Right now, many consider the Creedmoor to be the king of long-distance calibers. There may be those that doubt the terminal ballistics at range but no one can argue its accuracy and flat trajectory.
It is the leading caliber in sales when it comes to scoped rifles and has made numerous 1000 yard and greater shots in the past few years.
To get the most out of this caliber, you need a scope to match and that can be a little tricky. You don’t want just any scope but one thato plays to the strengths of the rifle.
One that has the durability to last, the fine-tuning to get you on target, and the accuracy to make consistent hits shot after shot. What we are talking about is the best scope for the 6.5 Creedmoor not just any scope.
Too busy to read? Here are our picks for M1A Scope
- Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm Riflescope
- NightForce SHV 5-20x56mm Riflescope
- Nikon Black X-1000 Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Viper Riflescopes
- Athlon Optics Argos BTR
What Makes the Best 6.5 Creedmoor Scope?
The type of rifle you pick can affect what scope is the best option for you. While everyone realizes that you need something with a little power, some types of rifles and some uses they are put to actually change what scope may work best. We want a good fit for the shooter, the right choice does that.
Rifles like the Wilson Combat AR-10 are intended for exceptionally accurate shots at more medium ranges. While you could make this work with any powered scope you would usually pick, it will function best on a more moderate power. Generally something around a 14x is a good option. This is popular with many varmint hunters as well as those who go after coyote.
For rifles that are bolt action and made for the ultimate precision, more power is better. While you could go with one of the bench rest models in the 30x range, generally something in the mid 20x is a better choice. This allows you to have a little more versatility in your rifle instead of dedicating it to a long-range competition gun.
Competition used to be the staple of the 6.5 Creedmoor but many people are choosing this as a hunting cartridge. This is where that modest power option really shines. In very few areas of our country are you likely to get a 600+ yard shot. Instead, most shots will be at 300 yards or less. For that, you don’t need a massive scope. Often a more reserved option will do better.
If you shoot only long-range competition, the bigger the scope, the better. There is nothing to sway this decision. You want the maximum chance of success against a stationary target. For that, get the most powerful option you can afford as long as everything else aligns with your needs.
If you do a little of everything, your best bet is a scope in the high teens or low twenties. This will allow you to hunt and reach longer distances. A variable power scope is your best chance here.
Those who prefer the .336 Lapua have taken to scopes with extended eye relief to protect themselves from the recoil of that round. While the 6.5 is smaller with less recoil, eye relief never hurts though it sometimes costs more.
With proper form and control, a rifle chambered in Creedmoor is manageable enough to not need the extra but for new shooters or just your peace of mind, getting something that gives you an extra inch or two will do no harm. Besides, it may make finding your comfortable position on the rifle that much easier. For this reason, a longer eye relief is recommended for newer shooters.
If you are more experienced and have shot calibers like the .270, .30-06, or .300 Win Mag, you are going to be fine with a Creedmoor. In this case, go with whatever you are comfortable with eye-relief. I have personally used scopes with 2.5 inches off a bench with no issue what so ever.
Reticles and Adjustments
There is really only one answer for the Creedmoor if range is what you are after. For that, you want some form of ranging reticle. With a little practice, these can be a very accurate way of determining the distance to your target.
To go with this, you want turret adjustments for sure. This is arguably the most important feature your scope could have. At longer distances, you just can’t conceivably make a hit without them. Luckily, most scopes with the power you are after are going to come this way.
The big decision you will have to make is whether you want to use Mil or MOA measurements. This is a whole topic on its own. If you do not already know which you prefer and have the option, I recommend MOA personally. I find it easier to use. I am sure some disagree but, in my experience, whatever you started with is likely what will seem easier to you.
Best 6.5 Creedmoor Scope Reviews
Leupold Mark 5 HD
There were decades where Leupold was king of optics in the U.S. but the change in the economy and product availability brought in extra competition. This is how Leupold has stepped up their game to compete. The Mark 5 Series is easily as good as any scope ever made, even those that only produce under military contract.
For this particular scope, you get a variable 5-25x that is perfectly suited to the 6.5 Creedmoor. It has all the power you need to make shots out to that fabled 1000 yard mark. You can also dial it down to more reasonable powers for hunting purposes or if you want quicker target acquisition. For versatility, this is a hard model to beat!
To get your shots on target, you can get the Mark 5 with a variety of different ranging reticles but we like the PR-1 MOA on the first focal plane. This is a great all-around reticle that is easy to read, uncluttered, and has everything you need. Besides, it matches well with the 1/4 MOA adjustable turrets that come standard on the Mark 5.
Sure, there is a cost involved but if you want the very best it isn’t going to come cheap. To back that up, you get the amazing Leupold lifetime warranty. Not that this scope is easy to damage with its sealed internals. This makes it waterproof while locking everything in place. No issues with dust, fog, debris, or even the shock of impact. It isn’t indestructible but its damn close.
In the world of optics, Nightforce is a relative newcomer being just about 20 years since they really hit the ground. In this time, they have become nearly legendary for their impeccable quality and exceptional durability. They are a definite contender for the best on any list and can compete with any scope ever made and hold up well.
The SHV is one of their better options, especially where range and accuracy are paramount. At 5-20x, this variable powered optic is sure to make shots well past what is considered normal for most people. Yes, it can 1000 yards but most scopes can on this list. The question is how repeatable that shot is and with a Nightforce optic, it should be repeatable every time.
The SHV uses a MOAR reticle with 1/4 MOA adjustable turrets with zero resets. This is an amazing setup for the precision shooter. The MOAR is a little complicated but you can quickly get the hang of it. Once you do, you will find it has everything you need to drop your shots right where you want them. This scope also has a ton of elevation adjustment which you may need to cross that 1000 yard barrier.
One of the features that I am so fond of on the Nightforce is their extended eye-relief. On this particular model it’s over 3.5 inches. Couple that with probably the most durable construction in the optics world and you have one amazing scope. It’s still a little pricy but it’s well worth every penny. This scope will last you a lifetime of hard use.
Nikon Black X-1000
While I will be the first to admit that Nikon has not always produced the most excellent products, they have learned to keep up in the current market, you have to get results. This has bread a whole new lineup of optics that are reasonably priced and probably the best that Nikon has ever made. Born from their Monarch line, this new tougher production has really hit the mark.
The X-1000 was made with the idea of the long shot. They want that thousand-yard target. To get there, they produced this scope in two power ranges but we want the higher one. This is a 6-24x that is well suited to what you need and versatile enough to do anything you want it to do. You could go short range, less than 100 yards or the longest range your skill allows.
All Nikon scopes use MOA adjustments and for that reason, we want an MOA reticle. The Illuminated MOA is our preference and it saves you a little money over the Mil variety. With this setup, you can do everything you need and it isn’t overbearing. Clear view and concise information always make for a good option unless you really need something more and know how to use it. Even then, we stick with he simple.
One of the biggest failings of Nikon in the past has always been their durability and quality control. This has been corrected in a big way with the Black series. These are tough scopes with everything you would expect from the biggest brands. It may still fall short of a few of the big boys but it has everything most people will ever need and a price tag that is quite easy to swallow.
Vortex Optics Viper
Any list of best scopes is almost guaranteed to have one Vortex optic on it. They are so prolific with their value friendly, high-quality scopes that it’s hard not to mention them at least once. In the case of the Viper line, these are the mid-tier scopes. While there are some Vortex optics that do a little better, dollar for dollar, this is the best scope on the market.
There are two power ranges for the Viper, a 4-16x which is great for some calibers like the .308. Or you can go with the 6-24x which has been a common theme on this thread. It’s just the appropriate choice for the caliber in question. It has the power you need to reach out there. Simply put, it’s probably the best power range for the 6.5.
Like most optics, you can get a few reticle options but we are going to stick with MOA again. It matches the turrets and makes the math a little easier. If you are just starting out, not only is this a great option for reticles but this is a great overall scope. The price is right and it will do everything you need until you know what is really best for you.
Durability is something that Vortex has in spades! Its one of their strongest suits even paired against their impeccably crafted lenses and overall quality. They are sealed and purged making them dust, water, and fog proof. The addition of the O-ring supports makes them shockproof for life. You simply can’t break one of these without trying.
Athlon Optics Argos BTR
Every list deserves one budget option but not one that doesn’t do the job. You want a capable scope that, while it may not be the best, does everything needed to make the shooter successful. You may lose a little durability and optical quality, but with the Athlon Argos, you get a perfectly capable scope for a very affordable price.
Off the bat, this is a very powerful optic ranging from 8 to 34 power. Likely you will never need to go that high so we like the first focal plane model that makes the ranging reticle easier to read when not on maximum power. It allows you to accurately range at any power rating so set this where you want and leave it if you are new to the sport.
There are a plethora of Argos setups but we want the MOA reticle on the first focal plane. This will match up with the MOA turrets and get you right where you need to be without added complications. Go with what you like but this is the easiest to work with starting out. If you already have a preference for Mil, they make two different varieties.
Where the Argos falls short is really in durability and quality control. While the scope is tough enough to handle the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, it won’t take the abuse of some of the other brands on this list. It is waterproof and resists fog but isn’t as scratch-resistant or as resistant to dings and dents. It does have a fairly good warranty. Athlon seems to stand behind their products which makes putting the faith into buying one a little easier.
There you have it. Five great optics in various price ranges to give anyone a good chance at being successful with one of the best long-range calibers ever made. It is legendary for a reason and if you want to make the most out of that, the right scope is going to go a long way. Just remember, the rifle, cartridge, and scope are just tools. You are the part that will really make a difference in whether that 1000 yard shot is a success or failure. You have to practice to make it possible.