Best 7mm PRC Ammo For Hunting Elk, Deer, Bear, & Other Game

Released in 2023, the brand new 7mm Precision Rifle Cartridge (sometimes known as the 7mm Hornady PRC or 7mm PRC) is a 7mm magnum cartridge specifically designed to provide a high level of accuracy, great resistance to wind deflection, moderate recoil, and outstanding performance at extended range.

Designed from the start to use heavy for caliber, extremely aerodynamic bullets that deliver excellent performance at long range, the 7 mm Precision Rifle Cartridge generated a lot of buzz straight out of the gate and has rapidly caught on with the hunting community. Indeed, the 7mm PRC may be the most rapidly adopted new cartridge in the last 100 years.

The cartridge uses a standard long action case length and is designed for use in rifles with a pretty fast 1:8″ rifling twist rate. For this reason, it excels when using exceptionally long, high BC, heavy-for-caliber bullets. Specifically, the cartridge is capable of firing long, sleek, & heavy 175 grain and 180 grain lead core bullets as well as 160 grain copper alloy bullets.

The end result is a flat shooting, hard hitting, and wind bucking 7mm magnum cartridge optimized for long-range shooting. Not only is the cartridge great for punching paper and banging steel at long distances, but the 7mm PRC is capable of delivering the goods on game ranging from deer up to elk and moose at longer ranges.

These factors have helped the 7mm PRC become such an incredibly popular centerfire rifle cartridge in such a short time.

Furthermore, the 7 mm PRC cartridge is also optimized for use with a 24-inch barrel (instead of the 26-inch barrel many similar cartridges utilize).

Indeed, the 7mm PRC compares favorably to many other 7mm cartridges like the 7 mm Remington Magnum (7mm Mag), the 7mm Remington Ultra Magnum, the 7 mm Weatherby Magnum, the 7mm Shooting Times Westerner (7 mm STW), and the 28 Nosler in certain areas.

Unfortunately, Hornady is the only company that produces factory 7mm PRC ammunition at this point because it’s so new. However, that will change soon: Federal Premium has announced plans to add the 7mm PRC to their Terminal Ascent lineup. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other companies follow Federal’s lead here soon as well.

Fortunately, there is a decent (and growing) selection of 7mm PRC factory loads specifically designed for just almost any big game hunting situation in the United States or elsewhere in the world. So, regardless of whether you’re using a bolt action a Christensen Arms Ridgeline, a Mossberg Patriot Predator, a Ruger American Hunter, or one of the other 7mm PRC rifles available from other gun manufacturers, there is pretty much guaranteed to be something for everyone on the list below of the best 7mm PRC ammunition for hunting.

I provide recommendations for the best 7mm PRC ammo for hunting elk, deer, pronghorn, black bear, and all sorts of other big game in this article. I’ll also go over the strengths and weaknesses of each individual factory load and so you can select the right ammunition for your specific needs and desires to use on your next hunt.

Note: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase of rifle, handgun, rimfire, or shotgun ammunition through those links. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support.

Hornady Precision Hunter

picture of best 7mm prc ammo for hunting precision hunter

The 7mm PRC has an almost laser flat trajectory and excellent wind bucking characteristics, both of which are important for delivering excellent long-range performance. Not surprisingly, Hornady includes the 7mm PRC in their Precision Hunter line of factory ammo. As a matter of fact, this was one of the initial factory hunting ammo options for the cartridge.

Loaded with the incredibly aerodynamic Extremely Low Drag eXpanding (ELD-X) bullet, Hornady’s Precision Hunter line line is optimal for western hunters going after game like mule deer or pronghorn antelope who need the very best ammo for an extended long range hunting situation. Using a 175 grain ELD-X bullet with a Heat Shield Tip, that load is a very good 7 mm PRC ammo option for hunters wanting to maximize the extended range performance of the cartridge.

Hornady claims that Hornady Precision Hunter ammunition is held to the same accuracy standards as their Match ammunition and utilizes temperature stable propellants for the most consistent velocity possible. They also claim the ELD-X bullet has the best-in-class ballistic coefficients over their entire trajectory and that their Precision Hunter ammunition also offers match grade accuracy (usually sub-MOA).

Though the ELD-X does not have a bonded core like the Hornady InterBond, the ELD-X does feature a thicker jacket and the Hornady InterLock ring to help increase weight retention, control expansion, and minimize the chances of core-jacket separation. For this reason, the ELD-X is still devastating on deer and pronghorn sized game, but it’s also a much better choice than their SST bullet for use on larger game.

That said, the ELD-X is still a little too fragile for my tastes.

Many hunters use this exact ammunition on elk each year with a lot of success. Personally, I prefer a tougher bullet for elk sized game (like the Hornady CX also on this list) if a close range encounter is a possibility.

At very high impact velocities (like with a 50 yard chance encounter with an elk), it’s possible the 175 gr ELD-X bullet will expand too rapidly and not deliver adequate penetration to reach the vitals from some angles.

Don’t get me wrong: this is great 7mm PRC ammo and it has been both unfailingly reliable and amazingly accurate for me (I shot my best group out of my Christensen Arms Ridgeline FFT with the 175-grain ELD-X). I would not hesitate to use it on deer sized game at basically any reasonable range and I’d feel very comfortable using this ammunition on elk (or other really big game) at 200+ yards.

  • Bullet Type: Hornady Extremely Low Drag eXpanding
  • Bullet Weight: 175 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .689
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,000 feet per second (3,497 ft-lbs of muzzle energy)


Also Available at: Brownell’s, Cabela’s, MidwayUSA, Optics Planet, Sportsman’s Guide, and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Hornady Outfitter

picture of best 7mm prc ammo for hunting outfitter

Hornady introduced their new Outfitter line of ammunition a few years ago and they added the 7mm PRC cartridge to that lineup soon after releasing the new cartridge. Though there’s not a darn thing wrong with using it on a whitetail deer hunt at home, Hornady markets this 7mm PRC ammo specifically for use on guided hunts in really tough environments like a caribou or moose hunt in Alaska or a kudu hunt in South Africa.

While these aren’t especially heavy bullets by 7mm PRC standards, the 160 grain CX bullets used in this ammunition are extremely tough and are designed for controlled expansion, high weight retention, and deep penetration on large, heavy boned animals like elk and moose. This is high-quality ammunition that also uses nickel-plated case for reliable feeding and corrosion resistance under the most demanding conditions. The primers and case necks are also sealed.

With all those things in mind, it’s easy to see why Hornady advertises their Outfitter 7mm PRC ammo for use on a big hunt that’s the culmination of years of saving and planning. After all, when the chips are down on the hunt of a lifetime, the absolute last thing you need is for your ammo to fail at the moment of truth.

I personally think this load featuring the 160gr CX bullet is the best 7mm PRC ammo for elk, moose, or other really big game that’s currently available. I personally feel more comfortable relying on this ammunition than the Precision Hunter lineup to reliably deliver heavy hitting and deep penetrating performance on really big game at any reasonable range.

The CX bullet used in Hornady Outfitter ammunition is lead free, which makes this ammo a good choice for use in states like California. Indeed, this is the only lead free 7mm PRC ammo currently available as a factory load.

The 160gr CX bullet does not have as high of a BC as the 175gr ELD-X, but it’s still a very aerodynamic bullet. Indeed, with a G1 BC of .596, the 160gr CX has a higher BC than virtually every other lead free 7mm projectile currently available.

All in all, this loading featuring the 160-grain CX is my favorite 7mm PRC ammunition for use on virtually every species of game in North America as well as stuff like African plains game, red stag in New Zealand, etc.

Note: the CX bullet replaced the older GMX bullet from Hornady and is a tiny bit more aerodynamic, but retains the great terminal performance of the GMX.

  • Bullet Type: CX
  • Bullet Weight: 160 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .596
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,000 feet per second (3,197 ft-lbs of muzzle energy)


Also Available at: Brownell’s, MidwayUSA, & Sportsman’s Guide

Hornady ELD Match

picture of best 7mm prc ammo for hunting match

In addition to their Precision Hunter and Outfitter lineups, Hornady also initially launched the 7mm PRC in their Match line. The 7mm PRC Match offering uses a 180gr ELD Match bullet with an insanely high BC of .796. No, that’s not a typo: those 180-grain bullets have a doppler radar verified BC approaching .800!

This is the very definition of a high BC match bullet.

Just like you’d think from the name, Hornady Match ammunition is designed to deliver incredible aerodynamic performance at extreme range, very high levels of accuracy, and consistent muzzle velocity.

Realize that this ammunition is intended for use by target shooters instead of big-game hunters though.

Yes, this ammunition does use exceptionally long and heavy bullets, but they’re not designed for hunting. Some hunters have used the ELD Match bullet with success on deer and elk, but this projectile is not designed for reliable expansion on game.

Instead, these bullets occasionally have a nasty habit of either punching straight through animals without expanding at all, or “grenading” on impact.

I only mention this Hornady Match ammunition in this article because I know hunting ammunition options for the 7mm PRC are still pretty limited and because some hunters absolutely swear by the ELD Match bullets in general. I wouldn’t go hunting with Hornady Match 7mm PRC ammo myself, but realize it’s an option for those who can’t find anything else or who just insist on hunting with match ammunition.

Use this ammunition at your own risk for anything other than punching paper or banging steel though. Hunters wanting to use high BC bullets specifically designed for good terminal performance on game should go with the 175gr ELD-X mentioned earlier in this article.

  • Bullet Type: Hornady Extremely Low Drag Match
  • Bullet Weight: 180 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .796
  • Muzzle Velocity: 2,975 feet per second (3,439 foot-pounds of energy)


Also Available at: Brownell’s, Cabela’s, Lucky Gunner, MidwayUSA, Optics Planet, Sportsman’s Guide, and Sportsman’s Warehouse

Federal Premium ELD-X

picture of best 7mm prc ammo for hunting eld-x federal

Federal Premium started offering factory rifle ammunition loaded with Hornady’s ELD-X bullet in 2023. They currently offer several different chamberings in this ammunition line, to include one offering in 7mm PRC loaded with a 175gr ELD-X bullet.

This is the exact same bullet used in Hornady’s Precision Hunter 7mm PRC offering and the Federal load also has basically identical ballistics. As a result, this ammunition has the same strengths and weaknesses of the Hornady factory load: excellent accuracy potential, an almost laser flat trajectory, great resistance to wind deflection, and devastating performance on deer sized game on one hand, but with the possibility of excessive expansion at the expense of too little penetration with a close range shot on really big game on the other hand.

Like I said earlier, many hunters use the ELD-X bullet on elk each year with a lot of success. I just prefer a tougher bullet for elk sized game.

Just like I said with the Precision Hunter ammo, I personally would not hesitate to use this stuff on deer sized game at basically any reasonable range and I’d also feel comfortable using this ammunition on elk (or other really big game) at 200+ yards.

  • Bullet Type: Hornady Extremely Low Drag eXpanding
  • Bullet Weight: 175 grains
  • Ballistic Coefficient (G1): .689
  • Muzzle Velocity: 3,000 feet per second (3,497 ft-lbs of muzzle energy)


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