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I think the most important thing in rimfires is to find the ammo they prefer. This takes a little range work. I have a bunch of rimfires, including three .17's. The Remington 597 has the skinniest barrel of all the .17's. It is middle in accuracy between the Marlin 17VS and the NEF Sportster (both heavy barrel), when you compare them using averages of all available ammo. But when you compare a single ammo between the 3 of them, you get a different picture. The skinny barreled Remington is the most accurate with Remington ammo. The Marlin and NEF both prefer Hornady, and the CCI ammo is good in the Marlin and Remington, but poor in the NEF. When I call a rifle and ammo combination "good", I mean that it shoots groups tighter than a quarter inch at 25 yards. Where I live, I have to do most of my non-hunting shooting in an indoor range limited to 25 yards, but the advantage is that I can shoot at night and in any kind of weather.
Another reason I stand by my initial statement is that I have a Marlin Papoose which has the shortest and skinniest barrel I have ever seen on a rifle and it is a "good" rifle when used with CCI SGB ammo. I had a Ruger 1022T, with a big, heavy barrel, but let it go, because of the weight (I am basically a squirrel hunter and lug 22's around the woods a lot) and the fact that I have other lighter rifles that out shot it, such as my 5.5 pound Marlin 7000.
A Marlin rep once told me on the phone that I could expect about 20% better accuracy with a heavy barreled 882SSV over the lighter barreled 882SS. Well, I didn't buy them both just to check him out, but I bought the SSV and I do love it, but it is not more accurate than my Remington 597M, which has a skinny barrel, although they prefer different ammo. The 882SSV loves and is a "good" rifle with CCI Maxi Mag hollow points. The 597 doesn't like those, but is a "good" rifle with Federal 50gr JHP.
 

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Sorry Troutdog, I haven't shot it at 100 yards yet. Based on what I see on the 25 yard indoor range, I expect good things at 100 yards. Mine has the laminated stock also. I like the rifle overall and I am sure I will do some serious hunting with it, but I am not really happy with the magazine.
"Guns & Ammo" magazine has a brief article about this gun in the July 2003 issue. Nothing on the cover about it, but look on page 48. It is a 2003 nominee for gun of the year. The author of the article said he shot 5 shot groups with CCI and Hornady ammo that averaged 1.25" at 100 yards, and 5 shot groups that averaged 1.0" with Remington ammo at the same distance. The rifle in the article prefers Remington ammo as does mine.
 
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