Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600 Scope


When I first got into shooting, there were few choices in optics. Today, the selection of quality optics is absolutely mind-blowing. I’m blessed in that I get to test some of the best and most expensive, along with economy optics that are remarkably good. A couple of years back, I had the opportunity to try out the Nikon M-223 3-12x scope. I liked it so much that I sent Nikon a check instead of returning it after the review.

I kept it because it had almost every feature needed in a medium-range, multi-purpose scope. I used it in the 2011 National Defense Match, as did my grandson. Phoenix managed to win the Junior Class by virtue of 14-year-old Colton Cerino winning Optical Class and being bumped up.

Last month, I had the opportunity to test the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC 600. The P-series scopes are a lower-priced alternative to the already affordable M-series, and like the M-series, they are a lot of scope for the money. While the M-series scopes have a one to four multiplication factor, the P-series have a multiplication factor of one to three. While the M-series of scopes have left-side parallax adjustment, the P-series are preset for 100 yards. Both series have the same excellent turret system. This system allows for precise and repeatable adjustments and the ability to set the turrets to a zero-position, enabling small or large adjustments for elevation or windage without losing your original zero.

Both series utilize one-inch tubes and have excellent eye relief that doesn’t change with magnification level. The P-223 3-9x has 3.6 inches of eye relief and an excellent exit pupil rating of 13.3mm at 3x. There are 80 minutes of windage and elevation adjustment, more than enough for shooting even out to 1,000 yards.

Clicks are precise but close-spaced, and there are 20 minutes of elevation per revolution. With only about 15 minutes of elevation required to keep a .223 round in the center from 100 to 600 yards, the adjustment is only about three-fourths of a revolution. And you don’t have to click elevation on at all with the BDC 600 reticle. Developed specifically for the trajectory of the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO round with a 55-grain polymer-tip bullet, the BDC 600 reticle allows using open-circle aiming points and hash marks from 100 to 600 yards without even touching the elevation turret. The P-223 line is also waterproof and fogproof, and is nitrogen- and O-ring-sealed.

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