In a comparison of the 300 RUM (Remington Ultra Magnum) and the 300 PRC (Precision Rifle Cartridge), it should be noted first that these two very popular cartridges were developed for a very different purpose.
While you can shoot a very long way with a 300 RUM, the 300 PRC is a round designed specifically for long range shooting.
The 300 RUM is a hunter’s cartridge, designed to take down big game like deer, elk, moose, caribou, and deer at medium to long range. The 300 PRC is a round developed specifically for the long range shooting enthusiast.
Hornady introduced the 300 PRC to fill a niche in the market demanded by long range shooters.
Be aware, the requirements of a stationary, long range shooter, targeted in carefully at long range against steel targets are vastly different than those of the big game hunter who must make split second decisions about wind, range, trajectory, and angle before attempting what a long range shooter would consider a close shot at Big Horn sheep, moose, elk or mule deer over a quarter-mile in the distance.
The 300 PRC, a novice on the scene
The 300 Precision Rifle Cartridge was introduced by Hornady in 2018. Hornady relates that this niche cartridge was designed exclusively for long range shooting.
The aerodynamic design of the bullet is created to battle wind shear, drop over distance, and deliver a highly accurate heavy bullet at targets at 1000 yards, or more distance.
The .30 caliber realm is rife with dozens of calibers of various sizes, lengths, and such a wide variety of ballistic information that they make your head spin.
The 300 Magnum is one of those rounds. The 300 PRC is slightly different than many other calibers which descend from the British .303 of World War I fame to the .30-06, the most popular big game hunting caliber of the first half of the 20th century, and the round that won World War I in the Springfield bolt-action rifle, and World War II with the venerable, legendary, M1 Garand.
The 300 PRC’s ancestor is the powerful .375 Ruger, a big game round renowned on African safaris, but useful for large North American big game as well.
Hornady took the .375 Ruger and necked it down to fit the .300 Win Mag. The PRC has a very long head length that may not fit in a standard action rifle. The 3.7-inch length is long, too long for some .300 Win Mag rifles.
That length represents a higher powder charge, and as we all know, more powder with the same size bullet equates to a higher muzzle velocity, more range, more energy over distance, and theoretically, at least in the hands of an expert marksman, greater accuracy over a greater distance.
Since the 300 PRC is descended from the Ruger .375, it is a beltless cartridge, with a case diameter larger than the .375 H&H that the .300 Win Mag and its distant cousin, the 7mm Rem Mag descended from.
That means a greater case capacity since the diameter of the cartridge is a mathematically greater factor than the length in determining the power charge in a shell casing.
Claims are that the .300 PRC shoots farther, but how often can you hit a target at long distance if you can’t purchase the ammunition?
The .300 PRC ammunition is often scarce. In a world of limited ammunition availability, a round like the .300 PRC is exceedingly difficult to find. The .300 RUM has a much higher availability, and we’ll look at that cartridge in detail next.
The .300 RUM
The thought of a short action cartridge, with extremely high power filled the imaginations of shooters and designers alike in the early 1990s. The result was the .300 Remington Ultra Magnum that hit the retail shelves in 1999.
The .300 RUM (or ultra mag) was a specially modified .404 Jeffery case necked down so it could use .308 bullets. The case is longer than the PRC at 2.845 inches but remained a popular cartridge with big game hunters due to its tremendous energy over distance.
The .300 RUM uses a beltless cartridge, allowing for a 30 degree shoulder. The increased headspace still packs in enough charge to make the .300 Win Mag a great choice for bison, moose, elk, or other huge North American game.
The cartridge length of 3.6inches makes it slightly larger than its rivals, the .308. 7mm Remington Magnum and its sister cartridge the .300 Win Mag. The extra size of the shell casing limits the cartridge to magnum instead of long, and standard length action rifles.
.300 Remington Ultra Mag cartridges are much more available than its rival PRC. The .300 RUM is becoming a more standard hunting platform across the USA, not as popular yet as the .30-06, .308, or .270 but it has a growing market.
The ability to extend range beyond the three traditional competing rounds, and deliver that range with more power makes this a popular model for long range hunting enthusiasts.
It should be clearly noted, that this long range comes at the expense of much greater recoil. The recoil is substantial and may limit the use of this cartridge by some shooters and hunters.
.300 PRC vs. .300 RUM Comparison Chart
|Cartridge||Weight||Parent Case||Bullet Diameter||Cartridge Length||Case Length||Muzzle Velocity||Muzzle Energy|
|300 PRC||225||375 Ruger||.308||3.7||2.58||2810||3945|
|300 PRC||212||375 Ruger||.308||3.7||2.58||2860||3850|
|300 RUM||150||.404 Jeffery||.308||3.6||2.85||3450||3250|
|300 RUM||210||.404 Jeffery||.308||3.6||2.85||2920||3975|
Hunting vs Target Shooting
Determining what you plan to use your rifle for will help decide whether the more available .300 RUM or the .300 PRC is to your liking.
The .300 PRC has the largest bullet between the two cartridges at 225 grain. Larger bullets with similar powder charges usually deliver more energy, but the .300 RUM with a slightly faster muzzle velocity in a slightly smaller 210 grain bullet delivers more muzzle energy than the 225 grain PRC, though the difference is minimal, 3975 for the .300 RUM and 3945 for the .300 PRC.
The 212 grain bullet available in the .300 PRC is in the ballpark at 3850 foot pounds of energy, only the smaller 150 grain .300 RUM has substantial lower energy ratings.
The 150 grain RUM bullet flies out the quickest in terms of muzzle velocity at 3450 feet per second but the smaller mass of the bullet delivers smaller energy at 3250 foot pounds.
What does this mean to you while nestled behind a pile of sandbags on a shooting bench or kneeling on a windy hilltop sighting in on a distant elk? It means accuracy in a controlled setting versus accuracy in the unpredictable conditions in the wild.
Match shooting is a controlled environment, an environment the .300 PRC was specifically designed for. The ballistics of the two cartridges are similar, but the composition of the .300 PRC is considered by some enthusiasts to be a better choice for long range match shooting.
When you’re targeting steel from a lead sled, off a tripod, or from a bench, the slightest advantage is worth the effort. If you discover the .300 PRC gets you more shots on target at long range, it may justify the higher cost of the cartridge and the frustration of an unstable supply.
If you are a hunter, and simply want to deliver a single kill shot on a large animal at distances over 400 yards, the .300 RUM has delivered that ability for over two decades now. The .300 RUM remains a favorite of long distance shooters as well, but the success in taking elk, moose, and even bison with the .300 RUM speaks for itself.
These two cartridges are similar in performance, very similar. They both handle wind drift well up to 400 yards, even in heavy crosswinds, and in the hands of a skilled marksman, they are deadly effective at long range.
The .300 RUM was introduced as a high powered big game cartridge and it has delivered on the expectations since its introduction in 1999. With over two decades of actual field experience, it is an established, respected cartridge in both the world of long distance target shooting and big game hunting.
The .300 PRC doesn’t have the track record yet, though early indications from target shooters are that is a quality cartridge, worth the extra price and difficulty in purchasing.
If it gives a shooter even the slightest edge in long distance competitions, then it is worth the extra effort.