Pros & Cons of the 300 PRC: Hornady’s New .30 Caliber Magnum

300 PRC Title

If someone isn’t part of the long-range shooting community, they probably wouldn’t have heard about the new 300 Precision Rifle Cartridge that Hornady released in 2018.

Hornady’s ammunition is designed with heavily aerodynamic bullets that deliver excellent long-range performance. Many people have been talking about the cartridge recently, but is it something you really need?

Since then, hunters and shooters in North America have favored 30-caliber ammunition. At the start of the 20th century, the 30-06 Springfield revolutionized hunting. Although 30-06 is an excellent choice, many hunters and shooters seeking additional strength or improved long-range accuracy have turned to the various.30 caliber magnum cartridges.

Ammunition and firearm businesses have responded to the extraordinary call by providing additional products. Hunters now have an abundant selection of.30-caliber magnum cartridges, such as.30 Nosler, 300 WSM,.300 Norma Magnum, and the.300 Remington Ultra Magnum, plus the longstanding favorites.300 Winchester Magnum,.300 Weatherby Magnum, and the.30 Nosler.

What is the justification for having another .30 caliber magnum cartridge? What benefits does the 300 PRC offer that other cartridges don’t?

Will people overlook the 300 PRC when something else comes out in a few years? It is up to hunters and shooters to decide if switching to the 300PRC will be beneficial enough to make it worth their while.

This article looks at the history and pros and cons of the 300 Precision Rifle Cartridge in detail. I’ll also give you some data on how the 300 PRC measures up to the .300 Winchester Magnum, so you can figure out if it meets your needs as a hunter.

300 Precision Rifle Cartridge History

A.30 caliber cartridge was required for long-range shooting, according to ballisticians at Hornady. Although .300 Win Mag cartridges were suitable for long-range performance, no .30 caliber cartridge was explicitly designed.

Ballisticians at Hornady established that a. 30-caliber cartridge was necessary for long-range shooting, even though.300 Win Mag cartridges were suitable for long-haul execution. There was no explicitly created.30 caliber cartridge right with remarkably high BC projectiles extended to an immense range. To satisfy their mission, the merchants at Hornady chose to take a different approach instead of adhering to the design limitations based on varying action lengths. Subsequently, they fabricated a cartridge based on their unique scheme.

They took a cartridge case that was necked down and built it with a more extended head height. The head height is the amount of room the bullet has to exit the case while still adhering to the rules established by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute. In other words, a taller head on the cartridge allows for the use of longer, more aerodynamic bullets.

In the meantime, you can calculate the head height by deducting the cartridge case length from the maximum overall size.

The 300 PRC is a long rifle due in part to its long head height. The dimensions of the equipment make it difficult to use rifles with a standard-length action.

The.375 Ruger’s case head diameter is the same as the.375 H&H’s at.532″. Although the .375 Ruger shares similarities with the .375 H&H, some key differences exist. 

One of the most noticeable features of the .375 Ruger is that it does not have a belt, meaning its casing diameter is more recognizable. 

Additionally, the 300 PRC may fit more rounds when using an ordinary magnum bolt face, enlarging its chamber volume. Hornady’s recent unveiling of its 300 Precision Rifle Cartridge at the 2019 SHOT Show significantly impacted in late 2018 when it acquired official SAAMI approval alongside 6.5 PRC.

300 PRC Ballistics

The average 300 PRC round consists of a 212-grain bullet fired at 2,860 feet per second, resulting in 3,850-foot pounds of force. A heavier 225-grain bullet fired at a slightly lower 2,810 feet per second results in less force at 3,945 foot-pounds. 

Both loads fire long, aerodynamic bullets that are heavy for their caliber to minimize bullet drop and wind drift at extended ranges. 300 PRC factory loads often have a muzzle velocity comparable to the .300 Win Mag. Still, they use a heavier bullet that has a higher BC.

It’s possible to load the cartridge more carefully to achieve slightly higher velocities or to use even heavier and more aerodynamic bullets.

This means that you can fire the 220-grain ELD-X bullet at a velocity of 2,875 feet per second and the 250-grain A-Tip Match bullet at a velocity of 2,700 feet per second. Both loads were obtained using a 24″ barrel, so your experience may differ.

300 PRC vs 300 Win Mag

The two types of ammunition generally have similar muzzle velocities. Still, the 300 PRC shoots a heavier bullet with a higher BC. The 300 PRC has a less steep trajectory than the 300 Win Mag, meaning it loses less energy over distance, is less affected by wind, and has more recoil.

In a nutshell, the two cartridges compare to each other as follows. Several vital factors become apparent as we examine their similarities and differences.

The cartridges were built with different goals in mind.

The.300 Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC) was specially developed for remote shooting, while the.300 Win Mag was generally thought out for hunters. Created in the 1960s, before shooters and hunters realized the need for more streamlined and extended bullets, the Winchester cartridge was created shortly after. 

This is not meant to express disapproval of the .300 Win Mag, merely to make clear that it is an output of its day. Even though it does well with a variety of tasks, there are restrictions on its cartridge formation. The .300 Winchester Magnum and 300 PRC fire off the same .308″ caliber bullets; however, usually, the 300 PRC does better with bigger and longer bullets.

The Problems

We have been at war for seventeen years, and the few times that a large area was necessary, snipers would typically shoot at targets until they hit one. I think that expecting snipers to be able to hit a moving target from a mile away is unrealistic. Any tiny performance improvements gained from trying this would not be worth the time and money it would cost.

My initial concerns were addressed after speaking with a SOCOM member involved in the requirement and learning about the testing that was carried out. 

He explained how the war had changed since he used to fight. In the past, it was rare for U.S. forces to encounter an enemy that could shoot accurately from 600 yards away, even with crew-served and indirect-fire weapons. Nowadays, it is common to face near-peer adversaries in some parts of the world. The enemy has similar equipment to us, such as night vision, thermal sights, and anti-tank missiles.

SOCOM argues that the best way to protect service members is to create distance between them and the enemy. No nation on earth produces shooters like America. Many individuals learn how to shoot from their fathers when they are young, and we teach our kids how to shoot.

There are many rifle competitions where new and experienced shooters can improve their skills in America. We also have a firearms industry home to a few talented people who know how to design and create the specialized weapons needed for top performance.  

Putting an idea into practice is always more complicated than coming up with it. Bullets were evaluated, including the .50 BMG, .416 Barrett, and .375 and .408 CheyTac. The cartridges used in those guns are large and heavy, making the guns themselves very large and difficult to handle. A sniper carrying a large rifle and a lot of ammunition will not be able to move quickly or far on the battlefield.

This refers to a project that Hornady had been working on for a while. The solution presented to them was the .300 PRC which is similar to other .30 caliber wildcats. Some examples of these other wildcats are Dave Tooley’s .30 Boo Boo, the .300 Accuracy International (AI), and the .30-375 Ruger.

The .300 PRC is very similar to other cartridges for a reason. Different companies’ smart guys arrived at similar conclusions to the problem everyone was facing.

Tooley is a champion bench rest shooter skilled in shooting at long range. He often competes in competitions where the targets are 1,000 yards away. Accuracy International created its .300 AI cartridge in 2009 when the United States Special Operations Command had higher accuracy standards of 1,500 meters for long-range sniper rifles. Although AI thought that none of the cartridges available could do what SOCOM wanted, they pursued their own investigations anyways.

The .300 PRC has a narrower throat and diameter than wildcat cartridges. You can safely load and fire .300 PRC ammunition in most .30-375 wildcat guns. The .300 PRC is a necked-down version of the .375 Ruger, its parent case.

The .300 PRC is unique because it combines a standard magnum action with a heavy-for-caliber VLD bullet. Hornady stylized their new cartridge after the .375 H&H Magnum, using a case head size of .532-inch to make it compatible with most long-action rifles. The price of a gun increases when the bolt face is enlarged to .588 inches. As well as the case with the .300 Norma. Hornady’s choice of a .532-inch bolt face makes it possible to rebarrel any .300 WM to .300 PRC.

Hornady crafted the rest of the cartridge with a meticulous eye, selecting the case head size. Applying many of the same principles, the 6.5 Creedmoor and the.300 PRC were constructed. The freebore diameter is revered to a compact .3088 inches. When a .308 bullet is loaded in, it is just .0008 inches larger than its opening. Long and heavy projectiles are essential for any cartridge’s extended-range accuracy.

When shot, a bullet is propelled from the rear and can whirl or pivot in the chamber before making contact with the rifling. By doing this, its middle of gravity is displaced when it engages with the channels at long last. This means that it materializes into an unknown design, so accuracy becomes tricky to accomplish when this takes place.

The.300 WM is severely affected by this phenomenon the most. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute specifies the lowest bore diameter.315 inches for the.300 Winchester Magnum. Unlike the.300 WM, the.300 PRC has much less looseness. To illustrate the distinction between an exact cartridge and one which can be more accurate, the prior has 875% enlarged freebore clearance. In case you.300 WM experiences hardship in firing VLD bullets. Chances are it belongs to the following cause:

The greatest general length for the.300 PRC is 3.7 inches, yet it has a neck/shoulder junction nearer to the casing head than its counterpart, .300 WM. Even though overall, it is roughly one-third of an inch longer, it still has a smaller neck/shoulder junction. This configuration was constructed not incidentally but deliberately.

This cartridge was designed for a 225-grain bullet, prioritizing keeping as much projectile out of the case as possible, ensuring consistent long-range results. This is something that only the .30 caliber magnum gunpowder setup can provide aptly; in this regard,. 300 PRC holds exclusive rights diligently formed around such principles.

Captain Hunter is a seasoned hunting mentor with over 20 years of experience in the field. His passion began as a young man on trips with his father and grandfather in the Colorado mountains. Today, he shares his unmatched skills in survival, tracking, and marksmanship through his website CaptainHunter.com. When he's not volunteering with youth hunting programs, you can find Captain Hunter providing expert hunting tips, gear reviews, and answers to your most pressing questions. His decades of experience make him the trusted guide to help any outdoorsman master the sport.

Scroll to Top