Deer, Good job finding a scope that fits your needs and budget. Soory I"m a bit late to this thread but still going to toss out this info. Nikon has the P-223 3-9 BDC 600 on sale that can be picked up for $30 off at about $169. Another scope I like on on AR's because it's low profile and I like the magnification range is Nikon's PROSTAFF 2-7x32 BDC, this scope comes in under $140. I do freelance Shooting Event's with Nikon so my scopes see a lot of rounds every year from a lot of different shooter's. They handle all the hard use and if something id happen Nikon stands behind what they make. Have fun shooting and in case you haven't picked out a mount yet and you're looking for something reasonable check out the P-Series 2 piece AR mount. Easy to use and a lot of flexibility in how you choose to mount your scope.
If you guy's ever have any question's or problem's about a Nikon scope feel free to drop me a note and I'll do my best to help you out.
I am a longtime hunter and I am here to answer any questions on Nikon hunting optics you may have. I will also be sharing new products and specials on occasion.
Nikon Pro Staff www.nikonsportoptics.com