I know calibers get discussed all the time, but I have a pretty streight forward question. I just back into hunting, myself and 2 sons all have the Savage Axis in 243, my favorite caliber. I am wanting to get a new Savage in a caliber that will shoot well to 1,000 yards, I reload, I may use it up to moose sized game. I want something with as low recoil as possable, as my shoulder is trashed, and I want something that is on the cheaper side to reload, and though popular, I don't want a 308 or 30-06. I am asking for alot here, but I want to eventually go elk hunting someday, and both knees need replaced, I have bad back, neck, ankles, hands, and shoulder from the military. I know hunting in the hills will be dificult, so a long shot would be easier that more tracking to get closer. Growing up my favorite thing was groundhog hunting. I built a Ruger M77 in 7mm mag with a Leupold 4x12x44 scope, bipod, and some triger work just for grounhog hunting while I was in high school. I used to shoot 200-300 each summer in Ohio. I worked on all the area farms, so I knew where they were.
Is it just me, or is the outdoor channel more like an infomercial now days? Where is the real scouting and hunting?
Hmmm. This is a tough one. Minimal recoil and up to Moose/Elk. 1,000yd potential and no '06 or 308. Well,here are a couple options. I'm not a big 6.5 guy. I have to admit it has been growing in popularity by leaps and bounds though. Along with that has come a great response from the bullet smiths in the way of wider selections and premium offerings. A good choice for you may be the venerble old 6.5X55. A barrel for a Savage should be a no brainer. Like I said,I'm not a 6.5 guy but I can't deny their following.
Now from my position, I have to give the vote to the old Otter Six. I know you aren't in that market,but being a handloader makes it stiff competition for the title you describe. With the propellants available to us today like RL19,RL22,and the old favorites 4831 and 4350 you can run alongside the ever popular 7 Rem Mag. Especially with the heavier bullets. The BC advantage goes to the 7mm. More aparent beyond 600yds. Is the 06 a superb 1,000yd rifle? No. But there are some trade offs. No rifle will fit all your needs,in all situations. Large heavily constructed critters,at all ranges,in all conditions,from all angles. The big .30s and .33s really shine. They do however kick.
Something to consider regarding recoil are the Managed Recoil offerings from Remington. I was a sceptic at first. Then I tried some in the 300 RUM. They are a huge reduction in recoil and very accurate. I was quite impressed. They do however come with a drop in performance compared to standard offerings. If 1,000 yd shots are going to be the norm for you,a quality brake might make good sense. This will allow you to make good use of one of the higher intensity chamberings,while keeping recoil manageable.
I am not totally against the 30-06 or 308, I have actually thought about going with a 308, but wanted input that didn't include those calibers, as I would kind of like to break out of the norm. Maybe the old 308 or 30-06 would be best.
i don't know if a muzzle brake is an option or not for you but the 7mm mag would do the trick with the right bullet selection.its fairly reasonable to load.you seem to be familiar with the round so i would say thats a good choice.then there is the 6.5 calibers.but myself like 25 otter just can't seem to get on that train yet but it seems to work well.the 6.5-06 might be an option over the 6.5x284 because brass is more availble and a whole lot cheaper.
The 243 is capable enough to 1000yds with heavy bullets, and adequate for Moose with the right bullet at a good distance...but maybe not a good choice for Moose at 1000yds.
I am not necessarily assuming that is what you were saying here.
Within a reasonable range for the type of game involved, the 243 is a good choice as a very effective, low-recoil LR hunting round.
As an option to your 243, how about a 6.5x284?
That round has gained renewed popularity with several new rifles being offered over the counter. Savage offers it in their LR Hunter model, I believe. It is easy on the shoulder, and hits hard enough downrange...again with the right bullet choice.
One advantage of the 6.5 is that there are many good bullet choices available. Those bullet choices are exceeded by the 7mm, but not without greater recoil.