As is so often the case, it comes down to money. The soft steel used in barrels made for low pressure loads and lead bullets was a lot cheaper to buy and to machine than the hard steel used for barrels intended for high pressure center fire cartridges with jacketed bullets. The rifle market was and is highly competitive, and the soft steel barrels were more than adequate for the original cartridge, and would last about forever if given good care, soft steel was used.
But if a soft steel barrel is used with high pressure jacketed bullet cartridges, it won't last long. The hotter gasses erode the rifling and the jacketed bullets wear it down.
That is why most folks will advise against rechambering rifles made for .22 LR for .22 WMR. It is not the extra .001" in bullet diameter, but the fact that the barrel will burn out rapidly.