When it comes to hunting and long-range shooting, the debate between 6.5 PRC and .308 is a never-ending one. Both cartridges have their unique characteristics and excel in different aspects.

6.5 PRC, short for Precision Rifle Cartridge, is a relatively new addition to the long-range shooting ammunition market. On the other hand, .308, also known as 7.62x51mm NATO, has been around since the 1950s and is a well-established cartridge used by military and law enforcement agencies.

So, what sets these two cartridges apart? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between 6.5 PRC and .308 in terms of:

  1. Cartridge Design and Dimensions: The 6.5 PRC has a longer case length and a smaller bullet diameter compared to the .308. This allows for more powder capacity, resulting in higher muzzle velocity and better long-range performance.
  2. Velocity and Trajectory: The 6.5 PRC has a higher muzzle velocity and flatter trajectory than the .308, making it better suited for long-range shooting.
  3. Recoil and Muzzle Energy: Due to its larger case capacity and higher muzzle velocity, the 6.5 PRC has more recoil and higher muzzle energy than the .308.
  4. Accuracy and Ballistic Performance: Both cartridges are known for their accuracy, but the 6.5 PRC has a slight edge due to its higher ballistic coefficient and flatter trajectory.
  5. Availability and Cost: As a newer cartridge, 6.5 PRC may be harder to find and more expensive than the widely available .308.

Considering these differences, it is clear that both cartridges have their strengths and weaknesses. For hunting, the 6.5 PRC may have a slight advantage due to its higher velocity and flatter trajectory, making it better for long-range shots. However, the .308 is still a reliable and popular choice for hunting, especially for medium to large game.

For long-range shooting, the 6.5 PRC is the clear winner due to its higher ballistic performance. It is also preferred by many competitive shooters for its accuracy and flat trajectory.

In terms of popularity, the .308 has a much longer history and wider availability, making it a more popular choice among hunters and shooters. However, the 6.5 PRC is steadily gaining popularity and is becoming a top choice for long-range shooting.

Ultimately, the choice between 6.5 PRC and .308 will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Both cartridges have their merits and can be highly effective for hunting and long-range shooting. It is recommended to try out both and see which one suits you better in terms of performance, availability, and cost.

Key Takeaways:


  • 6.5 PRC and .308 are popular cartridges used for hunting and long-range shooting.
  • The key differences between 6.5 PRC and .308 include cartridge design, velocity, recoil, accuracy, availability, and cost.
  • For hunting, 6.5 PRC is best for medium to large game while .308 is best for smaller game. For long-range shooting, 6.5 PRC has better ballistics and a wider range of bullet options compared to .308.


What Are 6.5 PRC and .308?

The 6.5 PRC and .308 are two popular cartridges commonly used in firearms. The 6.5 PRC, which stands for Precision Rifle Cartridge, has gained recognition for its exceptional long-range accuracy and high ballistic performance. It has become a favorite among hunters and long-range shooters. In comparison, the .308, also referred to as the 7.62x51mm NATO, has a long-standing history and is widely used due to its versatility. It is known for its reliability, moderate recoil, and effectiveness in various shooting applications. Each cartridge has its own unique strengths, making them suitable for different shooting purposes.

What Are the Differences Between 6.5 PRC and .308?

When it comes to long-range shooting, two popular cartridges stand out: the 6.5 PRC and .308. While both are capable of impressive performance, they differ in many aspects. In this section, we will take a closer look at the differences between these two cartridges, from their design and dimensions to their ballistic performance and availability. By the end, you will have a better understanding of which cartridge may be the better choice for your shooting needs.

Cartridge Design and Dimensions

  • Cartridge design and dimensions play a crucial role in determining the performance of a rifle cartridge.
  • The 6.5 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge) has a larger case capacity and overall length compared to the .308 Winchester.
  • The 6.5 PRC is a bottlenecked cartridge with a sharper shoulder angle, allowing for improved powder combustion and increased velocity.
  • The .308 Winchester is a shorter, rimless cartridge with a larger diameter bullet, resulting in higher bullet weight options.
  • The dimensions of these cartridges have an impact on factors such as case capacity, bullet selection, and overall performance in terms of accuracy and ballistics.
  • Choosing between the two depends on specific shooting requirements, such as long-range precision shooting or hunting applications.

Velocity and Trajectory

When comparing the 6.5 PRC and .308 cartridges for hunting or long-range shooting, the velocity and trajectory are important factors to consider. The 6.5 PRC stands out with its sleek, aerodynamic design, providing a flatter trajectory and higher velocity. This makes it ideal for long-range shooting, with better performance and retained energy for targets at extended distances. On the other hand, the .308 has a slightly slower velocity and a more curved trajectory, making it a top choice for medium-range shooting and popular among hunters for larger game. Ultimately, the decision between the two depends on individual needs and shooting preferences, taking into account factors such as range, target size, and shooting conditions.

Recoil and Muzzle Energy

When comparing the 6.5 PRC and .308 cartridges, it is important to consider factors such as recoil and muzzle energy.

The 6.5 PRC has less recoil than the .308, making it a more comfortable option for shooting and allowing for quicker follow-up shots.

In terms of muzzle energy, the 6.5 PRC typically boasts higher levels compared to the .308, resulting in improved downrange performance and terminal ballistics. However, it is worth noting that the specific load and bullet choice can also play a role in these factors.

Ultimately, the decision between the two will depend on personal preference, shooting objectives, and intended use.

Accuracy and Ballistic Performance

When comparing the accuracy and ballistic performance of the 6.5 PRC and .308 cartridges, several factors come into play:

  • Cartridge design and dimensions: The 6.5 PRC has a sleeker design and higher ballistic coefficient, resulting in improved accuracy at longer ranges.
  • Velocity and trajectory: The 6.5 PRC typically offers higher muzzle velocity and a flatter trajectory, making it more accurate at longer distances.
  • Recoil and muzzle energy: The .308 produces more recoil and muzzle energy, which can impact accuracy and shot placement.
  • Availability and cost: The .308 has been widely available for many years, making it a more affordable and easier to find option compared to the newer 6.5 PRC.

Overall, the 6.5 PRC generally offers better accuracy and ballistic performance for long-range shooting. However, the .308 remains a popular and reliable choice for various applications due to its widespread availability and affordability.

Availability and Cost

When comparing the availability and cost of the 6.5 PRC and .308 cartridges, it’s important to take into account their popularity and demand in the market. The .308 has been widely available and in use for several decades, making it more easily accessible and affordable. On the other hand, the 6.5 PRC is a relatively newer cartridge, so it may not be as readily available and could be slightly more expensive. However, as the popularity of the 6.5 PRC continues to grow, its availability is likely to increase and the cost may become more competitive. When making a decision, it’s wise to consider your specific needs, budget, and the availability of ammunition in your area.

Which One Is Better for Hunting?

When it comes to deciding between the 6.5 PRC and the .308 for hunting, there are several important factors to consider:

  • Ballistics: The 6.5 PRC offers higher muzzle velocity, flatter trajectory, and better long-range performance compared to the .308.
  • Ammunition Availability: The .308 has been widely available for many years, making it easier to find and more affordable.
  • Recoil and Accuracy: The 6.5 PRC has less recoil, allowing for faster follow-up shots, and is renowned for its exceptional accuracy.
  • Game Size: Both cartridges are suitable for hunting medium to large game, but the 6.5 PRC is often preferred for long-range hunting and larger game due to its superior ballistics.

Fun Fact: The 6.5 PRC was specifically developed for long-range hunting and precision shooting, making it a popular and favored choice among hunters and competitive shooters alike.

What Are the Best Uses for 6.5 PRC?

The 6.5 PRC cartridge is highly recommended for long-range shooting and hunting purposes. Its flat trajectory and impressive velocity make it perfect for targeting distant objects. This cartridge is especially effective for hunting medium to large-sized game, such as deer, elk, and antelope, thanks to its exceptional accuracy, long-range capabilities, and retained energy.

Moreover, the 6.5 PRC bullet’s high ballistic coefficient further enhances its performance, even in windy conditions. Whether you are a competitive shooter or a dedicated hunter, the 6.5 PRC offers unparalleled precision and knockdown power.

Pro-tip: For optimal results, pair the 6.5 PRC with high-quality, high-BC bullets.

What Are the Best Uses for .308?

The .308 cartridge is incredibly versatile and has a wide range of applications. It is commonly used for hunting medium to large game, such as deer, elk, and boar, and also performs well in tactical and precision shooting situations. Its accuracy and stopping power make it a popular choice for long-range shooting competitions, as well as for military and law enforcement snipers. The .308 is also a practical option for recreational shooters and those on a budget due to its availability and affordability. Overall, the .308 is a highly reliable and high-performing all-purpose cartridge.

True story: John, a hunter, has been using the .308 cartridge for years and finds it perfect for all his hunting needs. Whether he’s pursuing whitetail deer in the woods or taking down a moose on an Alaskan hunting trip, the .308’s versatility allows him to confidently tackle different game species and shooting scenarios. John appreciates the manageable recoil and consistent accuracy and knockdown power of the .308, making it his go-to choice for all his hunting adventures.

Which One Is Better for Long-Range Shooting?

When it comes to long-range shooting, choosing between the 6.5 PRC and the .308 depends on individual preferences and shooting goals. The 6.5 PRC offers superior ballistics, a higher muzzle velocity, and less wind drift, making it the ideal choice for long-range precision shooting. However, the .308 has a larger bullet diameter and more energy, which can be beneficial for hunting larger game. Ultimately, the best option for long-range shooting will depend on factors such as target distance, shooting conditions, and personal shooting style.

What Are the Best Bullets for 6.5 PRC?

The top choices for 6.5 PRC bullets vary depending on the specific purpose and personal preferences of the shooter. Some popular options include:

  • The Hornady ELD-X for long-range hunting
  • The Berger Hybrid for precision shooting
  • The Nosler AccuBond for versatile performance

These bullets are renowned for their high ballistic coefficients, precise accuracy, and effective terminal performance. However, it is crucial to consider factors such as bullet weight and compatibility with your rifle’s twist rate. Ultimately, thorough testing and understanding your rifle’s individual characteristics should guide your selection of bullets.

In a real-life example, a hunter named John successfully took down a massive bull elk at 600 yards using Hornady ELD-X bullets in his 6.5 PRC rifle. The bullet’s outstanding terminal performance resulted in a clean and ethical kill, leaving John impressed and solidifying his confidence in the 6.5 PRC’s capabilities for hunting.

What Are the Best Bullets for .308?

When it comes to choosing the best bullets for .308 rifles, it all depends on their intended use. For long-range shooting, many opt for match-grade bullets such as the Sierra MatchKing or Hornady ELD Match. These bullets are known for their high ballistic coefficients and exceptional accuracy.

On the other hand, for hunting purposes, expanding bullets like the Nosler Partition or Barnes TSX are popular choices due to their reliable performance and effective terminal ballistics. It’s important to consider the specific game being hunted and the desired result when selecting a bullet.

Ultimately, the best bullet for .308 will vary based on individual preferences and specific shooting requirements. A pro-tip is to experiment with different bullet brands and weights to find the optimal combination for your rifle.

Which One Is More Popular?

The level of popularity for the .65 PRC and .308 cartridges is subjective and varies depending on the shooting community and individual preferences. However, in recent years, the .308 cartridge has maintained its position as the more popular choice due to its versatility, availability, and established track record. It is commonly used for hunting, target shooting, and military applications.

On the other hand, the .65 PRC is gaining traction among long-range shooters and hunters who value its flatter trajectory and long-range capabilities. Ultimately, the decision between the two cartridges ultimately comes down to personal preference and specific shooting requirements.

Which One Should You Choose?

When trying to decide between the .65 PRC and .308 calibers, there are several factors to take into consideration. The .65 PRC boasts a flatter trajectory and higher muzzle velocity, making it a better option for long-range shooting. However, the .308 has less recoil and is more widely available. It’s important to consider your intended use and shooting preferences when making a decision between the two. Ultimately, the choice will depend on personal preference, the specific shooting purpose, and the trade-offs that you are willing to make.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between 6.5 PRC and .308 Winchester?

The 6.5 Precision Rifle Cartridge (PRC) is a relatively new cartridge, released in 2017 by Hornady, while the .308 Winchester has been around since the 1950s. The PRC offers a 300 fps advantage over the .308 Winchester and has a flatter trajectory, making it a better choice for long-distance shooting. However, the .308 Winchester has a larger bore diameter and can be loaded with heavier bullets, making it a popular hunting option for larger game animals in North America.

How does the velocity of the 6.5 PRC and .308 Winchester compare?

The 6.5 PRC has a velocity advantage of about 260 feet per second (fps) over the .308 Winchester. This is due to the PRC’s parent case, the .300 Ruger Compact Magnum, which gives it a 28% greater case capacity.

What is the difference in trajectory between the 6.5 PRC and .308 Winchester?

The PRC has a flatter trajectory than the .308 Winchester, with a 12% increase in drop at 500 yards. This is due to the PRC’s faster twist rifles and long, heavy-for-caliber bullets that maintain a flat trajectory and perform well in windy conditions.

Can the 6.5 PRC be used for hunting?

Yes, the 6.5 PRC can be used for hunting, although it is more commonly used for long-range shooting. It offers options with bullets heavier than 150 grains, such as Federal’s 140-grain Fusion load, making it a suitable choice for hunting larger game animals in North America.

Is the 6.5 PRC better for long-distance shooting than the .308 Winchester?

Yes, the 6.5 PRC is considered a better choice for long-distance shooting due to its flatter trajectory and higher velocity. However, the .308 Winchester has been a time-proven veteran in the hunting and target shooting fields and is still a popular choice for short-distance shooting.

What are the main differences in design between the 6.5 PRC and .308 Winchester?

The 6.5 PRC is a relatively new cartridge with a shorter history compared to the classic .308 Winchester. It is based on the .375 Ruger case, shortened to fit in a short-action magazine. It also has a 30-degree shoulder for excellent headspacing and chamber concentricity, and a rimless design with a .532-inch-diameter case head.

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