30-06 will be a fine rifle
As for his price range that would allow him to get into about any stock rack rifle out there, with decent glass on it. The scope to 12-16 seems a little overkill for a realistic shot on an elk with a 30-06 though think 250-300 yard limit with range and 300 to me would be If i was really feeling comfy.
I shoot a Winchester model 70 in .270 personally. I like to lean towards the nosler partitions and really like how the federal ammo fires( I have found significantly less carbon/junk on range trips). CoreLokt is tried and true as well. A couple other premiums are available but besides something like a solid Barnes for lead restriction reasons ehh... I'm sure everyone has there opinions and all these are just mine. Personally if his Montgomery ward still shoots straight case it and be good to go and spend the 1200 on another trip.