My Cooper Model 22 Phoenix came with nothing except a drilled and tapped receiver. I first put on Leupold bases and 30mm rings for a Burris 3-12x50 XTR, and that was good out to 1100 yards. Next month I'm shooting against some friends at 1200 and up, though, so I ordered the US Optics 20 MOA rail and some Warne 34mm rings for the new Bushnell HDMR with the Horus 59 reticle. I really like the Horus reticles but the Horus company sucks. I blew out an internal lens on one of their scopes after about 200 .308 rounds shot over a two year period, and their response was "Sorry, but you're SOL." Warranty expires in one year. No one will repair one, including the Japanese factory that built them, and I wrote every private scope repair outfit in the US. $899 (on a Shot Show special) down the tubes. A pretty expensive and clumsy paper weight. The new Bushnell has promise, though, and a limited lifetime warranty. I'm going to test the limits of the scope and the 6.5 x.284 . . . or at least test my limits with that set up. Most of the guys I'm shooting against are shooting FN H-bars in .300WSM, and that's a mighty fine 1200 yard cartridge. They're also damned fine marksmen, but I can get my 6.5x284 out to the same range with about 2/3 of the come ups they use, and the recoil is considerably more comfortable.
Border - Many thanks for getting back to me with such an in depth answer, it is really what I needed.
I have a Model 21 on order in .223 for woodchucks. I am still waiting for the rifle so I have had a lot of time to think about scopes and mounting. With this rifle I will just use the supplied Leupold bases but most likely go 30mm with a Leupold 4.5-14. Rectile, I am not sure yet but most likely just a fine duplex but the mil-dot has me interested. The mil-dot may not be of much use on this rifle but I am thinking it might be a good idea to just get into the mil-dot way of thinking for ranging.
My question to you was because the .223 is only going to reach out so far and in the future I will most like go with the rail system as I understand it offers more options.