I've decided I want a good old fashioned bolt gun that doesn't require a hydraulic jack to cycle. Sorry, Sergei... The Mosin isn't cutting it anymore. I suppose I'm doing the "I WANT IT ALL" thing, but here are my goals... .308 CAL Carbine length, 20" preferred Accurate - would like at least function accuracy to 500y (say... <2moa, prefer as close to 1 as possible) Lightweight - backpackable, mountain gun type Prefer synthetic stock - might end up in the trunk a lot. Under $500 if possible, absolutely not over $600, including optics. I've done some looking around, and have a few ideas in mind: 1) Weatherby Vanguard Carbine. I've heard the stock might need replacement, and it would need optics. Primary Arms scopes seem to die on full rifle calibers, so I'd need something a bit more sturdy... Still haven't really figured out my optics options for this one. 2) Mossberg 100ATR Bantam short action. This would leave me a bit of budget to do some tuning... 3) If I can find one, a used gunsite scout. They seem to be hard to come by, though. Finally, though, I stumbled on the Howa Ranchland Compact, which is built on the Howa 1500 action. It comes as a package, with a scope, for just over $500... It looks like a good fit for me, and Howa seems to have a good rep. It's also available without the scope. So then, to the questions... Does anyone here have experience with the Howa rifles in general, or the Ranchland specifically? Thoughts about the other choices I've come up with? Does anyone have optics suggestions? I really don't even know where to start there... Are there rifles other than these I should look in to? And finally... If I buy a gun off the internet, who in the Portland area should I run the transfer through? Thanks.