The .223 cartridge is just behind the 9mm pistol round for most popular in the country. It has even beat out .22lr for several years running. Literally, everyone shoots .223 including every major law enforcement agencies in the developed world, and most of NATO. Don’t listen to the haters who say it’s a bad round. Put it in the right spot and it’ll do a great job!
Manufacturers have realized there’s a demand for scopes that wring out each and every ounce of accuracy from your .223 bolt gun or AR-15. Features like BDC reticles and extended target turrets have made shooting this small-bore cartridge easier and brought extended ranges closer. The whole idea of outfitting your rifle with a purpose made scope is to wring every bit of accuracy out of the gun. That means knowing which features you need for the rifle you have.
Don’t fall into the mistake of buying an AR 15 specific optic for a bolt action hunting rifle. It’s a different job, and more than likely there’s a scope purpose made for your application.
Best .223 Scope Reviews
Look around on the market but here are the best five currently available for the vast majority of shooters.
Best Scope for 223 AR-15
The AR 15 is a lightning fast carbine that deserves to have a slim and trim optics that doesn’t weigh you down. This is an exemplary optic that will perform well on the field no matter what you are doing with your AR 15. The fixed three power magnification is good from the tip of your muzzle out to several hundred yards with practice. Made easier by the fact that this scope includes a BDC reticle that predicts the drop of your bullet out to the edge of the .223’s ballistic potential.
Nikon makes excellent scopes and packs some of the best value price optics of the entire industry into their products. If you’re looking for a lightweight and simple to use scope for your AR 15 this one won’t disappoint you.
Best Scope for 223 Bolt Action Rifle
Another home run scope from Nikon that packs all the features and technology of their high dollar scopes into a value-packed option for someone looking for a purpose made scope to try their hand at long-range typing with the .223 cartridge.
While a bit on the heavy and bulky side this rifle scope combines features that are seldom found on its competitor's scopes. Especially for intermediate cartridges, this is as good as it gets for optics made to be the best scope for a .223 bolt action rifle.
This rifle scope from Nikon is optimized for long-range shooting with the .223 cartridge. It has a massive 40 mm objective Bell and 12 power magnification as well as a BDC reticle that stretches out to 600 yards. This is excellent because combined with the rapid action current you can quickly dial in your rifle fire to hit small targets at extended ranges, where other scopes would fail to perform. If you are looking for the ultimate long-range scope for a .223 bolt action rifle, this is it.
Best Scope for 223 Varmint Hunting
Bushnell makes a ton of different rifle scopes. You can find their products on the barrels of elite military units and law-enforcement agencies, as well as sitting on the shelves at Walmart. It’s all about which one you choose from them. This one, for example, is an excellent scope for a .223 caliber rifle if you will be doing a lot of varmint hunting.
It has a massive 40mm objective bell and tops out at 12x magnification. This makes it excellent for pushing the .223 cartridge out to the very edge of its ballistic potential. Nailing coyote size targets at 400 yards is relatively easy with this sort of scope. Especially with BDC reticle included that allows you to predict your bullets drop over distance out to several hundred yards. If you need a high-quality hunting optic, this is one of the best scopes from Bushnell and one of the best scopes for 2 to 3 varmint hunting.
Best Scope for 223 Long Range
If you are looking for a scope that will allow you to take your AR 15 at the very edge of its usable range, this is a great scope. It combines a huge 42mm objective bell with high magnification, topping out at 16x power, with a BDC reticle that provides graduations all the way out to 600 yards.
The optical quality of the scope is nothing to scoff at, it is a total usable scope that provides a great value for the money along with features that are seldom seen on scopes made for lightweight carbines like AR 15’s. One of the best of which being large adjustment turrets that allow you to dial in for a precise and accurate fire at long-range.
Nikon creates excellent value and features with their purpose-driven line of scopes and this model is no different. It draws on Nikon’s heritage of providing excellent optical technology in many different industries and combines their collective knowledge to make an excellent rifle scope. If you need a scope for long-range this is one of the best scopes for the .223 cartridge in a long-range shooting application.
If you’re looking for a way to outfit your rife with the best .223 scope for hunting, varmint or target shooting, there’s never been a better time. There is a long-standing myth that the .223 can’t be shot out past 400 yards or so. Yes, it gets rough past 400, but with the right scope for your hunting your shooting situation you can easily nail targets out to six or 700 yards.
It’s all a matter of getting your hands on the right equipment, and getting into the field to practice your marksmanship! The best scope in the world won’t do you any good if mounted up to the rifle that is sitting in your safe