Well, the little guy is feeling a bit neglected these days with all the cowboys and cowgirls shooting .38s and .45 Long Colts and the tactical mall-ninjas still endlessly arguing the merits of 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP. You hardly ever see a CCI on C.S.I. and you never get to watch how he can dispatch sinister, bushy-tailed critters in the woods on the Outdoor Channel.
Seems that when the family gathers together, he gets stuck at the "kiddie" table... or someone dresses him up in a pink outfit and sends him on a double-date with a gal that isn't interested... like Rodney Dangerfield, he just don't get no respect... no respect at all, I tell ya.
Well, I'd like to offer a bit of advice about the .22 rimfire... you need him, and he needs you. This little guy is cheap and fun to shoot with. You can spend the entire evening shooting for less than twenty bucks. Talk about inexpensive practice and time to work on the fundamentals.
If you want to challenge yourself, line up on the hundred-yard range with the little guy and watch him drop out of sight as you learn about ballistics and bullet trajectories. Can you keep that one-inch group at a hundred yards in a light crosswind with a .22 rimfire?
There's been a lot of posts lately out there in the gun blogoshere about introducing folks to shooting and a few about guys trying to get their gals on board with the whole gun thing... well men, maybe it's time to trade in your old 45 for a new 22... at least for a day... hey, I'm talking guns, not gals... and if your gal likes to shoot or is new to shooting, spend a day with her and your .22s. You'll have fun and save enough to take her out to dinner and a chick-flick... then again, you might just get lucky... and she'll go for an action-flick.
Before you know it, you won't be trying to decide which gun to get next, but who gets the next gun. My gal always wanted one of those Henry Golden Boys in .22 rimfire... and a couple of years ago for Christmas, she found one under the tree with her name on it. Now men, isn't that a better way to go than a new vacuum cleaner?
I'll leave a final thought for those of you who might be wanting to start out that youngster on a .22 this year... every parent has to decide what age and maturity is appropriate, but I would encourage you to consider starting them out with a youth-sized, bolt-action .22 and "iron" sights.
There's nothing wrong with a semi-automatic .22 rifle with a scope... that's exactly what I was given as my first gun, but I have found that the bolt-action with traditional sights builds better basic skills by requiring kids to slow down while handling and operating the firearm and think about each shot rather than just sending lead down range as fast as they can pull the trigger (not that we all don't enjoy that once in a while).
Try some larger targets at closer distances for initial success to build the fundamental skills and safe gun handling that will apply down the road for hunting, competition, personal protection, or whatever they might pursue. Just some thoughts to get you to reconsider your little old friend...
...on behalf of the .22 rimfire.