Firearms News had an opportunity to both learn about and go hands on with, Federal's new .224 Valkyrie cartridge and LaRue Tactical's rifle chambering it at Big 3 East Media event. The .224 Valkyrie is based on the popular 6.8x43mm Remington SPC cartridge which has been modified and necked down to accept .224-inch projectiles. Similar in concept to the .22 Nosler, the .224 Valkyrie retains the 6.8x43mm SPC's case head diameter. Test ammunition was loaded with heavy 90-grain Sierra MatchKings featuring an advertised BC of .563! Despite being so long, these heavy bullets are loaded to magazine length. This is beyond a 5.56x45mm's capabilities. Advertised velocity of this load is 2,700 fps from a traditional length barrel.
Mark LaRue of LaRue Tactical special built two 11.5-inch carbines for this event. Built using his Ultimate Upper Kit (UUK) these featured his new SURG (Suppressed Upper Receiver Group) sound suppressor. A standard 6.8x43mm SPC bolt is required and they feed from 6.8x43mm SPC magazines. LaRue Tactical's rifles ran flawlessly and his new SURG sound suppressor proved very quiet (approximately 137 dB during our testing) with zero blowback to the shooter. So there are no fumes blowing back into the rifleman's face. His SURG design eliminates the possibility of a baffle strike by utilizing an extended muzzle brake. The end result proved pleasingly accurate and was great fun to shoot. Federal's new .224 Valkyrie is geared towards hunting and competition, but LaRue Tactical proved it's also a great fit in Short Barrel Rifles. It certainly opens up some interesting possibilities for short barrel guns. The .224 Valkyrie allows them to hit dramatically harder than a traditional 5.56x45mm, but without the ammo weight penalty and recoil of a 6.5mm Grendel, 6.8x43mm SPC or 300 AAC Blackout. Look for a detailed report in a future issue of Firearms News.