Nikon P-22 Rimfire Scope Review
Rimfire shooters are smiling, the new Nikon P-22 scope is designed for shooters of the .22 long rifle especially the tactical style AR .22 LR that have become so popular. Nikon found success in the AR-15 market with the M-223 scopes which are calibrated specifically for the 223/5.56 cartridge. Realizing that they were on to something good Nikon has introduced a .308 version the M-308, a budget .223/5.56 model the P-223, and a 22 LR version the P-22.
P-22 - These scopes appear to be built on the Nikon Prostaff series of riflescopes, which recently went through a major update. Like the updated Prostaff series this scope features zero reset turrets, so you can sight in your rifle then lift and rotate the turrets back to the starting position so future windage and elevation adjustments will begin at zero.
2-7x32 – Nikon’s initial offering is a 2-7x32mm configuration which is built on a standard 1” main tube. The Nikon P22 is set parallax free at 50 yards, and features tactical style finger adjustable windage and elevation turrets. These riflescopes come in a matte black finish and can be had with either a NikoPlex reticle with Rapid Action Turrets or a rimfire calibrated BDC 150 reticle.
Dial In Reticle – The Nikon P-22 version that utilizes a NikoPlex reticle (duplex) comes with two calibrated elevation dials, one for use with standard velocity .22 ammo, and the other for use with high velocity .22 ammo. Basically with this method you sight in at 50 yards and then when you want to shot farther you simply twist the elevation dial to the corresponding distance out to 150 yards.
Nikon BDC 150 – The version with the BDC 150 reticle still utilizes a 50 yards sight in but features four hold over circles for aiming points out to 150 yards. So instead of rotating the elevation dial like the other model here you just center the target in the circle that corresponds best to the distance you are shooting. The BDC appears to be based on high velocity .22 ammo; however, you can use the Nikon Spot On Tool on their website to customize it to your setup and load.
Nikon P-22 Scope Key Information
22LR Calibrated Scope
150 Yard Range
Set Parallax Free at 50 yards
Zero Reset Turrets
2-7 x 32mm
Pros – While these scopes were designed primarily for use on an AR style rifle in .22 caliber there really should be no reason that they wouldn’t work very well on most .22 LR rifle, particularly the BDC 150 model which can be matched closely with your setup through the use of the Spot On program. A quick note when you customize your setup to the scope it, the circle remain the same as always however for example the 150 yards circle might now represent a 137 yards for your setup. The website gives corresponding distances to the circles based on your ammunition velocity and other factors. The Nikon P-22 scopes could extended the useful range of many .22LR rifles, meaning that it can take the guess work out of holding over on distance targets, and make hits more likely. While many .22 rifles are capable of great accuracy out to 150 yards, they often don’t get shot out at longer distances because there is a fair amount of bullet drop to compensate for which adds to the difficultly of making distant shots.
Cons – While the P-22 scopes will probably be tough to get for awhile, and prices may come down, it appears initially that both of these models might be selling for around $180. While the P-22 appears to be a well thought out scope with it roots in the proven design of the M-223 and features of the Prostaff line, a price tag approaching $200 will turn off many shooters, again these are early pricing figures and actual prices may settle higher or lower. Perhaps this is why Nikon is specifying that the P-22 is for the tactical .22 AR style rifles as that type of rifle is generally relatively expensive when compared to something like a Ruger 10/22. That’s not to say that they aren't worth $180-$200, just that a lot of rimfire shooters wouldn’t spend that on a rimfire scope; however there are a lot that probably will.
The Nikon P-22 scope is an innovative optic that will probably find good success with the .22LR community; however, pricing might prove to be an issue at least until the smoke clears and they become widely available. Overall, Nikon does indeed appear to have a winning recipe with the caliber specific elevation dials and customized BDC reticles. Those who like the idea of this scope might want to get on a waiting list, or Pre-Order from your favorite retailer as these will probably be difficult to get for awhile.
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