Look at how you hunt and where. I hunt mostly in timber where a long shot is 100yds. My wife covers a power line on one side of her stand where she can shoot to 200 yds + and timber in front. I carry two guns a .45 Colt Blackhawk for close in, and a scoped longer range gun[caliber varies]. If I could only have one it would be the scoped long range. With a variable scope I can go short or long as needed. So look at your circumstances, will you hunt thickets or open ground or both and choose accordingly. I can do with the long gun anything I can with the short but not the other way around. What ever you choose practice with it all you can . The first shot sometimes is the only one you get. .41,.44,7-08 all good choices.