UPDATE: Ever wondered at the fingerprints you've left on the internet and forgotten about? Take this:
I shot one at my range. I thought it was pretty mediocre in every way. Accuracy was bad, ergonomics were ok, and it had frequent feed/ extraction problems. My range doesn't show the rentals much love though so it may have just needed a good cleaning.I wrote that about the 597 in August of 2004. I may have to rethink this. If I can't trust a reviewer as smart as that guy, then who can I trust.
UPDATE2: It seems that several of the improvements to the gun have occurred since my last review. The current generation of magazines (the ones that actually work) came out in 2005. Extractor changes have occurred as well.
UPDATE3: I went to Dick's today, but did not drive home with a new rifle. While the 597 they're selling looks and feels quite nice, it has one problem for someone looking for a training rifle. It doesn't have iron sights. Now it comes with a scope, so this isn't a problem for most people. But I need to learn to shoot with iron and without. Without sights it's really only a half a rifle.