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Old April 23, 2006, 04:43 PM   #1
Varmint Eviscerator
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Barrel life : .223 vs 30-06-what would you buy?

The question says it all, debating what to buy, whats more accurate-I love 06 versatility and the 223 cheap cost per round-plus its seems more inherantly accurate then the 06,or... rifles made for the 223 are just more accurate as a generality
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Old April 23, 2006, 05:42 PM   #2
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The .223 is slightly more accurate at ranges up to 200 yards, but wind deflection enters into the picture about there. Accuracy should not be the major factor in judging between those two cartridges, unless you're planning to do some benchrest shooting, but there are better cartridges than either for that sport.

Recoil, barrel heating, cost of shooting, need for greater energy to dispatch larger game, all enter into the picture. If you want a rifle to shoot at the range and not for hunting medium to larger game, the .223 Rem is the best choice. It's not the cartridge to hunt deer or bear in the Maine woods, though.

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Old April 23, 2006, 10:21 PM   #3
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Even out the 600 yards the .223 AR's tend to dominate the 30-06 M1's in CMP competition, however, in a properly set up gun they wil both do well.
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Old April 23, 2006, 11:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
The question says it all, debating what to buy, whats more accurate-I love 06 versatility and the 223 cheap cost per round-plus its seems more inherantly accurate then the 06,or... rifles made for the 223 are just more accurate as a generality
Chase
The .223 is more apt to be chambered in rifles which are varmint or tactical style and designed for more precise shooting such as the various Remington 700s such as the VLS , LTR or P versions , Savages 12VBSS or Ruger Target Rifles. That is , a rifle with a heavy free floating barrel , wider forends for bench shooting and just more sheer weight.

Don't know if any factory rifles for 30-06 are made in the varmint or tactical style. It would be interesting to compare the accuracy of .223 sporters to .30-06 sporters.

As to barrel life I found this on the Lilja barrel site , it deals more with benchrest accuracy match barrel life but Lilija does seem to indicate that the .222 size cartridge has quite a long barrel life in regards to match accuracy and even longer in regards to "varmint" accuracy:

Q. What barrel "Life" in number of rounds fired, can I expect from my new barrel?

A: That is a good question, asked often by our customers. But again there is not a simple answer. In my opinion there are two distinct types of barrel life. Accurate barrel life is probably the type most of us are referencing when we ask the question. But there is also absolute barrel life too. That is the point where a barrel will no longer stabilize a bullet and accuracy is wild. The benchrest shooter and to a lesser extent other target shooters are looking at accurate barrel life only when asking this question. To a benchrest shooter firing in matches where group size is the only measure of precision, accuracy is everything. But to a score shooter firing at a target, or bull, that is larger than the potential group size of the rifle, it is less important. And to the varmint hunter shooting prairie dog size animals, the difference between a .25MOA rifle or one that has dropped in accuracy to .5MOA may not be noticeable in the field.

The big enemy to barrel life is heat. A barrel looses most of its accuracy due to erosion of the throat area of the barrel. Although wear on the crown from cleaning can cause problems too. The throat erosion is accelerated by he at. Any fast varmint type cartridge can burn out a barrel in just a few hundred rounds if those rounds are shot one after another without letting the barrel cool between groups. A cartridge burning less powder will last longer or increasing the bore size for a given powder volume helps too. For example a .243 Winchester and a .308 Winchester both are based on the same case but the .308 will last longer because it has a larger bore.

And stainless steel barrels will last longer than chrome-moly barrels. This is due to the ability of stainless steel to resist heat erosion better than the chrome-moly steel.

Incidentally, neither of these barrels had been frozen or had any moly coated bullets fired through them.

As a very rough rule of thumb I would say that with cartridges of .222 Remington size you could expect an accurate barrel life of 3-4000 rounds. And varmint type accuracy should be quite a bit longer than this.

For medium size cartridges, such as the .308 Winchester, 7x57 and even the 25-06, 2-3000 rounds of accurate life is reasonable.

Hot .224 caliber type cartridges will not do as well and 1000-2500 rounds is to be expected.

Bigger magnum hunting type rounds will shoot from 1500-3000 accurate rounds. But the bigger 30-378 Weatherby types won't do as well, being closer to the 1500 round figure.

These numbers are based on the use of stainless steel barrels. For chrome-moly barrels I would reduce these by roughly 20%.

Remember that predicting barrel life is a complicated, highly variable subject. You are the best judge of this with your particular barrel. Signs of accurate barrel life on the wane are increased copper fouling, lengthened throat depth, and decreased accuracy.
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Old April 24, 2006, 10:34 AM   #5
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What are your intentions?
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Old April 24, 2006, 11:21 AM   #6
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Just get a 308 and have the best of all possibilities
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Old April 24, 2006, 12:06 PM   #7
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for targets

If you have to limit it to just those two calibers for some reason, then I'd say that it comes down to the distances at which you'll be shooting (competing?), and the twist rate.

0-300 yards: .223 with "standard" twist rates (1 in 12 or 1 in 9)

300-600 yards: .223 with a 1 in 7 or 1 in 6.5 twist, with 80+ grainers

600-1000 yards or more: .30-'06 - no question.

On barrel life, I don't know which will burn out faster, but I suspect that a .30-06 would go downhill after fewer rounds through it - *especially* if the .223 you're comparing it to is say, an AR15 with a chrome-lined barrel.
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Old April 24, 2006, 12:23 PM   #8
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Well...

Just came back from tha range-saw an 06 target rifle owned by an old gentlemen. He shot a no joking, dead straight group of .20 at 100yrds(subtract bullet diameter) I was thoroughly impressed, however I have always been turned off by the guys at the range who shoot their tricked out ar's and acheive 2" groups off a scoped rifle on a bench-dunno, what either caliber in a run of the mill gun cost me?
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Old April 24, 2006, 12:48 PM   #9
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223 vs 30/06

My $.02. I have a Ruger 77 i bought used in 223, it'll shoot 1" groups on any (non-windy ) day, i use it to check how I'M shooting!!hahaha I also had a cheap savage combo ($400 new with scope) that would shoot 1" with factory ammo it liked, in 30/06, but i gave it to a friend.

I think the responses so far are right on; what are you planning on shooting, and how far? there is a BIG difference in recoil, i.e. how many rounds do you want to shoot in a day? 20-30, either is fine, 100+ you better think about the 223! If you are shooting targets, either is fine, for game, size matters!!

So, after all that , i agree with person above; buy a 308 and have the best of all worlds; light bullets(125gr) for close targets, medium bullets(150-168gr) for game and longer distance, and big, heavy bullets(200+) to kill anything in north america!!

Almost all snipers use 308's(for power and accuracy), and some of the most accurate factory ammo is loaded in that caliber. And just to start a big debate, it has been called "an inherently accurate cartridge" by more then one expert( ) including some i tend to trust......
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Old April 24, 2006, 02:33 PM   #10
270Win
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I always thought barrel life was most dependant on amount of powder used in the cartridge... in which case, the .223 would win out due to its meager apetite compared to the .30-06.
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Old April 24, 2006, 04:25 PM   #11
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Not really, I believe the .220 Swift has less capacity than a .30-06, but when shooting full-power 45 grain bullets, the barrel life is quite short. Velocity is a big factor.

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Old April 24, 2006, 04:55 PM   #12
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The enemy is friction...which is caused mostly by velocity.
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Old April 24, 2006, 05:01 PM   #13
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Wow - that's quite a huge difference between those two calibers and what their intended uses are - there must be close to a dozen different highly respectable calibers between those two that are in very common use.

One ya can't even feel the recoil - the other can smash ya pretty good after a dozen or more shots. One's great for very large prey - the other is like a BB gun against same prey. One makes a very good bench-rest vehicle, never heard of the other being seriously used as such. There's just no real comparison between the two other than they both use gunpowder as a propellant - completely different rifles with completely different uses - close to a World apart.

Sorry - didn't answer the barrel burn question. Was just too mesmerized with the comparison of the two as if they are similar in some fashion...
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Old April 24, 2006, 07:40 PM   #14
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They are what I chose, there is no arguing, I asked a direct question. Thanks for your support and concern in the fact that there are other "better suited" rifles out there but, I made my choices for various reasons. No I wont get a 308-for some reason I have some sort of negative pre disposition towards the cartridge. plus I can get 110 grain 06 bullets as well, the 223 however is lighter in recoil,cheaper and *possibly* more accurate then the 06, I am split between the two, I would like to hunt deer and maybe elk-yes the 06 in myinexperienced opinion does a fantastic job and with hornady and federal light magnum loads you have the power of a 7 mike mike mag and/or a 300H&H. THEN again I could shoot more of the 223, not worry toomuch about ammo and plink away carefree at longish distances. The only rifle I have is chambered for the diminutive 22lr, although never to be taken lightly as it can have more power then quite a few pistol rounds.
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Old April 24, 2006, 10:07 PM   #15
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It seems to me that the purpose of any given rifle is the determinant factor. If I'm gonna shoot varmints at long range, I'd take a Swift over a .223, regardless of barrel life.

If I'm going target shooting in competition, I'll pick whatever seems to be winning matches, and not worry about barrel life.

If all I have is an '06 and I do indeed worry about barrel life, I'll load 20 grains of 2400 behind a lead gas-check bullet and shoot probably 20,000 rounds or more, with negligible recoil. And then again, the very idea of shooting 20,000 rounds seems boring as (bleep)!

, Art
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Old April 25, 2006, 01:51 AM   #16
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Worlds apart indeed

It is an interesting question you have posed, and either caliber will give you great results, as long as you consider their proper applications.

Barrel life: what has been posted is essentially correct, it is rapid fire that shortens barrel life prematurely. Chrome lined barrels slow, but do not stop the problem. The comments about the amount of powder being burned relating to bore erosion is only partially correct. It is the ratio of the powder charge to the bore size (leaving out rapid fire) that determines how rapidly the throat wears. The .220 Swift was notorious for wearing out barrels in a hurry, because it used a large powder charge in relation to a .22 caliber bore. The term for cartridges like this is "overbore"

Accuracy: Either caliber in a good rifle will be as accurate as you are, and likely moreso. The .223 resulted from a military requirement for a certain velocity at a certain distance with a 55gr bullet that the .222 Rem just could not do. So they lengthened the case a bit to hold more powder. The .222 Rem is essentially a scaled down .30-06. It was designed as a varmint round. The .223 Rem is also a varmint round. Even though Uncle Sam thinks it is great for people too, only a few states allow it for deer hunting, and I don't thin NY in one of them. The .223 was not designed as a long range target round. It is being used for that, but it has drawbacks.

The post was made that the ARs are dominating in the long range military target matches. True, now. It has taken the AR and its cartridge 40 years to dominate this field, and it now does so because they have finally hit on a bullet/rifling twist combination that minimizes the weakness of the .223 (minimize, not eliminate), so that the reduced recoil of the round, and the faster recovery time, reduced shooter fatigue become important factors.

Try competing against the .30-06 with a .223 and 55gr bullets at long range, and you will find what a disadvantage wind drift can be.

Also bear in mind that the .30-06 is a superlative big game cartridge, launching a bullet about 3 times the weight of a .223 bullet, and even though it may start out a little slower, at long range it retains more of its velocity than the .223. The weight and retained velocity reduce wind drift over the .223 by a considerable margin. And this is with "standard" ammo.

Plinking ammo for the .223 is quite a bit cheaper than the .30-06, and there are very few different semi-auto .30-06 rifles to choose from. .30-06 recoil is not considered "heavy", by most shooters, but it is substantial. .223 recoil is inconsequential.

There is a lot more that can be said (whole books could be written, and have) but basically comparing the two rounds is apples and oranges. And that is leaving aside the question of the different types of rifles to shoot them with. There is nothing practical you can do with a .223 that you cannot do with a .30-06, if you are willing to accept the increased recoil and cost of ammo. There are, however, many things you can do with a .30-06 that you cannot do and should not try to do with a .223.

Don't read into this that a am biased for or against either caliber, I own and enjoy shooting both. The are just not for the same things.
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Old April 25, 2006, 06:05 PM   #17
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Thats It!!!

Thanks very very much 44 AMP, you all have been very helpfull, now I have made up my mind. I think I will go with the 06 as I have the 22 for plinking.
Thanks very much again!
Chase
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Old April 25, 2006, 09:57 PM   #18
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Barrel life is dependent on how much total powder has been through the barrel. This equates to the amount of use it has seen. A .22 rimfire that has had 5 lbs of powder through it should have the same amount of barrel wear that a 30-06 that has had 5 lbs of powder through it has. Of course, 5 lbs of powder will allow you to shoot many more rounds through a .22 than a 30-06.
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Old April 26, 2006, 07:04 PM   #19
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the 30 06 is actually overbore, the 223 is not, so the 223 accuracy will last longer.
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Old April 26, 2006, 11:00 PM   #20
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Thanks, Hello123, that's what I was vaguely referring to in my earlier post.

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