.223 Remington is one of the most popular cartridges on the market today. Commonly used for hunting, target shooting, and tactical applications, .223 is an incredibly versatile cartridge. No matter how you use your rifle, the best scope for 223 will help you shoot more accurately.
If you’re looking for an optic to top your .223 rifle, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to explore the capabilities of this iconic cartridge. We’ll also look at how to choose a scope to maximize those capabilities.
We even have reviews of what we consider the best models to pair with .223 Remington. No matter your budget, skill level, or shooting application, there’s something on our list that will help take your shooting to the next level.
If you don’t have time for the details, check out the list below for the best rated scope for .223:
- Trijicon ACOG 4x32mm – Best Scope for AR-15
- Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24mm – Best Variable Power Scope for .223
- Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm – Best Hunting Scope for .223
- Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm – Best .223 Scope for Long Range
- Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series – Best .223 Scope for the Money
- Nikon P-Tactical .223 3×32 BDC Carbine – Best Tactical Scope for .223
- Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 – Best Prism Scope for .223
- Hawke Endurance WA SF 4-16×50 – Best Varmint Scope for .223
- Sig Sauer Romeo5 – Best Red Dot for .223
- ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Riflescope – Best Night Vision Scope for .223
Table of Contents
- Understanding .223 Remington
- Best Scope for 223 on the Market Reviews
- 1 Trijicon ACOG 4x32mm – Best Scope for AR-15
- 2 Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24mm – Best Variable Power Scope for .223
- 3 Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm – Best Hunting Scope for .223
- 4 Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm – Best .223 Scope for Long Range
- 5 Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series – Best .223 Scope for the Money
- 6 Nikon P-Tactical .223 3×32 BDC Carbine – Best Tactical Scope for .223
- 7 Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 – Best Prism Scope for .223
- 8 Hawke Endurance WA SF 4-16×50 – Best Varmint Scope for .223
- 9 Sig Sauer Romeo5 – Best Red Dot for .223
- 10 ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Riflescope – Best Night Vision Scope for .223
- Final Thoughts
Understanding .223 Remington
The .223 Remington cartridge was first introduced in 1957. Remington designed the cartridge for the military to use in the new Armalite AR-15 rifle. However, the cartridge never saw military use (that was reserved for its slightly more powerful cousin, 5.56 NATO). Far from a failure, .223 Remington has gained serious popularity among civilian shooters around the world.
Cheap, fast, and easy to shoot, .223 ammo is usually readily available. It also comes in a wide range of grain weights and bullet designs. It delivers nice, medium-range accuracy, and is highly effective on varmints, wild hogs, and coyotes. It can even be used for home defense when topped with a suitable projectile.
Any scope you use for .223 Remington should match the cartridge’s capabilities. This isn’t a serious long-range shooter, so you shouldn’t expect sniper-like accuracy at extreme distances.
This cartridge really shines within 600 yards, so an optic with massive magnification will be more of a hindrance than a help. Something in the 3-9x range works well for most hunting applications. Target shooters may prefer a little more power, but anything over 16x is probably overkill.
In addition to magnification, look for a quality optic with a durable construction, ED glass, and fully multi-coated lenses. For precision shooting (especially if you’re aiming at small vital zones on distant varmints), look for a scope with a BDC (bullet drop compensation) reticle calibrated specifically for .223 Remington ammo.
Best Scope for 223 on the Market Reviews
1 Trijicon ACOG 4x32mm – Best Scope for AR-15
The Trijicon ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) has proven its value on real-world battlefields around the globe. The United States Marine Corps uses this very same scope on M27 rifles for their Squad DMRs (designated marksman rifle). Designed to help fill the gap between a long range sniper and an infantryman, the ACOG is perfect for medium range tactical shooting.
This fixed power scope is virtually indestructible and made for rugged field conditions. The ACOG features a durable housing constructed from forged 7075-T6 aircraft grade aluminum.
It also has a battery-free illuminated reticle. Powered by tritium and fiber optic technology, you never have to worry about your batteries failing when you need them most.
Designed for “both eyes open” shooting, the ACOG also has a large objective lens and a generous field of view. It is engineered to preserve peripheral vision and situational awareness, while providing a precision aiming point, all of which are valuable qualities on the battlefield.
The scope also features a bright, easy-to-see green reticle. The reticle makes it easy to effectively range human-size targets out to 800 meters. It also features BDC marks for standard .223 ball ammo.
2 Vortex Optics Razor HD Gen II 1-6x24mm – Best Variable Power Scope for .223
Vortex Optics are some of the most popular scopes on the market today. The company offers high-quality, reliable optics to fit every budget. The Vortex Razor HD Gen II is one of our favorites, and it has developed quite a devoted fan base. It works well for everything from 3 Gun competition to coyote hunting.
The Razor HD is tough as a tank and built to last. The main housing is constructed from a solid piece of aircraft grade aluminum. With a hard anodized exterior finish, the scope stands up well to bumps, drops, and scratches. This 1-6x scope is also o-ring sealed and argon purged, making it reliably fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof.
Made with high-density, extra-low dispersion (ED) glass and fully multi-coated lenses, the Razor HD has some serious optical quality. The Razor HD also features Vortex’s exclusive XR plus anti-reflective coatings to maximize light transmission. The result is bright, razor-sharp image clarity, even in low light shooting situations.
3 Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm – Best Hunting Scope for .223
Leupold has some of the best optical quality in the world. We love the Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40. It makes a near perfect topper for your .223 hunting rifle.
Whether you’re hunting hogs, varmints, or predators, this variable power optic is up to the task. And with a price tag under $300, this high-performance scope is perfect for the budget-conscious hunter.
The VX-Freedom is rugged and reliable. It is o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged, making it truly fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof. It also performs flawlessly at extreme temperatures.
Predator hunters will fall in love with Leupold’s exclusive Twilight Light Management System. This system uses special lens coatings to minimize glare and maximize light transmission, providing bright, clear images, even at twilight. The System can add up to 10 extra minutes of shooting time at dawn and dusk, which is when predators are more likely to be active.
4 Steiner 5221 P4Xi 4-16x56mm – Best .223 Scope for Long Range
Although the .223 Remington isn’t famous for its long range abilities, with the right scope, it is more than capable of precision shots out to 600 yards, especially with a bolt action rifle. If you want to squeeze as much long-range performance out of your rifle as you can, the Steiner P4Xi and a quality bolt gun (like the Remington 700) will help you accomplish that goal.
This scope feels right at home on the target range. Distance shooters will appreciate the illuminated, glass-etched Special Competition Reticle (SCR). Located on the first focal plane, the highly detailed reticle includes 2/10-mil windage, 1/2-mil holdover lines, and 1/10-mil ranging brackets.
Sturdy and strong, the Steiner P4Xi has a housing milled from a single piece of solid, high-grade aluminum stock. It is nitrogen-purged, o-ring sealed for extra durability. Completely fogproof, waterproof, and shockproof, the scope holds its zero like there’s no tomorrow. It also performs reliably in all kinds of weather.
5 Monstrum 1-4x24mm Alpha Series – Best .223 Scope for the Money
Although a relative newcomer to the optics industry, Monstrum Tactical produces some serious, high-quality scopes for some unbelievably low prices. Finding an affordable FFP scope for a .223 rifle once seemed impossible, but somehow Monstrum made our dreams a reality. Priced well under $200, the Monstrum Alpha Series 1-4x provides some serious bang for your buck.
Perfect for 300 yard targets, this high-quality scope is a great option for your DMR or other tactical rifle. Every optic in Monstrum’s Alpha Series features fully multi-coated lenses to reduce glare and maximize light transmission. The result is crystal clear, ultra-bright image quality, even in low light.
Built to endure rough shooting conditions, the Monstrum Alpha Series is constructed from durable 6061 grade aluminum. It also features a military-standard hard anodized outer finish to help protect the optic from bumps, scratches, and less-than-perfect weather conditions.
6 Nikon P-Tactical .223 3×32 BDC Carbine – Best Tactical Scope for .223
Although Nikon is best known for producing high-quality cameras and photography equipment, they also produce some awesome riflescopes. The Nikon P 223 is one of our favorites, and it is perfectly priced for the shooter on a shoestring budget.
The Nikon P-Tactical .223 is tough and rugged. It features a durable main housing made from durable aircraft-grade aluminum. O-ring sealed, and nitrogen purged, the housing is reliably fogproof, waterproof, and resists thermal shock. This means you can count on the P-Tactical to work reliably no matter what weather conditions you face in the field.
When it comes to specialized .223 reticles, it doesn’t get much better than this. Featuring Nikon’s proprietary BDC Carbine reticle, the P-Tactical .223 is calibrated to match the ballistics of standard .223 Remington ammo, allowing you to accurately engage targets out to 600 yards.
The Nikon P-Tactical .223 also features fully multi-coated lenses, 3x fixed magnification, and convenient zero-reset turrets.
7 Athlon Optics Midas TSP3 – Best Prism Scope for .223
This compact prism scope from Athlon Optics is ideal for .223 SBRs (short barrel rifles), where rail space is often limited. The Midas TSP3 provides a 3x fixed power magnification that works well for shooting 100 yard targets and beyond.
The scope features fully multi-coated lenses, which help deliver bright, crisp, glare-free image quality, even in low light. The etched glass BDC reticle is highly visible, even without illumination. However, you can choose from multiple brightness settings to maximize visibility in any lighting condition.
The Midas TSP3 has a one-piece, heat-treated chassis constructed from a rugged aircraft grade aluminum alloy. The body is nitrogen-filled and o-ring sealed to reduce internal moisture, prevent fogging, and deliver reliable waterproof performance.
8 Hawke Endurance WA SF 4-16×50 – Best Varmint Scope for .223
The Hawke Endurance riflescope was specifically designed for hunting, and this model does not disappoint. It features a wide-angle optical system with a whopping 24-degree field of view. When paired with the incredible brightness levels, you get a stunning sight picture that is perfect for long range varmints.
This high-quality scope also features Hawke’s exclusive .223/.308 Marksman Reticle. The reticle is easy to adjust and is highly visible in any lighting condition. Hawke has done all the complicated ballistic computation for you, and once zeroed, you have perfectly calibrated holdover points for .223 ball ammo.
9 Sig Sauer Romeo5 – Best Red Dot for .223
Plenty of shooters choose to pair their .223/5.56 AR-15s with a quality red dot rather than a magnified scope. Red dots are perfect for home defense, tactical applications, and 3 Gun competition because they allow for fast target acquisition. They also deliver easy accuracy on close to medium range targets.
If you decide to go the red dot route, you won’t need to drop a ton of money to get a quality optic. In fact, the Sig Sauer Romeo5 is one of our favorites, and it costs under $200.
The Romeo5 is a highly versatile option for .223 shooting. It features a clear, versatile 2 MOA red dot. You can choose from 10 different brightness settings, 8 for daylight and 2 for night vision.
One of the Romeo5’s best features is its Motion Activated Illumination. This convenient function automatically powers on when it detects motion. It also turns the optic off during periods of rest. This not only ensures your optic is always ready when you are, it also provides an unbelievable 40,000 plus hours of battery life.
10 ATN X-Sight 4K Pro Smart Day/Night Riflescope – Best Night Vision Scope for .223
Since .223 Remington is a popular cartridge for hogs and predators, it is often used to hunt after the sun goes down. This digital riflescope from ATN is designed to help you see in the dark, making it a smart option for nighttime hunting.
Unlike standard night vision technology (which can only be used in the dark), the X-Sight Pro can be used both day and night, allowing you to use one optic for all your hunting needs.
The ATN X-Sight Pro is much more than a simple riflescope. It also has an onboard ballistic calculator that factors range, wind, and angle to target. It even takes temperature and humidity into account and spits out the perfect trajectory for every shot.
The X-Sight Pro also functions as a 4K video recorder. The recorder is activated by the recoil produced when you fire your weapon. You never need to worry about remembering to switch video recording on in the middle of the hunting excitement. Instead, your optic does it for you.
The .223 Remington cartridge has been around for a long time. Soft shooting, highly accurate, and readily available, this versatile cartridge is definitely here to stay.
The best scope for 223 Remington will help you shoot more accurately and effectively. However, your rifle/optic set-up is only as good as the shooter behind it. Make sure you spend some time practicing your shooting fundamentals. Ultimately, your marksmanship skills are your most effective weapon, no matter which option you have mounted on your rifle.