Skip to main content

Federal Premium's .224 Valkyrie

Federal introduces the .224 Valkyrie, the latest effort to best the 5.56 in AR-15 rifles.

Federal Premium's .224 Valkyrie
The new .224 Valkyrie from Federal fits nicely into 6.8mm SPC mags, and it's able to handle super-long, heavy-for-caliber bullets for great downrange performance.

A while back it seemed as if the industry was releasing a new sporting cartridge a week, and while some were interesting, few have offered a substantial improvement over much older designs. Occasionally, though, one shows up that really catches the attention of shooters. One brand- new offering, Federal's newly released .224 Valkyrie, just may be another success story.

It appears to bring a lot to the table compared to the 5.56x45 NATO round, the standard by which all AR-15 cartridges are judged. In profile it is similar to a scaled-up 5.45x39, an AK cartridge. Conceptually similar to the .22 Nosler, the .224 Valkyrie was developed to fit into the confines of an AR-15 magazine while offering a noticeable increase in performance over the 5.56.

The .224 Valkyrie shares the same parent case as the .22 Nosler: Remington's 6.8x43 SPC. However, there the similarities end. While the .22 Nosler features a rebated rim, the .224 Valkyrie retains the standard 6.8mm SPC case head diameter. More importantly, the .224 Valkyrie case has been shortened to facilitate the seating of long and heavy-for-caliber projectiles.

While the .22 Nosler is intended for use with traditional 5.56 NATO-weight bullets, the Valkyrie is not so limited. Factory loads include not only traditional weight, but also super-heavy 90- and 100-grain bullets—bullets featuring high ballistic coefficients and sectional densities. Even these long bullets fit neatly within the confines of an AR-15 magazine, and they can deliver surprising performance to 1,000 yards and beyond. For example, while Sierra's famous and well-respected 77-grain MatchKing has an advertised G1 ballistic coefficient of .372, the 90-grain Sierra MatchKing, loaded by Federal in the .224 Valkyrie, has a G1 BC of .563. Even when driven at modest velocity, the MatchKing has impressive exterior ballistics and long-range performance.


Recently, I had the opportunity to do some limited testing of the .224 Valkyrie using Federal's new 90-grain Gold Medal Match load and two LaRue Tactical rifles. The first sported a short 11.5-inch barrel while the second measured 20 inches. Average velocity from the 20-inch barrel was 2,687 fps while the 11.5-incher averaged 2,353 fps. That's an average loss of 39.2 fps per inch. Both Valkyries shot sub-m.o.a. five-shot groups at 100 yards, with the 20-inch gun averaging 0.8 inch during initial testing.


https://files.osgnetworks.tv/10/files/2018/04/224VAlkyrierounds.jpg
Both the .224 Valkyrie (l.) and the .22 Nosler are roughly based on the same 6.8 Rem. SPC case, but the Valkyrie was designed to handle heavy, 100-grain bullets.

I shot the Valkyries side by side with identical-length LaRue Tactical models in 6.5mm Grendel. Recoil of the Valkyrie was, of course, noticeably lighter than the 123-grain 6.5mm Grendel rounds due to the Grendel's heavier payload.

The cartridge seems capable of bridging the gap between the 5.56 and the Grendel. The ammunition weighs less than the 6.5mm Grendel, offers milder recoil yet provides a flatter trajectory and less wind drift. Even when fired from a short 11.5-inch barrel, a 90-grain MatchKing remains supersonic past 1,100 yards. When fired from a conventional 20-inch barrel, it remains supersonic to more than 1,300 yards. It's certainly a step up from the 5.56.

Federal is also supporting this cartridge by offering four initial loads. In addition to the 90-grain Gold Medal Match load ($32), it is offering a 100-grain Fusion MSR hunting load ($29) and a 60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip ($30). And, importantly, Federal is producing an economical 75-grain American Eagle total-metal-jacket practice load priced at $14. These four loads will allow you to hunt both medium-size game and predators, compete at long range and enjoy a fun day plinking at the range.

As for the platform itself, building an AR-15 in .224 Valkyrie is simple. All you need are a .224 Valkyrie barrel and a 6.8mm SPC bolt and magazine.


Since its introduction, the 6.5mm Grendel has been the choice for long- range work when using an AR-15. With the right bullets, though, the .224 Valkyrie can actually beat the Grendel when it comes to bullet drop, wind deflection and retained velocity. This is an impressive feat in and of itself. The ability to throw 100-grain bullets is eye-opening, and I have to wonder about the possibilities of even perhaps a super-heavy subsonic load down the road.

I'm betting the .224 Valkyrie will eclipse the .22 Nosler, but time will tell. Most new cartridge introductions invoke little more than a polite yawn from me. This new offering from Federal, though, has real potential in many different areas.

https://files.osgnetworks.tv/10/files/2018/04/224ValkSpecs.jpg

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Revew

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Revew

Mossberg Patriot Predator 6.5 PRC Revew

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Tactical Solutions Introduces New X-Ring Takedown SBR Rifle

Keith Feeley of Tactical Solutions sat down with Michael Bane at SHOT Show 2018 to talk about the new X-Ring Takedown SBR .22LR rifle.

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense

Delta 5 - Daniel Defense's New Precision Bolt Action Rifle

Those looking to explore precision rifle shooting without going broke will be well served by Daniel Defense's new Delta 5.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The .222 Rem. is not only a classic round. It also spawned an entire family of cartridges..222 Remington Rifle Cartridge – Family Portrait Ammo

.222 Remington Rifle Cartridge – Family Portrait

Layne Simpson - July 24, 2020

The .222 Rem. is not only a classic round. It also spawned an entire family of cartridges.

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still getting the job done..30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years Ammo

.30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years

Craig Boddington - August 06, 2020

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still...

Ruger introduced .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC chamberings for the Ruger Precision Rifle.Ruger Precision Rifle Now Chambered in .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC Bolt-Action

Ruger Precision Rifle Now Chambered in .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC

Rifleshooter Digital Staff - April 27, 2019

Ruger introduced .300 PRC and 6.5 PRC chamberings for the Ruger Precision Rifle.

With the introduction of the .22LR chambering option, the Blaser R8 rifle is more versatile than ever. Blaser R8 .22LR Conversion Review Reviews

Blaser R8 .22LR Conversion Review

Layne Simpson - July 30, 2020

With the introduction of the .22LR chambering option, the Blaser R8 rifle is more versatile...

See More Trending Articles

More Ammo

The well-known bullet maker, Berger Bullets, is now loading some terrific deer ammunition.Berger Bullets Classic Hunter Ammo Ammo

Berger Bullets Classic Hunter Ammo

J. Scott Rupp - December 13, 2019

The well-known bullet maker, Berger Bullets, is now loading some terrific deer ammunition.

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still getting the job done..30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years Ammo

.30-30 Win. Cartridge Celebrates 125 Years

Craig Boddington - August 06, 2020

The .30-30 Win. cartridge celebrates 125 years of service to big game hunters, and it's still...

Berger announces the addition of the new 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter projectile to the long range Elite Hunter product line.Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter Bullet — New for 2020 Ammo

Berger 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter Bullet — New for 2020

RifleShooter Digital Staff - April 20, 2020

Berger announces the addition of the new 30 Caliber 205 Grain Elite Hunter projectile to the...

Craig Boddington takes a look five great military cartridges, all more than a century old, that continue to solider on. 5 Great Military Rifle Cartridges Ammo

5 Great Military Rifle Cartridges

Craig Boddington - August 07, 2020

Craig Boddington takes a look five great military cartridges, all more than a century old,...

See More Ammo

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Rifle Shooter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now