Ammo Brief: 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge

by Tommy Grant

A quick look at 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge, aka 6.5 PRC, an accurate, flat-shooting long-range cartridge.

Introduced in late 2017, Hornady’s 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC) was designed to be accurate, shoot flat and shoot long from a compact case utilizing moderate powder charges. The 6.5 PRC produces high velocities for target shooting with performance well beyond 1,000 yards.

The round enters a suddenly crowded field of similarly dimensioned cartridges, including the 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5×55 Swede, .260 Remington, 6.5x57mm, 6.5-284 Norma, 6.5-06, 6.5 Remington Magnum and .264 Winchester Magnum, to name a few. Obviously, 6.5 designates the bore diameter, which, technically is 0.2559 inch in diameter, but this new round fires 0.264-inch-diameter bullets, as do the other 6.5mm cartridges.

It was created by necking down the .300 Ruger Compact Magnum case, which, if naming conventions for similar neckdowns were followed, it could have been called the 6.5 RCM. To our eyes, it competes most directly with the 6.5-284 Norma. The 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (0.532 inch). It features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree shoulder.

General Comments             

The 6.5 PRC case is 2.030 inches long. Loaded with Hornady’s 143-grain ELD-X bullet, cartridge overall length measures 2.955 inches (according to final SAAMI specs), slightly longer than the 2.825-inch length for the 6.5 Creedmoor. Its case capacity is about 28 percent more than the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 6.5 PRC will push a 143-grain ELD-X bullet to about 2,960 fps. This is 260-fps faster than the Creedmoor, an increase of about 8 percent. The neck length is 0.272 inch, and barrel twist rates seem to favor 1:8 rifling.

At rollout, rifle makers chambering the 6.5 PRC included Christensen Arms, Fierce Firearms, GA Precision, Gunwerks, Hill Country Rifles, Horizon Firearms, McRee Precision, Montana Rifles, Proof Research, Savage, Sauer, Stuteville Precision, Seekins Precision and Trident Armory.

Initial loads include the Hornady 6.5 PRC 147-grain ELD Match (81620), which delivers 2,910 fps and 2,910 ft-lb of energy at the muzzle. To get a 100-yard zero, the round would start +1.5 inches above the muzzle. Then, at 100 yards, the 6.5 PRC would produce 2,645 fps/2,283 ft-lb. At 200 yards, those readings would be 2,518 fps/2,069 ft-lb and -6.5 inches drop. At 500 yards, it would produce 2,275 fps and 1,689 ft-lb and -36.5 inches of drop. The 6.5 PRC 143-grain ELD-X Precision Hunter (81621) load has muzzle stats of 2,960 fps/2,782 ft-lb and 500-yard stats of 2,248 fps/1,604 ft-lb, with -36.2 inches of drop at the longer distance.

Editor’s Note: This article is an excerpt of Gun Digest’s Cartridge’s Of The World.


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