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I am late to this thread but find it interesting. Rimfire accuracy depends on what the shooter thinks is accurate. Your old squirrel rifle that has killed fifty dozen squirrels is accurate to you and may be an accurate rifle. I have a 10/22 that has killed a bunch of squirrels. It shoots pretty good for a stock Ruger Custom Deluxe. It will shoot half inch at 50 yards pretty consistently, but not always. I used to think it was a tack driver, until I started shooting high quality rifles with higher quality scopes and higher quality ammo. You guys have given some good thoughts on what makes a rifle accurate: ammo, skill, scope, trigger pull, barrel, bedding, etc. You are all correct and you are all wrong at the same time. It is not one of those things, it is all of those things. Skill is the least of those things listed. A few years ago when I was shooting some sporter rimfire benchrest, I took my nine year old daughter with me and let her shoot. We were shooting group matches. Five, five shot groups at 50 yards and averaged the groups. Lowest average won the match. Well, she didnt win, but she did shoot an average of .5 for the match. It was the first time she ever shot the rifle and about the second or third time she ever shot anything. Obviously she had potential, but she definitely did not have much of a skill level. Another point is this: High end rifles don't always cost more because they shoot dramatically better. Most of the time they cost more because they are made out of highly polished metal that is machined to very close tolerances. Often times, but not always, with a beautiful piece of wood attached. If i own a rifle, no matter what brand or price, if it doesnt shoot at least .5 at 50 yards, it goes to someone else's house. I have gotten rid of some that shot half that good. If you love your old squirrel killer, don't ever shoot it against one of those real tack driving high end rifles, it will ruin you and you relationship with your old favorite will never be the same.
 
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