In demanding long-range competitions such as the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), advanced precision rifles in calibers like the 6.5 Creedmoor are the preferred choice for professionals. In addition, rumors still persist that the US Army is interested in introducing a new sniper rifle caliber. Hornady has now developed the 6.5 PRC rifle caliber with which it has found the mark.
Features of the new Hornady 6.5 PRC Ammunition
The big brother of the hugely successful 6.5 Creedmoor is based on the .300 Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM) case. The case features a 30-degree shoulder angle as well as a 147-grain Hornady ELD match projectile with a diameter of 0.264″/ 6.5 mm that accelerates to around 887 m/s.
The cartridge is 75.18 mm long and comparable to existing calibers such as the .260 Remington, the .264 Winchester Magnum, the 6.5-284 Norma or the 6.5 SAUM (Short Action Ultra Magnum). It is intended to fit rifles with short/medium action sizes and is designed for barrels with a twist rate of 1-7 or 1-8.
The service life for absolute match precision is specified at about 2,200 rounds for the 6.5 PRC. This is comparable to other high-performance cartridges such as the 6.5-284 Norma.
Here are some basic ballistics data from the 6.5 PRC with the 147-grain ELD-Match projectile and its “Heat Shield” polymer projectile tip fired from a 24″/610 mm test barrel:
|Muzzle||887 m/s||3.747 J||-3, 81 cm|
|100 yds||845 m/s||3.408 J||3, 81 cm|
|200 yds||806 m/s||3.095 J||0 cm / zeroing|
|300 yds||767 m/s||2.805 J||-16, 51 cm|
|400 yds||730 m/s||2.537 J||-46, 73 cm|
|500 yds||693 m/s||2.290 J||-92, 71 cm|
New Hornady 6.5 PRC caliber: conclusions
According to the manufacturer, the new 6.5 PRC is about 65 to 80 m/s faster than the popular 6.5 Creedmoor. Whether it shall prevail in the still booming scene of the tactical long-range rifle shooter remains to be seen.
The top shooters at least tend to use smaller calibers such as the 6-mm Creedmoor or the 6mm Dasher. These are not just a bit cheaper with regard to the price of the ammo, but more importantly they also generate less recoil.
In addition to the 6.5 PRC 147 grain ELD “Match” version for sports shooting, Hornady also offers a 6.5 PRC Precision “Hunter” version with a 143-grain ELD-X bullet for game hunting.