When Hornady introduced a brand new rifle cartridge to the world back in 2007, no one could have predicted just how popular this round would become.
In the beginning, the round was not exactly well-received when it came out. Then, as long-range shooting increased in popularity, so did the 6.5 Creedmoor. Now, the 6.5 Creedmoor is quickly becoming the go-to shooting round that was developed in the 21st century!
Contrary to other popular big-game rounds in the USA, the 6.5 Creedmoor was specifically made for competitive long-range shooting, and not as a military round.
Going the Distance: Maximize Your Shooting Range
In a 24” barrel, the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge can shoot to about 250 yards with less than 1″ bullet drop.
Since a 6.5mm is a relatively large cartridge, it certainly can go much farther. However, what scope you choose to use the rifle with will greatly affect your distance.
A Quick Guide to Distance: How Far Will Your Bullet Go?
For the 6.5 Creedmoor in a 24” barrel, keep these measurements roughly in mind:
- Long Range: 700 yards and above
- Medium Range: 300 – 700 yards
- Close Range: Under 300 yards
In comparison with other calibers, 300 yards is pretty long. However, that does not mean you’re ready to go without some sort of magnification. So, what can you expect out of your 6.5 Creedmoor?
What Magnification Do You Need?
If you’re a hunter hoping to test your personal limits, you’ll need the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor. Although some scopes are more powerful than others, they’re not always ideal for every type of shooter.
Generally, increased magnification will assist you in shooting further. Check out our guide on magnification to learn more about it.
How far do you want to take the 6.5 Creedmoor?
Long Range (700 yards and above)
At a long range, you’re not likely to be doing much besides target practice. You will want at least 15x magnification or more.
Medium Range (300 – 700 yards)
The 6.5 Creedmoor is perfect for shooting on medium ranges. If you mainly shoot on such distances a 9-15x magnification should be enough. For smaller targets, you may need more than 15x.
Close Range (Under 300 yards)
Close range is considered to be under 300 yards. With a 6.5 Creedmoor scope, you can decimate anything on sight. At this range, if a scope is preferred, you will need around 5-9x power.
If you’re a marksman that shoots at a variety of distances, don’t worry – there are plenty of options for you. However, just remember that each scope serves a different purpose. This is to accommodate for the variety of shooting styles out there.
So, which one are you?
The 4 Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO (The Best for Short to Medium range)
- Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm (The Best Long Range Scope for the price)
- Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50mm SFP Scope (The Best Long Range Scope overall)
- Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF X-MOA (The 2nd Best Long Range Scope)
We’ve given you plenty of reliable names to choose from. Mounting any of these is guaranteed to be a fantastic choice for the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Below are reviews of each scope that will give you insight into the best scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor rounds, as well as a list of the pros and cons of each one. Hopefully, after reading this guide you’ll gain some perspective on which scope will suit you the best.
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO – The Best for Short to Medium Range
Vortex has gone above and beyond with their constant innovation and improvements in products. Not only do they strive to make a durable product, but the price is also unbeatable.
With practically zero parallax and an anti-reflective lens, the Dead-Hold BEC MOA has a custom-designed hashmark. This helps the shooter to eliminate any type of guesswork on windage corrections or holdover. It is a nice feature to have for varying ranges where holdover is a great concern.
The magnification of this lens is 6 – 18x with a diameter of 44 mm. It seems like the Crossfire II truly take the average hunter into consideration when designing what they need. Also, being nitrogen purged and having a sealed O-ring allows for optimal water and fog-proof performance.
This scope was truly designed to be used on your average day of hunting and shooting. It’s durable, reliable, and all any hunter could ask for. With the scope only being 19 oz. it’s a great addition for any beginner as well.
Yet, despite a few complaints about the scope’s eye relief, there’s not much more you could need.
As mentioned above, Dead-Hold BDC is one of the greatest aspects of this scope. As a result, it makes pointing and shooting any target a no-brainer. Best of all, the fast-focusing eyepiece allows the hunter for easy and quick focusing.
- Waterproof and Fogproof performance
- Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
- Fast-Focus Eyepiece
- Dead-Hold BDC Reticle
- Finicky Eye Relief
The Final Verdict
Generally, the Vortex Optics Crossfire II has a commendable list of appealing features. Vortex makes quality products that are both durable and affordable. An excellent choice for your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, if you do not want to shoot too far.
2. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm – The Best Long Range Scope for the Price
The word Athlon has Greek origins meaning “medal” or “prize.” Athlon, as a company, works incredibly hard to make each one of their products feel as if you’re holding success in your hands.
As soon as the scope is mounted, you’ll notice how smooth and straightforward the controls for Argos BTR is. The company also offers a shooter everything in adjustments from magnification, illumination, elevation, windage, parallax side focus, and fast focusing.
Let’s not forget about the aircraft-grade aluminum that they use to make the tube has amazing strength and any internal pieces can take whatever you try to dish out on it. Certainly, even with the reticle etched on the glass, it provides excellent support and high shock-resistance.
As far as eye relief goes, the Athlon Argos BTR offers a little over three inches. However, recoil can become quite scary when the scope gets a little too close for comfort. Athlon ensures that customers are comfortable, even going so far as to add additional for eye relief instructions to their user manual.
The reticles used in the Argos BTR is a first focal plane (FFP). This means they are located in front of the image and lenses. The advantage of having the reticle in this position is that it is magnified along with the image. The traditional thin-wire reticle becomes much larger at higher power.
Overall, this means the size of the reticle stays the same in relation to the target! Talk about making tracking a whole lot easier on the eyes.
- Illuminated Reticle
- Great Light Transmission
- Advanced Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
- High Resistance to Recoil
- Use of Argon for Waterproofing
The Final Verdict
Athlon Optics has shaken up the market a little with its stunningly affordable and functional line of rifle scopes. Value-wise, it’s hard to question the Argos BTR 6-24×50 as the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor rounds. Simply put, no other scope delivers as much for as little. This scope also features in our best long-range scopes guide.
3. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50mm SFP Scope — The best for long-range shooting
Vortex has gone above and beyond when designing this sleek and stunning piece. As a result, the Viper HS-T mixed with the VMR Reticle is fantastic for accurately shooting at long ranges.
Also, the clear, clean view of the reticle is hashmark-based and has a second focal plane. This is to help maintain the relatively same-sized appearance of the target. Overall, it’s designed to help maximize long-distance shooting and ranging ability against windage, holdover, and moving-target conditions.
The parallax works from 50 yards to infinity and requires one lithium metal battery in order to perform. However, it’s not a bad idea to pack a spare source of power when going out on a hunt!
Speaking of, parallax when referring to scopes is when the target image does not fall on the same optical plane as the scope’s reticle. This can cause the need for movement of the reticle in relation to the target. This mostly occurs when the hunter’s eye is off from the crosshair’s center.
Getting back to this awesome scope, there’s one more feature that we would love to highlight.
Customizable Rotational Stop (CRS)
One of the most amazing features on the Viper HS-T is the hands down the CRS.
The design of the customizable rotational stop allows the hunter to easily and quickly return to an original point of zero. Also, this is great in parallel with using the elevation turret to hone in on any temporary bullet-drop corrections.
These features are particularly useful when attempting to dial large multi-rev corrections. However, if this feature didn’t exist, you would have to manually and very carefully pay attention to your number of revs. Clearing this problem from the hunter’s mind allows them to focus on what they need to be truly doing – shooting.
- Great for long ranges
- 4-inch Eye Relief
- Amazing sight picture clarity
- Clear mag power from 6–20
- Robust and responsive turrets
- CRS Zero Stop
- Adjusting mag power requires force
- Blurry sight picture at 24 mag
The Final Verdict
The remarkable CRS technology mixed with such versatile applications of the scope makes the slightly higher price tag worth every penny. As a result, Vortex has been known to continually impress and paves the way for scope technology. Honestly, it has definitely earned its spot on our list of best scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor. Would fit the AR-10 and 338 Lapua Magnum as well.
4. Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50mm SFP IL X-MOA
This Nikon riflescope offers plenty of magnification that the 6.5 Creedmoor can take advantage of. It’s got magnification powers between 6x and 24x and utilizes a 50mm lens that’s ideally positioned and sized to promote maximum light transmission.
The lens has also been coated to boost light transmission even further and make color contrast really pop. This can be particularly advantageous when you’re trying to spot critters that blend in with their backgrounds.
The scope has a glass-etched and illuminated reticle positioned on the second focal plane. It won’t change sizes as you move between the various magnification levels and is designed to be “true” or most accurate, at 18x power.
In terms of illumination, the reticle can switch between 10 different levels of red intensity so you can maintain accuracy in bright daylight or the darkness of dusk and dawn. You can also switch the illumination off entirely if you need.
The scope also has a parallax adjustment turret positioned on the left-hand side. This lets you totally eliminate parallax without having to adjust your shooting position. It can be a great asset for making your long-range shots even more accurate. The windage and elevation turrets are similarly useful and ergonomic and have a tactile clicking sound with each ¼ MOA switch.
The scope boasts excellent eye relief and has been made waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof; it’s exceptionally durable in all weather conditions.
- Excellent reticle
- Good adjustment turrets
- Good for any weather
- The reticle is not designed for the max magnification
The Final Verdict
Overall, there’s so much to like about this scope that the only downside is its relatively high asking price. But if you want the best of the best, you might not need to look any further.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you narrow down your search for the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor. Now it’s up to you to pick a favorite. Each of these scopes is a top-quality product, so you won’t go wrong choosing any one of them.
Before you start choosing, it’s important to take into account the price, safety and also what magnification you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for the most affordable scope go for the Vortex Crossfire.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a scope with FFP, an affordable price, and great features such as precision and durability, the Athlon is a perfect choice.
Finally, the Vortex Optics Viper may be the priciest of among the four, but it still offers great features.
The Nikon X1000 is another solid choice.
In the end, 6.5 Creedmoor rounds have built a solid reputation in the world of long-range shooting, and any of the scopes on the list would be a great choice.