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Specially designed sport optics are becoming more common nowadays as manufacturers understand that the shooting community want tailored equipment to complement their activities whether it be indoor or outdoor competition shooting or hunting. If you use an AR type rifle then looking for a scope solution that is meant specifically for that type of rifle may give you an edge in your shooting.

The Nikon P-223 3-9 BDC rifle scope is fit for AR rifles and is calculated specifically for .223 rounds. As AR-15 rifles become even more common among the shooting community it makes sense for you to try this out. The satisfaction that the majority of customers get from using it is very high. It is known for quality and reliability as well as the reticle matching up its hashed lines very closely.

There is support offered for those wanting to use different ammunition via the Spot On technology and customers have found using it very easy and precise.

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 AR Riflescope Review


Designed for AR rifles

This P-223 scope is designed specifically for use with an Ar-15 rifle and for .223 rounds. A very specific focus when designing a product such as this enables it to outperform other generic use scopes. If you have an AR15 rifle, which is the most common sport hunting rifle nowadays then you will find this to be almost like a hand in a glove. With an effective range up to 600 yards you can use it during indoors shooting and out in the field.

BDC 600 Reticle

Featuring a new and patented effective bullet drop compensation reticle with 100 yard increment hashed lines and unique aiming circles for up to 600 yards. No other type of reticles is as purpose built as this one. It comes with Spot On technology which is offered by Nikon Spot Optics to give you extra functionality by estimating where the hashed lines match up when using different ammo other than .223 rounds. Reports say it is very accurate out to at least 300 yards which suits most indoor range shooting.

¼ MOA Tactical Hand Turn Turrets

Fine tuning is easy as the windage and elevation adjustments are so small. Each turn of the turrets moves your zero by ¼ inch at 100 yards. The tactical type turrets are easy to turn and unlike other cheaper variations are not too stiff to use straight out the box. Tactical turrets are less susceptible to recoil than standard ones and are a sign of quality.

Zero-Reset Turrets

A very helpful feature that allows you to save the turret settings after you are satisfied with the zeroing adjustments. If you go away from the scope or lose your zero then you can switch this use this feature to click the turrets straight back into the saved positions, making zeroing in when you have identical indoor conditions very quick.

Parallax Free 100 Yard Setting

For precision shooting it is set to be parallax free out to 100 yards so you don’t have to worry too much about you positioning until you start shooting further than that. Makes indoor target shooting easier.

Quality Waterproof and Fogproof

With all Nikon scopes there is a guarantee of it being waterproof and fogproof. Water and Fogging up can absolutely destroy a scope if this is not done properly. As this is part of one of the newest series from Nikon as they expand their AR rifle specific products it uses their newest and best technology.

Long Eye Relief

The eye relief is constant across all magnification ratios, a feature not common to all variable power riflescopes. It is rated at 3.6 inches of eye relief, this is important so that you don’t get your eyes too close and risk scope eye from recoil.

Multi Layered Anti Reflective Coatings

All the lenses are coated with multiple layer of these anti reflective coatings to allow for a high amount of light transmission and therefore a brighter and crisp image.


  • Reticle: BDC 600 Yards
  • Magnification Range:3-9x
  • Exit Pupil: 13.3mm/3x 4.4mm/9x
  • Objective Lens: 40mm
  • Constant Eye Relief:3.6”
  • Field of View @100yards: 33.8 ft/3x 11.3 ft/9x
  • Windage/Elevation Adjustment per Click: ¼ MOA
  • Length: 12.4″
  • Weight: 17 Ounces


Quick and Easy to Zero

Standout feature for customers was how easy this is to zero in. Out to 100 yards it can take as little as five shots in very windy conditions. The feature that was liked the most was the resettable turrets, it enabled customers to keep their zero and if the scope did wander away from the settings they had they could just reset it in about 5 seconds back to what they had in the first place. It increased the reliability and repeatability of shots that they could make.

BDC Accurate and Spot On Helps

As this is designed for use with .223 rounds from an Ar-15 rifle the BDC aiming points and hashed lines are reported as remarkably accurate. The Spot On technology from Nikon that comes along with it really works when estimating using other round types and its clear they spent a long time testing and coming up with the estimates.


Larger Objective Lens Might Be Useful

Customers reported that using the scope in particularly low light conditions, around or just after dusk, was difficult due to the optic not having enough light funneled through it. They would have like a larger objective lens and comparing to a 52mm it did not perform as well in those specific conditions. Adding a large objective lens would increase the weight meaning the scope may become unwieldy to use.

Common Questions

Does the BDC only function on its highest setting?

This question is a good one as some Bullet Drop Reticles only function properly on their highest settings with only estimations for the other zoom settings. The one on this scope functions properly across the entire range and the hashed lines are marked out for increments of 100 yards. You can always use the spot on technology to figure out what the hashed lines are exactly for too.

Does it come with flip up caps?

It only comes with lens covers, which protect the lens but if you want proper flip up caps then you will have to purchase them separately, butler creek sizes are 19 and 31. The only thing you get with this product is the scope.

Can you use it on larger caliber rifles than an AR .223?

You can try but it is designed as a precision riflescope for AR rifles using .223 caliber ammo. The Spot-on tech offers other estimations for the bullet drop compensation but I think these are only for AR rifles. If you are using a different type of rifle it will be worth your while looking for a riflescope not designed specifically for an AR rifle type series.

What mounts and rings do I have to use?

It is recommended that you get one of the Nikon P-series mounts, and the tube body is 1 inch diameter so you will need to use 1 inch rings in general.

Will high humidity cause rusting under the turrets?

High humidity should not be a big problem as these scopes are designed for all weather conditions. If you have concerns about the turrets rubbing and causing scratches which can promote rust why not put a small bit of lubricant on them just to ease their movement.


This retails at around the $200 mark and I think that’s quite a lot for a specifically designed riflescope. Check Amazon for an attractive price on this scope that is very popular for use when indoor target range shooting which is very common among the Ar15 community.


This scope has a number of features that make it one of the easiest Nikon scopes to use. The speedy zeroing and resettable turrets as well as the great design of the BDC 600 makes the P-223 3-9x 40 one of the best variable power scopes for the price, especially when discounted, for someone looking for a new AR-15 sport optic.