When I first heard about 224 Valkyrie ammunition from Federal, I assumed it was a typo. I was familiar with the .223 caliber, but this was something new. I am happy that I took the time to do my research and use this ammo on the range, because it did not disappoint. Don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t know something, and push yourself to build your knowledge; you will only benefit from the experience!
Even though this caliber may be new to many shooters, it originates from a load that most will know about. The 224 Valkyrie is based on the 6.8 SPC case, which in turn, was created from the .30 Remington cartridge. With other modifications in length and diameter, Federal created a cartridge that is compatible with bullets and magazines already on the market. It’s a new product, but based on a proven foundation and upgraded to meet the needs of today’s shooter.
Don’t have a 224 capable AR-15? No worries. According to Jim Guilliland, Federal Premium brand ambassador and professional shooter, you can convert your standard .223 platform to the 224 Valkyrie with a new barrel, bolt and magazine. By switching out your .223 upper with a 224 Valkyrie upper, you won’t have to purchase an entirely new firearm. Add a new magazine, and you are ready to go.
Federal launched this ammo with variable uses, including target, medium game and varmint/predator hunting applications. Depending on your needs, you should be able to find a load that works for you. For the purpose of this evaluation, I shot the 80.5 grain Gold Medal Berger Hybrid in 224 Valkyrie. You can also find the 224 Valkyrie in Barnes Triple-Shock X, Varmint & Predator Hornady V-Max, Nosler Ballistic Tip Varmint, American Eagle TMJ, Gold Medal Sierra Matchking, and Fusion MSR loads.
My first step in firing this ammo started with finding an appropriate rifle. I didn’t own one, nor did any of my family and friends. Fortunately, I was able to reach out to Greg Buchel, owner of Big Horn Armory, a local gun manufacturer specializing in large caliber rifles. Greg and his crew were kind enough to build a custom AR-15 in 224 for evaluating the Federal ammo.
We had a fun weekend together shooting watermelon and other suspicious looking fruit that obviously needed an attitude adjustment. Before we headed out, I was telling someone what we had on our agenda. He didn’t seem to think that the 224 Valkyrie loads would make much of an impact on the fruit in question; he was very wrong. At 10 yards and 100 yards, the cartridges had no problem making fruit salad out of watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe. With fruit shrapnel falling all around us, I couldn’t help but get excited about the possibilities with this previously underestimated ammunition.
We were also able to test out the 224 ammo at the local gun range. With multiple shooters at varying ranges, the loads performed well, with no performance issues. Next, I will be taking the Valkyrie loads back out to the range to evaluate their performance at longer distances. Stay tuned for more information!