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Should You Reload the 7mm PRC?

January 10, 2024
Kevin "KJ" Jarnagin

Choosing the 7mm PRC loaded with the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond is a decision that reflects a hunter's need for precision, effective terminal performance, and adaptability across a range of hunting scenarios. This combination leverages the strengths of both the cartridge and the bullet, making it a formidable choice for discerning hunters.

Ballistic Advantages of the 7mm PRC: The 7mm PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) is designed for long-range accuracy and efficiency. When loaded with the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond, it exhibits impressive ballistic characteristics:

  • Muzzle Velocity: The 7mm PRC can propel the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond at a high muzzle velocity, often exceeding 3000 feet per second (fps). This speed enhances the bullet's downrange performance, reducing time to target and drop.
  • Ballistic Coefficient (BC): The 160 grain Nosler AccuBond boasts a high BC (typically around 0.531), which translates to reduced drag and improved stability over long distances. This results in a flatter trajectory and less wind drift, critical for long-range accuracy.

Terminal Performance: The Nosler AccuBond is engineered for controlled expansion and deep penetration:

  • Expansion and Penetration: Upon impact, the AccuBond expands consistently, creating a large wound channel. Its bonded design ensures that the jacket and core stay together, resulting in deep penetration essential for reaching vital organs, even in large game.
  • Weight Retention: The AccuBond is known for high weight retention, often above 70%, which is crucial for maintaining momentum and ensuring that the bullet reaches vital organs for a quick, humane kill.

Energy Transfer: The combination of high velocity and weight retention means the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond delivers significant kinetic energy to the target. For instance, at 300 yards, it can deliver over 2000 foot-pounds of energy, more than enough for most North American game.

Real-World Usage: Hunters using the 7mm PRC with the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond report excellent results in terms of accuracy, effective range, and terminal performance. This bullet is often praised for its ability to provide clean, ethical kills at varied distances.

Versatility: The 7mm PRC with the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond is versatile enough for a range of game, from deer to elk. Its balanced approach to weight, velocity, and terminal ballistics makes it suitable for diverse hunting environments.

This is my first foray into reloading the 7mm PRC. I readily admit getting components in to reload with were very difficult. It got so tight I had to purchase some Hornady factory loads just so I could have brass to reload.

If you follow the basics of reloading, you’ll find it just as easy. I utilized 40.8 grains of Hodgdon StaBALL HD powder. It worked out good for me, but I you plan on reloading the 7mm PRC you’ll want to start off lower. I just got lucky when selecting how many grains to load.

I do believe it’s a solid platform to load. What I lacked in time to develop a proper 7mm PRC load was overcome with performance by the Nosler AccuBond in the field. I had the utmost faith in the projectile and with a little more time behind the bench I think the 7mm PRC can be finely tuned to suit any need.

The combination of the 7mm PRC and the 160 grain Nosler AccuBond represents a highly effective choice for hunters who prioritize long-range accuracy, terminal performance, and versatility. The hard data on velocity, ballistic coefficient, energy transfer, and weight retention all point to a cartridge and bullet pairing that can be relied upon in a variety of hunting scenarios. ~ KJ

Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a different venture often. His early career had him working with one of the finest PR agencies in the outdoor industry – Blue Heron Communications. Before that, KJ molded the minds of business school students at the University of Oklahoma. Quickly learning he had to grow up sometime, KJ dedicated himself to the outdoors no matter what it took.

Sporting his flat-brimmed cap, KJ traverses the country in pursuit of the greatest game and best adventures. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind. KJ is a skilled communicator and connector in an industry that he has loved since a child.

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