Re: Best Cartridge for out to 500 yds???
A .308 is a great teacher & surely capable at 500. Since wind does have a bigger effect on it, you have to pay closer attention, but will do the job.
That being said, if you're looking for fast & flat, but with super accuracy, you might consider a 300WSM or 6.5-284. I do shoot a 7mmRUM for LR & the wind hardly effects it at 500, but the WSM & 6.5 will do wonders out to that distance. Past there, the RUM & other big mags walk away from them a bit.
Speed reduces time-of-flight, generally ups the ballistic coefficient, is more forgiving for a distance estimation error due to the flatter trajectory, & reduces lead time with moving targets. It doesn't necessarily produce a more accurate cartridge, as many Palma shooters (800, 900, &1,000 yards with iron sights) have smoked guys shooting magnums with scopes.
Depending on what you're hunting, you might do well to consider a smaller/ lighter recoiling piece for starters, then once you get wind/ mirage/ distance reading down, go to a boomer. Just my $.02. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]