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Thread: 308 or 223?

  1. #1
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    308 or 223?

    I'm in the market for a long gun. I've been interested in the springfield m1a for a while now. I like the.308, for power and long range trajectory. I do NOT like the price of .308 rounds, or the price of the rifle for that matter.

    The .223 "ar" platform is nice. Lighter, cheaper, and more readily available. On the other hand, the energy on impact is less, and different from, the .308. Also, effective range is reduced, and the reliability of the platform in less than favorable conditions is a concern.

    Thoughts? Primary use would include hunting medium to large game, target shooting, and I always keep survival versatility in mind.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    I'm in the market for a long gun. I've been interested in the springfield m1a for a while now. I like the.308, for power and long range trajectory. I do NOT like the price of .308 rounds, or the price of the rifle for that matter.

    The .223 "ar" platform is nice. Lighter, cheaper, and more readily available. On the other hand, the energy on impact is less, and different from, the .308. Also, effective range is reduced, and the reliability of the platform in less than favorable conditions is a concern.

    Thoughts? Primary use would include hunting medium to large game, target shooting, and I always keep survival versatility in mind.
    I know for a fact my state bans the hunting of large game with 223, probably yours too, check it out before making that decision.

    Personally I prefer full power rounds myself, i'd also recommend a bolt act, but if you prefer semi then I'd go with a .308 or 30-06 or .243 Winchester. This is based on me hunting paper though, never actually hunted game so take my advise with caution
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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    I'm in the market for a long gun. I've been interested in the springfield m1a for a while now. I like the.308, for power and long range trajectory. I do NOT like the price of .308 rounds, or the price of the rifle for that matter.

    The .223 "ar" platform is nice. Lighter, cheaper, and more readily available. On the other hand, the energy on impact is less, and different from, the .308. Also, effective range is reduced, and the reliability of the platform in less than favorable conditions is a concern.

    Thoughts? Primary use would include hunting medium to large game, target shooting, and I always keep survival versatility in mind.
    Reloading will bring the price down considerably. I myself prefer a larger caliber round. When reloading the 308 can be downloaded somewhat to get lower power levels if needed. I reload my Nagant with lighter bullets for varmints. I am not a fan of the 5.56 for defense, I prefer a 44 magnum or 357 in rifle for that. IMO even the 30-30 is a better round for home defense.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 12-19-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    I'm in the market for a long gun. I've been interested in the springfield m1a for a while now. I like the.308, for power and long range trajectory. I do NOT like the price of .308 rounds, or the price of the rifle for that matter.

    The .223 "ar" platform is nice. Lighter, cheaper, and more readily available. On the other hand, the energy on impact is less, and different from, the .308. Also, effective range is reduced, and the reliability of the platform in less than favorable conditions is a concern.

    Thoughts? Primary use would include hunting medium to large game, target shooting, and I always keep survival versatility in mind.
    The "larger" the round, higher the probability is for a one shot kill of "large" game. I shoot a .243 (short action) for most dear, which is the majority of the game I take outside of fowl (turkey and duck) for food. Elk and similar sized game require a larger round in my view (I prefer short action ammo). Deer is plentiful all across the country, elk are not and I do not like to travel far to take game.

    Shot placement is vitally important and a small round such as the .243 could take down large game. The .223 (short action) round is suitable for taking medium to small game. The advantage of the "AR" platform is the recoil of the .223/5.56mm is far less than a .308 (short action) or 30-06 (long action). The AR platform is more likely to be effectively used by those who are not comfortable with the recoil of the .308 or 30-06. Just my perspective.

    Also, for hunting, a bolt-action is my preferred firearm from a safety perspective, after the first shot. The ease of maintenance and the reduction in the number of failure points that are inherent in the AR platform. The cost of ammunition is always a concern for any firearm.
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    Good responses so far. Minnesota recently made .223 legal for taking deer. Prior to that I wouldn't even think of a .223 platform. I used it in the Marines and I was the first to go find a shotgun, AK, or M14 if I could. I guess I'm only considering the .223 AR platform for these reasons: cost (.308 round and weapon cost more), popularity/availability of round (every major law enforcement and military group is armed with .223), compatibility with magazines/accessories (M1A mags aren't nearly as popular, and I already have 6 .223 mags lying around), and overall magazine capacity.

    Everything else (firepower, accuracy, reliability, durability) points toward the M1A. Oh crap, I think I might have just answered my own question....

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    Good responses so far. Minnesota recently made .223 legal for taking deer. Prior to that I wouldn't even think of a .223 platform. I used it in the Marines and I was the first to go find a shotgun, AK, or M14 if I could. I guess I'm only considering the .223 AR platform for these reasons: cost (.308 round and weapon cost more), popularity/availability of round (every major law enforcement and military group is armed with .223), compatibility with magazines/accessories (M1A mags aren't nearly as popular, and I already have 6 .223 mags lying around), and overall magazine capacity.

    Everything else (firepower, accuracy, reliability, durability) points toward the M1A. Oh crap, I think I might have just answered my own question....
    The .308 is available in the AR platform...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreQo View Post
    ... .223 legal for taking deer.....
    Keep in mind that the rounds suitable for hunting will be about the same price in either .223 or .308. It's only the FMJ stuff that is significantly cheaper. So it will depend on what you mostly use it for as to how much of an issue this is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The .308 is available in the AR platform...
    So is .50 cal ... wear a mouth guard with this one .. it will rattle your teeth !

    .308 is probably a better choice for a AR platform

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    So is .50 cal ... wear a mouth guard with this one .. it will rattle your teeth !

    .308 is probably a better choice for a AR platform
    I am not impressed by the 5.56 as a defensive round, good for 4 legged varmints. I am also not impressed by the AR platform, even though I used one when it was issued to me. I admit I never had problems with mine, but heard many rumors of those who did have problems with the gun, and round. IMO for an intermediate round the 30-30 is better, but there are no semi autos designed around this round that I know of, an the round with a flat point would not get by the round ball BS. I think the troops would be happier with a .308 M-4, not so sure about the enemy, and the M-4 needs to be made more reliable in dirty conditions.
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 12-26-2012 at 01:50 PM.
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    As for taking deer+ with a .22 caliber round and smaller. The 22-250, in PO Ackley's book he explains why it is a cleaner kill than a 30-06. He also shows that a .17 caliber round can be rather devastating also. The recoil in the 22-250 is much lighter allowing for better shot placement and the kills being made on 1000lbs animals were one shot kills while the guys using a 30-06 were often having to make follow up shots.

    As for the .223 on two legged targets there is a thread somewhere talking about the damage that various calibers cause.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    ...The recoil in the 22-250 is much lighter allowing for better shot placement...
    To clarify, recoil has nothing to do with shot placement, except for flinching from lack of training.
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    Just so I can be first this time. Way OT, this thread will either be locked or moved in: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,......
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    I like 556 for repelling purposes. If you need to send a lot of rounds down range, its far better than .308 at suppressing fire. Pretty much the main point of going to a smaller size and weight round is to be able to carry more ammo.
    Otherwise, 308 is better in almost every facet.
    However I tend to prefer an AK platform if I am going to go with a 7.62, both for price, and battlefield reliability. If you are hunting, and hunting is your primary concern, then there a ton of options out there and no reason to limit yourself to only those cartridges.

    .308 is still my favorite med sized cartridge, but practicality tends to send me away from it.

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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    To clarify, recoil has nothing to do with shot placement, except for flinching from lack of training.
    Heavier recoil causes flinching. Besides that 22-250 is a rather flat shooting caliber allowing for less adjustment to the sights to hit the target.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    Heavier recoil causes flinching. Besides that 22-250 is a rather flat shooting caliber allowing for less adjustment to the sights to hit the target.
    Recoil does not cause flinching. Poor training does.

    I will agree that it is common, though.

    I also agree with the benefits of a .22-250, though I prefer my .220 Swift...
    Last edited by MAC702; 12-27-2012 at 08:45 PM.
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    There are many rounds that well do what you want.

    If one is worried just about price 223 is about the cheapest.

    308 the next.

    Over all most any of the rifle rounds well do a decent job.

    if one is worried about 308 recoil maybe a 243,260,7mm/08 and many others will give a bit less recoil and get the job done.

    All can be had in a AR platform no one gun is perfect for every thing.

    Thats why a lot of us own many differant cals and styles.
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  17. #17
    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Recoil does not cause flinching. Poor training does.

    I will agree that it is common, though.

    I also agree with the benefits of a .22-250, though I prefer my .220 Swift...
    I will agree and disagree. Let's call it an impasse?

    Why the 220 swift though?

    Ever thought about using the .17 Bee?
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom1Man View Post
    ...Why the 220 swift though?

    Ever thought about using the .17 Bee?
    I got lucky getting one when I was a kid. Still have it. Everything the .22-250 can do, the .220 did first and can still do a slightly bit faster!

    I'm not a fan of the .17's. The .204 Ruger is cool, but the Swift has just enough mass behind it to keep that velocity as a record at most usable distances.

    I've taken a deer with it, but it's a heavy Ruger varmint rifle, so isn't exactly field comfortable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I got lucky getting one when I was a kid. Still have it. Everything the .22-250 can do, the .220 did first and can still do a slightly bit faster
    With a bit more power and higher priced brass and then if you need a bit faster Nothing wrong with the swift but the 22-250 kills very will and is a bit cheaper to use.

    Dosen't much matter to the low volume shooter but thousands of rounds on a P dog trip several times a year the costs add up.

    But then the 223 is the most cost effective.

    Do you still have the orginal barrel on your swift.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    With a bit more power and higher priced brass and then if you need a bit faster Nothing wrong with the swift but the 22-250 kills very will and is a bit cheaper to use.

    Dosen't much matter to the low volume shooter but thousands of rounds on a P dog trip several times a year the costs add up.

    But then the 223 is the most cost effective.

    Do you still have the orginal barrel on your swift.
    Yeah, not much prairie dog shooting out here! My rifle doesn't see many rounds.

    It's still the original barrel, but was made in the 70s in the modern era of good chrome-molybdenum. It doesn't suffer from the early reputation that killed the early Swifts right before the .22-250 came out to take over.

    I've nothing against the .22-250, and can admit it can do the same job. It's more cool factor to have the older cartridge that can still claim the slight insignificant edge, though.

    It's a slow twist and prefers the lighter bullets, but will still spin 52-grainers into a dime at 125 yards.
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