Best Scope for .223 Bolt Action: Improve Your Hunting Accuracy
When you enter the world of hunting and competitive rifle shooting, the .223 is one of the first rifles you will come in contact with. The weapon does not fire such a large round as many of the other calibers and this makes it one of the best entry-level rifles. However, a decent scope is definitely something you need to enhance the experience and the Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope is an easy and still affordable option with great magnification for beginners. The aircraft grade aluminum also makes it one of the most durable.
If you are a new owner of the rifle, you might be looking for a decent scope or something that will help you when hunting. We also thought of this when starting and did a lot of in-depth research to find the ideal scope. With some expert advice, we tracked down a couple of the top scopes to help you get started or expand your hunting or shooting experience with the .223.
Key Features To Consider When Buying The Best Scope For .223
When looking at the best scopes on the market today, there are a few general features to look at. These features will not only help you when selecting the best scope for a .223 but will also ensure you can select a scope for any rifle:
The lenses are the most important part of the scope and while there are many brands with various different lenses, you should easily find a great lens. When looking for a decent long-range scope, you should consider a reputable brand. The quality of the lenses will dictate how clearly you can see your target.
This closely links to the objective lens and the objective lens is associated with light transmission. It is fundamentally important to keep the brand in mind as they have built a reputation on the quality of their lenses.
One of the first things you will look for in a scope is the magnification. The better the magnification, the more detail you will see on the target. Since the .223 is a long range hunting rifle, you will be looking for something with a magnification of 5X or more. Most of the top scopes have magnification ranges and these can range from 3X all the way to 9X in on the scope.
With better magnification, your target will be clear and this will make the hunting process a little easier as well. It should help you when making the perfect trophy shot with your rifle.
# Objective Lens
When it comes to light transmission, the objective lens will be your best friend. The larger the size of the objective lens, the better your light transmission will be. While this might not always be noticeable by beginners, the recommended size is around 40-50mm. Over the years of shooting and hunting, we have found that an objective lens of over 50mm will clearly help you see the difference.
The materials used for the construction of your scope will make a major difference when using it. Aircraft grade aluminum is used for most tactical scopes and it has proven to be the most durable. The outer casing or the body will be the only layer of protection for the lenses if the scope does fall. Since they are really expensive, you will need great durability.
Another factor to consider is the conditions that you will be using the scope in. If you hunt in all types of weather, the scope should also be waterproof. This means that having a rubber coating can help keep the water out.
The reticle is another really important part of the scope. This is generally in MIL or MOA, but both will be fine for your hunting purposes. The dots should be spread out evenly to help with compensation for different windage and elements. If you can add a bullet drop compensator to the scope, it will also be really beneficial. However, these will cost a little extra and are only found on some of the elite scopes.
Most of the modern scopes can easily be adjusted and the adjustability is referred to the turrets on the top of the scope. If you love shooting at the range and from cliffs, you will need easy adjustment. However, beginners might not really understand how the adjustment works and having an expert guide you will definitely be a great option.
If you keep the scope on one rifle and you have a set shooting range, the scope will not need a lot of adjustments. The only real area a beginner might need to use the adjustment turrets is to center the scope on a certain distance when first receiving it.
The range of the scope will vary from person to person and this will all depend on the usage of the scope. If you are hunting long-range targets, you will need a scope with a longer range. Nevertheless, it is also worth keeping in mind that you will have peace of mind with more range. A range of more than 1000-yards will offer you the best use, but can also be really expensive.
Are you looking to keep the rifle light? If so, you will need a much lighter scope. Fortunately, scopes come in various weight categories and while we cannot actively give you the best weight, you should be sure to look at the weight as well. Elite brands like Trijicon are expensive, but they can keep the weight down to a minimum and include top features.
As we have mentioned before, these scopes are certainly expensive and you need some peace of mind. Having a great warranty will give you this peace of mind. Many brands understand this and they have included lifetime warranties to give you peace of mind. We recommend looking for a decent warranty to protect you from manufacturer defects.
Reviews of The Best Scope For .223 On The Market Today
With all the basic info, it should be easy for you to choose the best scope for you .223. However, we also understand that this can be an extremely tough process with all the options and we have decided to simplify the selection process. Here are a couple of great scopes you can choose for your .223:
1. Monstrum Tactical 6-24×50 Rifle Scope Review
Rust resistant and waterproof
- High precision tactical rifle scope with 6-24x...
- Functionally designed first focal plane...
- Equipped with an adjustable objective lens - or AO...
+ Specifications: Magnification: 6-24X / Objective lens: 50mm / Weight: 27-ounces / Range: 800-yards.
+ Extra features: Focal plane reticle and rangefinder in reticle to help calculate distance.
The Monstrum Tactical 6-24×50 Rifle Scope is one of the top riflescopes on the market. The scope is battery powered and nitrogen purged for eliminating any situations that you come by where lighting is an issue. It has been constructed from 6061 aircraft grade aluminum to enhance the durability and offers you a range of over 800-yards.
The scopes stands out with the excellent magnification that goes up to 24X and this will give you an excellent line of sight and you can see all the needed detail before shooting. The ¼-inch MOA internal adjustment setting will make it much easier to adjust the scope on the go. It also includes a focal plane reticle that makes the focus much easier and faster.
The weight might be an issue as the scope is rather heavy. However, it is extremely durable and comes with flip caps already included to protect the lenses from any damage. The scope is really durable as well and when not in use, it will be rust resistant and waterproof. This means you can use it in virtually any weather conditions that meet your needs.
One of the best parts of this scope is the price and it turns out to be rather affordable compared to some of the others. The excellent durability and magnification make it well worth the price and we would definitely recommend it to beginners and professionals alike.
Add some stability if needed —
The CVLIFE 6-9 Inches Tactical Rifle Bipod is a great bipod that will work for the .223 and the 5.56mm rifles. It is spring assisted and mounts quite easily, but thanks to the lighter weight, it can easily be carried all day. If you suffer from stability, this will be an excellent addition.
- Reasonably priced
- The scope is made from aircraft aluminum and will be really durable in all situations.
- The focal plane reticle will give you the ability to focus faster.
- The range of 800-yards will be more than needed in most hunting situations
- With 24X magnification, you should not have a problem seeing all the details.
- The reticle can also help to calculate the range if needed.
- Some users have complained that the scope is a little heavy for all day carry.
- You will need to replace the batteries over time.
2. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope Review
Constructed from anodized aluminum
- 30mm tube dia
- Drop zone 22
- Fully multicoated optics
+ Specifications: Magnification: 3-9X / Objective lens: 40mm / Weight: 21-ounces / Range: 500-yards (zeroes at 100-yards).
+ Extra features: Fast focus technology and 100-yard field of view to keep the target in sight.
Bushnell is one of the top optic brands on the market today and the Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope is a great addition to yours. 233. It has been constructed from anodized aluminum that is generally used for aircraft and this will add excellent durability to the scope. The range is around 500-yards and this should be enough for close hunting ventures.
Light transmission is something that you might need to deal with from time to time and the 40mm objective lens is perfect for helping you with the light transmission. It also features a great field of view of around 100-yards and this will help you when it comes to keeping your target in sight when moving. The 9X magnification is ideal for picking your shot.
One of the standout features is the fast focus eyepiece and if you find yourself shooting in sports competitions, this will be a perfect addition to help you finish in time. Most competitions will have a set time limit that you need to complete it in. It is worth noting that the 21-ounce weight might be a little heavy if you have a modified weapon and rangefinder.
Bushnell products are not as expensive as many people might think and when comparing this scope to some of the others, the price does seem to be really affordable. If you are looking for a great scope with a decent 3-year warranty, this will be the ideal option to consider. We would definitely recommend it for the quality and value.
Don’t forget some scope mounting rings —
If you are trekking through rigorous environments, the CCOP High Profile AR-ArmourTac Rifle Scope Mount is a must and they will definitely help when it comes to the protection of your scope.
- The price is reasonable enough for beginners to get started.
- The aircraft grade aluminum will make it impervious to element damage.
- Users love the objective lens and the ability to transmit light and reduce glare.
- With the fast focus technology, the scope can be used for competition shooting as well.
- Users have complained that the 500-yard range is a little short for hunting at longer distances.
3. Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret Review –TOP PICK
Rated amongst the elite scopes for the .223
+ Specifications: Magnification: 4-12X / Objective lens: 40mm / Weight: 17.6-ounces / Range: 600-yards.
+ Extra features: Excellent light transmission and lightweight design.
The Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret is rated amongst the elite scopes for the .223 if you are looking to go hunting or sports shooting. It comes with multicoated lenses that include special Nikon technology and the objective lens of 40mm should help ensure that light transmission is not an issue in bad light situations.
The scope has been constructed from aircraft grade aluminum, but polymer has also been added. Thanks to the addition of the polymer, the weight is kept a little lower and the scope only weighs around 17.6-ounces. One of the key additions is the bullet drop compensator and even though the range is 600-yards, the scope will let you know where to aim with the reticle.
The ey-relief is one of the only problems that we have picked up with this scope and unfortunately, it is only around 3-inches. This might not be ideal for those wearing glasses. However, the field of view is over 100-yards and this will make it perfect for keeping your target in check and planning when to take your shot.
The scope is mostly designed for hunting at shorter ranges with your.223. It can be used for longer ranges and the fast adjustability from the turret will enable you to do this when needed. It also comes with an affordable price tag that will ensure that you do get great value for your money. We highly recommend this as the top option on our list.
How about a bundle —
Nikon does have this scope as part of a bundle package and if you are looking to save and have a windmeter included with mounting rails, the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Matte BDC 600 P-Series should be perfect for you. It is also really affordable.
- A reasonable price tag for beginners and pros.
- The scope is extremely easy to mount on the weapon.
- Users love the excellent light transmission and the multicoated lenses.
- The addition of polymer does help to keep the weight a little lower on the scope.
- Users have complained that eye-relief is not ideal and could have been a little better.
4. Bushnell Optics AR Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope Review
Durable Aircraft grade aluminum
- Quality optics with stunning HD clarity
- 100% quality materials used and tested extensively
- Beautiful design and durability built to last
+ Specifications: Magnification: 1-4X / Objective lens: 30mm / Weight: 16-ounces / Range: 500-yards.
+ Extra features: Fast focus technology and 100-yard field of view to keep the target in sight.
The Bushnell AR Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope is a decent lightweight option for the avid hunter shooting at close ranges. It has been constructed from durable Aircraft grade aluminum and it has been tested to be resistant to rust and completely waterproof in all weather conditions. The magnification might not be the best, but can still be decent at 4X.
We generally recommend an objective lens of more than 40mm, but this scope does not have that and when using the scope, we have found that it does not really make that much of a difference at shorter ranges. The scope will only give you a maximum range of around 500-yards, but this will be enough for short-range hunting and competition purposes.
One of the best features is the lighter weight and with a weight of only 16-ounces, the scope is perfect for long days in the wild. It offers a decent MOA adjustable turret that will ensure you can adjust the scope on the go and the multi-coated optics will help to eliminate most of the glare you need to deal with.
The scope comes at an affordable price and since Bushnell is one of the most recognized brands, the scope will be well worth the price. The addition of the 3-year limited warranty will add some peace of mind and the scope will help you complete your hunting objectives with the .223. We definitely recommend this as the ideal lightweight option.
You might consider a smaller option —
The Primary Arms 1-6X24mm SFP Riflescope is quite similar and extremely lightweight. If the objective lens does not make such a major difference, this scope will definitely be ideal for short-range hunting.
- The scope features a really affordable price tag.
- The turrets offer excellent adjustability in the field.
- Users love the lighter weight of the scope for long distance carrying purposes.
- It has been constructed from durable aircraft aluminum that makes it impervious to weather conditions.
- Some users say that the range of only 500-yards could have been extended.
5. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 AO Hog Hunter Review
Mounted on your .223 and 5.56mm rifles
- The 3-12x56 Adjustable Objective Hog Hunter...
- The adjustable objective provides image focus and...
- With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving eye...
+ Specifications: Magnification: 3-12X / Objective lens: 56mm / Weight: 21-ounces / Range: +-600 yards.
+ Extra features: A massive objective lens with excellent light transmission and an illuminated reticle.
Vortex Optics is one of the brands that people might often forget about and the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 3-12×56 AO Hog Hunter is an affordable scope that has been constructed from aircraft grade aluminum and offers versatility. What we mean by versatility is that it can be mounted on your .223 and 5.56mm rifles.
The scope is quite heavy at 21-ounces, but this should not deter you in any way. It also comes with a decent range of around 600-yards and the magnification is 12X, which should be more than enough to give you clear visibility. However, the standout feature is the 56mm objective lens that will ensure you have an excellent light transmission.
The field of view is a staggering 100-yards and this will also be enough to help you keep the target in your sights when it is on the move. It is worth noting that the scope is rather large and might not be ideal for those looking to carry it for prolonged periods. The V-brite technology is also great as it illuminates the reticle, which makes it easier to see.
The scope is not all that expensive, but it could be rather expensive if you are a beginner. We still do recommend it for the quality and the value that is on offer and we believe it should give you a great value for your money. It also comes with a decent warranty that will give you some additional peace of mind.
Try something cheaper if this one is too expensive —
The Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm 4-Plex is a little more affordable, but still made from good quality materials. We would choose it if you are a beginner looking to break into the sport.
- The objective lens is huge at 56mm and helps with the light transmission
- It has been constructed from aircraft grade aluminum for extra durability
- Users love the illuminated reticle that makes it much easier to use.
- With a field of view of 100-yards, it is much easier to keep track of your targets.
- Some users complain that the weight might be a little excessive.
6. Leupold VX-5HD Riflescope CDS-Zl2 Side Focus Gun Scope Review
Reach more than 600-yards
- 3-15X magnification
- 75 MOA elevation adjustments
- 75 MOA wind age adjustments
+ Specifications: Magnification: 3-15X / Objective lens: 56mm / Weight: 22.3-ounces / Range: 600+-yards.
+ Extra features: A massive objective lens with excellent light transmission and illuminated reticle.
Last but certainly not least, we have the Leupold VX-5HD Riflescope CDS-Zl2 Side Focus Gun Scope and this is one of the elite hunting scopes that you could invest in if you have the cash. It has also been constructed from 6061 Aircraft grade aluminum and it is completely impervious to any weather conditions and elements.
The scope can reach more than 600-yards and the massive objective lens of 56mm will make the light transmission be great as well. While it might be a little heavy, the scope is still around 22.3-ounces and if you are an avid hunter, you should get used to this weight quite fast. It is worth noting that the field of view is also a massive 100-yards.
The scope does come with a massive lifetime warranty and the windage adjustment is a decent 75 MOA, but the price does seem to be a little bit excessive. This is not the scope that I would choose if I was a beginner, but if you are a professional hunter, it should be one of the best options that you could consider.
Keep your lenses protected —
This scope is really expensive and having some protection for your lenses is a must. The Leupold Alumina VX-6 Flip-Back Lens cover will keep the lenses protected and they will not force you to break the bank.
- The scope is made from durable aircraft grade aluminum to withstand weather conditions.
- The windage adjustment is a massive 75MOA, which is more than needed
- It features an excellent range and magnification to find your targets.
- Users love the eye-relief that is really comfortable and the illuminated reticle.
- This is one of the most expensive scopes on the market today.
Now with the knowledge of the best .223 scopes, you should be able to find the ideal scope that meets your needs. We highly recommend all of these scopes, but the Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Riflescope with Rapid Action Turret does stand out for the affordability and excellent features it offers.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we would like you to share your thoughts on these scopes. If you have ever used one, let us know what you think and also be sure to let us know if we might have missed any of your favorites. We look forward to reading your comments.