Best Scope for 223 – The 4 Top Optics in 2018

As a hunter, the 223 really makes a lot of sense. Even though it isn’t quite as fast as the .22-250 it is much faster than the .222 Rem. And, this really isn’t a bad place to start. It offers plenty enough velocity and accuracy to get you a dead-on kill even time, as long your aim is true. This is exactly where the best scope for 223 can come in handy.

What Makes It So Great?

  • Military design that can be used specifically for hunting
  • Offers a better twist ratio than 22-250
  • Heavier with a slower velocity to help during windy conditions
  • Can handle a larger game

When you picture your dream bullet you want something that is accurate, cost friendly, and accurate. Well, you might be surprised to learn that you have just described the .223 down to the nose. When you utilize a .223 scope with this scope with your rifle, you won’t have a problem cleanly taking down large game in windy or long-range conditions.

In addition to this, these cartridges run on less than thirty grains of powder, which makes them extremely cost friendly. And, if you like to reload your own, you can even get more bang for your buck with these friendly bullets. When you combine these qualities with the fact that the .223 works well in bolt guns and AR platforms, you are truly looking at one versatile and reliable bullet.

However, these aren’t the only guns that can utilize these powerful cartridges. The Ruger Mini-14 and other autoloaders can be fitted with this type of ammunition as well.

Going The Distance: Maximize Your Shooting Range

The .223 really is a great teaching tool and it is even extremely enjoyable to shoot with. Despite its carrying lengths and its weight, it does come along with extremely low recoil. This makes it the perfect ammunition for the beginner or novice. Of course, if you are truly looking to maximize your shooting distance and accuracy you are going to need to invest in the best scope for 223.

The .223 really is ideal for mid-range, which would be anywhere from 400 to 600 yards. However, that doesn’t mean that these cartridges won’t handle accurately and effectively at 1,000 yards. These ranges should be ideal for any hunter, as you always have to keep your distance from your target.

A Quick Guide To Distance: How Far Will Your Bullet Go?

Keep in mind that .223 cartridges can come with anywhere from 75 to 90 grains, depending on your choice. A bullet with a type of grain can travel anywhere from 300 to 350 yards. So, just keep the following measurements in mind.

  • Long Range: Up to 1,000 yards
  • Medium Range: Anywhere from 400 to 600 yards
  • Short Range: 200 yards or under

Just remember that these cartridges can be customized in a variety of ways, so these numbers can vary with different grains. Some heavier grains might not provide you with as much distance. Your rifle and twist rate can also make a major difference, so these are just things that you need to keep in mind.

What about the scope? Of course, the scope can make a major difference as well. In fact, the magnifications can make all the difference in the world.

What Magnification Do You Need?

As a long-range shooter, you probably know that the practice takes time, patience, and practice. Whether you are looking to enhance your skills or just improve on your personal best long distance you are going to need a scope with the right magnification settings.

If you are new to the scope market or haven’t used scopes that much before, you might not know that higher magnifications are required for much longer shots. So, what kind of magnification settings do you need to produce the ranges that you want to achieve with the 223?

  • Long Range (1000 yards)
  • Long range shooting really can be tricky for any hunter of any skill level. The size of the target and wind conditions can make all the difference in the world. For instance, a smaller target at a greater distance might require more clarity than a larger target located at the same distance. That being said, if you looking to go for the longest distance possible with the 223, you probably want to opt for a scope with a magnification 8x and up.
  • Medium Range (400 to 600 yards)
  • For most hunters the .223 is ideal for medium range shooting. This is probably where the bullet with handle the most effectively. At these ranges, you can easily and cleanly make the kills that you need to maximize your meat outcome. However, you are going to need the right magnification. And, that magnification should be anywhere from 5x to 8x.
  • Close Range (200 yards or under)
  • When it comes to close range shooting with the .223 you shouldn’t have a problem hitting anything that you are aiming at. Unless, your aim is just that bad, but this is where the right scope and magnification can come in. You’ll probably want a scope that can offer anywhere from 1x to 4x.

When it is all said and done the best scope will not only offer the magnification settings and distances that you need, but they will come packed with a variety of other features that can help you out in the field.

The scope will also need to feel comfortable and look good on your rifle. After all, what’s the point of adding a scope if it is going to provide you with everything that you need?

The 4 Best .223 Scopes

To better help you in your quest to find the best scope for your .223 cartridges this guide will list and review the most popular scopes.

  • Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600
  • Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 3-9×40 (sold out)
  • Nikon  P-223 3×32 Carbine Scope  (sold out)
  • Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 1-4×24  (sold out)

1. Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm Mate BDC 600 

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600

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Nikon is without a doubt one of the most popular scope manufacturers on the market. And, when you look at everything that the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 Scope has to offer, you will see why they continue to remain at the top.

To start off, the scope comes with a full lifetime warranty, which is something you will find that many manufacturers do not offer. In the event that you experience any problems whatsoever with the scope, you can send it back to the manufacture and their will either repair or replace the scope free of charge. And, this is just the beginning of what this scope has to offer.

Fast Adjustments

The hand-turn ¼ MOA reticle adjustment allows you to quickly and easily adjust your reticle settings whether you are trying to make a long distance shot or a short distance shot, you can quickly and easily adjust the scope to meet your specific needs.

The scope possesses the ability to hold its settings in the harshest of shooting conditions. Even though the .223 doesn’t have that much recoil the scope is still capable of holding its settings with rifles that offer the most powerful recoil.

Sealed O-Ring

The scope is waterproof, fog proof, and comes equipped with unique and durable O-rings, which gives it the ability to hold up in a variety of different conditions. When you combine this with the 100-yard Parallax settings, you are truly looking at one versatile scope that can handle anything thrown at it.

The Bottom Line

With the lightweight design and special designed BDC 600 reticle, you are truly looking at one scope that will not only enhance your shooting abilities, but it will stand up in a variety of weather conditions.

2. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC 3-9x40mm

Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm

If you are looking for a scope that can provide maximum accuracy and reliability in a variety of different shooting or tactical situations, look no further than the Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC. With its outstanding performance and precision, this rugged little scope has the abilities to enhance your shooting skills.

You will notice right away that the scope comes equipped with three different focus parallaxes, which are conveniently located in the middle of the scope. This gives the user the ability to quickly and accurately make the adjustments needed in the field.

Durable Construction

The Drop Zone-223 BDC Riflescope is constructed from high-quality aluminum alloy with an anodized finish. This design ensures the beauty and integrity of the scope because it will resist scratches, rust, and corrosion.

Bottom Line

The scope even comes equipped with a unique eye relief that will keep your brow safe when you are dealing with guns that have powerful recoils. Of course, this is probably something that you won’t have to worry about with the Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope, but at least you have the protection in the event that you need it. Would also fit the 270 Win.

3. Nikon P-223 3x32mm Matte BDC Carbine

Nikon 8496 P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

Nikon is a scope company that has been around for decades. Over the years they have without a doubt developed a knack and reputation for designing scopes. All of their best qualities shine through in the Nikon 8496. The scope is specifically designed with a consistent eye relief that will always ensure that your brow is safe, even when you are utilizing cartridges with the heaviest recoils. This is just one of the many things that make the Nikon 8496 stand out.

Multicoated Optical System

 When it comes to any scope the lenses and optical systems are without a doubt two of the most important components. If you can’t see your target you can’t hit it. Unfortunately, there are times in the weather when the sun and low light conditions might obscure your view. Fortunately, thanks to the multicoated optical system equipped on the Nikon 8496 this will be something that you will never encounter. This system was designed to provide 98 percent light transmissions during all lighting conditions.

BDC Carbine Reticle

The BDC carbine reticle really offers long-range shooters a unique and new perspective on long-range shooting. The new BDC carbine reticle provides a 200-yard, 400-yard and 600-yard crosshairs, so that you don’t have to waste your time estimating and calculating bullet drop. Specifically designed for the .223 Remington and 5.56 NATO round this new BDC really takes all the guesswork out of long-range shooting.

Bottom Line

If you are in the market for a quality scope that can provide clarity, excellent lighting conditions, and accuracy, look no further than the Nikon 8496.

4. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 1-4x24mm

Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm

The best scope for 223 if you are looking to short on short ranges. Are you tired of not being able to see your target, because your riflescope cannot deliver quality views, precision range and stay zeroed in? If so, it may be time to consider investing in the Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope. This particular model is designed to offer all of the above and so much more.

Precision Adjustment Capability

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to make adjustments with a riflescope and never achieve precision. Well, that will never be an issue with the Drop Zone-223, because it is designed with target turrets that have a 0.1 mil click value. This design ensures “pinpoint” adjustments with nothing less than precision. Make adjustments in nanoseconds and receive precision every single time.

Quick Eyepiece Focus

Focusing a riflescope eyepiece should be simple and quick. Well, this is not always the case, as some riflescopes have poorly designed eyepieces. The Drop Zone-223 has an eyepiece that is very easy to focus, so you will not skip a beat. In fact, you can focus in on your target while aiming and once the reticle appears in its sharpest focus, you will be able to see your target clearly.

Bottom Line

The Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope is suitable for hunting prey and shooting targets. Its multi-coated optics provides clear viewing, even when the weather conditions are unfavorable. The O-rings are sealed to keep out moisture and dust. This is a high-quality riflescope that will continue to deliver precision adjustments and clear viewing for many years to come.