I hunt and pack for all that game too, my bone stock sps 700 turned into a 14.5 pound long range hammer, the only advantage you have with a light weight gun is just that, its light weight. Every other advantage goes to a heavier rig.
I watched the classifieds here and picked up a takeoff factory sendero barrel with a holland brake for around 200 or so, dont remember now, bought a bell and carlson a2 tactical stock, skim bedded it and had a wyatts mag box installed.then toped it with a NF just this last christmas. But for 2 years it wore a leupold vxiii 4.5-14x40 Long Range.with the B+c reticle, and stoney point turrets.
Worked up a load with 210 vlds and this gun shot a pretty solid half MOA out to around 1200 yards numerous times in varying conditions. Im a bodyman so my budget im sure is similar to yours.
Minus the cost of my rifle, which was more than 100 bucks im in this gun around 900 bucks. Not counting glass and I paid around 5 for the gun bran new. But to paraphrase what my good buddy RoyinIdaho said, I challenge ya to go spend 5 grand on a full custom rifle
that shoots better than that at 1175 yards in a 26 mph crosswind.
That pencil barrel is not gonna help ya on your journey but your on the right track replacing the stock and I 2nd having a good brake installed, especially if your running the 200 + grain pills.
It does take a while my freind youd laugh if I told ya how long it took me to get this far.
The 2nd Amendment......America's original Homeland Security.
Ethan Parke........roped the deer in 1953. Put tags in his ears turned him loose then shot him in 1955. Always liked this pic
The story was told to me by his wife who owned the little motel we stayed at on a deer hunt in Malta Idaho about 17 years ago...... Youll never see that again. Just a cool pic of Idaho deer huntin history