Well then chaps: I'm meeting my FEO on Monday next and from the way he talks about "getting me off his list" and me "needing my ticket" I'm not expecting problems.
Whilst awaiting the bureaucracy to complete, I've done a bit of re-thinking regarding kit with very much appreciated advice from and conversation with one or two members here and re-thought some of what I want to do. Because of that, I think I'm pretty much ready for you all to [comment / express difference of opinion / take the piss / flame me] regarding the kit I describe below.
I've found and viewed a second-hand Steyr Luxus in .308 in what seems to be good condition. It's one of the older models, but it looks well cared for. It's nice and light, with attractive wood and a good high cheekpiece which should fit well. It comes with a Pecar 4-10x45 scope mounted, two magazines and sling and is priced at a bit less than £1000. On the basis of what I've learnt since I last made a post like this, I think that's reasonable, but I'd welcome some comments on whether it's a good deal or not.
Now the downsides: I'll want to put an AES (or other reasonably effective) moderator on there, which means getting it screw-cut and potentially losing the front ironsight, though I understand that can be re-set further up the barrel by a competent gunsmith. I had planned for an over-barrel moderator, so perhaps just having it taken off and leaving it is a better plan. Still, whatever I do, this will be extra cost on an already very stretched budget.
Second, I was also under the impression that the scope mounts were the "swing-off" type which would allow me to convert the rifle from scoped for deer to ironsights for boar without faffing or losing zero. Unfortunately, I appear to have got the two Steyr rifles I looked at on Saturday mixed up and this one doesn't have that feature. I look for versatility in all of my tools, guns or otherwise, so I was a bit disappointed when the dealer disabused me of the impression on the telephone earlier today and it does make me like the rifle slightly less.
The third "downside": whilst I can probably stretch to paying for moderator and gunsmith / re-proofing (may skip that last bit until I have more money, as I intend to keep the rifle long-term), there would be no money left to buy any reloading kit, which I was very much looking forward to getting into. I can probably cope without doing this for a bit whilst I save up the money for the required bits / pieces, but I was relying on it to satisfy my shooting interest a bit when I'm not actually out hunting, so - knowing how much enjoyment I'll get out of it when I start - it's hard to give up on the idea without careful thought.
Still - there we are. Comments on any or all of that are welcome. I've got 'til Saturday to decide whether to put a deposit down on the gun. I'm going for second look on Sat morning until which time RFD will hold it for me, but I can't ask him to hold it longer just so I can dither about it. It does look like a good deal of gun and scope for a reasonable amount of money though, so feel free to encourage or dissuade me.