What is a 7mm PRC?
As with the the 6.5 PRC and the 300 PRC that are already out and have enjoyed large initial success and hype, the PRC in 7mm PRC stands for Precision Rifle Cartridge, and just like it’s siblings, it is a product of Hornady’s cartridge design division. The 7mm obviously stands for the bore of the bullet, which is a 7mm or .284 bullet. The full official name is the 7mm Precision Rifle Cartidge, but we know most will call it the 7mm PRC or the 7 PRC.
Although Hornady has not officially started talking about it or released info on it, SAAMI drawings and specs for it has just been released, which is usually what Hornady does, so when looking at the timeline of the 300 PRC, which Hornady officially announced around 4 months after the SAAMI drawings and specs were accepted and released. This together with some insider info, has us believing that Hornady will aim to release it before shot show, and the full on market it at Shot Show.
The first speculation about a 7mm version of the PRC that is not just a necked up 6.5 PRC or necked down 300 PRC, was on this thread on Snipershide back in 2020.
Thanks to the fact that the 7mm PRC is a Hornady design, which means it has the power of the Hornady marketing machine behind it, there will be many manufacturers jumping on the bandwagon and manufacturing components for it. We have already seen Hornady brass for it, with factory loaded Hornady ammo also, and we are sure the other brass manufacturers will follow with their own soon if we look at the 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC before it.
Why a New Cartridge
Well, because the 6.5mm market segment has been covered well from Hornady with the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 6.5 PRC both of which capitalize on the modern reloading powders and case designs, so has the .30 caliber market with the 300 PRC, so naturally Hornady needed something in the 7mm market segment as well. We are really glad they designed a specific cartridge for it, and not just neck up the 6.5 PRC, as that would make the new cartridge inferior to many of the other 7mm offerings already on the market.
Because the 7mm PRC was specifically designed to make full use of the newer, heavier and longer 7mm bullets that offer great BCs, you will need fast enough twist barrels to stabilize those long projectiles. So 1:8 twist or faster is recommended.
7mm PRC Ballistics
The aim ballistically for Hornady with the 7mm PRC, is for a cartridge that will fire a 180gr 7mm bullet at around 2950 to 3000fps. With the high BC of some of the 7mm bullets, ballistically this 7mm PRC will outshine most 6.5mm and 30cal cartridges. The ballistic data below was calculated with a Hornady 180gr ELD-Match 7mm bullet fired at 3000fps muzzle velocity.
7mm PRC for Hunting
There is not much that will be able to withstand a 180gr bullet at 3000fps. For long range hunting, this cartridge really shines if we take for example the consistently expanding 180gr Hornady ELD-Match, fired at 3000fps from this 7mm PRC, which would mean that the bullet will be traveling at 2000 fps at 900 yards, which is still well above the terminal velocity of that bullet. Want to shoot an elk at 900 yards with a medium recoil rifle that you can easily carry around with, well then a 7mm PRC chambered rifle is the way to go!
7mm PRC vs 7mm Remington Magnum
In the 7mm PRC vs 7mm Rem Mag debate, the 7mm PRC is more efficient and can make better use of modern reloading powders, so will offer slightly lower recoil, with similar velocities from less powder. The other benefits of the 7PRC vs 7Rem mag, is that the 7mm PRC does not have a belted magnum case, which is harder to reload for and you get fewer reloads from a case, and because of the 30 degree shoulder of the 7mm PRC, the brass cases will also not stretch as much with every firing.
7mm PRC vs 28 Nosler
The 28 Nosler shoots at faster muzzle velocities, but is an overbore cartridge that requires a very long chamber, with the Hornady hype behind the 7mm PRC, brass and ammo should be much more readily available soon enough. Because the 28 Nosler is overbore, it has a much shorter barrel life than the 7mm PRC, with some guys only getting around 1000 rounds through the barrel of their 28 Nosler before it start losing velocity.
7mm PRC vs 7mm SAUM
Two very evenly matched cartridges, if you already have one, it would not be worth it to get the other as well. The 7mm PRC has a lower 30 degree shoulder angle, so it may feed from a magazine easier than the 7mm SAUM, and the 7mm PRC has very slightly more powder capacity so offering very slight muzzle velocity advantages, but hardly noticeable. With Hornady behind it, we should also see more available components and ammo for the 7mm PRC compared to the scarce 7mm SAUM. The 7mm PRC is basically the 7mm SAUM ballistic twin that get better factory support and marketing behind it.