With the development of the 6.5 Creedmoor has come a whole list of optical solutions to match the effectiveness of the new cartridge and paired rifles at long range. Deer hunters and others have found this cartridge choice to be just about a perfect match when it comes to harvesting both whitetail and Mule deer alike. Based on general geographic location the scope selection as applied to the 6.5mm Creedmoor will varied a good deal. Western states hunters will want to push the effective sighting distance, while the brush country tree studded whitetail woods will require less power, but at times more in the area dealing with the basic field of view.
By example when I have hunted the 6.5 Creedmoor my gunning is between 200 through 550 yards downrange. In this case, the rifle used being one of four that range from the heavy chassis Ruger Precision series, to the T/C sniper chassis model, Ruger’s Hawkeye conventional stocked rifle, with a Winchester Model 70 wood stocked following up the pack. As in terms of a workable selection in a 6.5 Creedmoor, it is without question this is a very complete battery of rifles.
Because this cartridge is so well developed by Hornady the job tasking for the rifle and cartridge can range from extended target work to ultra long range big game. This takes a variety of rifles because long range shooting says one thing in terms of rifle design, while short range brush country hunting will dictate still another approach to the rifle’s design.
Along with all this previous information comes the selection in glass sights required for each application of the 6.5 Creedmoor rifle.
- Best Scopes For The 6.5 Creedmoor
Best Scopes For The 6.5 Creedmoor
Vortex Optics Copperhead 3-9X40 and 4-12X44 ( two units reviewed here)
Starting from closer range work that would include bush country, sagebrush, or buck brush landscapes the glass need not be massive on the 6.5 chambered rifle. Buying more scope than required is a mistake and as such keeping the requirements in line with the event undertaken makes some basic sense here.
This Vortex model is offered in both 3-9X40, and 4-12×44 In general I will press toward the 3-9 power glass with a workable objective lens every time hen it comes to the basic deer rifle. Let’s face it the once-a-year deer hunter is best off staying inside a couple of hundred yards if that when take a crack at an adult whitetail deer. Also, this class scope can do it all even when pushing range as in the open country American west by simple moving to the 4-12X44 power glass. Flexible is the word here and Vortex has given this whole subject some serious thought.
Point to in this review is that the scope is not a bank buster that is going to short the house mortgage, or take food off the table for the little ones. Super reasonable and covered by the manufacturer it is hard to go wrong here when putting glass on the old once-a-year used deer rifle.
The scope uses the BDCX reticle which is easy to get the handoff, weight in a 14.8 ounces keeping it under the excess weight of a telephone pole. Making an estimated holdover with this scope reticle system is a breeze, and shots to even 300 yards are very workable if required. Remember the 3X9 power glass is among the most popular within the industry today regarding sales.
This scope retains a hard anodized single piece aircraft aluminum main tube, 0-rings are sealed and the unit is waterproof and resistant to bad weather afield.
Good light transmission is a part of the Vortex product design, and the scope will show no target fade to 300 yards.
This is a second focal plane system and uses fixed caps and MOA adjustments on the turrets. The main tube is a one-inch-sized unit.
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9X40mm
A move up just a bit and into some outstanding glass that will not fade a target for a very long way under good light conditions is the Leupold VX-Freedom.
Back in the day we call this glass the “ Gold ring” and that was that. Any deer hunter knows what you were shooting and even today I still have this scope on my Pre 1964 Model 70 Winchester in 30-06 Springfield.
The scope has never been regarding zeroed in all these years ( 1964 procured). What that I rest my case on Leupold quality and performance being this rifle has harvested at least 50 whitetails on that many hunts over the years with coyote, ground squirrel, woodchuck, badger and a host of other targets tacked on to the mix.
Leupold offers this scope with the Duplex CDS reticle and in a matt exterior finish. The tube is built of 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum, and each tube is punisher tested and given a lifetime guarantee by Leupold optics. The glass in these scopes is not glued as they are on others, but hand-fitted, and set to an exact tolerance limit.
Light control on the unit is governed by the Leupold “ Light Management System,” which will add a least 10 minutes to the front and back of your hunting day.
As applied to the 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge this scope is effective to 400 yards as I have taken many mountain mule deer with just this Leupold basic design in hunting rifle glass.
This scope makes use of the open turret design and is set up in MOA graduations. This means clicking up for longer range shots is possible. As for ballistics that needs to be observed here the 6.5 Creed more is a hair on shooter to 375 yards with some old over or click upon the elevation turret after that. In effect, this scope can be pressed to longer range shots because of the target-style turrets.
In effect, this basic scope is a one-inch tube design, but it is right in the Leupold flexible team with four others that move to the 30mm tube size. The unit is flexible and adaptable for any level of rifle glass that ranges from long range shooting to bush country use. ( Based on five different VX series Leupold scopes ). All scope are American built and carry the Leupold lifetime warranty.
Here we have an example of a modestly price scope by Bushnell that carries many of the tools required of the long range hunter.
Remember, the 6.5 Creedmoor can push bullets to ranges well beyond 1000 yards. Recently I shot a 1000 yard steel target series with my Ruger Precision as a reference for Gun Digest Annual ( pictured in this article ) using Hornady 140 grain MATCH grade ammunition. Shooting the big rifle, and by way of some special custom made ultra long range glass, I could have pushed my range up again at least 300 additional yards with no trouble at all.
This scope retains the illuminated reticle feature ( crosshairs), and the system retains up to six different levels of illumination on board.
The open sniper/target style turrets allows the shooter to gain quick access to additional elevation for long shots as well as wind drift correcting. The large throw level will allow the shooter to change magnification quickly. As an example, I like to search with high power when hunting the mountains and when I find my target drop back to a lower range power for the actual shot. The large control arm on this scope allows the shooter to stay in the scope as he works the magnification function.
This is a modestly priced scope that retains good light control, above average grade glass, is sealed against field conditions, and is built Bushnell tough. I use this brand in many different configurations and all of them have never failed me yet.
Click adjustments for elevation include 6.5 Creedmoor settings as well as 308 Winchester. ( BDC)
Night Force SHV 3-10×42
Moving into the higher end glass, and that is just for basic ID here because I can assure you others I have listed offer the same general types of advanced rifle glass, here are the details regarding Night Force optics and the above listed scope sight.
This SHV 3-10X42 is a well made optical system and can work out well as applied to the 6.5 Creedmoor. Because the Creedmoor concept in cartridges has taken into account some very flexible range options that can work out in timber through mountain country the Night Force fits that profile to a tee.
This scope retains the 42mm object lens and that means light gathering ability for sure. The reticle in this scope offers up an option to the buyer that can be the Fourplex style crosshairs or the MOAR reticle. This means both long and medium ranges are covered in terms of objective lens sub tension selection.
The scope makes use of the 30mm tube body being larger with larger internals for tough duty use. The turret is set up in .25 MOA adjustments and retains a side adjustment for parallax that ranges from 25 yards to infinity.
This scope makes use of center point illumination for low light shooting conditions. As a deer hunter’s glass sight paired with the very effective 6.5 Creedmoor round it is a solid bet you’re going to hit the first shot every time if you do the work to get that good downrange.
Nightforce NXS C429 3.5-15X50 Zero stop SFP .250 MOA illumination
Now it is time to address the western hunter in mountain country glassing for sheep, or the goat hunter out on the open prairie looking for the special trophy buck of a lifetime.
Take it from me as I have succeeded at a 540 yard shot with the 6.5 Creedmoor using a long-range sniper-grade glass sight. Take it for a fact the 6.5 Creedmoor can do the deal at that range like falling off a log.
This is a big boy’s toy and at double the price of the most good, or even great scopes it had better be just that.
This scope is illuminated and is adjustable for low or brighter lighting conditions. The sub tensions on the sight are sniper grade and retain the full line of drop and elevation hash marks. The zero stop system allows the shooter to return to his correct zero and making the ranging zero at 100 yards or more each and every time. The system can be used without any light or with winter gloves when required. Simply move for the elevation adjust desired back to the zero and the ring will stop at that point with proper correction every time.
In terms of long range game or just shooting steel at extended range, this is a possible higher end go-to glass sighting system.
Leupold MARK 5HD 5-25X56mm
When I selected a scope for my Browning A-Bolt 6.5 Creedmoor, Leupold got the call and the very high grade sniper level MARK 5 got bolted on top of this outstanding long range varmint / big game rig.
This is a professional model in glass sights, and yes it can break the bank in some cases, but if you’re hunting a good deal as a pro staff shooter, or even just want to spend vast times afield shooting at long range this scope is a solid investment to be sure.
The Leupold makes use of a Tremor 3 reticle regarding sub tensions, carries a dull matt finish for hunting, retains the Leupold M5C3 turrets that are open for fast adjustment, but at a lower profile, and retains 1/10 mil clicks at 30 total mil adjust travel around the ring in clicks.
The scope is set up in the first focal plane, and the shooter can bring up the cross hair size to the amount of magnification being dialed through the glass. The most standard Leupold Twilight Max HD system in this scopes glass will allow a full 30 minutes of shooting light covering both AM and PM times of the day.
Own lifetime warranty, American grade materials and workmanship make this a solid investment. Remember, Leupold’s uses had set glass not glued in place at all. Detail is paramount in this case regarding this first rate sighting system.
Leupold VX-6HD 3-18X50
When your rifle platform size drops as in an AR-10, or a carbine 6.5 Creedmoor, reducing the scope size can make for a faster handling rifle all around. In brush or timber country that leads to open valleys or ridgeline rock projections can mean using a scope that is both more compact and also retains the long range capability’s commonly associated with military sniper glass.
This scope is much like the Leupold MARK 4 and is available to the general public as well.
The scope is of Leupold high end quality had set glass, one piece aircraft aluminum tube, and built to last a lifetime by you or the next owner if that be the case. Of late the new sniper rifles in the US Army are being shipped for the manufacture using Leupold MARK 5’s, this basic selected scope carries much the same internals as this reviewed VX 6HD glass sight.
With the fireDot Duplex CDS reticle, the scope is hunter ready out of the gate. Designed in 2016 and still sell the scope has become a mainstream offering by Leupold.
Eotech Vudu 5-25x50mm
In this final selected scope, I have turned to the Eotech model built in the first foal plan (FFP), measured 17X8X4 inches, and retains their XC high density glass.
This scope is built for good light transmission, and by the price tag to be considered a higher grade sight than most.
Made for flexible range applications being low to high magnifications this is a solid choice for both open country and tighter shooting situations in timber or brush.
The scope carries the companies lifetime warranty and retains a large professional grande 34mm tube size, this scope makes use of Christmas tree sub tensions, or basic sniper hash marks set up in an MRAD pattern offering ( Military based ). This sub tension display is illuminated by battery power / external, making it a good low to no light sighting system.
Eotech offer’s no less than six varied scopes within the designed battery just illustrated Subcompact through long range sniper glass are represented by the company.
Being the 6.5 Creedmoor is a very flexible and well received rifle cartridge today the choices in both firearms and glass sights seem almost endless. This is the 30-30 in terms of popularity among hunters and target shooters today. Others are being designed to compete with the 6.5 Creed, but for the most part this is the king of the hill, end of story.
Select glass designed for your choices in application. If the glass will not handle the task at hand you are not at all going to be pleased with the results. Take care, time, and effort when making that rifle scope selection.
With more than 50 years experience in the field and the testing lab, author L.P. Brezny is one of today’s most recognized shotgun experts and authors. He is a contributor to dozens of firearms publications, such as Wildfowl, Shotgun Sports, and Varmint Hunters, and he is a regular columnist in the Gun Digest annual as well as AmmoLand News.