I finally decided on a scope for my new rifle project. I went with the Leupold Mark AR 3-9x40mm after all. My basic intent with this project was to mirror the US military's Mk 12 Special Purpose Rifle, only without dropping $4,000+ on the thing.
I mounted it on a LaRue Tactical SPR/M4 QD mount and it mounted with very little difficulty. (Full disclosure, I had scope rattle in the mount at first but a quick call to LaRue's customer service line and they diagnosed the problem--you need to tighten the bottom screws first instead of doing them cross-pattern like car lug nuts, which I had done. Once I undid it and redid it their way...rock solid!)
Once zeroed, it was just a matter of placing this dot in the 10-ring of the 100M target and depressing the trigger. Best group from the bench with my range bag for a rest was four out of five rounds touching in the middle of the 10-ring with basic 55gr handloads. And when cranked up to 9x, I can actually see my 5.56 bullet holes on the target, eliminating a need for the spotting scope at 100M. At longer ranges, I foresee great things coming from the mil-dot and serious ammunition. And since it's the same reticle system as my Savage M110's Super Sniper 10x, I don't have to try to learn another sighting system.
Oh--and perhaps a case of two of 77gr. Mk262 ammo.
Set up thusly, I think she'll do anything I want done out to 600M or so. Anything past that...it's the Savage, at least until I get the next planned project rifle in 6.5 Creedmore completed.