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Old February 11, 2008, 08:11 PM   #1
DevilDogge
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.223 vs .308

I've pretty much made up my mind on purchasing a Savage 10FP LE. Now comes the part of deciding what caliber. What are the pros and cons of the .223 and the .308 round. I'm looking to get this rifle as accurate as possible over a long period of time and shooting around 800 yards if I need to (at targets). I imagine I may also do some whitetail hunting with it as well. I know the .223 is much cheaper to shoot, but what else should I know about these two rounds (effective range, drop rate, etc...). Thanks guys.
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:27 PM   #2
Charshooter
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The 308 is well-deserved popularity with 1000-yard shooters. It is a far better deer load than a 223. I use my 223 for coyotes and other varmints. It is a good accurate load, but a 308 make more sense if you what a deer rifle.
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:31 PM   #3
shooter_john
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If your gonna hunt with it and get all the way out to 800+ yds, its gotta be 308.
223 is definitely cheaper, and is a blast to shoot, but it is illegal to deer hunt with in most states.

You could always get a 308, then get a 223 barrel, a bolt w/ small boltface, and a barrel nut wrench and have the ability to change calibers in a matter of minutes!
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:31 PM   #4
C Philip
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For shooting at 800 yards and hunting deer, you should go with .308, it's a good all around caliber. .223 isn't enough for deer in my opinion, though of course with the right shot you can take game with any caliber.
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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From what you describe, the .308 is the better choice by far. I don't know where you live, but check your hunting regulations. Some states do not allow .22 calibers for medium to large size game. Either way, the .308 would be your better choice.
By the way, the Savage 10FP LE with the Accu Trigger is an excellent rifle. Out of the box with the right ammo and scope, they will shoot 1 inch groups at 100yds. I was thinking of one myself. The only drawback is the cheap stock but you can change that later on if you like. Take a look at the Bell and Carlson for ideas. Or just upgrade from Savage if you have the funds.

http://www.stockysstocks.com/servlet...ertical/Detail
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:38 PM   #6
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At 800 yards with any authority, your only choice is the 308.
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Old February 11, 2008, 08:42 PM   #7
heckledpie
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cheaper ammo: .223
if money aint no option: .308
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Old February 11, 2008, 09:29 PM   #8
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There will be no need to "upgrade" from the Savage 10FP once you buy the .308. Unless of course you want a full blown custom which for a few grand, might, do the same thing. This rifle gets purchased by police forces and is ready to go upon delivery. Have fun. Please report after purchase. 223 is fun and popular, plus accurate. 308 has double or triple the horsepower. For big game the .308 is the way to go. Long range as well.
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Old February 11, 2008, 09:35 PM   #9
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308 is better for what your intensions are. There is a lot of bullet drift w/ 22 cals. I own and load a 22-250...love it, but I agree w/ the others...Do you reload? You can save a TON of money and custom taylor your round to your specific purpose. When compared to factory match ammo, the cost savings can be as high as 4.5:1 or more.
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Old February 12, 2008, 01:40 AM   #10
Bazooka Joe71
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With your criteria, no question get a .308. While you can definately kill a deer with a .223, a .308 is still a better choice...Shooting out to 800 yards? Forgetaboutit with a .223(if you are actually looking for "groups")

Plus, nowadays .223 isn't all that much cheaper than .308, especially if you plan on reloading.

Since you are looking for a precision rifle and not something you take to the range and dump 100's of rounds at a time, ammo price is a moot point.
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Old February 12, 2008, 02:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Since you are looking for a precision rifle and not something you take to the range and dump 100's of rounds at a time, ammo price is a moot point.
I'll second that. A quality match or varmint load is going to be within a few dollars of of 308 (or 270, 30-06). For what your talking about doing Winchester USA and Wolf isnt going to cut it. I'd highly recommend taking up reloading. Sounds like a 168gr Hornady A-max or Sierra match king fired from a very carefully constructed hand load is whats called for. Handloads are generally more precise and factory ammo of the same quality is going to be very cost prohibitive.
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Old February 12, 2008, 03:39 AM   #12
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Originally the .223 was a varmint cartridge until the US Army adopted it, I tell you you dont want to shoot a deer with a varmint cartridge.

.308 all the way, makes a way bigger hole and penetrates far deeper.
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Old February 12, 2008, 04:06 AM   #13
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The 223 didn't really exist prior to the Army adopting it, 222 did. You need to read 'the black rifle' to see problems ammo manufacturers had figuring it out through in effect reverse engineering.
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Old February 12, 2008, 09:59 AM   #14
DevilDogge
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Sounds like you guys made my mind up for me.... I love these forums. I do want to put many rounds down range with the rifle, and you're not allowed to hunt deer with a rifle in Indiana, but I live right across the border from Kentucky and you can there. I'm getting rid of my .300 Win Mag and I absolutely love the power, so maybe going to a .223 would be like shooting a .22 in comparision. I'd love to start reloading, but isn't it expensive to get started? I don't know the first thing about what tools I need or how to do it. Thanks for all the input guys, it sounds like the .308 is the perfect "do all" round.
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Old February 12, 2008, 10:19 AM   #15
SR420
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I like the AR platform for 5.56 x 45 NATO / .223.
I like the in M14 platform for 7.62 x 51 NATO / .308.

I own one AR and eight M14s - 7.62 x 51 NATO / .308 is excellent general purpose ammo.
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Old February 12, 2008, 10:26 AM   #16
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The 308 is the better choice for what you are wanting to do with it.
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Old February 12, 2008, 11:35 AM   #17
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Devildogge-

Browse the Handloading section for a while, there have been several guys asking questions like yours recently. You could probably get started for much less than you think, I'd recommend a Lee kit to get in cheap and see how you like it. (and it will still be good equipment well after your not a beginner too) I started a new thread last night with lots of sources for components/equipment, you could kill a day just browsing. To help put it in perspective, I load my match 308 stuff for $9-$11 per 20, as opposed to $25-$30 to buy it new. Savings add up QUICKLY .
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Old February 12, 2008, 02:27 PM   #18
john in jax
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Like everyone above I've got to suggest a .308 for what you say you want to do with it.

FWIW: .308 is NOT "far more expensive" than .223. Cheap mil. surplus 5.56 runs +/-10 cents a round cheaper than the cheap mil. surplus 7.62, but domestic mfg. hunting ammo runs very close to the same cost per round.
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Old February 12, 2008, 05:17 PM   #19
629 shooter
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As much as I am a fan of the .223 - for up to 800 yards target and deer hunting the .308 is the hands down choice!

But for long range precision I would start reloading and use match bullets.
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Old February 12, 2008, 05:43 PM   #20
Buzzcook
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If you plan to hunt the .308 is the only choice. Either will do for targets, with the .308 having the edge at long distance.
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Old February 12, 2008, 08:03 PM   #21
TPAW
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Quote:
Thanks for all the input guys, it sounds like the .308 is the perfect "do all" round.
Actually, the 30.06 is the "do all" round, but the .308 will serve your pupose.
The .06 is availabe in bullet grains from 110 to 220 and it will take down anyting that walks or crawls in North America and then some.
Unfortunately, I don't think any of the Savage LE's come in 30.06...........
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Old February 12, 2008, 10:14 PM   #22
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Virtually everything I read on the 223 says it’s not stable past 300 yrds. On the other hand the 308 is regularly used by the military for shots out to even 1000 yrds. That’s a very, very long shot and still considered “effective” range.
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Old February 12, 2008, 11:53 PM   #23
bobn
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anybody who doesnt think a 223 cannot cut it at longer ranges needs to do some pit service at a hipower match....fwiw bobn
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Old February 13, 2008, 12:50 AM   #24
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Quote:
Virtually everything I read on the 223 says it’s not stable past 300 yrds.
LOL! I have spoken with several that have recently returned from the sand box and none of these warriors
ever had a problem with their issued M4s. More than a few have told me about 600 yard kills with their M4s.

The modernized 7.62 x 51 NATO M14 has 1100+ yard confirmed kills.

Put the two together and you can cover a wide area.
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Old February 13, 2008, 01:25 AM   #25
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I bet there are PLENTY of varmint hunters who would beg to differ with the statement that .223's aren't stable past 300yds...
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