The rumor has become fact: Hornady has expanded its Precision Rifle Cartridge family to 7mm. During the recent Athlon Outdoors Rendezvous earlier this month in Felt, Idaho, several writers got a chance to send some rounds down range, shooting the Hornady 7mm PRC.
Shooting Hornady 7mm PRC
I’ve been a fan of the PRC family of cartridges since their introduction. I could fill a couple of 5-gallon buckets full of brass with the headstamp, with just more than 3,000 rounds fired between 6.5 PRC and .300 PRC.
What I’ve learned about the 6.5 PRC is that it can get marginal in performance on large, tough animals. After busting a 450-pound scimitar horned oryx down in Texas last fall with a 6.5 PRC, I learned PDQ that these animals can soak up some lead. It took three well-placed shots to anchor the beast. Even though quite a few bull elk have fallen to the 6.5 PRC, I’m not sure I wouldn’t feel more comfortable shooting something that would deliver a heavier bullet. That’s where the 7mm PRC will shine.
By comparison, the 7mm PRC is designed to deliver 160- to 195-grain bullets at pretty respectable velocities.
Hornady 7mm PRC Features
- Bullet Diameter: .284
- COL: 3.340”
- Overall Case Length: 2.280
- Case Head: .532”
- Case Shoulder: 30 degree shoulder angle
- Twist Rate: 1:8
- Muzzle Velocity: +/- 3,000 fps
- SAAMI Max Pressure: 65,000 MAP
The overall cartridge length means that these will be standard long-action rifles. The case head diameter is the same as the other PRC cartridges, as well as typical “magnums,” such as 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag., etc.
When you consider comparison of the overall cartridge length and case length, there’s a lot or room to seat long, heavy bullets with high ballistic coefficients optimally. To achieve maximum velocity bullets need to be seated where the base of the bullet doesn’t protrude down into the body of the case.
This non-belted, shoulder-headspacing cartridge results in good chamber alignment. By comparison, all of the Remington-born belted magnums were based upon the .375 H&H belted case, which headspaces on the belt.
Easy Conversion Capability
One of the selling features of the 7mm PRC, Hornady claims, is that existing rifles chambered in 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag can be easily converted to the new chambering with a simple barrel swap.
Another Hornady claim is “The 7mm PRC is a match-accurate cartridge that has an appropriate twist rate for modern, high BC bullets along with a cartridge case that is optimal for today’s temperature stable powders, resulting n the ultimate in ballistic consistency.”
Hard-to-sway 7mm Rem Mag fans will have to admit that the slower SAAMI twist rate and case/chamber design does not accommodate modern long-ogive, high-BC bullets.
Get a Kick Out of It
How does the 7mm PRC stack up recoil-wise to other .284-caliber cartridges? A 10-pound 7mm PRC rifle firing a 175-grain ELD-X generates 23.80 ft/lbs of recoil. By comparison, a 7mm Rem Mag firing a 162-grain ELD-X (Hornady factory, mind you) will generate 20.85 ft/lbs of kick. Stepping it up a notch, a 7mm STW firing a 162-grain ELD-X generates 25.21 ft/lbs of recoil. Even more stout, a 28 Nosler firing the same 162-grain bullet will produce 29.84 ft/lbs of free recoil from that same 10-pound rifle.
New Factory Fodder
The first loads Hornady will release in 7mm PRC is a 175-grain ELD-X in their Precision Hunter series, a 160-grain CX Outfitter round and a 180-grain ELD Match load.
For even more info, please visit hornady.com.