A good scope is a must. I would suggest a Nightforce 2.5-10 for a sporter weight hunting rifle. Another good option would be an SWFA. These two scopes have a solid reputation for accurate, repeatable turrets, and pretty good glass.
Do you reload? Another must for best accuracy. Does the gun shoot? If you can get MOA accuracy out of it you have a good big game rifle for 500 yards. I would have a trigger job done even if it is a shooter. Has it been glass bedded?
Another good option might be to send it to Hill Country Rifles and let them do an accuracy job. It will be pillar and glass bedded, trigger done, and they hold a pretty high standard for accuracy. It's also a pretty good value for what you get.
I like your suggestions for scopes. A Nightforce is my dream scope! well, as far as anything I have ever seen and the reviews it gets. For the quality, it isn't necessary to spend any more $$ than you pay for one of those. Those will be something I have to save for for sure! I plan on reloaded when i "get back to the states" in jan. starting from scratch. A friend of mine gave me a crash course and i'm confident i can pick it up quickly-especially with all the help on here.
@ Derek M. From what you are saying, it sounds to be like truing the action and getting a good match barrel are something that should be done at the same time. Is this what you suggest? Also, If I were to change to a different LA caliber, how does that work besides getting a differently chambered barrel? I definitely like the ballistics of other cartridges better than the -06 and the availablity of ammunition, but is it worth it in the short run?
Derek M. From what you are saying, it sounds to be like truing the action and getting a good match barrel are something that should be done at the same time. Is this what you suggest?
Also, If I were to change to a different LA caliber, how does that work besides getting a differently chambered barrel?
That's all that is required.
I definitely like the ballistics of other cartridges better than the -06 and the availablity of ammunition, but is it worth it in the short run?
That's completely up to you when something becomes "worth it." If you really just want to play and mess around, leave the rifle as is, but when you start talking 500 yards, many factory rifles are setting you up for disappointment because they are inconsistent, inaccurate, and your best handloads may still shoot mediocre. With Chad Dixon practically in your backyard, I highly highly recommend you go have a nice 10+ minute chat with the guy and you'll soon realize what I'm talking about.
A lot of different, and a lot of really knowledgeable and experience people, much more so than myself, on here that will help you. Cool thing about Remington's, they have damn near every aftermarket products you can think of available for them. Don't feel like you need to do everything at once, or everything at all. If it were me starting from where you are, I would first off replace the stock on that thing. I have bought two 700's in the past few years, an SPS tactical and a Sendero. I put McMillan Game Scout on the Sendero (I think it was about $520 after adding a second stud and shipping) and a B&C Tactical Medalist Style 3 w/ "Hook" (About $230) on the SPS Tac. I should say that the Sendero already has a good stock on it, I just was not a fan of the wide forend and palm swell. I think the SPS has an adjustable trigger on it, so lighten that puppy up and tune it to your desired pull.
Spend some time trying different brands of ammo out and see what one your gun likes best. I would say quality glass is something you will want to invest in sooner than later. I ended up going with the Vortex Viper PST (the big boy of course), and love it. The glass is outstanding on it, and the clicks are super accurate. All the suggestions that were made on here are good ones, and ones that you should consider...If you arent happy with making a few minor changes. I personally was on a strict budget when I was choosing my guns, and its components. I wanted basically the most accurate gun I could afford. My Sendero and my SPS tac both shoot .5 MOA with me doing my part. I think expecting accuracy out of the SPS in a 30/06 at 500 is very do able. I would adjust the trigger, replace the stock and get a good piece of glass with a solid base, and asses what you would need from there.
Hey guys just a follow-up question: if I decide to change calibers when i upgrade my barrel, in the LA family, would i need to change the bolt face (or buy an entirely new bolt)? For example, as i previously stated, i have a 30-06. If i changed to say a 7 RM, is all i need a barrel swap or do I need to make other modifications?