Between 1959 and 1969, Remington offered the following guarantee on all Nylon 66 rifle stocks: "We guarantee that this stock will not warp, crack, chip, fade or peel for the life of the rifle, or we will replace it free." The buttplate, the fore-end tip, and the pistol grip cap were all black plastic bonded in place. Each had a white spacer. There were two reinforcing screws with nuts under the receiver cover, and there was one more under the ivory white diamonds on each side of the fore-end.
The magazine was in the butt, loaded through the buttplate and held 14 standard or high-velocity .22 LR rimfire cartridges. The striker was either an investment steel casting or a forging, which required no machining except for the hole down its center. The bolt was a steel machined forging. The striker and bolt ran in grooves in the self-lubricating nylon receiver. The other parts were either stainless steel or mild steel stampings, or, like the trigger guard and the trigger itself, were plastic. The forward face of the bolt had no spot-facing cut as originally fabricated; soon a semi-circular end mill cut was added.
The barrel measured just over 19 1/2 inches and was clamped to the receiver by a screw-secured barrel bracket in a cradle formed within the stock. When the rifle needed cleaning, the barrel could be easily removed and cleaned from the breech. The barrel at its breech had two gas relief cuts added very soon after production started. In the event of a ruptured case, these cuts were to allow the hot gases to escape in a vertical direction, thus not hurting the shooter.
One of the main advantages from a manufacturer's point of view was that it could be assembled with little or no hand fitting. In spite of the lack of hand fitting, the trigger pulls were excellent. The total weight of the rifle was about 4 lbs., 8 ozs. A slight disadvantage was that the magazine tube had to be completely removed before reloading, unlike the Models 16, 24 and 241, which were loaded through ports in the side of the buttstock.
In order to avoid shooter rejection of this plastic gun, the designers covered the nylon receiver with a blued steel stamping. They must have decided that as long as they were going to disguise the receiver with a steel shell, they would make the shell serve some useful purpose so the rear sight assembly was riveted to it. The cover was grooved so a scope could be mounted. It has been found that when a scope was mounted and the gun was gripped too rigidly the point of impact could change. The steel cover also held the ejector into the receiver. Finally, the flat spring that tensioned the cartridge feed guide was mounted by a rivet to the underside of the cover. The receiver covers and barrels were changed from blued to a matte black finish near the end of production. The receiver cover had no serial number stamped on it until October 1967, just prior to the enactment of the 1968 Gun Control Act, which required that all guns have serial numbers. Serial numbering of the Nylon 66 and its spin-offs started at serial number 400000 and went to 419011, but at that time the number was stamped on the underside of the barrel just aft of the front sight. Three months later in 1968 the serial number started with 419012 and went to serial number 473710. In December 1968, the serial number range was changed to 2100000. When this series of serial numbers reached 2599999 in February 1977, the letter "A" was added in front of the numbers.
Nylon 66 Markings
The original logo stamped on the barrel in the open space just in front of the rear sight was "PAT. PEND." over "22 L.R. ONLY" plus the date code and the final inspector's stamp. Later the "PAT. PEND." was dropped as the patent was granted and the stylized word "Remington" was added. Most Nylons also have the oval stamp with "REP" on the right rear of the barrel meaning "Remington English Proofed." In the early 1980s, Remington started to use a much larger stamp on the barrel behind the front sight. It read: "REMINGTON 22 LONG RIFLE ONLY." In 1959, Remington still had two other autoloading .22s on the market: the older Model 550-1 and the newer Model 552. The Model 550-1 sold for $46.75, and the Model 552 sold for $52.25. Therefore, the Nylon 66 acted as a middle of the line gun at $49.95.
Nylon 66 Legacy
The Nylon 66 was a huge gamble for Remington, as traditionally guns had wood stocks. But it was a huge success. The end result was that it became the most successful .22-cal. rifle Remington has ever made, with total production of more than 1,000,000 by 1991 when the Nylon 66 was discontinued. The Nylons have been a "love-'em or hate-'em" gun ever since they were introduced. The appearance and feel were certainly non-traditional. The "love-'ems" seem to be winning, judging by the collector interest and price escalation of the less-common variations. Will Remington ever bring back this low-cost, lightweight 22? Only time will tell.