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Remington Nylon 66 22 Rimfire Semi-Auto Rifle Review

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Introduction; History; Specifications; a Pair of Nylons
A pair of Remington Nylon 66 rifles.

Two Remington Nylon 66 semi-automatic 22 rimfire rifles. The one on the left is a common Mohawk Brown model; on the right is more rare Apache Black.

Photo © Russ Chastain
Back in the 1950s, Remington Arms Company and its then-parent company DuPont got together and produced a ground-breaking little rifle. The gun that would become known to the world as the Nylon 66 was pretty dang innovative, and certainly presented a new look to American shooters. Nobody knew whether they would or wouldn't embrace it, so it was a pretty hefty gamble. In the end, it paid off - big time.

The 66 Hit the Ground Running

After much research and testing, the Nylon 66 hit the streets in a flurry of advertising, and it really took off. The toughness and reliability of the handy little rifle would soon become legendary, and these features coupled with its accuracy helped the shooting public to overlook (and even embrace) its funky new look.

Although it was deemed the 555 during testing, Remington finally settled on the Nylon 66 as its production designation. The "66" refers to the plastic formula that forms the foundation for DuPont's Zytel 101 Nylon resin, of which most of the gun is constructed. The departure from their earlier preference of referring to their rimfire rifles with three-digit numbers beginning with "55" was wise, as it helped to set apart the Nylon from traditional rifles.

This rifle was rather magnificent in a number of ways, which we will explore in this article. But let's begin at the beginning, with some specifications.

Specifications

The Remington Nylon 66 is a semi-automatic 22 rimfire rifle (22 long rifle only), fed by a 14-round tubular magazine located in its butt stock. Overall length is 39 inches, and barrel length is 19.5 inches. The weight of the unloaded gun, including the magazine follower tube, is 4.2 pounds (67.2 ounces). It was introduced in 1959 and discontinued in 1989 or 1990 (depending on the source). According to Remington, approximately 1,050,350 Nylon 66 rifles were made.

The 66 was available in a number of color schemes. Take a look at the photo above; the one with the brown stock with faux wood grain and blued steel barrel & receiver cover (very late models were matte black instead of blued) is known as Mohawk Brown, and is by far the most common model. The one shown with the black stock and chromed steel was called Apache Black, and is a bit more desirable from a collector's standpoint.

There was also a green/blued model (Seneca Green), a Black Diamond, and a Gallery Special (the only model 66 set up for 22 Short ammo).

With the exception of the Gallery Special, all Nylon 66 rifles are meant for use with 22 Long Rifle ammunition only.

The shape and lines of the receiver and butt stock resemble other Remington models, and give the Nylon 66 a distinctive Remington look.

My Pair of Nylons

When I was a young boy, Dad had a Nylon 66 in Mohawk Brown, which I greatly enjoyed shooting a time or two. Next thing I knew, however, he had traded it off and it was gone forever. I liked the rifle and it left a lasting impression on me, and many years later I found myself buying one of my own. Somewhere along the line, Dad fell heir to an Apache Black model, which I later inherited from him - and the rest, as they say, is history.

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