You won't regret the 223.
I get 3750 from a 40grn bullet
You should get 3250 to 3450 for the 53-55 range but accuracy in your rifle could be slower depending on everything in the world.
I use my 223 for practice, local matches and general fun out to 300yards. It only likes light bullets.
It took about 1000 rounds to figure out what this factory barrel wanted. I have an additional 1500 rounds through it for a total of near 2500. I expected it to start giving up but it is getting better. I'm gonna rebarrel anyway when I run out of bullets for it. Well, maybe.
I try to keep the barrel temp low enough to hold my palm on.
I try not to shoot more then 5 shots before letting it cool, matches break this rule as some strings are 10 round.
I clean as soon as it drops accuracy and with that many rounds and data I know when it's me vs. the rifle.
Don't worry about barrel life for a hunter. Think about it for about 10 seconds for a shooter. Then resolve to use good practices and not worry about it.