I haven't posted much, but I've been lurking for quite awhile, and have learned a lot from you folks, so I figured I owed you this post.
Last year I got the chance to use my Uncle's custom built 300 Wby to shoot a cow elk at 490 yards. That shot really got me hooked on long range shooting, and I was able to talk my CFO (wife) into letting me build a custom rifle
last winter. With a lot of help from my Uncle and a friend from PA, I spent the spring building a 7x300 Wby that was smithed by Howard Wolfe. It was a semi-budget build, using a 721 action and a walnut stock that my friend had laying around and sold me. Howard did all the work on the action and hooked it up to a Hart barrell that is just barely under 30" finished length. I mounted a Leupy VXL 4-14X56 scope on it and with a lot of help from my uncle, including using all of his reloading equipment, worked up a load using 168 gr Sierras. I practiced shooting all summer and into the fall, gradually increasing distances out to 700 yards. I did all my long shooting using the B&C reticle, and haven't yet jumped into dialing. For hunting I loaded up some 160 gr Nosler Accubonds. With these loads it was shooting across the chrono at 3,490 fps.
Finally the hunt. My Dad and I hunted hard for two days in less than desirable weather (too hot and dry), but were able to find a good buck that stopped and gave me a great opportunity to shoot him at 325 yards, but it happened fast and I couldn't get ready. He dropped down through another draw and came up the opposite side of the canyon from us and stopped breifly at 585 yards. As soon as he stopped, I shot and as the gun came back down from the muzzle jump, I saw him flip over backwards and he was dead before he hit the ground. He was in a heck of a hole, and it took my Dad and I about 5 hours to get him boned out and packed back to the truck. The bullet was a clean pass through and wasn't found.
I have killed several bigger bucks, but this was by far the most rewarding hunt I have ever had, and getting to share it with my dad makes it my best trophy to date.
Thanks for all the stuff that I have learned from all of you. This is truly a great site.