What power scopes do you use on your 223 Rem. target or varmint rifles??


January 25, 2012, 09:06 PM
I have a Remington 700 BDL 223 Rem. with a Leupold VX-II 4-12x40mm AO Scope.

I'm just curious to see what power scopes you guys and gals are using on your 223 Rem. (or similar cartridge) target or varmint rifles?

Thanks, NYH1. ;)

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Michael R.
January 25, 2012, 09:27 PM
My dad has a nikon 4-16 scope on his savage model 10 223. Its pretty nice and it's a good scope for shooting close or far away.

January 25, 2012, 09:38 PM
I used a 24x fixed power scope on mine while I had it. 12x or more is good though.

January 25, 2012, 09:44 PM
Most of my junk is mil stuff, accurized battle and assault rifles. But as an SDM instructor using the M4 and ACOG, we found that 4x was more than sufficient for up to 600m. On a 7.62 sniper rifle, I liked the fixed 10x. Not a big fan of too much magnification, but I'm not a varmint or benchrest shooter either.

January 25, 2012, 09:47 PM
5-15X Bushnell

January 25, 2012, 09:47 PM
3-9s and fixed 10s almost exclusively.

January 25, 2012, 09:48 PM
My 70's Rem 700 BDL in .223 has a 4-12 Simmons Whitetail Classic on top of it. Seems to work perfect for what i do with it.

Pete D.
January 25, 2012, 09:50 PM
on your 223 Rem. (or similar cartridge) target ...
Actually...my .223 target rifle is a Colt HBar....no scope. Irons...hooded NM rear and post front.

Redneck with a 40
January 25, 2012, 09:51 PM
My Mini-14 has a Burris FFII 3-9x-40 scope, I love it!

January 25, 2012, 10:05 PM
Burris Black Diamond 8x32x50mm:cool:

January 25, 2012, 10:07 PM
For my 2 prairie dog rifles I use 6.5-20's. Quality glass is a must when you start getting to the upper end of the spectrum. Nothing can give you a headache like looking through a cheap scope all day!

January 25, 2012, 10:10 PM
3-9x40, since my .223 bolt was meant to be "practice" for my .308, which also has a 3-9x40.

Might upgrade it to a 4-12 or something later.

January 25, 2012, 10:15 PM
For prairie dogs, my absolute lowest magnification setup is a 5-15x Bushnell. I prefer the Leupold VX-II with the 1/8 MOA target dot in a 6-18x setup as an all-around long range scope.

January 25, 2012, 10:25 PM
on my .22-250s and .223s (on most of my rifles for that matter) Leupold VXIII 6.5x20x40 with the AO. good looking, good performing scopes.

Ky Larry
January 25, 2012, 10:55 PM
Nikon Buckmaster 6-18X40 AO on my CZ-527 Varmint in .223 Rem and on my Savage Weather Warrior in .22-250 Rem.

Dallas Jack
January 25, 2012, 10:58 PM
I use a Nikon Monarch 5-20x44 on my AR-15 and a Weaver V-24 6-24x42 on my Weatherby Vanguard. I have never hunted with either, just targets off the bench.
Dallas Jack

Art Eatman
January 25, 2012, 11:02 PM
My 77 Mk II .223 sports an old Vari-X II 3x9. 9X is plenty good for prairie dogs to 300. My AR varmint/truck-gun setup has a Weaver K4 on it.

Steve in PA
January 26, 2012, 12:26 AM
Mueller 4-16x 50AO on my heavy barrel Savage 12FV.

January 26, 2012, 05:34 AM
Scope power is a personal preference thing.... Some like more than they need, some get by with hardly any. Tiny targets need more scope, big targets require less. Just buy what you prefer, and dont skimp on the glass;)

Shooting at 300yrds, at a 3" spinner, my R700-LTR .223 does well with a Bushnell Elite 3200 5-15x40 AO

January 26, 2012, 06:25 AM
6 x 24 on all varmint rifles, 204, 223, 22-250, 220 Swift, 243, and 257 Weatherby Mag

ole farmerbuck
January 26, 2012, 06:32 AM
I have 2 Nikon 5x20's on my Savage bolt guns. 2 Nikon 6x24's on my varmint AR's. Oh yea, Nikon 6x18 on another .223 bolt.

January 26, 2012, 07:16 AM
Swarovski Z6 3-12X50 for GH's.

January 26, 2012, 08:37 AM
I target shoot only, most of my gear is heavy, I prefer the higher power scopes was using a Nikon Monarch 5-20 on my 223 rig but switched to a Mueller 8-32 target dot the glass is more clear and less tiring on my old eyes, normally it's set on 24 power.

January 26, 2012, 09:33 AM
My varmint rifle is a .22-250 and I use a 6-24x50 Bushnell Elite 4200.
My dad has a 4-16x40 on his .223

January 26, 2012, 09:38 AM
Bushnell 3200 elite 5-15X tactical

January 26, 2012, 09:45 AM
I shoot prairie dogs and coyotes and have the following listed in the order of favorite to least favorite. Obviously I like Leupold. The first 2 listed are fantastic scopes. The rest are very good. The AO feature is a waste of time. The one I shoot the most PDs with is the .223. With my reloads, it is one wickedly accurate rifle.

Anschutz 17HMR with Leupold Vari-X 3 3.5X10
Remington 541S .22 with Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8
Ruger #1 .204 with Leupold Vari-X II 4X12 50mm
Remington 700 VSF .223 with Leupold Vari-X II 4X12 AO
Remington 700 VLS .243 with Leupold Vari-III 4.5X14 AO

January 26, 2012, 09:58 AM
223 AI wears a US optics SN-3 Tpal 3.2x17
223's...a Leupold M8 12X, another wears a 8.5x25 Leupold Mark IV and another wears a Zeiss Conquest 3x9. They all have different purpose.

January 26, 2012, 10:09 AM
Tikka Lite wears a Nikon 4-12 Mil Dot, Remington Tactical a Bushnell 10x Mil Dot...


January 26, 2012, 10:25 AM
I have two AR-15's with match barrels that I use to target shoot with out to 300 yards. One has a Mueller 3-10x44 tac II and the other has a nitrex by weaver 2-10x50 TR2.

Chuck R.
January 26, 2012, 02:08 PM
REM 700 XCR “Tactical” Leupold MK4 6.5-20X Illuminated TMR Reticle in Larue mounts:


Most of my varmints are beavers and muskrats on my 9 acre pond, so the illuminated reticle is a must for twilight with a dark pond bank background. The extra magnification comes in handy when there’s not much more than a head out of the water.


January 26, 2012, 02:46 PM
My Savage 12FV .223 has worn a Meopta 3-9x42, Bushnell 4200 8-32x40, Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x40, Bushnell Elite 4200 3-12x44 FFP, and is currently scopeless; if I want to shoot it I'll take the Elite 4200 6-24x50 FFP off my .260 Remington.

I plan on putting one of SWFA's recently announced mil/mil 12x42 fixed power scopes on the 223 when they are introduced later in the spring.

January 26, 2012, 03:43 PM
My Remington 700 SPS Varmint .223 wears a Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40 with A/O.
My Weatherby Vanguard Varmint Special .223 has a Nikon Buckmasters 4.5-14 x40 with side focus, and my AR-15 (S&W M&P 15 Sport) has a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x32 shotgun scope. It is accurate enough that I may put my Redfield Revolution 4-12x40 on it when I go to Montana for the gophers.

January 26, 2012, 04:49 PM
Dang it, I had a big long response typed out and hit the wrong darn button and lost it! I'll try this again.....

Most of my varmint hunting is limited to shooting prairie dogs. I try to plan my first shoot around the time that the pups are just starting to come out of the holes. As you spend time at a specific dog town the older/larger dogs get wise real quick. Even the younger ones at closer ranges keep down for long periods of time. When the ranges start getting past 300, 400 and 500 yards you are going to want to crank that scope up. Shooting at targets no larger than your hand at those types of ranges is very difficult. If you are limited by low end magnification it will only compound the problem. As I've gotten older and spent more time shooting I find more/quality magnification to be invaluable. Granted, mirage can be a problem if you are shooting in an area that gets hot but my shooting has been limited to ND and MT and it doesn't get unbearable like it does here in TN so it really hasn't been an issue.

Another thing that I feel a new shooter should know is that a good quality scope with less magnification is going to be much easier to use than a cheap scope with tons of power for the most part. I've got Swarovski's, Leupolds, Sightrons and Simmons scopes on my rifles. My Swarovski Z3 is leaps and bounds above the cheaper simmons scopes that I have during times of less than optimal shooting conditions. But when I'm shooting on a bright sunny day with rifles that are really only capable of shooting 400-500 yards the elcheapo Simmons whitetail classic 6.5-20 scopes work great (yeah I know I said most cheap scopes are not that great but these are a great value for those on a budget). The eye relief is a little on the critical side so it can wear you out looking through them but scanning for new targets is done with binoculars so it's of little concern.

Sure different critters are a lot bigger than prairie dog pups but from my experience having extra magnification available is never a bad thing.

All this talk about critters has me chomping at the bit to get out on the prairie!


January 26, 2012, 08:59 PM
I have various scopes, but 4 primary scopes for varmint/target purposes. Because all of my heavy barreled rifles have picatinny rails, I can use any of these scopes across any of my rifles:

Nightforce 3.5-15 X 56
Nightforce 5.5-22 X 56
Nightforce 12-42 X 56

Regardless of the magnification range of the scopes, out to 300 yards, I find that about 11X is perfect for me to be able to consistently hit a 3.5" steel disk. I have said here at THR before, all factors considered, the SWFA is as close to a point of rationality (the most scope for the least money) as I ever have experienced.


January 26, 2012, 10:11 PM
Vortex Viper 6.5-20x50. It is probably more magnification than most need, but my eyes suck. Works well for groundhogs and yotes out to 300 yards (probably further if I had the space to do it).

January 26, 2012, 10:58 PM
The Remington R-15 .223 sports a Nikon Buckmaster 4-12x50 side focus

The Remington 700 Varmint 22-250 has a Leupold VX-II 6-18x40 AO

FWIW Both are great scopes, but I like the Nikon better. The eye relief of the Nikon does not change like the Leupold does when switching between minimum and maximum power settings.

January 26, 2012, 11:00 PM
CZ 527 Varmint .223, Warne Maxima rings, Bushnell Elite 4200 6-24x40AO w/ target dot reticle.
Can't have too much power on a varmint rifle -



January 27, 2012, 03:02 AM
Nothing but Leupold VX-III 6.5-20x40mm Long Range scopes in my safe on my varmint rigs.

January 28, 2012, 07:50 AM
Look at the Nikon M-223 4-16x42SF with BDC reticle.

January 28, 2012, 08:32 AM
My competition AR has a 1-4x scope, but I only shoot out to 425y at steel so 4x works fine.

January 28, 2012, 02:35 PM
Lots of good choices here.My heavy barrel 223 wears a NF 3.5-15.My 22-250AI,243 and 6.5-284 have NF 5.5-22's.I have had good service out of my Leupolds,both VX-111's and MK-4's,but have slowly switched over to NF. Lightman

January 28, 2012, 02:58 PM
I have a stevens model 200 that I just mounted my bushnell 4200 elite 3-9 X 40 on. As I look through it, judging by my experience with more powerful scopes on a 22-250 I owned, I can say I would definitely like more power. Reason is, I only do target shooting on paper, and like to use dime sized target dots out at 200 yards. Set at the max of 9 power, the target dot would be completely covered up by the crosshair. This is no good to me. However, if you are hunting and not trying to put 5 shots into the smallest possible area, I would say the 3-9 would easily be good enough for squirrel sized animals or larger out to 300 yards. I know this scope will be good for printing on paper all day at the 100 yard range, however.

January 28, 2012, 05:18 PM
You can only shoot as well as you can see. I've got a 6.5x20x40 VX-III on my AR. Shoots WAY under MOA. My 22-250 has a 4x16x50. My target CZ .22 has a VX-III 6.5x20x40EFR.

I'd agree that good glass is exceptionally helpful.

January 28, 2012, 05:54 PM
Both 223 varminters in my safe have an older version of this: http://www.burrisoptics.com/blackdiamond1.html#4x16x a Burris 4-16x 50mm objective scope. The crosshair choices now available boggle the mind but I prefer a plex style crosshair when dogging.

dagger dog
January 28, 2012, 09:01 PM
Burris Fullfield II 4.5 X 15 X 42 AO, on a Savage 12 FV.

January 28, 2012, 09:05 PM
24 power or bigger if you want to see your bullet holes on paper.

January 28, 2012, 09:18 PM
20 power Super Sniper for FTR 223 26" WOA match upper.

January 29, 2012, 01:21 AM
Savage 12 has a bushnell 4200 series 4-16X40

LTR shooter
January 29, 2012, 01:34 PM
My 700LTR primarily for target use , has a Leupold Vari-X III 6.5X - 20X with target dot.

On my other .223s I have used a Bushnell Elite 4200 6X-24X , Weaver V16 4X-16X both with target dot.

When I began shooting .223s my main scope was an old Burris 12X Fullfield with plex reticle.

February 3, 2012, 09:09 PM
Bushnell 4200 Elite 4-16x40 AO. Very very nice!

February 4, 2012, 01:17 AM
All 3 yote rigs are now topped off with the older Aetec models


February 4, 2012, 07:59 AM
The old saying that you can't shoot what you can't see has a lot of truth to it. I try to shoot the tiniest groups that I can and do quite a lot of paper punching. In my case, 12X is kind of my minumum as my eyes aren't as good as the used to be. I just bought a sightron 8-32 for a rifle that I am having made. I'm feeling that 32X is going to be too much, but we'll see when everything comes together.

I used to be able to shoot vey well with 9X, but I'm finding that as years go by, they seem to be making targets smaller and smaller and not as clear as they used to make them. I'm also finding that Leupold is not making enough threads on their eyepieces anymore to get the adjustment needed.

Your magnification needs are certainly dependent upon what type of shooting you do as far as range, what you are shooting at, and what your needs are as far as field of view.

February 4, 2012, 11:07 AM
Savage Axis .223 with a Nikon Buckmasters 4.5-14x40 SF. Put it together to use as a gopher/coyote gun and range toy. Consistently shoots sub 2" groups @ 100 yards with cheap factory ammo, I'll see how it does with handloads after I pick up a set of dies.

My nephew also has an Axis in .223, his has a Vortex 3-9x40 mounted on it. It shoots about the same as mine with similar ammo. Not too shabby for a rifle that cost less than $300.

February 4, 2012, 04:41 PM
On target rifles 36 power or higher. On prairie dog rifles 6.5x20, on predator rifles 3x9 or fixed 4x. On those, field of view is much more important than magnification.

February 4, 2012, 05:06 PM
I've had a few over the years:


All have worked fine.

February 5, 2012, 02:12 PM
My Son and I shoot a 223 a lot both in Bolt guns and AR`s. We punch paper,shoot PD`s,Groundhogs,and coyotes. We are really impressed with the 4200 ELITE, 4-16x50, 6-24x40, 8-32x40. We have bought both new and used and always on the look out for another. We have used the 4200 ELITE SCOPES for several years and we have never had a proplem of any kind. My eyes are not as good as they once were and I do not get any eye strain or headackes shooting PD`S all day long with these scopes. I belive they are great scopes. Good luck with your choice (( just get a good one )). ken

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