December 14th, 2018

Hodgdon 2019 Annual Manual with 5000+ Loads Released

Hodgdon Annual manual relaoding 224 valkyrie .308 win varget h4350

Hodgdon has released its 2019 Reloading Manual, the 16th Annual Edition of this valuable reloading resource. This new manual contains data for Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester Smokeless Propellants in more than 5,000 loads, with updates for 17 rifle and pistol cartridges. Using this resource, handloaders can now find data for the new 224 Valkyrie and 6.5 PRC cartridges. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2019 Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by leading gun and outdoor industry writers, working with the editors of Shooting Times magazine.

“The Annual Manual is our printed yearly update for the ardent handloader,” said Ron Reiber, lead ballistician for Hodgdon. “We believe one of our competitive advantages is providing cutting-edge data on all our propellants. Our customers know they can look to Hodgdon to be first to supply this information on hot, new cartridges and newly-introduced powders.”

CLICK HERE to order the 2019 Hodgdon Annual Manual from the Hodgdon website for $12.99 (shipping included). You can also purchase the Annual Manual wherever popular magazines are sold.

H4350 and Varget In Stock Now at Many Vendors

In 2017 Hodgdon celebrated its 70th Anniversary. At SHOT Show 2017 talked with Chris Hodgdon. Chris was proud to note that his family-owned company is now marked its 70th year in business. The company has been very successful, but sometimes that means supply can’t catch up with demand with some of the most popular powders, such as Hodgdon H4350, which is extremely accurate and also temp-stable. Chris said: “Getting more H4350 to our customers is one of our top priorities. With the booming popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor and other similar cartridges, there is a lot of demand for that powder.” Supply has definitely increased this year. Yes, H4350, in both 1-lb and 8-lb containers, is in stock right now at Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth, and Powder Valley.

Hodgdon Reloading guide 2017 Midsouth

Hodgdon IMR Varget XBR 8208 SHOT Show Chris Reloading GuideWe also discussed the continued popularity of Varget, which also became more readily available this year. It is still one of the very best choices for a wide variety of cartridges, including the .308 Win (just look at the groups on our X-Max for Xmas story). Chris said that Varget users may also want to try IMR 8208 XBR. Chris observed: “I think IMR 8208 XBR is one of the very best powders we make. It is accurate, temp-stable, and it meters very well because the kernels are very small. The guys who try 8208 have been very happy.”

We concur with Chris — we’ve used 8208 XBR in a .308 Win and it shot exceptionally well. It is definitely “match-ready” powder for cartridges that like a medium burn-rate powder, such as the .308 Winchester, 7mm-08, and 6mmBR Norma.

Permalink News, Reloading 4 Comments »
October 18th, 2018

Hornady’s New-for-2019 Products — New Ammo, New Hardware

Hornady 300 PRC magnum 224 Valkyrie

Hornady was founded in 1949. That means the company will celebrate its 70th Anniversary next year in 2019. Befitting that milestone, Hornady will introduce a host of new (or enhanced) products. There are new ammo types, new bullets, new reloading products, and new security accessories. All of Hornady’s new-for-2019 products are showcased in this long (12-minute) video. Here are time markers:

300 PRC (1:05) | 6.5 Creedmoor Varmint (2:22) | Security Products (9:48) | Reloading Products (11:06)

Hornady Ammunition

As you’d expect, Hornady has many new loaded ammunition offerings for 2019. Most noteworthy is the new Outfitter line of hunting ammunition, designed for field use. Outfitter ammunition features corrosion-resistant, nickel-plated cases that are sealed watertight and topped with the GMX® bullet. Outfitter ammo will be offered in a wide range of calibers and bullet weights.

Hornady 300 PRC magnum 224 Valkyrie

Following its 6.5 PRC cartridge, next year Hornady will release its big brother — the 300 PRC. Watch the video above for a full description of this new magnum cartridge. Hornady touts this as “the Ultimate 30 Caliber Magnum”. However, one of our Forum members observed: “I found it strange that Hornady would come out with the 300 PRC, ‘the Ultimate 30 Caliber Magnum’, when Hornady already produces 300 Norma Magnum brass and ammo, ammo that has superior ballistics with the same bullet. I find exactly nothing ‘ultimate’ about this cartridge.”

Hornady 300 PRC magnum 224 Valkyrie

Hornady also will produce a variety of ammunition for the popular new .224 Valkyrie. This cartridge offers impressive performance in AR-platform rifles. And for you 6.5 Creedmoor fans, Hornady now offers a nice varmint ammo option loaded with 95gr V-Max bullet.

Hornady Reloading Products

Hornady reloading tumbler case dryer

Hornady reloading micrometer ball mic vernierFor 2019, Hornady will sell two new digitally-enabled gadgets for the reloading room. First is a new high-capacity case tumbler with a digital timer that cycles up to 8 hours. The large bowl handles up to 7.5 pounds of brass. In addition, Hornady will offer a new case and parts dryer with a digital controller.

Hornady also offers two new micrometers. Use the Standard Micrometer to measure external dimensions and lengths. Use the Vernier Ball Mic to measure case-neck and case-well thickness. Precision loaders should have both types.

Hornady Security Products — Gun Safe Accessories

Hornady will introduce more pistol safes and security boxes for 2019. But what really got our attention was a new line of accessories for gun safes. These include a Digital Hygrometer, a Golden-rod style Heating Rod, and both Canister-type and Electric Dehumidifiers.

Hornady safe accessories hygrometer

DIGITAL HYGROMETER — Hygrometer displays high/low for temperature and humidity on large touchscreen display. Install quick-connect bracket on safe wall or use fold-out stand. We like this product — it instantly shows the conditions in your gun safe.

Hornady safe accessories canister humidifier

CANISTER DEHUMIDIFIER — This can help prevent rusting. When the cap indicator changes color, re-activate unit by placing it in the oven. Unlimited recharges.

Hornady safe accessories canister humidifier

RECHARGEABLE DEHUMIDIFIER — Electrical unit helps controls humidity to help prevent rust and mildew. Moisture-control crystals change color when unit needs recharging via 110V electrical outlet.

Hornady safe accessories canister humidifier

12-INCH DEHUMIDIFIER ROD — Maintenance-free solution for humidity control in gun safes, cabinets and small enclosures. Mount vertically or horizontally with snap-on mounting brackets. Removable plug for easy installation.

Hornady New Product Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review, News 2 Comments »
August 13th, 2018

It’s Official — SAAMI Approves Hornady 6.5 PRC and 300 PRC

Hornady 6.5 Precison Rifle Cartridge SAAMI blueprint 300 PRC

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®) has accepted two new Hornady-marketed cartridges, the 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge (6.5 PRC) and the 300 PRC. Notably, for both cartridges, SAAMI lists a Maximum Average Pressure (MAP) of 65,000 PSI. The 300 PRC is NOT just a necked-up version of the 6.5 PRC. The 6.5 PRC has a 2.030″ case body length, while the 300 PRC is considerably longer, with a 2.580″ case body length (rim to case mouth). Both PRCs share a fat 0.532″ rim diameter, hence these cartridges require a magnum bolt face.

The 6.5 PRC is designed for the PRS and tactical crowd. GA Precision’s George Gardner, who helped develop the 6.5 PRC cartridge, has posted: “It’s a non-rebated short mag based on a short RCM [Ruger Compact Magnum] case. It has 3-4 grains less capacity than the 6.5 SAUM which nets about 30-50 fps deficit to the SAUM.” Cartridge and chamber drawings for both RPCs are available from SAAMI:


6.5 PRC SAAMI Blueprint HERE | 300 PRC SAAMI Blueprint HERE

Hornady 6.5 Precison Rifle Cartridge SAAMI blueprint 300 PRC

Both cartridges were developed by Hornady Manufacturing Company, a Voting Member of SAAMI. “SAAMI member companies are the leaders of firearm and ammunition development and innovation,” said Rick Patterson, SAAMI’s Executive Director. “Both the 6.5 and 300 PRC cartridges seek to meet the demand for increased accuracy in today’s trending sport of long-range shooting, and we are pleased to add these new cartridges to our SAAMI Standards.”

New 6.5 PRC Is a Short Magnum Requiring Magnum Bolt Face
Dubbed the “big brother” to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (.532″). The case geometry features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree case shoulder. It sort of looks like a 6.5 Creedmoor on steroids. For its factory-loaded 6.5 PRC Match Ammo, Hornady is showing a 2910 fps Muzzle Velocity with the 147gr ELD Match bullet. That’s not very impressive. Why go to the trouble when you can get those kind of velocities from a 6.5-284 with a standard bolt face? The 6.5 PRC requires a magnum bolt face. Moreover, the 6.5-284 is a barrel burner. The 6.5 PRC surely promises to be likewise.

Now, to be fair, with handloads, we expect you’d see meaningful speed gains with the 6.5 PRC compared to the 6.5-284. Also it may work better than a 6.5-284 in a short-action magazine — that may be what Hornady is thinking…

The .300 PRC — A Longer Version of the 300 Ruger Compact Magnum
The 300 PRC seems to be more a hunting cartridge than a cartridge for tactical games. Talking about this cartridge, Hornady states it would be an “excellent choice… for hunting applications” as well as “long-range precision shooting”. Inspired by the 300 Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM), the 300 PRC has a longer case body (2.580″) compared to the 300 RCM (2.100″), for more case capacity. That gives it the ability to push big .30-caliber bullets at higher velocities. But honestly, there are many other well-established Magnum hunting cartridge, so we doubt the .300 PRC is going to become popular among the hunting crowd. Time will tell however.

Hornady 6.5 Precison Rifle Cartridge SAAMI blueprint 300 PRC

“Both the 6.5 PRC and the 300 PRC are multi-functional cartridges that are excellent choices for target and match shooting as well as hunting applications,” said Joe Thielen, Hornady’s Assistant Director of Engineering. “The primary focus of the design of both the 6.5 PRC and the 300 PRC has always been long-range precision shooting.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, News 5 Comments »
October 21st, 2017

New Hornady 6.5 PRC — Precision Rifle Cartridge

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

Hornady has introduced a new Short Magnum cartridge, the 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge). This will be offered as factory ammo in both a “Match” version (with 147gr ELD) and a “Precision Hunter” version (with 143gr ELD-X bullet). Presumably, in the future, Hornady will offer 6.5 PRC brass separately for hand-loaders, but Hornady has no time-line for brass availability. However, you can get 6.5 PRC brass right now from GA Precision at $86.00 per 100 cases. GA Precision’s George Gardner, who helped develop this cartridge, has posted: “It’s a non-rebated short mag based on a short RCM [Ruger Compact Magnum] case. It has 3-4 grains less capacity than the 6.5 SAUM which nets about 30-50 fps deficit to the SAUM.”

The 6.5 PRC Match seems to be aimed at the PRS crowd and long-range tactical shooters. The product launch photo shows a tactical rifle and steel plate. Hornady says the 6.5 PRC was “designed to achieve the highest levels of accuracy, flat trajectory, and extended range performance in a sensibly-designed compact package. Utilizing moderate powder charges that result in repeatable accuracy, low recoil, and reasonable barrel life, the 6.5 PRC produces high velocities for target shooting with performance well beyond 1000 yards.”

“High Velocities”? Wait a minute — here’s the ballistics chart from Hornady’s 6.5 PRC page. It shows a muzzle velocity of 2910 FPS. That’s not much better than a 6.5 Creedmoor (which can push 140s over 2800 fps), so we wonder about this. You have to ask — what is the point? Is there anything this 6.5 PRC can do that the venerable 6.5-284 can’t do just as well or better — with a standard bolt face?

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge Hunter ELD-X

New 6.5 PRC Is a Short Magnum Requiring Magnum Bolt Face
Dubbed the “big brother” to the 6.5 Creedmoor, the 6.5 PRC fits in short or medium actions with a standard magnum bolt face (.532”). The case geometry features a long cartridge case neck and 30-degree case shoulder. It sort of looks like a 6.5 Creedmoor on steroids. For its loaded 6.5 PRC Match Ammo, Hornady is showing a 2910 fps Muzzle Velocity with the 147gr ELD Match bullet. That’s not very impressive. Why go to the trouble?

Comment — Does This New 6.5 PRC Cartridge Fill a Need?
Honestly, we don’t get this. If you need more speed than a 6.5 Creedmoor and want to stick with a .264-diameter bullet, then shoot a .260 Rem or 6.5-284 using a standard bolt. This requires a magnum bolt face. The 6.5-284 is a barrel burner; the 6.5 PRC promises to be likewise. On the other hand it may work better than a 6.5-284 in a short-action magazine — that may be what Hornady is thinking…

The 6.5 PRC clearly seems to be targeted at the PRS crowd. But we see many top PRS competitors moving DOWN in cartridge size, rather than up. Many PRS guys have stepped down from the 6.5 Creedmoor to the 6mm Creedmoor, or even a 6mm Dasher. The benefit is less recoil, and cheaper bullets. Are there really many PRS shooters clamoring for a short magnum? We don’t think so.

We’ll see if this new 6.5 PRC cartridge catches on — maybe some PRS guys will want this for long-range side matches. Rifle makers currently chambering the 6.5 PRC include GA Precision, Gunwerks, PROOF Research, Stuteville Precision and Seekins Precision.

6.5 PRC Ammunition for Hunters — Also New for 2018
Hornady will also sell a version of 6.5 PRC ammo design for hunters. The Precision Hunter version, shown below, is loaded with the 143-grain ELD-X Bullet. Again, however, we really don’t know why any hunter would want to shoot this cartridge, when you already have so many good choices, such as the 6.5x55mm Swede, and the original .284 Winchester, both of which can use a standard bolt face.

Hornady 6.5 PRC Precision Rifle Cartridge

If you have a hunting rifle with a magnum-size bolt, why not shoot the 7mm RSAUM or 7mm WSM? Barrel life is not really an issue for hunters, so the smaller case capacity of the 6.5 PRC is not really an advantage. Perhaps the veteran hunters among our readers can enlighten us, using the comments section. Would you build a hunting rifle chambered for the 6.5 PRC?

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product, Tactical 71 Comments »