December 07, 2020
By Joseph von Benedikt
In the mid-1950s my grandfather—Montana Circuit Judge, drunkard, fly-fishing savant, womanizer, and adventurer—purchased a new Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster .22 rimfire. He died of lung cancer when I was two, but I grew up with that rifle. Reliable, accurate, and fast-shooting, it served me well on small game and in the informal matches my pals and I held.
My twin brother now has the scarred-up little pump gun, but when one showed here up at a local gunshop, I snapped it up. It’s in better shape, cosmetically, than my grandfather’s rifle and has a nice, rich walnut stock.
Introduced in 1954, the Model 572 replaced the earlier, top-ejection Model 121. Because the 572 has a solid top, it’s easier to mount a scope on it, and the side ejection doesn’t throw scorching empties down the shooter’s collar.
Of relatively simple design, the Model 572 operates much like Remington’s flagship pump-action shotguns. Its beefy size and robust girth make it a suitable trainer for shooting pump-action shotguns and deer rifles.
While the Model 572 Fieldmaster is still in production after 66 years, it certainly deserves recognition as a grand old rimfire that’s clearly going the distance.
Fed by a long tubular magazine beneath the barrel, the 572 is functioned via the forearm. Connected to the bolt by a single flat steel rod on the left side, it chambers, extracts, and ejects all .22-caliber rimfire ammo, including Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges. Capacity is 15 rounds of LR and 22 rounds of Short.
Like many pump-action and semiauto firearms with internal hammers or strikers, the trigger is just slightly spongy. Not enough to hurt accurate shooting, and there’s no annoying grittiness. Pull weight is 4 pounds, 7 ounces.
A crossbolt safety is located in the rear of the trigger guard, and a small tab located at the front left of the trigger guard unlocks the forearm from battery, allowing the shooter to open the action.
Sights are a steel bead up front, drift-adjustable for windage via the dovetail it’s set in, and a U-notch rear with a stepped elevator.
Very early models were, according to the gunsmith from whom I purchased this Model 572, sold without serial numbers. Mine has none. Interestingly, the same early versions suffered from a mechanical weakness in the magazine follower that often resulted in feeding issues, malfunctions, and breakage. Over the years a lot of 572s received replacement parts that solved the problems. This particular rifle had the original small follower, attached via a flimsy section of coil spring, and indeed it did jam frequently—and dreadfully. Disassembly was required, each time, to sort it out. I had the gunsmith replace the faulty part with the improved follower, and now the rifle feeds flawlessly.
According to the date code on the left rear of the barrel, my rifle was manufactured in March 1956. Interestingly, a previous owner had scratched his social security number into the left side of the action, but the gunshop owner buffed out the number when he took the rifle in trade.
Just like my grandfather’s old rifle, my “new” Model 572 shot significantly to the left of point of aim. When I began shooting my grandfather’s gun, a previous shooter (probably my older brother) had bent the bead on the front sight dramatically to the left, bringing point of impact on target. However, it looked awful. I attempted to bend it straight—and broke off the bead. For years, I held low—quite low—to hit my target with that straight-but-short front sight, which I had drifted in its dovetail to correct the horizontal point of aim.
I drifted the sight on this Model 572 to the left and brought point of impact to the right and on target. That done, I accuracy-tested three .22 LR loads. Two were high-velocity versions; one was a standard-velocity offering.
Two of the three shot quite well, averaging around or less than an inch at 25 yards. That’s good enough for head-shooting cottontails and dropping a bushytailed squirrel from an oak tree.
Working with this fine old Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster has brought back a lot of good memories of prowling the arid mesas of southern Utah with my grandfather’s old gun. And it’s just as fun to shoot as I remember.
Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster Specs
- Manufacturer: Remington
- Type: Pump-action repeater
- Caliber: .22 LR, Long, and Short
- Magazine Capacity: 15 rounds (.22 LR)
- Barrel: 23 in.
- Overall Length: 42 in.
- Weight, Empty: 5.75 lbs.
- Stock: Walnut
- Length of Pull: 13.63 in.
- Finish: Satin blue metal, low-gloss wood
- Sights: Adjustable U-notch rear; drift-adjustable bead front
- Trigger: 4.5-lb. pull (as tested)
- Safety: Crossbolt
Remington Model 572 Fieldmaster Accuracy & Velocity