Gun Digest

.224 Valkyrie: A Small Fry With Legs

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Maintaining supersonic speed well past 1,000 yards, the .224 Valkyrie has fast become a long-range staple.

What The Secret To The .224 Valkyrie's Downrange Performance:

The .224 Valkyrie cartridge by Federal came on the scene in late 2017 as a long-range AR-15 round with modest recoil. It’s basically a necked-down 6.8 SPC with a long and skinny .224-diameter bullet that has a high ballistic coefficient. AR-15 shooters should be able to add a new bolt and a new barrel and fire the Valkyrie without a problem. Standard .223 Remington magazines should also work, but they should be function tested to ensure proper feeding.

Get More .224 Valkyrie Info:

General Comments On The .224 Valkyrie

The Valkyrie’s edge comes at long distances. A 77-grain MatchKing .223 Remington drops to subsonic speeds before it hits 1,000 yards. With a similar bullet, the Valkyrie maintains supersonic speed past 1,300 yards. Or, looked at another way, the Valkyrie with a 90-grain MatchKing (ballistic coefficient of .563) delivers 402 ft-lbs. of energy at 1,000 yards, compared to the payload of 158 ft-lbs. a .223 Remington 77-grain MatchKing brings. The amount of bullet drop and wind deflection is likewise much less with the .224 Valkyrie. Ballistically, then, the .224 Valkyrie shoots more like a 6.5 Creedmoor with a 143-grain Hornady ELD-X bullet.

Both for reasons of timing — pairing well with the current long-range precision rifle trend — and of ballistic excellence, the .224 Valkyrie came on strong very quickly and shows no signs of peaking in popularity anytime soon.

Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from Cartridges of the World, 16th Edition.

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