6.5 Creedmoor is a relatively new round, but it and other 6.5 caliber long-distance rounds have become increasingly popular over the past decade or so.

While the round was originally designed for long-distance target shooting, it has also gained a following for big game hunting.

But for accurate long-range shooting, you need an effective long-range scope.

Our Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor

  1. Vortex Optics Viper HST 6-24×50 Riflescope (Our Top Pick)
  2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO Riflescope (Best Budget)
  3. Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56 Riflescope (Best High End)
  4. Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus CDS Target Riflescope
  5. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen2 6-24×50 APMR FFP IR MIL Riflescope

Fortunately for you, we’ve put together this guide to 6.5 Creedmoor scopes, including our top 5 picks for the best 6.5 Creedmoor scopes. Read on to learn more.

What Are Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor?

There are a few features to look for to ensure that a scope is well-suited for use on a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle:

Reticle Type

recticle types

You want your scope to have a reticle that’s good for long-range shooting.

One of the more common options is the BDC, or bullet drop compensation, reticle. This reticle resembles a traditional crosshair but has hash marks along the line in the 6 o’clock position.

These hash marks represent a fixed angular measurement, measured in minutes of angle (MOA) or milliradians (mils/MRAD). This allows you to more easily calculate holdover at different distances.

There are also reticles with additional hash marks along the 3 and 9 o’clock lines. These allow you to more easily compensate for windage as well. The Trijicon Mil-Dot and Nightforce MOAR are examples of this type of reticle.

Magnification Range

magnification-range

6.5 Creedmoor has an effective target range of around 1,000 yards but for hunting, it caps out at around 500 yards. This is because that’s where the round slows to below 2,000-fps, the velocity needed for bullet expansion.

Therefore, you need a scope that excels in medium to long ranges. Exactly how much magnification you want depends on whether you’ll be using it as a target or hunting scope.

We’ll talk about this more in the next section when we talk about the different types of 6.5 Creedmoor scopes.

Parallax Adjustment

parallax

Have you ever been shooting through a scope and noticed that the reticle appears to move relative to the target when you move your head?

This phenomenon is called parallax. Parallax occurs when the reticle is focused for one distance while the target is at a different one.

Many scopes have fixed parallax set at 150 yards. This means that the reticle is focused for targets at 150 yards and will have no parallax for targets at that distance.

That’s fine for shots within about 250 yards, but for Creedmoor’s longer distances, you’ll want to be able to adjust the parallax setting.

What Are The Different Types of Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor?

6.5 Creedmoor is primarily a target shooting round, but it can also be used for hunting. There are scopes that are best suited for each of those purposes.

Target Scopes

target scopes

Most 6.5 Creedmoor scopes are target scopes.

For target shooting, you want a minimum magnification between about 4x and 8x. Max magnification should be at least 12x but 20x or higher is ideal. Exactly where in these ranges a particular scope should fall depends on the size and distance of the targets.

Target scopes also tend to have reticles that provide more information, like the BDC and MOAR reticles discussed above.

Target scopes tend to allow for finer windage and elevation adjustments.

Hunting Scopes

hunting scopes

For hunting, you want a scope with a minimum magnification setting of 1x or 2x. The maximum magnification should be 5x at the very least but, again, higher magnification is useful.

Be wary of using magnification that’s too powerful, however. A large field of view is essential when hunting to make sure you don’t lose your target or awareness of its surroundings. It also makes the initial target acquisition easier.

Hunting scopes also tend to have simpler, cleaner reticles, such as a crosshair or duplex reticle.

They usually have low-profile windage and elevation turrets that aren’t designed for much manipulation.

All of the scopes on our list of recommendations are chosen for target shooting, but most of them are also available with lower magnification strengths and reticles better suited for hunting.

How Does a Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor Work?

parts of a scope

A 6.5 Creedmoor scope works pretty much the same way as any other scope.

Light enters the scope through the objective lens, which is the lens on the end towards the muzzle. The objective lens also focuses the light.

Once focused, the light travels into the erector system. The erector system contains the magnification lenses and reticle. To adjust the magnification strength an objective lens moves forward to increase the magnification or backward to decrease it.

The reticle can be in front of the magnification lens or behind it. If it’s in front of the lens, it’s a first focal plane (FFP) reticle. If it’s behind it, it’s a second focal plane (SFP) reticle.

Once the light has passed through the erector assembly, it travels into the eyepiece to pass through the ocular lens. The ocular lens is the one closest to your eye and is what provides the sight picture.

What Do You Look For In The Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor?

A good scope for 6.5 Creedmoor should also just be a good scope in general. Here are some other scope features that you should be looking for:

Eye Relief

eye relief

Creedmoor cartridges have relatively light recoil, so long eye relief isn’t as high of a priority as with some other cartridges. Still, you don’t want your scope hitting your eye or brow bone.

In addition, long eye relief makes it more comfortable to look down your scope, especially with a large, forgiving eye box. Long eye relief also allows you to mount your scope farther forward on your rifle.

Durability

durable scopes

Scopes are an investment, but they can also go through a lot. A durable scope will make sure you get many years from the money you spend.

You want a scope that’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof. Features like o-ring seals and nitrogen or argon purging will ensure fog and waterproofing.

A single-piece scope body made from a rugged material like aircraft-grade aluminum can help ensure shockproofing.

Clear Sight Picture

clear sight

Most important is a bright, crisp sight picture.

A scope should allow for excellent light transmission and should have good color fidelity. Lens coatings can help with this. Lenses should be at least fully-coated but are ideally multicoated.

Lenses should also not have any warps or other flaws that can distort the image.

Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor Reviewed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to our 6.5 Creedmoor scope recommendations.

Vortex Optics Viper HST 6-24×50 Riflescope (Our Top Pick)

Vortex Optics Viper HST

Our top pick is the Vortex Viper HST.

This scope has a second focal plane VMR-1 reticle that makes determining accurate holds a breeze. It’s available in MOA or MRAD measurements.

The scope also has CRS Zero Stop turrets to make returning to your zero settings easy after making adjustments.
It’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof and has Armortek scratch-resistant lens coating.

Pros

  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body

Cons

  • Sight picture blurs at higher magnifications

Buy The Vortex Optics Viper HST 6-24×50 Riflescope Here


Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18×44 AO Riflescope (Best Budget)

Vortex Optics Crossfire II

The Vortex Crossfire II AO proves that you can get a high-quality scope without the high price tag.

It’s available with Dead-Hold BDC, V-Brite, or V-Plex MOA reticles. Like our top pick, it’s waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof and has Armortek scratch-resistant lens coating.

It also has an adjustable objective, which means that the parallax adjustment is around the objective lens as opposed to a side focus knob.

Pros

  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum body

Cons

  • Lower maximum magnification than our other recommendations

Buy The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Here


Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56 Riflescope (Best High End)

Nightforce Optics NXS

If you’re looking for a high-end option, the Nightforce NXS is the way to go.

It has all kinds of high-end features, like ZeroStop turrets and an illuminated MOAR reticle. It also has incredible glass clarity. Actually, it just might be the clearest glass we’ve ever used.

This is especially useful since the optic is designed for long-range shooting. In fact, the range of this optic goes up to 2000 yards, so it may just outpace your rifle and ammo.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Extremely durable
  • Illuminated reticle

Cons

  • Heavy

Buy The Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56 Riflescope Here


Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus CDS Target Riflescope

Leupold VX-3i 6.5

Next up is the Leupold VX-3i Target scope.

One of this scope’s major draws is Leupold’s Twilight Max Light Management System. This system gives this scope excellent brightness and clarity in low light conditions.

It even adds up to 20 extra minutes of shooting light. It also eliminates 85% more glare-producing light for great performance in bright light as well.

The lenses have excellent clarity and are scratch-resistant.

Pros

  • Side focus parallax adjustment
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof
  • Fine duplex reticle

Cons

  • No BDC or similar reticle option

Buy The Leupold VX-3i 6.5-20x50mm Side Focus CDS Target Riflescope Here


Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2 6-24×50 APMR FFP IR MIL Riflescope

Athlon Optics Argos BTR GEN2

Our last pick is the Athlon Optics Argos BTR.

The Argos BTR is another budget-friendly option, though it’s still pricier than the Vortex Optics Crossfire II.

It’s also the only scope on this list with a first focal plane reticle. This means that when you adjust magnification, the reticle changes in size proportionally to your target.

The etched glass APLR2 reticle is also illuminated.

It has a side focus parallax adjustment, Precision Zero Stop turrets, and fully multicoated optics.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof

Cons

  • Heavy

Buy The Athlon Optics Argos Riflescope Here


Final Thoughts On Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor

And that about covers it.

These are all great scopes. Not only are they the best scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor, but they’re also some of the best long-range scopes in general.

By now, you should be able to determine the right scope for you based on your budget, needs, and preferences.
So get out there and get shooting!