That being said, after going back home and hunting with my dad, and his magical 22-250 and his Remington 700 ADL, I find myself wanting something with a wood stock. Wood just seems to have a soul. Each ding and scratch has a story, it adds character. There is just something to me, seeing a well used wood stocked hunting rifle. It seems to speak to me, and seems somewhat magical.
The rifle I choose will have to have a nice stick of wood on it. You just cannot copy the beauty of nice wood grain, and feathering. Some say that stocks like this are too pretty to beat up, but if you have seen the guns I have, you will see that they get use.
Walmart ammo availability
With this in mind, I plan on choosing a caliber that you can buy at Walmart. Go to your local Walmart, and even during the latest panic, you could still find .270 Winchester, .30-06, .300 Winchester Magnum, and 7mm Remington Magnum. Having a caliber that is common, and easy to get, even if you do forget your ammunition or lose it, you can go to a local store and pick some up without an issue. Sure, you may have to change your zero and dope, but it sure as shit beats having no ammunition.
Flat shooting and hard hitting
Of course, not everyone can afford a higher end rifle, I completely understand that and deal with that on a daily basis. But for $400-$500 you can get a nice, used Remington 700 that was made when Remington actually cared about making good guns. I absolutely cannot get over the horrific trigger, clunky bolts, and copious amounts of plastic and overmolding on a lot of the newer rifles.
The rifle I choose will need to have a nice smooth action, fantastic trigger, short bolt lift, and a minimal amount of plastic on it. These are some things I just cannot go without.
For a hunting rifle I want clean, bright glass. This year hunting with Martin, there was a big disparity of deer he spotted vs deer I spotted with him having superior binoculars. The scope will be a variable optic, with magnification starting around 3 power and going up to 16 power or so. I plan on keeping the objective below 45mm, to keep the size and weight of the scope down. I want a scope with a BDC that I can match my hunting load up to, so that I do not have to mess with turret adjustments in the field.
What do you think my choice should be with that all laid out? Let's hear from you on this!