What You Need to Know About the [not so] New 224 Valkyrie

This article about 224 Valkyrie (the .224 Valkryie cartridge) originally ran in May of 2018. With the continued release of specialized .224 loads and 224 Valkyrie barrel options, it seems appropriate to periodically republish it. Updates since its original publication have been made by various Mag Life contributors.

One thing in common in all 224 Valkyrie offerings is the intention to provide exceptionally flat trajectories and match accuracy at extreme ranges. Federal Ammunition says the .224 Valkyrie cartridge(s) offer significantly less wind drift and drop than other loads in their class, with up to half the recoil of cartridges with comparable ballistics. Many reviewers (and end-users) substantiate this.

224 Magazine options
GunMag Warehouse carries several .224 magazine options. (Note that this article is about Valkyrie ammo, not a cyber-valkyrie like kaceytron.)

224 Valkyrie

There’s always a new cartridge out there. Some grow legs while others remain relegated to small communities of Wildcat enthusiasts. Meet the…

New .224 Valkyrie Cartridge

Tom McHale, May 7, 2018

Earlier this year, the folks at Federal Ammunition announced the 224 Valkyrie. Its purpose in life is an effective and accurate long-range shooting. What makes it different is that it fits into the same “gun form factor” as the pervasive .223 Remington. Let’s explain that.

224 Valkyrie vs 223

When I say form factor, I’m referring to the practical limitation – magazine dimensions. The well in AR-type lower receivers is only so big, so a cartridge that’s longer simply won’t fit and your rifle becomes a single-shot breech loader. The 224 Valkyrie, like the .223 Remington, uses a .224 diameter bullet but the brass case is different. The Valkyrie is based on the .30 Remington / 6.8 SPC cartridge. In fact, you can think of the Valkyrie as a necked-down 6.8 SPC. So, even though the bullet is the same diameter, you’ll need a 224 Valkyrie barrel due to the different chamber dimensions. You’ll also need a 6.8 SPC bolt although the upper receiver is the same.

A 6.8 SPC cartridge (left) and 90-grain 224 Valkyrie (right).

Like the 6.8 SPC, the Valkyrie will expect a tweaked magazine made for the round since the geometry is different. So, the practical takeaway is to use 6.8 SPC magazines for your Valkyrie rifles even though the lower receiver and the corresponding magazine well are the same as any other .223 Remington rifle. You might get a .223 mag to work, but you also might find erratic feeding. Spend the extra few bucks and get the right ones.

224 Valkyrie
Based on the 6.8 SPC case, shortened to 1.600-inch, the .224 Valkyrie uses a 30-degree shoulder for headspacing. The rimless case functions perfectly in the 6.8 SPC magazines for the AR-15 platform, and the overall cartridge length of 2.260 inches coincides with that magazine dimension. It was in the Savage MSR at the 2018 SHOT Show Industry Day at the Range where I had my first experience with the Valkyrie and immediately saw its benefits. At the Boulder City Rifle Range—where the event is held each year—I waited my turn to have a whirl with the new cartridge. After verifying zero at the 100-yard target, we dialed for the 890-yard steel plate. In the dry Nevada air, the mild recoil of the small cartridge, further reduced by the Savage MSR, allowed me to see the vapor trail in the scope, and both verify hits and make wind adjustments.  Philip Massaro, American Hunter

Here’s why the Valkyrie is particularly interesting. While there are other great long-range cartridges available in larger AR-10 platforms, the 224 brings that type of range to the smaller AR-15 family. Standard loads range from 60 to 90-grain bullets, so the projectiles are heavier than most .223 Remington bullets, and since caliber is the same, the Valkyrie bullets are long and slippery. That means that they will carry velocity better over distance. That also helps with minimizing wind drift. So, the Valkyrie drops less and is less affected by wind.

.224 Valkyrie
Left to right: 55-grain .223 Remington, 77-grain .223 Remington, 90-grain 224 Valkyrie.

Marketing materials claim that the .224 Valkyrie can stay supersonic to 1,300 yards. That’s true, at about 5,000 feet above sea level. Where I am, barely above sea level, it stays supersonic past 1,000 yards with ease. With no accuracy-killing super to subsonic transition until well past 1,000 yards, you have a predictable performance to four-digit yardage territory.

To put real numbers on that (considering average atmospheric conditions where I’m located) a 90-grain Valkyrie will drop 381.08 inches over 1,000 yards while a 55-grain .223 bullet will fall 452.99 inches. The difference in drift with a 10 mph crosswind between those two is 59.92 versus 101.5 inches respectively.

224 Valkarie Magazine Options

25-round 224 Valkyrie magazine
25-round 224 Valkyrie magazine from ASC Magazines (also available in Flat Dark Earth).
10-round .224 Valkyrie Magazine
The ASC 224 Valkyrie magazine (6.8mm as well); 10-round capacity. Black and FDE options available.

224 Valkyrie Compatibility

Your .224 Valkyrie mag will also serve as 6.8 magazines — typically. It’s always best to check with the manufacturer of course.


The Valkyrie is an interesting cartridge and I’m thinking it’s gonna catch on.

.224 Valkyrie ammunition
Hornady Black 75 gr. BTHP in .224 Valkyrie. Shooting Illustrated says it produces a muzzle velocity of 3,000 fps with about 1,500 foot-pounds of energy.
224 Valkyrie review
You might say the 224 Valkyrie began life as a .30 Rem., because the 112-year-old .30 Rem. is the case upon which the 6.8 SPC was based. What does that have to do with the 224 Valkyrie? Well, just after the turn of the 21st century, an enterprising wildcatter from Illinois by the name of Roy Winnett created the 22 PDK (Prairie Dog Killer.) The 22 PDK was based on the 6.8 SPC case. As I wrote when I edited the 13th edition of “Cartridges of the World” in 2012: “While the cartridge [22 PDK] does not offer a substantial advantage over the .22-250 Rem. in a bolt-action rifle, it is indeed a lighting rod in an AR-15.” Richard Mann, Shooting Illustrated
224 Valkyrie ammo
.224 Valkyrie is known for shooting flat to begin with: it’s possible the new 80.5 gr. Gold Medal Berger Hybrid and 78 gr Barnes Triple Shock X will improve upon that and stretch the cartridge’s legs even further.
Hornady ELD Match 88 gr .224 Valkyrie ammo
Hornady’s match-grade 224 Valkyrie ammo is an 88-grain ELD Match bullet with a polymer tip: initial reports indicate the round performs better than other polymer tip ammunition (which often melts at high velocities).
224 Valkyrie ballistics
224 Valkyrie ballistics chart, courtesy of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute (SAAMI), provided shortly after the original release of the .224 Valkyrie cartridge. The .224 Valkyrie was originally available in four loads: 90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing, 60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint, 90-grain Fusion MSR, and 75-grain American Eagle TMJ. The number of options has expanded significantly since that point.
Tom McHale is a committed learning junkie always seeking a new subject victim. As a lifelong student of whatever grabs his attention on any particular day, he thrives on beating rabbit trails into submission. In between his time as a high-tech marketing executive, restaurant owner, and hamster cosmetology practitioner, he's published seven books and nearly 1,500 articles about guns, shooting, and the American way.

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42 thoughts on “What You Need to Know About the [not so] New 224 Valkyrie

  1. Honda had a new Valkyrie motorcycle for North American market back in the 1990s where it barely made it out of that decade before sales waned.

    There’s just too many unnecessary firearm calibers out there now. The Valkyrie may last about as long as the 300 blackout which, at least, was premised off an established 300 Whisper.

    Pretty cool though.

        1. Subsonic yes, there is more factory ammo available. The 39 case has more capacity. If I were really interested in subsonic I would use 45 acp 230 grain inherently subsonic and way cheaper to buy and shoot.

        2. 7.62 x 39 in an AR provides its own challenges, because most 7.62 is steel cased. A 7.62×39 is almost equal to a 30-30 .. i like the almost 308 range of a 90gr 5.56 bullet in a AR. But i also have a mdl 59 SKS. So am i hunting or waiting for the SHTF.. also in an AR i can obtain other parts and keep going.. i put in my lower part kit, and i can almost build an AR from AR Parts.

          1. “7.62×39 is almost equal to a 30-30” right, and the 30-30 was OK in its day, I still have my father’s Winchester 94 rifle, and it is cool with its long octagon barrel, and I still have an absolutely outstanding deer head as evidence that it was in good working order in the Adirondacks in 1956, but it is not a great long range rifle by today’s standards. My 270 Weatherby is better, and I can hunt woodchucks in the Summer, too 🙂

      1. Keep in mind, 300 Blackout cartridges can be loaded and reloaded using materials that are widely available (used to be, anyway). 300 cases can be made from .223 cases and it can take .308 projectiles. The primers and powder are the same as .223, too. Having been supplanted by 5.45 in many armies’ AKs, 7.62 Soviet may not be as common as it used to be. That kind of versatility is important to some gun owners. A friend of mine got a 300 Blackout, but ammo is scarce. My next project is to start making 300 cases and reloading them. The biggest problem is the national primer shortage.

  2. Another caliber for people to buy a new gun that will eventually sit in there safe because they really have no use for it. Then they will try to sell it and nobody will buy it because all the hype has gone and no one wants it.. When will these companies learn.

    1. You only need an upper? I have an unused receiver so barrel and bolt and I’m good to go, no 6.5 creed necessary!

    2. sounds like charles has a safe full of bad decisions and assumes the rest of us do too. I do not. and while many like charles might buy this caliber knowing nothing about it, it is their own fault for not doing their homework 1st. but if you want long range distance from an AR15, this is an impressive round. easily ping’s steel at a mile away and not from a AR10 .308 cal. platform. people like charles fail to consider that we don’t all live in the city and limited to 100 yd. ranges. My closest gun range has a 600 yd. max.

      1. Really? Are you in any place in the gun industry? Do not make assumptions about me or anyone else you do not know about. I have seen more calibers come and go than many and since the early 90’s this idea of making new cartridges every year has gotten out of hand. So you think I live in the city? How would you know? Like all the other variants for the AR 15 platform; there will be a push to buy ,then it will go flat. Bad decisions………..get real.

        1. Really? Maybe you should take your own advice? You don’t know me and thankfully I don’t know you. You sound like a frustrated consumer who ran out of money to me.

        2. The number of new calibers is bordering on ridiculous. I was reading an article about the 27 Nosler when it hit me that I can name 2 calibers that can perform just as well, and for a fraction of the cost. Buying something like that, especially if someone already has a 7mm Mag or .270, is a waste of money. I can understand if someone is a collector, but I know I’m not going to buy any gun that I’m not going to use. When you think about it, the differences between most of the medium bore rifles is splitting hairs. Don’t get me wrong, the 6.5 CM, .224 Valkyrie and a few others do perform well, and I’d not complain about having a 6.5. Hell, the only reason I’d stay with .308 is all of the surplus ammo that’s still available. I’m surprised the 6.5 CM took off like it did.

    3. Why would I get rid of it??? And why do you assume that the companies need to learn something??? Evidently YOU need to learn something. I only own four AR15 (should that be MSR?) calibers but have no plan to part with any of them.

    4. Maybe I’ll get one when I see the ammo and especially the uppers (the price tags border on the ridiculous) in the bargain bin.

  3. Well, if I was to get a Valkyrie I would have to wait for a good brand of mag as ASC has always been a predictable disappointment.

    1. That and the price for the uppers is going to have to drop quite a bit. I’ll also have to wait until the ammo becomes more common. Until then, my .223 will have to suffice. As much as I’d like to have a 1,000-yard rifle, I’m hard-pressed to find even half that of open space where I live. Hell, every deer I’ve shot has been within 70 meters.

  4. i have been shooting for over 57 years, and I served, have A CCW (48 yrs) and have been a professional trainer for 40 yrs…point is. I have seem my share of firearms and calibers come and go. While the long range shooting craze is the latest, it will also eventually die down. Any sport that utilizes technology over pure skill eventually goes the way of the dodo because the costs get out of hand. Say what you want..I have seen it happen. My grandfather was a PH and hunted all 4 Continents. He has taken virtually every game animal known to man, some that are now protected, and did it with two rifles. Both pre 64 model 70’s, one in 30-06, the other in .300 H&H…only in certain African countries was he required to use a .375 H&H due to their laws. Point is, the original long range orig. match, Wimbledon 1000yds, was won with a 300 H&H…no gizmos or ballistics tables on the phone etc..just needed too know how to shoot. I have read the comments from the wannabes who say they have never made a buying mistake, I say Bull sheet..you are just not man enough to admit it. I own three AR’s, and 2 AK’s…they are mostly useless unless you like burning up ammo for no good reason. If i did not have them it woul not bother me at all. If the govt becomes a tyrannical entity, my AR/AK wont make a difference, and neither will yours. I have many other rifles that I use for various shooting disciplines etc, including a custom Rem platform built by Badger, that shoots better than i will ever be capable of doing! It is in .308….works perfectly. If you really think that all the new calibers and firearms for them are necessary, then you probably think that no one will ever take away AR/AKs etc….and you would be wrong on both counts. The political climate will eventually make it untenable for AR/AKs etc and that is just a fact, like it or not., given time they done. In all my years of hunting my favorite rifles were a featherwight pre64 Win model 70 in .270 win. A Browning model 78 single shot in .270 win and a Ruger Mannlicher No1 in .257 rigby or 7×57 mauser….never had the need for more. I actually “hunted’ ,which required skill, knowledge and patience as well as marksmanship. We walked in, took hours, no vehicles, atvs etc.We took our deer, and walked out, dragging it with us!! I grew up in Penna., which did not allow semi auto for hunting…never saw anyone have a problem, and they harvest close to half a million deer annually in Penna. I hunted Wyoming with the .270 making shots to 400yrds or more at antelope because it was virtually impossible to stalk closer. I did not need any “wonder” cartridges to make clean kills on the game. Sp, you believe what you want, and keep telling yourself you need this firearm or that caliber, if it makes you feel good. But, please, do not try and tell me that any of it is necessary. It is just what you want to do, and that does not make it necessary, it just makes it what you want to do. period. The firearm manufacturers and ammo companies survive on that kind of flawed logic!!

  5. Why in heck would anyone want a rifle cartridge with bullet drop that drops almost 32 feet in 1000 yards? Read the article again. Here’s what the man said:

    “To put real numbers on that (considering average atmospheric conditions
    where I’m located) a 90-grain Valkyrie will drop 381.08 inches over
    1,000 yards while a 55-grain .223 bullet will fall 452.99 inches. The
    difference in drift with a 10 mph crosswind between those two is 59.92
    versus 101.5 inches respectively.”

    1. It stays supersonic past 1,000 yards, something many rifle calibers can’t do. Sorry to break it to you, but every rifle caliber is going to have considerable drop at 1,000 yards.

      1. Staying supersonic past 1,000 yds is not enough of a selling point. As others have pointed out, this probably is a fun caliber but unnecessary for HD or SHTF. I have a 6.8 that many do not like, yet it is a very good HD and SHTF caliber. And it is fun to shoot. Not even close to a 1,000 yd rifle, but I am no where near 1,000 yd shooter! Keep it under 500 yds and I am right with you.

        1. I was thinking about getting a .224 Valkyrie upper for my AR but that’s not going to happen unless the price comes down considerably. It would be nice to have a 1,000-yard rifle but there is pretty much nowhere I could do that where I live. At most, I could find a 300 meters stretch of open area here.
          I was overthinking my next purchase until I realized that all I would really need to do is be able to hit a human torso at 300 meters, which my AR can do quite easily; practically any 5.56 AR could consistently make headshots at 300 meters. For hunting, all I need to accuracy to 100 meters. The longest shot I’ve had to make on a deer so far is about 70 meters, well within the effective range of a .223.

          1. Actually you need to adjust at 300 with an AR 5.56 or you will be in the Mid to lower range. I will not own a 5.56 since I was in Military at 18 I have hated the round. I do own 6.5 Grendal, Building my 2nd Valkyrie at moment. I believe that if I have to think about a shot at 500 yds. the round is not for me. and I hear people talk of shooting 5.56 at 800 yds but I could put a house in the way and you would still miss it to get to that target. Shooting over I spent enough time in field artillery. don’t need a rifle that doubles as a howitzer

        2. I have been thinking about the 6.8 and it sounds like a good round. A 6.8 upper is definitely on my wish list.

  6. To WM, this bs won’t let me reply.
    My point is that some people like to shoot for FUN, remember FUN, everything is not a life altering decision. Why is it that people are so worried about what others spend their hard earned money on. It’s a hobby, everyone should have one. I’m tired of people judging what others do. If someone wants a .224 Valkyrie, by all means have fun, you may not be able to tomorrow.

    1. And sadly, just when owning this type of entertainment which can double as personal protection could not be more important.

    2. Well if someone asks or public posts about something than that is opening it up for them to give you their opinion. That said it should go with out saying that a person can spend the money earned honestly anyone way they like! It is kind of like someone talking on a radio open to anyone and getting upset when someone besides who they were talking to gives their $.02. If you do not want public do not post anything publicly make it a private conversation! Cheers!

  7. I built a 24″ rifle in 224 Valkyrie and enjoy it very much. Its about 2/3 the weight of my 20″ 6.5 Creedmoor AR10. It shoots with minimal recoil. Its so flat it is like a laser. The only issue I have is finding places to stretch out this 1k+ yd round.

  8. In olden times we used to think of the 22-250 as a pretty good long range 22. It would be interesting to see a comparison of that to the new one with the operatic name 🙂

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