There’s no doubt that the 5.56/.223 round is one of the most popular to shoot. But have you ever been in a position when you needed a bit more distance and umph to your shot? Well, Ben Brown over at Guns.com did a good review of a couple of options for you, the 6.5 Grendel vs .224 Valkyrie.
In general, the AR-15 is a bit lackluster when it comes to distance shooting. However, given the right barrel and bolt, you can now get your AR15 to distances of 1,000 yards or more. See what Ben has to say about the 6.5 Grendel vs .224 Valkyrie.
History and Specs
Most people are probably at least a little familiar with the 6.5 Grendel since it’s been around since 2004 thanks to Alexander Arms. The .224 Valkyrie has only been around since 2017 and because of the newness, some people are skeptical of the reported data.
Since the 6.5 Grendel has been around for 14 years, there are a lot of options as far as firearm accessories as well as ballistic loads. For those of us that may not know, the Grendel is actually a 7.62×39 casing that has been necked down to accept the 6.5 projectile. The 6.5 Grendel is extremely accurate with a good ballistic coefficient, according to Ben. It’s been reported to stay supersonic well over 1,200 yards.
For the .224 Valkyrie, it’s a 6.8SPC casing that has been necked down to accept the .224 projectile. In some testing, it has been shown to stay supersonic to well over 1,300 yards. The optimum barrel length for the .224 Valkyrie is 22”-24”. Ben also found this round to be very accurate and stated that both rounds actually made him look like a better shooter (his words, seriously).
Both rounds run great in direct impingement guns and you only need to swap out your barrel and bolt to run either load. For the evaluation, Ben used an 18” barrel from Odin Works for the .224 Valkyrie and an 18” barrel from Ballistic Advantage for the Grendel.
Primary Roles: 6.5 Grendel vs .224 Valkyrie
Really, you can’t go wrong with either load. They’re both going to be great for competition distance shooting. The Grendel, Ben feels, is better for shooting in large quantities based on the number of ammo options, including bulk. The .224 Valkyrie will be a bit more expensive just because there aren’t as many options available.
With both caliber options giving you great distances, it really comes down to projectile weight. With it’s lighter bullet, the .224 Valkyrie is better for varmint hunting, such as coyotes, bobcats, and such. The 6.5 Grendel is a heavier load and will work better for larger game, like deer.
What do you think about these cartridges? Are they just fads? Is the Grendel more of a European cartridge? Let us know in the comments below.