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224 Valkyrie

New drawing Coming

Standardized in 2017, the 224 Valkyrie is one of an almost endless host of chamberings derived directly or indirectly from the Ballard target-rifle chambering of 1879, as the 38-50 or 38/2-inch. This variant derived from the 6.8 Special which derived from the 30 Remington (which was a rimless version of the 30-30 WCF), which derived from the 32-40, which derived from the 38-55, which was merely a 2⅛-inch long version of the original 38-50 Ballard case.

The Valkyrie is not the first 22-caliber round derived from the same case family. That honor goes to the 22 Savage Highpower (1912), which was followed by the 219 Zipper (1937), and then the 225 Winchester (1964). The Valkyrie was designed for use in the AR-15 platform as a means of improving performance of that gun in the original 22-caliber bore size, a goal it accomplishes.

Because of the larger case diameter, compared to the 223, the Valkyrie necessarily works at lower pressure to prevent over-stressing the bolt. So, the ballistic advantage is not as great as it otherwise would be. Still, it offers significant performance in such a short chambering.


With a 22-inch barrel the Valkyrie can launch 50-grain bullets at about 3550 fps, which compares quite favorably to the 223 that can do no better than about 3400 fps.

The advent of the 22 ARC is apt to spell the death knell of the Valkyrie. Working with a somewhat larger diameter case, the ARC must be restricted to even lower pressure, so performance is similar; however, being derived from the 6mm ARC, the 22 ARC has the advantage of name recognition, which can make all the difference. In a perfect world, the 22 Valkyrie would win out because it has some advantages. Time will tell.


The text associated with the cartridge description reflects opinions and conclusions of the author, M.L. (Mic) McPherson. Lee Precision and its employees do not necessarily either agree or disagree with any of his comments. We present these with due deference to his recognized expertise in the firearms field. His acumen extends to handloading and all aspects of ballistics - internal, external, and terminal.
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