Review: Remington Model 511 Scoremaster

Review: Remington Model 511 Scoremaster
Remington’s accurate little .22 LR Model 511 Scoremaster bolt-action repeater put a lot of squirrel meat into stewpots during the better part of the 20th century.

Although unassuming in appearance and unremarkable to collectors, the simple Remington Model 511 Scoremaster bolt-action rimfire repeater is a legendary game-getter. Surprisingly accurate for a .22 of basic design, the rifle tends to be boringly reliable for generation after generation of squirrel hunters.

Introduced in 1939, the Model 511 Scoremaster features a 25-inch tapered round barrel, six- or 10-round magazine, strap-metal trigger guard, and sleek small-diameter bolt action. The bolt locks up by camming the bolt handle stud closed into a square-bottomed notch machined into the right side of the action. It also features a second, opposing locking lug, giving the bolt equilateral support that keeps it straight and consistent and benefits accuracy.

The bolt handle is a separate part secured into and through the sturdy stud on the bolt body; it’s bent to enable easy grasping and function. The bolt knob is football-shaped and is integral to the handle.

Made to feed .22 Short, Long, and Long Rifle cartridges with equal ease and reliability, the magazine is a nicely made affair, displaying good design and fine craftsmanship. The version in the rifle shown here is a flush-fitting six-rounder.


The stock looks to be walnut, and it features simple, economic lines. Nonetheless, it’s very comfortable in the hands and at the shoulder, and it positions the shooter’s eye in perfect alignment with the iron sights.


On that note, the rear sight is a step-adjustable version with a “V” notch. The front is a unique post-type sight with a highly visible rectangular silver insert. Interestingly, the lower portion of the front sight post is formed into a sturdy, oversize bead shape; theoretically, the tip of the sight can be used for consistent extended-distance shooting when the bead-like portion is centered in the rear notch.


Over 380,000 Model 511 Scoremaster rifles were manufactured between 1939 and 1963. The later Model 511X allegedly sported improved sights, and it was manufactured in 1965 and 1966.

Two other variations are worth noting. The Model 511SB (for smooth bore) was designed for weeding pests from the vegetable patch and is appropriately known as a “garden gun.” The Model 511P featured a micrometer-adjustable aperture rear sight and a Patridge front blade.

Mechanicals


The rifle’s safety is a simple rocker-type affair at the right rear of the action. It blocks the trigger but does not lock the bolt. Flick it forward to fire, rearward to engage the safety. When cocked, the rear of the firing pin protrudes from the back of the bolt shroud, providing a visual and tactile “cocked” indicator.

Squeeze the trigger to fire and work the bolt again to chamber another round. As the boltface travels rearward, dual hook-type extractors at 3 and 6 o’clock in the boltface draw the empty cartridge case out of the chamber, and after it clears the chamber, a fixed steel blade-type ejector pops the empty up and out of the action. As the bolt runs forward, the lower edge of the boltface catches the base of a fresh cartridge and boosts it forward into the chamber.

Provenance


Last month I wrote about my British father-in-law and his first shotgun. The 511 Scoremaster shown here was his first rifle. It’s almost as old as he is and was manufactured in March 1947, according to the letter code stamped into the barrel.

I gave the rifle to him one Christmas back when my wife and I were poor college students. At the time I was introducing him to the joys of perforating tin cans with an accurate, pleasant-shooting rimfire rifle.

Now, borrowing it back from him for this column, I almost wish I’d kept it. You’ll see why when you read about how it shoots.

//content.osgnetworks.tv/shootingtimes/content/photos/RemModel511Scoremaster-1.jpg

Rangetime

Repairing to the range with several of my favorite .22 LR loads, I put the classic rimfire through its paces, firing a series of three consecutive five-shot groups at 25 yards with each ammunition type. Although the trigger pull is jaw-clenching stout—measuring 6 pounds, 3 ounces on my Lyman digital trigger gauge—it’s fairly crisp, and the seven-decades-old rifle produced eyebrow-raising accuracy. Even though a harsh sun created wavering mirage and caused the silver front-sight insert to dance like a hula girl at a luau, most of the loads pounded five shots into tiny clusters.

To my amazement, even using iron sights in the less-than-optimal sighting conditions, three of the four loads averaged a half-inch or less at 25 yards, and the fourth wasn’t much bigger. That’s outstanding even for a modern rimfire rifle of good quality.

Just as impressive, the vintage squirrel rifle digested all four loads without a hiccup, smoothly chambering, firing, and ejecting.

The stock’s dimensions make sighting very comfortable. The rifle balances nicely, comes to the shoulder smoothly, and gets on target like the proverbial compass needle. No wonder it enjoyed such a stellar reputation as a getter of small game.

Recommended for You

Browning, Ruger, Brownells and more have new rifles from long-range precision rifles through cool autoloaders and lever actions to inline muzzleloaders this year. Rifles

22 New Rifles for 2019

Joseph von Benedikt

Browning, Ruger, Brownells and more have new rifles from long-range precision rifles through...

The new striker-fired STR-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol from Stoeger Industries is reliable, ergonomic, accurate, and priced right. Handguns

Stoeger STR-9 Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - May 17, 2019

The new striker-fired STR-9 9mm semiautomatic pistol from Stoeger Industries is reliable,...

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.” Optics

Review: Bushnell FORGE 4.5-27X 50mm

Sam Wolfenberger - May 01, 2019

The new Bushnell FORGE riflescope is “the only choice for long-range hunting enthusiasts.”

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

The Future Of Special Operations Small Arms

We're taking a look at what the Army's Elite Units are using for service rifles and what the future of SOCOM sniping looks like.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades. Handguns

Review: Smith & Wesson Model 19 Classic Revolver

Joel J. Hutchcroft - March 08, 2019

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 is back in production after being on ice for almost two decades.

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21. Industry

FNH USA Announces 5th Annual FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships

Shooting Times Staff - September 23, 2010

The FNH USA Midwest 3-Gun Championships kicks off at 8 am on Friday, May 21.

Improved ballistic coefficients lead to greater performance downrange without upping blast and recoil. How-To

The Key to Shooting Far: Improving Ballistics

Rick Jamison - April 17, 2019

Improved ballistic coefficients lead to greater performance downrange without upping blast and...

See More Stories

More Rifles

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market. Rifles

Yugoslavian M24/47 Mauser-Pattern Rifle

Joseph von Benedikt - May 13, 2019

These cheap postwar variants offer perhaps the best value on the vintage-Mauser market.

An old gun that's new to you can be loads of fun. For some shooters, it can be as interesting as the latest developments in technology. Rifles

All That's Old Is New Again

Terry Wieland - August 12, 2019

An old gun that's new to you can be loads of fun. For some shooters, it can be as interesting...

Referred to as “the most innovative bolt-action rifle of the 20th century” and as a “technological wonder,” the Blaser R8 straight-pull rifle is fast, safe, and versatile. Rifles

Blaser R8 Bolt-Action Rifle Review

Joel J. Hutchcroft - September 30, 2019

Referred to as “the most innovative bolt-action rifle of the 20th century” and as a...

See More Rifles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.