I went to the range this afternoon, more to get away from the yard work than for any burning need to shoot. I took the rimfires as I'm wont to do when I'm in the mood to shoot, but not in the mood for recoil.
A .22LR rifle can give lots of good marksmanship training. It's one thing to hit a target way, way off in the distance. It's pretty much the same thing to hit a tiny target at the 25 or 50 yard line. The practice from one carries over to the other and when I shoot rimfire, I'll normally post a bunch of 1" red target dots on a piece of paper and bang away.
I took two rifles today. The Stevens Model 64 is a direct clone of the Savage Model 64. I've never seen another one and I was told that they were first marketed in Canada. I've got a fixed 4X scope mounted on it and it's my go-to rifle for squirrel hunting in the late winter woods. Keeping all the shots on that 1" dot is challenging but not impossible. I like to shoot it enough so that my trigger finger remembers the squeeze. It is a lousy trigger, combining creep and overtravel, but I can't justify the expense of having a gunsmith work it over. It shoots well enough.
The other rifle I took today is the Savage Model 93R17FV, which is a heavy barreled rmfire in .17 HMR. Mine is an older model, without the Accu-trigger. It shoots better than I do, and at 25 yards it'll stack the bullets into one hole. Those little .17 caliber, 17 grain bullets are prone to drift in the wind, so any cross wind at all will ruin a good group. It's a fine little rifle for paper-punching although I've never sighted it on game.
When my kids were younger and we lived in the woods I had a flock of crows that would make noise out by the pond. I bet that the little .17 would be just the ticket for harassing crows. I've got one friend who is a state wildlife agent and he uses the .17 HMR with a rifle just like mine to dispatch troublesome beavers. He claims to routinely shoot beavers at over 100 yards with the little bullets and says that it kills them cleanly. I bet so.
When I left the house this afternoon there were grandkids swimming in the pool. When I returned from the range, there are still grandkids swimming in the pool.
Some things never change.