Good bye 6.5 Grendel; Hello .224 Valkyrie

Federal Premium has been working on a new AR-15 cartridge that stays supersonic out to 1,300 yards. Yes, you read that correctly. It is called the .224 Valkyrie and it’s a cool little round.

At Big 3 East last October, Mark Larue brought out his new Larue Stealth 2.0 rifle chambered in .224 Valkyrie.

The .224 Valkyrie is similar to a 6.5 Grendel in appearance but outperforms .223/5.56, 6.5 Grendel, and .22 Nosler in every aspect.
The round is similar to a 6.5 Grendel in appearance but outperforms .223/5.56, 6.5 Grendel, and .22 Nosler in every aspect.
Left to right: 5.56. .224 Valkyrie, 6.5 Grendel.
Left to right: 5.56. .224 Valkyrie, 6.5 Grendel.
This 90gr projectile stays supersonic out to 1,300 yards!
It has a 90gr projectile stays supersonic out to 1,300 yards!

Check out the video Federal Premium made about it.

Wind Drift/Drop and Recoil

Federal claims it has less wind drift and drop than any in its class — as much as 127 inches of less drop and 68 inches of less wind drift at 1000 yards with a 10mph wind.

  • .223 destabilizes out of supersonic speed at around 775 yards.
  • .22 Nosler drops at about 790 yards.
  • 6.5 Grendel drops out of supersonic speed at 1,100 yards.

They claim it has half the recoil of comparable rounds. They are comparing the .224 Valkyrie ballistics to 6.5 Creedmoor!

Federal Premium is Offering the New Cartridge in an Array of Ammo Varieties

Federal Premium is offering the .224 Valkyrie in a variety of options.

  • Gold Medal Sierra Matchking is 90gr
  • Fusion MSR is 100gr
  • Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint is 60gr
  • American Eagle is 75 gr

So you have a variety of bullets options for anything from varmint game hunting to long-distance competition shooting. No word just yet on the cost of this new round. Hopefully, it will be comparable to 6.5 Grendel or less. Ideally $1 per round or less. You can check out Federal’s website for more information.

As Federal Explains in the Press Release

224 Valkyrie Defined

Brand-new MSR 15 cartridge pushes accuracy envelope to extreme distances

Federal Premium’s 224 Valkyrie takes the long-range precision and ballistic performance of the MSR 15 platform to unheard of heights. The results recorded by Federal Premium engineers during the cartridge’s extensive development and testing process speak for themselves. The 224 Valkyrie provides extremely flat trajectories, supersonic velocities at as far as 1,300 yards downrange, and match-grade accuracy.

It offers dramatically improved trajectories over all other MSR 15 cartridges, including the 22 Nosler, 223 Rem. and 6.5 Grendel—with roughly half the recoil of larger cartridges offering comparable ballistics, such as the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Built To Go the Distance
Loaded with a selection of high-performance projectiles, the 224 Valkyrie is the new first choice of long-range target shooters and hunters looking to extend the reach of their favorite MSR 15. Plus, even though the new 224 Valkyrie was designed for gas-driven MSR 15 actions, it’s also extremely effective from bolt guns. All of this is great news for shooters who’ve longed for practical, economical and exceptionally reliable 1,000-plus-yard performance.

The 224 Valkyrie is based on a 30 Rem./6.8 SPC case necked down to .224 caliber. This gives it similar geometry to the 22 Nosler—although the Valkyrie’s ingenious blend of case capacity and ample ogive space, coupled with a highly efficient, heavy-for-caliber .224 projectile, produces downrange exploits the 22 Nosler can’t touch.

It offers up to 127.88 inches less drop and 68.76 inches less wind drift at 1,000 yards than the 223 Rem and other short-action calibers like the 22 Nosler and 6.5 Grendel. Plus, its ballistics are comparable to much larger, harder-kicking calibers like the 6.5 Creedmoor—with as little as half the felt recoil.

To say the 224 Valkyrie is fast, even at long ranges, is an understatement. Testing conducted by Federal Premium engineers confirms its high-speed capabilities. For example, the 224 Valkyrie 90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing produces leaves the muzzle at 2,700 feet per second; it maintains a blistering 1,950 fps pace at 500 yards and 1,268 fps when crossing the 1,000-yard line. In fact, it remains supersonic out to 1,300 yards. Velocities are based on 24-inch test barrels with a 1:7 twist.

“Along with its ballistic benefits, the 224 Valkyrie also lowers the financial barrier of entry into shooting 1,000 yards for fun and competition,” said Federal Premium development engineer Jacob Burns. “Shooters can use the widely available and popular MSR 15 platform with high-performance yet economical ammunition that costs less than traditional long-range rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor.”

Initial Lineup
Federal Premium’s new 224 Valkyrie cartridge will be initially available in four of its proven product lines, offering serious options for competitors, long-range target shooters and hunters pursuing varmints up to deer-sized game.

224 Valkyrie 90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing
Extract the full long-range potential from 224 Valkyrie with the 90-grain Sierra MatchKing. The bullet design has been shot to win more matches than any other, thanks to a uniform jacket that ensures consistent, long-range accuracy, and a sleek boat-tail that maximizes ballistic coefficient.

224 Valkyrie 60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint
The 224 Valkyrie is built to defeat wind drift and drop, and the 60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint maximizes these built-in ballistics with a sleek, thin-jacket, polymer-tipped bullet. Its explosive expansion provides a violent energy release on impact for quick kills on varmints and predators.

224 Valkyrie 100-grain Fusion MSR
Virtually every component in Fusion MSR is optimized for peak ballistic performance in modern sporting rifles. New 100-grain 224 Valkyrie extends range even further, offering devastating accuracy and terminal performance on medium game—with half the recoil of cartridges with similar ballistics.

224 Valkyrie 75-grain American Eagle TMJ
Train like never before with 224 Valkyrie and American Eagle rifle. The loads feature Federal brass, clean-burning powder, consistent primers and accurate 75-grain TMJ bullets. They’re the ultimate range ammunition for the ultimate MSR 15 cartridge.

Join the Valkyrie Revolution
The easiest way to capitalize on the new cartridge is purchase a firearm from one of the many gun makers quickly jumping on the 224 Valkyrie bandwagon. You can also purchase a new upper and use with your existing lower.

A gunsmith or other person trained in the art of building MSRs can also make the necessary modifications using a barrel chambered in 224 Valkyrie, 224 Valkyrie headspace gauge, plus a 6.8 SPC bolt head and 6.8 SPC magazine. Consumers can expect to see widespread availability of new guns, uppers and barrels as the cartridge gains traction in the marketplace. Again, it is recommended that shooters who decide to go the modification route enlist gun-building expertise to complete the transformation.

Shooters can expect full technical specifications for the new round once it is approved by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) in January at the 2018 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. At that time, information such as chamber specifications and cartridge pressure standards, including SAAMI’s maximum average pressure (MAP), proof pressure range and barrel length/twist recommendations will be communicated. Cartridge and chamber dimensions, drawings and diagrams will also be available soon after SAAMI makes the cartridge official.

Reloading data will be available in spring of 2018, when SAAMI releases its load-building specifications. However, reloading die sets will be available from RCBS, and other ammo-building components will also be offered by several popular brands.

Ultimately, Federal Premium’s 224 Valkyrie will unleash a new era of 1,000-yard-plus accuracy and performance for gas-driven MSR 15s and short-action bolt guns, without the hefty recoil and price tag of larger caliber options. Thanks to the continuation of Federal Premium’s 95-year commitment to excellence, shooters can expect best-in-class ballistics, supersonic flight past 1,300 yards (GM224VLK1) and extreme long-range accuracy from this exciting new cartridge. And with the full array of high-performance projectiles available, it’s poised to deliver on virtually every shooter’s needs.

What About the Magazines?

Since it is based on a 6.8spc cartridge you have to use 6.8spc magazines or even 6.5 Grendel magazines. However, that is not a big deal. 6.8spc mags are not expensive. You can get 25 rd mags for only $14.99 here on Gun Mag Warehouse.

Looking for a 224 Valkyrie magazine?

Nicholas Chen is a firearm aficionado. Growing up in California, He learned about firearms and hunted with his father growing up in Southern California. Once he moved out to Pennsylvania and then spent a few years in New York State, he learned to truly appreciate firearms and the second amendment. It was in New York State where he became a USPSA competitive shooter and learned about 3Gun. He is an avid fan of running and gunning. Nicholas is a fan of pretty much anything that shoots although the slicked-up race guns are what interests him the most. Having spent time with FFLs and other friends with NFA items he has begun his collection of NFA items and has learned that everything should be suppressed and full auto where possible and legal.

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9 thoughts on “Good bye 6.5 Grendel; Hello .224 Valkyrie

  1. What an uninformed article. Is the author not aware of the full Grendel offerings..224 Grendel 6mm Grendel and 6.5 Grendel. I will put the 224 Grendel against the 224Val (formerly22x6.8) any day of the week

    1. I have a sub moa 6.5 Grendel AR-15 but I will buy a .224 Val. upper also if I like it then I will order a lower for it .If I dont I will just keep it as an upper.

      1. Why, the 224 Grendel beats it….you just like buying things that per form so so ….my neighbor has a Yugo to sell you.

  2. Interesting article. Just getting interested in both calibers. Based on this comment “Since it is based on a 6.8spc cartridge you have to use 6.8spc magazines or even 6.5 Grendel magazines.” As the 6.8 spc magazines are out of stock will 6.5 Grendel magazines feed and work just as well for .224 Valkyrie rounds?

    1. The point that someone would say that the Grendel I’d dead is B.S. I will say to the “Fanboys “ to calm the hell down All of the Gredels have had their share of issues over the years and all have benefited due to time that allowed improvements. I’be been a 6.8SPC shooter for years and had even concluded that the 6.5 Grendel as the king of the AR15 Cartridges for some time. Things change. I now shoot the.25-45SRC which squarely performs in the 6.8 range.Why? It’s very affordable to shoot and 5.56shooters always litter the ground with their cases. That being said, I still have everything for 6.8 so the Valkyrie was a no brainer. It’s ability to put hits on targets are more similar to the 6.5 Cm than the 6.5G to the 6.5Cm which in turns likens its flight Balistic’s to even the 300WM. Federal at the beginning stated that the Valkyrie was to be comparably price with the 5.6/.223 rounds. The Valkyrie clearly outpaces the 6.5 Grendel when it comes to long range and the 224 Grendel still destroys bolt lugs and cases.There’s nothing cheap about shooting any Gendel or 6.8 SPC for that matter. There’s lots of reasons for individuals to choose particular calibers.So the good bye Grendel may be the the “FACT” that the 6.5 Grendel has been dethroned. The 6mm Arc now has it locked down for the moment!!!!

  3. Goodbye 6.5 Grendel? Bullshit! You might be a “firearms aficionado” but reading your promotional baloney makes me wonder if your were paid to suggest the .224 Valkyrie is superior to the 6.5 Grendel. On paper perhaps your enthusiasm is warranted but I sir am a hunter with 60 years experience harvesting mostly whitetail deer in the thick brushy forests in the northeast. The .224 Valkyrie is of little use when most shots are less than 100 yards. I am curious about the .224 Valkyrie from the standpoint of throat erosion such as that found in a .243. Necking down larger calibers to 6mm or less (5.7mm) greatly increases initial velocity with much lighter weight bullets. .243’s for instance suffer premature chamber throat erosion because if this result . Yet you preface your article on the .224 Valkyrie overshadowing a well established and very useful 6.5 Grendel. Most shooters don’t care if their rifle can drive a bullet supersonic to 1300 yards. You also suggest that the 6.5 Grendel has excessive recoil. Seriously? I don’t have any experience shooting the .224 Valkyrie but I shot my first whitetail in 1958 with a Marlin 336 30-30 win. Now that these “old bones” don’t tolerate recoil very well I’ve switched to a much lighter recoiling 6.5 Grendel that will drop a whitetail in it’s tracks at 150 yards as ling as I do my part. When I get home from hunting I swap out the upper on my rifle to .223 Wylde for home defense and shooting woodchucks and coywolves . Yeah BIG coyotes. Tiny bullets under 100 grains have no business harvesting game like whitetails. I don’t care how well you can shoot. My rule of thumb is 1000 ft.lbs. at 100 yards is the minimum for large whitetail deer. The 6.5 Grendel “ain’t” dead regardless of your misinformed opinion. Hell it was people like you that ruined the life of the perfectly fine 260 Rem. By embracing the much more expensive and not ballistically superior 6.5 Creedmoor. The 6.5 Grendel will still be a viable choice for wise shooters looking for light recoiling versatility not found in .22’s.

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