What is everyone thinking about the Hornady 6.5 PRC cartridge? Is it going to be too hard on barrels. Is it designed for longer barrels only?
The 6.5 PRC is an answer to a problem that doesn't exist. The cartridge it's self isn't new. It's a 6.5 GAP with a few modifications so Hornady can claim it as new and there own design. Both rounds have a .532 case head, so your pretty much stuck with building around a bolt action. DPMS did build some 300 WSM rifles some years back, but they hard to find now. They were also notorious for breaking extractors.
When was the last time you heard about the 6.5 GAP? The 6.5 GAP is nothing more than a necked down 7mm SAUM. It might have really caught on, if brass were easy to get. It was introduced during all the component shortages. Remington still hasn't made a run of brass for any of the SAUM rounds. But this isn't the only hurdle it had to overcome. Recoil is up there as with any large capacity case. Barrel life is okay if you use H1000 to push the 140's. Speeds are right at 3100 FPS. You can go faster, but most matches limit you to 3100. So basically what you have is a 264 Win Mag.
The last and probably the biggest obstacle to overcome for the GAP or the PRC is the Creedmoor. It's taken the shooting world by a storm. The 6.5x47 Lapua is right there with it. It's hard to pick up a gun magazine and not find an article about the Creedmoor. The rifles are every where and in almost every brand and configuration. They're easy to shoot, accurate and low recoil. and now to top all of this, the 6.5 has morphed into another round. Introduced last year ( 2017 ) the 6mm Creedmoor.
Just to give some validity to all this, I own and shoot a 6.5 GAP. I have 4 6.5 Creedmoor's with one being in an AR10 and two 6mm Creedmoor's.