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I am considering buying a precision rifle for training, thinking in .223, solely for training and target shooting over 100 yards. I will mostly shoot from a bench or prone off a bipod and intend to use the rifle to become a better shot and to grow with. I am trying to decide between getting a production rifle and getting a rifle built by a gunsmith. I do not have a fortune to spend but realize that, for precision, I get what I pay for. Can anyone recommend a production rifle or a good manufacturer? The reason I am think .223 is that it's relatively cheap to shoot and easy to find ammo for. Also, because I'm relatively new to shooting and don't want to be hypersensitive to the recoil or muzzle blast and acquire bad habits if I start with a cartridge that really kicks hard. Would another caliber/cartridge be better?

When it comes to custom-built rifles, does anyone know of a good gunsmith in the eastern Pennsylvania area? If I get a production rifle, I may change the stock, get a thicker barrel or accurize the rifle for better precision, but can also think of having a custom rifle built for me. What do you think? All information and opinions are welcome. Thanks
 

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You're willing to spend the money on a custom rifle.
You should be willing to reload. That makes a big difference in accuracy.
The specific cartridge makes a difference also. Should research that.

Other than above. I know CZ makes an excellent rifle. You'll have to reload for it to get the most out of it.
 

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I am considering buying a precision rifle for training, thinking in .223, solely for training and target shooting over 100 yards. I will mostly shoot from a bench or prone off a bipod and intend to use the rifle to become a better shot and to grow with. I am trying to decide between getting a production rifle and getting a rifle built by a gunsmith. I do not have a fortune to spend but realize that, for precision, I get what I pay for. Can anyone recommend a production rifle or a good manufacturer? The reason I am think .223 is that it's relatively cheap to shoot and easy to find ammo for. Also, because I'm relatively new to shooting and don't want to be hypersensitive to the recoil or muzzle blast and acquire bad habits if I start with a cartridge that really kicks hard. Would another caliber/cartridge be better?

When it comes to custom-built rifles, does anyone know of a good gunsmith in the eastern Pennsylvania area? If I get a production rifle, I may change the stock, get a thicker barrel or accurize the rifle for better precision, but can also think of having a custom rifle built for me. What do you think? All information and opinions are welcome. Thanks
Since, by your own words, you are relatively new to shooting, I am going to suggest you start with a reasonable bolt action gun from Ruger, TC, Savage or the like, or a CZ like PrairieHunt suggested. You will spend a little more for the CZ probably, but they are great rifles. The reason I am saying this is it will pay off big time for you to get some experience under your belt before you start spending big bucks on custom guns. I have a Savage Axis II in .223 that shoots sub moa all day with most off the shelf ammo except some of the really cheap junk. I dressed it up in a wood stock and gave it a Nikon 4-12x40 scope and developed my own ammo for it, again, like PrairieHunt suggested. That cheap entry level rifle will just about shoot the rear end off of a fly at 100 yards without breaking its wings (obvious exaggeration :lol:). Back to reality, the rifle shoots consistent 1/2” groups at 100 yards, and often better (one jagged hole). I have a CZ 527 in 6.5 Grendel that is equally as accurate too; it would be pretty awesome in .223 if someone chose. My point is this; get a reasonably good rifle and shoot the barrel out of it! Practice until you are able to hit with pinpoint precision consistently. You can do that without dropping a bundle on custom guns and become a proficient rifleman first. Learn to shoot it at longer ranges and from various positions; get good with it! While you are doing this, educate yourself about different brands and styles of rifles to prepare yourself for the eventual rifle you buy when you are really proficient. Shoot other rifles when possible too, and different calibers some as well. Then, when you do buy “the gun” you will be more suited to take it to the limits instead of buying a precision gun now when you are not yet a precision shooter. This is my suggestion only; consider it as you will.

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^^^
That is good advice. Any of those will shoot more accurate than most people. Your choice of glass will have a bigger impact than you think.
Start fairly inexpensive. I have seen many spend a ton of money just to find out they are not cut out for precision shooting. Short or long range. In which case, you still have a rifle suitable for the hunter without spending a ton of money. Precision shooting can be an expensive and time consuming hobby. More so than just using what you have to greatest advantage. And it is as much a mindset as it is equipment.
Consistent is more important than price.



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