Originally Posted by Uncle Ben
Hmmmm....I totally agree on the Rem 700 in 30-06 for a all around great rifle for any game in North America. You can find used 06's everywhere and since it's a NATO round, ammo is cheap and plentiful. John's list is good but he left out the Winchester Short Mags. Nearly identical ballistics to their long cased brothers but done in a short action rifle more efficiently. Mag's are over sold to the "bigger is best" crowd and few of them ever are used to make ethical long distance shots that they are designed for! Again, one long gun in the cabinet...30-06 is hard to beat! Scopes, I have to pull my punches as I once was but will never ever be a Leopold fan again. Customer service is the best out there but I would rather have a scope that doesn't need to get sent back! Nikon is my choice for medium priced optics. If they can hold up to what I shoot they can handle normal recoil!
I have had experiences with the Nikon scopes as well. In regards to Leupold I have managed to break a few var-x III scopes. The Mark 4 tactical scopes have been bullet proof.
I also agree that there are some great short magnum cases as well. In regards to Savage they are putting out some very accurate and reliable rifles. My preference toward Remington is because I am most familiar with them and there are a ton of great after market parts for them.
There are some 6.5 calibers I have been kicking around for my next bolt gun. From a bullet external ballistics stand point it is incredibly efficient. (super high BC vs bullet weight). I just can't decide which cartridge (6.5 Creedmoore, 260 Remington,6.5-284, etc) that is why I didn't throw it into the ring. Also they tend to be a bit on the small side for Elk but perfect for deer.
I don't own a Burris but I have heard good things about their upper end scopes. In regards to BDC(ballistic drop compensator) reticles and knobs I avoid them. They are calibrated to a single cartridge at a given velocity, altitude and atmospheric condition set. (yes I know the Marines issued them to some shooters in Iraq.) I you plan on using a reticle for holdovers I prefer to use some form of mil-reticle and calculate the hold over for the conditions I will likely be shooting in for that day. (You can get very powerful ballistics software for most smart phones these days). I like shooter for iphone and Applied Ballistics for Android.
I apologize for the info overload. (I really love rifles)