From new AR style autoloaders to antique single shot bolt actions there is a .22 rifle for everyone. But perhaps the most overlooked design of .22 actions is the pump action, or sometimes called “slide action” when referring to rifles. And even in that category it seems like few can name a favorite, but when they do the nifty Remington 572 comes up.
The Remington 572 is no spring chicken and neither is Remington’s pump-action design. The rifle was first produced in 1954 and is still in production today. Generally when we think about pump actions, we think in relation to a shotgun—like the Remington 870. The 572 and the 870 are, for the most part ,the same design, and perhaps Remington planned it that way. They look and function similar. Most importantly they both have a strong and reliable action.
The 572 is not a target rifle nor is it meant to be. From my experience with it I expect around 2-inch groups at 50 yards. Some will shoot a little tighter, some a little looser. The debate, however, is how well it shoots at 100 yards. While some claim 3-inch groups and others say 5.5-inch groups, a fairer assessment of accuracy would be in squirrels and tin cans. Plinking is where this rifle is at home. And of course being a 22 it is cheap to run.
There have been a few changes over the years but the rifle is generally found with a 22-inch barrel, walnut stock and a 15- to 22-tubular magazine (depending on the cartridge; The 572 shoots .22 short, long and long rifle cartridges).
The few variants of the 572 made over the years only had slight differences, which things like level of fanciness, some have more plain stocks, others have higher grade wood. There is one variant that does stand out not because of the way it is dressed – The 572 smoothbore.
Smooth bore .22 long guns (can’t really call them a rifle) are sometimes referred to as garden guns because they’re intended to be used with .22-caliber shot shells and to pepper snakes, rats or other little critters that may pose as a nuisance.
But to the innovative thinker, it might be fun to see if you could hit some clays with it too. Remington at one time made a small sized clay thrower for these. I’d love to get my hands on one and give it a try (hint, hint editor).
The Remington 572 pump .22s have the reliability of the venerable 870 action, so you can bet they’re well made rifles. They might not shoot the tightest groups ever, but they are at home in the field and at the plinking range. And quite possibly at the trap range too.
MSRP is $665, but they’re listed online for about $200 used and upwards of $520 new.