The 300 PRC‘s parent cartridge is the 375 Ruger. Although many wildcatters had been shooting various wildcatted 30 caliber versions of the 375 Ruger case for nearly a decade, the 300 PRC was officially Introduced in late 2018. When asked why another 30 caliber hunting round? Hornady Ballistician Jayden Quinlan said we needed it. I will paraphrase the whys. Gun manufactures are building rifles to old standards. Ammo manufacturers build ammo to fit the old actions. Both sides are doing this to cover as many bases as possible. We are stuck in a limited design cycle. Very little progress was being made in long-range shooting or hunting rifles and cartridges outside of the custom world. Hornady realized the need for advancement in the long-range cartridge and shooting world. We need better options in factory offerings.
DISCLAIMER: This is a guide. Everything listed within is for information purposes only. All loads should be worked up carefully. We have seen loads require as much as two grains of charge weight adjustment from one powder lot to another. We have seen as much as five grains of powder adjustment required between different brands of brass. Failure to start low could result in damaged equipment or injury. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
300 PRC Cartridge Guide
In my opinion, the best thing about the 300 PRC is the fact that the SAAMI throat is what most would want in a custom reamer, and the SAAMI max COAL is more appropriate for what hand loaders are doing with today’s long-range cartridge set-ups. It is truly what sets the cartridge apart from the immediate competition. The much longer freebore allows seating bullets out of the body of the case and up into the neck. This allows full use of the cases’ capacity with more modern, longer, sleeker bullets. A few factory rifles already had the magazine space to utilize this better design. Many others are making changes to take advantage of the longer case overall length. This has already led to numerous better factory rifle options and I anticipate many more.
The 300 PRC will not fit in what was once considered a standard long action. The antiquated long action magazine standard is roughly 3.4” long. The 300 PRC will need a magazine internal length of at least 3.7” and can make use of Wyatt’s length boxes with many bullets. Cartridges like the 300 PRC will eventually push the manufacturers who are stuck in the past to catch up or get left behind.
While I feel the 30 Nosler is a better case it requires a custom throat to take full advantage of the case capacity. The 30 Nosler is also stuck in that old mentality of making a long action cartridge with a SAAMI COAL less than 3.4”. This design was used to fit the 3.4” magazine standard. For the 30 Nosler to reach its full potential it needs more freebore and a longer than standard magazine box. The 300 PRC was done right in SAAMI form. It was designed with ample freebore and a SAAMI COAL that will not force bullets to occupy precious case capacity. Add Hornady’s great marketing and the 300 PRC has exploded in popularity. I believe the 300 PRC is here to stay.
300 PRC Brass Options
Currently, we have the option of Hornady or ADG brass with Lapua on the way. Hornady brass is right at 97 grains of H20 and ADG is 95 grains to the top of the neck. We like to use this number, as “usable” capacity is arbitrary. This puts the 300 PRC roughly 12 grains above the 300WSM, equal to or slightly more capacious than the 300 Win Mag, and 2-7 grains below the 30 Nosler depending on brass brands.
Let’s talk powders
There are many great powders for this case capacity and bullet weight range. Hodgdon’s powders have been great performers for many years. H1000 and Retumbo will be the best powders for the bullet weights we are covering. H4831SC can be great as well for the lighter bullets in that 200-grain range but is getting to be on the fast side.
Alliant powders have always been a favorite of many magnum cartridge reloaders. Reloder 22 and 25 have been great but their temperature instability makes them unusable for taking ethical long-range shots, at game, in changing conditions. Reloder 23 is very temp stable and has a similar burn rate to H4831SC. Although Reloder 26 is not listed as temperature stable in my experience it has been in many cartridges including those in the case capacity range of the 300 PRC.
Vihtavuori has a few great options. N565 will be very similar to H1000 in burn rate and N570 will be very similar to Retumbo. Both N565 and N570 do very well with bullets from 200 grains to 245 grains. They typically yield slightly faster speeds than their Hodgdon counterparts.
Some Favorite Loads
Now let’s talk about loads that have worked well for us. First and foremost is H1000 with a 215 Berger. This load shoots very well in almost every rifle, from factory rifles to customs. Pick your favorite magnum primer, start at 75 grains of H1000 with a Berger seated at the lands and work up to pressure. You will usually find pressure between 78 and 80 grains. Case capacity and powder lots can and do have a huge effect on this as mentioned above.
Take the most accurate charge and do seating depth testing. In our experience, they usually prefer from at the lands to .040” off. Some have had great luck farther from the lands. As far as actual load development methods we have a couple of great videos on our YouTube channel. The 215 Berger has proven to be a very effective hunting bullet and performs very well near and far. This is a favorite combination of mine as well as many forum members. Next, we will mention the 210 Berger HVLD. For load development with the 210 HVLD, you can just do the same as the 215 Berger. This is another great combination but as you can see in the chart below it most likely will not have the same ballistic performance. The lower ballistic coefficient and longer bearing surface most likely will not let it outperform the 215 Berger.
Heavy For Caliber Bullets
The 225 Hornady ELD-M and the Berger 230 hybrid target and Hybrid OTM are great bullet options for those wanting a little larger bullet. These bullets have performed very well on game and are great for shooting steel. We have a couple of loads listed in the chart below. As with any data, start low and work up. These will keep up with the 215 Berger in drift but will not be as flat shooting.
Other Bullet Options
Though we have discussed a few bullets we have the most experience with there are several other great options. Cutting Edge Bullets makes three bullets in the weight range we are discussing with the 220, 230, and 240 grain Lazers. These bullets are bore rider, solid copper designs, and will typically yield more velocity over a typical lead core bullet as well as other monolithics. They are designed so that the nose of the bullet will fracture and three petals will radiate from the core causing a wound channel somewhat similar to a typical fragmenting lead core bullet. At the same time, the core of the bullet continues to penetrate deeply into the animal often with an exit many desire.
Other Berger bullets worth discussing are the 200.20x, 205 Elite Hunter, and the 245 Extreme Outer Limits. The 205 and 245 will perform much like other Berger “hunting” bullets. The 200.20x will perform much like the 215 Hybrid. In use, it will be very difficult to tell the terminal performance apart. They will penetrate a few inches and rapidly expand causing violent and rapid shock to the animal’s vitals. While I still feel this case capacity is a little on the low side for larger bullets like the 245, we have included it in the guide because the SAAMI throat will work well with it and many are shooting it.
Hornady and Nosler
Other Hornady bullets worth discussing are the 208 ELD-M, 200 ELD-X, 212 ELD-X, and 220 ELD-X. These bullets will have a very similar terminal performance to the Bergers. Nosler makes many great bullets but the one we will include in this guide is the 210 grain Long Range Accubond. This bullet is the typical bonded bullet Nosler is known for. This bullet is one of Nosler’s best ballistically performing bullets and still gives the “mushroom” many hunters have come to love. Last but not least we will talk about the two Barnes bullets that best fit this guide.
The 200 and 212-grain LRX long-range hunting bullets give a beautiful flower petal expansion that many Barnes fans have come to love. The one issue we have seen with them is the lack of expansion at lower velocities. Lower velocity limits for expansion are always a consideration but with the inferior ballistic performance of the Barnes, you will need to pay closer attention. There are too many bullets out there to discuss them all but we feel this covers the more popular options.
Primers For The 300 PRC
Any magnum primer will work well with the 300 PRC with the most commonly used being the Federal 215 Match and the CCI 250. In use, I can’t say one is a better performer. I usually pick one and do load development with it. If I cannot get the velocity extreme spreads or the accuracy I desire I will swap to the other. I have stopped swapping “just to see” because it rarely gets better in my experience. I feel to see the best results from a primer you need to do a full load workup.
What About Dies?
Any good set of reloading dies will work but we have come to prefer full-length Type “S” bushing dies with a micrometer seater. Redding dies have become our preference. Hornady makes a great set of bushing dies with a micrometer seater, often at half the cost. Both have made great consistent ammo for me. We will have a video on our YouTube channel discussing the different dies and why you might choose one over another.
For those looking at factory rifles chambered in 300 PRC, there are quite a few we can recommend and the number is growing. Christensen Arms makes many great models chambered in 300 PRC and one of them will surely fit your needs. We have shot many different models in various chamberings and all have exceeded expectations. These rifles give a near-custom performance at a fraction of the cost.
Fierce offers multiple models that would suit the needs of most as well. I have shot the Edge models and the Rival. Both are great if in your budget.
Bergara also offers several great rifles chambered in 300 PRC. While we have no personal experience with these rifles they are building a great reputation.
Browning is also making some great factory rifles these days and has always had a great reputation. The 300 PRC is a cartridge that is having a positive effect on Browning as their “long action” magazines have always been on the short side. Browning has obviously made some changes to allow the longer cartridge overall length to be magazine-fed. As with Bergara, we have no personal experience with Browning but they may be worth looking at.
Custom Rifle Options
If a custom 300 PRC is what you are after there are almost an infinite amount of options. Take a look at our sponsor page. There are a few great rifle builder and gunsmith options. We also have some sponsors that make great components. Whether you are looking for a turnkey custom or you want to collect the parts and have one built our sponsors have you covered.
If you take a look at a reloading manual you will not see much of a difference on paper between the 300 PRC and the 300 Win Mag. What you are gaining is a better-designed factory chamber. As discussed above the longer freebore will allow a reloader to make use of more of the case capacity with longer, sleeker bullets. We anticipate the better SAAMI design is going to lead to a much better selection of factory ammunition options. The 300 PRC’s design will also cause rifle manufacturers to step out of the old standards and move to more modern designs. Only time will tell but if the early success is an indicator, this cartridge will continue to grow especially with those not interested in custom rifles or reloading. If you found this guide in preparation for your next rifle the 300 PRC is worthy of your consideration.
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