Sorry about not seeing this post sooner. I've had the Remington M597 for a few years now. My first impression was that the gun had a great fit and finish. It felt very solid, and with a fixed 3x scope on it, I thought it would be a great shooter.
Then I went to shoot it.....
First round fired and stove piped....crap.
2nd round, same result.
I called Remington and found out that I had been sold 2nd Generation magazines, which are pretty much junk. They took my address down and sent me 2 more magazines via 2 day mail. They have great customer service, and I got the magazines 2 days later.
Since that hiccup, I haven't looked back. Well over 3000 rounds through the rifle, and not a single jam.
The next thing that I wasn't the happiest with was the trigger. It was very crisp, clean, and consistent, but it was slightly too heavy of a pull for my liking. I ordered a VQ Target Hammer online, and it made a world of a difference. I think it was a $18 purchase, and the trigger pull went from about 8 pounds to 2-3 pounds.
The last thing I did was purely for cosmetics. I put on a Muzzle Break, as seen here: Eagle Remington Model 597 22LR Slipover Muzzle Brake - all
It's purely for show of course, but it looks really good.
The end result after getting my magazines replaced for free and buying a $18 target hammer is a .22 rifle that has out-shot every other .22LR that I've gone up against at the range. More than once have I had Ruger 10/22 owners offer their rifles up as trade.
When I do my part, 50 yard groupings with bulk fill an area the size of a quarter. I've had some 5-shot groups with match ammo down to about the size of a dime at 50 yards.
One thing that I noticed with the barrel (and this goes for other guns as well) is that after about 5 rounds to warm the barrel up, it becomes significantly more accurate.
Anyway, if you start getting jams like crazy (with any ammo brand), call Remington right away. I don't think you're going to be sold anything but 3rd generation magazines, but if you do get some 2nd gen ones, you will know.
About the 30-round mag, I've heard that it works great, but I have yet to get my hands on one. I have a nice look to the gun right now, and I think a banana mag will mess it up.