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 »
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.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product, Tactical 24 Comments »
October 16th, 2017

PRS for the Very First Time — Gavin Gear Goes Gas Gun

Gavin Gear PRS Precision Rifle Series 22 Nosler AR15

Thinking of trying out the Precision Rifle Series, starting off with a gas gun? Well Gavin Gear of UltimateReloader.com did just that, competing in his first-ever PRS match up in Washington State. With its timed stages (some just 90 seconds long), Gavin learned that PRS is about speed as well as accuracy. As a PRS newbie, Gavin found the competition fun but challenging. Gavin’s account of his experiences, set forth in two articles with accompanying videos, will help other novice PRS competitors prepare for PRS-type matches and assemble the right equipment.


READ Gavin PRS MATCH REPORT | READ Gavin PRS GEAR REPORT

What PRS is All About
PRS is all about pushing your rifle skills to edge. You may have to hit targets at four different distances in 90 seconds- and dial in your dope between each shot. These kinds of challenges are super-difficult, but with enough experience and practice, it’s amazing what you can do. I saw guys that were so smooth, steady, fast, and accurate, it was mind blowing! It doesn’t come easy, and the guys at the top of the heap are super-dedicated. — Gavin Gear

This video has cool Aerial Drone footage, and in-depth explanation of stages:

Gavin’s First PRS Match: The Experience

By: Ultimate Reloader
Gavin told us that he’s wanted to try out the PRS game: “For a long time I’ve talked with friends about trying out a PRS-style match. Life has been busy, but when the right opportunity came, I decided to give it a try. My friend and shooting partner Jim Findlay offered to help me prepare, and told me it would be ‘fun to shoot gas guns together’. I decided I would shoot an AR-15, and thought that would be an ideal opportunity to try something new — the 22 Nosler. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting myself into, but that’s typically the way things happen when you’re really trying something new. It was a great experience, and it taught me a lot about shooting. I also made some great connections and friends during the match. If you are at all interested in PRS (Precision Rifle Series, or just Precision Rifle in general) I would suggest you enter and compete in a match. You most likely won’t regret it.”

READ Full Story of Gavin’s First PRS Match »

Gavin enjoyed his first match: “Overall, the match was more fun and more laid back than I thought it would be. The guys in our squad were all really helpful, and even loaned me gear to try out when they noticed my gear wasn’t right for a particular shooting activity. One such case was when Ken Gustafson (of KYL Gear) offered to loan me one of the bags he had made. Below you can see me shooting off the infamous unstable tippy tank trap with a KYL Gear bag, and I’ll have to say [the bag] was amazing. It helped me lock down my rifle and get on target. What a great feeling!”

Gavin did experience issues with his “stout” 22 Nosler loads: “I did run into some trouble — I had loaded my 22 Nosler rounds to max charge weight with Varget powder and experienced some failure-to-feed issues during the match. Initially I thought my bolt needed more lubrication, but [it was] between 96 – 100°F during the hottest part of the Match day.” With the ultra-high ambient temperatures, Gavin experienced over-pressure. Word to the wise — “Test everything you plan to use on match day, and take into account things like weather conditions as well”.

Gear Choices and Selection

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15

Gavin tells us: “In order to be successful in a PRS match, you need a rifle that is accurate enough, extremely reliable, has great ergonomics, handles well, and fits your budget.”

READ Full PRS Gear Article on UltimateReloader.com »

22 Nosler AR-15 rifle used by Gavin in the PRS match
18″ 1:8-twist 22 Nosler Upper
Two Stage Match Trigger – .154″ Hi-Speed DMR (GEISSELE AUTOMATICS)
Hogue AR-15 rubber grip
Magpul PRS stock
Harris S-BRM 6-9″ bipod
Vortex Viper HS-T 6-24x50mm scope

Action Type — Bolt vs. Semi: While most PRS competitors use bolt-action rifles, there are classes of competition that specifically call for semi-automatic actions to be used. Even so, in Open Class where you can pick which action type you’d like to use, there’s a split between the two for various reasons. I used an AR-15 in my first match, and for comparison, I think I’ll use a bolt-action rifle in my next match!

Support — Bipods and Bags: I think the first thing I said when trying to shoot from a barricade was: ‘You have to be kidding’. For someone used to prone shots from a bipod (when shooting long-range) this new challenge seemed impossible. My reticle was literally all over the place trying to shoot a target at 400 yards. But over time things improved drastically! Part of this improvement came from practice and technique, and part came from using the right support systems, such as the Game Changer Bag from Armaggedon Gear:

Ultimate Reloader ultimatereloader.com PRS Gavin Gear match report 22 Nosler AR-15
Photo Courtesy Accurate Ordnance.

All the Gear Items You Need — Bags, Bipods, Optics and More
UltimateReloader.com’s PRS Gear Summary covers Rifle Choice (gas gun vs. bolt-action), chambering options, optics, support systems (bipods and bags), dope cards, accessories and much more. Both novice and experienced PRS competitors will find this article well worth reading.

Permalink Competition, New Product, Tactical No Comments »
January 25th, 2017

22 Nosler — More Details, Load Data — And a Bit of History

22 Nolser .220 Thunderbolt 224 winchester E5 experimental 22-250

At SHOT Show 2017, Nosler showcased a new .22-caliber cartridge designed for AR-platform rifles. Called the 22 Nosler, the new cartridge resembles a 6.8 SPC necked down to .22 caliber. Comparing Nosler’s ammo specs with Hodgdon load data, it looks like the 22 Nosler can deliver about 250-300 fps more velocity than the standard .223 Rem cartridge. That’s significant for varminters looking for higher performance from an AR15-type rifle. With a 55-grain bullet, highest possible velocity is 3500+ fps with a max load of Hodgdon CFE 223 powder, based on this Nosler Load Chart:

22 Nolser .220 Thunderbolt 224 winchester E5 experimental 22-250

MORE LOAD DATA for 22 Nosler (Click tabs after jump)

22 Nosler LOAD PDFs:
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-55gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-64gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-69gr-70gr.pdf
https://load-data.nosler.com/nosler-load-data/pdf/22-nosler/22-nosler-77gr.pdf

Nosler will produce 22 Nosler ammunition in various bullet weights, starting with 55 grain and 77 grain. To run the 22 Nosler, an AR owner will need a new upper and 6.8 SPC type magazines. This video explains how to convert your AR-platform rifle to run the 22 Nosler.

“Everything Old Is New Again…”

Examining the 22 Nosler cartridge, our friend Grant Ubl had a case of “deja vu”. He thinks the new 22 Nosler bears a striking resemblance to a wildcat from the 1960s: “The .22 Nosler looks like a throwback to the 1963-vintage .224 Winchester E5 experimental cartridge, right down to the rebated rim.” Here is an old Winchester print:

Another poster said this cartridge resembles the “.220 Thunderbolt” a wildcat devised by John Scandale in 2004. Posting on Facebook, Mr. Scandale said the designs were very similar. According to Keystone Accuracy, the .220 Thunderbolt’s “design origin came from the now largely popular 6mm Hagar in its infancy stage back in 2003.” While it looks very similar to a 6.8 SPC necked to .224, the .220 Thunderbolt is different because the 6mm Hagar brass is 0.100″ longer than 6.8 SPC. Read History of .220 Thunderbolt.

Neck-up the 22 Nosler to .25 Caliber?

Dan Z. has inspected in the 22 Nosler ammunition and he’d like to see a .25 Caliber version. On Facebook, Dan posted: “I got my hands on some of the ammo a couple weeks ago. It does look like a .223 that has its body diameter expanded to that of a 6.8. Consequently, it is longer than the 6.8 overall and in the body. I necked a piece of fired brass to 6.8 and it looked like it would provide some improvement in velocity. A more interesting idea might be to neck it to .25 as a .250 Savage performance clone in an AR-15 platform.”

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hunting/Varminting, New Product 8 Comments »