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Old 02-26-2010, 07:11 PM
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Default .223 vs .308



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I am a student and i go to school in LA...ive been a prepper for awhile and am looking into my main rifle.
Now i have to decide, .308 vs .223?
I have read Boston's Gun Bible and many other such books and all highly recommend .308 for obvious reasons BUT...
im skinny and light (not all the muscular) so carrying such a rifle would get extremely tiring paired with the extra weight of the ammo
also my right shoulder has had severe damage done to it so shooting .308 could be slightly painful

so based on that should i just suck it up and get an FAL or a M1A
or go for a AR15 or something of the like
Old 02-26-2010, 07:16 PM
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.308 is a mil spec round just as the .223. the .308 is a 7.62x51 and is the round they shoot out of an m60 maching gun,. ammo is cheep and pleantyfull (not that the .223 is not) and the effective range is a about 300yards further. The M1 will shoot dirty, the AR will not. Grab the .308 and if you still want something light and easy to cary grab a Ruger 10-22. Super cheap, super light, easy to find ammo. Lots of conversion kits for the DIY guys too.


Just me thoughts...
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:52 PM
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Your physical size isn’t that important when carrying heavy loads (like lots of ammo), look at the Sherpa’s in Nepal, they are all little guys that climb Mount Everest a few times a year with tons of gear on their backs. Its all about fitness, not bulging muscles.

When I was in Iraq I carried 12 7.62x51mm FAL mags with no problems and I am not a big guy, just in good shape

I would go with the 308, from what I have seen it is better at taking someone down than a 223

~James G
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:03 PM
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Both cartridges have their benefits and drawbacks. As you mentioned, the weight of the cartridge and gun plus recoil are the drawbacks of the .308.

I'm a big .308 fan myself, yet my bug out bag has a .223 in it. About the only time a .308 has enough superiority over the .223 to be a major determining factor is if you may have to shoot at extended ranges AND are trained, skilled and practiced enough to do so. About the only other reason would be if you're in bear country or such.

I prefer the .308 for defending the home, since weight isn't an issue there, nor ammo carrying capability. But personally, I don't think you're giving up a whole lot if the .223 suits you better. It suits a lot of people better.

Another nice feature of a gun in .223 is that with adapter cartridges, you can shoot .22LR in it without bulky and expensive conversions. You just cycle it manually like a bolt action. I keep a 10 round magazine loaded with the adapters. I can pop it in and take small game. If I need to switch back to full power ammo in a hurry, there's no wasted time removing a .22 conversion kit. I just swap mags and cycle the action. So you get a light weight gun that is really 2 guns in one.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:17 PM
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This is a quantity vs quality argument. I don't know anyone that would say .223 is the better quality round (in terms of stopping power).

Keep this in mind - you are likely to carry the same weight of ammo regardless of which caliber you choose. SOOO...it depends on your needs. If you won't be re-supplying often, say bugging out, then I'd go with quantity - 223. If you are going to be more stationary or just going on short patrols then go with the .308. It should be noted that in large part the US military and law enforcement completely went opposite of this advice. It seems that fire power (quantity) beats knock down power (quality) in their minds. Obviously there are still snipers that can provide overwatch with heavy hitting rounds in a military situation...you probably won't have that luxury.

Just to play devil's advocate, do you really think you will be taking, or are capable of taking, 800 yard shots outside of target practice? That's probably not a situation that could be qualified as "personal defense." .223 will get the job done for most civil unrest situations.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:30 PM
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I like .308, because I also hunt big game.

If I was in a big city and had no hunting plans, I'd go lighter .223 for sure.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:47 PM
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This is just my 2 cents, 308 is fantastic at knock down and extended ranges but, 223 is lighter and a little more common. So I purchased a saiga russian ak chambered in 223 for bugging out because of its ability to shoot dirty trash ammo, 223 is common and its the russian surplus lacquered ammo is cheap. but with that in mind i also have the remington 700 in 308 for distance shots. each weapon has its proper uses. hope this helps
Old 02-26-2010, 09:03 PM
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The knockdown power of the .223 gets a bad rap since the military is required to use full metal jacket rounds. A good bullet (even full metal jackets) is ADEQUATE for deer size game and humans with the caveat of good shot placement. Use an expanding .308 bullet on a rabbit though, and you have a gut rainbow. I think the .223 is the best choice for the same reasons that the military uses them; light, accurate, effective. I carried 8 mags of .223 in Iraq, 4 mags of 9mm, body armor, etc etc, to the tune of 70lbs of combat gear without water. We can talk about it not being that heavy...sure but walk a few miles carrying this stuff then try to run up a flight of stairs with it. Kicks your butt. Weight is a concern if you have to hump it.

The difference between a combat situation and a survival situation is resupply. Should I exhaust all my ammo in Iraq, I go back to base and get more that night. No base to fall back to in the SHTF scenario. Given the 'hump it out' scenario, would you rather carry 16 mags of .223 or 8 mags of .308? I don't wanna die from a lack of shooting back, personally.

Ammo is cheap and plentiful for both. Recoil? If you get an AR10 (M16 chambered in .308), its a semi-auto with a big buffer spring, I think it would be pretty shoulder friendly. I have never fired one though. A .308 will put a deer down quick, I have shot deer through the heart with a 12 gauge slug and had them run 75 yards! A 308 with an expanding bullet will put them down right now, though. Deer hunting with a .223 will entail some tracking, .223 is too small to legally hunt deer in many states since a fatal wound might not be fatal until the next county.

If I have to go to ground, my bug out rifle is 30-06, though, because that is best caliber I have to handle deer size game and humans. If I have a vehicle or a base, I'll have a 30-06, .22 rifle, 12 gauge, 20 gauge, and 9mm pistol. 20 gauge is for my small framed wife.

Just remember, if you can put every round into an 8" paper plate at 100 yards, you can kill some things regardless of caliber.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:03 PM
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I'll say in advance, my rifle caliber selection jumps from .22 straight to .30-06, so take my advice with a grain of salt...

I would say that if the recoil of a rifle knocks you 1/2 off of your feet, you may want to think twice about it. Something you can handle easy and remain on target with after firing will be loads more useful than something so powerful you will need to re-aquire what you were lookin' at.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:05 PM
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I prefer a .308 and if I could ONLY have one rifle it would be a quality semi-auto in .308 caliber.
That said, .223 is sufficient for most urban tactical situations and has the added benefit of less weight, therefore more ammo.
But when it comes to longer ranges, possible game hunting and shooting thru glass, auto bodies, doors or other material, it's a .308 for me all the way.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:15 PM
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Ive always thought of it like comparing a 9mm to a 45ACP. I personally choose the better stopping power.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:27 PM
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Ah, the age old 45 vs 9mm. My take on this one is, the only people I will shoot with a pistol will be hostile people within pistol range. If he is worth shooting once, he is worth shooting twice and I want that second one in him fast and accurate.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:27 PM
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Given the fragility of your shoulder and the fact that your in an urban environment I would most likely side with the 5.56 in your circumstances.

Personally I like the 7.62 NATO and have several guns for it in addition to my FAL. I think its a bit superior in many aspects when compared to the 5.56. But dont think for a second that if you do your part a 5.56 wont work for you in 90% of the shooting situations that will arise. Just understand your limitations and learn to deal with them or avoid getting into those situations where a heavier caliber would be better.
Old 02-26-2010, 09:46 PM
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Hate to redirect the conversation, but why not consider the 7.62x39?
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinhead View Post
Hate to redirect the conversation, but why not consider the 7.62x39?
My thoughts exactly An urban enviroment has lot's of good cover, cover that frankly the 223 has lot's of trouble with particuarly if you load for SD and not just punching holes(fmj). I like the 308 but I feel for a SD fight in a urban area the x39 is the king,period. Controllable, in very reliable platforms that can be small and light and it has the ability to make cover into concealment very well, plus ammo is still fairly cheap compared to 308. The x39 suffers from the "it's not from here" syndrom but it shouldn't be overlooked just because of that.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:19 PM
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it's firepower vs. volume of fire

2nd the 7.62x39 being the best compromise.
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:32 PM
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Sounds like you have pretty much made the choice...severly damaged shoulder...feel that packing a .308 W/ammo might be tiring...Go with the .223 on the AR platform...On the downside living in California you limited to 10 round magazines...
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:01 PM
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You need to decide if you want a Rifle, or a Carbine. Don't worry about the weight of the rifle. You can get a .308 nearly as light as an AR. The difference is only a few pounds. What you need do is fire a .308 and see if you can take it. If you honestly cannot take the recoil, the next caliber down is 7.62x39, then lastly 5.56. Find a friend with these calibers, and test drive them for yourself.

If your weapons capacity is limited, maximize each bullets effectiveness. This applies not only to the power of the cartridge, but the caliber of the shooter. It's better to have a lighter power weapon and practice regularly, than have a full power rifle collect dust.

Since you are a student, I will assume you dont have $2k for a serious MBR. I don't often say this, but the SKS might be right for you and your local ordinances.
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Old 02-26-2010, 11:28 PM
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I'm a fan of the .308.

However, If you have an aversion to weight and recoil, consider the Ruger Mini 30.
It's the 7.62 X 39 version of the Mini 14.

BTW, the U.S. military likes the 5.56 weapons because they ARE NOT lethal. When you shoot and kill, you take one person off the battlefield; if you only wound, you've eliminated three people - the person you hit plus the two required to carry him off.

elgin
Old 02-27-2010, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elgin View Post
I'm a fan of the .308.

However, If you have an aversion to weight and recoil, consider the Ruger Mini 30.
It's the 7.62 X 39 version of the Mini 14.

BTW, the U.S. military likes the 5.56 weapons because they ARE NOT lethal. When you shoot and kill, you take one person off the battlefield; if you only wound, you've eliminated three people - the person you hit plus the two required to carry him off.

elgin
Actually they're quite lethal.

imagine if this were a torso hit.

The round is quite lethal, it wasn't nick named the "Meat Grinder" for nothing.
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