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Which one? .223 vs .308 from a loading perspective

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by halvey, Sep 14, 2004.

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  1. halvey

    halvey Member

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    Ok, I'm finally buying a rifle. Well a non-.22LR rile. My choices are between .223 and .308.

    From a reloading perspective, is one cartridge better than the other? I assume the .308 will cost me a bit more, but really how much? As an example, I can load .45 plinkers for only slightly more than 9mm.

    I will mostly be shooting paper at the range and have up to 300 yards to do so. I'd like to maybe do some competitions and will take either gun on a hunt for prairie dogs in the North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    I reload both so:

    Sierra matchkings 168 gr in .308 cost $16 per hundred
    Sierra matchkings 69 gr in .223 cost $12 per hundred

    Powder my .223 load takes 24gr per round
    my .308 load takes 44 gr per round.

    Brass is a bit more expensive in .308 like $40 per 500 delivered from scharachs.

    .223 I get free from other shooters.

    Hope this helps
     
  3. Bacchus

    Bacchus Member

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    They are both fairly easy to reload and cheap. Brass for the 223 is very easy to find if you go to an outdoor range, although you may spend time separating it according to headstamp.

    I would consider the reloading issue a moot point and choose based on the platform/rifle/caliber you prefer for the activities you mentioned.
     
  4. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    .223 will be a wee bit less expensive. Bullets tend to cost less, and it uses less powder. Difference is minor.

    I find that when I shoot .308, I stop sooner due to recoil-induced shoulder fatigue. Doesn't happen with .223. So that's another reason .223 is a little cheaper...
     
  5. ThreadKiller

    ThreadKiller Member

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    The .223 may well be the greatest prairie dog caliber of all time. It's easy to pack along several hundred rounds if you're walking through a town. They're deadly accurate and don't burn up the barrel as fast as a larger 22 can. And they don't beat you into the ground after a long day in a dog town.

    For shots out to 300 yards, the 223 is hard to beat.

    The 308 is more versatile, is better in the wind and has better long range potential IMHO. I know, I know, 80 grain VLD bullets can be stuffed into fast twist 223's making them long range sniper rigs, but I'm not sure those fancy slippery bullets expand well on little PD's.

    I guess it depends what you expect to do with your rifle. If you plan on hunting anything much larger than coyotes, the 308 is the better choice.

    Tim
     
  6. Gunrunner

    Gunrunner Member

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    I load both calibers in about the same amounts. Both are fun to shoot and can be very accurate. The 308 does cost a little more, and does have more recoil. But those 30 caliber holes are a lot easier to see on paper at 300 yards. I bet you'll eventually get one of each.
     
  7. halvey

    halvey Member

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    I know I'll get one of each...it's just I'm getting a heavy barrel varmint rifle and was trying to come up with the better of the 2 to start with.

    I was all set on the .223, but now am thinking the .308 may be the better one anyway.
     
  8. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    You need to buy a .308. That's my unbiased opinion ;)
     
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