Petzal: On Barrel Life and Women Shooters

In 1988 I got a varmint rifle from Ultra Light Arms in .22/250 with a stainless barrel. I shot it … Continued

In 1988 I got a varmint rifle from Ultra Light Arms in .22/250 with a stainless barrel. I shot it at groundhogs, and prairie dogs, and tested ammo with it, and I noticed recently that it was not grouping as it had. My best loads when the gun was new went into .365 (five-shot groups at 100 yards) and now about the best it would do was .650 and change. So I stuck in the borescope and beheld a scene of horror. The bore was alligatored right up to the muzzle. So it is at the gunsmith now, where it will get a new Hart implant. But 21 years and God knows how many rounds is not bad. Take care of them and they last a long time.

****

I’ve long believed that women make better rifle shots than men, and learn faster, and in the past two weeks I got a demonstration of that. Two weeks apart, I pulled targets for a Ladies’ Day match, and then for a Father/Son shoot. It was all .22 rimfire, prone, at bull’s-eye targets. The ages of the boys ran from 12 to 18, and the ladies, 12 to 40 plus. Having scored every one of the targets, I can tell you that the ladies outshot the boys by a mile. Oh my goodness, it was not even close, even allowing for the fact that some of the women had been at it for years. And one of the two best women’s scores–a possible by 4X–was shot by a girl who had never picked up a rifle before.