7mm PRC: Complete ballistic data (recoil, trajectory, energy)

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cartridge 7mm PRC: Complete ballistic data (recoil, trajectory, energy)

Hornady has an incredible track record with cartridges over the last 20 years: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, 300 PRC, 17HMR. The list goes on. In fact, I’d guess that 60% of the new hunting rifles in most gun stores today are chambered in a cartridge designed by Hornady.

The 7mm Precision Rifle Cartridge is a long-action centerfire rifle cartridge designed to shoot 180 grain bullets at 2,950 fps. It is intended for long-range shooting due to its ability to utilize high BC bullets, and is also uniquely suited for hunting large animals such as elk.

Pros and Cons of the 7mm PRC

Comparing 7mm PRC to Similar Cartridges

The 7mm PRC is similar to a 7mm Rem Mag, but it can shoot heavier bullets with higher BC’s, has no belt which causes problems for reloaders, and slightly less case capacity so longer barrels are not necessary. Think of it as a modernized 7mm Rem Mag.

CartridgeBullet WeightMuzzle VelocityMuzzle EnergyAction LengthCaliber28 Nosler300 PRCGunwerks 7 LRM300 Win Mag300 WSM7 PRC6.8 Western7 SAUM7mm Rem Mag280 AI

The Precision Rifle Cartridge line is now broad enough that for many hunting uses, shooters will have a tough time deciding between the 6.5 PRC, 7 PRC, and 300 PRC.

As you can see from the above table, the 7mm PRC is most similar to the Gunwerks 7 LRM. In fact, Aaron Davidson, CEO of Gunwerks, jokingly said that the new 7PRC is the 7LRM. Obviously, there are many technical differences between the two, but they do fill a nearly identical hole in the market.

Personally, I have said for a long time on the Youtube channel that my ideal hunting cartridge would be a 7mm shooting 180 grains at 3,000 fps. That’s exactly what the 7PRC is, but it is by no means the only cartridge that offers those specs.

My prediction? The 7mm PRC will beat the following cartridges in sales over the next 20 years: 280AI, Gunwerks LRM, and the 7mm Rem Mag. Personally, I like all three of those cartridges for different reasons, but I think this new cartridge will become so popular over the next few years that those cartridges will quickly fade in the rearview mirror. Obviously, the 7mm Rem Mag isn’t going to just vanish in the next 10 years. It’s an incredibly popular cartridge, but over time, I expect the 7 PRC to overtake it.

The following table compares the 7 PRC to several other cartridges using Hornady’s Precision Hunter line of ammunition.

Energy at 200Max Effective Range (2,000 fps)Drop at 400Drift at 400Bullet WeightMuzzle Velocity7 PRC (175gr ELDX)7 PRC (195gr Berger EOL)7 PRC (160gr CX)300 Win Mag7mm Rem Mag280 AI6.5 PRC270 Win308 Win7mm-08 Rem
The goal of this table isn’t an “apples to apples” comparison. Later in this post, I’ll show the 7mm Rem Mag with a 180 grain bullet like the 7mm PRC. I’m trying to mimic Hornady Precision Hunter ammo with this table.

Recoil

The recoil of the 7mm PRC produces 27.7 ft-lbs of energy at a recoil velocity of 14.1 fps. That is more recoil than a .30-06 but less than a .300 Win Mag. It is on the upper end of what most large adult shooters can comfortably tolerate.

When I first shot the 7 PRC in a lightweight rifle, I was surprised by the stout recoil; however, adding a muzzle brake or a suppressor tames the rifle dramatically. I shot a coyote yesterday with the 7 PRC and had no problem seeing the bullet impact the coyote and the aftermath without losing my view of the target in the scope due to recoil.

CartridgeBullet WeightMuzzle VelocityRecoil EnergyRecoil VelocityPowder Charge28 Nosler300 PRC7 LRM300 Win Mag300 WSM7 PRC6.8 Western7 SAUM7mm Rem Mag280 AI6.5 PRC

7 PRC Cartridge Design

Before SAAMI drawings of the 7 PRC were released, I fully expected the 7 PRC to follow the industry-wide trend of overbore hot-rod cartridges. I thought for certain it would have more powder capacity than a 7 Mag so Hornady could advertise the new cartridge “beating” the old standard.

See also  .30-06 Springfield for Grizzly Or Brown Bear Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Grizzly Or Brown Bear Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .30-06 Springfield a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for grizzly or brown bear hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .30-06 Springfield is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest grizzly or brown bear. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the grizzly or brown bear, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the grizzly or brown bear in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .30-06 Springfield Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a grizzly or brown bear in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .30-06 Springfield within the ideal range of suitable calibers for grizzly or brown bear hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .30-06 Springfield is A GOOD CHOICE for grizzly or brown bear hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .30-06 Springfield Animal Species Grizzly Or Brown Bear Muzzle Energy 2920 foot-pounds Animal Weight 595 lbs Shot Distance 200 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .30-06 Springfield? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .30-06 Springfield round is approximately 2920 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male grizzly or brown bear? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male grizzly or brown bear is approximately 595 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .30-06 Springfield Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in grizzly or brown bear hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for grizzly or brown bear to be approximately 200 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .30-06 Springfield. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the grizzly or brown bear being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .30-06 Springfield is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest grizzly or brown bear - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .30-06 Springfield is A GOOD CHOICE for grizzly or brown bear hunting. [Click Here to Shop .30-06 Springfield Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting grizzly or brown bear to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. 1 Comments An - May 23, 2024I’d hunt anything big with an 06’. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the cartridge is quite mild. The 7 PRC has very slightly less case capacity than the 7mm Remington Magnum, but also has a twist rate and neck length capable of shooting much heavier bullets than are common in a 7 Mag.

CartridgeH20 CapacityMax COALCase LengthShoulder AngleHead DiameterNeck Length28 Nosler300 PRC7 LRM300 Win Mag300 WSM7 PRC6.8 Western7 SAUM7mm Rem Mag280 AI

Bullet Weights

The 7 PRC is designed around the 180-grain ELD-Match bullet; however, some people will certainly point to the fact that the 7mm Rem Mag has been able to shoot 180-grain bullets for many decades. The specified twist rate for each cartridge dramatically impacts the ability for a firearm to spin a bullet fast enough to stabilize a long bullet in flight.

Shooters will gravitate toward heavy-for-caliber high-BC bullets in the 7mm PRC. I have a table showing the highest BC 7mm bullets, but here are a few bullets likely to be popular in the 7mm PRC:

  • 175gr Hornady ELD-X
  • 160gr Hornady CX
  • 180gr Hornady ELD-M
  • 195gr Berger EOL
  • 183gr Sierra MatchKing
  • 180gr Berger VLD Target
  • 180gr Berger VLD Hunting
  • 175gr Berger Elite Hunter
  • 175gr Nosler Accubond

Below are the specified twist rates for many similar cartridges to the 7 PRC. A faster twist in the rifling of a barrel allows the bullet to spin more quickly to stabilize longer (and consequently heavier) bullets.

CartridgeTwist RateBullet Weight Range28 Nosler300 PRCGunwerks 7 LRM300 Win Mag300 WSM7 PRC6.8 Western7 SAUM7mm Rem Mag280 AI

Converting Your Rifle to a 7 PRC

7mm prc custom rifle 7mm PRC: Complete ballistic data (recoil, trajectory, energy)

Backfire was the first publication to put together a 7 PRC as soon as the SAAMI specs for the cartridge were released. Building a rifle with no reloading data and no established manufacturing was a challenge, but now you can easily get a rifle rebarreled for 7 PRC.

I highly recommend Preferred Barrel Blanks for this job. I had them make me a short 20″ carbon fiber-wrapped barrel chambered in 7 PRC. I’m getting impressive velocities despite the short length, and the accuracy has been insanely good-one of the most accurate rifles I’ve ever shot.

Be cautious when rebarreling a rifle into any of the “PRC” cartridges. Due to the extremely tight tolerances of these cartridges, I’ve seen MANY manufacturers struggle with delivering barrels that spike pressures or have brass that doesn’t fit right. The #1 reason I recommend Preferred Barrel Blanks is because they’ve sorted through those issues and can deliver problem-free prefit barrels.

The cool thing is that Preferred Barrel Blanks does prefits for just about any action you already have. You can get a new barrel for your Ruger American, Tikka, Bergara, Savage, etc. Or, you can of course use a custom action like a Terminus, Defiance, etc. As long as it’s a standard long-action, you should be just fine putting a 7 PRC barrel on it.

If you’re new to this, just call Preferred Barrel Blanks at (435) 635-6900 and tell them you read about them on Backfire and you want a 20″ carbon fiber-wrapped prefit barrel like the one they made for me. When it gets mailed to you, you screw it on and you have a 7 PRC! Simple as that. Below is a picture of the 7 PRC that Preferred Barrel Blanks built for me (Note: I also bought a MDT HNT26 chassis from them, which they had in stock).

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7 prc custom rifle build 7mm PRC: Complete ballistic data (recoil, trajectory, energy)
This is my 7 PRC custom rifle build. It uses a Defiance Anti action in a standard long action length, a carbon-fiber-wrapped 20″ barrel from Preferred Barrel Blanks, an MDT HNT26 chassis, a Triggertech Special trigger, and a Leupold Mark 5 3.6-18×50 scope. It’s pricey, but also the finest rifle I’ve ever shot.

Factory Rifles Offered in 7 PRC

I have a complete article on the best rifles available now in 7mm PRC.

As soon as the cartridge was officially announced, Hornady announced many rifle makers that will be producing factory offerings for the 7 PRC.

I was somewhat surprised by the list of firearms manufacturers who are not yet jumping on board with the 7 PRC. Tikka, Browning, and Bergara are conspicuously missing from the list and yet they all chamber for the 6.5 PRC.

Since this new cartridge has been announced, I’ve talked with my contacts at many of the major rifle manufacturers and have been surprised by how many of them are extremely frustrated with working on PRC chamberings in their rifles. There have been many changes to the reamer specs of the other PRC cartridges, and the tight tolerances make manufacturing difficult.

Reloading for the 7 PRC

I’ve done a significant amount of handloading and reloading for the 7 PRC over the last few months. Using dies from Whidden, I got to work.

Initially, I expected H1000 or Retumbo to be the best powders for the 7 PRC since they are fan favorites of the 7 Mag. I quickly saw that the 4 fewer grains of case capacity in the 7 PRC made these powders not ideal. So far, my favorite powder for reloading the 7 PRC is H4831SC using standard large rifle primers.

The challenge of loading for any of the PRC cartridges is the extremely tight tolerances. Even fairly experienced reloaders sometimes struggle to get reloaded brass to fit properly into the rifle.

Obviously Hornady makes dies for the 7 PRC, but I personally am not a fan of their dies. The only other company I’ve seen with die sets is Whidden Gunworks. They sent me their full-length bushing resizing die and micrometer seating die and I’ve been amazed with the quality. Seriously, it’s by far the nicest die set I’ve ever owned-and I’ve tried just about every brand out there.

Loading the 175gr ELD-X Bullet in the 7mm PRC

Important Note: This is anecdotal testing. Your results may vary. Unlike a load data book from one of the ammunition companies, I am not measuring pressure with a computer. I’m just looking at the brass for symptoms of being over-pressure, but sometimes those symptoms don’t show up until a cartridge is significantly overpressure as could be measured by a computer. This is for academic purposes only. Do not rely on my anecdotal testing for your rifle. If ya do… you might blow your face off.

First, let’s take a look at H4831SC powder loaded with a 175gr ELD-X bullet. This is using CCI Large Magnum primers, and shooting out of a 24″ test barrel.

Powder ChargeVelocity (fps)Notes

Next, I loaded H1000. Unfortunately, the chronograph (Labradar) glitched out and didn’t record all the velocities, but I did at least shoot the following two that were recorded. Note that BOTH of these are a compressed load, so you couldn’t really go much faster than this with H1000.

This is again shooting the 175gr ELD-X bullet out of 24″ test barrel with a large magnum CCI primer.

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Powder ChargeVelocity (fps)Notes

Last, I shot Accurate Magpro powder with the same 175gr ELD-X and CCI large magnum primer out of a 24″ test barrel. Here’s what I found.

Powder ChargeVelocity (fps)Notes

I also received some information from a gentleman in Canada who built a 7PRC. Here’s what he reported using a 175gr ELDX, Federal 215M primers, and Reloder26 powder. Here’s that data using his 24.5″ barrel:

Powder ChargeVelocity (fps)Notes

After seeing these numbers, I’m most interested in pursuing H4831SC for this cartridge. H1000 ran out of space for powder before I reached max velocity. Magpro had a lot of case capacity left, but wasn’t getting the velocity I’d hope to see without just burning a ton of powder.

Personally, my load for the 175 ELD-X in the 7mm PRC will be 64gr of H4831SC, which should yield around 2,925fps. I believe that should be a max load but still safe in my rifle, efficient loading, and impressive speed.

It seems that the cartridge was designed to compress the load right at the point where you’d reach pressure with these common powders.

Interestingly, I loaded 61.2 grains of H4831SC in a 7mm Remington Magnum, and a 7mm PRC. I used the same primer, and the same 175gr ELDX bullet. However, the 7mm PRC shot on average 105 fps faster.

There is still quite a bit more case capacity left with Magpro (my guess would be you could go to 77 grains before it compresses), so that could be an option for max velocity, but you’d be going through quite a bit more powder to get there.

Loading the 195 Berger EOL Bullet in the 7mm PRC

For this load, I chose the 195 Berger EOL and loaded it to max COAL of 3.34″. I used CCI large magnum rifle primers, and lovingly caressed each bullet before sending it on the ride of its life. I’m still using the same 24″ test barrel by Preferred Barrel Blanks for this cartridge.

Powder ChargeVelocityPressure Signs
Powder ChargeVelocityNotes
7mm prc case 7mm PRC: Complete ballistic data (recoil, trajectory, energy)
On the right is a 7mm PRC case, shown next to a 6.5 PRC.

Loading the 150gr Hornady CX Bullet in the 7mm PRC

Note that with these loads, I switch to a standard large rifle primer-not a magnum primer.

Powder ChargeVelocityNotes

I personally worked up my load using the 150gr Hornady CX bullet, but now Hornady has announced a new 160gr CX bullet with a much higher BC and only one band instead of the two bands on the 150gr CX. I will likely switch to that bullet once it becomes available.

Surprisingly, the factory ammunition for the 160gr CX bullet offers the same 3,000fps muzzle velocity as the 175gr ELD-X bullet. I expected it to go a little faster in the CX due to the lighter weight, but copper bullets can also increase pressures, so it seems that Hornady wasn’t able to get any increased speed out of it.

History of the 7mm PRC

Hornady officially announced the cartridge on October 26, 2022 at the NASGW Expo. The 7mm PRC was approved by SAAMI on June 7, 2022 and the public introduction was released on June 16, 2022. Backfire’s Youtube channel was the first publication to break the story of the cartridge’s SAAMI approval, and Backfire was also the first group to build a 7mm PRC and show it to the public.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>