Re: if you could start all over knowing what you know now
Good Question, good answers, especially about optics, and rangefinders. Truly the events that have enabled me to shoot really long distance is due to 3 factors, Range estimation, Scopes that allow you to dial to distance and the advent of bullets to get high enough BCs and sectional densities to carry out to 1000 yds plus when launched from average velocities of around 3000fps+.
To put all of this togeter in something fun to shoot, and still be capable of tipping over deer,antelope, or coyote, or even an elk, while being easy on your shoulder,and reasonable on your pocket book is a challenge.
The best thing I ever did,was to send Pac nor a remington action and have them make me a 260 AI, with26 inches of fluted stainless steel barrel it will push the high BC 140 gr bullets over 3000fps. The gun does not really have much recoil (My 12 year old can smack the 1000 yd gong)and is very efficient, while shooting consistently in the .2s day in and day out. Topped with an un named scope that will consistenly dial a turret for distances, I can hit 12 to 18 inch steel plates on a decent day out to 1200 yds,and with the high sectional density of these bullets, it is a killer when you hit a game animal. (not to mention making a great sound when it hits the gong)
Lots of fun is the most important thing though, and the equates to a lot of range time enjoying shooting.
It was a long time coming but it is a thrill hitting long range targets, that before this technology, was almost daunting.
Really 600 to 700 yds has become a chip shot.
Lots of fun. Good luck with what ever you develope as half the fun is in the making.