Finding the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor is no easy feat. It takes a special scope to match the performance of this superhero cartridge. Understanding both the cartridge’s capabilities and the features you need in an optic will help you find the perfect pairing for your rifle.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through exactly what you need from a scope to match your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. We’re even going to highlight some of our top picks.
If you don't have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated scope for 6.5 Creedmoor:
- 1Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
- 2Schmidt & Bender Zenith 3-12x50mm
- 3Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II 3.5-21x50mm
- 4Nightforce Optics NXS 8-32x56mm
- 5EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
- 6Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2-10x32mm
- 7Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50mm
- 8Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm
- 9Monstrum G2 4-16x50mm
- 10Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50mm
Table of Contents
- Understanding the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge
- What to Look for in a Scope for Your 6.5 Creedmoor?
- Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor on the Market Reviews
- 1 Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
- 2 Schmidt & Bender Zenith 3-12x50mm
- 3 Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II 3.5-21x50mm
- 4 Nightforce Optics NXS 8-32x56mm
- 5 EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
- 6 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2-10x32mm
- 7 Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50mm
- 8 Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm
- 9 Monstrum G2 4-16x50mm
- 10 Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50mm
- Final Thoughts
Understanding the 6.5 Creedmoor Cartridge
The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge was developed for Creedmoor Sports and introduced by Hornady in 2007. Although a relative newcomer to the ammunition scene, this flat-shooting cartridge is anything but a flash-in-the-pan wildcat.
This fast mover stays flat to 1000 yard targets and can even retain supersonic performance beyond that range. It’s evident this long range shooter has earned a place of respect in the shooting world, and it is definitely here to stay.
Designed specifically for target shooting, the 6.5 CRDMR cartridge is based off the .308 Winchester. The 6.5mm projectile was specifically chosen for its high ballistic coefficient and superior sectional density. Many precision shooters believe 6.5 mm bullets sit in the sweet spot for top-notch long range accuracy, and these cartridges (in the hands of a skilled shooter) are perfect for applications where mere fractions of an inch can mean the difference between success and defeat.
Its use isn’t limited to the target range. 6.5 CRDMR is a proven hunting cartridge, and is more than capable of humanely harvesting whitetail deer, elk, mulies, and even bear.
6.5 CRDMR is also wildly accessible. It’s chambered in a vast array of rifles, including such popular models as the Savage Axis, Ruger Precision, Browning X-bolt, and the ever popular Remington 700 bolt action rifle.
What to Look for in a Scope for Your 6.5 Creedmoor?
As with most things in the shooting world, there is no one-size-fits-all scope for the 6.5 CRDMR. The type of scope you need largely depends on the type of shooting you prefer. Here are a few key things to consider when you’re searching for a 6.5 Creedmoor scope.
Remember, 6.5 CRDMR is made for distance shooting, so you’ll need a scope with some major magnification in order to milk the most out of your weapon. However, opting for more magnification than you need is a mistake new shooters often make.
If you need to kill whitetails at distances under 300 yards, excessive magnification is a hindrance rather than a help. When engaging moving targets at relatively close distances (300 yards is close for the 6.5 CRDMR), you’ll need a scope with magnification that falls in the 4-9x range.
For medium range targets (think 300 to 700 yards), magnification of 9-15x will better serve your needs. Keep in mind that this is a common range when hunting elk, mule deer, or pronghorn.
Ranges beyond 700 yards is where the 6.5 CRDMR really shines. Punching targets at these ranges generally requires a magnification of 15x or more.
The quality of your optic’s glass and coatings is particularly important when dealing with powerful magnification. If you zoom in on a target, but can’t distinguish details, that magnification is virtually useless. To ensure you have a crisp clear image, even at the upper end of the magnification range, look for a scope with XD or ED glass and fully multi-coated lenses.
When using a scope with variable power magnification, a first focal plane (FFP) reticle is a handy feature. These reticles stay true through the optic’s entire magnification range.
An FFP reticle is located at the front of the magnification lens. In this position, the reticle expands and contracts in relation to the magnification. This makes any BDC or ranging marks remain accurate no matter which magnification setting you are using. In scopes with an SFP (second focal plane) reticle, the markings are only valid at one level of magnification.
Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor on the Market Reviews
Here are some of our favorite rifle scopes that pair well with the flat-shooting 6.5 Creedmoor.
1 Leupold Mark 5HD 5-25x56mm
If you’re looking for a sniper scope, the Mark 5HD from industry leader Leupold should probably be at the top of your list. Designed to maximize the performance of premium long-range ammo, this scope helps you put lead far downrange quickly and accurately.
The Mark 5HD offers exceptional glass clarity through the entire magnification range. The main housing is filled with a proprietary blend of inert gases, giving you the advantage of some of the crispest, clearest images you’ll ever see through an optic. The whole unit is o-ring sealed and tested for a multitude of pressure changes, and the scope is guaranteed waterproof up to 33 feet.
One of the features we love most on the Mark 5HD is the proprietary Twilight Max HD Light Management System. This unique system is designed to reduce glare by 90 percent and produces unbelievable image clarity, even in the murkiest light.
The scope also has an illuminated FFP reticle. You can choose from a variety of styles suitable for just about everything, including hunting, target competition, and tactical shooting.
2 Schmidt & Bender Zenith 3-12x50mm
Schmidt & Bender has a well-earned reputation for producing some of the best long-range scopes to ever grace a rifle. With an almost extreme attention to detail, the company only produces a limited number of optics each year. Both the optical quality and their limited accessibility make Schmidt & Bender scopes extremely pricey. We’ve chosen one of their “budget” models here, and we acknowledge this one will still be well out of the price range of the average shooter. However, if you can afford it, this optic is hard to beat.
A great option for hunters, the Zenith offers generous magnification. The 3-12x range is ideal for hunting long distances or hitting game with small vital areas. If you’re searching for a top-of-the-line varmint scope, this is it.
3 Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II 3.5-21x50mm
Bushnell began as a small company selling mail-order birding binoculars. Today, they are one of the most respected names in outdoor optics. Their scopes are particularly favored by big game hunters, and this is easily one of the best long-range models Bushnell makes.
The HDMR II measures just over 13 inches long. Both compact and lightweight, it provides long-range precision without sacrificing short or medium range performance. The unique G3 illuminated FFP reticle,allows for precise holdovers and also promotes rapid acquisition of moving targets, even in low light shooting conditions.
For quick and easy magnification adjustments, the HDMR II features a special Throw Hammer Lever, which lets you make magnification changes with a simple flick of the finger.
Built for the outdoors, the Bushnell Elite Tactical HDMR II features a durable construction and is o-ring sealed to prevent internal fogging. It’s also waterproof and can survive being completely submerged in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
4 Nightforce Optics NXS 8-32x56mm
Nightforce is a regular go-to brand for distance shooters, including law enforcement, military, and benchrest competition shooters. The NXS model evolved from the company’s tactical line, but was designed with long-range field and target shooting in mind.
With a wide magnification range, there is virtually no target outside the NXS’s effective range, especially when held by a capable long-range shooter. The optic also features incredible glass quality and provides parallax adjustments from 50 yards to infinity.
The housing is manufactured from a 30mm tube of 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum. It is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, making it truly shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof. This is one rugged and dependable optic.
5 EOTech Vudu 5-25x50mm
EOTech is famous for their innovative, high-quality holographic sights. While we are huge fans of the company’s holo sights, this super-short long range riflescope is just as easy to love.
Measuring just over 11 inches from end to end, this is by far the shortest long-range optic we’ve laid eyes on. Although small in size, this scope offers huge performance. Its size is actually one of its best features. Leaving plenty of room for a clip-on night vision or thermal device, this scope functions beautifully on an AR-10 or other MSR chambered for 6.5 CRDMR.
The EOTech Vudu features XC high-density glass that provides impressive light transmission and clarity, even in low light.
Long-range shooters will love the illuminated MD3 FFP reticle. This thing pops at 5x, 25x, and everything in between. The scope also features a throw lever for super quick magnification changes and push-button reticle illumination that automatically shuts off after two hours.
6 Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 2-10x32mm
Vortex Optics produces high-quality optics at prices most shooters can easily fit into their budget. The Viper PST Gen II riflescope is a fine example of the company’s commitment to quality, and this model provides some serious value for the money.
The Viper PST features extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and fully multi-coated lenses. It even has special Amortek protective coatings, which help provide crisp image resolution and amazing color fidelity. The image quality on this scope is honestly something you’d expect from a much more expensive optic.
Long range shooters will particularly appreciate the laser etched turrets. These tactical style turrets deliver crisp, clean, audible clicks with just the right amount of resistance.
The Viper PST also features a highly detailed illuminated FFP reticle. It really shines at maximum magnification, but can be a little cluttered for shooters who are new to long-range shooting. However, for shooters who regularly pop targets at extreme distances, the detailed markings for holdovers, ranging, and windage corrections are a welcome feature.
7 Nikon Black FX1000 6-24x50mm
We understand there are plenty of long-range shooters who can’t afford to take out a second mortgage to buy a riflescope. This entry level scope from Nikon still offers plenty of performance, but at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Don’t think Nikon sacrificed quality to keep this scope affordable. The Nikon Black FX1000 has tons of high-end features, including a highly detailed etched FFP reticle, high speed target turrets, and a quick focus eyepiece.
With impressive glass quality and a generous objective lens, this scope provides bright crisp images, even in low light conditions. Additionally, the illuminated reticle maintains near perfect contrast in dim light, making it a great option for hunting in the dim hours at dawn and dusk when deer are most active.
8 Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm
We know it’s hard to find a decent long-range scope for under $500. The SLX from Primary Arms definitely fits the bill and is far more than “decent”. SLX is actually the heart of the company’s product line, and these scopes definitely live up to Primary Arms’ hard-earned reputation.
The scope offers a generous magnification range of 4-14x, and the FFP reticle stays true through the entire range. Primary Arms designed their ACSS Orion reticle specifically for hunters, and its unique design allows you to easily and accurately range whitetails, coyotes, and other similarly sized animals.
Long-range hunters will appreciate the side mounted parallax adjustment that helps keep the image sharp and the reticle parallax-free. They’ll also value the scope’s sturdy aluminum construction. Shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof, this seriously tough scope holds true in all weather conditions.
9 Monstrum G2 4-16x50mm
The Monstrum G2 is another great budget scope that performs like a high-end model. This heavy duty optic features an illuminated FFP mil dot reticle. The reticle is glass-etched, making it visible with or without illumination.
Illumination is turned on with a simple press of a button, and you can choose between red or green with ten brightness settings. This is a highly versatile design that allows maximum visibility when shooting at night, in bright sunshine, or any lighting condition in between.
The G2 also features an adjustable objective lens (or AO) for razor-sharp focus, easy range estimation, and effective parallax elimination at every range.
Built for tough conditions, the G2 is made from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The body is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged for reliable shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof performance.
10 Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50mm
This surprisingly affordable riflescope from Athlon has superb optical quality for a model in this price range. Featuring fully multi-coated glass (including Athlon’s exclusive XPL coating that protects from dirt, grease, and wet weather), the Argos BTR offers bright, crystal clear images even in low light environments.
In addition to this scope’s impressive image quality, it also has a ton of features you would expect to see only on more expensive optics. These features include an illuminated FFP reticle, crisp target turrets, and a side parallax adjustment.
The Argos BTR is made for rugged shooting conditions. It features a heat treated, one piece tube crafted from 6061 T6 aircraft aluminum. The tube is o-ring sealed and argon purged to prevent internal fogging. It is also both shockproof and waterproof.
6.5 Creedmoor is capable of some pretty spectacular long-range feats of accuracy. Whether you’re busting paper bullseyes, pinging metal targets, or dropping big game animals, the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor will help you get the most out of this magnificent cartridge. However, any rifle/scope set-up is only as effective as the shooter sitting behind it. Be sure to spend some time honing your shooting skills, and you’ll be impressing your shooting buddies in no time.