Back to the question. I use a 300 weatherby for long shooting, and I use a 338 win mag most often for long hunting. Long shooting for me can be shooting at an old oil drum at 600 yards (amazing that a 180 grain bullet 300 weatherby will still go through the tin drum at that range), or it can be a beer bottle at 300 yards.
By long shooting, I mean anything generally within 250, depending on the game. I grew up on the llano estocado (high plains of the texas panhandle), so I know the temptation to shoot at deer 400 yards away. In fact, it's why I bought the weatherby to begin with, so I could spot and stock on flat terrain. However, I wisened up and learned that trying to stalk to ranges within 200 yards and using an open sighted 45/70 for example was more fun and challenging. It's also too easy to lose an animal at such long ranges.
Now, I can shoot my 45/70, 35 whelen, 350 remington mag, or my 416 remington on a hunt knowing that I can shoot them all accurately and competently at a range of ~250 or less. It's often a question of energy. For example, I won't shoot an elk with a 7-08 at really any further than 150 yards, and I generally use my range finder.
All that said, if I'm shooting vermin, such as coyotes, pigs, armadillos, raccoons, ground hogs, or badgers, I have no qualms with posting up at 350 yards for target practice.
And Don, I know you hate this, but long distance shooting can be just as challenging as stalking, requiring lots of mental calculation. Especially chalenging when you live in an area as windy as I do, All in all, it's an eithical decision, If you can kill a water buff a 400 yards, just use enough gun (more like a 460 weatherby), and always, always follow up on your screw ups.
One last point, I do think that some people, not pointing fingers, are full of shart when they talk of their 500 yard shooting exploits... these idiots, along with those that wound animals and don't follow up, are what give long distance shoting a bad wrap. I'll believe it when I see it!