Re: First LR rifle, sub $700 suggestions.
Fmsniper, nice looking gun! The stock made me think of McMillan...I'd love to have one if I can ever afford it.
Guys, let me throw a bit more information in here. One concern that I have is that, especially with the Savages, the barrel twists aren't fast enough to stabilize heavy-for-caliber bullets. For example, Savage's 25-06 Varminter that I mentioned in a previous post will only stabilize bullets of 100 grains and under. Apparently, I couldn't even expect good accuracy from 140 grain bullets shot from their 7mm-08 rifles. Their 270 WSMs are limited to 130 grains and under. Their 308s, though, are another story, with twists fast enough to stabilize bullets up to 220 grains. Remington's twists are a bit faster for some calibers. I have read for a while on this site about heavy-for-caliber bullets being the best way to go, but that may not really matter for the shots that I'd be able to take in this part of the country.
Also, I read a post of fiftydriver's not to long ago in which he was talking about the regular steel being harder and evidently stronger than stainless in Rem. 700s, which has me thinking that I should be choosing blued over stainless. Realistically though, I imagine that I shouldn't be worried about this aspect since it's probably academic and won't really affect anything that I'll ever do.
Oh, and regarding the iron sight post, I have pretty bad vision (nearsighted) and wear thick glasses, but I have had success for many years with iron sights, albeit at close range. In order to aim with them, I usually have to tilt my head further back than a normal person would and push my glasses as far up as they will go. At any rate, for this rifle, though, I plan to save until I can afford a decent Sightron/Burris/Simmons scope.