23 Oct Hornady’s New 300 PRC is Here!
Hornady’s new 300 PRC is here!
We were fortunate enough to have an early jump on this cartridge and shot our first test rounds several months ago. We did a good bit of long range testing out to 1800 yards at our favorite long range shooting destination; FTW Ranch.
This cartridge is non-belted, has a standard magnum case head diameter (.532”), and is based on the 375 Ruger case.
Overall cartridge length is long, at 3.70” in the 225 ELD-M Military version, and 3.685” the civilian load with the same projectile.
For comparison, the 338 Lapua Magnum with 300 grain Scenar is 3.670”.
A 300 RUM with 180 grain Accubond is 3.55” long.
So, the 300 PRC is very similar in overall cartridge length to a CIP 338 Lapua round, and considerably longer than a 300 RUM. Additionally, the case itself is much shorter than the 300 RUM as is the shoulder location. The shoulder location is very close to that of a 338 Lapua.
This design optimizes powder capacity, cartridge overall length, and seating depth for the very high BC 30 caliber projectiles.
All of this brings into question, what action to build the 300 PRC on.
We want our rifles to feed perfectly and reliably at all times. We do not believe converting a Remington 700 style action with hinged bottom metal, regardless of magazine box length will provide this. Can this be made to work with an extended magazine box? Yes it can. Will it work consistently over time as the magazine spring tension changes? Doubtful.
This is a new cartridge and we will continue to work with feeding solutions. We are currently using the Defiance Machine action with a .750” bolt diameter (same as the 338 Lapua) with a .545” bolt face (standard magnum), feeding from an Accuracy International CIP magazine. The larger .750” bolt diameter ensures proper delivery of the cartridge from the CIP length AI Magazine. The AI magazine accommodates the overall cartridge length and shoulder location very well. We build the 300 PRC in our 338 Lapua Hunter dimensions and our Long Range Tactical Rifle.
You can also get CIP length magazines for 300 Win. Mag. that should work well with the standard magnum bolt diameters and any Remington 700 style long magnum action that is altered to receive the CIP length magazines.
Why a 300 PRC? Aren’t there enough 30 caliber magnum rounds already?
The answer depends on how closely you scrutinize a few key performance characteristics.
The 6.5 Creedmoor has done so well partly because the case design looked at bullet design and magazine box length first. What I mean by this is that today’s long, high BC bullets, eat up a lot of magazine box length and older case designs force the bullet to be loaded too deep into the case for optimum pressure, accuracy, and the small velocity spreads that are key to repeatable long range accuracy.
The 300 PRC does the same thing, using a shorter case length, optimum powder/bore ratio and powder burn rate, while not seating the bullet too deep into the case.
While velocity by itself is not that impressive (2838 fps with the 225 ELDM), the extremely small velocity spread (7 fps extreme spread in our rifle) results in outstanding long range performance with considerably less powder and less recoil than the 300 Norma or 338 Lapua.
The 212 grain ELD-X will make a phenomenal long range hunting round that will outperform any 300 Win. Mag. by a big margin in terms of energy and wind drift at longer ranges. We have not been able to test this load yet, but expect muzzle velocities to be near 2950 fps.
The 300 Winchester Magnum is still our most popular chambering for North American Game short of Brown Bear. Ammo availability is plentiful. There are plenty of good actions to build it on. The 300 Win. Mag. recoil is low enough to shoot without a muzzle brake or suppressor. As a hunting cartridge, it is still at the top of our list.
For shooting steel plates and targets, the 300 PRC performs very well. We shot ours on steel out to 1800 yards with excellent results.
So, like most new cartridge offerings, the improvements are tangible, but incremental and come with pros and cons.
We are not big advocates of shooting game animals at “long range”. How far is too far depends on the shooter, the rifle, and the conditions. Only a very high percentage shot should be taken in an ethical hunting world. Any edge you can get in wind drift and foot pounds of energy is worth considering.
If you are looking for a cartridge that will perform tremendously well in the field and on the long distance shooting range, the 300 PRC will fill that niche very nicely.