Nikon M223 AR-15 Scope Review
Designed with the AR 15 type rifle in mind, the Nikon M-223 scope is calibrated for a 223 Remington cartridge that fires a polymer tipped 55gr bullet at 3240 feet per second. While these scopes may be marketed to the AR crowd they are equally useful for shooters of other styles of rifles that are using the above mentioned cartridge/bullet load, so don’t be surprised to see a Nikon M223 scope mounted on a bolt action rifle. While still relatively new, there haven’t been a whole lot of user reviews to sort through. However, at the industry level the M-223 received a “Best of the Best Award” from Field and Stream. Below is a brief description of the five models Nikon currently offers in this series of rifle scopes.
Nikon M-223 Key Information
|Model||1-4 x 20mm||2-8 x 32mm||3-12 x 42mm||4-16 x 42mm||2.5-10 x 40mm|
|Est. Price||$279||$330 - $349||$429 - $449||$449 - $469||$799|
|Eye Relief||4.1" - 4.0"||4.0" - 3.8"||4.0" - 3.7"||4.0" - 3.7"||3.5"|
|FOV 100 yds||92.9' - 23.1'||46.2' - 11.5'||33.6' - 8.4'||25.2'-6.3'||34.5'-9.2'|
|Parallax Adj.||No||No||Side Focus||Side Focus||No|
|Reticle||Point Blank|| NikoPlex|
1-4x20 – While its Point Blank reticle gives a clue as to this rifle scopes intended use, it does have allow for shoots out to 200 yards. Windage and elevation adjustments are made in 1/2moa, and the scope is set parallax free a 100 yards. The 1-4 x 20mm scope is about 10.4” long and weighs in at just under14oz.
2-8x32 – This model is available with two different choices in reticles: the NikoPlex, and the BDC 600. The NikoPlex version is basically a duplex crosshair; however, these models come with what Nikon is calling a Rapid Action Turret that is calibrated for the 223 Remingtion load mentioned above. Shooters of this model turn the elevation turret to desired distance and hold the crosshair dead on. The scopes the have the BDC 600 reticle have aiming circles calibrated for the 223 Remington load, previously mentioned, out to 600 yards, so the shooter selects the dot that matches the distance and fires while holding the appropriate circle on the target.
3-12x42 – Like the 2-8 x 32mm model, it is available with either the NikoPlex reticle with Rapid Action Turret or with the BDC 600 reticle. While just over 13” inches long they come in at under 20oz and feature a side focus parallax adjustment. Also, like all scopes in the M-223 series they feature the same 95% light transmission found on Nikon’s top of the line Monarch rifle scopes.
4-16x42 - This this higher magnification configuration is for shooters that want to stretch the capabilities of their AR-15. The 4-16x42 model comes with a choice of BDC 600 reticle or NikoPlex; the NikoPlex version has the custom elevation dials for making yardage adjustment and both models feature a side focus parallax adjustment knob.
2.5-10x40mm IRT - The only thing better than having an AR-15 scope that gives you precise aiming points out to 600 yards, is having an Nikon AR-15 scope that gives you aiming points and tells you the range. Yep Nikon did it, they introduced a range finding scope for the AR-15 market. The Nikon M223 IRT (Immediate Ranging Technology) scope will range the distance to your target, then all you have to do is line up the corresponding circle on the BDC 600 reticle and pull the trigger.
These scopes are designed to make shooting the AR 15 a simple task even at great distances. Whether you like to dial in the distance or holdover, the Nikon M-223 has options available for both. Also, noteworthy is the side focus parallax adjustment found on the 3-12x42 and 4-16x42 models, as this is generally the preferred method of adjustment verses an adjustable objective which requires turning the front bell of the rifle scope to clear parallax, a method still used by many optics manufactures. Another positive of these scopes is they carry a full lifetime warranty. All in all these appear to be high quality scopes designed for a pretty specific but common application.
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