Hornady has released the .300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge), a beltless non-rebated .30-caliber magnum centerfire rifle cartridge designed for extreme performance at long range.
The .300 PRC is based on the .375 Ruger Compact Magnum; call it a .30-375. Maximum cartridge overall length is 3.7 inches (minimum length is 3.575 inches). Case length is 2.58 inches (rim to case mouth); head diameter is .532 inch; throat diameter is .3088 inch.
The 2.58-inch case creates capacity for 75-80 grains of powder to send big and heavy .30-caliber bullets downrange at high velocity. So it has the capacity to win precision shooting matches—offering .300 Win. Mag. performance with a shorter maximum COAL, so bullets may be seated farther out to maximize performance.
The .300 PRC features a cartridge/chamber design that’s geared for precision shooting using a standard magnum bolt face. Its beltless case creates an optimum body taper, shoulder angle and neck length, and deliberate chamber clearance in the throat. Its case capacity is designed for use of specific propellants to ensure temperature stability; uniform pressure and velocity; and the ability to use every bit of case capacity. It is designed to deliver adequate and consistent barrel life. The cartridge accommodates modern long range and traditional bullets; its overall length allows bullets to be seated out from the case body to ensure proper throat length. Hornady’s initial factory offerings utilize modern, long range bullets—the 225-grain ELD-M and 212-grain ELD-X—traditionally available only to the handloading community.
The cartridge already is SAAMI-standardized; Hornady did so to speed adoption. SAAMI lists a maximum average pressure (MAP) of 65,000 PSI, same as the 6.5 PRC. With a 3.7-inch maximum COAL, the .300 PRC will fit, feed and function in existing long actions. Rifles I have seen and used include bolt-action models built by GA Precision and H-S Precision. Detachable box magazines currently available for the .300 PRC include offerings from Accuracy International, Accurate Mag, H-S Precision and MDT.
The 225-grain ELD-M carries a G7 ballistic coefficient of .391 (G1 of .777) and travels at an advertised muzzle velocity of 2860 fps. In pre-release testing, our group noted average velocity of 2876 fps with the load. At that speed, at 1000 yards velocity is still red hot at 1835 fps. Energy is an eye-popping 1682 foot-pounds. Time of flight to reach that 1000-yard mark is only 1.305 seconds.
The cartridge is under evaluation by the U.S. Navy to supersede the .300 Norma Magnum, which was selected as the Advanced Sniper Rifle Cartridge for SOCOM. But head diameter of the .300 Norma is .588 inch, same as the big .338 Lapua Magnum, which was based on the 107-year-old .416 Rigby Magnum (.589 head diameter). That’s too big to fit within conventional centerfire rifle magnum bolt faces. The .300 PRC, however, features a head diameter of .532 inch (same as the .300 Win. Mag.) to fit within a standard magnum bolt face.
Time will tell if the .300 PRC captures the hearts (and dollars) of precision shooters. Learn more at Hornady.com