This is just the type of advice I'm looking for--I'm 5'6 and wouldn't have thought of that factoring into what I'm going to shoot.
What are the best ways to try different rifles? Curious as to how people do that. I have a lot of hunting pals that tend to be taller/bigger than I am, and I've shot a few of theirs, but at this point I'm not entirely comfortable shooting anything at this point. Planning on practicing a ton this summer at our local range and on USFS land near town, would like to try a variety of guns before I commit!
At 5’6” I would look at a lightweight/mountain rifle type option. Given a lighter platform that I would look towards the 7mm-08 or .308 cartridges. If you get into hunting some thick lodgepole a shorter barrel is a blessing. I have barrels from 22”-26” and am not tempted to cut the 26” down to 22”. Further, you may want to consider the stock length of pull too (distance between the trigger and butt of the stock). Any gunsmith can cut this down for you if necessary for a proper fit.
Depending on what your budget is I would look at the following rifles (estimated new prices):
Howa Alpine - $1,100
Kimber Montana - $1,100
Remington Mountain Rifle - $750
Winchester Model 70 FWT (featherweight) -$850
Tikka T3 Lite - $650