In January, Federal Premium debuted a new long-range cartridge – the .224 Valkyrie. Having already achieved award-winning status prior to Shot Show, the new cartridge was officially approved by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) during their committee meeting in Vegas. The official SAAMI publication of their decision was just released this week.
Says Federal Premium Ammunition President Jason Vanderbrink –
“SAAMI’s approval of the cartridge was a crucial step in legitimizing it within the industry. Their work creates standards for the cartridge, increasing safety, interchangeability, reliability and quality for the dozens of firearm manufacturers currently building rifles in our 224 Valkyrie.”
Designed for long-range shooting and hunting, Federal Premium lays claim to having the “WORLD’S FIRST SUPERSONIC 1,300-YARD MSR 15 CARTRIDGE”. The manufacturer boasts that the 224 “provides less wind drift and drop than all other loads in its class and stays supersonic past 1,300 yards.”
In fact, reviews coming in so far confirm the impressive performance of the new cartridge. American Hunter’s Philip Massaro had this to say after performing a head-to-head comparison between the .224 Valkyrie and the .22 Nosler (released in 2017) –
I have to give the edge to the .224 Valkyrie, for two reasons. One, the twist rate allows for ridiculously heavy bullets to be used, and makes it a viable deer cartridge. The 90-grain Fusion has been used in the field with very good effect, and I’d say that it truly brings the Valkyrie into the 6mm class. Two, the sheer availability of good Federal ammunition and the possibility of creating your own brass in a pinch are worthy reasons to lean toward the Valkyrie. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the Nosler design—I’ve shot it and it functions very well—but the sheer amount of Federal ammunition, especially the American Eagle load selling at less than $14 per box, is going to make a difference. Some folks have cited the Nosler’s rebated rim as being an issue, though I don’t agree with that.
The Valkyrie’s shorter case will make seating those long bullets a bit easier, and my own shooting experiences with it were nothing but positive. I got to take it out to 800 yards at the SHOT Show’s Industry Day at the Range, and I can report very mild recoil in the gas gun, and the ability to see my own vapor trail and call my own shots in the desert air. I think the .224 Valkyrie will be with us for quite some time, and create quite a few converts.
Comparing bullet weights, Massaro explained that the .22 Nosler’s twist rate of 1:8″ allows for a maximum 85-grain bullet to be used. More impressively with a 1:7″ twist rate the .224 Valkyrie, he believes, could produce stable shots with bullets as heavy as 105 grains.
In other testing, Guns America’s Clay Martin really put the .224 Valkyrie to the test, and found himself rather impressed –
One mile also starts really playing hell with your ability to see. 224 Valkyrie is an awesome round, but it isn’t magic. Well, maybe it is a little bit magic. But it is still running out of energy quick at 1,760 yards. It took a few rounds to find my correct elevation, with little tiny puffs of mud to spot. After I got the DOPE right, I shot five rounds at steel. It barely chipped the paint, but two landed. There was so little movement of the target I actually had to drive down to see it, still believing I had shanked all five. They might’ve barely chipped the paint, but two hits were visible. The most telling part, they were both on the left side of the target. The wind was from my left, odds are pretty good I overestimated the wind drift on the other three. Wow. Just wow.
Video of Martin’s review is below.
How do you feel about the .224 Valkyrie? Are you a convert? Let us know your impressions.