Hands- On: Nikon P-223 3×32 Review

Nikon P-223 3x32-Review

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Are you searching for a new scope for your AR build? Choosing the best scope for your AR can be a difficult task. I am going to review everything you need to know while searching for the scope to complete your AR built.

The Nikon P-223 has a bullet drop compensator (BDC) reticle design that is specially designed for .223 or 5.56 rounds of ammunition. The Nikon P-223 lends itself well to AR platforms and is well known for being a great overall carbine scope.

Nikon has been a recognizable name in the rifle scope world for a long time. To be exact, Nikon has been manufacturing rifle scopes for over 70 years. There are various theories as to why, but Nikon has decided to discontinue their rifle scope line of optics.

Nikon continues to make rangefinders, spotting scopes, and binoculars. Nikon will continue to uphold warranties on previously purchased rifle scopes, however, so Nikon rifle scope owners have nothing to worry about.

For those of you who have yet to purchase a Nikon rifle scope, below are some great alternatives from reputable companies that will fit perfectly into your collection.

Alternative Scope Options:





Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

  • Diameter: 20mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Length: 4.7 in

Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight

Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3x
  • Length: 5.29 in

1. Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

vortex optics spitfire 3x prism scope

The Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope is a fixed-power prism style scope that is purpose built for usage on AR platforms. The Spitfire is compact and is a great combination of both value and performance. With a fixed magnification of 3x, the Spitfire is built with a custom BDC reticle designed for 5.56 cartridges similar to the Nikon P-223.

Shots from 0-500 yards can be calculated with the BDC, and you have a choice between red or green illumination on a glass-etched reticle. The Vortex Spitfire can also be used with no illumination as the reticle is etched into the glass, making the Spitfire always ready to shoot.

Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope

The price of Vortex Optics Spitfire 3x Prism Scope varies, so check the latest price at

2. Burris AR-332 3x32mm Prism Red Dot Sight

burris ar-332 3x32mm

The Burris AR-332 Red Dot has the AR platform built in the name. Originally designed for police, military, and competitive shooters, the Burris AR-332 can be utilized by any shooter who desires a quick acquisition scope.

Equipped with 10 power settings, and a choice between red or green reticle, the AR-332 has holdover dots and is accurate out to 600 yards. The AR-332 is best suited for 5.56 ammunition like both the Nikon P-223 and the Vortex Spitfire.

Burris AR-332 3x32mm

The price of Burris AR-332 3x32mm varies, so check the latest price at

Nikon P-223 3x32 Riflescope Review

nikon p 223 3x32 reviews

The Nikon P-223 series of rifle scopes are built for hunting, range shooting, and is a great scope choice for the mid-range to long-range marksman. The Nikon P-233 has a fixed magnification level of 3x and an objective lens diameter of 32mm.

Weighing 12.7 ounces, and with a length of 8.2 inches this scope weighs less but is less compact than both the Vortex and Burris alternative scope options. The main tube of the Nikon p-223 is one inch in diameter, and is made of aircraft-grade aluminum.

The P-223 is equipped with fully multi-coated lens’ to prevent glare, and allow for the correct amount of light to enter the optic. Light transmission in the P-223 is 98 percent which is greater light transmission than both alternative options.

The P-223 is extremely durable and is waterproof, fog-proof, and shock proof which is achieved through nitrogen purging the scope, and using o-ring seals.

The Nikon P-223 is offered in three different reticle platforms. The BDC 600, MK1-MOA, and the BDC carbine that we are focusing on in this article. All three of these reticle choices are great choices for AR applications

The Nikon P-223 is a great scope for the AR platform and it is a shame to see Nikon discontinuing this optic along with their other rifle scope series. The P-223 remains a great option for those of you building an AR for range shooting, 3-gun shooting, or hunting

What’s In The package:

Depending on where you find a Nikon P-223 for sale online, you either receive just the Nikon P-223 scope with lens caps, or you can purchase the P-223 scope including P-223 mounting rings

Due to Nikon discontinuing their rifle optic line, it may be hard to find a P-233 with the scope rings included, but Nikon P-223 and matching scope rings can still be purchased through the following link.

If you end up only being able to find the Nikon P-233 online, you will need to also order scope rings that will fit the Nikon P-223 one inch diameter tube. You do not need the P-233 specific scope rings if you already have rings that will fit a one inch tube, or if you prefer a specific brand for your scope rings.

Nikon P-223 3x32

The price of Nikon P-223 3x32 varies, so check the latest price at

Key Features:

The Nikon P-223 is a bullet specific scope. Built with the AR platform in the forefront of design, the P-233 differs from other AR scopes with the following defining features:

BDC Carbine Reticle 

The BDC carbine reticle in the Nikon P-223 is calibrated for the .223 or 5.56 ammunition round. This reticle provides a 200 yard crosshair with hash marks at 400 and 600 yards. Adjustments for the scope can be found on Nikon’s spot-on website, which breaks down each adjustment based on the caliber you are shooting.

nikon p223 3x32

The circles inside of the scope are easy to read and allow for ease of adjustment and bullet drop compensation. The 3x magnification of the P-223 allows for a field of view of 35.6 feet at 100 yards.

Similar to the Nikon P-223, the Vortex Spitfire has a BDC reticle calibrated to the 5.56 NATO round of ammunition. The Burris alternative scope uses a patented Ballistic CQ reticle, that is best suited for both 5.56 and 7.62 caliber ammunition.

Instant Zero Reset Turrets

The tactical style, exposed turrets on the Nikon P-223 are equipped with spring-loaded assistance, allowing for an instant zero reset. The windage and elevation turrets are marked with high visibility markings and are easily read from behind the rifle.

nikon p223 3x32 review

To reset your turret to zero, all you have to do is lift the spring assisted knob, and adjust back to zero. The spring assist also helps keep your adjustments in place when out in the field or hunting, making for a reliable zero in every condition.

Adjustments are made in MOA and each click is valued at 0.25 MOA. Very crisp and audible clicks help ensure you stop where you want, and can be sure of your adjustment count.

The P-223 is adjustable to 150 MOA, and does not have an adjustable parallax. Neither the Vortex or Burris alternatiave scope options have a spring assisted instant zero reset turrets, but they do offer their own technology.

Eye Relief

Eye Relief on the Nikon P-223 is 3.4 inches, providing for excellent longevity on range day. The quick focus eyepiece is a smooth-turn aluminum ring with rubber eye guard allowing for a crisp reticle focus and quick target acquisition.

p223 3x32

Exit pupil is 10.7mm which is used to determine the brightness of the image you are viewing. The P-233 is designed to ensure you can spend as much time on the range as you desire. No eye or focus fatigue holding you back from throwing lead down range.

Both the Burris and Vortex alternative scope options have an eye relief under 3 inches which may come to personal preference, but I find for eye longevity 3 inches and over is best.



  • BDC reticle (calibrated to .233 and 5.56)
  • 100 MOA Adjustment
  • Nikon Spot On Website (access to ballistic variations and settings on BDC reticle)


  • Discontinued by manufacturer
  • No parallax adjustment (Parallax is fixed at 100 yards)

Nikon P-223 3x32mm

The price of Nikon P-223 3x32 varies, so check the latest price at

Final Thoughts

Although it is sad that Nikon has left the rifle scope manufacturing world, there are many alternative scopes that offer comparable statistics. Nikon always did a wonderful job making scopes that were caliber specific, making the application of them a breeze.

When searching for a scope for your AR gun build, consider finding a Nikon P-223. If you can not get your hands on a Nikon P-223 I suggest looking at either the Burris AR-332 or the Vortex Spitfire 3x.

After reading this article you have learned what the Nikon P-223 has to offer, and options to consider now that Nikon has discontinued making rifle scopes. The Nikon P-223 is a durable, high quality, 5.56 AR scope offered by a reputable brand.

Are you looking for a high-quality scope for your 5.56 AR? If you are, let us know in the comment section below what you think of the Nikon P-223 or our two alternative options. Let us know any personal experiences you have with the Nikon P-223, or any of the alternative sights mentioned in the comments below!

Be sure to check out, “DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO BUYING BEST AR 15 SCOPE (TACTICAL & HUNTING)” for more detail on what AR 15 scope is best for your usage.

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