While I would love to mount a big ol 5.5x20, is there really any need? Would say a 4x12 or something do the job just as well? I want to buy one scope, the right scope, the first time, as my budget allows one purchase of a quality scope.
Most people over-scope... mistakenly thinking that they'll shoot more accurately with more scope power. This is rarely the case...
You could quarter anything worth shooting at with a 9 power scope at 700 yards... all you have to be able to do is quarter the target, and you can make a good shot.
I actually bring out a 4 power scoped Savage .270 at our local 1000 yard matches, and at our long range school--just to show people that you can hit a 24" plate at 1000 yards with a lowly little old 4 power scope.
I'd much rather have better glass and lower magnification than to blow the budget on a big zoom scope that's low on clarity.
I shoot better "over scoped" FOR ME: that is a fact. May not apply to everyone but for me it is true even at close range. Started with 3-9 and got noticeably better with a 4-12 and holy cow I can drive tacks with a 6-24. That being said: Q: Necessary? A: NO, I can effectively engage a high contrast target 12" in diameter at 1200 meters with a 4x fixed 24mm objective scope. I would much rather do it with a 24x 50mm scope but it can be done. Now I can't even see bullet holes in white board at 100 with that 4x scope but I can aim well enough to shoot. If you want the smallest groups: the magnification can help, If you want to spot the hits in paper at 300 without a spotting scope: the magnification can help. If you want enough to get it done: It really does not take much. If your likely to be shooting at running animals at 50 yards 6-24 is not going to be your best option. Quality is going to be necessary in any scope in order to be trustworthy. Magnification is just a side note based on preference and intended purpose.
i can understand the last post, my groups got better with more scope power too.
iv got a 6-24x50. its great. i use all the power, especially shooting paper. i find my target then zoom right in. (thats paper and any long range shots)
in saying that, im sure you can get by without it, but i wont be going back. and situations like thick bush, or shooting any close game, id never use that much power.