Top 3 Best Scopes for 223 Caliber Rifles

223 caliber

The .223 Remington is a popular rifle cartridge that shares almost the same external size dimensions with the 5.56x45mm NATO round. It comes in different weights depending on the manufacturer, with options ranging from 40 to 90 grains. Bullets weighing 38-55gr (2.5 to 3.6g) are mostly used with bolt-action varmint rifles that offer a 1-in-12 rate of twist. Heavier .223 Remington rounds of up to 69gr are mostly used on law enforcement or home defense semi-automatic rifles such as the Ruger Mini-14 and AR-15s, which are commonly found to have twist rates of 1-in-7, 1-in-8, or 1-in-9.

Preview
Best Budget Scope
Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm
Top Pick
Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
Best Fixed Magnification
Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ACSS Reticle PAC5X
Title
Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm
Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ACSS Reticle PAC5X
Magnification
3-9x
3-9x
5x Fixed
Reticle
Drop Zone-223 BDC
MK1-MOA or MK1-MRAD
ACSS Standard 5.56 / 5.45 / .308
Objective Diameter
40 mm
40 mm
N/A
Eye Relief
3.7 in
3.6 in
3.0 in
Tube Diameter
1 in
1 in
N/A
Weight
21 oz
16.9 oz
17.6 oz
Best Budget Scope
Preview
Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm
Title
Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm
Magnification
3-9x
Reticle
Drop Zone-223 BDC
Objective Diameter
40 mm
Eye Relief
3.7 in
Tube Diameter
1 in
Weight
21 oz
More Information
Top Pick
Preview
Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
Title
Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
Magnification
3-9x
Reticle
MK1-MOA or MK1-MRAD
Objective Diameter
40 mm
Eye Relief
3.6 in
Tube Diameter
1 in
Weight
16.9 oz
More Information
Best Fixed Magnification
Preview
Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ACSS Reticle PAC5X
Title
Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ACSS Reticle PAC5X
Magnification
5x Fixed
Reticle
ACSS Standard 5.56 / 5.45 / .308
Objective Diameter
N/A
Eye Relief
3.0 in
Tube Diameter
N/A
Weight
17.6 oz
More Information

Generally, the small and fragile .223 Remington rounds splinter on impact, allowing almost no penetration through the target. While this fragmentation and lack of penetration is a desirable trait when looking to incapacitate a target, it calls for precise shot placement. The concern for insufficient penetration also leaves almost no room for error. Additionally, nothing increases accuracy when firing .223 Remington ammunition than a good riflescope.

If you’re looking to outfit a .223 caliber rifle with a scope, then you need to find one that can take full advantage of this round’s effective range. The .223 Remington has a maximum effective range of up to 600 yards on a calm day. However, its progressive loss of velocity and the effects of wind greatly compromise accuracy and effectives at such long distances. When used within fairly short distances of 100-300 yards, this round can deliver lethal terminal ballistics with a greater level of accuracy.

With these facts in mind, it becomes easier to match your .223 Remington rifle with a scope that will provide ample magnification. However, there’s still a lot more to consider when selecting the best scope for 223 caliber rifles. For instance, any good riflescope will need to be durable, versatile, and provide excellent light transmission as well as optical clarity. The following are three of the best .223 scopes that match these criteria while giving you a good range of price points from which to choose.

 

Nikon P223

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
  • Generous, Consistent Eye Relief-Keeps your brow safe-even with the heaviest recoiling cartridges, lightweight rifles, and severe shooting angles.
  • BDC 600 Reticle-Developed specifically for the trajectory of the .223 Rem /5.56 NATO round with 55-grain polymer tip bullet, the BDC 600 reticle offers shooters unique open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards.
  • Precise, 1/4-MOA Hand-turn Tactical-Style, Zero-Reset Turrets-Positive click reticle adjustments get you zeroed in quicker and maintain your setting-even withrepeated recoil.
  • 100-yard Parallax Setting-Eliminates parallax for precise shooting.
  • Waterproof/Fogproof-Nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed

Nikon produces riflescopes designed for specific calibers in their P series line. As the name implies, the Nikon 3-9x40mm P223 (Review) was precisely designed for the .223 Rem round. This feature-rich model packs a lot of value for scope priced in the mid-range section.

For starters, its bullet drop compensator was developed while keeping in mind the trajectory of 55-grain .223/5.56 NATO rounds with polymer tips. The BDC reticle is remarkably easy to use and provides precise 1/4 MOA reticle adjustments. It also offers shooters a unique open circle aiming point with harsh marks ranging from 100 to 600 yards.

If you’re using heavy recoiling .223 rounds, a lightweight rifle or shooting from tight angles, this scope offers a generous eye relief to protect your eyebrow from bumps. What’s more, it comes with a fixed parallax setting to eliminate errors at 100 yards.

In spite of being a budget scope, the Nikon P223 doesn’t lack anything when it comes to ruggedness. Its o-ring sealed nitrogen filled housing is resistant to fog, water, or hard knocks.

 

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223

Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm
  • AR/223 rifle scope 3-9x40mm
  • Category name: scopes
  • Made in USA or imported
  • Drop Zone-223 BDC Ballistic Reticle is calibrated for 55-62 grain, 223 REM/5.556 loads with aiming points out to 500 yards
  • Side focus parallax adjustment for adjustable long-range accuracy and a fast-focus eyepiece

The Bushnell AR Optics with Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle is versatile. Its multi-coated glass produce bright, clear images. Along with its 3-9x variable magnification, you should easily make precise shots at your .223’s maximum effective range.

Fine-tune your accuracy with the target turrets 1/4 MOA click value and fast-focus eyepiece. The side-mount turret is fully adjustable to eliminate parallax for long-range accuracy.

You don’t have to worry about defects. This scope is covered by Bushnell’s Ironclad Warranty. This lifetime warranty is completely transferable. You don’t even have to show proof of purchase.

Bushnell’s high quality optics are second only to their impressive build quality. The scope is made of anodized-finished, rust-proof aluminum alloy which was sealed with an O-ring and nitrogen purged to keep the internals clean and dry. This thing is tough and will take a beating.

Primary Arms 5X Prism Scope

Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Hunting Scope w/ACSS Reticle PAC5X
  • 5X MAGNIFICATION: This prism scope has fixed magnification at 5x.
  • ACSS STANDARD 5.56 / 5.45 / .308 RETICLE: Provides quick ranging, wind holds and moving target leads for .223 Remington, .308 Winchester, and 5.45x39.
  • ILLUMINATION: A CR2032 battery illuminates the center through 5 red brightness settings and 5 green brightness settings.
  • MOUNTING OPTIONS: 1913 Picatinny mount is included but ACOG, quick detach (QD), and standard bases can also be used.

Fans of simple, fixed magnification scopes will love the Primary Arms 5x Prism Scope with ACSS Reticle. It is very easy to use.

Available models come with either .308 Win or .223 Rem reticles. The bullet drop compensator features what Primary Arms calls auto range technology, for fast target acquisition.

You have 5 red and 5 green brightness settings, which are illuminated by a CR2032 battery. It sports a fast focal plane reticle as well for easy aiming of moving targets. Thanks to the ACSS 5-10 mph wind holds, you can also account for bullet drift with this riflescope.

One place the this scope falls short is the warranty. Unlike the other scopes on our list with lifetime warranties. Primary Arms only offers a 3-year warranty.

When it comes to build quality, the Primary Arms ACSS does not disappoint. No worries about recoil or extreme weather. This scope is durable, featuring a shock, water, and fog proof housing that will hold up to the rigors of field use.

Conclusion

Remember that the best scope for 223 rifles is one that will allow you to zoom in on targets over a range of distances, built to last, and provides high quality optics. There are many other riflescopes that support .223 caliber rifles on the market besides those mentioned above. However, these three suggestions provide good choices for comparison if you don’t know where to start.

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope Review

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope4

The Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, 4.5-18x 40mm is an essential powered riflescope that provides great value to the shooter. This unit has many features that are commonly found in expensive scopes and considering its price, you can be sure it is worth every penny.

This new riflescope from Bushnell offers what most customers want as provides all the essential features you may need such as multi coated optics, bullet drop compensator and rugged target tubes.

The Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope is well-built and can withstand the strengths of firing the 223 Remington/ 5.56 NATO round. Its Reticle is easy to read BDC (Bullet drop compensator) and allows the shooter to have accurate shots in 100-yard increments out of 500 yards.  The glass quality used in Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope is very high and clear enough. The riflescope offers reliable magnification in the 4.5 to 18 power range.

Pros

This riflescope is quite affordable and set for two popular 223 Remington/5.56 NATO loads; the 55 grain and 62 grain rounds. Unlike the classic Mil Dot Reticle and traditional hunting Reticle, the BDC allows the shooter to move up to 100-yard increments out of 500 yards.

The Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, 4.5-18x 40mm uses a patented return to zero adjustment system, which makes setting the scope and bore sighting much easier.

 

Cons

Sometimes setting up this riflescope can be challenging, especially if you don’t mount it properly. Setting up is not as easy as ‘plug and play’ as other scopes because you will have to spend a few hours to set it properly in its rings and on the rifle for bore sighting. However, with good concentration, it’s not an impossible task at all!

Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope2

Features

Eye Relief (in. / mm): 3.7 / 95

Exit Pupil (mm): [email protected] / [email protected]

Click Value (in. @1000yds / mm @100m): 0.25 / 6.95

Adj. Range (in. @100yds / m @100m): +55 / 1.5

Mounting Length (in. / mm): 4.8 / 124

Finish: Matte

Focal Plane: Second

Reticle: Drop Zone-223 BDC

Power / Obj. Lens: 3-9x 40mm

Field of View (ft @100yds / m @100m): 31/[email protected] / 11/3/@9x

Tube Diameter: 1 in.

Length (in. / mm): 12.2 / 310

Weight (oz / g): 21 / 600

 

Conclusion

Anyone looking for a modern riflescope that has been built with high technology and skilled labor should purchase this unit. The Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope is a high quality optic at a reasonable price. Definitely a smart buy.

Nikon M-223 2.5-10x40mm Laser IRT M-223 Riflescope, Matte w/ BDC 600 Reticle Review

Nikon M-223 2.5-10x40mm Laser IRT M-223 Riflescope

Hunting is a very challenging activity, especially when targeting animals from long distances. However, firing from a distance becomes easier with riflescopes like the Nikon M-223 2.5-10x40mm Laser IRT M-223 Riflescope, Matte w/ BDC 600 Reticle. This riflescope is a practical investment, as it combines speed, precision, and accuracy in one handy piece of equipment.

 

Nikon M-223 2.5-10x40mm Laser IRT M-223 Riflescope

 

Features:

This scope is equipped with Nikon’s Immediate Ranging Technology.  Its BDC 600 reticle provides shooters with distinctively open circle aiming points, capable of assisting them in shooting from a distance as far as 600 yards. It has an eye relief of 3.5 inches and is integrated with the Ultra ClearCoat optical system. With the said feature, shooters can see their targets very clearly, even if they are several hundred yards away from it.

Other features of this scope are a remote control that connects to most rifles, as well as a low-profile mounting system and zoom control with reference numbers that can be seen from the shooter’s position.

 

Pros and Cons:

The scope makes shooting from long distances seem like child’s play. Its IRT feature enables shooters to accurately hit a target from up to 600 yards away. After putting the reticle on the target, a shooter simply has to push the activator button of the scope. He then chooses the appropriate ballistic circle on the reticle. He has enough time to prepare for his shot, as the scope will continue to show the distance in just 12 seconds.

This particular feature makes it an ideal hunting companion, especially when shooting moving targets. It is also easy to make field adjustments with this scope. A shooter simply has to spot at 100 yards and adjust the knob to zero before re-engaging.

Aside from these advanced features, the scope also benefits from the solid reputation of Nikon. The brand is recognized as a global leader in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of riflescopes.

The only downside to buying this scope is the amount of money that a shooter would have to spend. Priced at more than $600, not everyone can afford to own one!

Conclusion:

Despite the prohibitive price of the Nikon M-223 2.5-10x40mm Laser IRT M-223 Riflescope, Matte w/ BDC 600 Reticle, it cannot be denied that it is a very practical and interesting addition to any shooter’s hunting gear.

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 Review

nikon p223Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 review: There are a wide variety of AR15 scopes on the market today, with all kinds of different features and specialties. Many companies are constantly updating their models with new improvements to keep up with the competition. It is important to understand what is necessary, what is nice, and what is a good trade off for the price. First of all, for this scope, the buyer can have peace of mind knowing that it is developed by a mainstream, highly dependable and trustworthy optics company with a good record for quality products. The original $200 price point may seem a bit steep, but the value far exceeds the cost and a scope isn’t something that should be compromised on anyway.

 

What Nikon Forgot

                 Despite the wonderful quality of this product, there are a few faults. Most scopes today have color changing reticles, at least between two colors, in order to avoid color confusion when aiming at objects of similar color. The P-233 does not have this option. Additionally, the product does not come with rings, and does not have flip caps. These would be two convenient things to include. Not everyone desires flip caps, but they are a small and cheap item to package with the scope.

 The Good Side

                 Often times a brand will tout that its scope has certain features that do not function up to par – or in some cases, at all. The Nikon P-233 is fog and waterproof and does not fail to live up to these claims. This scope also keeps its zero extremely well. That means that despite moderate to strong recoil from one’s rifle, the scope will not get offset. Of course, after extended use this is bound to happen, but it will take quite some time. In the event that it does lose its zero, the P-233 offers ease of adjustment with standard macro and micro knobs. Unlike many other scopes of similar price range, it will not fail in the field unless it is seriously damaged. As is concurrent with the brand’s history, this scope is sturdily constructed and has great longevity.

Definitely a great choice.

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600
List Price: $199.95
Price Disclaimer

NIKON M-223 BDC 600 8489 3-12x42SF Riflescope (Black) Review

 

Nikon is a leader in the high-quality lenses industry. So, it makes sense that this riflescope is going to be top of the line. One of the most important aspects of any product is ease of use, and this scope delivers with incredible precision. It is ready to use right out of the box and has a wide range of uses. The scope provides stunning accuracy at 100, 300 and even 600 yards out, with a bullet drop compensator (BDC) that can be adjusted in 50 yard increments. The BDC also allows users to change from one distance to another without the need to make manual adjustments.

The Nikon M-223 BDC 600 8489 3-12x42SF riflescope has excellent clarity and works flawlessly in low-light conditions. The scope can easily be sighted within 10 to 20 rounds, and it will hold zero through hundreds and thousands of rounds.

The scope is made in the Philippines of aircraft-grade aluminum, which makes it lightweight and durable. It has a sleek design and just looks good. The craftsmanship on this piece is superb, and it holds steady and solid even when less-than-perfect ammo is used. The removable anti-reflective device does a great job at minimizing lens glare. Also included are two caps to keep the lens protected when not in use. A separate mount will be required, and the .223 mount works wonderfully.

NIKON M-223 BDC 600 8489 3-12x42SF Riflescope (Black)-2If there were to be any cons about this particular scope, it would be that the numbers on the turret are black to match the scope, which might make things difficult to see in low-light conditions. During the day, this doesn’t present a problem at all, especially when each adjustment is met with nice, crisp click. Also, there is no need for any kind of tools when adjusting.

As far as value, this riflescope outperforms all others in its price range. Considering how well it works, the price tag on this model makes it a steal. Anyone who thinks that this model is too expensive is welcome to try out one of the cheaper ones. Once they’ve wasted their money, they will certainly want to come back to this one. Those looking for an extremely reasonably priced scope that can handle mid to long distance shooting with little effort are sure to find themselves quite pleased with the M-223.

 

 

 

 

Nikon P-223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine Review

nikon p223

Well, before looking for info about the Nikon P-223 3×32 Matte BDC Carbine perhaps you didn’t know Nikon had any products for firearms. As Nikon has great products outside “scopes”, of course I wanted to see more when I saw this one. Most customers that have had this for a while now have gotten at least 300-400 rounds out of it and they have seen what this baby can do. I’ll say right off hand, you will be impressed with it!

Mounting this scope is very easy and quick; it will seat straight and upright, which is so welcomed– (other scopes are refused to sit straight for some reason). You will be happy with the wide field of view and depth of range provided when using this scope. The vision is so clear, it really is such a vast improvement from using the naked eye (at any range up to 200 yards). Your precision will probably increase greatly if you get this scope.

I like the little clicks that the turrets make as you make adjustments, it’s like a little reminder that you’ve made a change to your view, it’s something small, but I appreciate it. The turrets, well the whole scope, are built very well, and can withstand a little rugged handling.

The scope zeroes especially well, and once you’re there you can maintain that through a few hundred rounds, at least! It has been tried out on moving targets and in moving vehicles, and it is awesome. It just somehow makes it easier! You will improve your range from 100 to 450 yards, shooting with much more accuracy.

I would absolutely recommend this scope for any enthusiastic gunman out there. Nikon is an exceptional company, and they have created an awesome scope here. If you are struggling with some of the ballistics or technicalities, you can always download the app that goes along with this scope. It explains everything!

 

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