January 31, 2020
By Lynn Burkhead
In a world already sporting a number of .30-caliber magnum cartridges, the design of the Hornady .300 PRC came about at the request of the U.S. military.
Developed by Hornady’s engineers, the story of the .300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is a fascinating one as reported by Guns & Ammo’s Tom Beckstrand. But it’s a story that carries more weight than just the needs of the military; it also has implications for hunters needing the downrange punch for big game species.
With a number of U.S. gunmakers embracing the magnum .30-caliber rifle cartridge, here's a look at some of the new .300 PRC rifle options.
Bergara B-14 Wilderness Terrain
While Bergara's B-14 Wilderness rifle series isn’t necessarily a stranger to those familiar with the rifle world, the Spanish gunmaker’s line received an injection of the .300 PRC later on in 2019. Like most rifles produced by Bergara, the new edition centers around the company’s legendary barrel making. Specifically, the rifle has a free-floated and threaded 26-inch barrel — featuring a Sniper Grey Cerakote finish and a multi-ported muzzle brake — along with a hand-painted camouflage Terrain molded stock. Add in the 5-round AICS detachable magazine, a weight of 10.1 pounds and a twist rate of 1:9 and this .300 PRC model can deliver flat shooting and punishing results downrange no matter how big the game animal is. MSRP $1,279 | bergara.online
Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter
Need a heavy hitter that delivers its big payload accurately when a big bull elk is crossing a far ridge at last light? Perhaps you've got a caribou or moose hunt coming up this year north of the Lower 48? Or maybe you've drawn a bison tag, the chance at a true bucket list bull? The Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter is more than capable of handling all of those chores — and more — thanks to its 26-inch sporter contour barrel, threaded muzzle brake, 3-shot magazine capacity, overall weight of 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and Inflex recoil pad. Add a matte blue barrel finish and the rifle's A-TAC AU camo finish on the stock and it's a stylish big gun too, one that will look great in post hunt grip-and-grin photos. MSRP $1,099.99 | browning.com
Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter Long Range Fiber Fusion
One of the more exciting announcements for 2020 was how Browning was embracing the .300 PRC cartridge full bore — pardon the pun — bringing out eleven different versions of the Utah gunmaker's venerable X-Bolt rifle lineup for the new bullet offering. That includes the X-Bolt Western Hunter Long Range Fiber Fusion model, a rifle that utilizes a high strength steel receiver, a 26-inch fluted heavy sporter contour stainless steel barrel, a threaded muzzle brake, a Hard Core Fiber Fusion stock in Cerakote Flat Dark Earth, a new adjustable comb system, and an ergonomic extended bolt handle among other features. Coming with an A-TACS AU camo stock finish and a matte blue barrel finish, this handsome looking rifle checks in at 8 pounds and has a twist rate of 1:8, easily enough to help deliver big, powerful shots downrange with surprising accuracy. MSRP $2,069.99 | browning.com
Christensen Arms Mesa Rifle
After the .300 PRC was introduced by Hornady, it didn’t take long for the gun making gurus at Christensen Arms to bring to market the Mesa rifle in the new caliber. A power-packed firearm, the Mesa .300 PRC features a 24-inch 416R stainless steel barrel with a Featherlight contour, a removable and seamless stainless steel radial brake, a threaded muzzle, a precision machined receiver, a TriggerTech trigger, and a carbon fiber composite sporter stock that comes in two color variations. Weighing in at 6.5 pounds, having a twist rate of 1:8, and coming with the company’s Sub MOA shot guarantee and it’s easy to see why hunters are eager to see what this Christensen Arms rifle can deliver in the field. MSRP $1,295 | christensenarms.com
Like the Mesa edition mentioned above, the Christensen Arms Ridgeline Rifle gives hunters a high-quality build at a price that won’t break the bank. With features like a 416R Stainless Steel Aerograde carbon fiber wrapped barrel measuring 26-inches, it’s not too hard to see how the company was able to bring aboard Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel television legend Jim Shockey as a spokesman for their rifles. With a removable stainless-steel radial brake, a threaded muzzle, a precision machined receiver, a TriggerTech trigger, and a carbon fiver composite sporter stock, the Ridgeline rifle has a 1:8 twist rate as it checks in at 6.3 pounds. With a Sub MOA guarantee, the Ridgeline .300 PRC is a great addition to the western big game hunter looking to haul out meat and antlers next fall. MSRP $1,995 | christensenarms.com
Fierce Carbon Fury
Another late introduction in 2019, Fierce Firearms brought the .300 PRC cartridge to market in one of its highly popular rifle lines. Aimed at hunters wanting long-range shootability with a lightweight design, the company says that the carbon-barrel rifle offers a non-fluted control-round feed action, a match-grade trigger, a speed box magazine, a proprietary carbon stock with several different camo and finish options, and a hand-lapped cryogenically treated match grade buttoned C3 barrel. Checking in at 6.6 pounds, the rifle offers a superb .5 MOA shot guarantee at 100 yards. MSRP $2,740 | fiercearms.com
Howa GamePro 2
The gunmakers at Howa certainly understand the allure of the .300 PRC cartridge. In their 2020 catalog, the round has a thorough description that hails the cartridge as a true heavy hitter that turns “…long range into mid-range.” Said to be a natural step up for hunters needing to move from a 6.5 Creedmoor or a 6.5 PRC, Howa believes that this is a magnum round that can take bigger game at longer distances. To pair up with that .300 PRC round, Howa brings to market its new GamePro 2 rifle with a Hogue Pillar bedded stock, a 24-inch blued barrel finish, a barrel that is threaded and suppressor ready, a weight of 8 pounds, and a twist rate of 1:8.5. Add in Howa’s Sub MOA guarantee, the lifetime warranty, and the company’s user-friendly price point, and this is a clear winner in the growing .300 PRC market. MSRP $699 | legacysports.com
H-S Precision SPL
Described by the company as it’s most popular hunting rifle, the SPL model from H-S Precision features a Magnum Sporter barrel contour that is paired up with the rifle’s trademark lightweight stock, all of it checking in at an easy to carry weight that still maintains enough mass to be solid in hand and comfortable to shoot. With a variety of stock finish options, different barrel lengths, different lengths of pull, several add-on options, and coming in both right-handed and left-handed models, this tack driver from H-S Precision will get the job done in the field when you need to step up to the plate for the power of the .300 PRC. MSRP $3,799 | hsprecision.com
The Essentials Gear Box.
Our editors have hand-picked these essential pieces of gear to make you a more successful hunter when you hit the game trails this season.