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Bumping the velocity of the very popular and already highly-capable 6.5 Creedmoor by up to 10%, Hornady’s new 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is sure to be a hit on the competition and hunting circuits. Indeed, the first two loads Hornady is offering are a 147 grain ELD Match and a 143 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter.

Hornady says the goal of this new cartridge was to take advantage of their Heat Shield bullet tip and their high ballistic coefficient 6.5mm projectiles with a “really intelligent cartridge case design.” It functions in short- and medium-length actions and is supposed to strike a nice balance between high performance and reasonable barrel life.

The Match load fires a 147 grain pill at 2,910 fps from a 24-inch barrel. That ELD Match bullet has a G7 BC of .351 (G1 is .697).

Precision Hunter in 6.5 PRC sends a 143 grain ELD-X bullet downrange at 2,960 fps. Its G7 BC is .314 (G1 is .623).

At the time of the cartridge’s announcement, rifles and barrels chambered for 6.5 PRC can be purchased from GA Precision, Gunwerks, Horizon Firearms, PROOF Research, Stuteville Precision and Seekins Precision. And that list is sure to grow.

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  1. So you get a slight 10% bump? That’s all?? Not sure that creates demand assuming 6.5 creed is doing so well, and then factor in 260 rem and it’s nothing special

      • Sure but my point is that what makes it jump out against what we already have. Hmm.. 260, 270, 25.06, 3006 …

        Just another cartridge. Not that it won’t shoot like the rest but nothing special IMHO

        • 6.5-284 Win, 6.5-06, 264 WM… honestly though, nothing sells rifles like a new cartridge…or a Democrat president…

        • Everyone said 6.5 Creedmoor didn’t have a future, as it’s nearly identical to the .260 Remington, which has been around since the late 90’s. Well…that turned out to be completely incorrect. 6.5 Creedmoor is now arguably the single most mainstream 6.5 round in the U.S. after surpassing, by multiple orders of popularity magnitude, the six or eight or so other ones that had already been around for decades or many decades.

          That 10% velocity bump is good for an increase in kinetic energy from like 2,350 ft-lbs to like 2,750. At 1,300 yards it’s the difference between holding 43.88 MOA of elevation or 36.64 MOA. It means going transonic at like 1,400 instead of at about 1,600 yards. So…there’s a difference. Whether it’s worth the magazine capacity reduction, higher ammo cost, what I assume is lower barrel life, etc…kind of subjective.

        • The reason why the 6.5 Creedmoor got a start was this: The .260 Remington was treated as so many other 6.5’s had been by the US gun/ammo makers: like a red-headed stepchild. The .260 Rem brass that was available (typically from Remington themselves) was crap. It was often as if they took all the brass they rejected for a .308, stuffed it into a the .260 line, tightened up the necks a bit and sold them. For several years, it was a better bet to neck down 7mm08 brass than to buy from-the-factory .260 brass, the neck thickness seemed so inconsistent.

          The other 6.5 cartridge that had been around for years was the .264 WinMag, which if you’ve ever shot/owned one, you realized how finicky it was to load development. The .264WM seemed like the ultimate long-range rifle, but people just couldn’t get them to group – oh, and they burned up barrels wickedly fast.

          As a result, the first cartridge to get a foothold in the 6.5mm accuracy rifle market was the 6.5-284, based off Norma brass. The .284 Winchester basically was a 7mm RemMag on a short action, with a .308 case head diameter. In other words, it was a magnum-capacity case with a rebated rim. It never went much of anywhere as the .284, but then long range shooters discovered it, and long range guys being who/what they are, they favored it for being able to put all that powder behind a 6.5mm pill in a short action. The 6.5-284 became one of the most successful wildcats in the long range accuracy competitions out there F-class and the like. Norma has since standardized the cartridge, and you can buy 6.5-284 loaded ammo.

          But it still burned barrels something awful.

          So along comes Lapua, and they look at the situation, see a need for a cartridge to win 300m high power competitions, and they develop the 6.5×47. They wanted a cartridge that was shorter from rim to shoulder, so they could put ferociously long (high-Bc) bullets into the case with the base of the bullet no deeper than the bottom of the neck, and still have the OAL fit into the short action length magazine. This, it did spectacularly well. The 6.5×47 suffers for nothing other than brass price and availability – but it starts winning competition shooters very quickly. Outside the serious accuracy competition circles, it wasn’t getting lots of press, because Lapua didn’t have much of a marketing effort in North America – outside of the accuracy guys, that is. Within the accuracy community, the 6.5×47 caught on like wildfire from about 2006 onwards.

          Hornady looked at the situation a couple years after the 6.5×47 came out, and figured that they could tweek the 6.5×47 idea, come up with a cartridge that would still allow you to put on a pill up to about 150gr onto their case, put in a tad more powder, and fit it into a short action magazine, and then they’d market the hell out of it. Basically, the 6.5CM is what the .260 should have been – if the .260 had been brought out by someone marginally competent, ie, not Remington. I think Lapua’s brass is probably preferable, because they use small rifle primers.

          There you go – that’s how the 6.5 Creedmoor came about.

          Along the way, Lapua went and solved the biggest problem for the .260 Remington, by shipping competently-made brass for the .260. If Lapua had simply been shipping .260 brass five years earlier (say, 2000), then the 6.5×47, 6.5CM might never have come to be.

      • ‘10% is like going from a .308 to a .30-06.’

        Or at least it would be if .30-06 had a 10% advantage in velocity over the .308. In the real world it has ~ 3.5% advantage.

    • Everyone forgets that most rifles are purchased by hunters. Myself being one. I don’t give a hoot about barrel life. Cuz I’m never gonna shoot it that much. Yes I shoot my rifles year round but never enough to burn out a barrel. We like new exciting cartridges instead of the same Ol’ tirty-tirty, tree 08, tirty 06. New cartridges sell rifles and ammo and reloading equipment, need I go on? I have the 6.5×55, 6.5 rem. Mag, 264 win. Mag, and 6.5 Creedmoor. Considering the 26 Nosler too. Will I own a 6.5 PRC? HELL YES I WILL. It is new and exciting and hunters buy rifles. Who doesn’t want to be the guy carrying the new wizz bang loudenboomer rifle at deer camp?

  2. Did anybody else think “People’s Republic of China” when they saw the cartridge name?
    Anyway, if that’s 10% velocity boost, it equals 21% power boost, which is pretty significant, especially if it isn’t also accompanied by a big boost in powder consumption.

  3. That’s still about 2.5x the difference in performance between .308 and .30-06.

    This cartridge is .270 power with 6.5 slipperiness. Sounds like a great do everything cartridge to me.

  4. Yay another boutique round that’ll be impossible to find outside of a few dedicated gunshops just what we need!!! Yes it has more power, yes it shoots better, but is it betterer enough to be a huge draw? I don’t think so.

  5. Is there a factory rifle associated with this or are they making factory ammo just for shits? Seems like if a guy were to buy a high end rifle, he’d be rolling his own ammo…but that’s none of my business.

  6. I have observed that darned near every new cartridge that comes along these days does not actually perform any better than something that was already developed (and fallen to the wayside) long ago.
    Without looking at any ballistics tables – I’ll still assume this is the case here too and dismiss this as another reinvention of the wheel.
    Someone tell me how wrong I am.

  7. I like it, I like it.
    I would have gone with a different nomenclature though. PRC at first glance made me think Hornady is making People’s Republic of China ammo.

    • It’s all a part of acclimation to our new, righteous overlords. I, for one, look forward to serving our great leader and benefactor, President Xi.

  8. So… basically a 6.5-284 with a magnum bolt face. Got it.

    Edit: Oh, yea – people should check out how hard a 6.5-284 is on barrels before they sign up for this round. Overbore cartridges burn up barrels quickly enough, you need to factor the barrel replacement cost into your per-round cost. Several competitors I know say they’ve moved away from the 6.5-284 because they were burning up barrels in as little as 1200 to 1400 rounds.

      • Reasonable to whom? You, the guy paying for the new barrels?

        Or reasonable to your gunsmith?

        Once you get X so much powder behind a small bore, you’re going to start burning the throat. It’s just what happens. Doesn’t matter whether we’re talking of a .220 Swift or a 6.5-284. Some cartridges have enough powder behind a small enough diameter bullet they’re going to burn up barrels. The .25-06 is another.

        The 6.5-284 is pretty much everything this round is – a short action cartridge, moves a 140+ gr pill downrange at 2900+ fps, etc, etc.

        People up-thread are realizing what I’ve been saying about new cartridges for several years here: Odds are, there’s a cartridge already invented to do what you want, and more smokeless powder doesn’t necessarily get you a big boost in performance. This is a great example of both issues.

        There are plenty of wildcats of 7’s necked down to 6.5, but I chose the 6.5-284 because loaded ammo is available from very high quality manufactures of ammo (Norma, Black Hills, and I think Nosler), and it is a well proven round in long distance shooting. You can buy factory rifles already chambered for the 6.5-284, today, from Savage (eg).

  9. Yawn!
    I’m sure it’s a fine cartridge but, the field is already crowded with fine cartridges. The .260 Remington is a fine cartridge and it barely clings to life.

    • I am also fairly sure you could load x55 to within a whisker of all these cartridges in a modern action. I get some silly chrono numbers with 90 grainers.

      • The 6.5×55 will be full up of a modern powder and still be 150 to 200 fps below the velocity of this round. But with a high Bc bullet, who cares about an extra 200 fps at the muzzle?

        The big problem for the 6.5×55 in American rifles is that the 6.5×55 needs a holt face that’s a skosh larger in diameter. The “standard” American case head diameter is 0.473″ (for cartridges derived from the .30-06 and .308). I think the 6.5×55 case head diameter is 0.480″ or so. That, and the x55 is a “middling” length cartridge – it’s a tad short for the ’06-length actions, and too long for teh .308-length actions.

        Other than that, it’s a heck of a nice cartridge, and it’s been winning matches for 100+ years. Of all of the “first generation” smokeless military rifle cartridges, it has stood the test of time better than just about any other first-generation smokeless cartridge other than the 7×57.

        • I was bugging the Hornady custom die desk for a 7mm RCM with a 0.321″ long neck. Now they use three different lengths, read head space gauges$$$. I redid an oldie Mauser stepped 7mm barrel to my own wildcat, and in a military action, somewhat altered, it gives a 175 gr.semi spitzer?? ( pulled downs ), the same net capacity as the 7mm RSAUM has in a true short action magazine. 3.3 vs. 2.8 inches.

          I ordered ten each from GAP in Kansas City. Ten 6.5 PRC cases and ten 6.5 GAP 4F cases. Both are truncated to fit George’s rifle’s magazines. If the new Ruger rifle uses a case with a longer neck, it may turn out to be a horse race. I just don’t understand why Hornady didn’t just neck down their 338 RCM case to 6.5mm, with a little longer neck, but keeping the 338 RCM’s head space gauges. George’s short magazine and longish bullets caused all this bother. Otherwise, they are all 284 Win. cases with a true rimless design. But Ben S. says it’s gonna cost about $500 worth of forming dies to reduce and reform 300 RCM brass into this 6.5mm newbie, but with a longer neck. RCM’s are really tough little bombs, IMHO. My own wildcats have too short of necks, due to my conservative 26 deg. shoulders. Because of Hornady’s lackadaisical approach to supplying the market with RCM brass, I had to resort to working down Nosler 350 Rem. Mag. virgin brass, to my 6mm, and 7mm, wildcats. I have an 8mm military stepped barrel with two threads bobbed off, but I haven’t had time to mount it.

          But all of these RCM’s will work very nicely in military pattern stepped barrels, made as replacements for shot out gas pipes, in the WWII bring backs. Most of this doesn’t concern target BR shooters, since you folks load em single shot, with blocked magazine wells.

    • The .260 is barely clinging to life because the quality of the .260 brass for so long was utter crap. That’s what left the field open for the 6.5×47 Lapua and the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    • The Remington 260 barely clings to life because Remington failed to market it. Hornady came right in and made a 6.5mm round common and popular in the US. Something no other company was ever able to accomplish. Remington sold to many 243 and 7mm-08. 260 just never got the attention.

  10. That’s cool and all but it’s not a game changer that’s going to catch on. In a few weeks no one will even know what this is, and this time next year everyone will still be shooting .308, 30-06, .270, and .243.

  11. Its a popular wildcat. The 6.5 saum, its just been standardized. Its great, just like 6mm creedmoor. Hornady has done good work bringing popular wildcat rounds to market..

    Its gonna be able to run with the big bullet 300 wm rounds ballisticly without alot less recoil and in a shorter action. It wont be as flat as the 230 gr bergers but it will be close…

  12. From the company that gave us zombie rounds. Which were standard bullets with green tips for a premium. Every YouTuber measures velocities lower than listed for Hornady. I’ve never shot their bullets, they seem expensive and overrated. Are hornadys worth it and do you trust them?

    • Can you point me to higher quality and lower price bullets than Hornady, please? 140 gr high BC 6.5 and 62 gr .224.
      Hard as I try I had no luck. Not joking.

    • Hornady ammo is in my experience the most accurate production ammo on the market. I recently purchased a Tikka T3X CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor. The Hornady Precision Hunter shot a .546 inch group at 200 yards.There’s no need for me to look any further for a more accurate hunting round.
      I did start developing hand loads to achieve more velocity from my 20″ barrel. The average velocity was right at 2601 FPS, but super accurate. With the same ELD-X bullet I was able to achieve 2800 FPS with no signs of pressure using Hybrid V100. My cases are Hornady neck turned, pockets uniformed and bullets seated 80 thousandths off the lands which give me more powder capacity.

      Now if the 6.5 PRC gets me close in velocity with factory ammo it’s a no brainer for hunting, at least for me.

      Have a great day,Nick

      • I agree. I have several 6.5CM and a 6.5-06. I probably won’t rush out to buy one, but it does sound good. A savage 16 weather warrior in 6.5 PRC would be a hunter.

    • 90% of my loads are with hornady bullets. I sometimes load sierra and berger, but my personal favorites are Hornady. ELD replaced all my SST loads. for 224 I buy bulk hornady 55 gr softpoints from midway. Great price and they shoot great.

  13. For anyone complaining about another new cartridge needs to look again at this one. It’s capable of a short action magazine length with 6.5 Norma performance. That’s a big deal. In my opinion this is what the creedmoor should have been. We are talking dang near magnum velocities with one of the slickest bullet types in the super popular short action mags.

    That to me is a game changer. I hope tolerances and performance is there with the creedmoor.

    • For hunting, there’s no reason to rush out and get a 6.5CM if you have a .243, 7-08, .308, etc that you like and works. No reason at all.

      If you’re in the long range, precision/accuracy game, there’s lots of reasons to put all of those aside and focus on either the 6.5CM or 6.5×47. There is a lot more very low drag bullet development being done in 6, 6.5 and 7mm than just about anywhere else, and I’d say that there’s more focus being put on the 6.5’s and 7’s than 6 or .30’s.

      Add in the fact that a very, very slippery bullet in 6.5 would run no more than 150 to 155gr, which translates to very modest recoil, and there’s a reason to be in the 6.5 bullet space over the 7’s and .30’s.

      • The 6.5’s penetrate better than the calibers you mentioned due to the high sectional density. That trumps everything else. Lighter recoil and more game killing penetration, flatter shoo-in and bucks the wind better.

        Do the research and you will see.

  14. No one said it yet
    One of the most efficient 6.5s was the Rem Mag version. The PCR is simply that with a longer COA
    I’m intrugued because of what I know the 6.5 Rem. Mag was capable of.

  15. The big difference is, Hornady will market this round. Nobody pushes the 6.5×284 or the much better and cheaper 6.5-06. Savage makes a 6.5×284 but you never see them on the shelves, and the ammo is way too expensive. The 6.5-06 is a 270 but better. Cheap 25-06 brass and shoots a 143 ELD-X at 3000 fps.

  16. A 6.6 PRC would be a new caliber. This is simply a new cartridge that is less interesting than the 6.5 saum. Surprising that George Gardner would get involved since he seemed to be gaining momentum with his 6.5 gap (saum).

  17. Jack O’Conner would tell all of us as he did in his late book, The Rifleman’s Rifle, just stick with the Proven .270 Winchester.

  18. Talking about past cartridges that are obsolete but will do the same thing. I built a 6.5 Rem Mag on a long action 28″ Pac Nor barrel fed from AI mag strictly for banging steel at long range. 143 ELDx powered by IMR 7828SSC 3,300 fps plus. My COAL is 3.16″ and barrel is throated to seat bullets out that far. Will not work in a SA at that COAL.


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