The gun industry is guilty of peddling its share of snake oil. Clunky reticles that promise to get you on target from the next county over. New gun finishes constituting new gun models. And rail accessories that would have been better left in the imagination of a 12-year-old.
Thankfully, it’s not all tire deflator attachments and magazine butt plate knives. Every year there are products that cut through the white noise of the silly and useless and truly appear like they’ve got the chops to take the ball and run. Federal Premium’s newest cartridge — the .224 Valkyrie — most certainly looks to fall in this category.
The purpose-built long-range cartridge was dreamed up as a small-bore answer to the 6.5 Creedmoor, promising less recoil and a better fit in the AR platform. And from Phil Massaro’s first experience with the shortened and necked down .30 Rem/6.8 SPC cartridge, the hubbub about the .224 Valkyrie proved more than just carnival barking. After pitching a bit of copper-jacketed lead down range, the Gun Digest author and custom ammunition manufacturer walked away with eyebrows raised over the cartridge’s performance.
Obviously, as a fella who spends the better part of his day crushing handmade rounds at his press, the .224 Valkyrie’s ballistic minutia captivated Massaro — high BC bullets, exceptional velocity potentials, flat trajectory. But, as the above video shows, it’s after firing pin meets primer that he really learns what a sweet tune the Valkyrie sings. As he points out, the recoil is so mild you can track the bullet’s vapor trail as it races 1,000 yards and beyond. Slick.
The .224 Valkyrie certainly performs like it has staying power. Now it’s just up to the greater shooting public to prove whether or not Federal actually has a winner.