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I bought a used Savage 111 Long range hunter in .300 Win Mag last year (80 rds through it in 2020) and it has a Nikon 3x9 scope, I plan on going to a better scope because I don't trust the Nikon will hold up in the long run.
I figure I'll be firing 120+ rounds per year shooting targets and maybe an Elk hunt, I've been leaning towards the Leupold VX-3HD 3.5x10 but would like your opinions.
Budget: $550
 

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Wearing fur underwears...
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Nikon made very good scopes. Unfortunately they quit with their scope line up. What kind of Nikon? Depending on which one, you might find the Leupold glass not quite as good. Leupold reputation for durability is great, but Nikon's is no slouch either.

To me, over 3x on the bottom end is getting to be too much power, if action starts up close. If I were to drop decent coin on a big game rifle scope for something with a bit of range; I'd either stick with the somewhat traditional 3-9, or better yet a wider ratio scope. Like 2.5-10x.
 

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SWFA fixed power scopes have been really good to me on my .300 Win mags.
I really like the 6x power from SWFA for ranges under 600 yards. Hard to beat for the quality of glass. For Elk, that is all that you will realistically need since they are such big animals. They are rated for 50 BMG as well. They are on backorder (should say something about the popularity) and the mil-quad reticle is just awesome: Buy SWFA SS 6x42 Tactical 30mm Riflescopes at SWFA.com - SWFA Outdoors

I think Nikon got out of the rifle-scope business. So what you are seeing is the overstock getting off-boarded. Leupolds are not bad in your price range. Sad, cause they made some really good scopes (on the higher end).

Nikon Will No Longer Make Riflescopes (outdoorlife.com)
 

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Born 120 years too late.
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SHEPHERD scope.
Range finder built in AND IT WORKS
I have dragged them all over NA on hunting trips and never had an issue.
Plus
it is a one shot zero.

NOW
If you want to shoot an egg at 1000yds, it is not the scope because the reticles do not work that way,
but
if you want to hunt GAME or other assorted sized .. critters, they are amazingly fast to use with all your elevations figured for you. For serious work they are the only scope I use.
 

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I don’t hunt, but I shoot steal out to 1200 yards. Leupold is a good scope. But I really like Athlon scopes. With much better options for the price compared to leupold or most scopes. They have very good glass. Zero stop on most of their scopes, this a great option to have. They have solid tactical turrets. I would get the MOA turrets/reticle, mostly it’s much easier of a measurement to learn then Mils. Get Mil turrets/reticle if you know how or want to learn how to range with your scope.

 

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You can get better scopes.
But that Nikon is plenty good enough for 90% of what people do with a 300 WinMag, and will probably hold up to your intended uses. Problem being, of course...no warranty, since Nikon is out of the game.

If I were you, I’d just save that money, and a little more every month or so, so that by the time it breaks, if it ever does, or if you just get excited about something specific, you can get an even “better” scope than that $550 Leupold.
 

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I don’t hunt, but I shoot steal out to 1200 yards. Leupold is a good scope. But I really like Athlon scopes. With much better options for the price compared to leupold or most scopes. They have very good glass. Zero stop on most of their scopes, this a great option to have. They have solid tactical turrets. I would get the MOA turrets/reticle, mostly it’s much easier of a measurement to learn then Mils. Get Mil turrets/reticle if you know how or want to learn how to range with your scope.

I don't have an Athlon scope, but I do have the Midas 1 mile rangefinder. Good glass and pretty impressed when I found it ranged over a mile on trees.

Most rangefinders oversell the range they'll range and need a reflective target at the advertised max.
 
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