The best scope for .223 is what you need if you want to get the most satisfying hunting and tactical shooting experience. It has a suitable magnification range, either short range or long range shooting, and with a great reticle like a BDC or a mildot reticle.
The right one will also help you have a clearer view of your target even if it is in motion. It is also made with durable construction materials, including aircraft-grade aluminum alloy, which is heavy-duty to last a longer time than other materials can.
In addition, the scope for .223 also has easy adjustments that will let you use it with better ease. A good one is also made with fully multicoated lenses that can optimize lighting transmissions for a clear view of the target.
In today’s buying guide, we’re going to help you find the right scope for the .223 that has these characteristics and more. So if you’re ready, let us begin and find your riflescope in the following.
Quick Answer: The 7 Best .223 Scopes for 2020
- Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40mm Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope
- Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm Mate BDC 600
- Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x24mm Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope
- Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x44mm Dead-Hold BDC (MOA) Reticle Riflescope
- Nikon M-223 4-16x42mm BDC 600
- Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Scope (Gen II)
- Leupold Mark Mod 1 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope
First, let’s take a look at the top-rated 223 scopes, then we’ll talk about how to choose the right one for you in our buying guide below.
Best Scope for .223 Rifle Reviews of 2020
#1 Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40mm Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope
The AR optics with magnification 3-9x will let you shoot even at longer range shooting distances. It also has the standard 40mm objective lens, allowing you to focus and see your target better.
The riflescope with a second focal plane zeros at 100 yards and offers aiming points at up to 500 yards, making it ideal as a scope for long range, too.
Another thing that you will like about the scope is that it comes with a fully and multicoated optics, which can offer you with an excellent brightness from dusk until dawn.
If you want a scope that does not just offer you with a great eye relief but also reliability and accuracy, check out this scope. It has a quick focus eyepiece, allowing you for a more precise shooting experience.
Another thing that I appreciate about the product is that it is made of durable and quality materials of aluminum alloy and anodized finish, ensuring a long-lasting use and a great value for our investment.
This product is also sealed to ensure protection from outer elements, making sure it’s waterproof, too. Adding to its durability, this product is scratchproof and rustproof for long-term hunting use. I also liked its beautiful appearance, making it a great addition to our firearm.
#2 Nikon P-223 3-9x40mm Mate BDC 600
The Nikon P-223 is a great scope that offers us with the things we’re looking for in a scope for a .223 caliber rifle. One remarkable thing about it is t hat it can offer a reticle hash between 100 and 600 yards, making it ideal for short- and long-range shooting.
If you’re looking for not only a fog proof, you must consider the Nikon P223, which is a favorite among hunters and tactical operations professionals. I also liked that it can offer a wider view field, giving us a more precise sight feature.
This scope is also perfect for targeting moving subjects, allowing you to aim at them better without losing sight of them. More so, this product is made with a Fully Multicoated Optical System, offering up to 98% of light transmission to achieve max brightness anytime of the day or night. So even if we’re hunting at night we can rest assured that we could see clearly without any difficulty.
In addition to precision, the .223 scope is also known for its durability. It is not just fogproof but also waterproof. For added heavy-duty features, the scope is also made with nitrogen-filled and O-ring sealed lenses.
I would also like to note that the Nikon scope also feature zero-reset turret to help you make field adjustments easier. Now, the field adjustments are made simple through just dialing the subsequent ranges.
The nitrogen purged lens and scope also features 1/4-MOA tactical style turrets. Using positive click reticle adjustments will help you zero in faster while keeping your original setting and that is even with repeated recoil.
Another thing I liked about the top rated scope is its long and consistent eye relief that protects your brow and eye even when using soothing at severe angles or using lightweight rifles or heavy recoiling cartridges.
#3 Bushnell AR Optics 1-4x24mm Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope
AR Optics is a dependable riflescope that features 0.1 mil click value in its target turrets, giving us the superior performance we need for precise adjustments.
And in order to achieve peerless accuracy in every round, it is also made with caliber specific reticle, offering us a sure value and a great hunting experience all the time.
In hunting, we also need optimal light transmission, and that is to see clearly and better. For this reason, we have to check the fully multi-coated optics, and this model has it. This unit is made with fully multi-coated optics, which can offer us an amazing brightness at any time of the day.
It also features a quick focus eyepiece, adding to the reliability and accuracy of the scope featuring drop zone BDC reticle, which is well set for 55 and 62 grain, offering us with better versatility than other models on the market do.
More so, this scope that delivers great light transmission also works for .223 Rem/5.556 loads and can be used for short-range and long-range shooting. You can also rely on it for zeroing at 100 yards and giving aiming points reaching to 500 yards.
You don’t also need to worry about any internal moisture because this unit is nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed, preventing the entry of debris, dust and moisture. All those things said you could be certain of an unobstructed view all the time, increasing your focus on the target not being disturbed by an hindrance on sight.
#4 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 4-12x44mm Dead-Hold BDC (MOA) Reticle Riflescope
The Vortex Optics Crossfire II is a top of the line scope for the .223 varmint hunting, offering us with supreme precision needed even for long range shooting. So when comparing scopes for hunting rifles, you might want to check on the one that can offer you with great accuracy.
The 4-12×44 – Dead-Hold BDC MOA is made of a durable and heavy-duty one-inch tube that can offer you with many years of service. This Vortex rifle scope is also engineered and made for both amateur and professional hunters and shooters. It is a part of the Crossfire II series that can provide with high levels of reliability and performance.
I would also like to mention that it has a long, generous eye relief that will help protect our eyes and eyebrows from high recoiling calibers and lightweight weapons. More so, it is constructed with a fast focus eyepiece that will help you focus on your target better and without any issues.
The Crossfire II riflescope is also for you if you are looking for optimal brightness because this product is made with high quality fully multicoated lenses, allowing you to see your target even in low lighting condition. It is one of the basic factors to check on when shopping around for a reliable scope that also has resettable MOA turret, offering you with a non-compromising, bright and clear sight of your target.
In terms of durability, there is also no question regarding the performance of the Crossfire II optics because it is made of aluminum alloy, which is aircraft grade and hard anodized in order to ensure optimum performance for a longer period of time.
There is also no compromising because you can ensure of a fogproof and waterproof performance of the scope, which is nitrogen-purged and o-ring sealed. In this case, you can be certain that you don’t have to worry about the outer elements in your hunting adventures.
#5 Nikon M-223 4-16x42mm BDC 600
The Nikon M-223 is another top choice for .223 scopes that you might want to check out especially if you’re looking for a long range scope that can help you shoot with better precision even at a longer distance.
The BDC 600 scope with a magnification range between four and 16 and with 42 objective lens are perfect for hunting even at a low lighting condition because it is made with a full multicoated optical lens system. So when comparing a great scope for ar-15 or .223 rifles, you should include this product on your list.
It will help you target with an iron sight for its excellent magnification range 4-16x, allowing you to do aiming points out at longer distances without any issues. With its large magnification range, you can be certain that you can rely on it even for use with heavy and high caliber rifles.
The scope with oversized lens is also made with a quick-focus eyepiece, allowing for quick and instant target acquisition even at a low lighting condition, too, for its fully and multicoated lens.
In addition to the instant target acquisition, you can also rely on this unit for its shockproof, fog proof and waterproof performance, adding to its durability and heavy-duty use. And for that, you can be certain that you can use this scope for the years to come.
More so, I liked that the scope is made specifically for long range shooting because it can maintain accuracy even at a longer distance. With that said, you can be certain that you can ensure a more satisfying hunting experience.
The 16x42mm Riflescope is also easy to mount and with accessible adjustments for that more rewarding hunting or tactical shooting adventure. It is also lightweight at 1.19 lbs, so it doesn’t add much weight to the rifle when mounted.
#6 Primary Arms 5X Compact Prism Scope (Gen II)
This Primary Arms 5X is a high quality and durable scope that is versatile to use for a wide range of rifles including 5.56 NATO and .308 Winchester. It is one of its remarkable features that make it a top choice among hunters and tactical shooters who are looking for a reliable and multifunctional scope.
In addition, this riflescope with a green illumination is made with a removal spacer, allowing us to make use of the optical system for a wide range of rifle systems. More so, it is a powerful scope designed with an ACSS reticle with BDC and with a powerful shooting range capability of reaching out up to 800 yards using your .308 Winchester, .223 Rem, 5.56 NATO or 5.45x39mm.
Using the top pick scope that lets you see like having a night vision, you can be certain that you can have a rewarding shooting or hunting experience. More so, this scope is designed with an illuminated reticle, allowing you to see brightly with its green or red illumination.
In addition, I liked that the scope is made with a detachable M1913 picatinny top rail, allowing for red dot sights or accessories without any hassles. I also noticed that the model has a consistent and generous exit pupil of 7 mm, allowing for a forgiving and bright eye box.
The Primary Arms 5X also offers us with 18.8ft field of view at 100 yards, allowing us for targeting even mobile targets. So even if your target is mobile, you can have peace of mind that you can achieve a better sight of your subject.
It is also made with 1/3 MOA turret clicks, which are audible and tactile for quick and easy zeroing. The scope is also made with a fog resistant, waterproof and shockproof tough prism material of hardcoat anodized type II material. Also, this scope is compatible to work with carry handle mounts.
#7 Leupold Mark Mod 1 1.5-4x20mm Riflescope
The Leupold Mark Mod 1 shouldn’t be forgotten when looking for a good .223 scope. This 1.5-4x20mm is a common choice among hunters and tactical shooters that want to have the most rewarding experience.
The scope with an illuminated reticle works well even at low lighting conditions because it is a multicoated four-lens system that can offer you with a great clarity of the image even at a farther distance. You can have a good sight picture of clarity from edge to edge of your visual field, as you need it.
I also liked that one of the scopes for the money features a unique blend of krypton and argon gases that can get rid of the thermal shock effects that would otherwise cause an obstruction in our shooting. You can also look forward to a more pleasant shooting experience because its unique gas blend can also reduce gases diffusion inside the scope better than what nitrogen can do.
You will also appreciate that it is designed with a tactile power indicator that will help you in identifying your magnification with just one touch.
Another thing that I liked about the scope that can work at a low lighting condition is its ability to give us that lightweight construction, adding to its ease of use.
This product is also made with an inch main tube, reducing weight effectively while also giving that classic look and durability. So when it comes to performance, design and construction, there is no doubt that the Leupold Mark Mod 1 indeed deserves to become a part of this list of great .223 scopes.
I also liked that it is packed with solid features that also include 0.1 mil P5 dials bullet drop compensation that makes it easier to use and operate, something ideal for hunters and tactical shooters.
- What Makes a Great .223 Scope?
- What Magnification Do You Need?
- Factors to Consider when Buying a Scope for .223 Rifle
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes a Great .223 Scope?
There are so many things that can make a great .223 scope, and many hunters and tactical shooters will tell you that it has to do with the precision that the scope can offer. And with accuracy comes great components that make it a precise riflescope that can provide them with a clear and vivid sight picture of the target.
The great optical system isn’t only easy to scope mount but also offers precision. One thing that has to do with that is the magnification range.
After all, magnification is the first reason that we need optics for our rifles. Often, the scope on the market with right magnification has to do with personal preference. It is based on how you intend to use the optical system.
At this item, it offers you a generous focus eyepiece for a clearer sight of the target. This is an ideal factor to choose when you go for hunting or shooting.
More so, the best scopes for the .223 are made of high quality and durable materials like an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy aside from an easy to use parallax adjustment. It must also be nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed to ensure of a waterproof operation.
There you have some things that make a good scope to work well for the .223 Rem. Remember them so that you can find a good scope for your tactical and hunting adventures. They aren’t only feature-rich but also durable and high quality to last for a longer time.
What Magnification Do You Need?
When shopping around for a riflescope, you must look for one that has a wide magnification range depending on how you want to use the scope. Magnification can make a target appear larger so that we can aim better and make a better shot than without it.
For example, the least magnification will give you a better sight of the image, but then how much of magnification you need will depend on some things, such as according to the target size and its distance. However, target shooting will demand a higher magnification setting according to the support and range.
In the case of hunting, the distance is normally between 200 and 400 yards, but there are some adventures requiring longer-range hunts. But if you would hunt between 200 and 400, you will need a great lighting along with a least mirage presentation.
You will also need a larger view field in order to keep track and not lose sight of your target or see others of them around your target. With the lower magnification set, you will be able to find your target quickly so that you can get off a shot.
For many hunters, they’re saying that a 4X magnification will be enough to shoot at 300 yards while 6X at 400 yards.
Take note of these things when being challenged deciding how much really is the magnification you need to target more effectively and precisely. While magnification can be something that is also subjective or a personal choice for some, the above example is a general look on how hunters prefer theirs to be at for optimal shooting.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Scope for .223 Rifle
Before you go shopping around for a top scope on the market, you should know the most essential things to take a look into when buying your scope for the .223. It is just so you will have a pleasant and satisfying experience using the scope from the mounting to the targeting and to the maintenance and zeroing it in. Every aspect of the scope and its use is important. For example, you should be able to choose a scope that works well for hunting at longer-range distances if that is your intension of using your .223 scope.
One of the first things to check in addition to comparing the quality of the focus eyepiece of the scope you’re eyeing at includes its magnification range. You must decide on the shooting range you want in your riflescope.
For example, a 4X magnification range can be enough if you are doing close range target shooting for most of the time. But then, if you are the type that wants to go for long distance hunting, you must choose one with a magnification range of at least 9X. However, you must also consider having a scope that has an easy to use parallax adjustment because the sight picture will get blurry as the image becomes farther due to parallax.
Lens and light transmission
One of the very reasons we’re buying a scope in the first place is to see the image clearly and crisply. That is why you need a powerful scope that will be able to provide you with a crisp and really good image of the target.
You’ll need to find a scope that will help you in producing crisp, clear and bight images no matter the time of the day. It will be a great idea to choose one that is made with multicoated lenses, which have the ability to offer you with high levels of light transmission of at least 90% because they can help you see better even when hunting at low light conditions.
Construction and durability
No one would want to spend on a scope that is good for only several uses. We don’t need a fragile or weak scope in our hunting adventures or tactical operations because it will affect our performance and will hinder in our tasks/jobs.
We need a durable and heavy-duty scope that can serve us for a longer time because we’re spending money on it. For this very reason, we must go for one made with a durable construction, such as an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy. It is what we need to ensure that we can make use of a sturdy scope that we can rely on for our hunting or tactical shooting activities.
More so, we should also look for lenses that can deal with harsh weather conditions. They should be nitrogen-purge to ensure that they’re protected from any contaminants and debris. Being purged, we can also have peace of mind that they are proofed against water, fog and dust. And to a high degree, they are also shock-resistant, adding to their durability.
One of the best things about great manufacturers of riflescopes for the .223 is that they have a lifetime warranty, so we can have peace of mind that we can get help or a replacement when something goes wrong with our scope. For this reason, it will help to choose a scope backed by a solid and generous warranty.
To get the right information about product’s warranty, you’d better contact directly to the manufacturer. Therefore, it will be easier for you to ask for supports later, and prevent some unexpected issues.
One of the things to look for when buying a scope for the .223 is a consistent and generous eye relief. It is not only that we should look for features like target turrets or a drop compensator reticle, but also one with a good eye relief to prevent accidents like having your eyebrow or eye hit due to high recoil calibers or lightweight weapon use.
Eye relief is a crucial feature of a good scope for the .223 to keep your eyes free from injuries especially when shooting from unconventional angles wherein you need a sufficient buffer space between your scope and your eyes. For the most part, a bare minimum of three to four inches should be taken into consideration.
In addition to an effective range when choosing a scope, you must also pick one based on its tube size. At the very least, it is between 25 and 30 mm for the standard options available on the market. You should choose the scope that will fit your budget or your current kit. In addition, when picking a scope, you should think about whether you’re changing your shooting style that might require upgrading all-round or changing your rifle purpose into a multitask rifle, which can perform both for short-range or long-range shooting.
For this reason, you might want to upgrade even your rings, accessories and even tapered or non-tapered bases in addition to the scope in order to suit the change.
Some people are choosing 25 mm tube, one of the most common sizes on the market. This type is usually lighter than 30mm. On the other hand, 30mm tubes can offer more allowance for the windage adjustment needed for long range shooting and also space for internal elevation.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Sight in .223 Rifle Scope?
When you reached the shooting range, you can set up your target at a distance of 25 yards. In order to set up, you can check the following steps.
You can secure your rifle in a tool like a bipod, on a rifle rest, on sandbags, or another method that will help you in holding the rifle steady while you’re trying to sight in. However, you need to make sure that nothing on the rifle is on a hard surface. In addition, you must set out your targets ideally official targets. It is done in order to help you in gauging how far off the shots will be are from the middle.
- Set up the target
Now you can boresight, but first set up your target at 25 yards and then another one at 100 yards. However, you must remember that some shooting ranges will ask you to change the shooting stands for every distance. Once done setting up the shooting stand, get started and sight in.
- Double-check the boresight
You can start by double-checking your rifle’s boresight at 100 yards. If what you have is a bolt-action, you can take out the bolt before looking down the bore. You should also align your rifle’s bore with a 100-yard target.
On the other hand, if you have a single shot rifle, you should open its action and then start looking down the bore in order to align it with the 100-yard target.
- Adjust the rifle stand
Then, you can start adjusting the rifle stand in order to center the target in your view as you’re looking through the end of the breech.
- Adjust the scope
Now without changing the position or moving the rifle, you can start adjusting your scope in order to align the crosshairs on the 100-yard target’s bull’s eye. Now, your rifle is bore-sighted to the distance of 100 yards. Alternatively, you can do it with a magnetic or laser boresighter.
- Sight in to 25 yards
Sighting in to 25 yards – To get started, you can replace the action or bolt and then start setting your scope to its highest magnification to give you the target’s clear image.
Before anything else, you should take a deep breath and focus. Now, you can fire one round at the center of the target. You also have to make sure that your rifle is unloaded and then look towards the target a spotting scope or binoculars.
Look for your shot and then know what you have to do in order to adjust your shot. For example, you have to adjust your scope to the right and upwards if the bullet hit the target’s bottom left corner. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do it and follow closely.
Keep refining shot placements at 25 yards by repeating the steps.
- Check everything again
After the last adjustment, fire one last grouping to confirm if you have successfully sighted in your scope. Repeat the process if not.
- Keeping the zero
Your scope must be able to keep the zero for long throughout the hunting season. But if you have damaged the scope or dropped your rifle, you must double-check the sighting and consider realigning the scope.
High quality scopes, on the other hand, will be able to keep the zero after a fall. However, many hunters and shooters will still want to check their sighting whenever they drop the rifle.
You are now good to go once your scope is sighted, but make sure you are hunting or shooting with the same ammunition load that you used to sight in.
What Size Scope For .223?
Ideally, you should find scopes made for the .223 rifles so that you can be certain it is of the right scope size. It is because these scopes are tailor made for these rifles. As a general advice, you should stick with standard 1-inch tube, as they’re also normally lighter than bigger scopes, meaning also more convenient to use than the latter are.
What to Zero a .223 Scope At?
You will get a 100-yard zero shooting at 1.5 inches low at 25 yards, according to some tactical shooters. On the other hand, a 50-yard zero or about 1.3 inches low at this distance will also seem like a useful trajectory, while its highest point is about 1.5 inches high and at 125 yards before getting it back on about 200 yards.
How to Mount a Scope on a Dpms 223?
You should match the rings and bases, so you need to make sure that the mounting system is the right one for your rifle and that the rings have the right height and diameter for positioning your scope.
Next, you can mount the base as low as possible and without the objective bell contacting the barrel while letting for clearance at the eyepiece for the bolt’s free operation.
Wipe the attaching surfaces before applying a thin coat of oil. Align the bases.
You can now apply a little of a thread-freezing compound. Check for an even fit by tightening the screws.
Next, you can align the reticle. With your rifle level, you can start rotating the scope, moving it back and forth. Rotate the scope until your reticle is horizontal and vertical.
Adjust your scope’s eye relief.
Tighten the screws for an even spacing between your ring halves.
You can then insert a bore sight with a proper insertion pin before adjusting the axis to your desired point of aim.
Choosing the right scope for your rifle can be a challenge if you don’t know what to look for including high-quality bullet drop compensator reticle and clear hash marks, to name some.
For this reason, it will help to refer to a guide that will help you learn about the most important things to look for when comparing your choices.
To start weighing your options for scopes that fit your .223 rifles, you can use the top picks above, highlighting each of the product’s benefits, pros and cons. In this way, you can make a better decision in terms of what AR-15 scope to buy, for instance. Get the best scope for .223 rifles today!