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Remington 550

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#1 Pdwight



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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:30 PM

550A, 34,577 manufactured from 1941 to 1946 and the 550-1, 730,000 from '46 to '70. Also -2G gallery short only rifle. May have been one of the most unique systems to allow for shooting S-L-LR cartidges. It had a "floating chamber" or what Remington called a "recoiling chamber". The purpose of this was that with a short cartridge with the shorter case, as the case pressure was high, it gripped the recoiling chamber and the chamber recoiled with the fired case, it's weight adding momentem to the recoil to kick the bolt back.
With the longer Long or Long Rifle case, when the case or chamber pressure was still high, the forward tip of the case gripped the front non-movable portion of the chamber and retarded the recoil until the chamber pressure dropped to a level that allowed it to recoil and eject the case. Pretty ingenious system based on a design by David Marshall "Carbine" Williams, although I don't believe he actually got credit for this particular design. The key to making these shoot with shorts is to be certain the recoiling chamber is free to float. Rifles shot with a lot of Longs or Long Rifles can get debris in the gap between the floating and non-floating parts and will then not shoot shorts... the other side of this, is that when shot with thousands of rounds of shorts, the forward fixed (part of the barrel) portion of the chamber can become erroded and then have a problem extracting the longer case due to expanding into the erroded part. The -2G did not have the recoiling chamber.
One difference between the 550 and the -1 is the 550 had 2 extractors and the -1 had one. Also the early models did not have the shell deflector.

There were also "P" models of these with the Remington Point Crometer rear sight like is on several other Remingtons of the period.

This is a somewhat difficult rifle to work on and it's very easy to get the sear spring cup cross-threaded when reinstalling... this has caused a lot of 550 series rifles to be laid aside and not used again.

These are a very accurate semi-auto rifle.

A little about the 550-2G Gallery Special. Offered from 1950 through 1959 with slightly fewer than 8000 produced. Some differences from the 550 and 550-1 models.
As Carl mentioned,it lacks the floating chamber
The bolt is lighter,has a hour glass shape from metal being removed in the middle section.
The mainspring is slightly shorter.
The receiver insert is different to raise the feeding cartridge higher in the action.
The magazine tube mounting ring is a double loop design,providing an attachment point for a tie down chain.
The barrel is shorter by 2 inches and is marked
Gallery Special
22 shorts only

A few personal experiences with the 550 from our members ;

I'm not sure if this is what your looking for but this is about the 550-1 has been used in our family. If it doesn't work for you delete it, no problem.
My dad bought a 550-1 new from his uncle's country store in 1949. My dad used it for shooting coyotes for the farmers he worked for in South Dakota. Back then they had fenders on the pickups with the turn signal lights mounted on top. My dad would sit on the fender with his legs on either side of the light. and grab hold of the hood emblem. They would take off across the prairie chasing coyotes when they got close dad would start shooting at the coyote until he hit it.
Once while in a car going across the prairie my mom was driving and my dad was in the passenger seat. They were chasing a wild dog that was killing sheep. Dad couldn't get a good shot off being in the car so he had my mom drive right up on the dog running full out, at the right moment he jumped and rolled out on the ground and started shooting while rolling and he kept shooting until he hit the dog. NOTE, he had my mom turn to the left when he jumped so she wouldn't run over him. :D :D
This is one of the guns my dad taught me to shot with. We would take empty shotgun shells and put them at the bottom of a dirt bank and then shoot just under them and make them jump up. We would keep shooting to see how high we could make the shell go up the sloped bank until the magazine was empty. That was a lot of fun.
Once while at a church camp there was a youth shoot. I used the accurate 550-1. I got bored of beating everyone with it at 50ft. so I strated shooting the 1/4" rope until I cut it in half. I was about 10 at the time.
Dad has gone to the hunting grounds in the sky and I now have the 550-1. In the 59 years it has been in our family I have replace the firing pin once and cleaned it everyonce in a while. It is a really incredibley reliable accurate rifle. I do not wish to intensionally put down the Ruger 10/22, because it is a great gun in its own rights, but I have owned several 10/22's and still the 550-1 has proven more accurate and reliable. THAT IS SAID OF RUGERS IN FACTORY ORIGINAL CONFIGURATION as I know that a lot of after market stuff has made the Ruger a accurate and reliable gun. Our 550 has served 3 generations in our family with only 1 broken firing pin and easily over 200,000 rounds put through it.


I can attest to the accuracy of them also... I had an uncle with a 550, I suppose it was a -1 as he bought it shortly after coming home from WWII. He lived just a few miles from us and living close,I helped him bale hay a few times. We got rained out one afternoon , so went to the house to drink coffee. When the rain quit, he said let's have some fun, grabbed the Remington off the nails on the back porch and stepped out on the back steps. The roof of his corn crib was about level with the steps and about 30-35 yds away. Rats were coming out on the corn crib roof to lap up some water, he pulled up his rifle and dropped a rat off the roof. He had me try, but all I did was add to the holes in the roof. I don't know how many he shot, but I don't think he missed and I don't recall that I ever hit any, but it was fun. This uncle had been in a Navy unit that went in with the early waves of Marines and set up radar and radio comunications (I believe called ARGUS Units) to direct ground support aircraft and as a result, had seen combat in protecting their site.

I now have a 550-1 that I bought about a year and a half ago and I suppose one of my cousins has my uncle's rifle.

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