View Full Version : Scope for AR-15

May 14, 2011, 11:14 AM
Although I would love to have an ACOG, my present budget doesn't allow for that. I am presently trying to decide between the Nikon M-223 or the Leupold AR. I see that for roughly the same money one can purchase either. Thru the end of May, Nikon is throwing in one of their mounts free, although SWFA has a package deal with the Leupold that includes a Burris mount.

I have searched the forums and tried to gleen as much info as I can. It's my opinion that both are quality scopes. I have read some reports of the Nikon mount being "so-so".

I would like opinions from those of you that have one or the other or possibly have used both. Thanks!

May 14, 2011, 02:57 PM
I have found Nikon's to have better optics clarity.

May 14, 2011, 03:30 PM
I went with Nikon as well for my 20" AR. Very nice scope.

I had a Leupold that would not hold zero. I sent it back and was shipped a brand new replacement in less than two weeks. It sits on my boltgun.

Comparatively, the Nikon seems to have slightly better clarity and brightness than the Leupold.

May 15, 2011, 03:48 AM
I have not looked at the Nikon but I recently bought aLeu MK A R Mildot.I would buy another one if I needed another AR scope.Once you get your load,chrono it,send the Velocity,BC,your altitude,sight height etc to the Leu custom shop,they will make you a new dial-a range elevation knob for your load.You also have the mildot.I have a couple of the Burris PEPR mounts.I might give them 3 stars.Cheap,and OK,but not great.Look close at the mating surfaces to the rail and dress any high spots.I'm using them,they work.

May 15, 2011, 12:30 PM
I have a Mark AR 3-9x40 mildot in an M223 mount. (The M223 scopes weren't out when I bought the Leupold) It's a good scope and is better than a Buckmaster but not quite up to the Nikon Monarch clarity level. I haven't had a chance to see through an M223 yet.

The M223 mount is very nice in my opinion. It is lighter weight than a PEPR, which is good for saving weight and should still be plenty stout for an AR. I would think you would break the scope before you would break the mount.

I have a couple PEPRs, too, and if you're really hard on gear or need the top rails on the rings, that may be the way to go. I tried using a FastFire II on the top rail and found it to be too tall - a 1 o'clock offset rail works better for that.

One nice thing with the Nikon is you get a built-in 20MOA cant to help gain more effective elevation range with your scope.

It would be hard to go wrong with either scope or either mount.


May 15, 2011, 03:33 PM
Since you are looking for a compact scope thats around 1-4x might I suggest the Vortex Diamondback 1.75-5x32. When I eventually build or buy another AR carbine, that will probably be what Im gonna put on it.

May 15, 2011, 05:08 PM
Another possible option is the Burris Tac30.

I just have a general comment. If you are going to use it like a red dot/both eyes open - the the 1X must be a true 1X to really work well, even a 1.1X can screw up your binocular vision.

For that reason I'd say that if a both eyes open technique is important to you then accept only a true 1X scope. If it's not important, then skip anything in the 1.5 to 2x range and go straight for a 3x to whatever range and probably save some money in the process.

May 16, 2011, 06:20 AM
Nikon's running a special on the M223, comes with a free M223 mount ($100). SWFA was them in stock and if you find a cheaper price Swfa has a 110% price match guarantee.

May 16, 2011, 09:08 AM
I always find it amusing to see recommendations - and yet we have no idea what the scope will target, at what range.

Add the difficulty that both models have more than one range of powers - the Leupold has four models, the Nikon, five.

An honest recommendation could include not even using a scope, help us out and fill in some details.

May 16, 2011, 07:20 PM
Over this last weekend I had the opportunity to examine both Models and found that I preferred the Nikon over the Leupold. Both looked to be well made and had what I wanted, but the Nikon glass seemed to be clearer. I didn't buy the scope where I was as I knew I could get the free mount deal from places online, so I will be ordering that soon.

Thanks for your input!