My GAP .300 WSM
is ready, and I am trying to decide on which scope to put on it. I am new to LR shooting, and I have read hundreds of the posts here and see there are a ton of options and more opinions. Here's what I do know: I want a scope that the lower range of magnification is in the 3-4 power, and I do not want an illuminated reticle since I will be hunting in several states. I like the NF 3.5-15 x 50 scopes as well as the Leupold Mark 4's. I will be shooting out to 5-600 yards (maybe further as I progress), so I'm wondering if I really need all the bells and whistles and if so, which ones?!?
If the NF did not weigh almost 2 lbs I would go with it for sure, but I'm having a hard time dropping $1,700 to put a 2 lb scope on a 7 lb rifle when a Leupold is around $1,100 and 1/2 lb lighter. But, I have also read the posts on several of the sniper's forums, an the Leupolds take a beating in those guys' opinions. I'm not sniping though, just hunting..... Any advice you LR hunters have on these two scopes or any others and/or which options, reticles, etc. to go with? I know from reading all the posts that this is a loaded question, so I guess I'm really trying to boil down my options for a great hunting scope. I don't shoot targets, and my skill level if I practice is probably not going to be to where I'm comfortable shooting anything over, say, 600 yards.
Have a great 4th of July Holiday, and thanks in advance!!!