I think everyone should own at least one .22 rifle. The Ruger 10/22 seems to be "America's rimfire", at least as far as customizing and flexibility goes. My 10/22 will be my "go to" EBR (Evil Black Rimfire) while my others will be promoted to "safe queens" and "princesses". Lately, my attitude towards any of my guns with good walnut on them seems to have changed to "look, but don't use". I always am amazed at the quality of walnut used has gone downhill for decades, and is slowly dying out except for the super-high end. Beech is just too sorry to even comment about. For a "using" weapon, give me quality synthetics over cheap wood any day.
And I noticed another "precision" item about the Ruger 10/22 Target-Varmint. The manual says it has a chamber that is closer to accepted match specs. Running a well-worn Hoppe's bore snake through it, I can feel more resistance going through the barrel than on other of my .22s. I'm just grateful for the invention of the bore snake, because I can easily clean from the breech, rather than risk cleaning from the muzzle.
Of course, some 10/22 target purists have a hole drilled in the back of the receiver (not seen when in the stock) so a cleaning rod can be run through when the bolt is removed.
And I have to admit that I've cast covetous eyes on the 10/22 model in stainless steel with the full-length walnut stock. I know it couldn't compete with my current EBR, but it sure is pretty.
I HATE my Ruger 10/22. First serious range time for it today, and it's so damn accurate my flaws just jump off the targets, and scream, "BOLO". This is the first time I've been humiliated by my own weapon, and have no excuse available. :)
Seriesly, this was a remarkably productive session. For one thing, I now know what to expect when the weapon's accuracy exceeds my own skills. Anything not in the big ragged hole is my fault. Here's what I was able to eke out at 25 yards, 50 rounds per target.
From left to right, vey pricey Eley semiauto match, Fiocchi subsonic, and Federal Champion "plinking" ammo. Ages ago, I read on some rimfire site that Champions give match-like accuracy at plinker prices. I guess they were right, and I'm glad I stocked up on 4K rounds in the pre-0bama days. I'm trimming the targets to 8-1/2x11 and putting them in a binder as reference material as I continue to test and tweak ammo with the Ruger. The Federal Champions are my first test subject, and I'll keep my limited amount of Eley Match as a control reference.
The rest of my visit to the EBR store involves strokes of fate. After I left the range, I run into my buddy, who is there to see if the Kimber SVT rifle, sitting there for years, was still there. He was told they sold it a half-hour before he got there. OUCH.
I missed a Colt Anaconda like that a month ago, but it had been in their used handgun case for three days.
Which is probably why my ears suddenly heard a faint whisper which must have come from my distant cousins back in the Old Country. "Riiiiick, look in the raaaack". Sure enough, while I was on the firing line, the guys in the store were putting out the first, and maybe only, stock of CZ rifles for the year. One in particular screamed to me, "buy me now, dummy!". After sharing our stories of lost opportunities, I just said, "wrap it up".
The picture does not do justice to the walnut on this CZ 455. I would classify it as "CZ fancy" as opposed to "super fancy" on my CZ 453. In fact, while they got one example of the entire CZ rimfire and centerfire line, this was the only one with fancy wood, although CZ uses a very good quality of walnut in all the appropriate models. CZ laminated beech? Meh.
More to this story as things develop. I've already jumped online and bought a Timney target trigger (CZ now only uses the cheapo generic trigger on all its models), and a milled steel triggerguard. In the few intervening years, someone has fired up their CNC machining center, and is cranking them out (at a healthy price). I ordered one each for the 452, 453, and 455. Only the 455 is in stock, so I should have it, and the trigger, soon.
Meanwhile, I have to look for some form of retro-look euro-scope. These lines are too classic for some high-tech contemporary optics. If I can't find one, this safe queen will be regal enough as is.
And the most fateful part of this story was that I missed out going to the range yesterday, as I had planned. I would have missed all of this if I went there yesterday. Today, it was like hitting the lottery bigtime. I thought about buying some lottery tickets, but realized I already had several months worth of good luck, and was not going to impose on fate, or St Barbara, patron of guns and gunsmiths, any more.