The Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor in 2023


From my experience, here’s what makes the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor:

First, great reticle. You can either do all the calculations by hand. Or the reticle can lend you a hand by doing it for you — this is helpful for long holdover shots.

Next, the body needs to be durable and the turrets need to track true. This makes adjustments easy. And most importantly, clear glass. The last thing you want is murky glass at high magnifications.

After years of extensively using dozens of 6.5 Creedmoor scopes, the Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50 checks all of these boxes and is one of the best long range optics on the market.

The PST Gen II is my go-to long range scope.

The turrets are glove-adjustable, the EBR-2C reticle is fine and illuminated, and the glass is crystal clear. Plus, the magnification range is more than adequate for extreme long-range shooting and hunting.

That’s why it’s my go-to scope for long-range events.

If you want an ‘upgraded’ version of the PST Gen II, I’d recommend investing in Nightforce’s NXS line.

Just like the PST, it has clear glass, the turrets are adjustable and accurate, and the glass is second to none. What makes this optic superior is the MOAR reticle. It’s super easy to use and read — an indispensable feature on the field.

However, it does come at an indispensable price tag.

When I first started out in long range shooting, I didn’t have the money to buy the fanciest gadgets.

I needed an optic that performed well without the heavy price tag. That’s when my friend introduced me to the Athlon Argos BTR — an affordable long-range scope that has clear glass and the APMR reticle.

This would be my go-to if I needed something affordable and were getting started with long distance shooting.

If you can’t afford the PST Gen II or Nightforce NXS but want something a bit better than the Argos BTR, I’d highly recommend the Strike Eagle 4-24×50.

Sure, it doesn’t have Nightforce’s glass, but the glass on it is really good. In fact, I’ve used it for precision shooting, long-range shooting (above 1000 yards), and even hunting — and it has never let me down. Plus, it comes with Vortex’s lifetime warranty.

Why should you trust me?

I’m not a retired Navy Seal.

Nor am I some optic guru with 30 years of experience.

I’m just a guy who likes to go shooting with good quality firearms with good quality equipment. Over the years, I’ve hand-tested hundreds of scopes — including the best AR-15 scopes and optics.

I’ve tried all the brands. Bushnell, Nikon, Nightforce, Vortex, Zeiss — you name it.

As a result, I know what makes a good scope. So when it came time to find the top scope for 6.5 Creedmoor, I did what most people don’t:

Hand-test scopes.

In fact, I researched over 30 6.5 Creedmoor scopes, paid for them out of my own pocket, and tested everything from glass quality to tracking.

The result?

My personal list of the top scopes for the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge on the market right now.

Also, no reviewer scope or outside contributions were accepted for this review. Nor did any optic company pay me to write this review. I don’t accept sponsored reviews.

In doing so, it allows me to write the most honest guide possible. That way, I can focus on thoroughly testing the scopes rather than appeasing manufacturers.

With that out of the way, let’s get started.

Read Before You Buy

Most people spend WAY too much on the wrong scope (and the best red dots for pistols).


Because they don’t know what to look for in a 6.5 Creedmoor scope.

So to save you money and time, here’s everything you need to know about finding the right 6.5 Creedmoor scope.

By the end of this small guide, you’ll know what type of scope to buy.

How To Choose A 6.5 Creedmoor Scope

Put simply:

The 6.5 creedmoor is arguably one of the best long-distance rounds.

It easily hits 250 yards without a sight. And when you add the best 6.5 Creedmoor optic, it easily goes past 1000+ yards and up.

6.5 Creedmoor Sight The Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor in 2023

The best part?

The 6.5 fits in .308 sized guns with the power of a 300 win mag…all in one round.

6.5 Ballistics Test The Best Scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor in 2023

(6.5 went through 4+ bottles of soda)

That’s why competitive shooters have easily stretched past 3000 yards — even in windy conditions!

But let’s be real for a second:

You probably won’t shoot that far out. Instead, you might choose one of these…

6.5 Creedmoor Shooting Distances

These are the 3 ranges you’ll probably be shooting from:

  • Close Range: <300 yards
  • Medium Range: Between 300 to 700 yards
  • Long Range: 700+ yards

Simply pick a range and move on.

But what if you use more than one range? That’s totally fine — I’ll cover that down below. For now, choose a range and move onto…

What Magnification To Choose For 6.5 Creedmoor Scopes?

Here’s the #1 newbie mistake for scopes:

People buying the WRONG amount of magnification. They either buy too much or too little, resulting in missed shots.

So how do you solve this? By reading up on magnification.

The good news?

I’ll cover the different magnification ranges you need for your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle scope right now. Keep on reading…

Close Range (<300 yards)

The 6.5 Creedmoor isn’t a close-range weapon.

However, if you want to kill a whitetail dead then here’s the magnification you’ll need:

  • Magnification: 5 – 9X power

You’ll find that even the best holographic sights can’t go much higher than this effectively.

Medium Range (300 – 700 yards)

This is the most common 6.5 hunting range. Whether you’re hunting elk, deer or mulies, you’ll need:

  • Magnification: Between 9 – 15X power

This will allow you to virtually see (and hit) most big game targets effortlessly.

Long Range (700+ yards)

This is where the 6.5 Creedmoor’s beauty shines.

In fact, people routinely hit 1000+ yards with very little effort. How? By selecting the right magnification.

Here’s the 6.5’s recommended long-range mag:

  • Magnification: 15X and up
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The Bottom Line On Magnification

Want to choose the right scope? Do two things:

  • Determine your shooting range (short, medium, long)
  • Choose a magnification range

When done correctly, you have no choice but to choose the best 6.5 Creedmoor scope for your needs.

That said, if you use more than one magnification (medium and long range), then get a variable powered scope.

This type of scope has a range of magnifications (like the ones down below) and can outperform even the best AR-15 red dot scopes at most ranges.

With all that said, I believe you’re ready to choose the best 6.5 Creedmoor scope. Let’s dive in!

Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best scopes for 6.5 Creedmoor:

  1. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50: Best Long Range Scope
  2. Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56: Best Extreme Long Range Scope
  3. Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50: Best Budget Long Range Scope
  4. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50: Best Short-to-Long Range Scope

1. Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50: Best Long Range Scope

The Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50 is the best long range scope for 6.5 Creedmoor.

In fact:

I’d call it a “Budget-Friendly Night Force Scope”.

Why? Keep reading and all will be revealed…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is clear as day.

Matter of fact, I barely noticed a difference in glass quality between the PST and Razor HD:

Vortex PST Gen II vs. Razor HD Gen II

(And keep in mind: The Razor HD costs TWICE as much as the PST).

So, how is the Viper’s glass that clear?

Well, Vortex used the same coatings — extra-low dispersion (XD) glass and fully multi-coated lens — on both rifle scopes.

This results in crispy views like this:

Viper PST Glass

Looking through the scope, you may have noticed the fine reticle:



(Also available in MOA)

What’s so special about it?

Two things:

  1. It’s specifically engineered for long-range shots. And…
  2. It can estimate holdover, windage, and even bullet drop.

That’s pretty cool.

But the part that sells it is how the scope’s set in the first focal plane.

Which means:

The reticle’s size adjusts with your magnification.

Here it is at 5X magnification:

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5x Magnification

And at 25X:

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 25x Magnification

This is perfect for long-range shooting as it’ll make distance adjustments MUCH easier and more accurate, making this one of the best scopes for AR-10.

The reticle also works in low-light conditions. This is due to the illuminated reticle.

Take a look:

Viper PST Illuminated Reticle

It’s visible both day and night. It even comes with a 10-setting illumination knob (which is smooth to turn).

Battery life is great too. However, I recommend keeping a spare of CR2032 batteries in your range bag just in case the batteries die.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3.4” eye relief is pretty good. The eye box is also very forgiving.

Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25x50 Glass

The best part?

The eye relief remains consistent at all magnification settings.


The PST Gen II is extremely durable.

In fact:

It’s completely shockproof, fogproof, waterproof, snowproof, and even…

Vortex PST Fireproof


It’s survived being thrown out of a car:

Viper PST Thrown out of a Car

Being buried alive in dirt:

Viper PST Burried in Dirt

And pure abused. Despite all that, the scope still functioned perfectly and held zero. The glass is also oil-proof, dirt-proof, and scratch-proof due to the ArmorTek coating.

Viper PST Dirtproof Glass

In short:

It has a rugged exterior and can be used in ANY condition. However, the durability and glass quality comes at a minor cost:

Heavier weight (2 pounds).

But so are all the 5-25x alternatives — some even heavier. That said, to keep your build as light as possible, I recommend using a lightweight mount (covered below).

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The capped windage and elevation turrets are very reliable.

They produce crisp, audible clicks. It turns smoothly. It’s very precise. And the textured grips around each knob makes adjustments super easy:

Vortex PST textured grips turrets

Zeroing was even easier. Within 3 shots of getting on paper, I was zeroed. It also held zero.

Matter of fact, I’ve fired over 300 6.5 Creedmoor rounds to date with the PST and the scope still hasn’t lost zero.

That’s great and all, but the one feature that makes this scope worth its weight in gold is the…

RZR Zero Stop.

Viper PST Turrets

With it, you can’t adjust past your sight-in zero. This is invaluable for long-distance shots (which require frequent adjustments).

Here’s how to set it up:

Magnification & Parallax

The 5-25x magnification is great for medium to long-range shooting — making it one of the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor AR 10.

The magnification ring is smooth, yet stiff:

Vortex Viper PST Magnification Ring

The best part?

The scope remains clear and parallax-free throughout ALL magnification settings (5x-25x). I’ve shot past 1,000 yards with ease.

Viper PST Gen II Glass

But one thing to keep in mind:

Weather affects clarity.

For example, if it rains or snows, you’ll notice the clarity at inclining magnifications (20x-25x) become a bit worse.


Because of the scope’s clarity. You see, Vortex engineered the glass to pick up every single detail. So if you’re out shooting in rain, the PST will likely pick up individual rain drops.

That said, it’s not really a problem. It’s just something to keep in mind when shooting in bad weather.

Mounting & Rings

I went with the Midwest Industries 30mm Quick Disconnect Mount. It’s lightweight, easy-to-use, and durable.

But let’s be honest:

It’s not worth the extra money. Instead, I’d recommend getting the Aero Precision Ultralight Extended Mount for your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. It’s well-built, feather light, and relatively cheap.

If you intend on shooting in sunny conditions, don’t buy a sunshade — the scope already comes with one 🙂

And one last thing:

If you want to keep your lens in tip-top shape for years to come, invest in Vortex Defender Flip Caps (Eye Piece Size: E-10, 41.5-46mm) (Objective Size: O-50, 55-59mm).

Vortex’s included bikini caps just don’t cut it.


If you’re a long-range shooter or tactical precision shooter, I HIGHLY recommend the Vortex Viper PST Gen II 5-25×50.

Here’s why. It’s got:

  • Zero stop
  • Clear glass
  • First focal plane
  • EBR-2C illuminated reticle
  • Tactical, glove-adjustable turrets
  • Lifetime, no-questions-ask warranty
  • Long magnification (can easily see past 1,000 yards)

In other words:

It’s got all the premium Nightforce features…without the arms and legs price tag. That’s why it’s my go-to scope for long-range events.

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Of course, it costs a pretty penny. And it’s not for everyone.

But if you’re looking for the best long range scope for the money, I wouldn’t think twice about getting the PST Gen II as it easily stands among the best rifle scopes.

2. Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56: Best Extreme Long Range Scope

The Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 is the best extreme long-range scope.

In fact:

It was originally developed for the U.S. military’s extreme long-range shooting. And to date:

It’s the number one choice for military and law enforcement agencies.

Why? Keep reading to find out…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is exceptional.

Matter of fact, it’s the best glass I’ve ever seen. Take a look for yourself:

Nightforce NXS MOAR Reticle
It looks MUCH clearer in person

It’s second to none. And for a good reason:

Nightforce uses high-quality precision glass. Then, they fully multi-coated the lens to maximize clarity and light transmission.

Nightforce NXS Glass

The results? Insanely clear glass.

And that’s not all. Nightforce knew that a good reticle was key to long-range shooting. So, they made one of the best long-range reticles to date:

The MOAR reticle.

MOAR 20 MOA Reticle

It’s very advanced. It can be used for ranging objects. Estimating windage, holdover, winddrift. And it has the option to illuminate, which makes low light shooting a breeze.

Nightforce NXS MOAR Illuminated Reticle


The reticle is plenty fine for load development at 150 yards, prairie dogs at 500, or shawking steel at 1,000+. And it’s thick enough that I don’t lose it in timber — making it one of the best hunting scope for 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.

MOAR Hunting Reticle

The best part?

The reticle remains clear and thick at ALL magnifications. This is due to the NXS’ second focal plane.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The Nightforce NXS has 4 whopping inches of eye relief!

Nightforce NXS Riflescope

Which means, you don’t have to crawl up on the scope to get a full picture. Nor do you have to worry about scope bite.

In fact:

The NXS could handle higher recoiling rifles such as the .50 BMG and .338 Lapua Magnum.

Lapua Cartridge

Just be sure to get solid mount/rings (which I’ll cover down below).

Also, the field-of-view is large and the eye box is very forgiving.


This 6.5 Creedmoor rifle scope is built like a tank.

It’s 2-pounds of solid 6061-T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum.

It has survived rigorous torture testing, 1,250 G’s of force, and multiple beatings:

Despite all that, the scope still works perfectly. It’s no surprise why. Nightforce optics were designed for the U.S. military. Which means, durability was a must. And the NXS is one hell of a rugged scope.

Not to mention, it’s completely waterproof, fogproof, and snowproof.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The target turrets are very reliable.

Nightforce NXS Turrets

They produce audible, tactile clicks. It turns smoothly. Tracking is dead-on. And the textured grip knobs make adjustments 100x easier:

Nightforce NXS Riflescope Turrets

Zeroing was straight-forward. Within 4 rounds, I was set. But does it hold zero? To date, I’ve fired over 125 rounds of heavy-hitting .50 BMG rounds and it still hasn’t lost zero.

That says a lot. But what really speaks is my favorite long-range feature…

The ZeroStop.

Nightforce NXS ZeroStop

With this feature, you never have to worry about losing your zero ever again.

For example, let’s say you zeroed at 50 yards. If you want to take a shot at 400 yards, simply adjust the elevation up. But what if you want to shoot back down to 50 yards and don’t remember how many rotations you took?

Good news:

You don’t have to. Because Zero Stop saves your zero. This allows you to make frequent adjustments without worrying about losing your zero. Here’s a video demonstrating how it works:

It’s quick. Easy. And makes going back to zero a no brainer.

Magnification & Parallax

The 5.5-22X is effective for short-to-extreme long distances.

In fact:

I was able to hit the bullseye at 2,150 yards.

That’s because the scope remains parallax-free and clear throughout all magnifications — including the highest (22X). This places it equal with the best rimfire scopes for 22LR and other similar guns.

The best part?

Unlike the Vortex PST, the scope’s clarity remains sharp in bad weather. So if you’re hunting and it starts pouring rain, your scope won’t be effected.

The only minor drawback is the side parallax knob markings. Let me explain…

Other scopes that have parallax adjustment knobs usually have numbers associated with the mark. This scope doesn’t. It just has notches.

Of course, this was new to me and it was a bit difficult for me to get used to. But after a while, it became second nature.

Mounting & Rings

I went with the Nightforce 1.125 High Ring Set.

They are excellent rings. Very solid — especially for big bore or larger caliber rifles.

Sunshade is included with the scope. However, you need to get yourself some lens caps if you want to keep the glass protected.

I recommend getting Nightforce Lens Caps. Eyepiece:



If you got the money and are looking for the most premium extreme long-range scope out there, the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×56 is for you.

Here’s why:

  • Durable
  • Zero stop
  • MOAR reticle
  • Exceptional glass
  • Second focal plane
  • Generous field of view
  • Short-to-Long distances
  • Low-light shooting capabilities

It’s no wonder Chris Kyle — the most lethal sniper in U.S. history — used Nightforce. They produce the best optics on the market.

But they also produce the biggest tear in your pocket. The old saying is “buy once, cry once.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m still crying. Because the truth is:

It really stung buying this scope. But at the end of the day, I can easily nail targets above 2000 yard ranges.

In short:

If you’re a precision marksman, law enforcement/military personnel, or do PRS competitions, the Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×56 gives you everything you need and more.

3. Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50: Best Budget Long Range Scope

You don’t need to spend $800+ on a quality long-range 6.5 Creedmoor scope.

You can get similar quality for a fraction of the price.

Enter: Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50.

It’s got:

  • Great glass
  • True tracking
  • Tough durability
  • First focal plane
  • APMR illuminated reticle
  • Long-range capabilities (1,200+ yards)
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In short:

If you’re on a tight budget or just getting started with long distance shooting, I highly recommend the Athlon Argos BTR 6-24×50.

It’s got all of the premium long-range shooting features at ⅓ of the price.

In fact, these features make it one of the best scopes for 308 long range shooting and the best 10/22 scopes available.

If you’re interested, read my full Athlon Argos BTR review. Or you could purchase it now:

4. Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50: Best Short-to-Long Range Scope

The Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50 is designed for short-to-long distance shots.

In fact:

I’ve used it for precision shooting, long-range shooting (above 1000 yards), and even hunting.

What makes it so versatile? Everything, starting with…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is sharp and bright.

Clarity is good enough to watch the bullet trace from a 6.5 Creedmoor round hit paper at 150 yards at 24X.

Vortex Strike Eagle 24x Magnification

However, the edges become a bit blurry at higher magnification powers (20X+).

The EBR-4 MOA reticle is solid for long distance shooting.

Vortex Strike Eagle EBR-4 Reticle

It’s a second focal plane 20 MOA that estimates holdover, range, and windage corrections — making it a solid 6.5 Creedmoor BDC scope. The reticle’s also illuminated:

Vortex Strike Eagle Illuminated Reticle

This allows you to shoot in low-light conditions.

It has an 11-setting brightness knob that is smooth to turn. Although battery life is good, I recommend having a spare of CR2032 batteries in your range bag.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

It has a generous 3.5” of eye relief.

This is a bit more than the Athlon Argos BTR.

The eyebox is forgiving as well. However, it gets a bit tight at the highest magnification (24X).


It’s O-ring sealed, nitrogen purged, and built from aircraft-grade aluminum.

In other words, it’s completely waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof. It won’t break no matter the conditions.

Vortex Strike Eagle Scope

But all this durability comes at a cost:

Heavy weight (1.6 pounds).

This is lighter than the Vortex PST II. But it’s still a bit heavy. To compensate, use a lightweight mount (covered below).

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The tactical turrets are zero resettable.

Vortex Strike Eagle 4x-24x50 Turrets

Which means, you can adjust the windage and elevation dials, and return to zero quickly. A great feature if you’re into hunting or long-range shooting where frequent adjustments are required.

The turrets are also audible and crisp.

Vortex Strike Eagle 4x-24x50 Elevation Turrets

Although they’re stiff to turn at first, it loosens up with usage.

Magnification & Parallax

The 4x – 24x zoom range offers a wide array of shooting scenarios, making it perfect for various shooting applications. Tactical, feral hog hunting, competition, operations, etc.

The best part?

The sight remains clear and parallax-free throughout all ranges. Here’s how it looks at 4x:

Vortex Strike Eagle 4x Magnification

And at 24x:

Vortex Strike Eagle 24x Magnification

If parallax ever becomes an issue, Vortex installed a side parallax knob to tackle it 🙂

But keep in mind: the knob is stiff to turn at first. But just like the turrets, it’ll loosen up with usage.

Mounting & Rings

I used a Vortex Sport Cantilever 30mm Mount 2-inch offset on my 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. It’s durable, easy to install (tools included in the box), and holds your scope in place.


I recommend getting Vortex Defender Flip Caps (Eye Piece Size: E-10, 41.5-46mm) (Objective Size: O-50, 55-59mm).

It’ll keep your glass protected for years to come.


Looking for the best Vortex scope for 6.5 Creedmoor rifle? Get the Vortex Strike Eagle 4-24×50.

Besides the stiff knobs and slight distortion at inclining magnifications, it’s got:

  • Clear glass
  • EBR-4 reticle
  • Zero resettable
  • Illuminated reticle
  • Edge-to-edge clarity
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Short-to-long distance magnification (4x – 24x)

In short:

It’s a solid, budget-friendly Creedmoor scope that could be used on any gun — including the AR-15. Not to mention, it’s covered by Vortex’s lifetime warranty. So if it ever breaks, they’ll repair it for free.


Every review you read — be it print or online — should have a disclosure informing you about any potential biases that may influence the review.

I want you to know about any biases that may have affected this review.

How I Get My Scopes

Every 6.5 Creedmoor rifle scope I recommended above were bought from my own pocket money. I paid the same price as any other customer.

External Contributions

I received no special discounts. Nor did I receive any free or ‘reviewer’ products.

By doing this, it allows me to share with you my own personal experience with each optic. The good, the bad, and the ugly without appeasing scope manufacturers.

I have no financial interest to any optic company. This includes stocks and mutual funds. This isn’t a sponsored post.

Affiliate Links is a for-profit business that literally feeds and clothes my family.

I earn money through affiliate sales. Which means, if you make a purchase through my affiliate link, I get a small commission: typically 2-4%.

I don’t see what you purchase, nor does it affect the price you pay.

With the money I make, I use it to feed my family, keep the reviews unbiased (not reaching out to optic companies), and keep annoying ads off my site.


You can’t go wrong with any of these scopes.

In fact:

I’ve reviewed tens of scopes and these turned out to be the best scope for 6.5 Creedmoor.

They’re all capable of shooting above 1,000 yards with fine adjustments.

Just pick one based on your budget and try it out at the range.

If you don’t like it for whatever reason, you could always return it back to Amazon thanks to their 30-day Money Back Guarantee.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

Which riflescope do you use for your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle?

Maybe a Nightforce? Or a Vortex PST Gen II? Either way, let me know by leaving a comment down below.

If you have any other scope recommendations I should look into, please let me know. Also, if you’re a CQB hunter or someone that shoots close-range, check out my best 1-4x scope or best red dot magnifier buyer’s guide.

Lastly, to all those who have served, and those who continue to serve…Thank you for your service! Come home safely and soon.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>