Best Scopes For 6.5 Creedmoor - 2020 Top 4


In 2007, ammunitions producer Hornady launched a product that nobody predicted would become a bestseller. On release, the 6.5 Creedmoor failed to capture the interest of shooting enthusiasts.


The long range rifle cartridge was designed for competitive shooting and didn’t become a ‘must have’ until shooting for score began to really take off as a weekend activity.

As the popularity of long range shooting soared, so too did interest in the 6.5 Creedmoor.


Today, many regard it as one of the finest shooting rounds of the decade and worthy of a place among classic military rounds like the .30-06 Springfield.

Hunting with rifle scope and creedmoor

In this article, we explore the capabilities of the 6.5 when paired with a high quality scope.

creedmoor rifle scope zeroing

Shooting for Score: Ensuring Optimum Range


It’s worth taking your time when choosing a scope for 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges as a compatible scope can add substantial distance.


6.5mm cartridges tend to be larger than military rounds which means they can travel further than the 250 yard average typical to a 24’’ barrel shot. However, to hit the highest scores, you need a little extra assistance from a compatible, reliable scope.

How Far Can the 6.5 Creedmoor Kill?


Let’s assume you’re shooting 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges from a 24’’ barrel. You can expect under an inch of drop at average range (250 yards).


The following distance measurements are based on this scenario:

gun and scope Safety

The following distance measurements are based on this scenario:

  • Close Range – 300 yards and under
  • Medium Range – 300 to 700 yards
  • Long Range – 700+ yards

Bullet Drop

 - At 100 yards and below: expect a bullet drop below 2,000 ft-lbs

 - At 450 + yards: expect 1,000 ft-lbs and below


This above facts ensure the Creedmoor delivers an outstanding performance bullets and enough power to make a clean kill every time this bad boy is used.

Even at close range, the Creedmoor perform impressively and easily match other caliber on the market. Add magnification and you’ve got something special.


So, what kind of scope should you be looking for? How much magnification is enough and which product is going to take you to the top of the league?

For hunters and competitive shooters who are serious about honing their skills, we recommend a premium scope with at least 15x magnification.


The most powerful scope on the market isn’t necessarily the best choice in all situations, but long range shooters can benefit from going big.

Long range shooting needs a scope capable of 15x magnification or more. You can get away with less when medium range shooting, but we’d still recommend a product with at least 9-15x magnification.


Depending on the size of your targets, you may need to go beyond this.

Anything under 300 yards is close range shooting, and the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges is going to be 5-9x magnification.


You don’t need a scope at this range – the cartridges are likely to annihilate a target this close - but it’s our recommendation if magnification is preferred

Is the 6.5 Creedmoor good for bear?

 

You betcha! 


Even though sometimes this caliber may seem a little on the light side, when it comes to mid-range shooting at around 400 yards, this mild-punching round works effectively on black bears, and it is also a joy to shoot!

Selecting the Best 6.5 Creedmoor  Scope 


Some of our favorite scopes for hunting and competitive distance shooting are the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFP Scope and Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF X-Moa.


We’re now going to look at both these scopes in more detail to highlight their strengths and weaknesses.


We’ll also compare them with two popular rivals: the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO and Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm SFP Scope.


All four of these scopes are high quality and guarantee good performance but which one is most compatible with your shooting style?


Here are the four scopes which we believe are the best choice for the 6.5 Creedmoor

Scope Image

Scope

Price

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24×50mm

Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL x-MOA

Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50mm SFP IL X-MOA

Now let’s get down to business with the

TOP 4  Scopes For 6.5 Creedmoor


1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO (best for close to medium shooting)

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Adjustable Objective Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-Reticle View

Reticle View

Hunters love Vortex and it isn’t difficult to see why. The manufacturer continues to put out magnificent products that drive the industry forward and show shooting fans what’s possible when the best technical and creative minds get together.


Vortex’s Crossfire II is much more than just a ‘good’ scope. It offers impeccable quality for a lower price than you might expect.

The scope’s Dead-Hold BEC MOA offers medium range shooters near zero parallax and a lens which minimizes reflections. It also has a customized hashmark that reduces the need for user estimations on holdover and windage.


This feature becomes particularly valuable when shooting different distances and trying to account for gravity.

Some users have expressed concerns about poorly positioned eye relief, but we tested the Crossfire at length and didn’t experience any major problems.


Our favorite thing about the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO is definitely its Dead-Hold BDC. It’s a standout feature because it vastly increases the accuracy of rapid ‘point and shoot’ attempts.

Specs:

  • Magnification – 6-18x
  • Eye Relief – 3.7 inches
  • Field of View -15.2-5.2 ft/100 yds 
  • Tube Size – 1 inch

Summary

For close to medium range shooting with 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges, it’s hard to find a better scope than the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 6-18x44mm AO.


It’s got several standout features and the build quality is very impressive.

PROS

  • Weather Resistant
  • Multi Coated Lenses
  • Rapid Focusing
  • Dead Hold Reticle

CONS

  • Less than perfect eye relief

2. Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm – The Best Long Range Scope for the Price 

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane
Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24 x 50 First Focal Plane -Reticle V iew

Reticle Views

While the Athlon BTR isn’t our number one choice for best long range scope, it tops the list every time when price is a factor. If you want the best scope available but you can’t afford Vortex prices, this is the one for you.


For a start, it’s absolutely gorgeous to look at. 


When mounted, the Athlon Argos BTR is sleek, sophisticated and achingly cool.

The aircraft grade aluminium used to form its tube is elegant but remarkably tough. The internal pieces seem capable of withstanding all kinds of rough treatment which means setting up and winding down is never a chore.


You can go from range to home (or indeed across rugged terrain) at speed without worrying about bumps and knocks.

The scope provides a range of adjustments from fast focusing to elevation, illumination, parallax side focus, windage and, of course, magnification. Its controls are efficient and uncomplicated.

As with the Vortex Optics Crossfire II, there have been some gripes about eye relief and, specifically, the proximity of the scope during recoil.


However, the manufacturer has addressed this in the manual and offers tips on maximizing protection.

Our favorite feature of the Athlon BTR is its reticle which has a first focal plane design to position it right in front of the lenses.


The result is a reticle which automatically magnifies alongside your image. The greater the power, the larger and clearer the reticle which is ideal for long range tracking.

Specs:

  • Magnification – 6-24x
  • Eye Relief – 3.3 inches
  • Field of View -16.7-4.5 ft/100 yds 
  • Tube Size – 1 inch

Summary

When price is taken into consideration, the Athlon Optics Argos BTR Riflescope 6-24x50mm SFP Scope is practically unbeatable.


It’s a favorite of ours because it offers a staggering degree of value. If you want premium magnification at an affordable price, this Athlon Argos BTR is deserves your consideration.

PROS

  • Great value for the money
  • FFP reticle for easier tracking
  • Shock absorbing works great

CONS

  • Argon water proofing

3. Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFP Scope (#1 for long range)

Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes
Vortex Optics Viper HS-T Second Focal Plane Riflescopes-Reticle View

Reticle View

We’re going to do some more gushing about Vortex products now because the company is responsible for another truly great scope: the Viper HS-T.


If you love the look, feel and construction of a high quality magnification attachment, you may find yourself entranced with this one. It’s very attractive with a design that stands out without being flashy.

It is, of course, a monster of a scope when out on the range. The VMR reticle has a custom design (like many Vortex products) to ensure your target stays consistent whether you’re shooting from up close or a distance away.


The result is impeccably accurate long range shooting with minimal impact from windage and holdover.

The Viper HS-T also has a parallax function to support automatic correction of misaligned targets. It can be highly effective, but it requires a lithium metal battery, so don’t forget to include one in your kit when visiting the range.

Now to our favorite feature, the customisable rotational stop. It is without doubt the most impressive part of this scope. It enables the user to revert to an original point of zero remarkably fast and without losing accuracy.


When used in tandem with the Viper HS-T’s elevation turret, catching transitory bullet drop adjustments becomes a breeze.

Specs:

  • Magnification – 6-24x
  • Eye Relief – 4.0 inches
  • Field of View -17.8-5.1 ft/100 yds 
  • Tube Size – 1 inch

Summary

We really loved testing the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm SFP Scope with 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges. The two are a great match and the scope does plenty to deserve a spot on our favorites list.


We were very impressed with the CRS function as it’s not always achieved as skilfully as it is here. It’s worth pointing out this scope is a good fit for both the Lapua Magnum and the AR-10 too.

PROS

  • ​Impeccable accuracy at long range
  • CRS for large multi-rev adjustments at speed
  • Satisfying eye relief (larger than other rivals)

CONS

  • Tweaking the mag power requires force

4. Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF X-Moa

Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL x-MOA
Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF Matte IL x-MOA-Reticle View

Reticle View

The Nikon Black X1000 is our second choice for best long range scope particularly when combined with 6.5 Creedmoor rounds. With a 50mm lens and a powerful magnification of 6-24x, there’s plenty of value and impact to be had here.


In fact, the scope’s lens is perfectly shaped and aligned for maximum light transmission which means the Creedmoor can also perform at their best.

We noticed the coating on the lens creates really vivid color contrasts. Not only does this enable light to travel further, it increases visibility when tracking partially concealed targets such as deer moving through the woods.

Our favorite feature of the Nikon Black X1000 is its beautifully engraved glass reticle. It is capable of shifting between no fewer than ten different illumination settings.


This gives hunters and competitive shooters a huge degree of control over the images they see through the scope. 


Whether you’re shooting long range targets in bright, sunny conditions or stalking prey as dusk settles, you can find a level of red intensity to suit.

Like the Vortex Optics Viper HS-T, the scope comes with a parallax adjustment function to support greater accuracy in spite of any windage and holdover considerations.


Though the Nikon Black X1000 provides magnification as low as 6x and as great as 24x, we found the scope easiest to align and shoot at a power18x.


It doesn’t mean the device isn’t accurate at maximum magnification, just that it feels ‘truest’ in the middle of its range.

Specs:

  • Magnification – 6-24x
  • Tube Size – 1 inch

Summary

The Nikon Black X1000 6-24x50SF X-Moa was perhaps our favorite scope to test as there were so many adjustments and settings to play with. The only thing we don’t like about it is the price, but we also wouldn’t say it isn’t worthwhile.


If you like to tweak and change the way your scope behaves in different light and weather conditions, there’s plenty to enjoy here.

PROS

  • ​Robustly weather resistant
  • Excellent reticle with control over colors
  • Efficient parallax adjustment turrets
  • Accuracy is high in all light conditions
  • Well designed eye relief

CONS

  • Reticle doesn’t feel as ‘true’ at full power

Conclusion

The scopes featured in our guide are all premium products which can significantly increase shooting distance and accuracy when used correctly.


They’re all great choices, but we hope one of these scopes stands out as the perfect match for you. Some important factors to consider when shopping for a new scope are power, safety and cost.

The best ‘value for money’ scope, in our opinion, is the Vortex Crossfire II. However, it’s mostly designed for close to medium range shooting.


So, competitive shooters may well prefer the Vortex Optics Viper with its array of cool features or the Athlon and its impressive FFP.

The truth is, if you start with great equipment and high quality rounds like 6.5 Creedmoor cartridges, you’re always going to see results.


Creedmoor come highly recommended in competitive circles for good reason. You don’t need a pricey scope to shoot well, but it’s typically the difference between great target shooting and next level target shooting.