6.5 PRC vs 243AI

Ridenemwild

Private
Minuteman
Jan 20, 2019
26
8
6
Looking to rebarrel my rem700 short action and split between the 243AI and the 6.5PRC. It will be my kinda do all gun. Some varmints, some deer hunting, some target. I know the 6.5PRC is kinda the new thing and has to have a magnum bolt but have also seen alot of guys running them in medium length actions. Will the short action hold it back? Will the short action hold the 243AI back?
 

DJL2

Talon 6
Belligerents
Minuteman
Oct 16, 2013
257
112
49
Georgia
Those are two pretty different options. My opinion is that either of those deserves an XM/med action for full potential (i.e. seating heavy bullets long without impinging on powder volume). That's not necessarily the case...but, I digress.

I'm not sure what size deer you intend to hunt or at what ranges - the 6.5 will undoubtedly be the more flexible cartridge in that role, though for a lot of the deer that can be hunted and the way they are hunted, 6mm is enough. For varmints, targets, plinking, the 6mm will be the lower recoiling choice.

That's my take - the 6mm is better at 75% of what you wanna do, and likely "OK" for the hunting you specify. Personally, I'm a 6.5mm guy...and would argue that you don't really need the PRC over the CM for a GP rig. You can also ring it out in a "true" short action.
 

Steel head

Feral kitten
Belligerents
Aug 3, 2014
5,782
7,078
219
Washington
I’d go 6.5PRC.
you absolutely could run it in a short action.
I run a 7mm short magnum in a short action happily.
 

Kimber.204

Sergeant of the Hide
Belligerents
May 30, 2017
260
132
49
Pittsburgh, PA
My opinion is that either of those deserves an XM/med action for full potential (i.e. seating heavy bullets long without impinging on powder volume).
I agree with this statement. I have a couple 6mm Comp Match rifles (close enough to the 243AI). The reamer that was used is for the 105gr Hybrids and it seats the 115gr DTAC's well into the case, but they fit in the magazine. It shoot them very well, with no donuts...so I'm not complaining, I'm just stating.

I was just thinking about this same question the other day. I don't use one of my 6Comp Match barrels very often, and I thought about chopping it down and using it as a woods rifle. But I've been interested in a 6.5PRC since they came out. I don't hunt as much as I used to, and being able to buy factory ammo for the 6.5PRC is a benefit. Plus, for me, I've got varmint guns stacked pretty deep in the safe, I would prefer something with a little heavier bullet for deer or an black bear.

So, as usual, it all depends.....which of those things is most important to you regarding caliber....but yes, you could run either successfully in a short action if configured correctly.

Good luck.
Ross
 

steve101610

Private
Minuteman
Jan 13, 2019
12
4
6
Why not 6mm creedmoor? Better ammo availability and excellent brass for it. Also works great in a short action. I am pushing the 110 smk at 3075fps in a 26” barrel.
 

Ridenemwild

Private
Minuteman
Jan 20, 2019
26
8
6
So the reason I was looking at those 2 are the rifle is currently chambered in 243win and works fairly well for what I want it to do. But with looking at a rebarrel in the near future was really wanting to get more performance. I do like the fact that you can shoot factory 243 in the AI which I can find everywhere and then reload as I see fit. (Also dont have to feel like i have lost a child anytime I loose a piece of brass). But would really like to run the heavier bullets for deer hunting. I live down south so the body size on our deer aren't huge, most does are around 100lbs live weight. I also do alot of predator control so like the lighter bullets as well.

The 6.5 PRC would be a fairly big step up in power from standard 243 so would do better for deer hunting but factory ammo is hard to find down here at the moment and would probably have to hand load the lighter bullets for predators.

Either would be fine for the small amount of target shooting that I do.

I have strongly considered the 6cm but once again local ammo is scarce to non existent. And I dont know how much more performance I would gain over 243win.
 

fdkay

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 27, 2009
4,501
1,070
219
57
Ingleside, Tx
.243 AI is a very good cartridge with very short barrel life. A straight .243 is a barrel burner, making it even more overboard means you might as well buy two barrels and have them chambered and headspace at the same time.
 

Ridenemwild

Private
Minuteman
Jan 20, 2019
26
8
6
Barrel life is not a huge concern for me. I shoot about 200rds a year and most of that is hunting situations so few long strings of fire to really heat a barrel up.
 

fdkay

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 27, 2009
4,501
1,070
219
57
Ingleside, Tx
Barrel life is not a huge concern for me. I shoot about 200rds a year and most of that is hunting situations so few long strings of fire to really heat a barrel up.
If you don't mind fireforming etc..., just remember that fireforming costs barrel life as well.
There is also the .260 AI, it will give you similar performance to the PRC (just short if it), you can use the same bolt face you have now.
Kind of gives you the benefits of both.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fiveshotdot

Ridenemwild

Private
Minuteman
Jan 20, 2019
26
8
6
Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't shooting factory ammo give me enough accuracy for predators and then have formed brass for reloading for deer hunting and targets?
 
  • Like
Reactions: iceng

Long Range 338

Professional Ammo Waster
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Jul 10, 2012
1,388
1,001
219
Out West
I grew up shooting mule deer and elk with a 6mm Rem. I wasn’t trying to do it at longer ranges however. The 6mm’s have plenty of power but you must consider bullet weight, bullet construction, and shot placement.
 

Ridenemwild

Private
Minuteman
Jan 20, 2019
26
8
6
The 6mm’s have plenty of power but you must consider bullet weight, bullet construction, and shot placement.
I agree 100%. Kinda the thinking with the 243AI. Really good 6mm bullets out there and being able to drive them alittle faster would always be a good thing.
 

iceng

Private
Minuteman
Sep 2, 2017
74
53
24
.243 AI is a very good cartridge with very short barrel life. A straight .243 is a barrel burner, making it even more overboard means you might as well buy two barrels and have them chambered and headspace at the same time.
I disagree. I shot a 243ai in PRS all last year, I got 2992 round count out of it, and it only started to die around the 2400mark. I shot it all the way to finale and still placed reasonably. Yes it hurt me because of some fliers and bad velo, but it was able to still shoot sub moa. It was a sub half gun with multiple people shooting it until the 2400 where it slowly opened up, and my ES / SD went to crap.

23" barrel, 7 twist, 105gr nosler @ 2806 fps. Lapua 308 Palma brass necked down and turned, so I had small primers.
 

sierracharlie338

Sergeant
Belligerents
Mar 12, 2013
1,065
388
189
Republic of Texas (Houston)
Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't shooting factory ammo give me enough accuracy for predators and then have formed brass for reloading for deer hunting and targets?
The way I understand it, yes POTENTIALLY you could see good accuracy but the other side of it is after you fire form the brass it’s normally recommended that brass be annealed due to the amount of movement from fire forming.

Personally for what you are describing I’d go PRC to avoid all the fire forming. Ammo selection isn’t too bad either. I have heard from a couple smiths that if you want to “get the most” out of the PRC by hand loading the medium action is a better BUT not necessary.
 

6brshooter

Sergeant
Belligerents
Oct 2, 2012
1,867
627
219
Illinois
.243 AI is a very good cartridge with very short barrel life. A straight .243 is a barrel burner, making it even more overboard means you might as well buy two barrels and have them chambered and headspace at the same time.
Lol not horrible burners. I got 2500ish in one 243, sold a 243ai with 1300rds on it to a buddy. Hes put another 300 on it and it still shoots good. If 6.5prc has similar barrel life as 6.5-284, it will be as bad or worse than 243ai.
 

b6graham

MMPRL
Belligerents
Jul 29, 2014
3,786
2,972
219
It depends how you run it. If you're doing a 243 at 2800 or 2900 then lol get a 6BR

If you're mainly hunting and some target I'd choose 6.5PRC all day. Great factory and semi custom ammo options and its meant to shoot the 'heavy for caliber' bullets
 

fdkay

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 27, 2009
4,501
1,070
219
57
Ingleside, Tx
I disagree. I shot a 243ai in PRS all last year, I got 2992 round count out of it, and it only started to die around the 2400mark. I shot it all the way to finale and still placed reasonably. Yes it hurt me because of some fliers and bad velo, but it was able to still shoot sub moa. It was a sub half gun with multiple people shooting it until the 2400 where it slowly opened up, and my ES / SD went to crap.

23" barrel, 7 twist, 105gr nosler @ 2806 fps. Lapua 308 Palma brass necked down and turned, so I had small primers.
That's a pretty pedestrian load, most folks would likely run it harder, as the idea is typically to gain velocity when you AI a cartridge. Folks have been getting 3000 fps with a 105 in a straight .243. Not surprising your barrel lasted as you could easily have gotten another 300 fps.
 

fdkay

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Nov 27, 2009
4,501
1,070
219
57
Ingleside, Tx
Lol not horrible burners. I got 2500ish in one 243, sold a 243ai with 1300rds on it to a buddy. Hes put another 300 on it and it still shoots good. If 6.5prc has similar barrel life as 6.5-284, it will be as bad or worse than 243ai.
2500 isn't terrible, but when a .308 is capable of 6000 plus, it begins to sound like it's hard on barrels.
 

iceng

Private
Minuteman
Sep 2, 2017
74
53
24
Correct me if I'm wrong but wouldn't shooting factory ammo give me enough accuracy for predators and then have formed brass for reloading for deer hunting and targets?
That's how I did it for 243ai. Did it during a PRS match too. 243 goes in, Ackley improved comes out.
 

Supersubes

Snafu
Belligerents
Sep 6, 2006
4,315
2,708
219
Rural Nevada
That's a pretty pedestrian load, most folks would likely run it harder, as the idea is typically to gain velocity when you AI a cartridge. Folks have been getting 3000 fps with a 105 in a straight .243. Not surprising your barrel lasted as you could easily have gotten another 300 fps.
I agree, that’s very slow for a standard creedmoor even.
 

iceng

Private
Minuteman
Sep 2, 2017
74
53
24
23" barrel. I sacrificed a bit. I found a good accuracy node @ 3158fps, for 105gr. I could have shot this, and had my barrel die at 1400ish rounds, possibly 1200. So what's the point ?

My opinion is this, Ackley improved can do 2 things. Run more powder for more velo, or run the same velo as the parent case for less powder, and less pressure.

If a 243 can launch a 105gr @ 2800fps with 43gr of powder, and the AI can do it with 41.5gr of powder, it's less pressure, less heat, and as a result, more barrel life.

Ackley is about increasing barrel life, not about increasing velo and killing your barrel quickly.

You want velo ? Get a 22 middlestead (which I had). Crazy good speeds, but you change your barrel as often as you change your magazine.

I've been running various AIs for the last 10 years or so. 338lapAI, 260remAI, 22-250AI, 243AI, and built many others from 6.5 obsession (6.5x55 swede AI) to 375 mini nitro (303-375british, ackley'd.)

I'm currently playing with a 6x45AI (6mm-223 AI). 80gr @ 2980fps. Virtually no recoil, easy to load, using it as a practice PRS gun for fun to see how the round works).
 
Last edited:

6brshooter

Sergeant
Belligerents
Oct 2, 2012
1,867
627
219
Illinois
23" barrel. I sacrificed a bit. I found a good accuracy node @ 3158fps, for 105gr. I could have shot this, and had my barrel die at 1400ish rounds, possibly 1200. So what's the point ?

My opinion is this, Ackley improved can do 2 things. Run more powder for more velo, or run the same velo as the parent case for less powder, and less pressure.

If a 243 can launch a 105gr @ 2800fps with 43gr of powder, and the AI can do it with 41.5gr of powder, it's less pressure, less heat, and as a result, more barrel life.

Ackley is about increasing barrel life, not about increasing velo and killing your barrel quickly.

You want velo ? Get a 22 middlestead (which I had). Crazy good speeds, but you change your barrel as often as you change your magazine.

I've been running various AIs for the last 10 years or so. 338lapAI, 260remAI, 22-250AI, 243AI, and built many others from 6.5 obsession (6.5x55 swede AI) to 375 mini nitro (303-375british, ackley'd.)

I'm currently playing with a 6x45AI (6mm-223 AI). 80gr @ 2980fps. Virtually no recoil, easy to load, using it as a practice PRS gun for fun to see how the round works).

2800 is tortoise slow for a 243 with 105, maybe using a slow 50bmg powder. 43 grains of h4350, h4831sc, or h1000 with a 105 in 243 is gonna be 2975-3100 range, in 24"+ barrels.

I did have a tikka 243ai, I ran it at moderate speeds, basically duplicating a warm 243 load. 105@3120. Got to use a slower powder, never trim brass, and 40° was easier on throat.
 

ubettcha

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 23, 2017
453
1,608
99
I have 6 243/6mm variants. 1 243ai 8tw 3 243's 9.25 1243 10tw 1 6 remai 12. I can run the 87vmax 3300 in the 243s with 100v (24-26") I can run the 105 amax at 3300 in the ai and the 87@ 3550 in the 6mm ai.
An 8tw for 105's or rebated 115 dtacs will wipe out any deer out further than you'd usually consider shooting. All for less recoil. They are fun to shoot and easy to feed. All 6 are short actions with maximum coal's under 2.950
 

Dogsniper

Full Member
Belligerents
Jul 25, 2014
1,541
108
169
Wyoming
Go 243 Ackley. I’m getting 3212 fps out of a suppressed 20” barrel with 105s.
If you have a longer barrel 3300 to 3400 is doable with the right powder. A lot of guys don’t like fire forming but you have to break in your barrel anyway before it speeds up and starts to settle in. Hard to beat for your purposes.
 

Long Range 338

Professional Ammo Waster
Online Training Access
Belligerents
Jul 10, 2012
1,388
1,001
219
Out West
My opinion is this, Ackley improved can do 2 things. Run more powder for more velo, or run the same velo as the parent case for less powder, and less pressure.

If a 243 can launch a 105gr @ 2800fps with 43gr of powder, and the AI can do it with 41.5gr of powder, it's less pressure, less heat, and as a result, more barrel life.

Ackley is about increasing barrel life, not about increasing velo and killing your barrel quickly.
Most would disagree with you on the purpose of using the improved case but your reasoning is correct as well. There is an additional benefit in increasing the shoulder angle there is less case stretching in each firing.

My 243AI is running 105gr RDFs just below 3100fps and it is stellar. I would shoot it more but shooting the 6.5CM with factory loadings is also very rewarding without so much time in the reloading room :)
 

Supersubes

Snafu
Belligerents
Sep 6, 2006
4,315
2,708
219
Rural Nevada
23" barrel. I sacrificed a bit. I found a good accuracy node @ 3158fps, for 105gr. I could have shot this, and had my barrel die at 1400ish rounds, possibly 1200. So what's the point ?

My opinion is this, Ackley improved can do 2 things. Run more powder for more velo, or run the same velo as the parent case for less powder, and less pressure.

If a 243 can launch a 105gr @ 2800fps with 43gr of powder, and the AI can do it with 41.5gr of powder, it's less pressure, less heat, and as a result, more barrel life.

Ackley is about increasing barrel life, not about increasing velo and killing your barrel quickly.

You want velo ? Get a 22 middlestead (which I had). Crazy good speeds, but you change your barrel as often as you change your magazine.

I've been running various AIs for the last 10 years or so. 338lapAI, 260remAI, 22-250AI, 243AI, and built many others from 6.5 obsession (6.5x55 swede AI) to 375 mini nitro (303-375british, ackley'd.)

I'm currently playing with a 6x45AI (6mm-223 AI). 80gr @ 2980fps. Virtually no recoil, easy to load, using it as a practice PRS gun for fun to see how the round works).
What you’re stating as a benefit isn’t what most people attribute to them. Adding capacity and more speed is what most want, with a side benefit of better brass life. Adding capacity and shrinking the charge won’t net you any more performance than the parent case.

Looking at Hodgdon data, starting loads for the 243/105 combo are right at 2800fps in a 24” barrel. Same goes for the creedmoor. This is why your load sticks out so much. As someone already mentioned, for all paractical purposes you’re shooting a 6BR/105, but using 10 grains more powder to do it.
 

iceng

Private
Minuteman
Sep 2, 2017
74
53
24
I'm using 2209 ADI (Australia).

The reason I picked this velo node (yes, I agree it is slow, as I can run faster) was for easy drop in PRS, and basically no recoil.

Zero @ 100m. 0.5mil drop @200m, 1mil @ 300m, 2mil @ 400m, 3mil @ 500m. Very easy to do hold overs. There was method to my madness. Yes it was 3.1mil @ 500m, etc. But for pure holding, it worked great for enabling me to not dial. Velocity isn't everything.

My old 243ai hunting rifle, I was pushing 87gr VMAX @ 3320 from 24". Brass and barrel didn't last long. Was fun on critters however.
 

ubettcha

Private
Belligerents
Minuteman
Dec 23, 2017
453
1,608
99
I'm using 2209 ADI (Australia).

The reason I picked this velo node (yes, I agree it is slow, as I can run faster) was for easy drop in PRS, and basically no recoil.

Zero @ 100m. 0.5mil drop @200m, 1mil @ 300m, 2mil @ 400m, 3mil @ 500m. Very easy to do hold overs. There was method to my madness. Yes it was 3.1mil @ 500m, etc. But for pure holding, it worked great for enabling me to not dial. Velocity isn't everything.

My old 243ai hunting rifle, I was pushing 87gr VMAX @ 3320 from 24". Brass and barrel didn't last long. Was fun on critters however.
I'm getting that with 100V in a 26" 243 with the 87Vmax without bad brass life. The ai I have has been better for longevity than the original 243 it replaced. It's ready for a new barrel now at 1400 of 87 vmax, 105 amax and 107 smk's. It still shoots sub moa for dog dinging but not much better now. The 243 had a steady diet of 60-85 varminter, blitzking Vmax hp, Game king bthp and Vmax.The older 75 vmax hp at 3450 and the 60hp varminter from Sierra at 3550 were not maxed charges but I started to vaporize bullets at the 950 mark. If hoplite arms will perfect and sell the ceramic coating for barrels I'd be in that line for another 10tw in 243ai for warp speed 70's or 87's. For now I'll stick to the 115 DTAC rebated pills and push them with H1000 at 3kish hoping for 2500rounds
 
  • Like
Reactions: iceng