Cruise the Optics for Sale section here & on SnipersHide, etc. You can stumble across some darn fine deals on high end optics from Leupy, NightForce (where I got mine) & even USO, S&B etc (last two are still +$$).
Your rifle is only as accurate as your optics
, I know thats been said before, but I'll say it as many times as it takes. don't scrimp on your optics, just because they look "clear" doesn't mean they track like a high end scope (the things your eyes can't see).
For example, with a 100yd zero my RUM is ~7mils to 1k yds or 7.1 (can't remember exactly)
. If you dial in the 7 mils exactly, but your scope doesn't track like your dials say (say +/- .2mils), the only thing good glass is going to do is help you see your miss. If it's off by .2mils (going extreme here) @ 1k, is it going to return to zero correctly? Who knows?
I'm not trying to bash or trash the optics listed here, some of them hold a good reputation. But,
there is a reason people spend as much (if not more) on their optics as they did on their rifle. Is it necessary for a "steel whacker"? No. Is it necessary for a dedicated Long Range Hunter? Yup, every penny.
Do your homework, read reviews, talk to the guys who have been there/done that like you're doing now.