September 4, 2013

Remington Nylon 12, 22 S, L, & LR, about $350

Gun Tests magazine tested two vintage bolt-action 22 rifles, the Remington Nylon 12 and a Winchester Model 69A, in the February 2013 issue. Here’s an excerpt of that report, used with permission:

For this test of vintage bolt-action 22 rifles, we had the loan of two old-timers, a Remington Nylon 12 and a Winchester Model 69A. We tested with three types of ammo, Wolf, CCI Velocitor, and Blazer, all in Long Rifle persuasion. Both rifles were supposed to handle Shorts and Longs too, so we also tried a few of them. Both rifles fed Long Rifles, Longs, Shorts and also CB caps perfectly. The Winchester’s longer barrel made lots less noise with Shorts and especially the CB caps than the Remington. The report of CB’s out of the long-barreled Winchester was just a click. Are these old rifles worth looking into? Let’s see what we found.

Gun Tests February 2013

Courtesy, Gun Tests

The flat bolt was classy, we thought. It worked easily and smoothly. The rifle had outstanding iron sights. Those who enjoy glossy stocks and white-line spacers will like the look of the Nylon 12. A single screw on the bottom promised a takedown, but it never happened.

Remington Nylon 12 22 S, L, & LR, about $350

Made only from 1962 to 1964, the Remington Nylon 12 bolt action is a rare bird. This one had suffered a misfortune in storage, having got enough humidity on the metal to produce spotting on the bluing. A similar thing happened to an old Marlin belonging to one of our staff and it happened quickly. Not much can be done, short of spot rebluing to hide the damage, total rebluing (which could detract from its collector value), or leaving it strictly alone.

The stock had a few scratches, but was sound. The rifle had apparently never been fitted with a scope. It had grooves on the receiver for 22 scopes, and it also had one of the finest and simplest rear sights we’ve seen, fully adjustable and providing an excellent sight picture. We chose to test it as it was, no scope.

As noted, the metalwork had slight pits from damp storage, but about 85-90% of its original bluing remained. We thought the nylon stock could most likely be polished and renewed to some extent, maybe with good car polish or something similar, to remove a few of the scratches and provide some protection. The black butt plate was intact, and carried the Remington name.

The checkering was excellent, we thought, obviously machine-made, but sharp enough to be useful to the shooter. The front-sight blade was non-ferrous metal tapering upward to about an eighth-inch thick on top, with a sharp-cut rear edge to give an excellent picture. The rear was a flat-top, square-notched, fully adjustable unit with a stamped steel base and a spring-steel standard, fixed to the barrel with two screws. To change elevation, turn a half-inch-diameter wheel. Spring force keeps the adjustments where you leave them. For windage, a smaller wheel moved the sight right or left by means of a tight worm screw. There were fine grooves for reference.

Gun Tests February 2013

Courtesy, Gun Tests

The right rear corner held the safety lever. We liked the way this rifle loaded, easily and with excellent safety. The trigger was clean, but a touch heavy. The rifle had excellent accuracy, and it fed and ejected all 22 cases.

Removal of the bolt was by pressing the trigger, which also had to be pressed to reinsert it. The Winchester had the same setup. Loading was accomplished by twisting the tubular magazine follower and pulling it forward until the loading port in the stock was open. There was no stop on the follower tube, so the assembly can be pulled out if needed. A nice safety feature was that you could load the Nylon 12 with the bolt open and hence do so in perfect safety, and then close the bolt without picking up the first round from the tubular magazine. The mag held 13 Long Rifles in the tube, or 13+1 if need be. You can load a 14th round with the bolt open and the chamber empty.

By cycling the bolt, the first round moves up to enter the chamber, making room for one more in the magazine. So if, for any reason, you want it fully loaded with 14 rounds, you can do so with a good degree of safety. A manual safety lock was at the right-rear corner. Move it rear to safe, and forward to fire. It prevented the rifle from firing but did not lock the bolt. The firing pin protruded when cocked, and was bright red.

We found the sight picture to be superb, though we blackened the rear face of the front sight to give a better reference. We spent 15 minutes removing old caked oil on the bolt and on the brass-tube feed. We brushed out the action workings as best we could, lightly lubed it, and then cleaned the barrel. We got some rust flakes out of the barrel, so we scrubbed it well with Kroil and then with Hoppe’s No. 9. On the range we shot a dozen shots and cleaned it again. The barrel looked okay, so we tried the first of our test ammunition. We then cleaned the barrel again and shot the rest of the test. To our surprise, given the state of the barrel initially, we got excellent accuracy with all three types of ammo. We wanted to try match ammo, but thought the rifle ought to be fitted with a scope for that, and we ran out of time and good weather. We thought the rifle had excellent balance.

The pull of the shiny trigger was crisp and clean, all you’d ever want, though it has lots of overtravel and was heavier than need be. We measured the break at 5.8 pounds. We fired the best group of the day with Blazers in the Nylon 12, five into 0.7 inch at 50 yards, but then we ran out of good light, our groups opened up, and we called it a day. All our groups, from the first to the last, were relatively round and tight, better than we had expected when we first saw that odd flake of rust come out of the barrel. By the end of our shoot, the barrel looked very good, with no evidence of pitting or roughness. Feeding was positive, ejection was strong, and there were no failures of any kind. We thought this was a light, handy, durable rifle well worth consideration if you come across one.

Our Team Said: All in all, we liked this rifle a lot. It may not win any beauty contests, unless beauty was judged by what we saw on the targets. These rifles go for about $400-$500 in excellent condition. It’s a pity this one had slightly damaged bluing. This rifle is not for sale, so don’t ask. The owner was given this Grade A rifle new, a long time ago, and he intends to keep it. We would, too, if we owned it.

Comments (19)

I bought a Remington Nylon 12 with an Apache 4 power scope, in I believe 1964.
I have a fired a lot of Long Rifle rounds through it over the years and have maintained it to a high standard. I was delighted to see the potential value of $400 to $500. I can't remember what I paid for it all those years ago, but it couldn't have been much so it turns out to be a good investment. At one time I could get a one inch group at 50 to 75 yards and a very reasonable group out to 100 yards. It's still fun to shoot.

Posted by: Dave s | July 27, 2016 9:53 PM    Report this comment

I bought a Remington Nylon 12 with an Apache 4 power scope, in I believe 1964.
I have a fired a lot of Long Rifle rounds through it over the years and have maintained it to a high standard. I was delighted to see the potential value of $400 to $500. I can't remember what I paid for it all those years ago, but it couldn't have been much so it turns out to be a good investment. At one time I could get a one inch group at 50 to 75 yards and a very reasonable group out to 100 yards. It's still fun to shoot.

Posted by: Dave s | July 27, 2016 9:52 PM    Report this comment

I have the remington nylon 12 since 1989 handed down from my dad, I was only 17 back then. I still have it today and I haven't used it for almost 15 years. But I had great memories with my rifle. Im still hoping to use it again. (Just need to get a noise suppresor)

Posted by: DonR | January 31, 2016 9:09 AM    Report this comment

I always thought this was a handsome rifle, and still do, plus it stands out. Many don't care for it, but I do.

Posted by: wick5449 | September 20, 2013 12:42 PM    Report this comment

LOL, my first 10/22 was a barrel-suppressed version courtesy of Mitch Werbel. Sold it after a while, got Mk1 Standard then traded that and some change for an integrally-suppressed Mk1. Trade that off for something or other than I probably didn't need and can't remember now! The 10/22 I have now is beat to heck but shoots just as well as the Remingtons or the Glenfield 20 I got as a birthday present in '66....

Posted by: Tower gunner | September 12, 2013 7:10 PM    Report this comment

Yes, Tower gunner, I suspect that if Remington had kept these in production they'd still be pretty popular. As I noted above, when they first came out, the shooting fraternity wasn't really ready for a polymer stocked rifle. Now, with polymer being a very popular gun-making material, the old Nylon Series might still be selling quite well. As it is, when Bill Ruger brought out his 10/22 in the early 1960s, it had a walnut stock, and like the Nylon 66 it was essentially flawless in operation. People back then still liked wood and steel on their firearms, so the little 10/22 took off like wildfire. I purchased my first 10/22 in 1963, sold it in 1975, and waited several years before I bought another. Guess what?.....It's the take down model with a polymer stock!

Posted by: canovack | September 12, 2013 2:13 PM    Report this comment

One of my shooting buddies has one of the Seneca Green versions but unfortunately he also knows what he has! So far, of all the Nylon 66's and variants I've shot, not one has been a dud. Remington hit a home run with this rifle - too bad they didn't keep on making it.

Posted by: Tower gunner | September 12, 2013 1:37 PM    Report this comment

Great gun! As a teenage, I had one in the standard Mohawk Brown. I'm looking to purchase one in the somewhat rare Apache Black. Remington also made them for a very short time (I never saw one) in Seneca Green - very rare.

Posted by: ecberman | September 12, 2013 10:09 AM    Report this comment

I recall, when Remington came out with the Nylon 66, back around 1960. It had a price around $40.00, and it really didn't catch on with the shooting public. Remington was undaunted and kept producing them and even came out with more models in bolt and lever actions. Ultimately, Remington proved the wisdom of a plastic stocked rifle, and now Nylon 66s are going for well over $300.00.

I recently purchased a Nylon 66 at a gun show for $300, and it is in great condition. One thing that should be done, if you buy one, is to give it a thorough cleaning before using it. It seems that many previous owners of this rifle totally neglected it, because of Remington's claim that it was a "low maintenance" item. There isn't much disassembly required, but when I took the sheet metal receiver cover off of mine, the plasic receiver was a mass of residue and unburned powder. It didn't seem to affect functioning, but after a detailed cleaning, it was a bit smoother.

My Nylon 66 now has a place in one of my safes, and it is right at home among all of the other polymer stocked pieces that are there. How times have changed.....

Posted by: canovack | September 9, 2013 12:12 PM    Report this comment

I own a Nylon 12, handed down from my grandmother. It was highly accurate when I first shot it in 1964 and it remains so today. I suspect that if you think this is junk, you've either no experience with it or poorly maintained yours.

Posted by: LeeN | September 7, 2013 5:01 AM    Report this comment

Correction to my original post: My wife has a Nylon 66 with the Apache Black stock. Neither one is ammo particular.

Posted by: Tower gunner | September 6, 2013 5:19 PM    Report this comment

I have a Model 10C repeater in Mohawk Brown while my wife has a chromed one with a black stock. Both are tack-drivers with or without scopes. Neither are for sale!

Posted by: Tower gunner | September 6, 2013 5:17 PM    Report this comment

I have a Nylon 66 want-to-be made by CBC in Brazil. All parts identical. Anyone know anything about this semi-auto. It is a good shooter. Tom

Posted by: captom | September 6, 2013 11:30 AM    Report this comment

Many years ago, in the early sixties, I bought a model 10 single shot Remington from a friend. At $700.00 dollars for one in this shape today, I would not call them low priced, and the way they shoot, I can assure you that they are not 'junk'.

Posted by: gray fox | September 5, 2013 11:07 PM    Report this comment

My Nylon 11 (clip fed) just turned 50 yrs. old and is the most accurate .22 I own. I owned a Remington M513 target gun, and the bolt was interchangeable with the M11. Same action??

Posted by: Buhrwood | September 5, 2013 10:59 PM    Report this comment

I like these old .22 rifles. Just looking at them brings back memories, sounds, the wonderful aroma of gunpowder and Hoppes old formula.

Posted by: v_moto | September 5, 2013 10:45 PM    Report this comment

I own a Nylon 66 semi-auto. The one thing that I can add is that for a small caliber rifle it does one helluva job, and I would be hard pressed to part with it.

Posted by: revschafer54 | September 5, 2013 10:03 PM    Report this comment

I would go for the Nylon 66 semi-auto in this era of Remington rifles. Probably a lot more of them around.

Posted by: JEAN F R | September 5, 2013 9:49 PM    Report this comment

I was always taught to take care of the tools I owned even if they were low priced junk like the Remington 12. A little bit of Rig gun grease will protect firearms for years even under harsh conditions but for the average gun owner its too much work and they are to cheap to even speed a few pennies on a can of Rig Gun grease. Small wonder there are so few used firearms out their in even half ways decent condition. Destroying them gives Mr. Bubba an excuse to go out and buy something new, I guess.

Posted by: wild romanian | September 5, 2013 8:09 PM    Report this comment

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