Hello, This is my first time posting here and I am needing a little help with a new rifle purchase. A little about myself and what I am looking for might help in this process. First off I have been shooting firearms in one form or another most of my life. Over the course of my teenage years I hunted with a single shot 22 hornet, Ruger 22 semi auto, Marlin 22 semi auto, single shot stevens 410, marlin lever action 30-30, and browning semi auto 30-06. Everything from quail, beavers, ground hogs, squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, deer and hogs. I was always the best shot out of us kids and got the nickname from my dad and grandpa “dead eye den” short for Dennis. After the teenage days I joined the Marine Corps where I shot all manner of military stuff ranging from the basic a2 to the belt fed tripod mounted 50 cal, mark 19, and at4. On all four of my a2 rifle quals in the corp’s I scored 349 out of 350 (expert) giving me the second highest score in our air wing three of the four times and the highest once. I left the corps in 97 for a family life here in Oklahoma and since then have pretty much stayed away from guns and hunting due to work and kids. About six months ago I got back into hunting and purchased a 25-06 bolt action Thompson. First deer season out I got a nice buck as well as my oldest son getting his first buck and now the hunting fever has returned. My oldest son took over the Thompson, so now I am looking for a new rifle. I have about a thousand dollars to spend just for the rifle and another thousand for the scope. I plan to purchase the rifle in February and the scope in June. The area we are going to hunt this next season is the panhandle of Oklahoma where the fields / prairie flats there stretch for miles and miles and are flatter than flat. For sure we will be hunting Muley’s, but I have been told there are elk there as well. Additionally, family owned land about an hour from my house, were I go to shoot for fun about 2 times a month, the max range is about a thousand to eleven hundred yards and I intend to use that for some long range target shooting fun. With my prior Thompson we set up a 1inch square bulls eye paper target and at 150 yards I can cut the center out of it, without ever hitting outside the bulls eye, so it’s safe to say that I still possess the basic rifle skills from my teenage days and my training from the corps. The scope on the Thompson is nothing special just a Nikon 3-9x40 so I never tried to go much beyond 200 yards due to a 1inch dot being almost invisible on 9 power at 200 yards with that scope. What I am looking for is a caliber that can reach out to 1000 yards for bench rest target shooting fun, not competition (a 6 inch group or less at 1000 yards is what I am hoping to get to eventually), and be able to take down whitetails, muley’s, and elk with as little damage to the smaller whitetails as possible. 55gr is the minimum cut off bullet weight for whitetails and 85gr is minimum for elk here in Oklahoma. I don’t hand load and I obviously can’t afford a custom rifle with only a thousand dollar budget for the rifle itself. For hunting I am a stand hunter in either a blind or a tree stand and motor up to said stand on a four wheeler. No more walking than a couple hundred yards and both my blind and stand have a support for laying my rifle on for shooting, so weight of the rifle isn’t a big factor. I have read enough on this forum and other’s along with gobs of ballistic charts to make myself sick trying to decide on a caliber. As it is now the 6.5x284 is looking the most attractive. I know barrel burnout is a factor and also factory ammo is a pain to get, but I have found an online seller and so long as I buy in bulk I should be ok. As for barrel burnout It will taker me about 3 or 4 years to go through a thousand rounds (the stated life of the barrel) and for me that is an acceptable length of time before having to pay for another barrel. A 300WSM is my second choice but that’s allot of gun and I don’t want to ruin a small whitetail if I were to shoot one with it? Can anyone here help me decide which of those two caliber’s are best for my needs, or if there is something better out there? For the make of the rifle, the Savage 11/111 Longe Range Hunter with the Accu-trigger, Accu-stock, and 26in barrel look great to me as it comes in both the 6.5x284 and 300wsm (additional other caliber’s as well) and is right at thousand dollars. I haven’t found anything to beat that within my price range so if there is something better please let me know. For the scope I have read that in my price range a zeiss conquest or leupold vx3 are my best options. Input here is appreciated as well. No more than a thousand dollars here also. Any assistance with this is greatly appreciated.