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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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.
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
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)
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.