thank you all for your responses. to answer some questions and clarify some things.
i do not reload nor do i plan on it any time soon. i am a your married guy living in an apartment. my wife tolerates most of my junk but i dont have the space to add to it (nor the will power to convince her that i need another hobby)
second hand is also my first choice but i dont know how to pick a rifle that has been used (i wouldnt know if it has been abused with the exception of marks in the stock)
im going to stick with .223 for know. as has been mentioned i know that it will take me a long time to get to really long ranges/ so for now i want a rifle that will get me to a good medium. thanks for the info on that guys.
i want to stay away from the axis model by savage. i have heard/read great things about it but i want to be able to upgrade the rifle as i get better. i dont want to jump in right now and get a rifle that i will quikly out grow.
one thing i would like a bit more info on as i do not know much about bolt guns and i have heard mentioned is upgrading to larger calibers. how do you do it? is it jut the action that stays and everything else is swapped out or what? yours responses to this topic do not need to be in length as i will not need to much info on it for now beings that i will most likely not need to "upgrade" for a while.
once agin, thanks for the replys. this helps to degrees you dont even know.