...I feel good about the Weatherby. I just wasn't sure if the Howa was a cheaper item they put in their Vanguard line to make them inexpensive and I didn't want to buy something that was going to be junk.
Just like this beauty here: Vanguard Sub-MOA Stainless | Rifles | Products | Weatherby.com
Again, the only thing holding me back on that is the cost. I'm thinking that if I go with the $400 Vanguard model I can afford nicer optics for it, or am I thinking backwards here? I was thinking the $400 for the rifle, and $400 or a bit more for a scope for it. Or should I be thinking $800 for the rifle and $2-300 for the scope?
Thanks again guys - I appreciate you helping out a newbie on your forum.
Not to throw asparagus on your plan......
Still a caution for you. If you get a Monday morning Vanguard (They say that you should never buy a car that was built on Monday morning.) you may find it really HARD to find a good gunsmith to fix it.
Next issue, Weatherby's warranty. Guaranteed to shoot 1.5 MOA With factory premium ammo, bullet weight of their choosing. Should you get your factory target, shot with 135 grain ammo. Will this fill your need ? If not, can you get it fixed ? If you buy a Remington or Winchester or Browning every gunsmith on the block can easily get parts for them, especially Remington 700.
Just put together my first Remington 700. Put the barreled action on a B and C stock. Totally impressed with Rem's Quality. The action is smoother than the last 3 Vanguards that I have held in my hands. Shot a 0.7 group in the middle of my ladder testing. And I purchased this barreled action for cheap.
+1 on the choice of 300 WSM.
Best of luck with all of this.