Re: O/T Slow day, eh.
a 5" spread at 50 feet is good with a handgun. i tend to be worse when i'm aiming with a handgun, i'm lucky if i can hit the broad side of a barn. i think it has something to do with trying too hard. however, if you see me running around the yard with a handgun chasing varmints i always get the damn things.
semi-auto is louder for the handler and less accurate no matter what anyone says. with the bolt action all the gases go out the end of the barrel along with a lot more of the sound. sometimes we shoot varmints from within the house because if we go outside they run away. i can't do it with my 597 semi auto because you'd go deaf. but we can do it with my dad's marlin bolt action without a problem. as for "real" rifles we can't shoot them because we live south of M-57 (which means you can't shoot any rifle over 30 caliber).
i like bolt action because it makes you make sure the first shot counts. the only time it's a detriment when getting rid of raccoons which have a habit of still running around no matter how perforated their head is.
besides, .22 shells are cheap. hehe.
oh yeah, animals aren't varmints until they start making messes of our buildings. we leave the skunks, opossums, woodchucks, cats, et cetera alone. it's usually just the raccoons.