Best .223 Scopes: 10 Superb Models for Home Defense & Varmint Hunting — Thoroughly Tested & Reviewed (Buying Guide Added)
- Erik Himmel
.223 remington has always been a great companion of shooters for hunting, target shooting, and home defense. It’s easy availability, versatility, and less recoil with great precision make it a much-preferred cartridge in the US.
If you're looking for the best 223 scope, you're at the right place. We reviewed a number of these scopes to help other avid shooters like us - no matter their experience or skill level - to find their best match.
This is your chance to easily and quickly determine the right scope you need! Make good use of it and thank us later.
What You Will Get Here
- Best 223 Scopes Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
- Why Follow Our Lead
- How We Made Our Selection
- Our 10 Best Scopes for .223 Bolt Action
- Editor’s Choice: Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube Riflescopes
- Great Value for Money: Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope
- For Long-Range Shooting: Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope
- A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
- For the Seasoned Marksman: Trijicon ACOG 3.5×35 Riflescopes
- Other Notable Brands & Models
- What’s So Special about .223 Scopes?
- Best 223 Scope – Buying Guide
- Scope Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
- A Word from RangerExpert
Best 223 Scopes Comparison Chart (Updated 2021)
Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube RiflescopesRead Full Review
Bushnell Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle RiflescopeRead Full Review
Best for Long-Range Shooting: Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle ScopeRead Full Review
Trijicon ACOG 3.5x35 RiflescopesRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Diamondback Second Focal Plane RiflescopeRead Full Review
Nikon Buckmasters II 3-9x40 BDCRead Full Review
Bushnell 1-4x/24mm scopeRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes V-Brite IlluminatedRead Full Review
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Dead-Hold BDCRead Full Review
Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm RiflescopeRead Full Review
Why Follow Our Lead
Here at Ranger Expert, you’ll come across a group of competitive and recreational firearm shooters that use this platform to share all of their activities with the whole world. Some of our team members are so crazy about their firearms that they consider the range as their second home. This website was established around 8 years ago and we already boast of a large fan base.
Aside from publishing how-to blogs containing all the tips and tricks to play it safe, we also review a range of guns, ammo, and firearm accessories with a strict testing procedure. We do this with the sole intention of helping our readers find the best deal as per their individual skill levels and preferences.
This very review is part of that endeavor and we can guarantee you that all of our product reviews are absolutely unbiased. We believe once you’re done reading this article, you’ll feel the same as well.
How We Made Our Selection
Since we’ve been using different types of rifles for years, we were already well-familiar with the top-class scopes out there and how they functioned. Still, we did a 20-hour long research to single out the most popular scopes for .223 rifles of this time. We came up with 28 such models that we decided to test ourselves.
Over the next few weeks, we gathered all those models with the help of our volunteers and tested them one by one. We kept our focus on the essential factors that separate a good scope from a bad one, including but not limited to lenses, objective large diameter, FOV, exit pupil, reticle, light transmission, accuracy, precision, build quality, and durability.
When done, we championed the 10 best scopes for 223 based on the results. We also consulted with other veteran marksmen that we personally knew to check the reliability of our findings. As expected, they were positive with the results as well that assured us to present the list to you here.
Our 10 Best Scopes for .223 Bolt Action
Vortex is the magic wand of scopes. They have been on the scene long enough to know what features that count needs to go into a specific scope. A Crossfire II is the sum total of simple functionality without the fancy thrills and frills and does best what it is meant to; give you superior sporting quality.
The lens has several sheets of anti-reflective coatings that keep glare at bay and harvest light transmission effectively. The solid body is a single tubing body that confers high scope integrity so you can easily make precise adjustments.
A zero-reset turret is part of the works and is fully capped for protection. It is impervious to inclement weather conditions and is fog proof too.
Eye relief is extravagant and the quick-focus eyepiece is a splendor. It allows swift and uncompromised clear and bright pictures. An unconditional VIP lifetime warranty is thrown in.
The picture quality at 9x takes a beating. If you want to use this scope on a scout-type rifle, choose the model carefully. Not all are compatible. Sadly, reticle illumination is missing. We were curious if zero would hold after the heavy recoil of a Remington but the result was not up to par.
We would like to put in a word for Vortex’s customer support which doesn’t come any better. It’s in the price slot $130 to $220, a bonanza for the performance you’re getting.
|Eye relief||3.9 inch|
|Parallax||100 yards Factory set|
This riflescope holds great promise for hunting. You don’t have to break the bank for some sophisticated features that are more show-off than productive. The Vortex Crossfire II keeps things simple and is no pea shooter. Fully functional for the big game, varmint and small game hunting, target shooting and home defense, it's right there.
Leading the pack is this great riflescope from Bushnell. With its shockingly low price, it has many adherents. The scope itself has features attributing it to great accomplishment. The optics are AR with a power of 3-9x which makes long-range shooting a play. The objective is a standard 40 mm which heightens the target’s clarity and rendering exact focusing.
A second focal plane is a standard on this scope and zero calibration is at 100 yards with aiming points reaching up to 500 yards - not too bad for a long-range scope.
The scope arrives loaded with a multi-coated lens that does not give two hoots for ambient light conditions. Brightness is delivered for sure.
The quick focus eyepiece is a testimony to precise shooting. The eye relief provided does exactly; provides ample margin from the recoil keeping you safe. Durability and robustness figure highly for any scope. Made of hard-anodized aluminum alloy, a long-life is guaranteed.
For waterproofness, not only is it sealed but inert gas purged. So come rain, fog or whatever the elements bring down, your scope remains unscathed. Needless to say, it is scratch-and rust-proof.
We all know that Bushnell is no babe in the woods when it comes to riflescopes. We noticed the scope was heavy and the turret marks were a bit offline. But that was not a deal breaker anyway.
|Eye relief||3.7 inch|
Summing up, it is a wise pick for professionals and hunters whose interest is durability, top-notch quality and above all, reliability. A hunting or shooting experience is in your hands. This is one scope you will be glad to have in your belt. Like a faithful dog, it will give you accuracy and you will be your own master of every situation.
This second focal field plane riflescope is dual purpose; both short and long-range shooting. The added bonus is a quick switching mode. The scope’s reticle being a Mil-dot, it is pretty easy for you to figure out whatever it is that you are shooting at as it is illuminated. The view is blemishless, all thanks to the fabulous lens.
Being a second focal plane scope, the Mil-dot reticle can range targets to 16x magnification power. The zero is resettable and the turrets have a locking function. The ¼ MOA clicks are loud enough to be heard in the Suez. The parallax adjustment is through a sidewise knob that banishes parallax as well as extending a sharp image even at extended ranges.
The scope itself is of incredible strength. It has been forged to withstand high stresses and the durability is awesome irrespective of external factors such as weather.
Reticle brightness is in 12 levels; you get to choose what’s best for you. Flip covers are included.
Age has to be factored in first. Image clarity is directly proportional to your retinal status. At 200 meters, no complaints. The mil dots are a wee bit tiny to locate. Turrets are easy to relocate without the use of any tools.
|Eye relief||4 inches|
|Adjustment Click value||¼ MOA|
|Field of view at 100 yards||3.5 inch-26.19 feet|
Primary Arms have come up with a host of rifle scopes that are giving the competition a run for the money in the recent past. They have got it right at every step. For a little over 150 dollars, they are offering compact models with multitude of features. If you are up for buying a logically priced scope that offers a great value, watch out for this little beauty.
A List of 6 Other Products We Reviewed
The big boy of riflescopes is here.
The ACOG or otherwise called the Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight, has been in use by vets and their collective view is “it just does not fail.” Do we need to say more? The ACOG is the jewel in this crown. It is an exorbitant show of optical engineering and aptly deserved too. With around 12 different variations and over a dozen reticular combinations, it derives its power to illuminate from three sources primarily; batteries, fiber optics, and Tritium.
Replenishing on power and light during the day is the job of the fiber optics. When the light calls it a day, the tritium imparts a faint glow.The reticle itself is always a BDC which is pre-calibrated for a load of 5.56. It has a built-in rangefinder.
With the Trijicon ACOG, you can get that flea off the squirrels head at 500 yards with the squirrel oblivious. The Trijicon turns its collars up at the sheer brilliancy of its optics; absolutely outstanding. An extremely strong and magnificent glass gives you the freedom to see and be selective of the different targets that will pop up.
The much-trumpeted ACOG has its own cons; being self-regulation of the system. The brighter it is outside, the reticle follows likewise. This can be an impediment. We had a one on one with a young marine back from Afghanistan and this is what he had to say about the Trijicon ACOG - “Yeah sure, they get roughed up pretty bad. They are deployed in training also, and there’s the field; bouncing off walls, riding in Humvees, MRAPS, tracks and all. One guy hit an IED but his gun and piece came out cool.” The ACOG performs incredibly in low light and in pitch darkness, you have night vision to fall back on.
Some trade-offs; too much outside brightness and you need to tape off the red stripe which is the light collector. The reticle illumination is restricted to your location, not that of the target.
|Eye relief||2.4 inch|
|Adjustment Click value||¼ MOA|
|Field of view at 100 yards||28.9 feet|
|Reticle||Illuminated Red TA11EA Chevron|
The Trijicon ACOG is the best hunting scope - the Hercules of all riflescopes we might say. It is a combat-proven part where it’s all about power weaponry. But getting down to brass tacks, this is undoubtedly where the ball drops. You need deep pockets for this one, at least something in the vicinity of 1.2K. This scope is decidedly for veteran marksmen. Our reasoning is that we do not envisage you in tactical, combat, or sniper roles in ordinary circumstances.
Vortex is a leader in the American Industry that deals with optical equipment be it for bird watching, law enforcement, recreational sport, you name it; the point being they are not the new kids on the block when it comes to riflescopes.
The Vortex Diamondback is so popular for all the right reasons. Its amazing combination of high quality with a low price has the consumers eating out of their hands.
The quality glass is multicoated. Being a second focal plane scope, it renders spectacular quick focusing features and compactness that further highlights sharp imagery.
As far as durability goes, it is a single-piece hard-anodized finish bestowing the Diamondback with great robustness, achieving three things at one go; sturdiness, shockproof and camouflage. Waterproofing and fog proofing is arrived at by O-sealing of the lens and nitrogen purging of the tube.
The reticle options are two; a dead-hold BDC and a V-Plex.
We honestly found the Diamondback an unpretensive straightforward scope. It’s child’s play to figure it out and mount. Being lightweight, it is not awkward to position your stance. In a short while, it makes you comfortable. Of the reticle options, we found the Dead-hold BDC a great deal simpler for windage and elevation corrections. In the same breath, not providing a sunshade seems irresponsible.
We do not need to delve into the sourcing part of the scope, but it should suffice to say that if you are new to hunting or short on cash, the Diamondback will make you proud.
Time for a joust. The NikonBuckmasters II vs the Diamondback.
Nikon always offers high-quality optics. The Diamondback is a bit restrained here. Accuracy and ease of shooting, even-steven. The reticles, here the Diamondback gets the edge by a thin margin.
|Eye relief||3.1 inch|
|Parallax setting||100 yards|
|Field of view at 100 yards||32.4-11.3 feet|
With its numerous advantages, it can be easily understood why Diamondback is a better option than other products twice the price. The features are specific to medium-range shooting, the optic quality is above par and the entire package comes with serious design understanding of the riflescope. Do yourself a favor; we are not advising you to buy it outright; just take a look at it.
Nikon knows how to hit home runs on the trot. They did just that with the Buckmasters II leaving the competition frothing. Blending simplicity with solidity is not an easy task. Nikon makes it so.
The reticle is BDC, reinvented with transparent ballistic circles, raising the stakes for long-range hunters. A Spot on Ballistic Match technology has been introduced here to enable the reticle to shoulder shot accuracy considering load, ammo in use, and so on. As a gun accessory, it has to face up to some undesirable abuse when you’ll be shooting your AR 15. A lot of infrastructure has gone into ensuring solidity.
The product is totally waterproof, complete with perfect lens sealings and inert gas internal purging. The lens is fully multi-coated and the turrets resettable without any tools. This scope has a light transmission of up to 92% owed to their patented Brightvue technology which is darn sweet to get your quarry down.
The Nikon warranty policy on this product looked a bit shady to us- No-Fault Repair/Replacement Policy and Limited Lifetime Warranty. On confirming with them, shipping defects are OK but not if your scope gets stolen. Fair enough.
Blurring images at close to mid-range and there is no way for parallax correction. The eye relief of 3.6 inches is an aspect to watch closely before making up your mind.
|Eye relief||3.6 inches|
|Parallax setting||Factory set 100 yards|
|Field of view at 100 yards||33.8-11.3 feet|
The Nikon Buckmasters II is in a class of its own. The riflescope is what is of interest to us specifically. Since we have sighted and done some common tests, this riflescope tells no lies. The Buckmasters is truly an accomplished product, in particular, the reticle management which is at the heart of things.
Versatile, great performance, overall great buy, and so on as reviews claim. So many models so let’s not get bogged in. Vortex is no child in arms when we speak of high-performance riflescopes. So let’s go.
The magnification is in the ideal slot; 6-24x. The second magical deal is the rigid construction.
Cast from a single piece of 1-inch aircraft-grade aluminum, anodized and finished in black, it can withstand severe conditions within accepted norms. It is made to take high recoil and impact. Any penetration of foreign matter and moisture is kept at bay with the lens being O-sealed and the tube nitrogen purged.
This variable optic is wonderful irrespective of whether you are using an AR or a hard-hitting bolt-action firearm. The second focal plane houses a Dead-Hold BDC reticle with a customized hash marked design that takes the guesswork out of the elevation and wind factors. In an SFP, the reticle is situated close to the ocular which means the plane changes size depending on the setting of the magnification and the BDC will be accurate at the highest setting. This makes it a winner for long-range shooting and competitions.
Mounting this scope calls for additional investment as rings or other means for mounting the scope is not provided by Vortex. We advise going for a cantilever mount which gives better shoulder support. We found the design a bit short in that one cannot see the MOA markings on the turret when carrying out an adjustment as they are obstructed by the fingers.
A good scope has visible markings below the top part. At under 200 USD, it’s quite a bargain. We were overwhelmed at the praise most of those owners we talked with had about the customer support. One cannot ask for more from this scope as it has all bases covered to perfection.
|Eye relief||3.8 inches|
|Field of view at 100 yards||34.1-12.6 feet|
|Adjustment click value||¼ MOA|
Vortex is a giant in the field of optics. Their premium range covers optics for wildlife and bird watching, law enforcement, and outdoor recreational sports. Choosing Vortex is joining an exclusive club.
We have here an expensive, top-notch product with ultimate magnification and clarity of vision. If for some reason, you don’t check up on the other Crossfire variants., you will come away rolling your eyes. They actually cater to a mighty broad range.
The V-Brite claims a class of its own. It comes with the works. Adequately long eye-relief, an eyepiece that is a fast focus type, lenses fully multicoated, and turrets that are resettable. There is no compromise on this Crossfire II. Bright, tough, and clear is how we can put it best. For the price, it does score heavily on its challengers.
It is made of a single piece of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum, both O-sealed and nitrogen purged for waterproofing and standing in the way of fog prevention. The reticle is V-Brite that uses the V-plex advancement format. With the battery-operated center dot illumination, it takes your performance to a whole nother level. This scope is a godsend for hunters and shooters in times of extremely depleted light conditions.
We have to doff our hats off at The Crossfire II V-Brite. Tight packaging of the very essentials is what we seek from a product. No more or less. The V-Brite completely satisfies all scores.
We did find it a jot on the heavier side. The crosshair seems a bit awry but not exactly troublesome. The general opinion is that it is a great multipurpose scope. We tried it on a Thompson Center Venture Predator Max and it did well at 1000 yards.
We cannot but resist comparing the two Crossfire twins. Both are in the same price slot. Little under $200. Both are the second plane focus but the Crossfire II V-Brite with its contribution nudges the V-Brite ahead a mite. But honestly, the comparison has to end here because both are engineered to provide performance, rugged and no-nonsense.
A 30mm tube affords enormous strength as compared to a one-inch tube. The Crossfire II Dead-hold BDC saves weight without sacrificing durability. The V-Brite is positioned for greater recoil and power.
|Field of view at 100 yards||96.1-4.1 feet|
|Adjustment click value||½ MOA|
|Reticle||V-Brite Illuminated center dot BDC|
|Tube diameter||30 mm|
Our hope is that our highlighting of this scope has been illuminating. To reiterate, the robustness and durability of this scope are wonderful not to mention the complete waterproofness of the scope and its ability to take in knocks. Genuinely, this is a decent scope for sale to start off with.
The market, if you observe, is mostly inundated by variable scopes claiming better viewing. However, the Bushnell, which is basically an AR optic, comes with a bunch of goodies that are hard to not pay heed to. Though on the bulkier side, when it comes to the crux, it’s hardly anything when compared to other 4x magnification scopes out there.
The Bushnell 1-4x/24 has a suffix; PCL which is short for Power Controlled Lever. It is a handle that is foldable and can be deployed swiftly to go from 1x to 4x. This optic will hardly see the user using 2 or 3x. The reticle is of the BTR-I type - a reticle calibrated for the .223. This reticle is magical in all daylight conditions without the requirement of any illumination.
.If you do go in for a Bushnell, do opt for the PCL version. It can be dismantled if you feel you don’t need it. The turrets are exposed and finger adjustable. No locking arrangements have been provided. And no zero stop, so this is a weak area of this scope.
At night, the 1x disappears. But this scope comes with the best illumination system we have encountered in any scope. The illumination marking is in 11 steps, 1 being off. The steps have been adjusted brilliantly. Position 11 is for bright daylight against a white background. We simply cannot but agree that this is how reticle illumination should work.
The quality of the clicks belies its budget nature. As a short-range carbine scope, the clicks are very distinct, audible but exhibit a truckload of lash on each click; meaning crispness is out of the picture. If you are shopping for a $160 scope, look no further than the Bushnell 1-4x/24mm PCL.
|Field of view at 100 yards||112-27 feet|
|Adjustment click value||½ MOA|
|Tube diameter||30 mm|
Bushnell has been in the field of optics for years. Their products are the culmination of much research and engineering. These scopes are essentially short-and medium-range products that give you the best bang for your buck. This is a great option for law enforcement and such ancillary tasks. One suggestion though, protect those turrets when not in use. A good buy no matter how you look into it.
The Leopold brand for scope lovers is a hallowed brand. Their range covers a lot of bases. That is proof enough of their expertise. Freedom is one of their hotcakes. The 3-9x40mm comes in two styles; CDS (Custom Dial Service) and the Rimfire. The CDS provides custom adjustable turrets to suit your ballistic requirements
Let’s just restrict ourselves to Leupold Freedom. This is a kind of master of all trades. From muzzleloaders to AR-15, the Leupold has no problem. Their goal is to fulfill all possible scenarios for hunters and shooters.
The Freedom has a standard duplex reticle. Being a budget-oriented product, they supply the core only, accessories are your baby which you need to procure separately.
Leupold has put everything into the optics which is a total marvel. Some of the innovations will make your jaw drop. The turrets, for example, are not meant to make significant changes to drop, they do not have a zero-reset and are meant to be used with the turret caps in place.
This product comes with Leupolds Gold Ring full lifetime guarantee.
We agree this scope was a bit deep to fathom out. Our team did a lot of thumbing and twirling of knobs to get a feel of the scope. The Freedom made things easier; zero adjusted automatically and we pumped off a couple of rounds.
The reticle worked fine but was not so user friendly. The zoom part was A1. Eye relief was just about OK but the eye box at 9x was not a happy number. The glass quality was superb though.
|Eye relief||4.17 inches|
|Adjustment click value||¼ MOA|
|Tube diameter||1 inch|
|Field of Vision@100 yards||11.22-5.44 feet|
The Leupold Freedom is truly a scope that bestows freedom. This riflescope is an advanced version in which we found the Army marksmanship Unit aptly put it; Shooting is shooting. Whether you are in combat, at the range or in the field, chuck everything aside and get down to the job - get your target down. The fundamentals don’t change. The Freedom epitomizes this culture. It’s worth the buy.
Other Notable Brands & Models
These brands are also on top of the game when it comes to manufacturing quality optics for 223 rifles -
Monstrum, Pinty, Firefield, Weaver, TRUGLO, Sniper, Leapers, EOTECH, Beileshi, Tacticon Armament, Visionking, Sightmark, Crosman, Barska, Sig Sauer, NcSTAR, Steiner, Quigley-Ford, Zeiss, Huskemaw, Sightmark, Simmons, Ade Advanced Optics, AT3 Tactical, Visionking, Hammers, Mueller, Burris Optics, Hi-Lux Optics, M1Surplus, Primary Arms, NCStar, TACFUN, OhHunt, Simmons, Athlon Optics, SVBONY, TAC Vector Optics, and Crimson Trace.
What’s more, these models were also a part of our testing procedure that we believe deserve your attention -
- 01 Bushnell Banner Dusk & Dawn Multi-X Reticle Riflescope with 3.3-Inch Eye Relief, 3-9X 40mm
- 02 Bushnell AR Optics, Drop Zone BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 4.5-18x/40mm
- 03 Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-22 BDC Rimfire Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 2-7x/32mm
- 04 Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Rimfire, Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope - V-Plex Reticle
- 05 UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings
- 06 HIRAM 4-16x50 AO Rifle Scope Combo with Green Laser, Reflex Sight, and 5 Brightness Modes Flashlight
- 07 TRUGLO TRU-Brite 30 Series Illuminated Tactical Rifle Scope - Includes Scope Mount, 1-6 x 24mm
- 08 Vortex Optics Diamondback 4-12x40 Second Focal Plane Riflescope - Dead-Hold BDC Reticle (MOA) with Baseball Hat
- 09 Redfield Revolution 3-9x40mm Riflescope with 4-Plex Reticle, Matte Black
- 10 Vortex Optics Viper HS LR 6-24x50 First Focal Plane Riflescope - XLR Reticle (MOA)
- 11 Nikon M-223 4-16x42M BDC 600
- 12 Primary Arms SLX Compact 5x36 Gen II Prism Scope - ACSS-5.56/5.45/.308
- 13 Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600
- 14 Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP Rifle Scope - ACSS-Orion
- 15 BSA 3-9X40 Sweet 22 Rifle Scope with Side Parallax Adjustment & Multi-Grain Turret
- 16 Burris MSR Riflescope, 4.5-14x 42mm-.223
- 17 Trijicon ACOG 4 X 32 Scope Dual Illuminated Chevron .223 Ballistic Reticle, Red
- 18 CVLIFE 2.5-10x40e Red & Green Illuminated Scope with 20mm Mount
What’s So Special about .223 Scopes?
What exactly is the purpose of a scope? You attach it to your firearm and pump up efficiency in your shooting prowess by increased accuracy, aim, and to get your quarry at one go. You need a scope for simplification of an otherwise tedious job. A scope is essential for long-range shooting.
Such a gun accessory is also necessary for determining two aspects that deviate a bullet from their intended path; bullet drop or elevation and wind effect. Simply put, be it long or short-range, a scope helps in the eradication of sloppy shots. When you are presented with the option of being precise. Negating it is being foolish. Ammo is not a cheap commodity. A scope helps a tremendous lot in making that shot count.
Imagine driving a car with dim headlights. Sure, you can still drive. But that’s asking for trouble big time. A firearm without a scope is akin.
Best 223 Scope – Buying Guide
1. Build Quality & Durability
All scope manufacturers are aware of the importance of providing an all-weather sturdy scope to their clients. The tube of the scope needs to be lightweight with the strength of a bison and having the flexibility too of being inured to stress. The choice of material is the classic combination of aircraft-grade aluminum.
There are plenty of these combinations and each maker to his own. The end result, however, is a sturdy scope capable of withstanding the knocks which is a common occurrence. Of great importance is the lens itself which is the nerve center. The O-seals that insulate the lenses from any kind of ingress are vital and inert gas purging of the tube cover the requirements amply
- BDC reticle– The name says it all; Bullet Drop Compensator. The markings under the middle of the crosshairs indicate the projected bullet drop which is to be compensated for.
- Mildot reticle– A mil dot reticle is for range finding. MIL is short for milliradian.
- Illuminated reticle- This brightens the reticle utilizing light so that in low light conditions the target gets to be more visible.
- Dot reticle- The scope exhibits a red dot which is the point of aim.
It really doesn’t matter whether you require a scope to shoot that coyote or deer at 50 yards. You need magnification for shots aimed at longer distances. Here accuracy and precision are part of the picture. When the magnification is significant, you can bring down targets located further off with greater ease.
4. Lens & Light Transmission
Light transmission to the lens skyrockets when the lens is sealed tight from sourced that can affect the clarity. The lens as we have repeatedly endorsed is the heart of a scope. If there is a compromise here, consider your scope useless. The lens harvests available light. The bigger the objective, the better the amount of light gathered.
5. Tube Size
The tube provides rigidity and is directly responsible for the durability and robustness of the scope. Secondly, it determines your field of view. Tubes come in 3 different standards; 1 inch, 30mm, and 34mm. A 34 mm obviously gives a far better field of vision. Another aspect to consider is that the weight also rises with a greater bore tube. Some people erroneously believe that the larger the tube, the more the light. In general, tube size does not weigh heavily on your choice of scope.
6. Eye Relief
This is an important parameter that one needs to pay careful attention to. The eye relief is that space between the eye and the scope whereby the eye can see the entire view and utilize it. The further the eye is positioned away from the scope with an uninterrupted view, the better. A scope can still be mounted a bit further on the barrel, but there is a trade off between sight and safety. Eye relief is paramount for safety keeping your eye safe from recoil.
7. MOA & MIL (MRAD)
These measurements are useful for adjusting your scope’s turrets. One MOA is 1 inch at 100 yards and 1 MIL is 3.6 inches per 100 yards. S if your shot is one inch off, you can adjust to bring the inch back to the opposite direction.
8. Accuracy & Clarity
This is the one factor on which your entire choice of a scope is pegged. Without an accurate scope, you will bag nothing and be wasting precious ammo. When hunting for an apt scope for the .223, what you need is an optic that has optimum accuracy so that the guesswork about elevation and drop is taken out of the equation and performance is enhanced.
9. First or Second Focal Plane
Preference over first or second focal plane scopes is a personal choice. A reticle contained in the first focal plane scope changes sizes as you zoom in whereas the reverse is true of a second focal plane; it will remain the same size irrespective of zoom.
The weight of the scope depends on a number of factors; tube dia., objective size, accessories, and so on. Ideally, for a shooter who would be on his feet when taking a shot, the weight makes a difference as it introduces wobble which directly affects accurate aim. A shot executed lying supine, weight is not an issue
11. Mounting Option
Mounting a scope is a delicate and careful affair. This requires patience and time.
Normally, there are two methods of mounting a scope- Picatinny rails or rings, the more popular being rings. We personally prefer rings as any alterations to get the scope on even keel can be done using shims.
Scope Cleaning & Maintenance Tips
Your .223 scope scarcely needs maintenance, though your AR 15 will. The following cleaning tips are recommended by Ranger Expert.
- Exterior surfaces of metal should be kept clean. A dampened cloth used for light dusting should do the trick.
- Turret caps are all treated to exclude water incursion. Leave them on.
- Start with a soft-bristled paintbrush or a lens brush to gently whisk dust and dirt away.
- Using an eye syringe or a bulb aspirator, blow off any further remnants of debris.
- If further cleaning is called for using a soft lint-free cloth. Clean the objective starting at the center and rotating outwards to the edge.
- If not satisfactory, repeat.
- Do not use any solvents unless it is a patented lens cleaner. Otherwise, you risk damaging the lens and then looking for repair options.
- A microfiber cloth is best to use for cleaning.
A Word from RangerExpert
The world of riflescopes is clearly defined in that you need to bring your quarry down, get the edge in a competition, rid your land from varmints. Earlier the rather primitive move was to somehow mount a pair of binoculars on the barrel and make the best of it. It is only the last five years that have seen individuals investing in riflescopes. A brief summation of why you need a riflescope- longer range, improved accuracy, a scoreboard that looks good, and finally most importantly self-confidence and belief.
They may seem somewhat a tedious and unnecessary investment for some. But we believe that it is an indispensable addition to your firearm that attributes to accuracy, precision, range, and much more. Do consider what is achievable with a reliable scope. If you do not have one yet, it’s about time you consider getting the best .223 scope.
Q. 1: What Size Scope for .223?
Ans. The question is a bit awkward. It would have helped if you were more specific. I will try my best to amplify. The objective being the light-gathering device, the larger, the better. The tube is best at 1 inch to 30mm. Whatever your choice, try keeping the weight down.
Q. 2: How to Sight in .223 Rifle Scope?
Ans: Follow these steps to sight in the scope:
- Mount your scope
- Focus the reticle. The crosshairs should be crisp and upright. To do this, focus on the sky and then a terrestrial object. The vision should not be blurry.
- Next step is to boresight the firearm
- After bore sighting, you are good to start. Try 25 yards first using a paper target.
- You adjust your MOA settings for the bullseye
- Increase yardage once you’ve got it right.
Q. 3: How to Mount a Scope on a DPMS 223?
Ans: Mounting a scope is a tricky affair. There are two basic mounting styles available - Picatinny rails or ring mounts. The latter seems much more favored.
Q. 4: What to Zero a .223 Scope at?
Ans: Okay, your new scope has arrived and sitting there ready to swing into action. The first step is to zero it. So let’s proceed. Make sure your gun is not loaded and mount the scope following the instructions. No need to hurry, just get it right. The correct mounting is of great importance. Even the slightest can’t will horribly spoil things in the process. You will need a bubble level and shims to get a perfect system.
Head for the range next. Boresighting comes next which is outside the scope of this article at this point. Let it suffice to say, that your scope’s alignment is a process that initially if not perfect, will give you great headaches.
Q. 5: The AR-15 seems to be the choice, why is that so?
Ans: An AR-15 is an accepted standard. The most important part of a firearm is the bolt. A gun with a barrel of low quality, a non-mil spec buffer tube, poor finish all adds to a deficient gun which is a danger. The AR-15 is a clearly superior firearm which has been perfectly designed to obviate these setbacks.
Q. 6: What is a good scope for a 223?
Ans: Vortex Optics Crossfire II 1-inch Tube Scope is now dominating the market. Check out our review to get familiar with other top rated models.
Q. 7: Can I hunt deer with a 223?
Ans: The 223/5.56mm NATO cartridge is actually too light for large game animals like hogs, bears and deer because it lacks in terms of terminal energy. However, you can still shoot deer as long as you keep the range under 150 yards.
Q. 8: How far can a 223 bullet travel?
Ans: A good 223 round could travel 4.5 miles at most while the average bullet could cover 3 miles. But the effective range is between 400 and 600 meters.