.224 Valkyrie Breaking the mystery surrounding the cartridge.
It's no secret that manuafactures love sales and gun buyers love high BC bullets. So much so that your average gunny overlooks a few small but important factors when purchasing a new rifle and/or ammo. The same was true of the 230 grain Berger .30 cal bullets which .330 Win Mag owners started shoving in their cases, the same was true of the 6.5 Creedmoor when it was released with 147 grain bullets from Hornady, and the same is most definitely true of the .224 Valkyrie with its 88 and 90 grain factory match ammo from Hornardy and Federal. Neither load impressed after a certain point and neither load takes full advantage of the .224 Valkyrie's potential. This is what happens when marketing meets long range shooting. s
So, is the .224 Valkyrie worth the time and effort? In short yes, and maybe no. Yes, if you're willing to invest in Redding Type S Full dies and a Forster Co-Ax press, learn some stuff about precision reloading; and no, if you're not. The simple fact of the matter is that the factory 88 and 90 grain loads have a poor form factor and poor miller stability. Guys have tried to band aid this by going to a tighter twist rate but it still doesn't solve your velocity issues. The case is small, limited to a certain amount of powder, and just can't provide the burn needed to propel longer bullets without signicant pressure.
The answer is really rather simple though so take heart. Buy Berger Fullbore 80.5 grain bullets and an appropriate powder and you're golden. You'll go from 2600 FPS to around 2830; and from a Miller Stability of around 1.39 to around 1.71.(which is still on the low end of what I prefer) In layman's terms this is going from moderate stability to good stability.
Coming up I talk in simple terms about selecting the right long range bullet for your caliber.