Thunder Roads La/MS November TRLAMS_NOVW - Page 18

BULLET POINTS S O L AC E BY: BRODY KENNEN Solace: to make cheerful. On occasion, a trip to the range comes with a desire to relax while seeking quiet entertainment. By far, the most fun that I have during range trips is when I go out shooting .22 LR in some form or fashion. The most annoying aspect of shooting rimfire, with my Tinnitus, is the periodic splattering of blowback from some rounds in semi-automatic rifles. It doesn’t diminish the quality of the ex- perience, though. I challenge myself to take the white from inside the paper target’s diamond or removing clay pigeon chips off a range berm. Currently, I have fun with an outfitted Ruger 10/22 to do that job. The prob- lem with this is that it’s not exactly relaxing. It’s just that: a job. If the clay pigeons were hostile targets, charging down the hillside, that would be one thing. The semi-automatic action of the Ruger peeks the desire to quickly de- fend the static position that one keeps on the bench. I have had the fortune to shoot another .22 LR option and it fills the relaxation niche far better than any of the semi-automatic counterparts. CZ-USA offers many different styles of rimfire rifles in their line-up. Their current flagship bolt-action line is the 455-series. I have had the opportunities to fire several other 452s, but most of my time has been spent behind several CZ-455 Varmint rifles. Five- and ten-round box magazines feed the heavy-bar- reled Varmint and the weight of the walnut stock keeps the rifle from bouncing around if you man-handle the bolt for a quick follow-up shot on a target. The time has been put in to every bit of the woodworking and machining in the metal of the 455s. All this quality cumulates into accuracy. I have seen some superb 50-yard groups with everything from CCI Standards to the upper-tier and highly expensive Eley, Lapua, Norma, GECO, SK and RWS. The owners of those rifles tested their holds and zeroes at that range, but I would love to challenge another shooter to a diamond match at 100-yards plus. I would also certainly prefer to put my future children behind the CZ, versus a Ruger 10/22, as it would force them to take their time. They wouldn’t be able to just spray ammunition all over a berm in a two- or three-second span. As far as optics, I would purchase another Vortex Diamondback 3-9x40, with the Dead-Hold BDC reticle, and throw it on the 455. I have also shot the rifle with some Leupold VX-IIs and Nikon scopes, but the older Duplex reticles left something to be desired. I would prefer not to have an errant shot or two on a scorecard due to failing to properly guesstimate a hold-over at 100-yards, with a 25-yard standard zero. I see the Vortex as a perfectly priced mid-range op- tion. I cannot tell you a quality difference between the Diamondback and the VX-I or VX-II Rimfire lines, which range in at $125+ more than the Vortex. The Nikon doesn’t compare to either in quality, but comes in at around $130 before shipping. Some will prefer other optics and reticles due to the layouts of the rifles and their own physical requirements. I am still blessed with fair eyesight and I can