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Nikon P-223 Scope Review - Affordable AR Optics

Nikon was no doubt happy with the warm reception their M-223 scopes received and decided to introduce another .223/5.56  AR-15 scope line called the P-223. While similar in many ways to the M223 scopes, the P223 riflescope series is designed to be a more budget friendly option for AR shooters. The Nikon P-223 review below highlights the most important features of these new scopes.

Nikon P-223 Key Information

Model 3x32mm 3-9 x 40mm 4-12 x 40mm

Nikon P-223 3x32mmBuy Now >>

Nikon P-223 3-9x40mmBuy Now >>

Nikon P-223 4-12x40Buy Now >>

Est. Price $149 $199 $239
Eye Relief 3.4" 3.6" 3.7"
Weight 12.2oz 17.1oz 17.5oz
Length 8.1" 12.4" 14.1"
Finish Matte Matte Matte
FOV 100 yds 35.6' 33.8' - 11.3' 23.6" - 7.3"
Reticle BCD Carbine BDC 600 BDC 600


M-223 vs. P-223
Series – The M-223 series is based on the top of the line Nikon Monarch series, while the new P-223 riflescopes appear to be built based on the updated Nikon Prostaff series. While the Prostaff series is Nikon’s entry level scope, the entire Prostaff series recently received a thorough update to bring the line up to date.


Configurations - Having been on the market for awhile now, the M-223 series has grown to include the following configurations: 1-4x20mm, 2-8x32mm, 3-12x42mm, 4-16x42mm, and even a 2.5-10x40mm rangefinder scope. Being the new kid on the block, this series is currently available in three options a 3x32mm, 3-9x40mm, and 4-12x40mm. However, these P-223 magnification/objective combinations nicely fill the gaps in the M-223 line and are useful configurations for AR shooters.


Price – Besides filling in the gaps in the M223 series magnification wise, the P223 also fills in the gaps budget wise as well. With the Nikon M-223 model in a 2-8x32mm configuration selling for around $330, the P-223 3x32mm price tag of $149, and the P-223 3-9x40mm price tag of $199 will open up the Nikon AR-15 optics line to a large amount of shooters that were priced out of the M-223 series.


What’s the Same

223 Calibration – As the name implies the main theme of these scopes are the 223 Remington and 5.56 Nato cartridge; so as with the M223 series, the new  P223 riflescope series is designed for accurately shooting a “55-grain polymer tipped bullet” out to ranges of 600 yards. These scopes should also work well with loads that duplicate the ballistics path of the above mentioned 55gr load.


Tactical Turrets – The P-223 scopes have finger adjustable windage and elevation dials, this allows the shooter to quickly make adjustments to the point of aim with gloves on and without having to remove scope caps. Furthermore, both these series of scopes feature zero reset turrets that let you sight the scope in according to your preference and then by lifting up on the turret, you can rotate the marks back to zero without changing your sight-in settings.


What’s New
Nikon P-223 MountMounts – While both the P-223 and M-223 scopes are built on a 1” main tube and can mounted using a wide variety of bases and rings, both series have introduced their own line of mounts. The M-223 mount features a one piece system with the rings built into the base and is designed to mount directly onto a Picatinny rail. The P-223 mounts are a little different, while the rings are again built into the base, each ring/base is a separate unit, so in more traditional mounting system you could consider the M-223 mount as a one piece base (with integrated rings) and the P-223 as a two piece base with integrated rings).


BDC Carbine Reticle – While the P-223 3-9x40 version features the BDC reticle featured on many of the M-223 scopes, the Nikon P-223 3x32 utilizes Nikon’s new BDC Carbine reticle. While the BDC 600 reticle uses a hundred yard sight in for the crosshairs and then holdover circles each hundred yards out to 600 yards; the BDC Carbine reticle utilizes a 200 yard sight in with the crosshairs and features a hash mark for 400 yards and 600 yards aiming points.


Useful Models - The Nikon M-223 scopes have met with great success, so it is good to see them offer a more affordable version. The Nikon P-223 scope series is for those who want a .223/5.56 specific scope for their AR-15 without breaking the bank. Nikon also did a good job picking the magnification for the P-223 scopes filling in the gaps in the M-223 line with useful configurations.


3x32 - The 3x32 version is particularly interesting because it is a small compact model that many shooters are looking for yet still has the ability to reach out to 600 yards. While the BDC Carbine reticle doesn’t offer the same level of precision aiming points as the BDC 600 for long range shooting; many AR-15 shooters spend the majority of their time shooting at 200 yards and less, and will probably be content to sacrifice some long range precision for compactness.



Nikon P223The P-223 series scope have been a big hit with AR-15 style shooters who want a caliber specific optic to mount on their rifles at an affordable price. Nikon has decided to expand the line to include a 4-12x40 model for those needing more magnification than offered by the 3-9x40 versions. Unique on this new model is that it features both the BDC 600 holdover reticle and a yardage marked elevation dial; where the 3-9x40 models that feature the BDC reticle come with a standard 1/4 MOA elevation turrets. This new model also appears to be reasonably price at around $250 dollars.


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