Originally Posted by TBuckus
I get 1" groups right now with factory ammo at 100 yds.
I just started reloading for my other rifles, and will reload for this one once I get rid of the factory ammo.
If get 1" groups at 100yds, what would that look like at 500?
First and foremost, I would try to shoot at a longer distance to see what kind of groups your gun can hold. Try for 300+ yards if possible. If you continue to hold 1 MOA at those distances (1" for every hundred yards, so 3" groups at 300 yards, 5" groups at 500 yards, etc), then you do not "need" to make any changes to your setup to kill deer at 600 yards. Obviously reloading should help shrink those groups as well. But if the gun can hold MOA, all you need to do to get comfortable at 400+ yards is practice a lot at those distances.
Having said that, if you are truly on a budget, I would spend more money on reloading and shooting if I were you. Of course it would be nice to have a McMillan stock and a nice Vortex or Zeiss scope, but none of that is necessary for what you are trying to accomplish. Your 3x9 scope will do the trick just fine and your gun is probably accurate enough with the basic stock on it (assuming your groups don't go to hell at longer distances). That will also keep your gun as light as possible (adding a bigger scope or aftermarket stock will make it heavier). If your groups do open up at longer distances, remember that it could be shooter error as well, not just the gun or load. All the more reason to spend the money practicing and finding out how accurate both you and your current setup can be at longer ranges before dumping money into something you might not need.
One other thing I would suggest on your current Leupold scope is to send it to Leupold to get target turrets on them (M1 or CDS) assuming that they don't have them now. That way you can at least dial for those longer ranges without having to have a penny or screwdriver in your pocket. Very fair pricing ($130 for both windage and elevation M1 turrets) and it will help you a lot.
Just my two cents!