The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has seen great success in game hunting, even though it was initially designed for long-range target shooting. Although it brings match-grade accuracy and plenty of power to the table, it lacks a lot of recoil, so it’s one of the most comfortable cartridges you can use on your hunts.
This powerful cartridge is able to shoot to about 1000 yards and even a bit farther, but you will need the right scope to do that.
If you’ve never looked at scopes before, don’t sweat it. This guide has everything you need to know about the best 6.5 Creedmoor scopes.
Finding the Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
Remember, there isn’t a single “best” scope for everyone. It all comes down to your personal preferences and budget.
To find the best scope for you, you should understand the key features you should be looking for. See what the most important features are and examine our 5 top picks to find the perfect 6.5 Creedmoor scope for your rifle.
Choosing the right magnification is very important.
Remember, 6.5 Creedmoor rifles are designed for shooting at targets far away; while they can do some close-quarters work, it’s not really what they excel in. To that end, it’s smarter to look at scopes that offer higher magnification settings.
Essentially, make sure that your chosen scope magnification goes to at least 20x on the high end to ensure that you can take full advantage of the 6.5 Creedmoor’s long-range accuracy.
Of course, many variable scopes also offer magnification levels for shorter ranges, like 6x-10x. These are also nice to have in case you do need to take a closer shot at some point.
We included several suggestions for scopes with 6-24x magnification, which we believe is perfect for the 6.5 Creedmoor, no matter at what distance you prefer to shoot.
As 6.5 Creedmoor rifles are primarily used for medium to long-range shooting, being able to reduce parallax is critical. Parallax, or the state where your reticle and target don’t line up correctly, can ruin your accuracy and cause you to miss an otherwise easy shot. While most scopes have some form of parallax adjuster knob, a scope for your rifle should allow you to adjust parallax along an infinite scale.
Scopes that have this functionality allow you to set your parallax adjustment to whatever you’re most comfortable with. This type of preference usually comes with a lot of practice in hunting experience, but it lets you negate the effects of heavy parallax to some degree. This could be the difference between making your long-distance shots perfectly or being off by a mile.
Of course, all of the scopes we’ve gathered below allow you to adjust your parallax to whatever you’re comfortable with or what’s best for your next shot.
Great scope lenses will be multicoated or protected to some degree. These coatings will reduce the chance of scratch damage, which improves durability and scope lifespan, and in many cases will improve light transmission.
Improves light transmission means that your sight picture will be brighter, and the colors will contrast to a greater degree than they would otherwise. This is great for hitting targets that are blended into the environment or which may be difficult to see. A better sight picture is always a bonus, so multicoated lenses are far superior to standard ones.
Good Eye Relief
While the 6.5 Creedmoor doesn’t have terrible recoil, it’s still vital that you find a scope that offers decent eye relief. No one likes to have their scope bang into the bone surrounding their eye; there’s no surer way to get a decent bruise! This aspect is particularly crucial if you have a habit of leaning in closely in anticipation of your upcoming shot.
To make sure you never have to experience the discomfort of a bruise around your eye, each of the 5 scopes below has plenty of eye relief to spare.
In addition, you should try to find a scope for your rifle that will stand the test of time. After all, some of these scopes are rather expensive and it would be unfortunate if you bought a brand-new scope only to have it break relatively quickly since it wasn’t strong enough to handle a single expedition outdoors.
These days, you can find plenty of excellent scopes that are both waterproof and/or fog proof, meaning that they can handle wet or foggy conditions without a problem. Scopes with these materials or designs are fantastic in terms of value for money, even if you have to pay a little more upfront. You’ll end up saving money in the long run if you purchase a durable scope that lasts for a long time instead of a cheap scope that requires replacement sooner rather than later.
Naturally, each of our favorite 6.5 Creedmoor scopes features durable frames and/or waterproof and fog proof sealing.
First or Second Focal Plane?
Finally, you should decide which of these two options you prefer for your shooting before making a final purchase. While there are proponents of both types of reticle, there isn’t a single superior option for everyone. It all comes down to personal preference.
First focal plane reticles will appear to change in size as you switch between different magnification levels. For instance, a first focal plane reticle will appear to be larger as you switch to higher magnification settings and smaller as you switch to lower magnification.
On the other hand, second focal plane reticles don’t change size no matter what magnification level you settle on. They usually have one magnification setting that they are perfectly calibrated for (the largest, in most cases) and the others require you to do a little bit of estimation when it comes to their holdover points.
6.5 Creedmoor rifles are designed for shooting at all ranges but really excel at longer distances between 400 and 700 yards. Because of this, many of their ideal scopes will reach into the 15x-25x range in most cases. Both first and second focal plane reticles can work well with 6.5 Creedmoor weapons.
Below, you’ll find scopes with both first and second focal plane reticles, so you can pick and choose which is your favorite based on your comfort level or preferences. There’s no one right answer for everyone.
The 5 Best 6.5 Creedmoor Scopes
Here are the five scopes which we believe are the best choice for the 6.5 Creedmoor.
1. Athlon Optics, Argos BTR, Riflescope, 6-24x50mm (FFP) 30mm Tube
This scope has a reticle on the first focal plane; that makes it a great choice for use between all of its magnification settings, ranging from 6 times to 24 times. The 24 times magnification maximum is perfect for use with 6.5 Creedmoor shells.
The reticle is illuminated to provide you with perfect target acquisition at dusk and dawn, as well. It’s been etched straight onto the glass to provide backing support for its complex, size-shifting design.
The lenses are also fully multicoated. The lenses bring in better light transmission than regular lenses, improving your sight picture and making true color pop no matter where you’re looking and no matter what time of day. These lenses are particularly great for use during bright noon sunlight.
In terms of durability, this scope is one of the toughest we’ve seen. It is argon-purged to totally waterproof the unit and provide thermal stability; the aircraft-grade aluminum won’t swell or flex even in direct sunlight. In addition, the glass is integrated sturdily within the aluminum tube to prevent it from shaking or cracking even under duress.
The Athlon is also a good choice for the .308 cartridge.
- Excellent durability
- Great optics and glass
- The reticle is illuminated despite shifting size
- Lacks good parallax adjuster
All in all, the Athlon Optics Argos BTR scope above is a terrific choice when combined with a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. Its thorough durability and smart design will ensure its function even in dirty environments. Add to that a fantastic, versatile reticle and you’ve got a scope that’s perfect for any hunting expedition.
2. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFP Riflescope
This second focal plane scope has a reticle that won’t change sizes even as you switch from magnification level to level. Like the last scope, this model can go as high as 24 times magnification, which is fantastic for use with 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges.
The eyepiece has been designed for focusing quickly on your target; you can adjust the reticle to your eye in a snap, which can be critical if you’re ever trying to hit a fast-moving target that moves from cover to cover. The lens has been further coated to enhance the light gathered at the scope mouth. A second Armortek coating protects the lenses from scratching or cracking even under heavy stress.
The scope has exposed, target-style turrets. These turrets click audibly and satisfactorily as you adjust your windage and elevation settings, so you can modify your sight without having to take your eye off the target. In addition, this scope has a side focus parallax adjuster that allows you to entirely remove parallax in just seconds.
The scope is built to last, which is always a good thing! A hard-anodized finish makes the scope harder to see by your targets, as the metal won’t glare even in direct sunlight. The anodized finished also removes the likelihood of the scope getting corrosive damage over time.
This Vortex would also be a good fit for Scar 17.
- Extremely long-lasting and durable
- Parallax adjuster
- Great eyepiece
- Can get blurry at 24x
The Vortex Optics Viper HS-T scope is a phenomenal choice for your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. Not only does it offer fantastic eye relief, but its eyepiece design is perfect for snapping quickly to your target. It’s easy to adjust, satisfying to use, and both durable and stealthy thanks to its anodized coating; what’s not to like?
3. Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50mm SFP Riflescope
This scope also has a glass etched reticle in the second focal plane. The glass etching helps keep it stable even as you switch between magnification settings; it can go as high as 24x. In addition, the reticle is illuminated and can be adjusted through 10 different luminosity settings so you can fine-tune the reticle’s performance and make it as bright as you desire given your environmental light conditions.
Switching between these settings or turning the illumination on or off can be done with a flick of your finger. The scope also boasts a side-focus parallax adjustment turret. You can easily eliminate parallax or adjust it to your liking without having to adjust your shooting position or remove your eye from your target. This is great for using your 6.5 Creedmoor to its best advantage by keeping parallax low.
It has other excellent adjustment turrets, as well, for modifying your windage and elevation measurements on the fly. The turned to just within ¼-inch precision and make audible clicks so you can do all of this from ear alone.
The scope is decently durable, too. The lenses are coated with anti-reflective material to reduce glare and improve your sight picture at all magnification levels. It’s also got waterproof and shockproof construction to lower recoil shaking and allow the scope to continue functioning even in rugged conditions.
- Turrets are great, including parallax
- Easy to adjust all settings, including illumination
- Lots of reticle elimination levels
- Turrets are rather bulky, make scope not sleek or compact
The Nikon Black X1000 Scope made our list due to its easy-to-adjust parallax turret, plus its reticle with 10 brightness settings. Adjusting both the scope’s illumination and other settings are easier than with many competing scopes. The reticle’s stability, gained from its glass-etched design, cements this scope as a perfect choice for all 6.5 Creedmoor owners.
4. Bushnell Elite Tactical 6-24x50mm FFP Riflescope
This rifle scope has a reticle on the first focal plane and utilizes multicoated optics for some of the best light transmission we’ve seen in a scope. The Ultra-Wide Band Coating provides an exceptionally clear image and, combined with the integrated Rain Guard tech that makes the scope even more worthwhile, protects the lens from fogging up at an inopportune moment. It’s a great scope for use in rainy or foggy weather for this reason.
The rest of the scope is just as durable, featuring a sturdy frame and a 3-inch sunshade. The sunshade is great for use on days when the sun is shining towards your lens. You can limit the amount of light brought into the scope and prevent glare from harassing you as you try to take a great shot.
There’s also a side focus parallax adjustment knob, which is always a great thing to have on a 6.5 Creedmoor scope. A Throwhammer Throw Lever allows you to change magnification settings much more quickly than many competing scopes; it’s an interesting design feature that promotes user-friendliness.
In addition to all these advantages, your purchase also brings you a scope sleeve and a scope cover, so you never have to leave the scope unprotected while you bring it on your next hunting trip.
Would also be great for the AR-10.
- Comes with some good accessories
- Fantastic glass protection
- Easy to switch zoom levels
- Adjustment knobs are bulky/stick out
We’d easily recommend the Bushnell Elite Tactical G2DMR Riflescope to anyone who enjoys first-focal-plane shooting. Its adjustment lever allows you to change magnifications in an instant, taking advantage of the FFP reticle’s versatility. Its durability, sunshade, and waterproof functionality make it a scope worthy of any 6.5 Creedmoor enthusiast.
5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO SFP Riflescope
This scope has a maximum magnification level of 18x, which is a little lower than the other scopes we’ve examined, but still great for use with 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. This scope is simply a little better for medium to long-range shooting.
It has a second focal plane BDC reticle; this reticle won’t change sizes as you switch between zoom levels. The bullet drop compensation functionality of the reticle has added bullet drop estimation points, allowing you to make shots outside your normal zeroed range without having to manually adjust your elevation.
The lenses are multicoated to give you a bright and clear view even in low light conditions.
The eye box is incredibly forgiving and provides lots of eye relief. You’ll be able to sight in on your target and start lining up your shot quickly and without worrying about recoil giving you a bruise around your eye. Focusing with your reticle will be a breeze with this reticle/eye box combination.
You can adjust windage and elevation measurements using side knobs, and a handy parallax removal adjuster is present, as well. All of these adjust with audible clicks for ease-of-use and allow you to make adjustments without having to take your eye off the target.
Finally, the scope is also totally waterproof and fog proof, so it can continue to perform even in tough weather conditions.
- Great reticle for keeping targets in sight
- Excellent eye box and eye relief
- Parallax and other knobs adjust easily with clicks
- Not quite high maximum magnification setting as others
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescope is a perfect choice to pair with any 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. It features one of the best reticles on the market and a fantastic set of tactile adjustment knobs that are easy to use on the fly. Add to that the generous, user-friendly eye box and eye relief levels and you’ve got a piece of equipment that’s ideal for beginners and expert marksmen alike.
Concluding our Best 6.5 Creedmoor Scope Guide
No matter your preferences, any one of these scopes will be an excellent choice for a 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. Some of them might be tougher than others, or some might have longer maximum magnification levels, but all of them will allow you to take advantage of the fantastic accuracy and stopping power of 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges and bring down distant targets like you never imagined possible. Good hunting!
You can also check our guide on 300 blackout scopes.