Re: Help me select a reticle
As you suggested, I've examined the TDS reticle and find it may be quite useful. The Zeiss as well as the Schmidt & Bender look desirable as well, but their cost is somewhat more than I can afford as I save for college.
I selected the .338's due to their capacity to handle substantially larger game than a .30 caliber. Initially I'll be using it in Germany for wild boar. In Canada, it's likely to be used on moose and black bear. In the states, elk may be the target.
The faster .338's offered better ranging than the standard Winchester, but less recoil and jet-effect than the super .338's like the Excaliber, .338/378, and Lazzeroni. The .340 Weatherby has a belt, and I had poor performance with short-shanked midweight bullets in the .300 Wby. I hypothesized the .300 Wby may have specified a funnel-throat design rather than a paralell throat, but didn't investigate after I traded it away. After that, I declined to consider a belted cartridge as shoulder headspacing usually provides better accuracy. This left me with the .338 Remington UltraMag and .338 Lapua to choose from. They have similar performance, though the Remington is somewhat more efficient. As I do not know where I'll settle, the Lapua seemed a better choice for worldwide use due to it's growing popularity within multiple militaries.
I enjoy reloading rather passionately, and while the Lapua cases are more expensive than others, their quality is quite high. Granted, the lapua case digests substantial quantities of powder, but I'm used to loading for the .300 Remington UltraMag, (traded away), and the .338 Lapua isn't all that dreadful really.
Regarding short range shots, the Canadian bush can be quite claustraphobic with shots as close as 30-yards. I can't take my revolvers to Canada, so "old reliable" won't accompany me to college. I have a shotgun, but what about shots beyond 100-yards? My Dan Wesson was more accurate at 150-yards than a rifled shotgun at 100, and there's something plebian about hunting big game with slugs that cools my hunting ardor. It's sort of like riding a mule in the Preakness, isn't it?