Nikon P223 Review (3-9×40)

Summary Information

Our Rating


Price Guide:
Under $200

Ideal for hunting and target shooting.

Summary Review:
This is one of the best value for money scopes you will find. It is packed with features and will be suitable for both hunters and target shooters alike.


The precision Nikon P-223 Rifle Scope is designed specifically with .223/5.56 NATO caliber weapons in mind. This full-featured product offers crystal clear optics, which transmit a maximum amount of light to the eye as you would expect from Nikon.

A comfortable eye relief makes for easy, continued use over long periods of time. Tactical, Zero-Reset turrets allow for lightning fast zeroing, maintaining their setting even after repeated firing of the rifle.

The 100-yard parallax setting increases precision at the most common shooting ranges. Easy to mount, easy to use, and fully adjustable, the P-223 scope is a perfect fit for high-performance 223 weapons. Now let’s get to the details of this Nikon P223 review.

Recommended Uses

The Nikon P-223 scope is a good, all-purpose scope. It can be used for just about any purpose, from hunting to target and competition shooting. However, because the scope is designed for smaller caliber rifles (specifically, the .223/5.56 NATO ammunition types), the scope might not be the best suited for large game hunting.

The unique reticle design makes precision grouping on long range targets easy to achieve, which suggests that target shooters might find this scope to be a great fit for their needs. Use in dense, wooded areas might be slightly less agreeable, in that the reticle can be difficult to see with the scopes magnification zoomed out to 3X or 4X. This is only a minor issue, however, and as long as the optics are kept in focus, this might prove to be unnoticeable by the average shooter. For tactical and military/ paramilitary uses, this scope is probably not the best choice.

Product Details



Since this scope is available at different magnification settings, the field of view depends on the magnification option. This particular model has a field of view of 11.3 foot to 33.8 foot at 100 yards dependent on magnification. The most popular options are the 3X to 9X and 4X to 12X zoom options, which offer a 11.3 foot and 7.9 foot field of view, respectively. (3X and 1.5X to 4.5X options are also available)



The BDC 600 Reticle included on the P-223 Rifle Scope gives the feel of a very open visibility, and provides hash marks for various ranges, from 100 to 600 yards. I recommend choosing one of the higher magnification option when purchasing this scope, in that the Reticle itself seems to be more clearly visible above a 6X zoom factor. Focus adjustments are necessary to get the most out of this reticle-type.



As stated above, this scope includes a very useful and high quality Zero-Reset turret design. Windage and elevation can be quickly adjusted, and maintain that adjustment through repeated use without fear of the jarring effects of recoil. However, when you want to reset them back to zero, a one-touch system is in place to speed up the process.



Multi-coated Nikon lenses provide a maximum amount of light transmission through the scope. During test firing, even low light conditions at dusk were easily handled by the high-quality lenses. Couple that with the fact that the scope is nitrogen filled and firmly sealed, making it both waterproof and extremely fog resistant.



The Nikon P-223 has a 100-yard parallax setting. This provides very precise shooting at the most common ranges. There is not, however, anything akin to a side parallax adjustment knob, so for the expert rifleman, there might be a small amount of parallax error at extremely close or far ranges.



Standard Nikon P-mounts are perfectly suited for this particular scope. An M-mount can also be used, but does not provide the flexibility of mounting options as do the two-piece P-mounts.



There is a more than generous eye relief provided on the P-223 scope. This increases the comfort-level of the shooter, and is suited for higher-powered recoil situations and extreme shooting angles, even in lightweight rifle models.

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Pros And Cons

To summarize our Nikon P223 review we have put together this list of pros and cons.


  • Magnification Options- There are several magnification options (both static and adjustable) to meet any shooter's specific needs
  • BDC 600 Reticle- This open, non-obtrusive reticle creates an open feel, while still offering accuracy-improving range hash marks
  • Zero-Reset Turrets- Windage and elevation can be adjusted accurately and returned to their original setting afterwards
  • Light Transmission- Maximum light transmission through the Nikon lenses makes for a high-quality shooting experience, even in low light conditions
  • 100 Yard Parallax- This parallax setting makes shots more accurate at the most common shooting ranges


  • Reticle Visibility- As stated above, it seems that the reticle itself becomes more visible when the magnification level of the scope is set at or above 6X. For this reason, the lower magnification options are somewhat problematic
  • No Parallax Adjustment- The 100 yard parallax setting is good for shooting at ranges close to 100 yards. However, there is no separate parallax adjustment option on this scope
  • Not Fit for High Caliber Weapons- Because this scope is designed for .223 weapons, it is obviously not the best choice for larger caliber rifles