It's a varminting rifle as it's primary purpose, so it is getting a nicer optic regardless. I won't even begin to think about shooting in a competition until the spring anyways as I have to start loading a batch of 500 rounds of my most accurate stuff for the Cedarville Squirrel Round Up which will happen in a couple of months.
Just shoot factory rebarrel, if you want to try the competition thing. Thats where alot of the current benchrest shooters got bit by the bug. I got started trading carpentry work for gunsmithing work with Mike Dillinger/Atlantic Precision aka AP Custom. Mike was a freakshow when it came extreme accuracy and really sparked my interest in benchrest. Hes no longer with us but his efforts set a new standard 20 years ago. He wasnt a top shooter by any means but his passion for perfection was/still is unsurpassed. He certainly motivated my passion for extreme accuracy. I really wish he was still here to see his contribution to benchrest shooting.