This is going to be perhaps the most in-depth project I’ve taken on here on Ultimate Reloader- building two rifles, working up load data, measuring ballistics, and a bunch of related field work (hunting, and who knows what else). I’m excited to get started, and to share these experiences with you. What is it I’m talking about? It’s my “224 Valkyrie Journey”! In this article, I’ll outline my first projects- a Remington 700 rifle build *and* an AR-15 build (upper). Let’s get into the details!
Rifle Build Goals and Parameters
The goal for these rifle builds is to use both a bolt gun (Remington 700 custom build) and a semi-automatic (AR-15) to evaluate the capabilities of the 224 Valkyrie rifle cartridge with and without semi-automatic “variables” at play. While 224 Valkyrie was developed specifically for the MSR/AR-15 rifle platform- I think this cartridge could be a great bolt gun application as well. Only hands-on experience will “tell the story”.
Here are some common goals and parameters that apply to both rifle builds:
- Velocity: Harness the potential of 224 Valkyrie with a 24″ barrel
- Precision: Use and chamber match-grade barrels in order to attain optimal precision
- Apples-to-Apples: As much as possible, keep parameters such as barrel steel, twist rate, and barrel length the same for both rifles
I’ll also strive to focus on the actual field applications for this kind of rifle such as long-range varmint hunting, PRS applications (why not), and general long-range target shooting. Sounds like a lot of fun to me!
For the AR-15 Build, I plan to “borrow” the lower from my Sharps Rifle which normally wears an upper chambered in 25-45 Sharps. So I’ll focus on the upper itself for this rifle build. Here’s a picture showing the components I’ll use for this build:
Above we have:
- Existing AR-15 Lower
- Aero Precision Stripped Upper Receiver
- Benchmark Barrels 24″ AR-15 barrel blank (HBAR) 1:7 Twist – pre-profiled
- ProMag 27-round 6.8 AR-15 Magazine
- Kinetic Concealment Ambidextrous charging handle
- Del-Ton Upper Receiver Parts Kit
- Del-Ton AR-15 Barrel Extension
- Del-Ton Rifle-Length AR-15 Gas Tube
- Trinity Force Micro Gas Block
- Precision Reflex 6.8 AR-15 bolt (will use separate bolt carrier)
- Trinity Force MX15 Free-Float Handguard
This will be my first AR-15 barrel chambering, which I’m really looking forward to! Lots more details coming up.
Remington 700 Build
I’ve shot plenty of Remington 700 rifles, but have never built one. Now is the time! Here’s what I’ll be using for this build:
Above we have:
- Kinetic Research (KRG) Bravo Remington 700 Chassis
- Benchmark Barrels 224 barrel blank, 1:7 twist, 24″ finished length (Sendero)
- New Remington 700 Action with bolt modified by Benchmark for 6.8/Valkyrie (with Sako-style extractor)
- Badger Ordnance .312″ oversize Remington 700 Recoil Lug
- Benchmark Tactical Brake Mini (threaded for 1/2″ 28)
- TriggerTech Special 1lb – 3.5lb trigger for Remington 700
*I’m still working out the magazine situation!
I wanted to go with a nice chassis and trigger for this build, because I plan to add bolts and barrels to this rifle so that I can use it for multiple short-action cartridges. Should come in handy for a lot of projects in the coming years! Can’t wait to run some full Trigger Scans of this rifle to see how the trigger performs at various peak pull weights. Stay tuned!
I *believe* I have everything needed to carry out both rifle builds. So in the coming weeks I’ll be publishing those stories. Then it’s on to load development, ballistics evaluation, and more. Can’t wait!
Have you built a 224 Valkyrie rifle? I’d love to hear your experiences, please leave a comment!