Nikon adding new low priced P-223 and P-308 riflescopes (VIDEO)

Almost like clockwork, Nikon is expanding their P-series of low-cost tactical riflescopes for AR-pattern rifles. They’ve got two new models, the 1.5-4.5×20 P-223 and 4-12×40 P-308. Both are so affordable you could get one of each for under $500.

The tactical riflescope market is growing fast and Nikon is responsible for a nice chunk of it, especially when it comes to budget-friendly options. They’re also willing to do more than 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington parts with their 300 AAC Blackout and now 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester scopes.

.308 reticle

The reticle has holdover hash marks out to 800 yards. (Photo: Nikon)

The new P-308 is a nice mid-to-long-range scope that has a bullet drop compensating or BDC reticle hashed out to 800 yards. With its upper 12x magnification and some work on the shooter’s part it should be able to reach even further than that in a pinch.

While certain 5.56 and 7.62 NATO loads have similar trajectories at close ranges, enough not to necessarily need a 7.62/.308-specific reticle with some optics, at longer ranges the differences become more apparent. With holdovers as far out as these it offers better precision out of the box.

The 4-12×40 P-308 reticle matches the trajectory of a 168-grain projectile leaving the muzzle at 2,680 feet per second. It can easily be adapted for use with other loads and even other cartridges with Nikon’s SpotOn app, which is available online and for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

SpotOn crunches ballistics data for other loads and creates more accurate distances for each holdover point. This is handy for anyone looking for the most precision out of their handloads or just interested in getting a better zero on their holdovers for important shooting such as hunting outside of close range. The SpotOn app can also be used to create all-new holdover schemes for other cartridges as the tactical rifle market opens up to longer-range 6- to 7mm rounds.


The P-223 1.5-4.5×20 riflescope. (Photo: Nikon)

The P-223 1.5-4.5×20 is a totally different animal. Designed for AR-15s and other 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem. rifles this scope is for precision close-range shooting. With a maximum magnification of 4.5x it’s still fairly capable of longer-than-average shots.

What sets apart the 1.5-4.5x scope is its price. With an MSRP of $189 it undercuts a lot of the low-to-mid-range scope crowd which is largely made up of 1-4x scopes. By giving up a little true 1x magnification Nikon is able to deliver a lot of tactical optic on a tiny budget.

The new P-308 scope is priced at $249. Just a year ago the idea of a “budget” AR-10 build still meant turning out the Benjamins — but today the cost of .308 AR components is in the reach of shooters everywhere — while not as affordable as an AR-15 prices a very reasonable, considering an added $249 for a 4-12x scope is within the realm of iron sights.

Nikon scopes sport “Zero-Reset” turrets with course knurling and are, of course waterproof, fogproof and shockproof to a reasonable degree. They also have a solid lifetime warranty. For more, check out Nikon Sport Optics.

Latest Reviews

  • Tuck & Carry: CCW in a Skirt

    Aimed at those who want the comfort and convenience of a skirt but with the protection of a holstered gun, the Tuck & Carry occupies what I term apparel holsters -- that is clothing/holster duos.

    Read More
  • The Marlin Dark in .45-70 is Stealthy and Modern

    Flash forward the lever gun of Western lore to the 2020s, where Marlin has taken that classic design and given it a modern upgrade. Meet the Marlin Dark.

    Read More
  • Gear Review: Sig Sauer Tango 6T 1-6

    Sig Sauer has long been a big name in the firearms industry, so it came as no surprise several years ago when Sig filled out its repertoire with its own optics line. Today, we’re looking at the Tango 6T, a 1-6 low power variable optic.

    Read More
  • First Look: Hornady 6mm ARC

    Hornady brought another impressive project to the shooting public in 2020 with the introduction of the 6mm Advanced Rifle Cartridge.

    Read More