February 1st, 2019

Ultimate Reloader SHOT Show — Ruger, Lyman, Hornady, Federal

ultimatereloader.com shot show hornady ruger rcbs 2019
Ultimate Reloader’s Gavin Gear is working on the most comprehensive reloading press comparison video.

UltimateReloader.com is a leading website showcasing reloading hardware and methodologies. Ultimate Reloader’s founder, Gavin Gear, regularly tests the latest and greatest reloading gear, including presses, case prep centers, cleaning systems and more. Gavin, shown above, is currently hard at work on “the mother of all” reloading press comparisons. He has secured 14 single-stage presses and set them up in his workroom/studio. This will be the most comprehensive reloading press video ever created.

Last week, Gavin was working hard in SHOT Show 2019 in Las Vegas, finding new products, and interviewing some important folks in the shooting sports industry. Here are four videos Gavin released this week for his Ultimate Reloader YouTube Channel.

New Products from Ruger for 2019

Gavin says: “I’m a big fan of Ruger rifles, in fact my first rifle was a Ruger 10/22! Since then I’ve published a lot of stories covering the Ruger Precision Rifle, and other Ruger products. While at the SHOT show this year I visited the Ruger booth, and got the scoop on the latest rifle offerings from Ruger.” Below is also an Ultimate Reloader preview video of the Ruger American Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor and “Go Wild Camo” livery.

Here are some interesting comments from Gavin’s YouTube viewers:

“It’s amazing how low price [Rugers are] while still being made in the USA. Great job Ruger!” — J. Allen

“I own the RPR in 6.5, 5.56 [.223 Rem], .22 rimfire. The rifles are cheap it’s the bi-pods, rings, optics that make you dig deep in the wallet.” — 2d Amendment

“I am really digging the Ruger American Go Wild Camo, what an absolutely beautiful gun[.] I had a friend … with the 22 inch barrel and is hitting solid MOA groups out to 200.” — F. Earnest

New Products from Lyman for 2019

Lyman Products rolled out three impressive new reloading presses last year. This included an 8-station turret press, a beefy O-frame press, and a versatile C-Frame compact press.

lyman new products 2019

Following up on last year’s successful product launches, for 2019 Lyman is releasing some impressive new tools and gear, including a cool new case trimmer and a deluxe shooting mat. In this video, Gavin interviews Lyman engineer Spencer Karoll, who discusses Lyman’s new product offerings.

Interview with Hornady President Steve Hornady

Gavin reports: “One of the great things about going to the SHOT Show is the people you get to talk with. At last year’s SHOT Show, I met Steve Hornady and talked for a few minutes. This year I [wanted] to have a conversation with Steve on camera! Steve was game, so here it is– a discussion about Hornady’s history, Hornady’s business philosophy, and Steve’s thoughts on new products like the 300 PRC.”

.224 Valkyrie Status Report — Info from Federal

Since its debut just before SHOT Show last year, the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge has been a “hot topic” in the gun industry. In this video interview Gavin covers the .224 Valkyrie’s first year. This video reveals key facts, clarifies misconceptions, and explains how Federal Premium has worked with the shooting community to realize the full potential of this cartridge.

Permalink - Videos, New Product, News, Reloading 1 Comment »
December 18th, 2018

224 Valkyrie Video Showcase — Field Tests and Reloading Info

Valkyrie Video .224 224 Valk Gavin Gear Reloader

The .224 Valkyrie is the “trendy” cartridge now for AR shooters looking for better long-range performance than the standard .223 Rem (5.56×45) can provide. With the right bullets and load, the .224 Valkyrie offers significantly less drop and drift at long range. The .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224 Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags.

Valkyrie fans say this efficient cartridge offers performance rivaling a 22-250 in a smaller case. The Social Regressive YouTube channel explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. The .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

Valkyrie Video Fest — Five Informative Videos

Here are five videos featuring the .224 Valkyrie cartridge and rifle options. We think the two applications that make most sense for this new cartridge are: 1) PRS Gas Gun matches (Open Class) — you get 6.5 Creedmoor ballistic performance with much less recoil for faster shot transitions; and 2) Long-Range (400+ yards) varminting — you get performance similar to a 22-250 in a cartridge that works with your existing AR15 lower. That will really help with those long shots on P-dogs.

In this video Gavin Gear test the .224 Valkyrie cartridge in both AR and bolt-action rifles. Using a drone to capture images of shots on target, Gavin produces some impressively small groups at 600 yards. This shows that the .224 Valkyrie has serious accuracy potential when the load is right.

In this 37-minute video on the “IraqVeteran8888″ channel, Chad tests a .224 Valkyrie rifle with various ammo, including 90gr handloads. The test addresses the pros and cons of this new cartridge, explaining the need to have realistic expectations, and a barrel with twist rate suitable for your bullet choices. This is a long video, but worth watching if you are contemplating building or buying a .224 Valkyrie.

This follow-up IraqVet888 video focuses on reloading for the .224 Valkyrie. Chad addresses a multitude of issues including: powder selection, bullet options, brass longevity and primer pocket uniforming. If you own a .224 Valkyrie and hand-load for the rifle, you should watch this video.

Here Gavin Gear tests Starline’s new .224 Valkyrie brass, seeing how well it stands up to repeated firings. Gavin checked for primer pocket stretching and found that 50% of the cases went 8 or more firings before the primer pockets grew too much. However a few cases did need to be retired after four firings. Gavin notes: “Brass longevity is one of the key considerations for loading 224 Valkyrie, so I thought I would put my Starline 224 Valkyrie cases to the test! Be sure to read the full Brass Test article for more insights.

The .224 Valkyrie has been marketed as a low-recoil round that can stay supersonic to 1300 yards and beyond (with 90gr Sierra MatchKings). Here a Sniper’s Hide duo shots an AR-platform .224 Valkyrie at distances out to 1550+ yards. To be honest, the accuracy wasn’t that impressive. However this test confirms that the .224 Valkyrie does launch the long, heavy projectiles at high enough velocities to prove superior to the standard .223 Rem. Frank Galli (aka “Lowlight”) teams up with Brian Whalen of Colorado Precision Rifle at the Blue Steel Ranch in New Mexico.

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December 14th, 2018

Hodgdon 2019 Annual Manual with 5000+ Loads Released

Hodgdon Annual manual relaoding 224 valkyrie .308 win varget h4350

Hodgdon has released its 2019 Reloading Manual, the 16th Annual Edition of this valuable reloading resource. This new manual contains data for Hodgdon, IMR and Winchester Smokeless Propellants in more than 5,000 loads, with updates for 17 rifle and pistol cartridges. Using this resource, handloaders can now find data for the new 224 Valkyrie and 6.5 PRC cartridges. Along with comprehensive load data, the 2019 Hodgdon Annual Manual offers authoritative articles by leading gun and outdoor industry writers, working with the editors of Shooting Times magazine.

“The Annual Manual is our printed yearly update for the ardent handloader,” said Ron Reiber, lead ballistician for Hodgdon. “We believe one of our competitive advantages is providing cutting-edge data on all our propellants. Our customers know they can look to Hodgdon to be first to supply this information on hot, new cartridges and newly-introduced powders.”

CLICK HERE to order the 2019 Hodgdon Annual Manual from the Hodgdon website for $12.99 (shipping included). You can also purchase the Annual Manual wherever popular magazines are sold.

H4350 and Varget In Stock Now at Many Vendors

In 2017 Hodgdon celebrated its 70th Anniversary. At SHOT Show 2017 talked with Chris Hodgdon. Chris was proud to note that his family-owned company is now marked its 70th year in business. The company has been very successful, but sometimes that means supply can’t catch up with demand with some of the most popular powders, such as Hodgdon H4350, which is extremely accurate and also temp-stable. Chris said: “Getting more H4350 to our customers is one of our top priorities. With the booming popularity of the 6.5 Creedmoor and other similar cartridges, there is a lot of demand for that powder.” Supply has definitely increased this year. Yes, H4350, in both 1-lb and 8-lb containers, is in stock right now at Bruno’s, Graf’s, Midsouth, and Powder Valley.

Hodgdon Reloading guide 2017 Midsouth

Hodgdon IMR Varget XBR 8208 SHOT Show Chris Reloading GuideWe also discussed the continued popularity of Varget, which also became more readily available this year. It is still one of the very best choices for a wide variety of cartridges, including the .308 Win (just look at the groups on our X-Max for Xmas story). Chris said that Varget users may also want to try IMR 8208 XBR. Chris observed: “I think IMR 8208 XBR is one of the very best powders we make. It is accurate, temp-stable, and it meters very well because the kernels are very small. The guys who try 8208 have been very happy.”

We concur with Chris — we’ve used 8208 XBR in a .308 Win and it shot exceptionally well. It is definitely “match-ready” powder for cartridges that like a medium burn-rate powder, such as the .308 Winchester, 7mm-08, and 6mmBR Norma.

Permalink News, Reloading 3 Comments »
August 29th, 2018

Hodgdon Releases Load Data for .224 Valkyrie

.224 Valkyrie Hodgdon load data

Hodgdon has just released reloading data for the .224 Valkyrie, a popular new cartridge optimized for the AR15 platform. “At Hodgdon, we’ve been researching this cartridge since before its introduction and are excited to release load data for the Valkyrie featuring powders like Hodgdon CFE 223, IMR 8208 XBR, and Hodgdon Varget” reports Ron Reiber, Hodgdon product manager and ballistician. Access the .224 Valkyrie Data via Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center.

While new load data will continue to be updated, there is currently data for 80 different loads with bullet weights ranging from 50 to 90 grains. NOTE: The load data covers Hodgdon, IMR, and Winchester brand powders only. See Sierra Data for other powder brands. Bullet brands included are: Federal, Hornady, Nosler, Sierra and Swift.

About the .224 Valkyrie Cartridge
Basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22, the Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets. We expect some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil.

.224 Valkyrie Hodgdon load data

The new .224 Valkyrie has already developed a loyal following: “Shooting heavier bullets in an AR-platform rifle that maintain supersonic speeds beyond 1,300 yards has captured the interest of shooters and handloaders everywhere” — Hodgdon Powders

IMPORTANT: Check Out Sierra’s .224 Valkyrie DATA

Sierra Bullets has also published extensive load data for the .224 Valkyrie. This covers over a dozen powder types — many more than the Hodgdon database. Sierra’s .224 Valkyrie load data covers projectiles from 50 grain all the way up to 95 grains. With the 90 to 95 grain bullets, the little Valkyrie can give 6mm match cartridges a real run for their money — offering similar ballistics with less recoil. When selecting a barrel for the long .224-cal bullets, specify a fast enough twist rate: “Sierra recommends a 1:6.5″-twist barrel for the #9290 22 cal 90 gr HPBT bullet. However, for cartridges like the Valkyrie, that can push them over 2650 fps muzzle velocity, a 1:7″-twist barrel will stabilize the bullet correctly.”

» DOWNLOAD Complete Sierra .224 Valkyrie LOAD DATA HERE

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June 23rd, 2018

Lastest Load Data for .224 Valkyrie from Sierra

224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

Shorter, Fatter, Faster, Flatter. The new .224 Valkyrie is the hot new cartridge for the AR15 platform. With a shorter, fatter cartridge based on the 6.8 SPC case, the .224 Valkyrie delivers high muzzle velocities for a flatter trajectory at long range. With the latest high-BC projectiles, the .224 Valkyrie can stay supersonic to 1300 yards and beyond.

Sierra Bullets recently provided new load data and twist info for the .224 Valkyrie: “Sierra recommends a 1:6.5″-twist barrel for the #9290 22 cal 90 gr HPBT bullet. However, for cartridges like the Valkyrie, that can push them over 2650 fps muzzle velocity, a 1:7″-twist barrel will stabilize the bullet correctly.”

Shown below is Sierra’s load data for bullet weights from 77 grains to 90 grains. Values in green indicate MAXIMUM loads — use CAUTION. NOTE: This is only a partial sample, less than a third of the data Sierra has published. Download Sierra’s Full 4-page PDF to view all the data, including load information for Sierra’s new 95gr .224-caliber MatchKing with claimed 0.600 G1 BC.


Sierra Bullets Load Data for .224 Valkyrie (Partial Sample) »

224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

About the .224 Valkyrie Cartridge
Basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22, the Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. With Sierra’s remarkable new 95-grain MatchKing, this gives the little Valkyrie long-range performance that can rival some much larger cartridge types. Sierra Bullets states: “The [Valkyrie] case length is shorter than the 223 Remington affording the use of heavier match-grade bullets with very long ogives and high ballistic coefficients. This offers … super-sonic velocities at ranges greater than the .223 Remington and the 6.5 Grendel can achieve at magazine length”.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading 6 Comments »
March 17th, 2018

.224 Valkyrie Load Data for 52gr to 95gr Bullets from Sierra

224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

If you own an AR, you’ve probably heard of the hot, new .224 Valkyrie cartridge. Basically a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22, the Valkyrie has a shorter case than the .223 Remington (and 5.56×45 NATO). This allows you to load the longest, heaviest .224-caliber bullets and still feed reliably from an AR15-type magazine. With Sierra’s remarkable new 95-grain MatchKing, this gives the little Valkyrie long-range performance that can rival some much larger cartridge types. Sierra Bullets states: “The [Valkyrie] case length is shorter than the 223 Remington affording the use of heavier match-grade bullets with very long ogives and high ballistic coefficients. This offers … super-sonic velocities at ranges greater than the .223 Remington and the 6.5 Grendel can achieve at magazine length”.

If you’re considering a .224 Valkyrie, you’re in luck — Sierra Bullets has just released comprehensive LOAD DATA for this new cartridge. Sierra has published loads for a broad range of bullet weights from 52 grains all the way up to 95 grains. Loads for 20 bullet types and 22 powders* are listed.

DOWNLOAD Complete Sierra .224 Valkyrie LOAD DATA PDF »

Shown below is Sierra’s load data for bullet weights from 77 grains to 90 grains. Values in green indicate MAXIMUM loads — use CAUTION. NOTE: This is only a partial sample, less than a third of the data Sierra has published. Download Sierra’s Full 4-page PDF to view all the data, including load information for Sierra’s new 95gr .224-caliber MatchKing with claimed 0.600 G1 BC.


Sierra Bullets Load Data for .224 Valkyrie (Partial Sample)

224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

224 .224 Valkyrie Sierra Bullets load data reloading .223 Remington F-TR High Power cartridge Federal

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

The new .224 Valkyrie was introduced late last year as a Hot Rod cartridge that will work in AR15s. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets. We expect some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels:

.224 Valkyrie Federal Rifleshooter.com cut-down barrel

* All the following powders were tested, but not all for each bullet weight: Accurate 2520, Accurate XMR 2495, Accurate 4064, Hodgdon AR Comp, Hodgdon Benchmark, Hodgdon CFE 223, Hodgdon H335, Hodgdon H380, Hodgdon H4895, Hodgdon Varget, IMR 4064, IMR 4166, IMR 8208 XBR, Power Pro 2000 MR, Power Pro Varmint, Ramshot Big Game, Ramshot TAC, Reloder 10X, Reloder 15, Reloder 17, Vihtavuori N540, Winchester 760.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Reloading 10 Comments »
March 4th, 2018

Valkyrie Velocity: Barrel Cut-Down Test with 60, 75, 90 grainers

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMKVelocity vs. barrel length — How much speed will I sacrifice with a shorter barrel? Hunters and competition shooters often ask that. Today we DO have solid answers to that question for many cartridge types thanks to Rifleshooter.com.

Rifleshooter.com has conducted a series of barrel cut-down tests for many popular chamberings: .223 Rem, 6mm Creedmoor, .243 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, .338 Lapua Magnum and more. And recently Rifleshooter.com added the new .224 Valkyrie cartridge to the list, cutting a 28″ Shilen barrel down to 16.5″ in one-inch increments. Rifleshooter.com measured the .224 Valkyrie’s velocities at each barrel length with four different types of factory ammo.

For its .224 Valkyrie test, RifleShooter.com sourced a Shilen Match Barrel and fitted it to a Rem 700 short action employing a one-piece PT&G bolt with the required .440″ (SPC-sized) bolt-face. The barreled action rides in a MDT LSS-XL Gen 2 Chassis.

READ .224 Valkyrie Barrel Cut-Down Test on Rifleshooter.com »

Bill, Rifleshooter.com’s Editor, explained his test procedure:

“I gathered four different types of factory Federal 224 Valkyrie ammunition, the 90gr Sierra MatchKing (SMK), 90gr Fusion soft point (SP) (referred to a Fusion MSR), 75gr Total Metal Jacket (TMJ) and 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint (NBT). After a brief barrel break in and zero, I fired 5 rounds of each cartridge at each barrel length (except the 75 TMJ, I fired 4 rounds at each barrel length due to limited resources). I recorded the average muzzle velocity and standard deviation for each ammunition and barrel length combination and cut the barrel back 1 inch and repeated the process. I recorded barrel lengths from 28″ to 16.5″ (I try to save these barrels as finished 16″ tubes so they don’t go to waste).”

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

The Heavy Bullet 90gr Ammo Lost about 21 FPS per Inch
How did the test turn out? You’ll find all the results summarized in helpful tables with inch-by-inch velocity and SD numbers. For the two, 90gr ammo samples, results were similar. The 90gr SMK ammo started at 2782 fps (28″), finishing at 2541 fps (16.5″). That’s a loss of 241 fps, or 20.96 fps average per inch of length. The ammo loaded with 90gr Fusion SPs started at 2797 fps (28″) and ended at 2561 fps (16.5″), a drop of 236 fps. That’s 20.5 fps loss per inch. NOTE: Ambient temperature during the test was 45° F. You could expect the overall velocities to be a bit higher during hotter summer months.

See 90gr SMK Velocity/Length Test Chart | See 90gr Fusion SP Velocity/Length Test Chart

.224 Valkyrie Velocity Cut-Down Test

With a the smaller bullets, the effect was even more dramatic. As you’d expect they started out faster. The ammo with 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tips (NBT), a good choice for varminters, started at 3395 fps (28″), and declined to 3065 fps (16.5), a total velocity drop of 330 fps. Average velocity loss was 28.7 fps per inch of barrel length. Rifleshooter.com also tested Federal 75gr TMJ ammo.

About the .224 Valkyrie Cartridge

224 .224 Valkyrie barrel cut-down test velocity 90gr Sierra MatchKing Fusion SP TMK

The new .224 Valkyrie was introduced late last year as a Hot Rod cartridge that will work in AR15s. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets. We expect some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels:

.224 Valkyrie Federal Rifleshooter.com cut-down barrel

.224 Valkyrie vs. .22-250 Remington
The Social Regressive explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

Image from Social Regressive .224 Valkyrie Youtube Video.

The new .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224-Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags.

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December 18th, 2017

Valkyrie Video Fest — New .224 Valkyrie Unveiled

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Do we really need a new, high-performance .22-caliber cartridge for the AR15 platform (aka MSR 15). Federal thinks so. Federal has introduced a .22-Caliber Hot Rod cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie. Designed to out-perform the .223 Rem and .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with heavy, high-BC bullets.

The performance is impressive. Federal says that, when loaded with a 90-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet, the .224 Valkyrie will stay supersonic all the way to 1300 yards, while offering substantially less recoil than other AR-friendly cartridges such as the 6.5 Grendel.

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Here are three videos that give insight into the .224 Valkyrie cartridge and rifle options. We think the two applications that make most sense for this new cartridge are: 1) PRS Gas Gun matches (Open Class) — you get 6mm Creedmoor ballistic performance with much less recoil for faster shot transitions; and 2) Long-Range (400+ yards) varminting — you get performance similar to a 22-250 in a cartridge that works with your existing AR15 lower. That will really help with those long shots on P-dogs.

.224 Valkyrie PRS Gas Gun Demo Run

The new .224 Valkyrie is basically a 6.8 SPC case necked down to .22-caliber. You can use your existing AR15 lower, but you will need a dedicated .224-Valkyrie upper, or at the minimum a new barrel, modified bolt with proper bolt face, and 6.8-compliant mags. In this video, a shooter runs a tactical course using a rig chambered for the .224 Valkyrie. You can see how it functions 100%. This video also provides ballistic comparisons with other “enhanced performance” AR15 cartridges.

.224 Valkyrie vs. .22-250 Remington

The Social Regressive explains: “There are two key reasons why the 224 Valkyrie is unique and desirable. First, it is specifically designed to fit the limitations of the AR-15 platform. It does so even when loaded with gigantic bullets, like the 90-grain SMK that Federal announced. .22-250 Rem is too long and too fat to work in the AR-15 platform; it needs an AR-10 bolt and magazine.”

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison
Image from .224 Valkyrie Video from The Social Regressive, linked below.

“Does this mean that the 22-250 is now outmoded? Not even close. Varminters depend upon its flat trajectory and inherent accuracy. It’s a handloader’s dream cartridge, and the factory ammunition out there works well, too. If, however, you want a semiauto platform or you want to shoot longer distances, .224 Valkyrie looks like it will be the logical choice [with fast twist-rate barrels and high-BC bullets].”

New Savage MSR 15 in .224 Valkyrie

Savage Arms has a new AR15-platform rifle chambered in .224 Valkyrie. This will debut at SHOT Show 2018. The new Savage MSR 15 Valkyrie has some nice features: crisp two-stage trigger, adjustable gas system, and tough Cerakote finish on lower and upper. The 5R-rifled, 18″-long barrel comes from the factory with an effective muzzle brake. MSRP is $1499.00. We wish the barrel was a bit longer (at least 22″), but the adjustable gas system is a nice feature that lets you tune the cycling for your ammo and shooting discipline.

.224 Valkyrie recoil comparison

Savage has high hopes for this rifle. With 90gr Federal factory ammo, it produces only half the recoil of larger cartridges with similar long-range performance. Here is a video showing a prototype Savage with a 22-inch barrel. The Ammo was Federal Premium pushing a 90gr SMK at 2680 fps. Note how “calm” the rifle stays on the bags. There is no muzzle lift and rearward recoil is minimal (see 0:10). You could work a varmint field very effectively with this rifle.

Savage MSR 15 Tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 8 Comments »
November 24th, 2017

New Hot-Rod .224 Valkyrie Cartridge from Federal

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

Seems like new cartridges are being introduced every few months, particularly for the AR15 platform. This past January, Nosler gave us the .22 Nosler, a potent cartridge with better ballistics than the “plain vanilla” .223 Remington. American Rifleman reported: “Nosler is claiming its new [.22 Nosler] cartridge … can get 300 FPS and 25% more energy out of the AR platform” compared to the .223 Rem.

New .224 Valkyrie from Federal
Now Federal has introduced a .22-Caliber Hot Rod cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie. Designed to rival the .22 Nosler while still running well in ARs, the new .224 Valkyrie offers excellent long-range performance when loaded with modern, high-BC bullets.

Federal claims its .224 Valkyrie ammo loaded with the Sierra 90 MatchKing stays supersonic all the way out to 1300 yards. Watch the video above for details. Design-wise, the .224 Valkyrie has a medium-length neck, 30° shoulder. Unofficially, we are told this new cartridge is “based on on the .30 Remington/6.8 SPC case, necked down to .22 caliber”. (Source: TheFireArmBlog). It’s similar in appearance to a 6.5 Grendel necked to .22-Caliber, but the body is longer. Case capacity has been measured at 34.5 grs H2O, about 1.3 grains less than the .22 Nosler.

Federal currently offers four types of .224 Valkyrie Ammunition: 75gr TMJ “American Eagle”, 60gr Nosler Ballistic Tip “Varmint”, 90gr SP “Fusion MSR”, and 90gr HP SMK “Premium”.

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

COMMENTARY — Do We Need Another .22-Caliber Cartridge?
Is the .224 Valkyrie really needed? Bolt-gunners can just shoot a 22-250 (or a 22 Dasher if you want a more efficient cartridge). But for guys who want a hot-performing .22-Caliber round that feeds and functions 100% in AR-Platform rifles, this .22 Valkyrie may make sense. Just as the .22 Nosler has found favor with some shooters, there may be a market for the .224 Valkyrie — both among varmint hunters and PRS Gas Gun Series competitors.

Conceivably some bolt-action PRS shooters might adopt the .224 Valkyrie. Why? Reduced recoil. With the 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie offers ballistics similar to the 6.5 Creedmoor but with significantly less felt recoil. Check out this a chart from Federal showing comparative recoil levels (highlights added).

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

Even with the heavy-for-caliber 90gr SMK, the .224 Valkyrie delivers significantly less felt recoil than a 6.5 Creedmoor shooting 130gr or 140gr bullets. You get a similar trajectory and good wind-bucking ability, with less push. The reduced recoil CAN make a difference, particularly during rapid-fire strings. Since PRS is shot “on the clock”, less recoil could provide a competitive advantage.

Federal 224 .224 Valkyrie MSR ar15 .22 caliber PRS semi-auto ammo ammunition

Cheaper to Shoot? Maybe, But Consider Barrel Life…
Cost considerations might also drive some PRS shooters to the .224 Valkyrie. Quality .22-Cal bullets definitely cost less than match-grade 6.5 mm projectiles. Therefore, high-volume shooters may find the .224 Valkyrie more affordable to shoot. On the other hand, barrel life for the .224 Valkyrie will likely be shorter than with the 6.5 Creedmoor, so you may end up paying more in the long run. What you save on the cost of bullets you may have to invest in new barrels.

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