Mr. Free Market sends me to an article headlined thus:
America’s Greatest Cartridge
…and to the surprise of precisely nobody in my zip code, he’s not talking about the .30-06 Springfield or the .30-30 WCF, but my favorite cartridge, the venerable (and venerated) .22 Long Rifle.
So much do I love the .22 LR that I think that it should be regarded not as a cartridge, but as a household commodity like salt. Ditto the guns that shoot it should be regarded as household appliances like steam irons or vacuum cleaners — every home should have one: at least one, and if in no other case, more is better. I have several, whether in the role of target rifles, plinkers or whatever, and even though the kids bought me a perfectly-adequate semi-auto Savage 94F for my birthday:
…I still hunger after a CZ 512 because… well, because.
In fact, just for the hell of it, I think I’ll list the .22 rifles I lust after, in no particular order:
Sako Mod 85 Quad Pro Varmint
It is horrendously expensive (don’t ask) but I truly believe that once you have one of these, you would never need another .22 bolt-action rifle, ever. (You can buy more expensive .22 bolties, but you are walking so far up the quality curve that it becomes somewhat pointless.) It is especially true because the Quad series have swappable actions/barrels between .22 LR and .22 Mag.
CZ 452 ZKM
or its more modern replacement, the CZ 457 Lux:
Nobody I know who owns a CZ 452 or 457 has anything bad to say about it, and to a man they say that the rifle is far more accurate than they can shoot it. It’s certainly true in my case, although I’ve never actually owned one.
Now as Longtime Readers will know, I already have two perfectly good .22 bolties, the Marlin 880 SQ / 882 SSV in .22 LR and .22 Mag respectively:
…and they are quite adequate for my needs and skill. But: they have plastic stocks, the triggers are just “good” as opposed to excellent, and the barrels can’t be threaded for a suppressor.
I seek beauty as well as function at this stage of my life, so I’m considering selling them both and replacing them with “better” (i.e. better-looking) guns. If any of you have young sons or grandsons and want to spoil them, drop me a note and we can talk turkey. Anyone who has ever shot these with me will attest to their function. I can sell them as a “matched” pair or individually, and they’d come with spare mags (of course).
I already own the world’s most fun gun to shoot, the pump-action Taurus Mod 62C:
As I’ve said before, when I take people plinking with this gun, I always have to ensure that there’s one more brick of ammo than I think I’ll need, or else they start pouting when the ammo can runs dry.
That said, I wouldn’t mind the longer-barreled Henry version of this gun… just because, and in .22 Mag rather than the LR.
…and the octagonal barrel gives me the Warm & Fuzzies, too.
There are a couple more out there that I like, but they’re a little less desirable than the above. Feel free to recommend others to me, in Comments.