Remington Model 552 “Speedmaster” 22 Caliber Rimfire Semi-Automatic Rifle

by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

April 11th, 2018


Click pictures for a larger version.












The Remington Model 552 semi-automatic rimfire rifle has been in production for over half a century now and has proven itself as one of the best rimfire rifles ever built. Unique among 22 rifles these days, the 552 is the only 22 semi-auto rifle available in the U.S.A. that will cycle 22 Short, 22 Long, and 22 Long Rifle ammunition interchangeably. In years past, this was a bigger deal than it is today. Used to be, 22 Short ammunition was less expensive than 22 Long Rifle ammunition. Today, that is no longer the case, but it is still an advantage that is useful to have in a semi-automatic rifle. What is really of interest to me, and should be to others as well, is that the ability to cycle the various types of 22 rimfire ammo gives the 552 the unique ability among autoloading rifles to cycle the excellent CCI Quiet 22 Long Rifle ammunition.

CCI Quiet ammunition fires a 40-grain lead bullet at slightly over 700 feet-per-second (FPS), with a greatly reduced noise level, on par with an air rifle, and much quieter than high-velocity or standard-velocity 22 Long Rifle ammunition. The CCI Quiet 22 ammunition can be used in any handgun or rifle that is chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge, but in other semi-automatic rifles, it must be cycled manually. The Remington 552 cycles the CCI Quiet ammo flawlessly, as well as any other 22 Short, Long, or Long Rifle ammunition, interchangeably, without adjustment.

The Remington 552 is, and always has been, a premium rifle, priced higher than most other 22 semi-auto rifles on the market. I remember being a twelve-year-old kid, looking through Montgomery Ward and Sears catalogs, lusting over the pictures of the 552. I liked the looks of that rifle, and being terminally left-handed, the 552 has some features that endeared it to me; mainly the left-side charging handle, and particularly the deflector shield at the rear of the ejection port. A left-handed shooter firing a semi-automatic 22 rifle often gets his face splattered with debris from the ejection port, but the shield on the 552 protects the shooter from such. Because of the price, I settled for a store-branded Winchester 190 from Sears, as it was half the price of a new Remington 552, but the itch for the 552 never went away. I finally satisfied that itch at a gun show in Louisville, Kentucky many years later.

Shown here is a new-production 552 BDL Speedmaster. The 552 has been built in slightly differing configurations over the past few decades, varying slightly in barrel length and stock configuration. The current 552 features a gloss-finished checkered walnut stock and a twenty-one-inch barrel. The length-of-pull measures 13 5/8 inches, and the overall length is forty inches. This is a full-sized rifle, but is very slim, and only weighs in at five pounds, nine ounces. The trigger pull is crisp and releases with just under four pounds of resistance. Perfect. The barrel wears an excellent set of sights, featuring a white bead on the black blade front, with a fully-adjustable rear.

The 552 wears a matte black finish on the aluminum receiver and trigger guard, which matches the satin blued finish on the steel barrel very well. The sights and magazine tube are made of steel as well. The magazine tube holds fifteen 22 Long Rifle cartridge or twenty-two of the 22 Shorts. I have no 22 Long cartridges here to try, but have read that the magazine capacity for the 22 Long is seventeen rounds. The magazine tube loads easily, and cartridges feed smoothly from the tube into the chamber. The top of the receiver is grooved to accept standard rimfire scope mounts.

I tested the 552 Speedmaster rifle with several brands of 22 Long Rifle ammunition for velocity and function. The results with each brand and type of ammunition are listed in the chart below. HP is a lead hollowpoint bullet. Solid is a lead roundnose bullet. TC is a truncated cone solid. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of 541 feet above sea level, with an air temperature of 54 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity in the sixty-nine percent range. Velocities are listed in feet-per-second (FPS) and were recorded twelve feet from the muzzle of the rifle. Bullet weights are listed in grains.


Bullet Weight Velocity
Federal Premium HP 40 1124
Winchester DynaPoint HP 40 1149
PMC Match Solid 40 1028
Wolf Match Solid 40 1041
CCI Mini-Mag HP 36 1227
CCI Mini-Mag Solid 40 1221
CCI Velocitor HP 40 1378
CCI Quiet Solid 40 714
Remington Yellow Jacket HP 33 1339
Remington Hi-Speed Solid 40 1212
Remington Bulk HP 36 1164
Remington Viper TC 36 1163
Norma Tac-22 Solid 40 900
American Eagle HP 36 1110
PMC Zapper HP 38 1219
Olin Solid 40 1012
Winchester XPert HP 36 1143
Hansen Solid 40 1079
CCI Blazer Solid 40 1246
CCI Stinger HP 32 1516
CCI Sub-Sonic 40 1035
Aguila SSS 60 760
Federal Target Solid 40 1090
Geco Solid 40 1086
CCI SHORT HP 27 1024
Eley Match Solid 40 1038

Right out of the box, the Remington 552 functioned flawlessly with every type of 22 ammunition tested, including high-velocity, hyper-velocity, standard-velocity, sub-sonic, and 22 Short ammo. After a few hundred rounds, the action starting getting sluggish with the CCI Quiet ammo, but a couple of drops of oil had it running perfectly again. There were no misfires or hang-fires with any ammo tested, and everything fed flawlessly from the tubular magazine.

For accuracy testing of the Speedmaster, I mounted a Burris 6 to 18 power target scope using tip-off rimfire rings. I fired five-shot groups at twenty-five yards on paper, and every brand and type of ammunition tested, with the exception of the sixty-grain Aguila SSS performed very well, with some of the best groups fired shown in the pictures. Many types of ammunition grouped under or around one-half inch at 25 yards, and none were inaccurate. Even the SSS ammo grouped decent enough for plinking and small targets, grouping under one and one-half inches. It is just that all the other ammunition shot so much better. After accuracy testing from the bench, I removed the scope, and proceeded having fun using the excellent mechanical sights provided.

Though the 552 cycles perfectly with 22 Short ammunition, good 22 High-Velocity Long Rifle ammo costs less these days, so I see no valid reason to stock up on the Shorts. I could make do very well with nothing but the Remington Bulk Golden Hollowpoint ammo, and the CCI Quiet. The former I have plenty of in stock, and the CCI Quiet is quite useful for shooting small pests and vermin, when low noise is preferred. With the Speedmaster and a box of the CCI Quiet ammo, a sound suppressor (silencer) is not needed, as the report is no louder than an air rifle. This would be very handy to have around if popping pesky critters in an area where a high-velocity rimfire might bring unwanted attention to the shooter.

The Remington 552 Speedmaster is an excellent 22 rifle, in a class of its own among 22 autoloaders. Really, its only negative to some is its price. The suggested retail price of the 552, as of the date of this review, is $707 US. It is not that the Speedmaster is not worth the price. It is. It is a fine rifle, and its workmanship, quality materials, beautiful wood, and versatility justify that price, but there are so many 22 semi-autos on the market that substantially undercut the price of the 552. Even Remington’s own Marlin Model 60 is a fine 22 auto at less than one-third the price of the 552. Still, the 552 is built for the shooter who wants what is arguably the best, most-versatile 22 autoloading rifle on the market. The 552 Speedmaster is reliable, accurate, beautiful, and made in the USA.

Check out the extensive selection of rifles, shotguns, pistols, and accessories online at

To order the 552 Speedmaster online, click on the GUN GENIE at

To order quality 22 Long Rifle ammunition, go to and

Jeff Quinn

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Charging handle.



Brass deflector.



25-Yard Groups.





Receiver is grooved for scope mounts.