I know this is an old post but since it looks like you are in the Sacramento area I would suggest going to the Sacramento range this weekend and shooting the prone match. Spending "trigger time" in competition is one of the best ways to learn to shoot. There are some of the best LR shooters at that match such as Lane (another8). If they see you are serious about learning they will spend time working with you. As far as equipment I would use the 308, while there are rounds with a better BC the 308 is a very forgiving round in terms of loading. Most loads for the 308 will do OK to about 900 yards, there are loads you can use out of a shorter bbl. gun such as your Savage that will work well at 1000. Hope this info is of some help.