Gun Gods: Guns, Ammo and the Second Amendment

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 Review

Our Rating:

The AR-15 rifle is a very popular model with both marksmen and hunters - it is simple, accurate, customizable and reliable. While deadly in its effective firing range, the bullet drop with this weapon is quite pronounced and makes it tough to take long range shots on instinct alone, even with a scope mounted on it.

Nikon has introduced several scopes with unique BDC reticles to deal with the bullet drop problem: I’ve put together this Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600 Review review to familiarize you with one such scope geared specifically towards AR-15s.

Review Summary

Enter the P-233 3-9x40 BDC 600, a reasonably priced offering with professional grade features. Equipped with Nikon’s signature BDC reticle, it bears extra aiming points in 100 yard increments up to 600 yards. The scope is optimized for 55-grain high ballistic coefficient ammo (the type most popular with AR-15s), and is geared towards hunters and marksmen looking to score first round shots on target at moderately long ranges.


  • Up to 98% light transmission provides crystal clear picture even in poor lighting conditions.
  • BDC 600 reticle designed specifically for AR-15 model rifles loaded with the popular 5.56 NATO / .223 Remington bullet.
  • Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match Program lets you set up the perfect shot.
  • Precise adjustment knobs and easy to use zero reset.
  • 100 yard parallax correction feature.
  • Backed by lifetime warranty.


  • Maximum zoom limit of 9x may not be enough for extra long range shots for some.


Effective light transmission

Lighting conditions are critical for successful target acquisition using a rifle scope, whether you’re on the hunt, or shooting targets at a range. The efficient multi-coated system employed by Nikon for the P-223 guarantees up to 98% light transmission (greatly enhancing visibility in dawn and dusk shootouts) - a remarkable feat for a rifle scope in its price range.

BDC 600 reticle

The Bullet Drop Compensation reticle, a feature found on several other of Nikon’s offerings, has supplementary aiming points that allow you to compensate for the bullet’s trajectory. For this particular scope, these aiming points have been optimized for .223 Remington / 5.56 NATO type ammo with a 55 grain polymer tip, and the aiming process has been made even more streamlined thanks to Nikon’s Spot On Program.

Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match Program Support

The P-223 fully supports Nikon’s Spot On program, which has been introduced by the manufacturer to provide its customers with accurate field adjustment parameters, based on factors such as bore distance, target range, ammunition caliber and so on. This is a highly useful feature when you’ve got to make the first shot count - provided you input the factors correctly into the intuitive Spot On app, you will be able to line the perfect shot at the first attempt, regardless of the range.

Adjustable zoom

The P223 has a 3x to 9x variable zoom found on the scope is more than enough magnification to provide a clear picture of the target at distances up to which an AR-15 can deliver a .223 Remington bullet effectively. However, the maximum 9x magnification may not cut it for takedowns that are really down range if you haven’t honed your aiming skills to perfection; have a look at the alternative I’ve mentioned in that case.

Parallax correction

At higher magnification settings, the issue of parallax can affect the precision of your shots. The parallax problem, often misunderstood by even professional marksmen, is taken care of in the P-223 thanks to its 100 yard parallax adjustment. This ensures that the reticle does not move with respect to your target [], regardless of the angle you look at it from.

Consistent, abundant eye relief

As with other Nikon scopes, the P-223 comes with more than adequate eye relief to ensure the safety of your brow, even when shooting with lightweight recoil-prone rifles, using high recoil ammo, or from awkward angles.

Tactile and precise adjustment turrets

The 1/4-MOA hand turn turrets present on the P-223 have a nifty positive click feedback feature that makes it incredibly easy and responsive to zero in on the target. Plus, they keep your settings for subsequent shots even through constant recoil.

Click Here For More Info

Zero reset turret

To make things even simpler, the scope lets you achieve your zero, simply by lifting the spring-loaded adjustment knob, rotating and re-engaging.

Rugged and practical construction

The rifle scope is nitrogen filled and o-ring sealed to keep it free from fog and moisture related problems, so you can carry it with some confidence in harsh field conditions. The matte black color subtly prevents light reflection, ideal for hunting events where camouflage is essential.


Like all other Nikon rifle scopes, this one is covered by their solid Limited Lifetime Warranty which guarantees, for the lifetime of the product, that the manufacturer will repair / replace the product if any defect in its workmanship or material is found.


If you want to be accurate to the point that you can make out every fine detail of the target at the maximum possible distance supported by the typical AR-15, the Viper 6.5-20x 50mm scope is a fine choice - the 20x zoom lets you get up close and personal from way afar, and the 50mm lens ensures optimum light transmission regardless of lighting conditions.

On the flipside, you’ll have to pay a hefty price to own this fine scope, and also be prepared for some serious wobble and distracting mirages when aiming downrange at higher magnification settings!


The P-223 3-9x 40mm scope may not provide you with the greatest range, or the familiarity of a mil-dot or simplex reticle - then again, that’s not what it’s supposed to do; this scope has been designed with one objective in mind: to economically cater to the needs of individuals favoring AR-15 rifles. It does so with gusto thanks to its BDC reticle with compensating aim points and the accompanying Spot On app, both of which come together to ensure that you’ll score a bullseye the first time you pull the trigger on your AR-15. Combine this with all the other quality features customary of Nikon scopes, and you’ve got one of the best offerings in the market that is geared specifically towards the ever popular AR-15 rifle.

You can check out the Nikon P-223 3-9x 40mm scope here, and also see what other users have to say about it.

Click Here For More Info

Leave a Comment: