“It’s better to take your time and do something right than to rush”. That’s what I keep telling myself. And these words are well suited to describe my in-progress 224 Valkyrie project. After the 224 announcement and reveal last October, I felt an urgent need to get hands-on with this cartridge “right away”. In hind sight, the project delays I’ve been experienced have been beneficial. Following the overwhelming hype surrounding 224 Valkyrie at the 2018 SHOT show, some “challenges” have surfaced. Talking with several people including Johnny of Johnny’s Reloading Bench- there have been a lot of issues with accuracy (specifically using the Sierra 90 grain Match King bullet) and reliability/magazines/feeding. So now I can take this information and have a better shot at success with my project. And that’s a good thing since I’m going to be “really invested” by the time I finish gunsmithing projects and make other big time investments.
Here’s a quick update (July 2018):
I still plan to build to rifles:
- An AR-15 with ~22-24″ barrel, 1:6.5 or 1:7 twist
- A bolt action rifle with ~22-24″ barrel, 1:6.5 or 1:7 twist
The AR-15 will represent the target application for 224 Valkyrie- and should give real-world results for this cartridge. The bolt-action rifle will remove all of the semi-automatic variables so that the ballistics and accuracy potential for 224 Valkyrie can be studied in isolation of other factors.
Regarding twist rate- I’m working with Benchmark Barrels to investigate what they have (barrel blanks) that would be suitable for this project. More updates soon!
Ammunition and Bullets
I do plan to experiment with a variety of bullets, powders, and other components in order to explore this new cartridge. The Sierra 90 grain Match King, the Nosler 85 grain RDF, and the Hornady 88 grain ELD-M bullets all look like great candidates. I’m still looking into powders- would love some suggestions!
At this point, I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be ready to “head to the range” with my 224 Valkyrie rifles- lots of things still need to come together. I will give frequent updates, and really appreciate all of the ideas and feedback that you all are giving, keep it up!
I’ll share more as things unfold, thanks for your patience everyone!
4 thoughts on “224 Valkyrie: Project Planning Update July 2018”
Gavin, you are one lucky dog for getting that Forster 224 sizing die. Have had mine on back order for months now. Don’t over look the 80 – 85 gr bullets from Berger and the ELD match 224 bullets. They seem to do better in my 24 inch 1:7 CMMG upper than the smk 90’s.
Both Federal and Sierra have come out and said that the 1 in 6.5 only applies to the .223 Remington. They both say 1 in 7 is recommended for the 90 SMK on a Valkyrie. I know what Sierra’s load data says, but what thier tech support people will tell you is 1 in 7… as of today I have only tried the American Eagle load and it does well in my 20 inch barrel.
From Federal recently on YouTube…
I have a .224 Valkyrie that I built using a rem sa with a criterion 24″ 1-6.5 remage barrel setup and with factory loads I get excellent results with the 60 grain varmint loads. Now I did try both options of 90gr bullets and the fusion wasn’t the greatest but still gave me a .8.. group. With all my excitement on how the this project was performing with just factory stuff I tried the smk’s and they did good but…I fudged a shot or 2 that made it look bad. I cleaned the rifle and then it didn’t shoot as good, but I was getting annoyed with weather and other things and I just quit with it because I haven’t had decent temps and shells are hard to find and get as I don’t reload yet. Right now I’m getting ready to pillar bed the rifle so.
Gavin HELP can you work up a load for the 224 valkyrie with 85 grain Nosler ref please.