Hello. I am hoping to obtain some knowledge and opinions from people having a better understanding and experience with ballistics, various bullets and long range hunting. I am going to provide some detail as to help facilitate some enlightening information back to me. In advance I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to help me out. What I want: I am considering a lightweight long range hunting rifle. I am mainly looking for input on a caliber, but open to suggestions on a rifle as well. Regarding the rifle, I am on a budget and intend on a quality scope, so price is a factor. With that said though, I am looking for that 1 rifle to be happy with for a long time, so I will save up to get what I need to get. My goal for a rifle alone would be under 1K. I hunt in the Southwest and have hikes in the 3-10 mile range in rough country each day. That is why weight is an issue to me. My main game hunted is deer, both mule deer and coues deer. Although I would like to shoot them all as close as possible, I would like to be able to shoot to 800 yards and be lethal. A bonus to me would be able to kill black bear and large bull elk with this caliber/rifle as well. Another issue to throw into it would be the ability for my wife to use it on her occasional elk hunt as well, so recoil becomes an issue. I am not a fan of muzzle breaks, but would consider it if I had to for this purpose. What I already have: I do have a few rifles already, but don’t feel they fit the bill for me. Here is a list – Remington 700 ADL 243. This rifle was given to me by my parents about 20 years ago. I consider it more of a keepsake than hunting rifle and is what my wife uses for deer in the past. Remington 700 LSS 7mm mag. Awesome gun that shoots well but it is really heavy! I haven’t shot it past 350 yards, but am sure it would be a good long range rifle. Again the problem is the weight and I get worn out with it after a few days. It also kicks too much for my wife and I am worried the accuracy would change if I had the local gunsmith put a break on it. Recoil is ok to me but on the upper limit of being something I want to shoot at the range much. Browning A Bolt 308. Pretty gun and decent weight. It has a short barrel, maybe 21 or 22”. It has the BOSS system and traded for it years ago for my wife to hunt elk with. For some reason I am just not a fan of this set up and am thinking of selling to help finance the new set up. Remington 700 SPS 257 Weatherby magnum w/ 26” barrel. This is my primary rifle now and I am learning the art of long range shooting with this. I really like it but have countless people advise me that the 115 grain bullet I shoot is too light for the winds of the southwest (too much drift)as well as questionable energy and killing power at longer ranges, especially for bigger game animals. This gun is a bit on the heavy side. I believe the stock rifle according to factory info was 7.75 lbs. I don’t reload, so ammo availability is somewhat of an issue but not a real deciding factor for me. I can plan appropriately and stock up and it also seems like there are some custom ammo makers out there that could develop a load for me and I could order what I need. Again I would like to go fairly lightweight with manageable recoil (I know this is a combination of opposites)but be able have confidence that once I can be confident of my bullet placement, it will do the job even at ranges that I actually hope I will never have to do other than the range for practice!