“SIX-FIVE.” That term didn’t spring readily from everyone’s lips just a few decades ago. Since the end of the 19th century, however, the bore diameter has been with us, although in the United States, metric cartridges haven’t had quite as much traction. Nonetheless, the marketing and ballistic success of the 6.5 Creedmoor has drawn attention to the bore diameter, and many of us have now seen the advantages of combining high Ballistic Coefficient bullets with a fast twist rate.
So what exactly is the 6.5 PRC? The 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge is a magnum short-action centerfire rifle cartridge. The goal of the 6.5 PRC was to fire a high BC bullet at 3,200fps from a short-action rifle. It’s mostly used for hunting and long-range shooting.
It was only in 2021 that the 6.5 PRC became popular among hunters. Although many shooters were eager to try it as soon as it was launched, because of insufficient production lines, enough ammunition couldn’t be produced to ensure that ordinary hunters had access to it.
After establishing a presence, it has recently surpassed rifle sales. When I browse the shelves of most gun shops, I frequently find 6.5 Creedmoor to the left, followed by 6.5 PRC, and then many of the more established rounds (7 Mag, .270 Win, .30-06).
Birth Of 6.5 PRC
The goal of the 6.5 PRC was to create a cartridge with 60 grains of powder behind a hefty 6.5mm projectile that Hornady thought was an excellent combination. A cartridge is excessively overbore when more powder than 60 grains is used.
When discussing magnum cartridges, “overbore” is a term that gets used a lot. It simply implies that some of the unburnt powder columns travel past the chamber’s throat and into the bore after being forced down the barrel. Every time the rifle fires, you’re scouring the throat with an abrasive. The barrel is “shot out” after the throat erodes, necessitating a replacement. As a result, 60 grains of powder was chosen as the maximum limit to ensure that the cartridge has a long barrel life.
Hornady collaborated with George Gardner on the 6.5 Short Action Ultra Magnum (SAUM) predecessor, the 6.5 Short Action Ultra Magnum (SAUM). GA Precision owner George Gardner made the first successful attempt to create a short magnum 6.5 round. The best parent case for a 6.5 short magnum, according to both Gardner and Hornady is the Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM) 300. However, when Gardner was working on the 6.5 SAUM, there was no .300 RCM brass to be found. Since it would be a wildcat cartridge, he started with the.300 SAUM case and developed the 6.5 SAUM from there.
The Advantages Of The 6.5 PRC
- Flat shooting
- Because of the cartridge’s quickness and its shape, which allows for long, high BC bullets, it has excellent resistance to wind deflection.
- Lighter rifles are often used, as the brief action and short barrel length required.
- When compared to similar magnum cartridges, has a decent barrel life.
The 6.5 PRC’s Drawbacks
- It’s generally regarded as being on the light side for hunting elk-sized animals.
- Ammunition is becoming more popular, but it is still somewhat more expensive than other types of cartridges.
- There’s no way to know if the cartridge will continue to be popular in the long term, so predicting future supply is impossible.
The 6.5 PRC is made to accept long, slender, and high BC bullets, and most factory loads combine the two. These bullets as well as the 6.5 PRC’s speed, which allows the windless time to influence the bullet, make for a great bucking bullet.
To demonstrate just how effective this cartridge is in battling the wind, I checked up on several popular centerfire rifle cartridges and compared their wind deflection at various ranges to see how much they deflect the wind. At 500 yards, the 6.5 PRC ranks #7 out of 88 rounds for the lowest amount of wind drift among all centerfire cartridges. That is impressive.
A 6.5 PRC has several advantages, one of which is that it performs well in a short barrel. Because the column of powder in the rifle is wider and shorter than many other cartridges, it works well in a short barrel. The speed at which the powder ignites is improved, and because less powder (about 45 grains of H4350) is needed to overbore, it needs less burn time.
Its barrel life is around 1,328 shots in a 6.5 PRC. Its barrel life is believed to be moderate for the best performance cartridge–lasting longer than the .28 Nosler but not as long as the 6.5 Creedmoor.
6.5 PRC Ammo
Despite its recent emergence, the 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge has a modest following compared to other rounds due to the fact that it isn’t particularly popular in absolute terms and can’t compete with calibers such as the .270 Winchester or. 30-06.
The only major ammunition manufacturer presently producing 6.5 PRC ammunition is Hornady, and at the moment, I don’t expect this to change. The round is available in the Hornady Precision Hunter and Hornady Match series, with 143-grain ELD-X and 147-grain ELD Match projectiles respectively.
The Match loads are popular with some hunters, but the Precision Hunter line is designed for long-range hunting and is generally a superior option.
6.5 PRC ammunition is more pricey and difficult to come by than other cartridges, much as you might suspect. Because the cartridge is primarily utilized in hunting, not every sporting good shop has 6.5 PRC ammo on hand.
Most of the major businesses in the United States will have a few boxes of each on hand, but it’s unusual to find 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge ammunition at a smaller gun store.
Online, ammunition is typically accessible, and the bigger vendors generally have a decent variety of high-quality factory 6.5 PRC ammunition in stock.
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Thomas Boseman is the author of Pawnbroking.com. A pawn shop owner by day, blog writer by night. When not writing, he enjoys exploring the outdoors with his dog, Roman. Thomas received his bachelor of arts in film from the University of Arizona. A Brooklyn native, Thomas is a lover of filmmaking, motorcycle, and coffee.