Top 3 Best Scopes for 223 Caliber Rifles
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.
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.
The Redfield Battlezone
The Redfield Battlezone is a close to mid-range scope. Its 3-9x variable magnification allows you to make precise shots at the .223’s maximum effective range. This scope produces bright, high contrast views throughout the zoom range thanks to Redfield’s advanced fully multicoated glass and its 42 mm objective lens.
To ensure great precision, the Redfield Battlezone features 1/4 MOA point correction. Its pop-up turrets for windage and elevation are finger adjustable and easy to use.
The Redfield Battlezone’s build quality is just as impressive as its high quality optics. Its lightweight single tube housing is made from nitrogen-purged aluminum to prevent fog build up. This unit is also shockproof and completely sealed to prevent water and dust from compromising performance. Best of all, Redfield offers a lifetime warranty to back up your Battlezone scope.
Nikon produces riflescopes designed for specific calibers in their P series line. As the name implies, the Nikon 3-9x40mm P223 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.
Primary Arms ACSS
The Primary Arms ACSS scope is built around specific rounds. Available models come with either.308 Win or .223 Rem reticles. The bullet drop compensator features what Primary Arms calls auto range technology, which facilitates fast target acquisition.
This 3-14x44mm variable scope can provide optimum target aiming from close to long range. 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.
When it comes to build quality, the Primary Arms ACSS does not disappoint. It features a shock, water, and fog proof housing that will hold up to the rigors of field use.
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.