375 Ruger Fan, I know what you mean about the new less expensive line of guns that are out there today. They are not much to look at, but I was very impressed by a Ruger American rifle that the Ruger R&D boys showed my son a few years ago. He was at the range with them and they showed him a 30-06 that had 40,000 rounds put through it. The rifling was all but gone, but it still shot with acceptable accuracy ( 3" group at 100 yds. ) I don't know about you but I don't think that I will ever be putting that many rounds through any gun anymore.Kevin, I'm sort of in the same mode you are. Sort of like a golfer, needing a new in-between club. I've been leaning towards a 308 or 7mm-08. I have a 270, 30-06 and 338, so I really don't have a gap I need to fill, but thinking a smaller rifle for my daughter would be good. Maybe a Remington model seven or a CZ550 FS.
I'm not a big fan of the cheaper line of rifles that most of the makers have come out with (Ruger American, Savage Axis, etc), but I was wowed by a video recently on the Browning el-cheapo version: http://randywakeman.com/BrowningAB3VideoReview.htm Still doesn't make me want to buy one, but amazing accuracy when you find the ammo it likes.
Action Bob, for the money they are a tough gun to beat..I called Matt at Hill Country Rifles this year and asked his opinion on which factory gun to buy for DG, he said the Ruger guide is one of the best out there. I love mine. Bought it in 375 Ruger, And yes I have only done range time with it but plan ( hope to god) to hunt either Buffalo or lion in 2017 with it. I agree not crazy about the color but I doubt the buff or lion will mind.You can't help but appreciate the ingenuity of Ruger, and the value.... If you can stand the looks of these newer guns.
My wife tried out my guns and the stocks were all to long, mostly M70 Winchesters at the time. Went to Reeds in Walker MN and the salesman spend half a day bringing out different things for her to try and mounting up scopes... Savage Lady hunter models were actually the worst.
Finally he brought out a gun they had just gotten in... A Ruger Guide gun in 30-06... A near perfect caliber when you look at ammo available the World over, plenty of hitting power, being just below the 300 win mag. Probably more factory load choices than any other caliber. And not too bad on recoil. So that salesman took out spacers to fit it to her and mounted up a nice little Z3 3-9, she loved the gun with open sights, did not like the scope... Tried a leupold VX3 2.5-8 and she loved it. The guide gun is short and stout, and plenty heavy to control recoil.
I think the first thing is to get a gun that fits. Then if a 30 caliber is too much, drop down to a 7x57 or a 7mm-08, or go as small as a 6.5 caliber..... We have a 6.5 Creedmoor that looks and kicks comparably with a .260 Remington, but if you look at punch it carries way more ft pounds out to long distances. The polar opposite of the 30-06 for ammo availability though... You could go to 6.5x55. View attachment 44291