so... is the 224 Valkyrie worth it?

AZIROC

Sergeant
Jan 27, 2012
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Avondale, AZ
#1
I've started to get parts around for a new build and have been wanting to do it in 224. I have a precision 223 and 308 semi auto now. I've haven't been to up to date on this new round and now I'm debating on still doing the build.

anyone out there have any (updated) info on it? Last I heard the 1:7 twist may not be the best (which sucks cause I was gonna go with a JP barrel like my other 2 builds) and the reloading part of this round hasn't panned out all that well either.
 
#2
I’m at the staring point with a Stag Upper. It is on order but I have been studying directions to go. The Stag upper is 1/7 and I’m building the lower. Ammo has been difficult to buy and has been on order for the last 3 weeks. I will roll my own but want to see what bullets work best plus I want a good supply of brass. Since the cartridge is so new and demand has been strong, everything is on order at this time. I have a 6.8 SPC so this seemed like a good next bid.
 

XLR308

Sergeant of the Hide
Mar 22, 2018
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Grand Junction, Colorado
#3
I have a set of Aero receivers set aside for the 224V and 1000 pieces of new SSA 68spc brass I bought before Nosler bought them out so may end up reforming a couple hundred of those if components are still an issue when I complete the Rifle.
I still haven't completly made up my mind though if I will build a 224V with a 6.5" twist or a 556x42 with 7" twist. The later would give a little more performance.
 
Jan 15, 2005
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#4
I’ve been shooting mine for a couple months and I’m sold. I’ll still always have a 556 SPR but the Valkyrie is ballistically superior in every way.

IMO the only other small frame round that competes with it is the 6mmAR and you have no choice but to load for it and form brass.
 
Oct 14, 2005
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#9
Look at it this way. With the cheap 75s you match or slightly exceed Mk262 ballistics. Using the75 ELD-M you gain an improvement in BC of .1. And it fits in a mag.
 
Jan 29, 2009
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#11
I put one together about a month ago. I used a Craddock Precision Bartlein, 22" with a +2" gas system and 7 twist. I only have around 150 through it, but it shoots the Federal 90 gr. ammo exceptionally well. I haven't had any issues stabilizing the 90's, but I am at 4800'. I'm using PRI mags with no issues thus far.
 

Jeffd

Online Training Member
Feb 3, 2011
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#14
6.5 CM gassers are readily available. The 6.5 PRC I am running in my bolt guns.
 
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Jeffd

Online Training Member
Feb 3, 2011
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#16
I know i was just jacking with you. In the small frame platform I think that the 6mm version of this or just a 68spc necked down to 6mm would be a better performer both on the range and game but that is totally different thread.
I agree!
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
5,492
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Arizona, good place for me...
#17
The stag Upper would appear to be a good approach.

But I also think it's 'early days' where the available ammunition is concerned, and there appears to be some vagueness about how well the 1:7 and the 90's work out together. For example JP appears to be shipping with an accuracy disclaimer on 90's.

If that manages to be worked out (the new 88's may be promising), and if I were still healthy enough to compete PRS, I'd be very seriously considering a Stag 15 Valkyrie, mainly because of the solid reliability I've experienced with my own two Stag 24" Model 6 Super Varminters. My Stag 6 Lowers have also functioned excellent with my 3 diverse 16" Uppers.

As AR's go, having a factory developed, fully warranteed complete rifle is a big advantage over playing 'erector set' and 'eating your own mistakes'.

If you feel a real need to build, this is a good compromise. Just finish the 'all Stag' status and get the matching stripped Stag 15 'Multi' caliber Lower shipped to your FFL (arrange in advance, you'll need a copy of their FFL to forward to Stag). My second Stag 6 is a kit, completed on a Stag 15 Lower in just this manner.

"The Stag 15 Valkyrie Rifle Kit utilizes the all-new 224 Valkyrie cartridge, created by Federal Premium® Ammunition, allowing for maximal performance from the Stag 15 platform. Built around an 18” 416R Stainless Steel Fluted Heavy Barrel, the 224 Valkyrie cartridge provides less wind drift and drop than all other loads in its class and stays supersonic past 1,300 yards. This AR15 Rifle Kit only needs a Stripped Lower Receiver to complete your build."

Greg
 
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Niles Coyote

Gunny Sergeant
Aug 13, 2007
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South West, MI
#18
As long as you go into the purchase knowing this is not the equal to a 6.5 creedmoor (which a lot of folks seem to be under that illusion) but that it is one of the best cartridges out there in the AR 15 world with factory ammo support... I believe you will be satisfied with the purchase. I own a 6mm & several 6.5 grendel's, of course 223/5.56 and 308 AR's and it would be my pick over those options. It will not match my 6mm or 6.5mm Creedmoor AR's. It may be close with bullet drop but it's not as forgiving in the wind which is where matches are won many times.
 

hookedonbrass

Sergeant of the Hide
May 16, 2018
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#19
Hey Guys, brand new here. but I got some good information from Ben at bison armory regarding this twist rate situation with the .224. I figured you guys would appreciate his insight. I just ordered a 1:6.5 24" heavy fluted from him.

"Yes, the 1:6.5 twist is optimal according to both Sierra and to the Berger twist rate calculator. However, the Sierra 90 SMK is apparently at fault for the accuracy issues the Federal factory load is experiencing, or at least that’s the theory given the tests I’m aware of with the 1:6.5 and even 1:6 twist barrels showing the same accuracy issues as the 1:7 twist. Apparently Sierra is aware of the problem and they are working on changing the bullet design a little to fix the trouble.

Yes, the 1:6.5 twist will work with the lighter bullets as well, and with the 95 grain and other high BC bullets, provided the bullets themselves can stand up to the velocity and twist they’re run at. I’ve been running the 80 grain SMK and ELD bullets from 1:7 and they are very accurate. The bullets should hold up fine in the 1:6.5 twist as well."

Also talked to Kevin Reese from Sightmark last weekend and he said had a bad lot of 90SMK from federal, but other than that he's been shooting good out of a 7 twist out to 1200. I bought 200 rounds of the federal 90g so we'll see what happens. I am pumped about the 88g offering from hornady though.

will report back once i have my rifle put together and test it out
 
Likes: Jeffd

Jeffd

Online Training Member
Feb 3, 2011
929
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#20
Hey Guys, brand new here. but I got some good information from Ben at bison armory regarding this twist rate situation with the .224. I figured you guys would appreciate his insight. I just ordered a 1:6.5 24" heavy fluted from him.

"Yes, the 1:6.5 twist is optimal according to both Sierra and to the Berger twist rate calculator. However, the Sierra 90 SMK is apparently at fault for the accuracy issues the Federal factory load is experiencing, or at least that’s the theory given the tests I’m aware of with the 1:6.5 and even 1:6 twist barrels showing the same accuracy issues as the 1:7 twist. Apparently Sierra is aware of the problem and they are working on changing the bullet design a little to fix the trouble.

Yes, the 1:6.5 twist will work with the lighter bullets as well, and with the 95 grain and other high BC bullets, provided the bullets themselves can stand up to the velocity and twist they’re run at. I’ve been running the 80 grain SMK and ELD bullets from 1:7 and they are very accurate. The bullets should hold up fine in the 1:6.5 twist as well."

Also talked to Kevin Reese from Sightmark last weekend and he said had a bad lot of 90SMK from federal, but other than that he's been shooting good out of a 7 twist out to 1200. I bought 200 rounds of the federal 90g so we'll see what happens. I am pumped about the 88g offering from hornady though.

will report back once i have my rifle put together and test it out
Thanks!
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#21
I'm going to be watching and waiting. In a year to 18 months, somebody is going to start making really nice .224 barrels for under $300 that work well with an easy to get and reasonably priced bullet. Once I figure out what that is I'll build an upper.

Right now everything seems very expensive, unproven, ammo sensitive or two out of three.

I've had good luck with cheapo 10 round 6.8 SPC mags for 6.8 SPC, I forget which brand.

The PRIs seem good for people who load long.

Hopefully that reasonably priced .224 barrel won't have a super long throat that needs PRI mags.
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#25
Damn Aero Precision had a sale on their M4E1 enhanced upper with 15" Mlok free float tube and ambi charging handle and then they added a $15 off coupon (FLASH517) on top of that.

$265 out the door, now I've got to wait and see on .224 Valkyrie and hopefully find a nice barrel to put in that upper.

If anyone is looking to build, that's a pretty nice setup for not too much cash tonight.
 
Apr 4, 2013
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#26
I'm going to be watching and waiting. In a year to 18 months, somebody is going to start making really nice .224 barrels for under $300 that work well with an easy to get and reasonably priced bullet. Once I figure out what that is I'll build an upper.
Same here...patiently waiting for the kinks to get worked out then I'm going to do this.
 

AZIROC

Sergeant
Jan 27, 2012
236
3
18
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Avondale, AZ
#29
Well I ended up getting a Larue barrel / bolt. just waiting till my adj gas block / bolt carrier and trigger get in.

I'm prob going to buy a box of each weight federal and see how they do. between that brass I should be able to do some workups later.
 
Jan 15, 2005
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#30
I
Right now everything seems very expensive, unproven, ammo sensitive or two out of three.
I disagree, Craddock has the chamber down pat. No ammo issues in the 6.5T and 6.7T barrels at all. 7T may not like 90's but the simple solution is to just not get the 7T. I supposed you could consider them expensive at $575ish with gas tube and headspaced bolt but IMO that's a very good price for a cut rifled barrel with all that work done.

Look at it in a a bolt gun perspective. That's a $350 barrel blank that would run another $350 for install and $100-$125 for muzzle threads or $450-$475 worth of work total. They're doing that same work, plus drilling a gas port, supplying a receiver extension, and $575 gets you the gas block and bolt as well... That's a deal.

Edit: I pulled up my invoice $574.94 for the Rock Creek barrel, +2" gas tube, headspace bolt, and shipping. They also offer the bead blasted finish for no additional charge that most smiths would hit you another $50 for.
 

m6z

Private
Mar 2, 2013
591
128
43
Joplin, MO
#31
We shot them in a local match a couple weeks ago, out of 72 shooters we took first and second. So far it's working well, just understand it's not a Creedmoor. For time based targets under 600 it is hard to beat, and has the capability to do 1000+ out of a small frame AR. What's not to like? View attachment 6905230
Barrel length? Good balance with the MOE rifle stock?

+2" gas system with a 15" handguard?

@Red_SC
 

Red_SC

Redheaded Stepchild
Nov 26, 2003
1,920
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Florence, SC
#32
Barrel length? Good balance with the MOE rifle stock?

+2" gas system with a 15" handguard?

@Red_SC
These are 22" with +2 gas and 15" handguard. They have .750 gas blocks and a Remington varmint contour behind the gas block. I think they balance out pretty well.
 
Likes: EdO
Apr 27, 2017
11
3
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#34
I disagree, Craddock has the chamber down pat. No ammo issues in the 6.5T and 6.7T barrels at all. 7T may not like 90's but the simple solution is to just not get the 7T. I supposed you could consider them expensive at $575ish with gas tube and headspaced bolt but IMO that's a very good price for a cut rifled barrel with all that work done.

Look at it in a a bolt gun perspective. That's a $350 barrel blank that would run another $350 for install and $100-$125 for muzzle threads or $450-$475 worth of work total. They're doing that same work, plus drilling a gas port, supplying a receiver extension, and $575 gets you the gas block and bolt as well... That's a deal.

Edit: I pulled up my invoice $574.94 for the Rock Creek barrel, +2" gas tube, headspace bolt, and shipping. They also offer the bead blasted finish for no additional charge that most smiths would hit you another $50 for.
100% agree. I received my 20" 224V 1:6.7 Rock Creek from Craddock Precision. I got the complete upper (BCG, fluting, threaded barrel, etc.) and mats perfectly snug with my Seekins 223 billet lower. Paul was completely responsive to my emails/calls and answered all my newbie questions, and delivered the final product quicker than the time quoted. I am going shooting next weekend and can't wait to see it in action.

Craddock will be building my 6.5 Grendel for sure.
 
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flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#35
I went with a TAC 6.

It will shoot a 105 grain Berger at 2,700+ fps out of an 18" barrel, 1 in 8" twist, no stability issues.

I'm hoping to duplicate that with 105 grain RDF (blems) which some people say is a Berger copy. If I can't, I'll just have to step up to Bergers.

Those ballistics compare pretty favorably to .224 unless it's a 95 grain with a 22"+ barrel.
 
Jan 15, 2005
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#37
I went with a TAC 6.

It will shoot a 105 grain Berger at 2,700+ fps out of an 18" barrel, 1 in 8" twist, no stability issues.

I'm hoping to duplicate that with 105 grain RDF (blems) which some people say is a Berger copy. If I can't, I'll just have to step up to Bergers.

Those ballistics compare pretty favorably to .224 unless it's a 95 grain with a 22"+ barrel.
2700+ with a 105 out of a 18"? As someone who has been down the 6AR path, I don't buy that. I think the 6AR has more capacity and it does that with mild loads out of a 24-26", hotter loads get 2750. I bet you could get that from a good longer barrel but not 18".

If I'm wrong, that's awesome performance from a short AR15 but I'm very skeptical.
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#38
At least two people are getting that with the same barrel and I think about 29.5 grains of CFE 223.
 
Jan 15, 2005
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#39
At least two people are getting that with the same barrel and I think about 29.5 grains of CFE 223.
Well that's fantastic results but don't expect good performance aside from velocity from CFE. ES/SD is usually terrible and accuracy is so so. It's far from a great powder choice for a long range rifle.

I'm sure it would have given me a great velocity in my Valkyrie with the 95's but I chose Varget at a reduced speed because of how consistent it was. ES 10 or below and SD's in the 3's on fire formed brass. It's under 2500fps but the BC will do the work.
 
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waveslayer

Full Member
Mar 6, 2012
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#40
Well that's fantastic results but don't expect good performance aside from velocity from CFE. ES/SD is usually terrible and accuracy is so so. It's far from a great powder choice for a long range rifle.

I'm sure it would have given me a great velocity in my Valkyrie with the 95's but I chose Varget at a reduced speed because of how consistent it was. ES 10 or below and SD's in the 3's on fire formed brass. It's under 2500fps but the BC will do the work.
I'm tagging this thread for future referrence.

But CFE is great out of a gas gun. I'm running it in my Grendel with great success, a lot of guys over at the 6.5 Grendel Forum recommend CFE
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#41
It seems to be pretty accurate for them, one of them shot 1/2 MOA with 29 grains CFE 223, about 2,650 fps and said two of the five shots spoiled a 1/4 MOA group.

I think it was just charge weight work, he hadn't tested seating depth or neck tension.

He also seems to go back and forth on bullet weight and powders, trying to find varmint and hunting loads as well as target loads.

I'll concentrate on target loads, seeing if I can work up to where those two are at and then try to optimize for my components.
 
Feb 20, 2017
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#42
I've been thinking a 224V makes more sense than an AR10 for me. Banging steel out as far as I can. Less recoil, sort of less ammo cost, once they iron out the kinks.
 
Jan 1, 2014
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#43
I've been thinking a 224V makes more sense than an AR10 for me. Banging steel out as far as I can. Less recoil, sort of less ammo cost, once they iron out the kinks.
will say there is a huge impact on steel difference with 175's vs 140's (6.5creed) and surely the difference will be greater going down to 88/90's.
 

GrandpaDeadLegs

New Hide Member
May 7, 2018
59
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#44
Also beneficial the other way around.. I won't have to blow holes in the backyard range I designed for .223 damage, shouldn't really bother the neighborhood any more sound wise either (they hope)
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#45
If you shoot box ammo, it's a little cheaper than 6.5 Creedmoor. Looking at 6.8 SPC costs (a more mature and common caliber at this point), .224 is never going to get down to 5.56 prices and the "match grade" ammo is going to be nearly as expensive as 6.5 Creedmoor (which is a bargain considering that it barely costs more than similar .308 ammo).

If you reload, .224 is cheaper but not as much as you think. High B.C. bullet prices seem to scale much more with their B.C. than their weight, unlike simple stuff like flat base soft points and FMJs whose price seems to scale directly with weight.

Rifle cost is a bit cheaper or a lot if you already have a lower you can use.

A few things turned me to TAC 6. First, the TAC 6 uses bullets that are common in .243, 6mm Creedmoor, 6x47 Lapua, 6PPC and several other relatively older bench rest calibers but they aren't the heaviest for caliber. Second the common 1 in 8" twist is known to stabilize 105s just fine. Finally, if I'm choosing between two rifles with similar ballistics, I want the one that punches bigger holes with heavier bullets.

TAC 6 also comes with all the benefits of .224 because it works in an AR15, it uses the same bolt, parent case and magazines. It gets similar performance with a shorter, lighter barrel which means a much more familiar feel to it if you are used to 16" AR15s.

One positive/negative is that as far as I know, only one barrel maker is doing TAC 6 but that means he's making sure the chamber specs are right and he's doing load development in a barrel essentially identical to what I bought.

In .224 it sounds like half of the chambers are screwed up and a bunch of people are blowing out primers on box ammo. Make the wrong choice of .224 barrel and you have a mess.
 
#46
2700+ with a 105 out of a 18"? As someone who has been down the 6AR path, I don't buy that. I think the 6AR has more capacity and it does that with mild loads out of a 24-26", hotter loads get 2750. I bet you could get that from a good longer barrel but not 18".

If I'm wrong, that's awesome performance from a short AR15 but I'm very skeptical.
The Tac 6 runs at 58,000psi, the 6mmAR only 52-54000 before the cases start to bulge like a belted magnum. 4-5000psi is good for another 100fps out of the same length barrel. An extra gr of capacity is only good for 20-40fps if the pressure is held at the same level. One guy is testing N540, Mr2000 and Shooters World Match in S&B brass and has found some very fast accurate loads but he isn't ready to post the loads yet. We'll see in a few months after I have time to test more myself and hook it up to the pressure trace.
 
Likes: r.tenorio671
Sep 30, 2014
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#47
A bit off topic but interested in opinions from those that have both. I already have a 6.5 Grendel. Reasons why I might consider a .224V?
 

flyer

Sergeant of the Hide
Apr 25, 2018
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#48
When it works, a 22" .224 with a 95 grain bullet is a better 1,000 yard target round.

An 18" TAC 6 with a 105 grain bullet is just a hair behind that so it's still a legitimate 1,000 yard AR.

The 6.5 Grendle uses lower B.C. bullets and the MV is lower so I think it's just barely supersonic at 1,000.

Claiming that 6.5 Grendle is a legitimate 1,000 yard target round is straining credibility pretty hard, you need some margin before you go transonic and at 1,000 yards 6.5 Grendle has none.

If you don't want to shoot 1,000 yards, there is no reason to upgrade.

I have a 6.5 Creedmoor (LR308 pattern) which shoots better than me and has taken me to 1,000 yards. I'm downgrading for a "trainer" because my 24" 6.5 Creedmoor bull barrel makes it pretty big and heavy. It's actually kind of small and light for a 1,000 yard rifle but I want to see what I can do with an SPR size rifle.
 
Sep 30, 2014
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#49
Thanks for the perspective Flyer. I like my Grendel out to about 750 yards for target shooting. Nothing serious beyond that given my configuration.
 

lash

Swamp Rat
Sep 28, 2012
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#50
While I don't disagree with the Grendel comments above, a few of us watched as one of the guys down here put three shots into roughly 4-1/2" at 1400 yards using a Grendel AR and factory Hornady match ammo, while the rest of us were using .338 LM, .375 CT and one 6.5 Creed. It was quite the sight to see.

This was last year, in Central Florida at roughly 35' ASL.
 
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