Nikon Expands M-223 AR Product Line

Nikon has added a new scope to its AR product line, the M-223 1.5-6×24 BDC 600. The scope has a 30mm body tube, and gradiated marks for 55gr .223 Remington ammunition. It will also come in an adjustable-illumination variant called the M-223 1.5-6×24 BDC 600 IL. From the press release:

Nikon Expands Popular M-223 AR Riflescope Line
One of the most complete AR riflescope lines has expanded even further with the release of Nikon’s new M-223 1.5-6×24 BDC 600. This new M-223 is made with a 30mm main body tube, giving it a wider adjustment range. There is also an illuminated reticle version, making this compact riflescope even more effective in low-light situations.

Both of the new M-223 1.5-6×24 riflescopes come with Nikon’s BDC 600 reticle that is calibrated for the trajectory of the .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO round with 55-grain bullet. It offers shooters unique open circle aiming points at 100-yard intervals and additional hash-marks at 50-yard intervals to effectively compensate for bullet drop.

The M-223 1.5-6×24’s illuminated BDC 600 reticle can be adjusted to different brightness settings using the push buttons on the eyepiece and has up to 32 different levels of intensity for the orange center dot. When the illumination feature is turned off, the last brightness level is saved. The illuminated reticle operates on a 3V lithium battery.

M 223 1.5 6x24 BDC 600 from Nikon

The M-223 line utilizes Nikon’s Ultra ClearCoat® optical system that provides shooters with a bright, sharp and incredibly flat sight picture. These riflescopes are also waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, and are covered by Nikon’s limited lifetime warranty. MSRP for the M-223 1.5-6×24 is $599.95 for the non-illuminated model (Item #8474) and is $799.95 for the illuminated reticle version (Item #8475).

Further, all Nikon M-223 rifle scopes will be compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Custom Turrets, which allow the user to swap turrets to allow drop compensation tailored to whatever load the customer chooses.

All of Nikon’s M-223’s will now be compatible with interchangeable Spot On Custom Turrets. The Spot On Custom Turrets allow users to calibrate their riflescope to match bullet drop for virtually any factory or custom load. Each Spot On Custom Turret is based on ballistic information entered on the online ordering page ( Simply select your choice of ammunition, model of M-223 riflescope, typical atmospheric conditions, and much more to create your own uniquely calibrated custom turret.

Like all Nikon riflescopes, the M-223 is optimized for use with Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. The Spot On program provides users with exact aiming points on the BDC reticle for any load or ammunition at a specified range. Spot On is free online at but it can also be purchased for mobile devices, including the iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ platforms.

TFB has already arranged a review of the M-223 1.5-6×24 BDC 600 IL.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Nate

    This will be a great scope. Right in line with the trend toward low-to-mid power variables which are getting better.

    What is missing is ranging ability inside the BDC reticle. I’m sure all the circles are the same size inside the glass, meaning you need a laser rangefinder or a manicured shooting range to take advantage of the bullet drop feature.

    • iksnilol

      I would just shell out for a POSP, can get them for 300-400. Have a rangefinder that works well on both animals and humans also it is FFP.

      here is one with a popular magnification range:

      • Built like a tank as usual:-)

        • iksnilol

          Also don’t forget that they have pretty good glass. I know Swarovski or Zeiss has better glass and magnification ranges I like (2.5-10x and 2-7x) but they all have pretty bad reticles and no rangefinder.

          Will gladly sacrifice that bit of optical clarity and brightness for much more practicality.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    BDC is such a joke to anyone that really knows how to shoot. In the extreme rare case your ammo, gun, and scope actually match up – well congrats because at a different temp and elevation it won’t.

    There is literally nothing you can do with a BDC you can’t do with a mil/mil scope, but there is a ton you can’t do with BDC.

    Someday when Nikon gets with the program I’ll give them a look.

    • Sig Adams

      Do you learn that from your extensive experience in your living room?

      • JumpIf NotZero

        I could list off the groups I’ve trained with, companies I’ve worked for, competitions and events I’ve shot, but it wouldn’t mean anything. I take a lot of training (~3 classes a year), compete, read/research, and teach. There is a LOT of bullshit floating around in “common” knowledge and silly products that have been made entirely obsolete if they were ever once relevant at all. Interesting you seem to have a problem with that.

        Perhaps you’d like to tell us why BDC is a legitimate choice? Maybe you have some experience how well your BDC scopes track? How about why the BDC scopes are a better choice than mil/mil?

        Or just try and attack me and not the content of my posts. Either way…

    • I disagree.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        OK… You want to follow that up at all?

        Maybe you haven’t seen trijicons that are 100m off at 500. Because every ACOG I’ve ever used has been off somewhere in it’s BDC range.

        BDC is NEVER right over it’s entire range. I have time on a Nightforce 2.5-10x that was good upto 400y then needed additional correction, maybe Nikon has done a better job than NF? It doesn’t allow for any sort of ranging or quick followup corrections. In the rare case your BDC mfg does track well (FFP) and in the rarer case that the mfg provides a correct mil or moa value for the stata, you could use it to get a couple of very odd numbered hash mark values (1.44mil, 2.91mil, 3.83mil) but that’s far worse for everything over evenly marked .5mil-2mil hashes.

        So, I’d love to hear why BDC is a viable option if you want to confidently make hits at range, or want to range estimate, or want to swap optics between platforms/calibers, or even just change brands of ammo.

        • Climate conditions, altitude, ammunition variances, and other factors mean that the hashes rarely correspond to the drop of the projectile at their stated ranges.

          However, this does not make them useless. That is far from the case. Having hashmarks in a parabolic layout as on a TA01NSN or other BDC scope allows for accurate recollection of holdover if established previously. It does not matter so much whether the number “4” hashtag actually corresponds to 400 meters range, so much as it corresponds to a known range under known conditions. For a marksman, this is not so difficult to figure out.

          Further, close hashes, such as at the 50 or 100m marks allow for easy dope on different ammunition types, meaning you can zero for one ammo, and shoot another while still having a crosshair.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Great, you’ve made excellent points for having a defined stata reticle like a mil reference with mil turrets (or modern MOA reticle with MOA torrents)!

            Now make a case for BDC?

            BDC is the uneducated mans reticle. It’s not cheaper or faster or better in any fashion. It allows only for less control than more modern reticles. It’s sort of a joke.

            All of your points about how it’s a reference and 4/400 doesn’t have to mean “400” work for mil reticles but far more versatile. You can dial a mil reticle for a 300 or 500y zero and still work off your same dope chart. You can zero the top most hash (think -8 in the x-axis for 50y and have defined holds from 50 to 1000y depending on caliber, that’s 50-1000 without dialing. Mil also applies these advantages to windage, BDC not so much.

            The ONLY advantage BDC has is that a new shooter can immediately pick up the gun and guess. But that’s all it is, is a guess. And this only even sort of works when attention has been made to match the scope to the gun/ammo. A 556 BDC scope is useless on a 6.5G, but a mil/mil scope works from 22lr to 50bmg and beyond.

            BDC is what you use when you don’t know what you are doing.

          • “BDC is such a joke to anyone that really knows how to shoot.”

            “BDC is the uneducated mans reticle.”

            “BDC is what you use when you don’t know what you are doing”

            These don’t mesh with your actual point, which appears to be that mil dot reticles are slightly better in your opinion. Fine.

            That sort of language is baiting, like you’re trying to start a flame war. I think if you’re interested in an even-handed technical discussion, then you should choose what words you use much more carefully.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Sorry, but I tells it like it is. They’re almost entirely useless baring rare situations.

            The thing I find most odd about criticism to my posts… Is no one has jumped on to accurately defend BDC reticles! I could. I could easily argue both sides and make a few compelling points for BDC. Doesn’t change my opinion, but knowing both sides of the issue well allows me to gauge my confidence of how correct I am.

            Any potential positives aside, the more BDC scopes that exist, the fewer proper reticle scopes can, and that is bad for everyone. Nikons entire line COULD be worth looking at if they catered their equipment above the lowest common denominator. They aren’t.

            Its not just that milling reticles are better for 99% of all applications. It’s that they’re actually holding people who buy without knowing better back. I cannot condone a mfgs new line of BDCs aimed at people who don’t know they’re bad gear. I see that as dishonest.

            Surely there are people at Nikon USA that shoot, and would not own a Nikon scope.

          • Perhaps people are most put off by your attitude. If your goal is to reach the most people, I would make the suggestion that your attitude does not come off as “knows what he is talking about and means what he says” but rather “has an inflated and fragile ego.”

            This is not a personal criticism, it is a comment on your writing.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Couldn’t possibly care any less, really.

            I don’t want to reach most people. Most people think BDC is a good idea. I want to reach that one guy that can think for himself, but just doesn’t know anything on the topic.

          • I wish you did. I’d like to think the majority of people could get on TFB and enjoy the articles/commentary etc and share their thoughts on these topics and get along with other readers while doing it. Hell you don’t have to agree but there’s no reason to be upset with others who don’t share the same view.

          • In my opinion, your attitude is actively working against that aim.

            Consider that I disagree with you. Instead of probing what exactly I disagreed with, you pigeonholed my position and went on a rant. What is the man who thinks for himself going to think of that?

            “Oh, this guy’s just a zealot; moving on.”

          • Geodkyt

            JumpIf NotZero —

            These guys are right.

            Dude, I AGREE with you about BDC vs. a FFP mildot, and you’re turning me off. {grin}

          • Lets list the obvious and that is these scopes are popular or they wouldn’t continue to make them as they are now. That said a lot of people believe in them and buy them with the BDC.
            Then we have others who don’t see the value of the BDC and consider this type of scope sub standard.
            The primary point is it really doesn’t matter if some believe this scope is without value since they sell very well and a substantial market exist for them. Customers do like them.
            It all boils down to choice as it does with most products in our sport. There’s no need to take sides or have such strong negative views. Rather we should all be glad we have as many choices as we do which caters to all buyers with many varying viewpoints and opinions.

          • G2

            “BDC is what you use when you don’t know what you are doing or have to pick up a rifle instantly and engage an estimated target under stress.”

            That describes exactly who they are targeting with this scope. Not everyone seeks to be a high level operator and more than likely, 90% of the guns this scope will go on are only shot a few times a year at best.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I guess I can’t get behind the idea that it’s OK to sell people the inferior gear because they won’t know the difference.

            A BDC scope cost no less to make than an equivelent milling reticle’ed scope.

          • BattleshipGrey

            Most people that research optics before they buy them realize all the options that are on the table. BDC is still a common enough option that it must have a big enough following to be a viable market staple. Look at the type of shooting that most people do at ranges. It’s not overly complicated when it comes to actual end-use for most people. For most hunters, they put a box of ammo down range before the season and call it good. I agree that mil-dot is probably better or more versatile, but why look down on all the people that choose to use BDC? If more people were that unsatisfied with their results, BDC would probably fade into extinction.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            I don’t disagree with the overall sentiment.

            “why look down on all the people”, I don’t specifically. I can’t fault someone for not knowing something. Esp when the companies making products are misleading. I fault mfgs/Nikon on this.

            “BDC would probably fade into extinction.” … BDC will fade into extinction. I’d just like to see that happen sooner.

          • iksnilol

            I like both to be honest, tried recently the PA 4-14 mil/mil FFP scope (surprisingly good for the money, you should review it) but I also like the PSO-1 and the Zrak optics. If I need something sturdy that is useful in a quick scenario then I would go for the PSO-1/Zrak. If I am ambushing or simply shooting for accuracy (sub moa groups) then I would go for the mil-dot scope. TBH, for my needs something like the POSP 3-9x is best, has the magnification for longer/shorter range while still having a easy to use rangefinder and good reticle (I like the chevron).

            Either way you can’t go wrong. Though if you are going to have a BDC scope it should be FFP to simplify things.

            You do seem kinda angry/”better than you”, chill out and relax.

        • Rusty Shackleford

          Hell, look at the difference in drop simply comparing the M855 vs M855A1. American Rifleman had a good write-up of it recently. The Army claimed the drop would be identical so as to not need a billion dollars worth of new ACOGs and EoTechs. Well, it isn’t.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Pretty much sums it up. Even IF you could get BDC working well for you. Change ammo, barrel, platform, or even location/temp greatly enough, and you have completely worthless subtension in your scope.

    • bman

      My guess is you have never checkedout Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Program? It allows you to enter all your shooting data and get the corresponding distances for your BDC reticle. A lot easier to use then Mil-dot, but to each their own. Until you’ve given the BDC reticle a try with Spot On, I wouldn’t be so quick to condemn it. I have used it to shoot soda cans at 600 yards, but then again I’m just an average guy who likes to hunt and shoot.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        No offense, but the “spot on ballistic program” you are talking about… Is just a dumbed-down version of the real-deal. Shooter, Ballistic, BulletFlight, tons of others do a much better job at this, but allow you to utilize more and more effective markings on your scope.

        What you described, is the exact reason why BDC sucks, you get three hash marks of basically unknown or unlisted values that may or may not match up to known dope compared to a fixed size (.5-1 miliradian) of measurement.

        You are close, but don’t see that your “solution” is just a work-around to enable some parity aspects of a better system.

        • iksnilol

          It is also much simpler to use, especially when you consider that the obsolete imperial system of measurements is still in use in the USA.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Yes… You’re European. You remind us every other post.

            Mils aren’t imperial. (Nor are the metric, a mil only happens to roughly equate to 1 meter angle delta at 1000m.

            Units have nothing to do with anyone’s discussion.

          • iksnilol

            It is much easier to use a scope that adjusts in MOA and has markings in MOA if you are used to MOA. A “mildot” scope with markings for every MOA would be more practical than a scope with markings for mils for a lot of people.

            It is easier to calculate 3.5 inches to the right and 7 inches up, instead of 1 mil to the right and 2 mils up. If you are used to MOA and inches.

            Also, what is with the attitude? You seem so…Angry or frustrated in your posts.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            “consider that the obsolete imperial system”

            “A “mildot” scope with markings for every MOA would be more practical than a scope with markings for mils for a lot of people.”

            Yea… Ok.

          • iksnilol

            More practi al for people used to the imperial system.

            Reading comprehension, it really helps.

        • Have you ever tried any of the Horus vision scopes and the various reticles they offer?

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Yea, an H58.

            Fine depending on the shooting you are doing, but I wouldn’t buy one for general use. I had very little luck using it as a no-dial scope, I found that holding in out-in-space it was too “loose” to get back on target. It took awhile to find where I was and get back there confidently.

            Vortex’s EBR-2 reticle is slightly better imo. Far less busy. If I know the subtensions for my scope, I don’t need or want number markings all over the place. The idea is fine, I’m just not sure I’d ever use it. I spend a lot of time looking down the scope and not shooting (watching, spotting, etc) I find I pick the lower right quadrant naturally when I do so.

            Some people swear by them, but for most things I’d rather dial elevation or wind. Esp considering moving targets or wanting to get a fast follow-up shot (like before wind changes). But some people do swear by them… Although I usually wonder if that’s because it’s a free/sponsored scope, or someone just spent 2-3k and don’t want to admit it isn’t perfect.

    • Orion Q.

      Not everyone is as hardcore focused on marksmanship as you buddy. Sorry to say, but not everyone cares about mil/mil scopes when people believe they can simply have a BDC scope and it be good enough for the range use or hunting trip.

  • guest

    The fact that this scope’s magnification does not start at 1x makes it a turn-down for me.
    Also FFP MOA recticle can beat this BDC BS any time. Shoot one shot at 100m, measure Vo, do some other measurements and put that data into Strelok – and you can get your own 99% accurate ballistic data that you can put on the turrets and dial in you range as needed.

    • iksnilol

      Get out of here Stalker!

      Sorry, couldn’t resist when I saw that the calculator is called Strelok (marksman or shooter in many Slavic languages). Which is also the name of a character in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games.

      In all seriousness, is it good? I see there are many ballistic calculators available, which one is the simplest/most efficent. They also aren’t that expensive, somebody could probably test them (hint, hint).

      • guest

        The basic – and free – version of Strelok will cover 90% of all needs, Strelok+ cost a bit will cover 99% of all needs, and Strelok Pro cost a bit more is for nerds and maybe bench rest shooters or something.

        BC, Vo, scope height, inclination, wind(s), temperature, scope zero range, azimuth/coriolis effect etc etc every imaginable input is taken into account.

        It will with very little tinkering produce customisable ballistics tables with either metric or retarded means of measuring distance, and for the ones too lazy to dial in correction it can also show hit location on the recticle type one has (and the app has a gazillion recticles).

        So yeah, it’s pretty good. I plan on buying something simple like V-Cog og some othe 1-x tube and have a customised turrets or turret sleeves with range instead of clicks. Probably not the first choice for long range scopes, but for 1-x scopes it sure will beat some generic BS… I mean BDC recticle that’s only roughly correct IF you reconstruct everything from scope height to barrel, twist, ammo… you get the picture.

        I said come in, don’t stand there!!!

  • Nice! I think this is going to be a great scope. Thanks for sharing it here!