I purchased a new rifle last year. I was debating caliber of course. My friend qualified as expert in the Marines, but can't seem to make a 30-06 perform for him. Part of that was the Ruger he was using, but even with my rifle he couldn't get tight groups. I'm convinced that it is the recoil. I thought I was immune, but when I started shooting 150 gr 777 with 400 gr bullets in my muzzleloader, I found out I flinch too. Lighter is better from the butt end of the rifle.
Years ago, I decided to simplify my loading bench a little so I chose 7mm caliber for all of my long guns. It has the highest b.c. at a reasonable weight. It will drop anything on this continent. I looked all over for information on using the 7mm-08 for elk and didn't find much encouragement. I should have read this article first.
I bought a 7mm WSM
in a 5.5 lb. Browning Mountain Ti. I love it! I had 16 lbs. of XMR 4350, so I was hoping to find a good load using it. It was close to elk season, so I didn't have a lot of time to work up loads. Found a good one that the book said was 2700 fps. using Berger 168 gr bullets. More like a 7mm-08 than a WSM velocity, but accurate, and it kicks like a .270. Off I went to the woods to shoot a bull at 350 yards. Took two steps and rolled down the hill.
I can always load up if I need to, but I'm thinking I don't need to. My barrel will last a long time with this load.
There's a great article about medium velocity terminal ballistics at Trajectory, Meat Damage, and Knock-Down