First I want to state up front that this post is based on personal choice and experience. If you were to ask ten people to give rifle advice, you would probably get ten different suggestions. So all I am trying to do here is point the new guy in a direction that will save him some money and headache. New guy, don't spend any money on a new rifle. Go to your rifle safe and pick out the centre fire rifle that is the cheapest to shoot. Find a gunsmith that you want to work with and take that rifle in, get the action bedded, trigger adjusted, recoil lugs lapped, barrel floated, and get it totally cleaned. While you are there, get the rifle fitted. No matter what rifle you would have bought, this is work you would get done anyway. When I got into long range shooting I thought I needed a new rifle and scope. I went out and bought a Savage 10fp in a 308 winchester, and mounted my Tasco target/varmint scope in a cheap set of walmart rings (at this point I didn't have any money left in my budget). I then went to the range and started to work up a load. The rifle shot great right out of the box, averaging under moa at 100 yards, but I wanted better. So I saved some more and bought a SS 10 power scope and mounted it in Burris signature rings. This didn't improve accuracy any but gave me the ability to dial windage and elevation. The down side is I had to rezero my rifle. Then I decided I could improve my groups with better reloading techniques, so I bought some new reloading equipment. I put extra effort into my reloading and went back to the range. Still not much of an improvement, but I did get rid of some flyers. So next I looked at me, could I improve my groups with better shooting technique. I hit the internet, bought books and videos, and hit the range a few more times trying this and that. Groups didn't shrink but I got rid of all my flyers, and learned a whole lot. So finally I scraped some more money together and bought a new Bell and Carlson stock for my rifle, and hit the range again. At this time things started pulling together, I shrunk my groups almost in half, finally a rifle accurate enough for long range shooting. So what is the point of this story? Through all this adjusting and buying new gear I never once got to shoot out past 100 yards, and I spend about $600 extra dollars on a practice rifle, plus the original cost. You need to get out there and shoot to learn where you actually want to get. I learned that long range shooting takes a total package, rifle, scope, good bases and rings, then you need extra gear like range finders, weather stations, and great reloads if you want to get serious. There is a whole lot of learning you can do with old Bettsy and save your money to get out there and shoot. You will then learn what you finally really want and how serious you will actually become. I started by thinking that I would be popping elk off at 1000 yards within a couple years with a new custom rig. Now I am thinking I will probably buy myself an off the shelf rifle in a caliber something like a 300 win. mag. Have it accurized by my smith. I will have a carry rifle that I will be able to reach out to 600 yards or so on elk. By the way do you actually know how far 1000 yards is, get out there with a range finder and see what you think, for me when I figured it out I said WOW!!! I thought back to my 30 or so years of elk hunting and realized I never had the opportunity to shoot over 450 yards. Dropping down to that 600 yards is going to save me a whole lot of money!