If you are a serious hunter or marksman who is demanding about the accuracy of your shot, a quality rifle scope is a necessity. But not all scopes are made equally and some rifles require special scopes. The AR-15 rifle is one that demands a quality scope, but not every scope will work well with the AR-15.
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To solve this dilemma Nikon has produced a series of scopes designed for specific rifles. While many of their scopes can be used on most rifles, these specialty scopes are made with a more narrow application in mind.
With our review of the Nikon P-223 3-9×40, we’ll give you everything you need to know to help you decide if this rifle scope is right for you.
The Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 Review
The first thing you should note about this P-223 riflescope is that, as we mentioned above, it is specifically designed for AR rifles. The AR-15 rifle has become one of the most popular semi-automatic rifles on the market, and for that reason, the subject of a lot of controversy. Much legislation time has been spent debating these rifles, but that has not slowed their popularity with gun enthusiasts.
While the P-223 is designed with AR rifles in mind that does not mean that you cannot use it with other rifles. Users report great success with the P-223 while mounting it on various Remington Bolt-Action rifles. The settings for the P-223 are specifically present for an AR rifle, so you will have to make some adjustments if using this scope with a different model. But with Nikon’s Spot-On™ technology you will be able to do this quickly and easily.
This P-223 is designed for short to mid-range targets (up to 600 yards). The magnification runs from 3 times to 9 times. While this does not necessarily affect range, it does affect the degree to which you can see your target at different distances. You can easily adjust the magnification of the scope with a dial located right on the eyepiece. This makes it simple to dial in quick adjustments to your magnification while in the field.
The reticle on this model is preset to fit the AR-15 rifle with the Remington .223 or 5.56 NATO cartridge. The reticle is set for 100 yards with these specifications. It also comes with Nikon’s BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) dots below the center of the crosshairs.
Once you have your scope sighted at 100 yards it is easy to compensate for targets out at a farther distance. Because bullets travel at an arc, you have to aim slightly higher the further away your target is. This is much like when you want to throw a football at a long distance, you have to throw it higher and make a bigger arc so that it can travel farther.
But just guessing how much higher to aim is not what you want if precision matters. And what’s the point of having a scope, it not to be precise? That’s where the BDC reticle comes in handy. Each dot below the crosshairs represents 100 yards of compensation. So, if your target is 300 yards away, you want to aim with the second dot below the crosshairs (because it is zeroed in at 100 yards).
The BDC compensator makes it easy to quickly adjust for distances from 100 to 600 yards at 100-yard increments. You do not have to play the guessing game when it comes to hitting targets at different distances.
And if you are using the P-223 on a different rifle with different ammunition, then you simply consult Nikon’s Spot-On™ technology to learn how where you need to aim at different distances. This technology can be accessed from your mobile device making it easier than ever to make adjustments while in the field.
The objective lens on the P-223 is 40mm and it is fully multi-coated for excellent performance. With this size of a lens and the coatings that Nikon covers them in, you should receive upwards of 98% light transmission. This will give you clear and bright images even in low-light settings like on a cloudy day or at dusk or dawn. With these lenses, you won’t have to worry about being able to see through the scope.
Eye relief refers to the distance your eye needs to be away from the eyepiece in order to see through the scope well. The P-223, being designed for the AR rifle, has an eye relief around 3.6 inches. This should be the perfect range for securing the rifle in a firing position against your shoulder and looking through the scope without having to reposition yourself.
It also allows a nice comfort zone with the heavy recoil action of the rifle. You will not have to worry about being hit by the scope when the rifle recoils because your eye will be several inches away.
The turrets on the Nikon P-223 make it very easy to zero in your sight and make adjustments as necessary. The turrets allow for a ¼ minute of angle adjustment so that your scope can be set at zero for different distances. The turret will give a hard click with every ¼ minute of angle adjustment so that you can be sure your sight is set with precision. You can adjust the scope up
They also come with a zero-reset function so that if you have to make adjustments in the field you can easily return your scope to its previous settings. Or you can easily reset you zero function by lifting the knob and rotating back to zero.
The turrets are also resistant to shifting even with heavy recoil. No matter how much the rifle moves, you can be sure that your settings will remain intact.
Though not usually a huge concern for hunters or marksmen, the P-223 does come with an adjustable parallax setting. Parallax is a phenomenon that occurs when your object of focus (your target) is not on the same plane as the reticle. This will create a “rolling” effect if you move your head around while peering through the scope.
Once you set the focal planes, you should not have to adjust the parallax when shooting 100 to 600 yards. But if you need to, the P-223 can be adjusted to compensate for any aberrations you encounter.
As with their other scopes, Nikon has gone the extra mile to make sure your rifle scope will work in various weather conditions. The P-223 is filled with nitrogen and sealed with high-performance O-rings to ensure that the scope will not fog up in different humidity. This is particularly useful when hunting at dawn when the weather tends to fog glass.
The P-223 is also fully waterproof. So if you happen to get stuck in some unfriendly weather, you do not have to worry about damaging your scope.
The center tube of the P-223 is 1 inch in diameter, and with the 40mm objective lens, this should give you the ability to look around the scope without having to make much adjustment.
At 17.1 ounces in weight and 12.4 inches in length, this scope is relatively lightweight and will hardly be noticeable as you carry your rifle. And the black matte finish should match nicely with most AR-15 rifle designs.
What Is the Warranty on the Nikon P-223?
Nikon offers a great warranty on all their rifle scopes. Should anything happen to the rifle scope, Nikon will repair or replace it at their discretion for life. This excludes any electronic devices, but since the P-223 lacks any electronics, this won’t apply to this rifle scope. With their “no fault” guarantee, you can be sure that Nikon will stand behind this rifle scope.
How Do I Mount the P-223?
You will want to make sure your scope is mounted properly on your rifle; otherwise, it is hardly worth the trouble buying a precision instrument like the P-223.
While there are several options for mounting this rifle scope, Nikon makes a mount specifically for its P-series scopes. These Nikon P-Series Mounts are a two-unit design that makes it easier to customize where you place the scope on your rifle. They are also designed at just the right height so that you will have the scope at a natural position for aiming.
For short range applications, few rifles will outperform the AR-15, but a rifle alone does not guarantee an accurate shot. With the Nikon P-223, you get all the great craftsmanship and precision that Nikon is known for specifically designed for your AR-15 rifle.
When it comes to the best rifle scopes on the market, Nikon is a leading manufacturer, and with this scope, you can be sure that each and every shot will be precise and accurate. With the versatility to set the scope at different ranges and the BDC reticle, adjusting for different conditions while in the field is simple.
If you’re looking for a quality scope for your AR-15, you cannot go wrong with the Nikon P-223.