So, I lurk on LRH a lot, but post very little, since I don't have near the experience to contribute, that a lot of you have. I'm gonna give you a little background here, before I ask for suggestions, so bare with me, please.
I recently moved to Texas, and in doing so, I sold my Savage Weather Warrior 338WM with a Zeiss 3x9, which I used for elk in Colorado. It was a good gun, but I wasn't fond of the cost per round and the "kick" left little to be desired. Other than that...wow, it was a great shooter out of the box!
So, now I'm currently "rifle-less" and I want to put something together again for medium sized game, including elk and maybe a trip to Alaska in a few years for moose.
I will honestly say, I'm not real comfortable shooting out past 400 yards. The longest elk I shot with the 338 was at 370 yards. Yes, I know that's measly compared to many of you, but I feel my current effective, humane killing range is +/- 400 yards, when you factor in all the scenarios you see while hunting. If I can't get close enough for that, I feel the game deserves to walk and not be potentially wounded.
I'd like to get better at shooting longer distances, but for longer ranges, it seems the money escalates fast with the level of equipment you need for medium to large sized game. I have a family and a budget for my hunting expeditions, so cost is always a factor, and given my limited hunting budget, I'm likely gonna be a "one-larger-caliber-rifle-at-a-time" man.
Anyway, I've been doing tons of research, and I think I've settled on this rifle in .308:
I like the features of this model, and .308 seems, to me, to be one of the best all-around calibers for North American big game. I know I could go with 30.06, but it doesn't come in that model, and I don't know that I can gain a lot by going up to that caliber from a .308.
I also like that no matter where you are, even in this day and age, you can usually buy .308 rounds for fairly cheap if push comes to shove.
This is the scope I'm thinking of going with:
Vortex Optics - Viper 3-9x40 Dead-Hold BDC
It gets great reviews all over the web, and I don't think, given my current self-imposed shooting limits, I need more than 3-9x40.
Along with the other accessories, like a rings, bipod, etc. I'm going to try and keep the cost at around $1500, give or take a couple of hundred.
So, after that long-winded story, what are your thoughts on that setup, and does anyone have any opinions, suggestions or otherwise to add?
Thanks in advance!