There seems to be some basic FACTS about what equipment is "best" for Long Range shooting and hunting that might be somewhat miss-leading or even intimidating to new shooters. Like a lot of guys on this site I have developed some opinions over the years and I do not necessarily go along with some of the above mentioned "Facts".
First - I do not believe that Remington M-700's are the "best" or premiere action for Long Range rifles - or for any type of rifle for that matter. From a numbers view-point they dominate - from a user's and technical view-point they are really not as good as they should be. I use M-700's but they are not the Holy Grail.
New shooters can do very well with any rifle that delivers MOA or less - Win. M-70's, Savage 110's, Sakos and whatever will work just fine if they are properly prepared.
Second - the .308 Winchester will do just fine for most Long Range shooting - particularly when someone is starting out. I am not talking Extreme Range hunting, I am talking about someone who wants to explore the challenges of hitting a relatively small target out past 4 or 500 yards. The .308 is accurate, relatively easy on the shooter and in-expensive to shoot. You don't need a magnum to shoot long.
Third - optics are a key to accuracy and the new shooter should invest in a good long range scope
as soon as he can afford one. Magnification is not as important as clarity, brightness, ruggedness and repeatability of the turrets. 30mm tubes are pretty well a necessity for distances out to 1000 yards as they enable the degree of reticle adjustment nequired.
Fourth - scope mounts can be the weak link in a Long Range system. Like optics, good mounts cost money. For those who are not aware, there are basically two mount designs, the Redfield and the Weaver. Despite their popularity the "Redfield Design" dovetailing mounts (as sold by Redfield, Leupold, Burris, Millett and others) and even the dual dovetails are not nearly as reliable and strong as the simplistic "Weaver" style system. Proof in point - all the tactical mounts are Weaver style - no metal-grinding Redfield designs. Just look at how much metal is actually holding the rings to the bases with Redfield dovetails - there is not much at the narrowest part of the dovetail.
Fifth point - if you are really serious about becoming a Long Range shooter and hunter, try to find someone who will share his experience and knowledge, try to enroll in a long range shooting school, and get out there and shoot as much as possible. Realize that the wind is going to be your biggest challenge.
Last - hitting far-off targets consistently is a great challenge and a hell of a lot of fun. Hitting is what it is all about, missing is part of the game but only valuable if you learn from your misses. Long Range places demands that are unique in shooting - one of them is the necessity to keep notes and a data book. You will not be successful unless you keep records and notes - period.
Your skill and involvement will grow as much as you want it to. Dollars spent on gear do not assure hitting, but you must have good gear to get into the game. Like many other challenges, the more time, effort and ammo expended the greater the rewards.
The above are only my opinions but perhaps they will be of interest to anyone interested in getting into this game.