So how much should you spend on a custom sniper rifle? This question has been argued for years. The only real changes are the weapon’s cost, its features and the experience of those using them. It’s possible to argue that you “can get the job done” in most instances with a box-stock “tactical” rifle. They will get the job done in most conditions, most of the time. But using the same logic, our officers should be using the cheapest pistols that still work, and M1903 Springfields for patrol rifles. After all, both will “get the job done” most of the time. You get a custom precision rifle, however, because of what it will do all of the time—not just most of the time.

Specs Of Perfection
Jered Joplin at American Precision Arms (APA) built the Paragon as his flagship rifle. After completing it, he wanted to truly “put it to the test,” which meant I could be rough with it. The true torture was left to Jered, but I tested the Paragon in as close to real-world conditions as possible.

The rifle starts with a quality custom action manufactured to his specifications. It’s designed to accept both the AICS and AW magazines. The one-piece bolt features an M16-style extractor and an APA tact­ical bolt knob. The receiver has a side bolt release and a heavy tang. A 30-MOA rail is bolted and pinned to the action. A Huber two-stage trigger was installed on this rifle. The Huber two-stage trigger comes set up to the user’s specified poundage, from 1.5 to 6 pounds. The length of the first stage can be adjusted to suit the end user’s needs. The safety blocks both the sear and the trigger.

The Paragon comes standard with a 22-inch barrel, 5C stainless steel, match-grade Broughton barrel. My rifle came in a 16-inch version. Its muzzle was threaded to accept SureFire suppressors that are designed to overlap the barrel.
The action is pillar-bedded to a synthetic, folding Manners TF1 stock that includes side flush cups and a 13.5-inch length of pull with a decelerator pad. The APA tactical bipod stud on the forend worked well with the Harris bipod I mounted. An APA RTG (Redesigned Trigger Guard) is mated to the stock and action. Accepting both the AICS and AW magazines, the mag release is part of the trigger housing. You push down on the outside edge of the triggerguard, making it completely ambidextrous.

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