Fun 500yd Low Recoil Rifle....223AI or 224 Valkryie

NHPiper

Tactical Bagpiper
Feb 17, 2017
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Concord, NH
#1
Hi all, looking for some input on a fun .223-esque catridge for a new bolt gun. I want it to have a little more "umph" than the standard .223 with my 77gr handloads, so I was thinking of .223AI (easy to fire form brass and good velocities) or trying out the .224 Valkyrie.

Any recommendations for either catridge or another that I'm not listing? Will most likely be handloading for this. Usual range is 500 yards but can stretch it to 900 fairly easy.
 

Jeffd

Online Training Member
Feb 3, 2011
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#4
I am a 224 VK guy as I do not reload and can buy factory ammo and have the ability to reach out farther.
 

mcfred

Sergeant
Feb 17, 2011
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SW USA
#5
500 yard limit? Straight .223 Rem will get it done. It's only about 2 mil drop. you don't even need to dial for 500. The 224V and 223AI just complicate things.

If you can wait a couple months the Howa 1500 Mini is supposed to go to an 8-twist barrel (from a 1:9") and they've been on sale for $350 or less recently and have had a lot of positive reviews on accuracy and customer service. if you need more 'oomph' then the same gun at the same price is offered in 6.5 grendel whose longevity has withstood more time in the market than the 224V and 223AI. 2¢
 

MarkCO

Full Member
Dec 21, 2010
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#7
Have you loaded 223 to 5.56 pressures and still felt like you needed more? To me, the Valkyrie is for 800 plus with low recoil.

I'll shoot 69s at about 2700 or so out to 600 and only bump up to 77s beyond that.
 
Jan 23, 2010
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#8
Good advice above from those staying straight 223/5.56. Even in the stiff winds we get here, it’s more than doable and effective at those ranges. Find a good load that your gun likes at 500+ and enjoy. The Misses typically runs her 20” RRA out to 800 yards in very sub negative DA’s (-2500). No sense fussing with brass forming and such unless you like that sort of thing.
 
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260284

Sergeant
Feb 15, 2017
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#9
I run 75 ELDM out of a .223 bolt gun at 2835 fps with Varget. It is as flat or flatter than my 6.5 Creedmoor at 500. No recoil and cheaper to shoot.
 
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NHPiper

Tactical Bagpiper
Feb 17, 2017
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#10
All good advice gents, thanks. I run a .223 with a WOA 20" barrel and it is a tack driver with 77 SMK or 77 CC. Also shoots sub MOA with 55gr factory ammo. I am getting around 2750 with Varget.

However, I want to play with something in a .22 cal that has a little more umph for fun. A 77gr or 80gr bullet above 3000fps sounds like a lot of fun from the .223AI case. And I wouldnt have to get new brass or have a unique bolt head. I get the appeal of the Valkyrie, but at that range I am shooting 6.5 Creeds or bigger anyways. So am I wrong in thinking .223AI could be fairly simple and fun?

I did play with a 6.5 Grendel and while it shot well, I preferred my .308, .260 and 6.5 Creed.
 

mcfred

Sergeant
Feb 17, 2011
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#11
Personally, I have almost no interest in it, but you might consider the .22 Nosler then too. More capacity than the 223AI, though less than the .224V while maintaining the 'standard' .375" bolt face. Brass might not be the most availalble but neither would the Valk stuff.

Nothing wrong with the AI though; after all it's your money.
 

Mordamer

Professional Know It All
May 11, 2010
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#12
.223 AI is an excellent choice. I agree with others that a regular .223 is pretty hard to beat for what you want to do, but if you want more speed then .223 AI is the best choice. Get a barrel at least 24 inches. Shoot a 75 ELD at 2,900+ and the ballistics are awesome. Incredibly fun to shoot.
 
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mcfred

Sergeant
Feb 17, 2011
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#14
Maybe I've just got a fast factory barrel, I'm getting 69 SMKs to 3110 from a straight .223 Rem 24" bolt gun (2.300" OAL using BLC-2). No sticky bolt lift, no loose primer pockets, no FL sizing required. Comparing 69 SMK to 77 SMK in published data, I should net around 3000 fps wih the 77.
 
Nov 22, 2010
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#15
If your only shooting 500 yds, the higher muzzle velocity of the 224 VK or 223AI really only means less barrel life. 223 or 556 will get the job done and then some at 500. I’ve had my RPR 223 out to 1000 yds with an 80 gr eld pushed to 2780 fps out of a 20" barrel. 500 yd shots are well within its range. If you want more "umph" go 6mm or 6.5. Both will hit harder than either the 223vk or 223ai.
 

XLR308

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 22, 2018
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#16
The Valkyrie is an interesting cartridge but you would also need an action with the ability to change out boltheads since its a non standard size. The owner of Ar Performance came out with pretty much the same thing years ago only the 68spc case it necked down and not shortened so it actually has higher performance capabilities than the Valkyrie he also made one in 6mm also better performance.
 

XLR308

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 22, 2018
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#18
I thought the 224 V was using the 6.8 case as well?
It is the same parent case only the 224V has been shortened so that the 90smk can be loaded to mag length the 556x42 (SPC) has not so it has more case capacity but is not optimized for AR mag length loading of the 90SMK. It will push the 77-80 grain pills to around 3000-3100 From a 20" barrel though. If I were to have a bolt gun built for either I would chose the 556x42 and have a proper twist and throat cut for the 90SMK but then again there are far better choices to be had in a standard bolt face.
There is a good thread on another forum but I'm not 100% sure about the rules of posting threads from other forums here. Im far to new here to be getting my hand slapped for breaking the rules ;)
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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#19
I went through this process back around 2000-2005. I decided the 223 lacked sufficient Oomph for anything beyond 300yd; and obtained a .22-250. Well, it was just the ticket for those 400yd 'Chucks, and would have probably been the same at 500yd.

But there were drawbacks, too. The barrel heated up too much, too quick; and the barrels (223 and 22-250) were built around 1:12" and 1:14" twists. So LR favoring bullets were not usable.

In the end, I found a compromise; the 223 in a 24" 1:9" using Hornady 75gr HPBT-Match. The combination was highly adequate for F T/R out to 600yd, and would probably actually be satisfactory at 800yd. It worked even better in a 1:8" twist, that would be my choice for a 20" barrel length, but that might reduce velocities to an undesirable low. On paper, here at 4200ft ASL, it's even supersonic and a bit at 1000yd, but that's not reliable at low altitudes.

The final conclusion was that for the 22 caliber C/F, the .223 was very adequate, and that trying to make a bigger case capacity work in that bore diameter was going to bring in collateral issues.

For beyond 600yd, I bring out the .260 Rem and/or the .308.

Greg
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#21
I like the 223 ai, it makes up for me running a shorter barrel. Don't have to worry about trimming brass either. I've taken my fireforming loads out to 700 yards with good success using an 80 grain amax.
 

Codiekfx400

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 29, 2018
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#23
I would definitely stick with a straight 223 and run it in a Wylde chamber to 5.56 pressure. I am building a 223 Wylde with a Bighorn Origin and a 24" barrel from PVA or longriflesinc have not decided yet. From the testing I did in my tikka 1-8 twist 23.7 " barrel a stiff dose of Hodgdon Benchmark yielded slightly over 3000 fps with a 75 eld.
 
Likes: MarkCO
Jan 8, 2018
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#25
But what about the 100 grn loads I have been hearing about. I think that would change things some. Everyone talks about the 77 or 80 grn loads. I think they have room here from shortening the case to use much heavier bullets than 55,60 or even 77 grn.
 

Bradu

Full Member
Aug 24, 2011
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#27
But what about the 100 grn loads I have been hearing about. I think that would change things some. Everyone talks about the 77 or 80 grn loads. I think they have room here from shortening the case to use much heavier bullets than 55,60 or even 77 grn.
I personally don't think there is enough case capacity to push the 95 grain bullets out of these little cartridges. I would save those for the 22 creedmoor or 22-250 sized cartridges where you have more powder capacity and magazine length.
 
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Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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Arizona, good place for me...
#28
For my purposes, the .223/5.56 has a 75/77gr upper bullet weight/size limit. I think the poor little critter is breathing way too hard with heavier bullets than that.

IMHO the heavier bullets are an attempt to move the .223/5.56 performance out of its most effective performance bracket, where a step up in bore diameter is a far better approach for the kind of performance that is desired. My view is that the .223 can be reliable out to 600yd for competitive purposes, and probably has a useful capability of some sort for another 100yd-200yd beyond that. For 1000yd, I use the .260 bolt gun; less fuss, less muss.

Greg
 
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Likes: Bradu
Feb 14, 2017
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#30
20180329_183957.jpg
Every time I think I need a little more horsepower I go out and shoot a 6 round group like this at 500 yards in a +10mph wind with a 223 gas gun off a barricade. Then I say to hell with wildcats and I don't even have a heart attack when I can only find 5 pieces of brass.
 

XLR308

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 22, 2018
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#31
View attachment 6888791
Every time I think I need a little more horsepower I go out and shoot a 6 round group like this at 500 yards in a +10mph wind with a 223 gas gun off a barricade. Then I say to hell with wildcats and I don't even have a heart attack when I can only find 5 pieces of brass.
Well put, I think the 224V is an interesting little round for an AR and will be a big seller. I myself may even build one eventually but it won't be because it has factory ammo since I still have 1000 pieces of SSA 68spc brass from before Nosler bought them out. I will just form my own and work up my own loads. I wouldnt however build a bolt rifle for this round considering there are far better choices. But I'm not knocking what someone else thinks would be a fun project. Its like the endless pissing matches between the 65 Grendal and the 68spc both are fine cartridges for their intended purposes just dont expect an apples to apples comparison of the two. One is better as a target round one is better as a short barrel hunting round. To the Op I say if it peaks your interest and gets you out shooting more build a bolt gun in 224V and have some fun.
 
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NHPiper

Tactical Bagpiper
Feb 17, 2017
342
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Concord, NH
#34
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I put some feelers out to my gunsmiths, one of them being Greg Young (Bugholes), who offered to sell me a used Stiller action with a Mullerworks barrel (500ish round) for a cost less than the action new. I couldnt resist the offer.....
 
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mike e

Kiwi Hunter
May 17, 2014
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#35
I have a M700 Rem in 6.5TCU (.223 necked up to 6,5mm) cheap brass and I shoot it out to 800m.
Also big enough to shoot critters up to red deer size :D
I load ammo for it on my RL550m Deprime and neck up then load. Fire form the first time then reload . Fireforming loads shoot almost as good
Use 123gn Lapua or 123 ELD for steel and 123gn sst for deer. 2550fps from 24 inch barrel with 26gns of ADI BM2

Top rifle but now wears a nsx 5.5-22 x56
Left to right
6.5TCU, 6.5SAUM, .375WSM
 
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Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#36
If your only shooting 500 yds, the higher muzzle velocity of the 224 VK or 223AI really only means less barrel life. 223 or 556 will get the job done and then some at 500. I’ve had my RPR 223 out to 1000 yds with an 80 gr eld pushed to 2780 fps out of a 20" barrel. 500 yd shots are well within its range. If you want more "umph" go 6mm or 6.5. Both will hit harder than either the 223vk or 223ai.
Could not agree more with this post. Your requirements are contradictory: you want 500 yards, but you want more than 223. The 223 is more than capable of 500 yards with any bullet above 65 grains (and some lighter than that). My Tikka Varmint 223 ran super slow at its accuracy node (2650 fps with a 75 HPBT Match), and I got it to nearly 700 without any issues.

If you want more than a 223 can offer, the 6mm cartridges were built for you. Way more power than a 223 with still very low recoil, especially if we're talking about a range gun with a medium/heavy barrel contour.
 

260284

Sergeant
Feb 15, 2017
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#37
My Tikka varmint is shooting almost 1 hole groups with 75 ELDM and H4895. Getting 2995 and SD of 6 with Nammo brass and CCI 450s. I considered going 223 AI so I won't have to trim brass, but I am more than happy with what I am getting with the straight 223.

I might have to try the 70 grain Accubonds on deer when they come out.
 
Oct 17, 2017
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Dallas
#38
My Tikka varmint is shooting almost 1 hole groups with 75 ELDM and H4895. Getting 2995 and SD of 6 with Nammo brass and CCI 450s. I considered going 223 AI so I won't have to trim brass, but I am more than happy with what I am getting with the straight 223.

I might have to try the 70 grain Accubonds on deer when they come out.
That's cooking for a 223! Good work!