The 6.5 Creedmoor is one of my favorite long-range shooting cartridges because of its accuracy and versatility. However, a 6.5 Creedmoor needs a quality long-range scope to complement its reputation. I love doing rifle scope review articles as it gives me a chance to test all the latest and greatest scopes on the market. After rigorous testing, I identified the 5 best scopes for the 6.5 Creedmoor – these scopes are just as versatile as the cartridge. Happy reading!
Best Scopes For A 6.5 Creedmoor
After our hand on reviews, here are the best 6.5 Creedmoor scopes.
- Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II
- Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56
- Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen II
- Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm
1) Vortex Viper PST II 5-25×50
Avid readers of HuntersHalt know how much I enjoy my Vortex scopes – I even wrote an article on the top vortex scopes for deer hunting. The Viper PST is no exception; it is highly versatile, complimenting the 6.5 Creedmoor in every aspect.
The scope features Vortex’s excellent craftsmanship with an aircraft-grade aluminum body, ArmorTek lens coating, and a hard anodized finish. The scope is also waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
The scope is on the heavier side, weighing 31.2 ounces – something to consider if you plan on doing many hunts involving hiking. The PST has a great sight picture. The objective lens diameter is 50 mm in size and, combined with the anti-reflective properties of the lens coatings, allows for excellent light transmission.
It has a broad magnification range of 5-25x and a field of view (FOV) of 4.8 – 24.1 ft at 100 yards with an eye relief of 3.4 inches. The scope features a first focal plane reticle, meaning the reticle size is correlated to the magnification. Feel free to read more on first focal plane vs second focal plane.
The PST also has an illuminated reticle. There are 10 intensity levels, allowing you to easily switch to the right setting for your environment. The battery is rated to last 150 hours, although mine lasted around 120 hours. Battery life is also why I rated it as the best vortex muzzleloader scope as well!
Our Experience With The Vortex Viper
I thoroughly enjoyed testing the PST on my 6.5 Creedmoor. It was easy to zero, and I was pleasantly surprised at how accurate I could make my long-range shots, even in low-light conditions, thanks to the illuminated reticle. Its optical clarity is also second to none.
Overall, the PST is the best long-range scope for the 6.5 Creedmoor. I can confidently say that choosing it as your dedicated scope for your 6.5 rifle will satisfy you.
2) Vortex Optics Crossfire II
The Crossfire has been featured in many of our scope articles, like the best rifle scope for the 350 Legend. This is due to its optimal performance for medium-range shooting. It features the same construction qualities as the PST, such as the ArmorTek and quality aircraft-grade aluminum body.
The Crossfire has a magnification range of 6 – 18x and is a second focal plane scope. It weighs 19.6 ounces – roughly 12 ounces less than the PST, making it much more ideal for long hikes.
The objective lens diameter is 44mm, slightly less than the PST. It has a FOV of 5.3 – 15.2 ft at 100 yards and has an eye relief of 3.7 -4.3 inches.
Our Experience With The Vortex Crossfire
The Crossfire is one of my favorite scopes for hunting. Even though its optical clarity is not as good as the PST, it still provides a crisp viewing experience. I hunted more deer and elk than I can count with my Crossfire x 6.5 Creedmoor combination. One thing that stood out for me was its durability – it survived the harshest of elements and still allowed me to make accurate shot placements.
Overall, the Crossfire is a high-performance scope that won’t cause you to break the bank.
3) Nightforce Optics NXS 5.5-22×56
Nightforce’s ability to combine innovation and quality craftsmanship really shows in the NXS. This is why so many military and law enforcement agencies choose Nightforce as their go-to long-range optic.
The NXS is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, waterproof, and weather resistant to severe environmental conditions. The scope weighs 32 ounces – making it the heaviest scope on this list.
It has an objective lens diameter of 56mm, allowing optimal light transmission. The scope features a second focal plane MOAR reticle. But this reticle works exceptionally well for long-range shooting due to its innovative design.
The NXS is equipped with a magnification range of 5.5 – 22x and has a field of view of 4.7 – 17.5 ft at 100 yards – which is strangely small considering it has a smaller upper magnification range than the PST.
Our Experience With The NXS
The NXS performed exceptionally well on the 6.5 Creedmoor when I was at the shooting range, but this was predicted as the NXS is designed solely for long-range shooting. However, I didn’t enjoy it when I was hunting because it felt bulky and so heavy.
Additionally, I think the price of the NXS is too much considering the number of features you get. The highlight of this scope is its MOAR reticle. If you want a scope that gives you pinpoint accuracy at the range and can afford it, then the NXS might be the scope for your 6.5 Creedmoor.
4) Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen II
The Athlon is another excellent choice for your 6.5 Creedmoor. The Argos features the same durable design as the other scopes on this list. But Athlon went the extra mile and added extra layer coatings on all the lenses to enhance the lenses’ durability and resistance to debris.
The Argos BTR can literally bring the target right in front of you with its 8 -34 x magnification range and ultra-high light transmission 56mm objective lens. Unfortunately, the impressive magnification range comes at the cost of field of view, which is 12.5 ft – 3 ft at 100 yards.
It features the APLR2 First Focal Plane IR MOA reticle, which is very similar to the NXS’s reticle and allows you to make very accurate range estimates.
Our Experience With The Athlon Optics Argos BTR Gen II
Our experience with the Argos is very limited to range shooting because the magnification range makes it impractical for hunting. However, in the few instances we hunted with it, it allowed us to make extremely accurate shot placements.
If you want a cheaper alternative to the NXS, then I advise you to go with the Argos BTR.
5) Leupold VX-5HD 3-15x44mm
Leupold scopes just resonate with reliability, and the VX-5HD is one that upholds Leupold’s quality guarantee.
The VX-5HD’s body is built from highly durable aluminum, and the lens is coated with guard-ion rain shedding to make it waterproof and weather resistant.
The scope only weighs 19 ounces and has an objective lens diameter of 44mm. One thing that stands out with the VX-5HD is its 5:1 zoom ratio. This feature gives you x5 more magnification power at high than lower power. This is extremely useful for boosting your field of view when toggling between the 3 – 15x magnification range. Therefore, you can expect a FOV of 38.2 – 7.9 ft at 100 yards.
Our Experience With The VX-5HD
Our experience with the VX-5HD is primarily hunting. This is because the scope performs so well. It’s lightweight, has the perfect magnification range for making ethical kills, and is one of the most durable scopes I’ve tested.
If you are a Leupold fan and your primary application is hunting, then the Leupold might be the scope for you.
Benefits of Using A Scope on a 6.5 Creedmoor
Here are some of the benefits of using a scope on your 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
- Accuracy and Range – As with any weapon, a scope magnifies the target – allowing the shooter to see the target better and aim more precisely. For the 6.5 Creedmoor, long-range accuracy is pertinent. Therefore, a scope will only increase your overall accuracy and extend the range you are comfortable shooting at.
- Ballistic compensation – New scopes have built-in ballistic compensation – allowing you to adjust for bullet drop and wind drift.
- Target identification – A scope can help you identify targets much better than by only using the naked eye. This is especially important when hunting – you don’t want to shoot a protected game species; the legal implications are astronomical.
Shooting Ranges For A 6.5 Creedmoor
The shooting range of the 6.5 Creedmoor depends primarily on how skilled you are as a shooter. However, the 6.5 is designed for long-range shooting and is known to make accurate shot placements beyond 1,000 yards.
However, for hunting, it is advised that you stay within 500 yards to ensure an ethical kill.
Which Scope Magnification Is Best?
The best scope magnification depends on your application and use case. But for hunting, I generally want a magnification range between 3 and 10x. This allows me to have fast target acquisition with a better FOV and still make accurate shot placements.
For range shooting, anything beyond 10x is ideal. I always look for a magnification range of 15 – 25x for my range shooting scopes. Just make sure you don’t know how to use a scope properly!
How We Rate Rifle Scopes
We take pride in providing our readers with accurate and practical recommendations for scopes. Therefore, we structure our rating guidelines to reflect real-world use cases such as hunting within 300 yards and range shooting to 500-600 yards.
The first thing we look at is design and quality. The scope should be manufactured from high-quality, lightweight material. It should also have lens coatings to protect the lenses and enhance anti-reflective capabilities and light transmission.
Next, we want the scope to have a practical magnification range for either hunting or range shooting, which I mentioned in the section above. The reticle should be well-designed and not compromise our visual picture.
Finally, we look at value; the scope should be priced competitively with the rest of the market. It should also have features that justify its price, such as an illuminated reticle or extra lens coatings.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bottom Line
The 6.5 Creedmoor is an exceptional long-range cartridge. To fully utilize its long-range capabilities, you need a scope that performs with precision at that distance. We feel the PST is best equipped to fulfilling that role. However, all of the featured scopes in this article are well-equipped to enhance the 6.5’s shooting performance. Just keep your primary use case in mind when choosing the scope. Some are better for range shooting, while others excel as a long-range hunting scope.