March 31, 2022
By Brad Fitzpatrick
Despite the current popularity of 6.5mm cartridges the .30 caliber remains America’s favorite centerfire hunting and shooting caliber. There have been a slew of .308 rounds released over the last three decades, all of which promised to bring something new to this crowded field. Some like the .300 WSM have succeeded commercially, but other like the .300 RCM, .308 Marlin Marlin Express and .30 T/C have all essentially disappeared. That’s a shame because all of those are good rounds, but in the saturated .30 caliber market sometimes being good isn’t good enough.
When Hornady announced in 2018 that they were adding a new .30 caliber cartridge, my first question was how they’d ever sell serious shooters and hunters on a new .308 round. The answer: build the ultimate long-range .30 caliber, a round that outshines other cartridges by using heavy, high-caliber, aerodynamic bullets that carry energy effectively and buck the wind—and that round is the .300 PRC. It’s available with factory ammo with bullets up to 225 grains and G1 ballistic coefficients approaching .800 and it’s proving itself to be a superb long-range shooting and hunting cartridge.
The popularity of the .300 PRC has prompted rifle manufacturers to offer guns chambered for this round. Not surprisingly, there are several hybrid hunting/long-range target rifles on this list, but there are .300 PRC rifles included here that are suitable for hunting. Heck, even a couple .300 PRC mountain rifles made the cut.
Whether you’re in the market for a target rifle, hunting gun, or a bolt-action that does both you’ve come to the right place. There’s very little that the .300 PRC can’t do in the hands of a competent shooter, but you must have a good rifle. Here are six of them, presented in order from least expensive to most expensive.
1. Bergara B-14 Wilderness Ridge
The B-14 Wilderness Ridge is more hunting rifle than dedicated target rifle, but it’ll shoot as good—and sometimes better—than heavier target guns. It’s also light enough (just 7.9 pounds) that it can be carried into the backcountry. The fluted, No. 5 contour 24-inch barrel on the .300 PRC model is made from 4140 Chromoly steel and is threaded 5/8x24 and topped with an Omni muzzle brake.
The hinged floorplate magazine holds two rounds of .300 PRC, and the metal features a durable Sniper Grey Cerakote finish that looks great with the camo stock. The receiver is drilled and tapped to accept Remington 700-pattern bases, and the one-piece bolt comes with a sliding plate extractor and coned nose that ensures consistent reliability in the worst conditions. Ostensibly a hunting rifle, the Bergara in .300 PRC will serve double duty as a long-range target gun, too. $1,055. Bergara.online/us/
2. Savage 110 Long Range Hunter
Savage’s rifles have always been known for their accuracy, and the 110 Long Range is no exception. The stock is made from durable polymer with soft-touch grip surfaces. This rifle is also equipped with Savage’s AccuFit stock that allows the adjust length of pull and comb height.
The 110 action is smooth and refined, and the adjustable AccuTrigger offers the crisp, predictable break necessary on a rifle designed for accurate long-range shooting. The .300 PRC version of the 110 Long Range Hunter comes with a hinged floorplate, 26-inch carbon steel button rifled barrel with an adjustable muzzle brake and 1:8.5 twist rate.
Unlike some other rifles on this list that are built exclusively for target shooting, the 110 Long Range Hunter is light enough at 8.85 pounds that it makes sense to carry in the field. If you’re after a dual-purpose hunting and target gun the Savage is an excellent option, and it’s also an excellent value among .300 PRC rifles. $1,197. SavageArms.com
3. Browning X-Bolt Max Long Range
Browning’s flagship X-Bolt rifle features a three-lug bolt and features the company’s light, crisp Feather trigger. The composite MAX stock has adjustable comb and length-of-pull spacers and a steep, hand-filling pistol grip that makes it comfortable to shoot from any position. The fore-end sports dual sling studs for mounting a bipod and sling separately, and the 26-inch heavy contour fluted barrel features a 1:8 twist and a threaded muzzle with Browning’s new Recoil Hawg muzzle brake.
The X-Lock optics mounting system secures scopes to the rifle, which is a good thing since the .300 PRC produces significant recoil. That recoil is reduced by the Recoil Hawg, though, and even though this rifle weighs 8 pounds, 7 ounces unloaded it’s still manageable to shoot in .300 PRC. And, of course, it’s accurate. It’s an X-Bolt, after all. $1,420. Browning.com
4. Ruger Precision Rifle
The Ruger Precision Rifle is purpose-built for hitting targets at long ranges, so it’s only natural that Ruger would chamber this impressive rifle in .300 PRC. The RPR in .300 PRC features a CNC machined upper and one-piece bolt made of pre-hardened 4140 steel. The externally adjustable Ruger Marksman trigger is adjustable for pulls between 2.5 and five pounds with a wrench that stores inside the bolt shroud.
The rifle has a heavy-contour cold-hammer-forged chrome-moly steel barrel with 5R rifling and 1:9 twist, and a 30 m.o.a. Picatinny rail. The barrel action rides in a Ruger Precision MSR stock that is adjustable for height and length of pull, and the side-folding stock accepts any AR-style stock. The detachable magazine holds five rounds and the ambi safety works for both right and left-handed shooters. There’s an 18-inch anodized aluminum handguard with M-LOK slots at the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.
The .300 PRC produces ample recoil, but the rifle’s 15-pound weight and Ruger Precision Rifle magnum muzzle brake help tame the round. It’s certainly heavy for a hunting rifle, but if you want a .300 PRC target gun, the RPR is hard to beat. $2,389. Ruger.com
5. Christensen Arms Ridgeline Titanium
The Ridgeline Titanium blends modern design with premium, lightweight components to create a deadly-accurate hunting rifle that’s also easy to carry. The hand-lapped, button-rifled 416 stainless steel barrel is wrapped in carbon fiber to reduce weight and speed cooling and comes with a removable brake and thread protector. Twist rate is 1:8, and barrel length is 24 inches.
The receiver is made from lightweight titanium, the bottom metal from billet aluminum, and that keeps weight to just over six pounds. The carbon-fiber composite stock is Christensen’s own design, and it’s pillar bedded and spot bedded for maximum accuracy. A TriggerTech trigger comes standard, and the Ridgeline Titanium is also available in left-handed models.
A rifle is the sum of its parts, and nothing has been overlooked on the Ridgeline Titanium. It’s a superb mountain rifle that’s accurate enough to capitalize on the .300 PRC’s outstanding ballistics. $2,599. ChristsensenArms.com
6. Seekins Precision Havak Element
The Havak Element is Seekins Precision’s lightweight bolt rifle that’s designed for high mountain hunters, and it’s available in a .300 PRC variant that weighs in at just 6 pounds. The 22-inch spiral fluted Seekins Mountain Hunter 416 stainless steel barrel has a 1:10 twist and 5R rifling. An ATC muzzle brake and a carbon fiber detachable box magazine that holds three rounds also come standard.
Seekins’ carbon composite stock is standard, as is an integral 20 m.o.a. rail with bubble level. The bolt features an M16-style extractor and four locking lugs, and the bolt head is removable. The rifle’s Timney Elite Hunter trigger is set at 2.5 pounds.
The Havak Element offers precision rifle accuracy in a lightweight, easy-to-carry package that’s ideally suited for serious hunters. The short barrel allows you to add a suppressor to the rifle without making it so long that the rifle is unwieldy and hard to manage. Built with dedicated high-mountain hunters in mind, the Havak Element in .300 PRC is a great option for anyone who hunts elk, sheep or goats at high elevation or in steep, rugged country. $2,795. SeekinsPrecision.com