Originally Posted by silvertip-co
Actually a fixed 6x is the smartest way to go for western big game hunting.
I respectfully disagree. I have 2 Leupold VXIII 4.5x14s, one on my 25-06 Antelope rifle and one on my .300 Wby Elk rifle. Started out over 50 years ago with a Weaver K4 on my 30-06 and have experienced the steady increase in quality and power in our riflescopes. My Leupolds are the finest optics (for the $$$) and perform outstanding. The real benefit of variable power is being able to use the setting that fits the area and situation you are hunting. If I was limited to 6x while hunting Antelope and I saw several bucks at 400 yds+, I would have to get out my binos and start looking. With my optics I can crank it up to the setting I am comfortable with, make my decision and shoot...without ever taking my eyes off the 2 animals. Same situation on Elk or Deer.
That is my take. I have 10 Leupold VXIIIs, all varible powers. From a 3x9 compact on my .17 HMR to a 6 x 20 on a .220 Swift Ackley Imp. They all do their job remarkably well.