Introduced to the world of firearms at the 2018 Shot Show, The .224 Valkyrie was the new kid on the block.
But with some impressive superpowers that catch the attention of even pro players.
Check out everything there has to be learned about this new cartridge. Along with the best supporting components and accessories to build your AR rifle.
A .224 Valkyrie Overview
The .224 Valkyrie is a rimless bottlenecked intermediate rifle cartridge that uses a .22 caliber bullet. It is the same in bullet diameter and case length compared to the .223, but with a thicker case that holds more propellant.
The .224 Valkyrie has been developed by Federal Premium Ammunition and was introduced in the year 2018. The cartridge operated at the same pressure at the 5.56/.223 ammo. In simpler terms, it is necked down a 6.8 SPC cartridge with similar features.
It is available in 60, 75, and 90 grain bullets. The unique quality of the .224 Valkyrie ammo is that it retains supersonic velocity to distances up to a distance of 1,200 yards. Which makes it comparable to the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel cartridges in terms of velocity, accuracy, and range.
The cartridge was developed to rival the .22 Nosler ammo. With only a couple of years into the market, the .224 Valkyrie has started gaining some pace as a varmint round. But due to the imbalance of supply and demand, the ammo is still a tad expensive to be considered for plinking or recreational use.
It has been designed to suit a 1:7 twist rate to suit the heavier 90 grain matchking bullets. With dimensions similar to the 5.56, the only changes you will make to your existing .223 AR-15 rifle are adding a new barrel, a 6.8 SPC bolt carrier group, and a dedicated magazine.
The .224 Valkyrie can feed through standard .223 magazines, but the thicker taper is prone to causing malfunction issues. So it is better to spend 20 or 30 bucks more on a good magazine.
What the .224 Valkyrie Does Best
The .224 Valkyrie was designed for one thing: long range sniping. And it will be absolutely correct to say that it does that perfectly. Being a supersonic cartridge with a lightweight bullet, the .224 Valkyrie is very immune to wind drifts.
As you may already know that the .223 is not a cartridge suitable for long range use. Effects of destabilization and tumbling come into play with it at ranges beyond 600 yards. On the other hand, the .224 Valkyrie has an effective range of 1200 – 1300 yards without succumbing to tumbling or even wind drift.
The .224 Valkyrie also has a very peculiar advantage over its counterparts. Which is a lesser recoil. Coupled with the good punch-packing bullet weight of 75 or even 90 grains will make this a perfect round for hunting varmints over long range.
Critters like coyotes, hogs, and other small varmints will easily fall prey to superior ballistics and a humane kill shot.
But do not hunt deer with this as .22 caliber is considered illegal for hunting deer in most states.
As far as short or medium range is concerned, the .224 Valkyrie will handle anything that the .223 Remington round can handle. No speculations or calculations are needed for that.
Coming to long range use, the .224 Valkyrie is great for competitions. Especially the likes of PRS competitions. While there are many cartridges like the 6mm, 6.5 mm, and 6.8 mm that will compete or even outperform the .224 Valkyrie. The low recoil and quick follow-up ability due to the short size still mark it as a viable cartridge.
Where the .224 Valkyrie Falls Short
The .224 was designed to excel in terms of aerodynamics and bullet weights over the .223 Remington. Which it certainly does. But it still is a long range cartridge. That’s because the difference in ballistics and performance between these two cartridges is almost negligible inside a range of 500 yards. Which in fact is the most common range of shooting for hunters, range use, and some competitions.
So in order for the .224 Valkyrie to outclass the .223 Rem, the range has to be beyond 500 or 600 yards. Where the former truly excels. So a user who doesn’t have to reach that range will not take the pain to swap his/her BCG, barrel, and mag for a more expensive round that doesn’t create a significant difference.
Talking about ballistics, the .224 Valkyrie is only comparable to the .223 Rem. Since other cartridges comparable to it in terms of performance outclass it with significant advantages in terms of ballistics. I’m talking about 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Grendel, 6 mm, 6.5×47 Lapua, and other similar cartridges.
But yes, as far as you are concerned with using a .22 caliber bullet, the .224 Valkyrie is overall a great choice.
Another factor to consider is the price and availability of this ammo. The .224 Valkyrie can cost anywhere between 80 cents for plinkers to $2 per round for match-grade ammo. Whereas .223 Rem can still be found for 30 or 40 cents on the lower price band. When buying in bulk. Additionally, the availability of this ammo is also not guaranteed on every shelf.
How to Take Advantage of the .224 Valkyrie Cartridge
Since this cartridge has just completed only three years of introduction on the market. There are not too many variants and bullet choices available out there. But those which are, present a good selection of bullets ranging from boat tail spitzer to hollow point and V-Max.
When using a .224 Valkyrie rifle, it is imperative to use a high-power rifle scope to justify the maximum range. The power of the scope may vary depending upon what and where you’re shooting at. But it is a round that won’t go well with iron sights. Not if you want to utilize its maximum potential.
The .224 Valkyrie is a necked-down 6.8 SPC case. So if you have good gunsmithing and reloading skills. You can buy high-quality ammo and reload your own ammunition. There’s a lot of good ammo reloading kits out there to choose from.
While the .224 Valkyrie will work in a standard .223 Remington AR upper. You still have to purchase a separate .224 Valkyrie BCG and barrel to make that switch. In fact, it can prove to be a better idea to either buy a complete .224 Valkyrie upper for quick swapping. Since the AR-15 lowers are mostly multi-caliber compatible. On a parting note, make sure to always use dedicated mags for any cartridge. Not just the .224 Valkyrie. The mag capacity will depend upon your state laws and personal requirements.
The .224 Valkyrie was introduced in the year 2018 by Federal Ammunition as a heavier and aerodynamically more stable alternative to the .223 Remington and also its rival the .22 Nosler. It is a long range cartridge capable of supersonic speeds up to 1,300 yards.
Great for long range competitions and varmint/small game hunting who prefer .22 caliber bullets. You only have to swap the BCG, barrel, and mag on your AR-15.