Federal has released a brand-new cartridge for the AR-15—or what they are calling the MSR 15—claiming “match accuracy” supersonic velocity to 1,300 yards… “the world’s only” cartridge to do this.
Introducing the .223 Valkyrie
Essentially, this new round is a 6.8 SPC/.30 Remington case necked down for .224 bullets, with comparable ballistics to a 6.5 Creedmoor. Mike Holm, Federal’s centerfire ammunition global product line director says, “It beats the ballistics of all other MSR 15 cartridges, including the .22 Nosler, .223 Remington, and 6.5 Grendel. Plus, it offers comparable performance to larger rounds like the 6.5 Creedmoor, with roughly half the felt recoil—and at a more economical price.”
A few years ago, Federal won a contract to supply the ammo for a 6.8x43mm SPC LWRCI rifle issued to the Saudi Royal Guard Regiment. Clearly, Federal became good at manufacturing 6.8 brass; however, Federal doesn’t want you to compare it to the 6.8. The Truth About Guns quotes Federal development engineer Jacob Burns, “When designing the Valkyrie, Federal Premium engineers didn’t consider the 6.8 SPC a comparable load. Instead, we aimed to beat the long-range ballistics of the 223 Rem., 22 Nosler and 6.5 Grendel.”
According to Federal’s press release, the .224 Valkyrie when loaded with a 90-grain Sierra MatchKing bullet, has 128 inches less drop and 69 inches less wind drift at 1,000 yards compared to other AR rounds in a 24-inch barrel with a 1:7-inch twist. Official technical specs will be released after SAAMI approves the round, which is expected to happen this month.
Compatibility and Availability
The .224 Valkyrie is compatible with your existing AR-15 lower, but needs either an upper, or a .224 Valkyrie barrel with new bolt.
Manufacturers are already producing full rifles and barrels are: Savage, LaRue Tactical, JP Enterprises, Masterpiece Arms, Seekins Precision, LWRCI, LMT Defense, Mossberg, Barrett and CMMG.
Midway USA, Brownells and Target Sports have the ammo in stock and is already shipping.
Currently, there are four offerings:
90-grain Gold Medal Sierra MatchKing MSRP $31.95
60-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip MSRP $26.95
100-grain Fusion MSR MSRP $28.95
75-grain American Eagle TMJ MSRP $12.95
Creating a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist?
We don’t think so. Who doesn’t want to push the limits of their rifle? Who doesn’t want to boast about being able to shoot sub-MOA at 1,000 yards?
But, is it all marketing hype?
We don’t think so. Right now, there isn’t too much information except for Federal’s press release and, of course, they are going to make it sound like the coolest thing since sliced bread. A few media folks and influencers are also helping to spread the word. We tend to trust and like Military Arms Channel and 22 Plinkster and these guys are achieving the same results Federal claims. So….
Time will tell and the more T&E that comes out, the more we’ll be able to judge if the .224 Valkyrie is hype or not. It did already win ‘Best New Ammunition’ at the 2018 Big Rock Sports East Distributor Show.
From what we’ve seen and to continue to hear, though, the .224 Valkyrie sounds like a legitimate round for long-range precision shooting, competition, and hunting varmints, predators and hogs.
What do you think? Is the .224 Valkyrie the cartridge of the future for the AR or not? Tell us your initial impressions in the comment section.