Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Riflescope Review

The Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 is a variable zoom scope suited for .223-caliber rifles (NATO equivalent: 5.56mm), specifically the AR-15. It offers from 3x to 9x magnification, and has a 40mm objective lens. The BDC-600 reticle is designed specifically for the trajectory of .223 caliber rounds. It offers unique open circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 up to 600 yards. It also features 100-yard parallax correction for better shooting precision. The optics are good for both day and night operations, with up to 98% light transmission. The lenses are also waterproof and fogproof, ensuring a clear image for every situation. Plus, it also protects your eyebrows in every situation, may it be heavy recoil, lightweight rifles, or steep shooting angles.

Construction and Optics Quality

The Nikon P-223 is nitrogen-filled and o-ring-sealed to keep out fog and moisture away from the lenses. This makes the scope quite rugged and suitable for any condition. The matte black finish also prevents any reflections, so you can maintain stealth when required.

Mounting the scope on a rifle is easy. If it is equipped with a flat top Picatinny rail on its upper receiver, just slide the P-223 in place, and it’s ready to go.

The P-223’s lenses guarantee up to 98% light transmission – a really good feature for a rifle scope. This means you can effectively acquire targets both at day and at night. When shooting in the dark, with only little light available, visibility will not be a big issue for the P-223. This is a nice feature, considering the low price point of the scope.

The scope also has a magnification range of 3x to 9x. With that, you can take down targets both from either short range and from longer distances. If you’re using an AR-15 rifle, this zoom range is appropriate for the rifle’s effective range.

To enhance shooting accuracy, the P-223 is also designed with a Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC), which will be discussed next.

Bullet Drop Compensator (BDC)

Bullets do not always travel in a straight line. Especially at longer distances, they will tend to travel in a downward-curving arc. For this reason, Nikon has developed the BDC for its rifle scopes. The BDC provides extra aiming points on the scope, which account for bullet trajectory and range. For the P-223, the BDC has been designed in particular for .223 Remington rounds (or NATO 5.56 rounds) with 55-grain polymer tips. The reticle has hash tags to mark the different ranges, so you can adjust your aim accordingly.

To make accurate aiming even more convenient, Nikon has also developed an app called Spot On. You can use the Spot On app to adjust the P-223 scope even more accurately, especially if you’re using .223 rounds that are not 55-grain. The app can also account for different parameters like bore distance, range, caliber, and others.

In short, having a BDC means that you can more easily adjust your aim to increase your accuracy, depending on your distance from the target.

Parallax Correction

Parallax is another issue that negatively affects shot accuracy. But the Nikon P-223 takes care of that with its 100-yard parallax adjustment feature. What this means is that the reticle does not move with respect to the target, even when you look at the scope from different angles.

Precise Adjustment Turrets

The Nikon P-223 is equipped with adjustable windage and elevation turrets. They turn at precise ¼-inch click adjustments, so you can easily and precisely close in on your targets. The settings stay on even with constant recoil, so you don’t have to readjust every shot. Also, recalibrating the turrets back to zero is a breeze. All you have to do is lift the spring-loaded knobs, and they will freewheel. In turn, you can reset the turrets to zero much more quickly.

Eye Relief

Surely you don’t want a scope to beat up your brows while shooting. That won’t be an issue with the Nikon P-223, though, thanks to its generous eye relief features. So whether you’re shooting with recoil-prone rifles, high-recoil rounds, or from steep angles, you don’t have to worry



The Nikon P-223 is aimed (no pun intended) mostly at hunters and marksmen looking for accuracy. If lining up that first shot is essential, this scope is what you need. However, the BDC here is specifically designed for 55-grain .223 rounds, which are popular ammo for the AR-15 rifle. Therefore, the P-223 is most effective when used with an AR-15.

The Nikon P-223 is effective even at longer ranges, however it isn’t intended for sniper rifles. At the intended ranges, though, the P-223 will surely help you score those one-hit shots. And for its price point, it’s amazing what useful features Nikon has packed into the scope.

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