Skip to main content

.300 Win. Mag. vs .300 PRC — Cartridge Clash

In this cartridge clash, Brad Fitzpatrick takes a look at the .300 Win. Mag.'s versatility vs the .300 PRC's long-range potential.

.300 Win. Mag. vs .300 PRC — Cartridge Clash

The .300 Win. Mag. debuted way back in 1963 and was an immediate success. Based on a shortened .300 H&H Mag. case, the .300 Win. Mag. offered better ballistics than the H&H from lighter, standard-length actions. To improve performance from the Win. Mag.’s shorter 2.62-inch belted case, engineers removed most of the parent cartridge’s body taper and increased case capacity.

The .300 Win. Mag.’s popularity continued to grow. By the 1990s it surpassed the .30-06 as the cartridge that had collected the most Boone & Crockett record-book animals.

Over the decades other hot .30s have challenged the .300 Win. Mag. for its crown, but none has done serious damage to its appeal. But in 2018 Hornady came out with a totally different fast .30. Known as the .300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge), this new beltless offering is based on the .375 Ruger, a beltless magnum that outperforms the .375 H&H in a standard-length action.

Both the .300 Win. Mag. and the .300 PRC feature a rim diameter of .532 inch, so both require a magnum bolt face. The .300 PRC’s case is the same diameter as the .300 Win. Mag.’s belt, and the .300 PRC has less taper and a 30-degree shoulder as opposed to the .300 Win. Mag.’s 25-degree shoulder. So even though the .300 PRC case is slightly shorter at 2.58 inches than the Win. Mag., it offers about five percent more capacity.


The .300 PRC has a long neck and added head height, which allow it to be loaded with high ballistic-coefficient bullets. The .300 PRC was designed as the ultimate precision long-range, medium-bore rifle cartridge, and even though it’s only a couple years old, the PRC is already a standout in the world of precision shooting.


300-Win-Mag-vs-300-PRC

The .300 PRC has some serious street cred, but it doesn’t beat the Win. Mag. on all fronts. For starters, the Winchester will fit in a standard-length action without modification. The .300 PRC will fit in most long actions, but the cartridge’s greater overall length—3.34 inches for the Win. Mag. versus 3.70 for the PRC—will likely require a longer magazine.

The .300 Win. Mag. isn’t that far behind .300 PRC ballistically. Hornady’s .300 PRC Precision Hunter load pushes a 212-grain ELD-X bullet from the muzzle at 2,860 fps while the company’s .300 Win. Mag. Precision Hunter load fires a 200-grain ELD-X bullet at 2,850 fps. With a 100-yard zero the .300 Win. Mag. drops 12 inches at 300 yards while the .300 PRC drops 11.6 inches.

The Winchester does all this with less recoil. What’s more, most .300 Win. Mag. barrels have 1:10 twists and will effectively shoot bullets ranging from 150 grains up to 200. The .300 PRC features a 1:8 twist, ideal for bullets from 200 grains and heavier.

But if you look more deeply at the ballistics, you’ll notice a gap. The .300 PRC consistently carries 250 to 300 additional foot-pounds of energy over the Winchester at practical hunting ranges. At 1,000 yards the .300 Win. Mag. load drops about 20 inches more than the .300 PRC, but the most dramatic difference is in handling wind.




At 1,000 yards the 212-grain .300 PRC drifts 10 inches less in a 10-mph crosswind than the .300 Win. Mag. Now that Hornady is offering its 250-grain .308 A-Tip bullets with a G1 BC of .878, handloaders can really improve ultra-long-range performance. And because the .300 PRC has less free-bore and headspaces off the shoulder rather than the belt, accuracy potential is excellent.

In practical terms, both will serve hunters and shooters well. Hunters will appreciate the .300 Win. Mag.’s wide selection of rifles and ammunition, while target shooters will like the .300 PRC’s accuracy and ballistics. Ultimately, it depends on whether you want the .300 Win. Mag.’s versatility or the .300 PRC’s long-range potential.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

New for 2021: Caldwell E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms

New for 2021: Caldwell E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms

Three new products from Caldwell - E-MAX PRO Shadows, BT Link and BT Comms – for shooting range hearing production and communication.

New for 2021: Crimson Trace Brushline & Hardline Scopes

New for 2021: Crimson Trace Brushline & Hardline Scopes

New riflescope models from Crimson Trace are the Hardline, for the tactical-shooter, and the Brushline, for the hunter.

New for 2021: Caldwell AR500 Steel Range Targets

New for 2021: Caldwell AR500 Steel Range Targets

The Caldwell AR500 steel targets are offered in seven sizes and various hanging solutions to fit your specific shooting range needs.

RS Sako Finnlight II

RS Sako Finnlight II

The new Sako Finnlight II sports an innovative stock and Cerakote metal paired with the terrific 85 action.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Browning's new X-Bolt Western Hunter is a long-range rifle that handles and shoots like a hunting gun should.Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter Rifle Review Reviews

Browning X-Bolt Western Hunter Rifle Review

J. Scott Rupp - January 14, 2021

Browning's new X-Bolt Western Hunter is a long-range rifle that handles and shoots like a...

Announced in 1958, the .264 and .338 Winchester magnums hit the market in 1959 amid one of the biggest media blitzes the industry had seen. Both were introduced in “new” versions of Winchester's beloved Model 70..264 and .338 Magnum - Winchester Twins Ammo

.264 and .338 Magnum - Winchester Twins

Craig Boddington - May 24, 2019

Announced in 1958, the .264 and .338 Winchester magnums hit the market in 1959 amid one of the...

Exploring areas of concern that are vital for anyone who wants to increase a rifle's accuracy.8 Proven Ways to Increase Rifle Accuracy Shooting Tips

8 Proven Ways to Increase Rifle Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt - August 05, 2020

Exploring areas of concern that are vital for anyone who wants to increase a rifle's accuracy.

The new Hammerli TAC R1 22 C, an AR-15 style .22 rimfire rifle, is the first product in the company's new Defense line.Hammerli TAC R1 22 C Review Reviews

Hammerli TAC R1 22 C Review

James Tarr - August 12, 2020

The new Hammerli TAC R1 22 C, an AR-15 style .22 rimfire rifle, is the first product in the...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

Berger announces the addition of the new 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter projectile to the long range Elite Hunter product line.Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter Bullet — New for 2020 Ammo

Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter Bullet — New for 2020

RifleShooter Digital Staff - April 20, 2020

Berger announces the addition of the new 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter projectile to the...

The .26 Macho can accurately propel the 120-grain Sierra bullet to speeds great enough to allow the bullet to create a devastating wound channel on deer-size game..26 Macho Cartridge — Wildcat Notes Ammo

.26 Macho Cartridge — Wildcat Notes

Jason Stanley - September 23, 2020

The .26 Macho can accurately propel the 120-grain Sierra bullet to speeds great enough to...

Listed by caliber, here's a look at what big game rifle cartridges are trending upward, and which are not.Top Big Game Rifle Cartridges by Caliber Ammo

Top Big Game Rifle Cartridges by Caliber

J. Scott Rupp - July 07, 2020

Listed by caliber, here's a look at what big game rifle cartridges are trending upward, and...

Berger's new Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) bullet has a hybrid ogive and an incredibly consistent meplat to produce an accurate, forgiving bullet. Von Benedikt achieved excellent accuracy in several of his rifles—without any load development.Berger Long Range Hybrid Target Bullet Review Ammo

Berger Long Range Hybrid Target Bullet Review

Joseph von Benedikt - November 25, 2020

Berger's new Long Range Hybrid Target (LRHT) bullet has a hybrid ogive and an incredibly...

See More Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the RifleShooter App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All RifleShooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now