If you are going out to 500 yds a 12 power would be a good idea (well at least if you are older and eyes not so good anymore). I am fond of Leopold and they make Redfield and you can get one for around $200. Lifetime warranty and good glass, finish not as nice as Leupold but then its a field scope. Also made in the USA which I like.
The various Sakos all have a following. The A3 is considered in some circles better than the L61R. Technically true I gather though they all seem to be solid with the A3 having some improvements over the earlier ones.
I am inclined to the earlier ones, but then my dad bought my Mom one in 62 so there is the nostalgia factor. Good to have people who like them up and down the timeline.
I bought an L61R in 30-06 because I liked it (and we are shooting 1903 of various persuasions so it fits right in). My Finnbear is not as nice condition finish wise (pun) but looks to have barely been shot, just carried around a lot.
they all have very nice actions, great feel and quality guns. One case where I am fine with not in the USA! (well I have two 1903s plus most of my other guns that are USA made are so having a bit of foreigner iron is ok)
Hammer forged is correct but then they do a fine lap finish on therm as well, so its almost a button rifle bore.