I agree with the others, for what you're doing (and a lot more) you really can't beat a good 22LR. There are a bunch of different models, most of which are good, but for my money you can't beat a CZ452 Lux or CZ455 Lux. They come with good-quality iron sights, and are absolute tack-drivers. I've got the 452 Ultra Lux, which has a 28" barrel, and with subsonic ammo it sounds almost suppressed, while shooting ridiculously small groups. I have a Marlin 60, which is a nice little semi-auto rifle, but for target work I would rather have the bolt-action. Quieter, more accurate, and practically zero-maintenance since the action never gets filled with gunk like the Marlin. In fact... thanks to the lube they put on 22 bullets, I haven't cleaned the CZ in many hundreds of rounds and it hasn't missed a beat or a target.
Whatever you get, make sure it's accurate! The only fun guns are the ones with which you can hit the target. :-)
"... I cannot but conclude the bulk of your [politicians] to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth." ~ Jonathon Swift