Hornady’s new 7mm PRC has been getting quite a lot of consideration. Is it actually all it’s cracked as much as be? Does its enchancment over the 7mm Remington Magnum justify the change? Or will this cartridge simply be a flash within the pan? I’ve been taking pictures the brand new cartridge for a number of months and obtained to take it searching. And I’ll try and reply all these questions. However first, let’s return in time.

The 6.5×55 Sweede, although nicely regarded, by no means discovered acceptance in the US. American hunters simply didn’t appear to love 6.5mm cartridges. However in 1959, that modified when Winchester launched the .264 Winchester Magnum. It grew to become widespread due to its velocity and flat trajectory. Nevertheless, three years later Remington launched their 7mm Magnum. It was simply as quick however may deal with heavier bullets, and it put the .264 Winchester Magnum out to pasture. As we speak the 7mm Remington Magnum is among the hottest huge sport cartridges.

At the moment, solely Hornady is loading ammunition for the 7mm PRC. They provide three hundreds—two for searching and one for goal taking pictures. Hornady

Historical past usually repeats itself. The 6.5 Creedmoor has been round since 2007. Its benefit isn’t in velocity however in its skill to be fired from barrels with sooner twist charges. This enables ammo producers to load extra aerodynamic bullets and rifle producers to make extra correct manufacturing unit rifles. The 6.5 Creedmoor is widespread, however many thought it wasn’t highly effective sufficient for worldwide huge sport searching purposes. So, in 2018 Hornady launched the 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) which has ballistics similar to the .264 Winchester Magnum, however with a sooner twist price. In late 2022, Hornady pulled a Remington and launched the 7mm PRC. Its closest ballistic competitor is the 7mm Remington Magnum, however its efficiency overshadows the 6.5 PRC just like the 7mm Remington Magnum did the .264 Winchester Magnum about 60 years in the past.

From a cartridge improvement standpoint, it seems that what we’ll be doing within the 21st century is redesigning outdated cartridges with sooner twist charges. Whereas this may occasionally lack the joys of extra gunpowder and the screaming velocities of cartridge improvement within the latter a part of the final century, you possibly can’t argue its effectiveness. Flatter trajectories and extra retained vitality down vary, with out a rise in recoil, are precisely what hunters have been asking for for the reason that .30-30 Winchester was launched in 1894.

How the 7mm PRC Compares to the 7mm Magnum

With the 7mm PRC, Hornady basically took a 7mm Remington Magnum cartridge and eliminated the belt on the case head. They then set the shoulder and case size again by 0.22 inches and eliminated a few of the taper within the cartridge physique. All this, along with growing the cartridge’s general loaded size, permits Hornady to load the 7mm PRC with higher-BC bullets. The 7mm Remington Magnum case holds extra gunpowder than the 7mm PRC case. However as a result of Hornady hundreds the 7mm PRC to 65,000 psi versus 61,000 psi, the 7mm PRC is quicker by about 100 to 150 fps.

7mm PRC and 7mm Remington Magnum Comparison Chart.
Richard Mann

The mixture of the marginally sooner velocities and better BC bullets provides the 7 PRC a couple of 100-yard benefit in most sensible vary for the hunter. What’s most sensible vary? It’s the vary at which the bullet’s velocity begins to fall under what it must provoke measurable bullet upset. Bullet upset or growth is necessary to hunters as a result of it will increase wounding potential. For goal shooters, it’s of no consequence. However since gravity and wind have an effect on greater BC bullets barely much less, the 7mm PRC is clearly a better option than the 7mm Remington Magnum for the long-range competitor.

How the 7mm PRC Performs Within the Area

A number of months in the past, I acquired a brand new Mossberg Patriot Predator rifle chambered in 7mm PRC. This rifle has a fluted 24-inch barrel and weighs solely about 6.5 kilos. I mounted one among Swarovski’s Z8i 2-16X60mm riflescopes on the rifle and examined two of Hornady’s three obtainable 7mm PRC hundreds. The primary three-shot group fired with this rifle was extremely small—measuring solely 0.268 inches. This was not a fluke. I fired 4 extra three-shot teams with the Hornady Precision Hunter load. The common for all 5 was solely 0.62 inches. For a rifle with a advised worth of solely $536, which you should buy over-the-counter for lower than $500, this type of efficiency is nothing wanting astounding.

In late January, I took that very same rifle to Texas to hunt nilgai. These giant Indian antelope—bulls can weigh greater than 600 kilos—had been introduced onto the King Ranch in Texas within the Twenties. They’ve thrived and are actually free-range. Additionally they have a status for being onerous to place down. Actually, our clothing store advised a minimal of a 200-grain bullet at 3000 fps for these so-called, armored antelope. Although I agree some animals are tougher to get to the bottom should you hit them poorly, I’ve by no means believed sure critters are tougher to kill than others.

Hunter with Mossberg Patriot rifle next to dead nilgai
The creator dropped this nilgai bull with a double-lung shot at 168 yards with the 175-grain Precision Hunter ELD-X load for the 7mm PRC. Richard Mann

I hit my bull excessive within the lungs with a 175-grain Hornady ELD-X bullet at 168 yards. It dropped on the shot. Different hunters in my get together—all utilizing the identical sort of rifle and cargo—took two different bulls and two cows with comparable outcomes. One hunter wounded a bull that we couldn’t discover, however we don’t understand how that bull was hit. On this hunt, the 7mm PRC labored similar to I’d have anticipated a 7mm Remington Magnum to carry out.

The Way forward for the 7mm PRC

One of many hunters in our get together was Jon Sundra, who’s probably the oldest energetic gunwriter. You possibly can contemplate him an knowledgeable on 7mm cartridges. Actually, his 7mm JRS wildcat cartridge, practically duplicates 7mm Remington Magnum efficiency. John stated he expects the 7mm PRC to kill the 7mm Remington Magnum. I don’t agree, partly as a result of hunters everywhere in the world belief the 7mm Remington Magnum, and partly as a result of there are at present about 23 occasions as many manufacturing unit hundreds for the 7mm Remington Magnum. Load availability will change, however as widespread because the 6.5 Creedmoor is, it took 16 years for there to be as many Creedmoor hundreds as there are 7mm Remington Magnum hundreds. Additionally, should you set up a sooner twist barrel in your 7mm Remington Magnum and handload, you possibly can practically duplicate manufacturing unit 7mm PRC efficiency.

Learn Subsequent: The .270 Winchester vs. the 7mm Remington Magnum

I do assume the 7mm PRC will change into widespread. However except I used to be a critical long-range competitor, I wouldn’t commerce my 7mm Remington Magnum for one. At sensible searching ranges, the benefit the PRC provides seems to be greater on paper than it’s in actual life. And for the PRC to overhaul the 7mm Magnum in recognition, all main ammunition producers must load it. They’ll even have to supply greater BC bullets than they at present load within the 7mm Remington Magnum. Additionally, for true longevity, most main rifle producers must provide rifles chambered for the 7mm PRC. At the moment, there are a number of {custom} and semi-custom choices obtainable however solely Mossberg, Ruger, and Savage are providing reasonably priced manufacturing unit rifles.

I’ll finish with this. Although I’ve by no means been a lot of a 7mm man, the precision from the $500 Mossberg rifle is tough to disregard. And, for giant sport searching, the 7mm PRC would possibly sooner outpace the 6.5 PRC than it can the 7mm Magnum. That’s what the 7mm Remington Magnum did to the .264—6.5mm—Winchester Mangum within the Nineteen Sixties. And as they are saying, Historical past tends to repeat itself. 

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