I have been reading every discussion I can regarding .223 vs .308. I live in South Texas and am an avid whitetail hunter. I also consider myself a bit of a survivalist nut and I am searching for the one gun that I can use for hunting and as my all purpose bug out rifle. I have narrowed it down to one of two weapons:
1. Springfield Armory SOCOM 16 (.308) Black Synthetic fiberglass stock, 5 to 20 round mags, 37 1/4 inches long, 16.25 inch barrel, and 9.3 lbs (Price $1250 to $1950)
2. Ruger NRA Mini-14 (.223) Black Hogue Overmolded Stock, 5 to 20 round mags, 35 3/4 inches long, 16.125 inch barrel, 6 3/4 lbs
(Price $730 to $1035)
Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifles & Mini Thirty Rifles*Autoloading*Rifles
I am a firm believer in the reliability and accuracy of the .308, based on having taken down several deer and elk with an old .308 Savage Lever-action in my youth in Oregon. However, now in South Texas and taking in consideration, whitetail, cyotes, and an overall bug out survival rifle, I am leaning heavily towards the new NRA Mini-14 in 223. It is shorter, almost 3 pounds lighter, not counting ammunition, and I love the feel of the hogue overmold stock. I feel that it will adequately work as a whitetail deer rifle, and I'm sure I can find the right ammunition to take down bigger game if absolutely necessary. Those facts combined with the price of ammo, and the overall appeal of the gun as a ranch/bug out gun, I think I've come to that decision. So while my heart, and my ego may say get the .308 SOCOM 16, my mind and my wallet say get the .223 NRA Mini 14.
For those who are big AR 15 fans, and say why not just go with the AR. It is just a matter of preference, that and the fact that some of the old fellas I hunt with can accept a mini-14 on the ranch, but would not exacty take kindly to an AR style rifle in the deer blind. Let me know what you all think and why. Also let me know your experiences with each rifle, if you happen to own them. Thanks