Top Long Range Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor
It is very challenging to find out a correct scope for a rifle. A lot of features and specifications in a scope. that peoples are not familiar with. Let’s see our top picked ten long range scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
1. Vortex Viper HST 6-24×50
Moving on up to the Vortex Viper HST we find what is possibly the best Vortex scope for the 6.5 Creedmoor.
HST stands for Vortex’s Hunting, Shooting and Tactical line of scopes, and you’ll notice the specs are pretty similar to the regular Viper we just looked at. So what is different?
Starting out, we need to remember when choosing the best 6.5 Creedmoor scope, we need to choose a highly precise scope.
Building on the regular Viper, Vortex added important precision tools like target style turrets. In fact, these are some of the best features of the Viper HST.
Target turrets differ from regular windage and elevation turrets in that they are quickly click adjustable to fine increments without tools.
This makes them unsuitable for the woods as they can be easily knocked out of alignment, but fantastic for bench rest shooting.
Another great target shooter friendly aspect of this scope is the VMR MOA reticle which is advertised as allowing for holding on a target at long distance ranges.
Is this the best long-range scope for the 6.5 Creedmoor?
Well, it’s undoubtedly one of the leading contenders for sure. While this scope is advertised as being “tactical”, it is more likely the only thing tactical about it is a desire to market it to more people.
The same objections to target turrets in the woods apply to a police sniper rifle. Maybe it won’t get jostled around, but why take that chance? Stick to the target bench, and you’ll love the Viper HST.
2. Vortex Viper 6.5-20×50 PA
The Vortex Viper is one of the best long-range scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor for several reasons.
While no scope is perfect, the basic second focal plane construction allows for a higher grade scope at a lower price compared to other competitors.
By building a fairly standard scope, Vortex was able to beef up construction and optical clarity while keeping within a reasonable price point.
While the Viper is somewhat pricey for what you get, it is plenty acceptable for a 6.5-20×50 second focal plane scope.
6.5 Creedmoor demands an enormous scope to shoot small groups at long ranges. We really liked the big 50mm objective lens, which is essential for a clear image at the thousand-yard distances 6.5 Creedmoor is capable of, and the 30mm tube is the only logical pairing with an oversized objective lens.
The magnification range is also excellent, making this an ideal hunting or match target shooting scope. The mil-dot calibration is pretty standard and a popular way to calculate the distance to your target.
Of course, what makes the Vortex Viper an excellent scope for 6.5 Creedmoor also makes it a bit overbearing in some cases.
You will need unique high-profile rings to get the most performance out of your scope, and this is large enough that you might not want to lug it around in the woods all day on a hunting rifle.
On the other hand, it is an ideal scope for a bench rest rifle or hunting in light or medium terrain, making it a pretty good choice for the best 6.5 Creedmoor scope.
3. Steiner T5xi 5-25×56
Steiner offers a fascinating long-range scope. Is it the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor? Well, the answer is “for most users, yes.”
And by most users, we mean this scope might even live up to the marketing claim of “tactical,” which often gets thrown around with little thought. The 56mm objective lens and overall size of this scope make it a bit ungainly for hunting, and the unusually sized 34mm tube will make it a bit harder to find good rings.
However, the rest of the Steiner TX5i is very solid and very much at home on the bench or a long-distance range.
This brings us to the tactical claim. These days “tactical” darn near means anything that you can even remotely associate with military or sniper use, even if it’s just slapping a desert tan or olive drab paint job on something.
However, tactical should also be practical, but it should also stand out from other similar products. Here, Steiner manages to make an overgrown, long-range scope built for rugged duty, but not so crazy in its magnification as to be absurd, or limit its utility.
Nor do we have the vast target turrets of other scopes here, which really suggests that the claims be a tactical scope make sense.
It isn’t too much of a stretch to see this scope on a police sniper rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor, which means it isn’t too much of a stretch to see it on your favorite rifle either.
4. Leupold VX 3i 6.5-20x50mm
One of the best Leupold scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor is the Leupold VX-3i. Now, this particular version is an excellent long-range scope, suitable for hunting or precision target shooting.
Leupold has developed a unique optical coating called Diamondcoat 2, which both protects the scope lenses and offers superior light transmission, which in turn provides a more transparent, crisper target picture.
We really enjoy the side focus knob, and large 50mm objective lens, which is essential for low-light hunting.
Because 6.5 Creedmoor is a long-range cartridge, even hunting scopes for it should look less like a traditional hunting scope and more like something you’d typically find on a bench.
However, Leupold knows that bench rest scopes aren’t always ideal for hunting. That’s why they ruggedized the VX-3i and made even the fine controls easily manipulated when wearing gloves. That is a level of attention to detail that stands out.
However, price is an issue with this scope. Costing several times the price of an average rifle scope, this price tag isn’t for the casual hunter or shooter. However, with some 6.5 Creedmoor rifles selling for as much again or more, it isn’t unreasonable to drop the cash on high-end glass- if you can use it.
If you are hunting at the extreme ranges of the 6.5 Creedmoor or hunting in difficult situations where you need the best possible scope, by all means, buy the VX-3i. Otherwise, there are more scopes at more modest prices that will work better for you.
5. Nikon Black FX1000
The Nikon FX1000 is another contender for the best long-range scope for 6.5 Creedmoor.
Not only is it more modestly priced than some other high-end scopes, it arguably has more features than some more expensive scopes making it a sound choice for the budget-minded shooter.
We really liked the first focal plane construction and glass-etched reticle, which reduces the number of moving parts in the scope.
The adjustment turrets are built for rapid, on-the-fly correction and a quick return to the original zero, and the side-focusing parallax adjustment really made this scope stand out.
However, like many scopes designed primarily for target shooting, the FX1000 isn’t the best optic for hunting with the 6.5 Creedmoor.
Those exposed, easily adjusted target turrets are a liability in the brush. However, if you want a good long-range scope for your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle, then the FX1000 is worth a seriously close look.
Like other long-range target scopes we’ve looked at, the FX1000 has a 50mm objective lens which is all but standard these days for a good target scope, along with the requisite 30mm main body tube.
We aren’t quite sure what magic Nikon uses to keep the price down on this scope compared to the competition, but we won’t complain about that, and neither should you!
The budget-minded 6.5 Creedmoor shooter will appreciate saving a couple of hundred bucks over similar optics and can quite happily roll that savings into more ammo or a bit nicer rifle while being assured there is nothing substandard with their scope.
6. Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50
The Athlon Optics BTR certainly qualifies as the best hunting scope for 6.5 Creedmoor. The Athalon BTR is a triumph of modern manufacturing methods, inasmuch as it is absolutely loaded with high-dollar features but priced within easy reach of most shooters.
We were floored by how impressive this scope is. A first focal plane, glass-etched, illuminated reticle scope, target turrets that aren’t so oversized as to be a problem in the woods, side parallax adjustment, and even a quick focus throw lever built in, all show exceptional attention must-have details in a scope, but somehow at a price around half that of the competition.
While we were marveling over these features and the overall quality of the design, we did note a few things.
Reviews show that now and then, Athlon ships a dud scope but that customer service was very quick and responsive.
On the other hand, several reviewers with first-hand experience were favorably comparing the BTR to far more expensive Vortex optics.
Certainly, we are inclined to agree that this is a real high-end scope at blue-collar prices. But we also think it is just the ticket for an actual long-range scope that is suitable for the woods.
The external controls aren’t as easily knocked about in brush or hard use as other target scopes, and the illuminated reticle is an absolute must-have for hunting in low-light conditions.
All in all, Athlon managed to hit a lot of sweet spots with this optic.
7. Bushnell Elite Tactical 1-6.5 x24 BTR-2 FFP
Not what you’d expect when looking at the best 6.5 Creedmoor scopes, is it? This premium compact scope from Bushnell is right at home on top of the 6.5 AR-10-style rifles that are popping up more and more often.
Perfect out to about 400 yards, you won’t be winning any long-distance matches with it, but the lightweight, compact design is perfect for a lightweight semi-auto hunting rifle or even a tactical rifle for law enforcement or general knockabout ranch rifle duty.
Just because the 6.5 Creedmoor has thousand-yard potential doesn’t mean most folks are shooting at that range. In fact, for many 6.5 Creedmoor shooters, a basic 300-400 yard scope that isn’t overly heavy is just the ticket.
We liked the illuminated reticle for low-light hunting or personal defense use, but there are a few drawbacks to the Bushnell Elite Tactical BTR-2. For one, the bullet drop compensator is all wrong for 6.5 Creedmoor.
However, you can easily calculate where your rounds are hitting with the marks, and write corrections on top of your scope. The somewhat small 24mm objective lens is not so easy to deal with.
You’ll have a smaller sight picture, but again, that is just fine for the ranges this modest little scope is built for. But not as small as a red dot sight.
If you have a 6.5 semi-auto rifle, are building a lightweight bolt action, or want a compact scope for real-world hunting and casual shooting distances, you should give the Bushnell Elite a closer look. Or build that wild 6.5 Creedmoor tactical rifle you’ve been wanting.
8. Burris XTR II 8-40×50
The Burris XTRis a great scope for 6.5 Creedmoor or any other round! This is a high-dollar scope, but the incredible range of features and high-quality construction certainly justifies its price tag and then some.
By now, you’ll be used to seeing 50mm scopes with a decent range of high to low power magnification, which successful 6.5 Creedmoor shooters need for the long ranges this cartridge is capable of.
Burris has long been famed for the quality and clarity of its optics, and it shows here.
Time and time again, users rave about the crystal clear glass and brilliant sight picture of the XTR, which are crucial for successful long-range shooting.
The to-be-expected first focal plane construction, zero-reset turrets, and side parallax adjustment put the XTR front and center of the high-end target scope market while still being more affordable than other high-end 6.5 Creedmoor target scopes.
The XTR is a benchrest scope, and most buyers will use it for that purpose which is more in line with the design and performance the scope is capable of, but 6.5 Creedmoor shooters will love it regardless of the end use. Put it on a nice custom rifle, and you’ll be in match-shooting heaven.
9. Nightforce 5-20×56 SHV
So Nightforce makes nice scopes. They also make expensive scopes, but that is ok because Nightforce makes really nice scopes
And this may also be the first truly dedicated 6.5 Creedmoor hunting scope we’ve looked at, because Nightforce also builds hunting scopes that excel at many other things. You won’t find fancy target turrets, side parallax adjustment, or fast focus throw levers here.
In fact, this is a scope that isn’t meant for making tiny little tweaks that only a bench rest shooter who has all the time in the world to take a shot might want, instead, it is a scope built for taking a mountain goat up a steep hill, or taking that trophy elk a few hundred yards away during the ragged edge of twilight where natural light is more a theory than reality.
That is to say, Nightforce optics are optimized for low-light purposes. Naturally, they include an illuminated reticle, but we were impressed at how much effort goes into making these scopes into light-gathering, long-range monsters that live up to their brand name.
Of course, this extreme specialization comes at a cost. What is optimized for one thing may not work as well for another.
This is a long-range, hunting scope. This means you could use it for tactical work, but it’s probably overkilled, and it may not have the hyper precision you want on a bench rest gun.
But for everyone else who needs a rock solid, high-powered 6.5 Creedmoor scope? Well, Nightforce delivers the goods.
10. Swarovski Z5 Ballistic Turret: 3.5-18×44
The Swarovski Z5 is a great 6.5 ballistic scope. One thing that promptly stood out to us is that the Z5 is waterproof up to 4 meters.
While other scopes advertise being fog proof or lightly waterproof, few will claim total submersion to this depth.
While you might think this is a pointless feature, remember, hunting accidents do happen, and wouldn’t it be nice if your scope kept working after falling into a river or stream, and not just your rifle?
This waterproofing is essential for hunters who go out into rugged conditions. Swarovski has what they call “HD” lenses, offering incredible optical clarity hitherto unknown in scope at any price, and they live up to their claims. We think they might be some of the most precise lenses on the market today.
A locking ballistic flex turret is also nice and gives the Z5 the flexibility of a bench rest scope with the utility of a hunting scope.
Of course, all this comes at a price. The Z5 sells for about what you’d pay for a quality 6.5 rifle, which is up there in cost with other premium scopes, but then again, the adage of you get what you pay for rings true here.
A top-quality 6.5 Creedmoor scope is a lifetime investment you can pass on to your children, so if you are already invested in a high-grade rifle, your optics should probably be equally high-grade.
FAQs about 6.5 Creedmoor scopes
Why do you need to specialize in the 6.5 Creedmoor?
The cartridge is about ten years old and came in to solve long-distance shooting imperfections. The goal behind its creation was to come up with highly precise ammo that offers the best accuracy and contains a high ballistic effect.
Shooters who swear by them also say that the recoil is somewhat low when using this kind of ammunition.
Long-distance shooting needs bullets that have a good barrel with the right chamber pressure. The 6.5 achieves the features, not to mention the ability to be used in short magazines.
Due to how far the 6.5 can travel to reach the target, if you are standing at about 1000 yards away from the hit point, you need a scope that can facilitate on-point hits from your shooting position.
Why do you need a unique scope for the 6.5?
This kind of ammunition is used in the long-distance shooting. Many rifle scopes in the market can aid in distant vision, but you need something special for the 6.5 ammo. It will be easier to use a specified scope since it’s already defined for rifles aiming further.
That way, you can solve problems related to inaccuracy, shaking, zeroing your rifle, and much more since the scope is made to cover all that. Another reason is that it is fitted with all the features you need for the expedition.
Long-distance aiming will need a scope that has the best optics, proofing specifications, and a broad magnification range. It also needs to have the ambient light-gathering ability. Scopes for the 6.5 Creedmoor cannot ignore such factors hence the reason to get one for your rifle.
Who else can use such scopes?
Apart from those using the 6.5 Creedmoor, other users could utilize the power of the specialized scopes on their rifles. You can consider the following apart from using the ammo:
– Do you need an instrument that can survive harsh weather?
– Are you looking for an accurate scope?
– Do you need a scope with a guarantee of long-term use?
If your answer is yes in all the questions, you can join the 6.5 queues and get a proper scope to help you aim better while out there.
If you are looking to hunt at night, better get a specialized thermal scope.
What is the effective range of a 6.5 Creedmoor?
The 6.5 Creedmoor stands out for long-range shooting for all the right reasons. With the 1.92-inch case length and 2.82-inch cartridge length, you can also use it in short actions. Therefore, it is a great option to re-barrel your .308.
Furthermore, the cartridge is popular with precision rifle users as the effective range of the 6.5 Creedmoor is past 1,000 yards. It can go as far as 1,300 yards when used in the right conditions. While there are different grains available, the 140-grain A-Max is made for long-range shooting.
What Magnification is required?
To answer the question depends on where you plan to use the riflescope. If you are hunting in thick brush, your shots are relatively short, while shooting in open fields, you need longer range shots. Therefore you need to select an optic that fits your needs.
For Short Range Shooting: If you hunt in an area where your average shot is 100 yards or less, you can benefit from using a riflescope with fixed power from 2x to 2.5x magnification. However, if you do decide on a variable optic make sure you can set it to 2.5x to keep it there. You can use 1 – 4x variables for short to medium-range shots.
For Medium Range Shooting: If you need to make an average shot between 100 to 200 yards, you can benefit from using a 4x fixed power scope. However, if you prefer a variable power model, look for one with 2-7x, 2.8-8x and 3-9x. We recommend you look at the 2-7x32mm or 2.5-8x36mm models. With one of these, you can get the right magnification for shots made out to 300 yards and get a wide field of view at the lowest magnification setting.
For Long Range Shooting: However, if you want to take full advantage to shoot from 300 to 350-yards, using a fixed 6x riflescope will work well. Alternatively, if you prefer variable magnification, consider a model with 2.5-8x, 3-9x, and 2-10x optics the best choice. On the other hand, if you plan to do varmint shooting, select a 4-12x model instead.
What Features to Consider to Buy a Scope for a 6.5 Creedmoor Rifle?
When choosing the best 6.5 Creedmoor scope, there are a few key considerations:
What are you using it for? A scope for dedicated benchrest or long-range shooting will have features that do not get used on a hunting scope. Consider the primary market the scope is intended for, and ask if that matches up with your planned use. Remember, a great hunting scope is an ok match target scope, and some match target scopes are better left on the bench, and not taken into the woods.
Price: Sadly, very little about 6.5 Creedmoor is cheap. You pay a price for precision, which is reflected in the ammo, rifle and optics cost. On the other hand, modern manufacturing methods have driven the cost of high grade optics down, so you can get more scope for your money now than at any point in history.
Brand quality: Every scope we reviewed is sold by well-known, reputable manufacturers with a proven history of quality construction and customer service. Buying the best 6.5 Creedmoor scope is different than scoping a .22 plinker used to knock around tin cans. Don’t buy optics from an unknown company that might not be around when you need them the most.
The 6.5 Creedmoor is here to stay as a popular, long-range precision target round, powerful hunting cartridge, and proper tactical round that offers better accuracy than other cartridges. A straight-shooting, hard-hitting round requires optics to match.
There are a bewildering array of scopes on the market, and not all are suitable for 6.5 Creedmoor. We hope that even if you don’t buy one of the scopes we reviewed here, you have gained a better understanding of what goes into a good 6.5 Creedmoor scope and how to choose one.