It is recommended that you clean the heck out of the barrel before you do anything with it. It may not be needed but some have come quite dirty from Savage. My stainless gun wasn't all too dirty but it does happen. They are test shot before leaving the factory and not cleaned.
About your scope question...it depends. I know a few have had luck with simmons and cheap bushnells surviving. I also know some that have destroyed Zeiss and other expensive glass. Those guys are shoot some very stout loads though. You can load the Savage for as much recoil as you can stand. Light loads kick like a 22 and heavy loads that kick like a mule. The average guy wanting to shoot 200 yards doesn't need to worry. The guy wanting to shoot 200 plus with a 350gr and up bullet moving at 2400 fps or faster probably has went though a couple scopes.
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