The 6.5 Creedmoor is possibly the fastest growing caliber in rifle shooting today. Once considered a boutique cartridge for reloaders who toil their time away shooting paper targets, the 6.5 CM has proven itself as a very capable hunting cartridge, taking nearly every species of large game in the Northern United States, and as an excellent intermediate cartridge capable of repeatable accuracy at over a mile.
If you have a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor, or are planning on picking one up, you will inevitably need the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor with some significant magnification to take advantage of the benefits the cartridge provides. There are some considerations you should consider before picking up the first scope you find though.
Table of Contents
- What Will You Use Your Rifle For?
- Things to Consider When Choosing 6.5 Creedmoor Scopes
- Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor on the Market Review
- 1 Monstrum Tactical G2 6-24x50 - Best for the Savage Axis 6.5 Creedmoor
- 2 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 – Best for Deer Hunting Scope
- 3 Nightforce Competition 15-55x52 – Best for Long-Range Precision Scope
- 4 SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope – Best 1000-Yard Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
- 5 Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 - Best Predator Hunting Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
- 6 Primary Arms Silver Series 3-18x50 – Best 6.5 Creedmoor Scope under $500
- 7 Schmidt and Bender PM II 5-25x56 – Best Sniper Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
- 8 Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 – Best Medium Range Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
- 9 Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x42 – Best Burris Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
- 10 Trijicon TR23 5-20x50 – Best Trijicon Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
What Will You Use Your Rifle For?
While there are a lot of great scopes that can help you make the most the 6.5 CM cartridge, they might not all be right for you. Most 6.5 Creedmoor rifles will be used for either hunting or long-range precision shooting. These two applications require different features for maximum benefit. Hunting scopes need to be lighter weight, and usually the time available to take a shot is not very long so few hunters will take the time to calculate a firing solution and make adjustments on the turrets so a simple and easy to use reticle will likely be preferred. Illuminated reticles can help a hunter as well during low light situations.
Long-range precision shooters, whether in a force on force application or just target shooting, will not concern themselves with weight at much. Some target shooters prefer a heavier optic as adding weight to the rifle will help absorb recoil. These shooters will usually want large turrets with accurate and tactile adjustments. Making these adjustments accurate and repeatable is a challenging feat to manufactures, so this can often come at a premium.
Things to Consider When Choosing 6.5 Creedmoor Scopes
While it may be great to have a scope that can zoom in to 40x power, if the glass is not of a high quality with a careful grind the image will be blurry and reduce accuracy for the shooter. Many budget scopes will have glass that looks clear in the middle, but the edges of the field of view become very blurry, and this is a tell-tale sign that you might not be looking through a high-quality optic. The best glass available is usually in optics that demand a premium price, so you may have to determine what level of clarity and accuracy you are willing to sacrifice if you choose a less expensive scope.
While we all like nice things, and we would all love to have the finest scopes ever made available to us, that’s not a reality for most people. You should consider both the purpose of the scope, and the rifle you are putting it on when determining how much to spend on your scope. A $300 rifle you plan to hunt with will probably not benefit from a $3000 scope as it’s unlikely the rifle can perform to the level of the scope and the rigors of hunting are not something many would like to put something so expensive through. On the other hand, if you are outfitting your military sniper rifle you will want the highest quality scope available because your life might depend on it.
While there is a lot of glamour around creating firing solutions and making adjustments in the turrets to help achieve that first round hit on a 1,000 target, the reticle can be just as effective at helping a shooter overcome the elements and putting rounds on target. If you are a hunter, you are likely shooting at 300 yards or less and a simple duplex reticle might be perfect for you as at that range the 6.5 Creedmoor will resist many of the effects of gravity and wind. If you are target shooting at 600 yards or further you will need to worry about bullet drop and wind to a much greater extent; in military or competition situations you might not have time for a firing solution and having the ability to change your point of aim with the information right in the reticle you are more likely to make the hit with limited time.
MOA or Mil Dot
Windage and elevation adjustments are typically measured in either Minutes Of Angle or in Mils. The difference is essentially the difference between metric and imperial. Windage holdover and drop compensation in reticles use the same units of measure. Which one you use might be a matter of preference, but in some cases, it might be important to choose the right one. The first thing to make sure is that your reticle and turret adjustments use the same unit of measure, some budget scopes do not, and it makes firing solutions extremely difficult when this is the case. If you are a precision shooter, you might have other peripheral equipment that is already in one of these so you should try to find a scope that matches to save yourself the aggravation of converting data for every firing solution or adjustment. If you are military, or outside of the U.S., Mil Dot is the standard and you should look for optics with this unit of measurement in both the reticle and turrets.
Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor on the Market Review
With an understanding of what you might be looking for in a scope for your rifle, we have compiled a list of what we believe are the 10 best scopes for the 6.5 Creedmoor.
1 Monstrum Tactical G2 6-24x50 - Best for the Savage Axis 6.5 Creedmoor
If you are an enthusiast or are starting to get into long range target shooting, then Monstrum Tactical has you covered. This scope is a great value and comes with a lot of the features you would expect from higher end manufactures. The scope has plenty of zoom to help you see those small targets at range and spot your shots, the reticle is simple and effective, and the tracking on the turrets is better than expected. This scope is also rock solid, as most Monstrum products tend to be, so you won’t have to worry about the recoil on your 6.5 Creedmoor beating it up.
The reticle is in the first focal plane, which is where most serious target shooters prefer their reticle in current date, the reticle is illuminated for limited visibility shooting, and there is an effective parallax adjustment. The glass on this scope is relatively clear, and you should have no problem spotting and hitting targets up to 1000 yards with this scope. Though, unlike the premium price scopes on the market, the eye relief is relatively limited. Rings are included that fit the 30mm main tube nicely. For the value, I’d recommend this scope with just about any entry-level target rifle.
2 Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 – Best for Deer Hunting Scope
The Nikon Buckmasters II is a great little scope to mount on your deer hunting rifle. As the 6.5 Creedmoor has been growing in popularity, it is becoming more prevalent among hunters as well as precision marksman due to the excellent ballistics of the cartridge. This scope gives the shooter everything they need for hunting, without any of the unnecessary extras.
The 1-inch main tube is totally adequate because a hunter will be making any necessary corrections with the reticle. The windage and elevation adjustments are a very precise 1/4 MOA adjustments. The proprietary reticle is in the second focal plane and has a bullet drop compensator built in. The scope is rated as waterproof, fog proof, and shock proof. The glass is exceptionally clear, and the eye relief is generous. This is one of the lighter scopes on the list as well, so it won’t weigh you down when hiking through the brush. Rings are not included with this scope, but at the price point it is hard to argue that they should be included. This would be an excellent scope for a Ruger Precision, or other hunting rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor.
3 Nightforce Competition 15-55x52 – Best for Long-Range Precision Scope
If you want to shoot 1 mile with your 6.5 Creedmoor, this is the scope that will get you there. Nightforce is a company that has been making precision scopes, and doing it well, for a long time and they know exactly what it takes to make precision shots at that kind of range. With up to 55 power zoom you will never need a stronger magnification, and the 52-millimeter bell allows you to still keep a relatively wide field of view.
The glass is superb, and extremely crisp. The turrets track consistently and flawlessly with a zero stop to return to zero without looking. The 30mm main tube allows for up to 55 MOA of elevation adjustment, and 50 MOA of windage adjustment, which should be more than you will ever need, even at a mile. While this scope does command a high price, it has the construction and the components that demand that price tag. As one of the best made scopes on this list, it is recommended as the best scope for a precision bolt action 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
4 SWFA SS 3-15x42 Tactical Rifle Scope – Best 1000-Yard Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
SWFA is a brand name that might not be a household name, but they cater very specifically to the hardcore enthusiast and armed professional markets. This specific scope is purpose build to be placed on tactical long-range rifles. This might be the best scope to for your M1A, EBR, or your AR10 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor.
The scope has the optical clarity needed for identifying targets 1000 yards away. It also has a very well-designed reticle placed in the first focal plane that changes the way it benefits the shooter as the magnification is adjusted. While many reticles in the first focal plane can be challenging to find on lower powers, the design shines at all magnifications in it’s ease of acquisition. The turrets track perfectly, the build quality is superb, and the parallax adjustment is from 6 meters to infinite. As a tactical scope, the reticle and adjustments are in MRAD which is the common unit of measurement in the military. An integral throw lever is built into the power ring, which is a nice addition that is seldom seen on any scope. At only 24 ounces, this scope is lighter than one would expect from such a solidly build product.
5 Vortex Viper PST 6-24x50 - Best Predator Hunting Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
Vortex continually produces high quality scopes that are on par with professional grade equipment, but they don’t charge the professional grade prices. The Vortex Viper is one of the more elite offerings by Vortex but is still had for well under $1000. This scope features exposed turrets, an illuminated reticle, and parallax correction, and a zero stop feature built. A unique feature on the Viper is a fiber optic indicator on the turrets that give the shooter an additional quick reference as to where the turrets have been adjusted to help keep up with firing solutions.
As with any Vortex product, the fit and finish on the scope is very attractive and well done, the glass is extremely clear, and the optic is resistant to water, fog, and shock. The reticle and turrets are use MOA as measurement, and the reticle is in the first focal plane. The reticle has bold outer lines to help with quick acquisition at lower magnification, but when zoomed in the reticle becomes more complex with the “Christmas tree” style pattern for wind and elevation hold-offs if you choose not to use the turrets. This scope may fit best on a Remington 700 or similarly accurate platform to help maximize the benefits of this excellent scope.
6 Primary Arms Silver Series 3-18x50 – Best 6.5 Creedmoor Scope under $500
Primary Arms Silver might be the pinnacle of what a scope can be for under the $500 price point, and this one is specifically built for the 6.5 Creedmoor. While the scope has large exposed turrets, parallax correction, a removeable throw fin on the power ring, fantastic glass clarity, and excellent durability, the reticle on this scope is the party piece you should get excited about.
By now it is no secret that the ACSS reticle by Primary Arms might be the best reticle for shooters currently available, this one has been designed specifically to work with the 6.5 Creedmoor. The reticle features a clean view for the shooter but has plenty of features built in such as a range estimation tool and windage hold-offs for winds up to 20 miles per hour. What makes this reticle specific to the 6.5 Creedmoor is that the bullet drop compensation has been designed specifically for this caliber making this the undisputed best reticle to use for 6.5 CM.
7 Schmidt and Bender PM II 5-25x56 – Best Sniper Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
From the ground up, everything about this scope is designed to be professional grade. This scope features every benefit an armed professional would ask for in a long-range optic. Starting with the build, the main tube is an oversized 34 millimeters for extra adjustment, the bell is 56 millimeters giving the best possible field of view at maximum magnification, and even the lens coatings are designed to eliminate reflection.
All controls on this scope are separated from each and do not share the same location, which would help the shooter make the correct adjustments in low light situations. The turrets are built to have an increased tactile feel and sound when adjusted to further help the shooter adjust without visual confirmation. The increased tactile sensation also helps the shooter trust in the equipment, giving the overall impression during use a heavy-duty feeling. Speaking of heavy-duty, the one drawback for some people could be the weight. The scope weighs close to 3 pounds, which is not especially surprising with all the durability built in, but this would probably not be the ideal hunting scope.
8 Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44 – Best Medium Range Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
Not all scopes are created equal, and not all scopes are trying to help you shoot out to a mile. This scope is built to the highest standards but is purpose build for shooters who are likely to be searching for targets under 600 yards. While the scope and shooter capabilities may help hit targets at further ranges, some of the features you would expect on a precision rifle scope are left out in lieu of passing savings on to the consumer. Leupold is known for their legendary glass clarity and durable construction, and VX-5HD is no different.
The turrets on this scope are low profile, which hunters tend to prefer. Though low profile, the turrets do offer zero stop. The FireDot reticle is a simple duplex design with an illuminated dot to help in low-light situations. The illumination is activated by a motion sensor and will automatically turn off after 5 minutes of inactivity to conserve battery life. The weight of the scope is impressive as well, at barely a pound this scope is clearly built for hunters and I recommend this as the best scope for the Browning X-Bolt Stalker or Hunter.
9 Burris Fullfield II 4.5-14x42 – Best Burris Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
Burris is known for making affordable rifle scopes that traditionally caters to the hunting audience. If you are looking for an affordable hunting scope for your Ruger American, Savage Axis, or Remington 783 this is probably the best scope for the money you can buy. While this scope is built to a certain price point, there are features that make this scope well suited to a budget friendly 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
At this price point, it can be challenging to find a hunting scope that has enough magnification to really make the most out of a round capable of the ranges a 6.5 Creedmoor is effective at. The scope uses the Ballistic Plex reticle, which is both simple and useful to the hunter as there are 3 graduations to compensate for bullet drop at range transposed onto what would be a simple duplex pattern. The windage and elevation adjustments are capped of on this scope, and there is a focus diopter but no parallax adjustment. The scope is also just over 1 pound in weight, furthering the point that this will make a scope for a hunting rifle.
10 Trijicon TR23 5-20x50 – Best Trijicon Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor
Trijicon is well known for their ACOG optic that is beloved by military, police for their AR pattern rifles, but they also make long range scopes. While there are some things about this scope that may seem unconventional when compared to other high-end rifle scopes, Trijicon plays to their strengths with this optic and doesn’t try to copy their competitors.
Things that you will quickly recognize from other scopes are high quality exposed turrets, parallax adjustment, and an excellent build quality. This scope is marketed to military, police, and hunters so it should come as no surprise that the optic is designed to be water, shock, and fog proof. What’s different is that the illuminated reticle requires no batteries, and instead of a bullet drop compensating reticle the TR23 uses a simple illuminated triangle. What is also fairly unique among other scopes in this class is that the reticle is in the second focal plane, but this is of no consequence as the point of the triangle is infinitely precise at any magnification, and there are no hold-over marks to worry about. While some will miss a complicated reticle, this is an excellent long-range option for somebody who wants a cleaner field of view.
Whether you are a hunter, a competition shooter, or an armed professional, there is the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor for you in that list. Use the guide to help you determine what features are most important to you, and we are positive you will find the scope that fits your needs. Remember that rifle scopes are tools, and there is a correct tool for every job so careful consideration should be made before pulling out your credit card at the store.