guide rods, and more.Let’s take a look to see how they stack up side-by-side. 

Remington 597 

This rifle might be the only one that we feel really compares to the 10/22. You can purchase upgrade kits that will make the rifle look more like an assault weapon. They also sell an assortment of kits so you design the gun to replicate many of the guns you see in movies. There’s a big market out there for Remington upgrades. 

If you want to enhance the accuracy and precision of the rifle, there are upgrades for that as well. They sell aftermarket triggers and barrels so you can improve your shot while also enhancing the appearance of the rifle. 

Ruger 10/22 

We all know that the Ruger has a ton of aftermarket parts. You can upgrade your stock to improve the appearance of the rifle. Most Rugers come with the standard wood grain stock, which can give the rifle an older appearance. If you want something that appears more tactical, you can go for a Magpul or Tactical Solutions stock

Even if you have a Bullpup, they have stock upgrades for this as well. If you’re thinking of improving your accuracy, you’ll want to look towards the trigger pull or sights. There are plenty of aftermarket iron sights that do a great job of zeroing in on your target, and they don’t break the bank either. 

The customizations are truly endless with the Ruger 10/22, so if we had to pick a winner for this segment, it would definitely be Ruger.

Rifle Reliability 

Reliability refers to the rifles ability to fire without experiencing any jams, misfires, or issues with the magazine. In this Remington 597 vs Ruger 10 22 review, both rifles are on the mid-to-upper end when it comes to reliability. Let’s see how they compare. 

Remington 597 

Soon after the original release of this rifle, they switched from a plastic magazine to aluminum. The plastic ones were horrible and caused a bunch of issues as you could imagine. The .22LR fires off a lot of round mags, and when the gun gets dirty it doesn’t have enough power to cut through the oil in the chamber. 

This is a problem you’ll experience with all .22LRs so it’s important that you clean them when you start to notice issues with accuracy or reliability. As a whole, the Remington 597 isn’t the most reliable rifle on the market, but there are so many factors that can determine how reliable it is in the first place. If you’re using good quality Mossberg or Winchester ammunition and the aluminum magazine, you should barely notice any reliability issues. 

Ruger 10/22 

The first thing we’ll look at is the magazine. It comes with a detachable magazine which is always going to cause reliability issues. No matter what ammo you’re firing, this will be an issue at one point or another. Most semi-automatic bolt action rifles come with these, and upgrading to the rotary magazine would be one way to remedy the issue. 

Maintenance is the number one debatable issue with the Ruger 10/22. Some people say that you don’t have to clean it once you build up that initial coating of oil in the chamber. We don’t entirely agree with this. We don’t think you need to tear down the rifle all the time, but we think reliability is contingent on how well you maintain your firearm. 

Rifle Accuracy 

Accuracy is likely the most important factor that you’ll consider when shopping between these two guns. Comparing the Ruger 10/22 vs Remington 597 on accuracy is tough because they’re both accurate for guns of their price range, but they’re so similar that it almost feels like we’re comparing apples to apples. 

Remington 597 

If you’ve ever fired a Remington 597 before, you know that it’s the most accurate rifle in this price range. It has no recoil, and that’s the number one thing that contributes to the accuracy. Best of all, most gun owners think that it’s perfectly accurate enough right out of the box. This is an advantage over the Ruger 10/22 because many people would argue that it’s only the best .22LR once you’ve upgraded the trigger. 

Ruger 10/22 

Getting accuracy from the Ruger 10/22 will depend a lot on the type of rifle you choose. The Bull Barrel design is the most accurate of them all, but that’s only if you’re measuring down to the hundredth of an inch. Most of us who are using them for small game hunting or screwing around won’t even notice a difference. 

The trigger is one area that a lot of people turn to blame the manufacturers of the Ruger, but once again, this is for the most seasoned and experienced shooters out there. If you need a plinker for plinking and occasional varmint, you’ll be fine. 

If we compare the Ruger 10/22 trigger vs Remington 597 trigger, they’re pretty similar, and both require a bit of effort. They’re not the most sensitive triggers on the market. 

The good news is that there are a ton of upgrades for the trigger and they don’t cost an arm and a leg either. Overall, you should have no problem firing up to 50 yards with both of these rifles. The Remington 597 has a lower profile and more compact design which does make it a little easier firing while standing. 

Rifle Price

Lastly, let’s take a look at the price of these rifles and see if we can wrap it up. They’re both affordable but one is a bit cheaper than the other. 

Remington 597 

We find that the Remington 597 is typically a bit cheaper than the Ruger 10/22. These rifles come in around $249, but you can find them as low as $150 if you know where to look. The reason we like the 597 so much is that upgrades don’t feel as necessary as they do with the Ruger 10/22. This gun feels like it comes complete already. 

Ruger 10/22 

Most Rugers will cost you between $200-350 depending on where you buy it and what model. From there, there are a million upgrades that you can do but they all have added costs too. In terms of value, we think you get a little more bang for your buck with the Remington 597. 

Ruger 10/22 vs Remington 597: Final Thoughts 

When comparing the Remington 597 vs Ruger 10/22, we knew they were similar, but you really could go with either one. If you’re looking for the most beginner-friendly option out there, we would suggest the 597. If you’re looking for a rifle that you can grow with, the Ruger 10/22 offers more longevity because you can upgrade it over time.