Top 10 Best Scope for 223 – Reviews
The Remington 223 is one of the more popular rifles among enthusiasts and it is well known for its quality and precision. But for the best results when shooting at difficult angles and conditions, you need the best scope for 223.
Arguably the famus gun-cartridge system in a world after Kalashnikov is M16 and 5.56mm round, or better known in hunting and civilian circles as AR-15 and .223 Remington. An AR-15 is developed as combat rifle and military operators lean to use variable 1-4x or 1-6x low-power optics for their type of shooting.
Generally speaking, 223 scopes explicitly used for the civilian AR platform tend to have a higher magnification and features customized to hunters or target competitors shooting style.
The trend toward specialization has been adopted by the optics manufacturers who provide riflescopes that can take advantage of the 233 round’s range, and it is most efficient within 500 to 600 yards.
As good as the 223 is, you will encounter difficulties with a low quality scope. Your aim will be off, acquiring targets will be difficult and it’ll be next to impossible to see in low lit environments.
Those are the reasons why you need a scope that’s built specifically for the 223.
Anyway, we have tailored this overview for a mainstream marksman taking into account both type of optics and sporting configurations they would attempt to build.
Instead of going through hundreds of scopes, we selected ten so you can quickly find the proper scope.
Magnification & OL
Bushnell AR Optics 3-12x40 Riflescope, BDC Reticle - AR931240
(ft@100 yds./m@100 m):33/8.5@3x/11/2.5@12x
Leupold 115394 Mark AR MOD 1 6-18x40mm Riflescope
15.20-6.70/4.90-2.10(ft 100 yd/m/100 m)
Nikon M-223 4-16x42M BDC 600
BDC 800 Reticle
6.3 - 25.2 ft @ 100 yds
Vortex Optics Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24 SFP VMR-2 MOA
112.5-18.8 feet/100 yards
Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24 Riflescopes
115.2-20.5 feet/100 yards
BSA Optics TW223-14x24CP Scope
UUQ 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope
32.5' @ 2.5x - 8.9' @10x(@100 yds)
BSA Optics TW223-618x40AOCP 223 Scope
Nikon M-223 2-8x32mm Riflescope
BDC 600 Reticle
11.5-46.2 ft (@100 yds)
UUQ 2.5-10x40 Tactical Rifle Scope w Red Green Laser
32.5' @ 2.5x - 8.9' @10x(100 yards)
Score: 5 Andrew Garfield
According to .223 cartridge characteristics, the Bushnell AR Optics 3-12x 40mm riflescope is designed for targets out to 600-yard distance. The AR Optics series features a Bushnell’s Drop Zone-223 BDC reticle in the second focal plane especially developed for ammunition in 223 Remington.
BDC reticle has .223 ballistic holdover marks which are specifically calibrated for standard 55-grain ammunition, but it should also work adequately with 62gr 223 REM loads.
The BDC reticle utilizes crosshairs with hashmarks along the lower perpendicular axis to present you the exact .223 projectiles drop compensation at 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 yards.
This Bushnell model comes with a remarkable 4x power range and 40mm objective, a golden middle in riflescopes world, making this optics well-suited for a various shooting tasks.
- Of course, you have to expect some flaws at this price point like the target turret clicks being a little bit mushy or a small blurriness around the edge at higher magnifications.
- The eye relief of 3.6" at higher magnifications was non-acceptably for some users and required a bit more discipline from the shooters
As a good varmint and 3 gun competition scope, this Bushnell comes with the caliber-specific reticle to give the most accurate performance for the ammunition you like to shoot.
As a bonus, this affordable 3-12x40 mm scope utilizes fast focus eyepiece that allows you to reliable and rapid target acquisition.
Score: 4.8 Andrew Garfield
Another specific-caliber riflescope for the most popular America's workhorse- AR-15 in .223 Remington comes from legendary Leupold Optics in the form of their Mark AR series, introduced in 2015.
Leupold's 6-18x40 Mark AR MOD 1 riflescope is the top of the line for the Mark AR series and would provide your AR, MSR, or bolt-action rifle with medium-to-long range shooting capabilities.
The Leupold Mark AR scope is a proof that with a magnification of 18x, actually real power is 17.10x but anyway, you can easily reach out and touch something.
The one-piece body is constructed of 6061-T6 Aircraft quality aluminum and features 40mm glass bell with an adjustable objective and noted a 24kt gold-plated ring.
- Though the turrets are not sloppy, they are not as tactile as scopes that are more expensive.
- The Leupold Mark AR comes without any lens cover, but with a sunshade that is a bit smaller than the scope, so it is useless.
At a price that is accessible to more shooters, the Leupold AR optics is proof that you do not need to spend a fortune to turn your basic 223 AR into the serious precision machine.
To get a full benefit from this rifle-scope-cartridge combination, we suggest utilizing the Leupold Mark 2 IMS mount, since this perfect match allows outstanding accuracy and legendary ruggedness.
Score: 4.7 Andrew Garfield
Nikon jump on the bandwagon just as the other manufacturers with its M-223 series of riflescopes dedicated for AR-15 type rifles firing the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO round.
Designed with the AR rifle platform in mind, the Nikon M-223 scope lineup consists of five different scopes, and the Nikon M-223 4-16x42 is the biggest brother of this family for sportsman that want to extend the capabilities of their AR-15.
However, the shooters of other styles of rifles chambered for 223/5.56 cartridge/bullet load can also use the Nikon M-223 riflescopes.
This higher magnification configuration, like all optics in the M-223 lineup, boastsagreat four-time power zoom range and up to 4 inches of eye relief.
With Ultra ClearCoat optical system, every M-223 model features the identical light transmission settled on Nikon’s first rate Monarch riflescopes.
- The Nikon M-223 has tactical turrets for windage and elevation adjustments with the Zero-Reset feature. Since these knobs work with simple pull up and turn action, they are prone to unintended actuation.
- Another constraint refers to riflescope weight because at 19 ounces it is pretty heavy for a scope with a 1" tube.
The M-223 is made of rugged one-piece main body tube long 13.5" for enhanced mount ring spacing. The scope is waterproof, fogproof and shockproof and it can withstand a rough abuse in the field.
Built-in Nikon Monarch series quality level, the M-223 Riflescope is an essential instrument for anyone utilizing the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO for distance varmint hunting and precision shooting.
Score: 4.5 Andrew Garfield
Being in production since 2017, this new Vortex PST line of scopes has been released to the market after the immense success of the Vortex flagship models from Razor HD series.
The PST models are aimed primarily at the target shooting market, and the PST abbreviation comes from precision shooting and tactical applications.
Vortex Viper PST Gen II series optics are the very popular choice for hunters and sportsman who are looking for a reliable scope in the 600-700 USD range.
What makes it different from most other optics in this price range is that it comes with a 4x magnification ratio, 30mm tube, and open style turrets for reticle adjustments with click values that match the reticles.
That means the click value of reticle dials is identical as the space between two hashmarks in the reticle.
- We had only one objection, and that is there is no need for exposed knobs on low-powered variable riflescopes.
The Viper PST with 1-6x magnification range is a perfect match for .223 AR-15 rifles in wide home defense and hunting scenarios.
The growth of combination reflex sights and short-range optics in the military as a general trend spilled over into the civilian market, so Viper PST Gen II 1-6x24mm as low-powered scope would provide both reflexive close-in shot capabilities, with short to mid-range accuracy as well.
Score: 4.8 Andrew Garfield
Vortex Optics Razor series represent top flagship models, and they are a gem in a Vortex' riflescope portfolio. Since the more powered Razors have been engineered for powerful calibers and long-range precision in extreme environments they are built on a beefy 35mm tube with reticles on the First Focal Plane (SFP).
Featuring a 30mm tube and reticle on the Second Focal Plane the low-powered 1-6x Razorsare well optimized for close-to-midrange applications and, at 6x, are easily good enough to engage targets that are likely to be outside the range of typical rifles chambered for 223 Rem.
The Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24mm was voted in 2013 as a scope of the year in the 1-6x category. No wonder many people consider this Razor HD Gen II as the best scope under $2,000 and on par with Z6i or VCOG that costs twice as much as Razor does.
- The only downfall is the weight, at 25.2 oz. unit is not a featherweight but, once mounted, it didn't seem too noticeable.
- Another comment is referring to the very stiff magnification adjustment, but the solution would be Vortex throw lever.
Viper Razor HD Gen II in this configuration is perfect for the AR platform but also an ideal scope for none-AR platform rifles.
While the low power variable optics are the ideal optical solution for short to medium-range tactical applications, with almost true 1x setting and amazingly wide field of view, Razor 1-6x24 is the perfect scope for hunting in the timber.
Unlike Americans, the low powered scopes such as 1-4x, 1-6x or 1-8x are very popular riflescopes for hunting on a Driven wild boar in Europe.
Score: 4 Andrew Garfield
The BSA Optics is a heavy duty rifle scope that is built for all around use. The rifle scope can be easily mounted on and it won’t fly off even if there is a powerful recoil. A testament to the scope’s durability is that it’s built for law enforcement and military applications.
The TW223 also has a milt dot reticle for easy target acquisition, and it has interchangeable turret caps for easy adjustments. The rifle scope is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof so it can be used in damp weather.
The TW223 two piece construction is made of aluminum so it’s more durable than the average scope. The reticle has been fortified and works well in different kinds of weather. Its optics are also multicoated for greater clarity and more effective light transmission in low lighting. The rifle scope also has 1-4x magnification for easier viewing.
The TW223 offers reliable performance whether it is short or long range. This scope from BSA Optics is also easy to use with enough features to keep advance 223 rifle enthusiasts happy.
Score: 4.2 Andrew Garfield
The UUQ tactical rifle scope has powerful optics built in for enhanced viewing. With its 40 mm objective lens and 2-5-10x magnification it’s easier than ever to keep track of your target. The reticle illumination is green or red with multiple brightness levels so low lit environments won’t be a hindrance.
The green laser built in the UUQ has an easy access on/off button. It also has a micro reflex dot sight so you can lock targets in quickly. The rifle scope’s design also leads to more efficient acquisition of moving targets.
The scope is O-ring sealed, nitrogen purged and it is shock resistant. With these reinforcements there’s greater scratch resistance and superior light transmission. The lens’ clarity level is also superior to those of the average rifle scope. The UUQ also scores points for its ease of use and being compatible with other rifles.
The UUQ is a powerful rifle scope which delivers a lot of power and precision. Whether you’re target practicing with your 223 Remington or law enforcer, this rifle scope will get it done.
Score: 4.2 Andrew Garfield
The BSA Optics rifle scope is for those who don’t want to compromise when it comes to performance. A versatile scope, the TW223 has a precision dot reticle so acquiring targets is is faster and more accurate.
The multicoated optics do what they’re supposed to, enhance the view even under different weather conditions. The rifle scope is also waterproof and shockproof so it won’t get damaged even if you use this for hours on end.
As the name makes clear, the BSA is for the 223 Remington and it works perfectly. Mounting is easy and it’s also secure. The optics are crystal clear and the scope remains intact even with a powerful recoil.
The scope is made from two piece aluminum. Most rifle scopes are in one piece, but this two piece design is just as robust. We also like its generous field of view that makes it easy to keep m of your target for more proficient shooting.
BSA Optics manufactures a lot of rifle scopes, and the TW233 618x40AOCP is one of the most efficient. Its aim is very accurate but is still easy to operate.
Score: 4.6 Andrew Garfield
The Nikon M 223 is marketed as an all-around scope and it lives up to the hype. The highlight here is the Ultra CleatCoat optical system as it provides you with a flat, sharp images for better target acquisition.
The M 223 also uses ARD (Anti Relective Device) Technology to minimize glare when you use it. The rifle scope also gas Rapid Turret Technology that works with its BDC reticle so it’s easier to lock in and hit the target.
The rifle scope is fog proof, shockproof and waterproof so it can handle extensive use. Magnification is well implemented and zooming in and out is smooth. The rifle scope itself is made from a single piece so it’s not going to break in two. Lastly, the Nikon M 223 has a smooth black finish for extra longevity.
The Nikon M 223 is a rifle scope that beginners and casual users will like. Its specs are excellent for this range and is good for hunting and getting rid of varmint.
Score: 4.2 Andrew Garfield
The UUQ 10x40 is a good example of a rifle scope that packs power. It comes with a 400 mm objective lens and 2.5-10x magnification so you’’ll always have an eye on your target. The field of view is generous, and the eye relief is also long enough so you’ll be more comfortable while using it.
Its illuminated red and green reticle has multiple levels of brightness. Whether it’s too bright or dim, just make the appropriate adjustment until the picture clarity is at the point you like. The red laser also has a well located activation button so you can turn it on or off quickly.
Its micro reflex dot is detachable, giving you more options for acquiring moving targets or if you want it need too lock in quickly. Being waterproof, shockproof and fog proof further make the UUQ ideal for hunters, law enforcers and rifle enthusiasts.
The UUQ 10x40 is an excellent riflescope, suitable for the 223 and other rifles. Whether it is varmint, hunting or tactical use, the UUQ will suffice for a lot of rifle enthusiasts.
How We Wrote This Review
You have probably read more than a few reviews before coming here, and you’re probably wondering if these are different. Yes they are for several reasons First, these reviews focused only on scopes for the 223, so whichever you choose you’re assured that it’s going to work.
This review guide involved extensive research. We took into account the opinions of buyers as well as experts and combined those with our own experience in using rifle scopes.
Each review is detailed and lists the important features, pros, cons and our overall assessment. We did not just list all the features, but we included explanations of what they’re for.
We feel this is necessary so you’ll have a better understanding if the scope is for you or not. We also made sure that the reviews are comprehensive without being technical and difficult to read.
Benefits of the Best Rifle Scope for 223
These rifle scopes provide a lot of benefits for 223 rifles. If we have to consider only one, it’s that they’re manufactured specifically for the 223. When you use one of these you’ll be more accurate with your shots.
These scopes are also built for extended use. They’re made from durable components and are usable in different conditions. They’re also waterproof and fog proof so a bit of rain won’t have a detrimental effect on the scope’s performance.
Another benefit provided by these scopes is compatibility. While they are mainly for the 223, you can also use them on different rifles. These scopes are also noted for being easy to mount and quality optics for easy viewing.
We also have to add these rifle scopes make target acquisition simpler even from a distance. Once the scope is set, you can focus on getting off those shots with greater accuracy.
How We Chose the Top 10
We created a very specific set of criteria that the ten rifle scopes had to pass to make the top ten. While there are several scopes which claim to be for the 223, they’’re not made the same way so we had to set guidelines to filter them.
Only those that passed the criteria were included in this review, and this is what allowed us to sift through the various rifle scopes in the market.
Who Should Buy These Scopes?
These scopes are meant for everyone who needs an accurate rifle scope for their 223 Remington. It is also for those who:
We hope found these reviews useful. We exerted all efforts to make sure that only the best and most qualified scopes were included. It took a lot of effort but we know how hard it is to go through reviews online and not even sure if they’re reliable.
All the rifle scopes in this review are 100% designed to work with the 223 Remington. They also have unique features that separate them from the standard rifle scope, which is why we did not pick out a specific winner. You can’t go wrong with any of them, but some will prefer one over the other.
The easiest way to decide what the best scope for 223 is to consider your budget, your current needs and how you use your rifle. The great thing about these rifle scopes is they’re flexible and allow you to get maximum performance from your rifle.
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