I am curious on people's magnification preferences for shooting at various ranges and looking for a recommended fixed magnification range for target/ steel shooting. I'm a newbie to the longer range rifle world... beyond .22LR and 100yds that is. Where I live, most ranges only go out to maybe 100-200 yards max. I was able to find a rifle range that goes to 500 yds. I know that's nothing for many, but it's the best we have here in Northern Illinois/ Southern, WI.
I deer hunted between 100-400 yards this year with a primary arms 4-14x scope on a .308 rifle. During the hunt, I kept it on 7x to maintain a large field of view just in case something popped up closer and was on the move. When my only deer presented itself at 305yds, I cranked it up to 14x. The deer somewhat filled my reticle nicely... I shot it right where I accurately aimed into the vital zone.
Anyway, I hear of guys saying... "You should only need 4x", etc.. But, my thought is why struggle to place a 4x zoom (Or even 9x) reticle aiming point over a teenie target in the reticle when you can zoom in, see that vital zone clearly, and shoot accurately / ethically? Or... if Target shooting, why struggle? Chris Kyle's quote makes sense to me... "Aim small, miss small."
All that said, I know the military uses 10x fixed... and a really good shooter can hit the steel gong at 1000 yards... but why struggle? What would be a better fixed magnification to target shoot between 100-1000 yards? I am looking at buying a budget SWFA fixed magnification scope and am thinking 16x or 20x would be a good choice... over Rex's recommended 10x. Am I missing something wanting more magnification? Besides reducing FOV, is there a downfall? Thanks!