Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman
If you want an efficient, long life, 500 yd rilfe rifle with low recoil, the .308 Win is by far your best option. Nothing really to think about. Next would come the 7-08. And as you said, the more you neck down the shorter your barrel life becomes on average. That was easy.
+1. Mark said it very well.
If you like to shoot alot and 500 yards is your limit you will be VERY hard pressed to beat the 308 for barrel life, cost of loads, low recoil and it is VERY effective to 500-600 yards. It can be effective further with the right bullet in good shooting conditions.
Many will argure that the wind drift is too much. At 500 yards, the difference between the 308, 708, 260, 280AI etc.... is very minimal. With an average 308 bullet used in a 308 versus the very best 7mm bullets used in a 708 the difference at 500 yards in a 10 MPH wind is less than 4" With the best of 308 bullets it is 2" of difference.
The key to maximizing a 308 is A: a 26" barrel and B: a wyatts box magazine and C: use the slowest twist needed for the bullets you intend to use. For 155's a 14x, 168's 13x, 180-190 12x, 200-210 11x. Stick to those principals and you will get much better than average velocities for the 308.