Late in 2018, the US Department of Defense announced its new sniper rifle cartridge, the Hornady .300 PRC or Precision Rifle Cartridge. Shortly afterward Barrett would be awarded a contract to supply the MRAD in this new chambering.
Less than a year has passed since the .300 PRC was SAAMI certified, and the cartridge seems to be a runaway success that is shrouded in mystery. Limited consumer grade rifles and scarce ammo have kept this new chambering out of reach for most of the consumer market. That is, until now.
The newest addition to Ruger’s Precision Rifle (RPR) Magnum lineup aims to change this for the consumer market. As such, I was curious to see if this new cartridge would live up to the hype in a budget-friendly rifle.
For those not familiar with the RPR series of rifles, some key features set the Ruger apart from most factory bolt guns. A full list of features and product specifications can be found on Ruger’s website.
Most notable of the features on the RPR is the adjustable folding stock. The factory stock features both adjustable length of pull and comb height. Located on the bottom of the stock is a Picatinny rail should you decide to mount a rear monopod.
This flat surface also aids in making precise shots while using a rear shooting bag or rest. The stock assembly mounts to an AR-15 style castle nut for easy end-user customization.
Inside the rear of the bolt assembly is an Allen wrench for trigger adjustments. This makes for quick and easy adjustments in the field and is the right blend of form and function.
Trigger adjustments are easy to make and don’t require any additional takedown of the weapon. Simply insert the wrench into the slot seen above, and turn left to decrease the trigger pull weight or right to increase it.
The RPR magnum ships with two five-round AI-style steel magazines. You’ll notice the magazines are stamped .300 Winchester Magnum. This is because .300 PRC uses the same standard .532” magnum bolt face and shares similar case dimensions.
The RPR Magnum series also incorporates Ruger’s new Magnum Muzzle Brake. This features four compensating ports on top that can be opened to adjust the muzzle rise compensation. It’s rather large but looks right at home on the end of the heavy-contour barrel.
Using .375 Ruger as the parent case, the .300 PRC is designed to take advantage of long and heavy 30 caliber projectiles. The PRC uses a combination of high ballistic coefficient projectiles and a 30-degree case shoulder. These together are used to create the right blend of velocity and accuracy.
Hornady’s new cartridge looks to bridge the gap in between legacy calibers like .300 Winchester Magnum and .338 Lapua Magnum. The 225-grain ELD-Match ammo leaves the barrel at 2,810 FPS with a staggering 3,945 ft/lb of muzzle energy.
It’s important to note that RPR Magnum is not a light rifle, and weighs 15.2lbs without optics and accessories. This actually works to your advantage with the .300 PRC. The 300 PRC has noticeably more recoil than 300 Win Mag but still less than .338 Lapua Mag.
After putting a few groups downrange at 100 yards, I let the barrel cool down before shooting the above three round groups.
Averaging the three groups I fired, the gun is shooting roughly 0.6 MOA. I’m sure it will shoot better groups, but as ammo was limited for this review I decided the above group was adequate for the data I needed.
Shooting the RPR Magnum at distance is incredibly easy using Hornady’s free ballistic calculators. Two days after I had zeroed the rifle, I decided to take it out to 1,050 yards at one of my favorite local shooting spots.
In less than ideal conditions, I was able to make consecutive hits on a 24” steel diamond. With the gun suppressed you can truly appreciate just how much energy that bullet carries at distance.
After a few weeks of poor weather, I re-visited the same spot to try out a different suppressor from SIG. After sending only a few rounds downrange from a tripod it became clear that the RPR Magnum was almost boringly accurate at this distance.
Performance Past A Mile
With the gun dialed in at a thousand yards, there was only one thing left to do with my remaining ammo: Add even more distance. I scoured the West Desert of Utah for locations before settling on one at the edge of the Salt Flats. The targets would be a stack three five gallon buckets at 1,950 Yards (1.1 Miles).
My shooting location would be the base of the hill, located in the upper right-hand corner of the above photo. I set up a marker at this location and then used the rangefinder from the target to the pre-placed marker determine distance.
Note: Even modern rangefinders struggle to range non-reflective targets at extended ranges.
My initial string of fire landed on either side of the target as I struggled to determine the shifting crosswinds. I decided I would send the first round, quickly chamber the second round, and then favor the second shot based on the initial impact. Just over three seconds after firing the first round, I watched the impact land just high and to the right. I quickly sent the second shot favoring low left, and another three plus seconds later watched the middle bucket drop.
Using the fantastic reticle on the Nightforce NXS the round landed squarely into the middle bucket. My plan to recover the projectile from the water-filled bucket would prove to be futile. After looking over the data it’s clear these Wal-Mart buckets never stood a chance.
Flight Time: 3.29 Sec
Bullet Drop: 123 Ft. (+72.5MOA)
Impact Velocity: 1,126 FPS
Impact Energy: 633 FT-LB
Pro’s & Con’s
With a suggested price of $2,099, the Ruger RPR Magnum is the perfect blend of affordability and performance. Ruger has put together the right blend of modern features that make it an incredible value for the price. This combined with the superb performance downrange makes it the benchmark for entry level precision rifles.
The biggest problem with RPR in .300 PRC is the cost and availability of ammo. As of this moment, there are only two types of ammo available from Hornady, and neither are cheap. Prices are slowly going down, but you should expect to pay about two dollars a round for .300 PRC.
Additionally, I had to double check with silencer manufacturers Dead Air and SIG Sauer prior to shooting .300 PRC through their products. Like .300 Norma, .300 PRC is a notable step up in maximum case pressure from .300 Win Mag. If you have a silencer rated for 300 Win Mag, you should double check to see if it’s rated for .300 PRC before putting those rounds through it. Luckily I was given the “good to go” to shoot .300 PRC through Dead Air’s Nomad and SIG’s SRD762Ti.
Throughout this review, I tried to find flaws in the Ruger Precision Rifle and came up empty-handed. Everything about the gun not only works but works remarkably well. One could argue that features like the action or trigger aren’t the most refined features, and they would be right. However, there simply isn’t another rifle that comes anywhere close to the RPR Magnum in terms of price and quality. The rifle and its caliber have far exceeded my expectations. I think it’s safe to say that the RPR Magnum family of rifles are the best bang for your buck in the current magnum rifle market.
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Source: The Firearm Blog