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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm new to the 224 Valkyrie and I've been reading as much as I can here and other places. I'll use this thread to document my journey with this caliber more for my own reference later and maybe it'll help someone else along the way.

I've been using 6.8SPC for more than a few years now and really enjoy the CBB 105gr MKZ on coyotes and just got my first deer with it a few weeks ago. I've always been interested in the 224V but never had a reason to jump in.

I was gifted a POF Renegade+ in 224 Valkyrie, 20" barrel, 1:7. It was my father-in-law's who passed away this time last year and my mother-in-law thought it would be a nice birthday gift to me. It was previously unfired.

It sat in my safe since my birthday in April while I decided what I wanted to do with it. I've gotten into night coyote hunting with thermal and I was looking for a flat shooting round for 100-300y with minimal drop in between. I was about to buy a 6 creedmoor or 22 creedmoor bolt gun or a 6ARC upper when bam, I remembered the 224V in my safe.

This past weekend I put my iRay Alpha thermal on it, went to the local feed store and they had 200 rounds of Hornady Black 224V 75gr BTHP. I bought 100 rounds, got it zeroed at 100y, accuracy was good around an inch as best I could tell from using a thermal sight, and velocity was 2950fps. I took it out Sunday night. I managed to get one coyote with it and it was DRT chest shot at 100y. Success and somewhat validated what I had in mind.

I've been reloading for 11 years on my Dillon 550B so naturally I'm excited to figure out this new caliber.

I've ordered dies and a caliber conversion for my Dillon 550B though maybe the caliber conversion wasn't necessary since I have 6.8SPC and .223 caliber conversions but I hate swapping things around, so I just bought it's own setup. I also put an order in for 250 brass cases from Starline; I've been really impressed with their 6.8SPC and 6.5CM brass so it's natural for me to want to use it for this caliber as well.

I have 55gr v-max, 55gr game kings, 60gr v-max, 68gr bthp, 77gr smk, and 77gr cc. Having used CBB 105gr MKZ in my 6.8spc for several years now, I will likely order their 70gr MKZ and give it a try. I know the 224V was meant for long heavy 224 bullets for long(ish) range work, however I will try to adapt it for more of a predator role here. I have dreams of pushing any of these projectiles hard and fast, but I know that's usually not the way for optimal accuracy. I figure if I can push any of those bullets listed above to 3000fps to 3300fps for the lighter stuff, it should fit my needs nicely.

I was unsure what would be an acceptable powder. I have H322, H4350, H414, H4198, CFEBLK, AA2200, AA2230-C (AA2460) on hand. A few of those could maybe work but I refuse to use H4350 since it's for my 6.5CM and is like gold. The other stuff didn't seem as universal for 224V only data was sparse or non-existent on others. Varget is out for me as it just doesn't meter for crap in my Dillon. I saw Powder Valley had CFE 223 in stock and that powder was listed on a wide range of bullet weights and from several different sources so I ordered some of it, and is most likely what I'll try to stick with even tho the temp sensitivity seems to be in question. This will be a night thermal deal so mostly in cold temps, I'll keep load development in mind if I decide to hunt in the summer or something different. Even if it doesn't work for 224V, more powder on hand is never a bad thing.

For the primers I'll use CCI41 and/or CCI450, same primers I use for 6.8SPC, 6.5CM, and 5.56.

I know suggestions of this powder or that bullet or this barrel twist, but honestly I'm just looking for something to mess with since I have loads figure out for the other calibers I have. I'm going to try to use what I have on hand first and foremost.

I hope everyone enjoys the ride. I'll post some pics and update the journey along the way.
 

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You made the right choice, Wormydog! I love my Valkyries as much as the 6.8. You can shoot 1000+ yards easy with 75-80 grain ELDs. I use my 22" 1:6.5 for long-range precision with 100" less bullet-drop at 1000 yards than the Grendel. I don't feel out-gunned shooting next to the Creedmoor guys. I have a 20" 1:7.7 for night hunting and love it - half the bullet-drop of the 6.8, e.g. 200 zero, 5" drop at 300, 10" at 350, and 20" at 400 yards. I've taken coyotes out to 380 yards with it. 55 grainers are very flat shooting. I use 55 E-tips when hunting hogs and coyotes with CFE at 3400 fps. 70 MKZs are not as flat shooting but do better if you run into hogs. The copper bullets do better on hogs. 55 Nosler BT if looking for just coyotes. Starline brass has become my favorite for the Valkyrie
 

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Ive got a Bison Armory 6.5T 22" 224V. It doesnt like any of the heavy loads.
Ive tried everything from 95gr SMK to 55gr Vmax. The best load was a 75gr Berger with CFE223. It shot a few 5rd groups back to back that measured .42 moa.
New place is limited to about 375 yards so been hunting with the 6.8.
 

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Forgot to mention that Federal screwed up the initial Valkyrie chamber. The freebore was 0.050" too long and the chamber's neck diameter was 0.003" too large. My 22" has this chamber and my 20" has the corrected one which shoots factory ammo much faster than my 22". You can tell the 20" has significantly more chamber pressure and that the factory ammo was initially developed in the first chamber. the good news is, if you have the initial chamber in your POF, you will be loading close to mag length with BT bullets that you would be using for coyote hunting. Example, 55 E-tip COAL is 2.14" in my corrected chamber and 0.050" longer in the initial chamber. Thus, ignore published COALs and work your own based on measurements to the lands in your specific barrel. You will also benefit from a little more case capacity with the initial chamber.
 

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Also, the Valkyrie was designed around the 90 SMK. Turns out that bullet had too thin a copper jacket and didn't shoot well. It was the worst bullet in my Valkyrie. Sierra corrected that but, between this and the chamber issue, the Valkyrie got off to a poor start. Makes me wonder how the cartridge would have fared in popularity if Federal didn't screw it up.
 

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Forgot to mention that Federal screwed up the initial Valkyrie chamber. The freebore was 0.050" too long and the chamber's neck diameter was 0.003" too large.
Is the SAAMI chamber wrong or was it just the initial reamers? In other words, is there a recognized Spec II chamber that is now used, or are there several variations.
Thanks
 

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Is the SAAMI chamber wrong or was it just the initial reamers? In other words, is there a recognized Spec II chamber that is now used, or are there several variations.
I'd have to go back and research to make sure. But what I remember is the SAAMI drawings were updated with the correct freebore but the chamber's neck diameter is 0.003" more than the .223 Rem. They don't call it Spec II like we do the 6.8mm SPC. Bison corrected the chamber's neck diameter with their reamers. So, there may be 3 versions of the chamber. There was a thread with all this and what Harrison did to make things right with others' comments. It might have been removed when he closed shop.

I haven't found an issue with the initial chamber because I load my VLD bullets long and I can use 77 TMKs at mag length for targets inside 600 to 800 yards.
 

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Strange that the 224V and the 6.8SPC chambers were both initially 'Wrong'. Odd coincidence.
I thought the same thing as I wrote my post. It's amazing how a big manufacturer will go to all the work and someone doesn't check the details. Bet it has happened to more than just the 6.8 SPC and 224V. It certainly didn't help the Valkyrie reach the potential it should have.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Forgot to mention that Federal screwed up the initial Valkyrie chamber. The freebore was 0.050" too long and the chamber's neck diameter was 0.003" too large. My 22" has this chamber and my 20" has the corrected one which shoots factory ammo much faster than my 22". You can tell the 20" has significantly more chamber pressure and that the factory ammo was initially developed in the first chamber. the good news is, if you have the initial chamber in your POF, you will be loading close to mag length with BT bullets that you would be using for coyote hunting. Example, 55 E-tip COAL is 2.14" in my corrected chamber and 0.050" longer in the initial chamber. Thus, ignore published COALs and work your own based on measurements to the lands in your specific barrel. You will also benefit from a little more case capacity with the initial chamber.
any way I can tell which chamber I have in my POF?
 

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if you have the initial chamber in your POF, you will be loading close to mag length with BT bullets that you would be using for coyote hunting. Example, 55 E-tip COAL is 2.14" in my corrected chamber and 0.050" longer in the initial chamber.
If your COALs with typical .223/5.56 bullets, is greater than 2.2" you likely have the initial chamber. Also, if you tell me what bullets you have, we can pick the same one and I'll advise you what my distance to the lands are in both chambers so we can compare.

Here is a link to some lands/COAL measurements I initially did in 2020.

(26) 224 Valkyrie SAAMi vs Intro Chamber | 6.8 SPC Forums (68forums.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Everything for reloading the 224V has come in except the Starline brass. It was on backorder when I ordered it so I’m not expecting it anytime soon to be honest. I’ll just keep picking up my Hornady and when I have enough I’ll start load dev.

I did get it zeroed at 200y tonight with the iRay Alpha and 75gr BTHP in anticipation of this weekends cold weather and a night hunt I have planned with my brother.
 

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Also, the Valkyrie was designed around the 90 SMK. Turns out that bullet had too thin a copper jacket and didn't shoot well. It was the worst bullet in my Valkyrie. Sierra corrected that but, between this and the chamber issue, the Valkyrie got off to a poor start. Makes me wonder how the cartridge would have fared in popularity if Federal didn't screw it up.
When did Sierra change the 90 SMK jackets and how can you tell if a lot of bullets is thin jacket or the new thicker jacket?
 

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I believe they made the change in early 2020. I never tried the new ones because the first ones did so poorly and measured well below their advertised BC as did the 95 SMKs (-10%). The 95 SMK's BC was at least as good as the 88 ELD-M but less than the 90 A-Tip. My assessment was the 95 SMK needed more than 1:6.5 twist to stabilize it enough to achieve its full BC potential at the velocity my 22" Valkyrie could push it.

I have no idea when the lot number changed and there were no details on the Sierra website. I would think that new stock would be the improved version.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
So far I’ve had ok luck with the Hornady black 75gr BTHP. It’s going 2950fps and has killed 8 coyotes. I have lost three that were good hits and I expected to recover.

Last night loaded some 60gr Vmax with 28.0gr of CFE223 at 2.180 coal. Not really a load work up, just a load and go. Speed was 3160fps and no pressure signs. Accuracy was good enough, I still have my thermal mounted and I don’t currently have a spare scope so actual load development is on hold. I’m going to try 28.5gr tonight and if accuracy is similar I’m going to go with it for a night coyote hunt this weekend with my brother. I only have 35 pieces of Hornady brass since my Starline order is still backordered.
 

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Wormydog, I assume your mv was 3160 fps. Was the 2.180" COAL base off measurements of your chamber?

Glad you have already dispatched 8 coyotes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wormydog, I assume your mv was 3160 fps. Was the 2.180" COAL base off measurements of your chamber?

Glad you have already dispatched 8 coyotes!
ahh good catch, yes 3160fps.

No I haven’t measured the chamber or really anything with this rifle yet, other than Bumping the shoulder .003”. Just dumping powder and seating bullets. I do not advise anyone to reload like I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
While at work today I remembered I bought 200 Sierra 55gr GameKings, the soft pointed ones. I researched and decided to try some tonight. They got a little spicy at 3400fps but I didn’t really see any concerning signs with the brass or primers. I think I’m going to load half with the 60gr Vmax going 3200fps and half with the 55gr SGK going 3400fps. When we’re hunting Friday night I’ll try to kill a coyote with each and decide what to use in the future.

I’ve been loading for 6.8spc for almost 10 years now and I’ve been happy how seemingly easy 224V has been. I’ve tried two different bullets and I feel that I’m getting great speed and acceptable accuracy. I have read CFE223 is temp sensitive so I’ll be sure to shoot them this winter/spring and restart in warming temps this summer.
 
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