By Brian Jensen
Another new entry to the optics world is from well-respected optic manufacturer Nikon. At SHOT show I got to see their brand new Nikon P223 3×32 BDC Compact optic for the AR style rifle.
This is a compact 3-power scope made just for the AR-15 style rifle. The optic is a fixed power 3x magnification, with hash marks in the reticle for bullet drop programmed for 55 grain bullets built into the scope.
With such a flood of scopes out there for the black rifles out there, I asked Nikon’s Adam Goess what prompted the P223. He said that when the rush of buyers for AR-style rifles in recent years, many people were buying them who were only used to hunting rifles, and with them, hunting scopes. These people were not “operators” or may not even have any background in the military; they just liked the AR-15 style rifle. They were used to scopes with magnification like the ones on their hunting rigs.
Nikon put together these P223 scopes to make them simple. No crazy bells and whistles, just good quality glass, with some magnification, and at a reasonable price. (The P223 fixed 3-power will likely be in the $100-150 range.)
The P223 is fogproof and waterproof. It has a 100 yard parallax setting, ¼ MOA adjustment clicks, and a zero reset feature for the adjustment turrets. Like mentioned before, it uses a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensator) reticle set for the 55 grain projectile. With a zero at 200 yards, the hash marks of the BDC give you reference for 400 and 600 yards respectively. Another model, the P223 3-9×40, comes with additional magnification in 3-9 power, and has a more elaborate BDC system.
The scope itself is very compact, and uses a 2-piece mount (sold by Nikon separately) to keep it securely on your rifle’s flat-top or other mounting system. The magnification was nice at 3x, with enough to help out my eyes (that aren’t so young anymore) but not so powerful that I still could keep both eyes open to see well. I felt the reticle picked up easily, even with both eyes open. In all honesty, this is an ideal size for a carbine which is what Nikon designed it for, but would likely work well on any AR-style gun.
Along with this, was Nikon’s downloadable Spot-On ballistic system for your laptop, iPhone/iPod, or iPad. The system can help you calculate bullet drop and ballistics for any weight bullet, whether it’s a factory round or your own custom handloads. This is currently $4.99 from Icon in the Apple store on IPad, didn’t check it in IPhone but other reports from the comments below are already coming in that it is also not free. Overall the app compliments their scopes nicely, and compliments their scopes nicely.
Goess said Spot-On could be used in conjunction with the P223 3×32 scope to adapt the scope’s integral bullet drop compensator hash marks to whichever load you are working, whether it be 64 grain, or what have you.
The new P223 is a simple scope, made with quality, and makes sense for someone looking for that final touch for their personal AR.