6.5 PRC Ballistics Tables From Major Ammunition Manufacturers

Written by Sam Jacobs Subject: Gun Rights

When it comes to precision shooting and hunting, the 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is rapidly gaining a reputation for its remarkable performance.

Developed by Hornady, this cartridge offers superior ballistics that have made it a favorite among long-range shooters and hunters alike. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the key aspects that make the 6.5 PRC stand out: velocity, energy, and effective range.

6.5 PRC Velocity

A bullet's muzzle velocity is the rate at which it exits the barrel, measured in feet per second (fps).

A longer 6.5 PRC rifle barrel produces a higher muzzle velocity, as the exploding propellant has more time to exert its energy against the projectile. The Hornady Precision Hunter 6.5 PRC 143 grain ELD-X bullet has a muzzle velocity of 2,960 fps (out of a 24-inch barrel), which is about average for 6.5 PRC bullets.

Bullet weight and design significantly affect how much velocity a projectile will exhibit downrange. For example, lighter bullets tend to have higher velocities than heavier bullets, and polymer-tipped hollow point boat tail projectiles tend to conserve velocity more efficiently than traditional soft point bullets.

At 500 yards, the 143 grain ELD-X bullet conserves a velocity of approximately 2,248 fps.

Handloaded ammunition can achieve higher velocities than factory-loaded ammo, which is just one reason why reloading is so popular among competitive shooters. While it saves some money, producing enough rounds to justify it does require a time investment. For safety's sake, we always recommend following your reloading manual's instructions.

6.5 PRC Energy

Muzzle energy is the force a bullet possesses when it exits the rifle barrel. It is measured in foot-pounds (ft-lbs).

Heavier bullets tend to have higher muzzle energy. A projectile's velocity plays a significant role, which is why lighter projectiles can have a higher muzzle energy than heavier ones. For example, the Nosler 142 grain AccuBond LR has a muzzle energy of 2,651 ft-lbs, and the Browning Max Point 140 grain Polymer Tip has a muzzle velocity of 2,949 ft-lbs.

Heavier projectiles conserve their energy more effectively downrange. The Nosler 142 grain AccuBond LR has a velocity of 1,513 ft-lbs at 500 yards, whereas the Browning Max Pint 140 grain Polymer Tip has a velocity of 1,437 ft-lbs at 500 yards.

In a typical Christensen Arms, Savage or Weatherby bolt-action hunting rifle, the 6.5 PRC cartridge has a felt recoil of about 22 ft-lbs. This is reasonable for short-action rifles, but it is still more than the 6.5 Creedmoor.

6.5 PRC Effective Range

This new cartridge is worth considering if you're looking to reach distant ranges with lower accompanying recoil than long-action rifles typically generate.

It has excellent terminal performance for ethically harvesting mule deer, whitetail deer, and other medium-sized American game animals at long distances.

Seasoned hunters can effectively take game animals at 750 yards with a high-quality 6.5 PRC rifle and round.

Target shooters, such as those who want to participate in the Precision Rifle Series (PRS), will also enjoy the 6.5 PRC. It's accurate out to 1,000 yards, and boasts longer barrel life than magnum cartridges.

For more read the full 6.5 PRC ballistics guide here.