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Reviews : Police Product Test

Police Product Test: Nikon 1-4X M-223 Rifle Scope

This variable power optic can be easily adjusted to shoot short or long distances.

November 29, 2010  |  by Scott Smith - Also by this author

Nikon 1-4X M-223 Rifle Scope


1-4X M-223 Rifle Scope

The world of AR-style rifle optics has undergone myriad changes over the last few years. Red dot is still the dominant type of sighting system. However, low power 1-4X and 2-8X variable optics are rapidly making inroads. The reason for this is simple: At low power you have the speed of a red dot, but you can increase the power for precision.

Nikon has long been a leader in optics for hunting and precision shooting, but in 2010 the company jumped into the tactical side of the market with the M-223 Series. This series of scopes runs the gamut from 1-4 power to 3-12X42 for true precision shooting with an AR chambered in .223.

I chose to look at the 1-4X because I prefer the short- to mid-range flexibility this variable power scope provides. I have mounted 1-4X scopes on several rifles and they perform well in competition, training, and mid-ranged precision shooting.

When Nikon sent me the 1-4, the company also sent its new M-223 mount, which puts this scope in a practically perfect shooting alignment with my eyes. Nikon designed this base to accommodate the entire M-223 Series.

What sets this scope apart from others on the market is its easy locking and adjusting turrets. To set the windage and elevation you simply turn the knobs. Once you have the scope zeroed, simply pull the turret up and turn until you have the "0" set. Now you are ready to make your come ups/downs and the scope can easily be returned to "0."

I mounted the M-223 on my SIG Sauer 556. I have found this rifle to be versatile enough that it can function as a close range weapon or a precision shooting rifle. The M-223 scope and mount on the 556 proved to be a fine combination. I was easily shooting out the "A" zone of an IPSC target at 15 yards, and head shots on the same target were easily accomplished out to 200 meters.

I found the clarity of the scope to be typical Nikon, excellent. The magnification adjustments are smooth and easy and adjusting the windage and elevation is precise and accurate. I walked the bullet impact across the target at 50 yards; I wanted to eliminate as much human error as I could.

The 1-4X20 M-223 is a fine piece of optical equipment. I would feel confident going in harm's way with this and the rest of the Nikon M-223 series. Having used Nikon optics on many of my bolt rifles, I have faith this new family of scopes will serve the user well for many years.

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