Want to know what it takes to load 7mm PRC?
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I’ve just finished building two rifles for 7mm PRC and have done some initial work and testing with the cartridge.
Some quick facts on the 7mm PRC:
It has no belt, which makes reloading a bit easier!
Equipment and Supplies
Whatever you press you choose must have a minimum capacity of 3.340.”
Single Stage Presses:
- [all presses from UR shootout]
- Not all small/micro presses!
You’ll also need a standard magnum shellholder (0.532”). This could be a standard shell holder, shell plate for a progressive or another shell holder specific to your tools in a magnum size. I’ve been using the Hornady 7mm PRC custom grade dies I received as part of the preview rifle builder’s kit. I’m also looking at the Short Action Customs modular dies for sizing and seating. At this moment, I’m not sure who else will be manufacturing dies, but I’m certain there will be other options.
Powder charges will fall between 50 and 80 grains. I’d also recommend a case gauge though the rifle’s chamber can also be used.
Large magnum rifle primers are a must. I’m personally using Federal Match 215M primers. Powders will fall in the magnum burn range with 7mm/.284” bullets ranging from 150 grains to 195 grains. They must stabilize in a 1:8 twist barrel.
Looking at bullets, I first turned to what came in the factory ammunition I received as part of the preview: 180 grain ELD-M match ammunition and 175 grain ELD-X hunter ammunition. What Hornady decided to produce is a hint to what works well with this cartridge.
First groups with the match ammunition in the full-custom BAT rifle yielded about 0.372” and about half an inch with the hunting ammunition. This is pretty impressive for first groups.
The 180 grain ELD-M Match ammunition has an approximately 2,975 fps velocity while the 175 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter ammunition comes in at around 3,000 fps. I personally saw a bit greater velocity than published specs because I used a 28” barrel and the specs used a 24” barrel.
When it comes to powders, you can use the popular magnum powers you already work with.
As various manufacturers release 7mm PRC rifles, it will be interesting to see what twist rates they choose.
Loading for 7mm PRC is just like loading other magnums. SAAMI lists 65,000 psi for the 7mm PRC which gives you quite a bit of leeway. In the testing I’ve done, I haven’t seen any pressure signs. I’ve gone up to max with a few different loads, and I think I can push the performance a little further.
I’ve been calling the 7mm PRC the “all-rounder” of the PRC’s. It fits comfortably in a long action with enough room to spare. I can seat my bullets long. Though I’ve not done full load development yet, I’ve been very impressed with 7mm PRC performance and ballistics.
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