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Six 581's in my extended family. A 581 was my first rifle, as well as my boy's. I used to say that they were a "best" buy in a used 22 LR but the auction sites have pushed up the prices and I can no longer say that. Still, they are a great rifle and I've never seen one that wouldn't shoot with ammo it liked. I would imagine the 541 is even better.

Muab Dib
 

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basicly a 788 Large rifle design
Good observation, since their is more than a bit of similarity between both rifles.

Got my son a new 581 youth model, when he was about 9 or 10. He's now 36. The rifle still shoots very well. Friend of mine has two 541s: One sporter barrel, one target barrel.

Both are accurate and a bit nicer than the 581, although it annoys him, when I note that they all use the same cheesy plastic magazines.

 

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Muab Dib said:
..but the auction sites have pushed up the prices
Muab Dib
Collectors have pushed the prices of the 541S up everywhere.

I bought five 541Ss' over the years, one for myself, my son and one each for my grandsons.

The first I bought in '78 cost me $275 including a Weaver K8. In '04 I bought the last one (#5), another NIB privately for $685. Three years ago at an auction I dropped out on another NIB when the bid hit $725, the out the door price would have included the 10% buyer's premium and sales tax! They ain't cheap today!

As far as accuracy is concerned take you pick between the 541S/581. They use the same identical receiver and barrel. The "S" is the "purdied" up version with a fully adjustable trigger.

I have the drawing somewhere to modify the 58x/788 triggers to fully adjustable if anyone wants or needs it.

BTW...If anyone decides to remove one of those triggers MAKE DANG SURE you support the mounting lug when tapping out the retaining pin. They're soldered to the receiver. Re-Attaching one isn't a DYI home project.

If you want a shooter only buy a 58x. If your a collector or just must have a 541S ....get out your checkbook!

Bill
 

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i have had all 3 a 541 s 541 t and a 581...all 3 shot great.the 581 used to be considered the poor mans 22...i do however prefer the 541S or T over the 581 because of the adjustable trigger...

i also didnt notice a difference in the sporter barrel 541 T over the bull barrel 541T as far as accuracy goes....
 

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I had a 541 sporter with Leupold 6.5-20X and shot it in rimfire silhouette for several years until it was stolen from my truck. It was extremely accurate with CCI Green Tag ammo. My son has one in a heavy barrel, and it is a shooter also. If you can find one, your bank account will suffer.
 

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Go with a 581 over a 541 and save some money would be one recommendation if you're looking for a plinking/hunting rifle ...unless of course you fall in love with a particular 541 and you've got deep pockets.

Muab Dib
 

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I have owned the 541's and the 581...Still have the 581. I like it for casual plinking and all around use. None of them were ever what I would consider to be tackdrivers, but good enough for around the farm.
 

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I really like the 581's. The 541's are great also. But I particularly like the value of the 581. Most of them need a little trigger work. But they are not hard for a qualified person to fix.

These rifles are about as accurate as most 22 rifles that cost two or three times as much. They are a working man's 22 rifle.

Best of breed in it's price range as far as I am concerned. And they are getting more and more dificult to find. Whenever you see one for sale it takes about one minute for it to sell online. I just sold a really nice LH model on the rinmfire forum. It sold before the first time I came back to check the listing. Probably only a few minutes. Tom.
 

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Have a 581 i bought as my first gun many years ago! Shoots a good as the day i took it out of the box. A tack driver fer sure..
 

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I still have my 581 from the 60's. I think they are a great economy gun that's better than some of the cheap stuff out there today and mine shoots great. I refinished the stock on mine some years ago, added swivel studs, replaced a broken firing pin, glass-bedded the action, and lightened the trigger a bit. Wears a Weaver Steelite-II 4W scope in Redfield rings.

 

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581s were not equipped with adjustable triggers, as far as I can recall? M541s probably all were.
 

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Rem. 581's as said don't have an adj. trigger. Most will likely have a 4-5 lb. trigger pull but due to the design of the trigger when they break, they break like glass. There is a guy, Brian Volker I think, who can do magic on the later era 581's. The earlier ones had a slightly different trigger mechanism and he (at least he told me) won't work on them. Still 581 triggers are very usable.

Muab Dib
 

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Never had any problems with the trigger on my son's M581 "youth model" and we've been shooting that one since it was new, about 25 years ago.

No creep, a tad heavy, but it breaks cleanly and predictably.
 

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The 581 trigger is non-adjustable. In my youth I was at times dangerously adventurous. There was no internet then but I did have a J.B. Wood rifle disassembly guide so I simply reviewed the 581 to understand it then made an attempt to change things. I was able to remove and partially disassemble the trigger group. Clipped a coil from the trigger spring and put everything back together. The pull is lighter than original without touching any other adjustments. The change has not faltered or given me a problem since I modified it almost thirty years ago.
 

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Making one adjustable isn't a big deal. Here is a better drawing than my hand sketched one.

You'll need...

1. #37 or 7/64 tap drill bit.
2. 6-32 tap.
3. Three 6-32 set screws.
4. One coil spring for the WOP adjustment.

All three holes are drilled/tapped on center of the housing. The trigger housings are aluminum and easy to drill/tap, however unless you have a rock steady drill press or mill I suggest a visit to your local gun wreaker or machine shop.


As I said before, support the trigger housing when pressing the trigger mounting pin in or out. (Trigger/Receiver pin on the drawing) otherwise you risk snapping the lug off the receiver.

This is the modification for both the 58x rimfire and 788 rifles.

Bill
 
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