Originally Posted by ColoNavy
I vote for a Ruger M77 in .308 caliber. There is plenty of ammo and fairly inexpensive. Not quite the distance of a 30.06 but still deadly at 500 yards. The magazine holds 10....better than most rifles. A very good used one can be found for about$800 on Gunbroker.
For small game and target shooting go with a Ruger Mini-14. Shoots .223/5.56 and fits your price range. Accuracy beyond 200 yards is suspect.
Should be able to get a brand new M77 with
a decent 40x3-9 ballistic dot scope for $800-850 at any decent retailer. I bought one chambered for 300WM recently for that at one of the more highly priced retailers in my town.
Has a very nice safety for hunting in brush with gloves on, heh