Originally Posted by liltank
I would look at the Savage light weight hunter they just put out this year. Weighs in at 5.5# and 6.5# for the long action with an 20" barrel which in my opinion is optimal for a light weight easy maneuvering rifle. I currently own a Heavy barrel .308 with an 18" barrel that is effective to about 600yds.
Savage Arms Firearms > 11 Lightweight Hunter
Considering you're only going for Whitetail, I would suggest the 260 or the 6.5 creedmore that is offered in this rifle. Personally I'm a 308 guy, but the the 7-08 and 243 will also get the job done. A light rifle in 300WSM is going to kick ya pretty good. These lighter calibers will give the same results out to 600 to 800 yards depending which caliber you pick and bullet. Recoil will be much less and much more enjoyable to shoot.
I'm a Savage guy, but I do own a Remmy Mod7 that shoots very very well with Hornady 95grn SST's. Recoil on this rifle is minimal and wouldn't be afraid to go to 500yds if I needed too.
Actually of the calibers named the .260R is proving to be the superior caliber all the way around, particularly at long range over the last couple of years in real world field and competitive venues.
It's a great round which is why I'm having one build right now.
I shot a friend's kimber custom in 260 out to 1,200 last summer and was utterly amazed at the perfomance. I was hooked like a Big Mouth Billy Bass.
For white tail sized game I don't think there's anything in it's class over all, particularly when you figure in recoil and long range capaibility.