Welcome. I go to MO (in N. middle of state) every year to hunt big whitetails, mainly with bow but stay over sometimes to gun hunt. Took 5 there this year in Nov and Dec. My nephew is your neighbor in Orchard Farms.
When you consider ranges to 600 yards easily if not more, ever present MO winds in the river bottoms (Nov and Dec) and whitetail bucks that normally go 200- 300+ lbs, I consider the 260 a little light for my tastes.
I have an encore 26 hvy barrel in 7mm mag that shoots .75 with 150-160s (good suitcase
. that is as light as I want to go. I really prefer a 30 cal.
Nothing beats a good 30 caliber 180-190 gr high BC bullet for bucking wind and anchoring a big whitetail. 300 win mag, 300wsm are two top choices and can buy Savage, Rem or Win M70 Coyote for around $550-700. $150-200 for trigger, bedding, lugs lapped and with little load work should be .5-.75 gun.
Farrel 20 MOA base -$43.50 and Burris Signature rings ($50 or less)
Bausch and Lomb 4-16 or 6-24x 4200 scope. $350-400
If you are set on the 260, think Rem made some 700s in heavy barrel models that you might be able to find. Same work as above.
[ 01-15-2004: Message edited by: BountyHunter ]