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Old January 11, 2019, 10:20 AM   #1
TrueBlue711
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224 Valk: Abandon ship! Starting 6.5 Gren build

I built a 224 Valk AR a little over a year ago using a CMMG 24" 1:7 twist barrel (matched with their BCG). No matter what ammo I used or what I tried, I can't get the groups at 100 yds to go below 1.5". The main purpose of this build was so I can go to the long distance range and plink at metal plates 750+ yds away. I don't see that being easily done with a 1.5+ MOA rifle. It appears I'm far from alone on this problem too. I'm seeing a lot of reports and videos saying the same thing, even when they use top of the line barrels. So, I'm abandoning ship. Selling the barrel + BCG + mags.
The rest of the rifle build is still great though and I still want to have an AR that can shoot long range. My plan is to go with 6.5 Grendel. Looking at getting a 22" 1:8 twist (5R rifling) heavy barrel from X-Caliber along with their recommended BCG.

Thoughts and recommendations? Is 22" fine for long range shooting using the Grendel or should I go with 24" (nice thing about X-Caliber, I can pick whatever length I want...up to 28").
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Old January 11, 2019, 07:35 PM   #2
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20 or 22 would be my choice. Good luck with the build. The Valkyrie certainly has som teething issues.
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Old January 11, 2019, 07:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed308 View Post
... The Valkyrie certainly has som teething issues.
Can you name a round that didn't?
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Old January 11, 2019, 08:26 PM   #4
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None to my knowledge. And your point is?

Last edited by ed308; January 12, 2019 at 11:23 AM.
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Old January 12, 2019, 10:14 AM   #5
Mobuck
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"I built a 224 Valk AR a little over a year ago using a CMMG 24" 1:7 twist barrel (matched with their BCG). No matter what ammo I used or what I tried, I can't get the groups at 100 yds to go below 1.5"."

Hey, ship it to me(along with the bolt , of course) and I'll give it a decent burial.
I finally got my "el-cheapo" 224V back from the warranty return and while it's still a bit tight, it does chamber factory loads and shoots darned good.
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Old January 13, 2019, 10:04 AM   #6
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You'll love the 6.5 Grendel. It's a very accurate do it all cartridge. Great on everything from 1000+ yard steel to prairie dogs to varmints to whitetail. Even a number of elk have been taken with them. Hope your build goes well!
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Old January 13, 2019, 10:08 AM   #7
Jayhawkhuntclub
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Oh, I forgot. I'd go with an 18" or 20" barrel. But that's me. If all you're doing with it is long range steel, then you'd do a bit better with 22". So yes 22" is fine for what you want.
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Old January 13, 2019, 10:11 AM   #8
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I hear in the end it's really Federal's fault all this crap happened with the valk roll-out, but Hornady's 88 gr eldx should get you in the ballpark with sub-MOA groups even using the long-freebore 1:7 twist barrels, though I haven't been able to verify that out to 800 yds+. Why the majority of barrel manufacturers are still pushing those is a mystery to me. I guess they decided that there is no future for the valk with 90+ gr bullets.
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Old January 13, 2019, 11:27 AM   #9
ed308
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Hornady's 88 gr eldx should get you in the ballpark with sub-MOA groups

They like to jump from what I've read. And works with Varget. Got some ordered.
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Old January 13, 2019, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
They like to jump from what I've read
That's a fact, rather I would say "that don't mind a jump as much"...in addition to that they don't have stabilization issues in the 1:7 twist that heavier bullets can have and; for the limitations of what you can "squeeze" out of the case powder-wise, the long range difference performance in velocity and retained energy between it and the 90+ gr bullets is negligible. Wind drift resistance I'm not sure about.
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Old January 13, 2019, 11:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
And works with Varget. Got some ordered.
I've had poor results from Varget from smaller case capacities like .223/5.56, and I bet .224 isn't immune from that. I'd recommend TAC, I ess easily get sub MOA groups with 77gr 5.56, and Valk isn't much different.
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Old January 14, 2019, 10:13 AM   #12
TrueBlue711
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but Hornady's 88 gr eldx should get you in the ballpark with sub-MOA groups even using the long-freebore 1:7 twist barrels
Though they performed better than the 90 gr SMK ammo, I couldn't get the Hornady to go under 1.5 MOA either. I've used every factory ammo out there and I'm not happy with the results. Many told me to hand load, but I don't do that nor have the time to do so. I will not own a rifle where I'm forced to hand load for it.
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Old January 14, 2019, 10:19 AM   #13
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Though they performed better than the 90 gr SMK ammo, I couldn't get the Hornady to go under 1.5 MOA either. I've used every factory ammo out there and I'm not happy with the results. Many told me to hand load, but I don't do that nor have the time to do so. I will not own a rifle where I'm forced to hand load for it.
I fully understand your frustration--since I reload my ammo I have to admit it has been very challenging to find really good loads--especially for the long freebore 1:7 twist barrels. I do have a load for a 1:6.5 barrel valk that can shoot well under .5 MOA with high velocity and energy--one day I hope to get to where I can try it to 1000 yds. If you take a look at the ballistics--the valk should be able to leave the Grendel behind at about 800 yds
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Old January 14, 2019, 01:40 PM   #14
ed308
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I do have a load for a 1:6.5 barrel valk that can shoot well under .5 MOA with high velocity and energy.

Since I have the same ARP long free bore barrel and you, what was that load again (ie: bullet, powder and OAL)? I'll load something similar and try it. But getting out has been delayed due to the weather the last couple of weeks. Was hoping to hit the range this coming weekend but the forecast has changed to low 30's for my area. Too cold for me.
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Old January 14, 2019, 01:44 PM   #15
ed308
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I've had poor results from Varget from smaller case capacities like .223/5.56, and I bet .224 isn't immune from that. I'd recommend TAC, I ess easily get sub MOA groups with 77gr 5.56, and Valk isn't much different.

I've had great results with Varget for my .223 Wylde loads with 77 gr Nosler CC and 24 grs of Varget. .5 MOA if I skip the coffee on the way to the range. And thats with my Dillon 650. I've had similar results with TAC as well.
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Old January 14, 2019, 04:42 PM   #16
stagpanther
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Quote:
I do have a load for a 1:6.5 barrel valk that can shoot well under .5 MOA with high velocity and energy.

Since I have the same ARP long free bore barrel and you, what was that load again (ie: bullet, powder and OAL)? I'll load something similar and try it. But getting out has been delayed due to the weather the last couple of weeks. Was hoping to hit the range this coming weekend but the forecast has changed to low 30's for my area. Too cold for me.
The formula is in the picture name--keep in mind this was seated at 2.33 which I don't think you can do with the shorter freebore barrel, so your results might not be quite as good (and use at your own risk). I shot the same load at 200 yds and it was in the .3 MOA range at that distance as well.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 224valk 25.7MR2000 95MatchKing.JPG (78.8 KB, 146 views)
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Last edited by stagpanther; January 14, 2019 at 04:52 PM.
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Old January 14, 2019, 05:13 PM   #17
stagpanther
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I just got a notice from hornady they are coming out with new 60 and 75 gr valk ammo--probably shortish high velocity stuff which my guess would be pretty good out of just about any valk barrel.
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Old January 14, 2019, 07:29 PM   #18
ed308
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No wonder I forget that load. I don't have that powder or those bullets.
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Old January 14, 2019, 07:49 PM   #19
stagpanther
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No wonder I forget that load. I don't have that powder or those bullets.
Yeah, I was kinda "out there on my own" when I developed this one. But if you recall when the cartridge was first rolled out and the market was flooded with "Creedmoor killer" hype (flat shooting and supersonic past 1200 yds) I figured that was the goalpost to try for--and this one theoretically should be able to get there.
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Old January 15, 2019, 12:12 PM   #20
stagpanther
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ed: I did come up with some 88 eldx loads that shot under MOA through my "worst of the bunch" 1:7 barrels with long free-bore (which I'm guessing is most of them out there if they are still using the same chamber reamers). I purposely kept the cartridges to an OAL that would feed through conventional magazines (not the cavity back with the front cut out). Those you will have to refer to the previous posts I made, it would take me too long to track down on my computer; sorry bout that.
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Old January 15, 2019, 08:10 PM   #21
ed308
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I'll go back and review the post. Not like I'm getting out to the range anyway with the weather we've had this winter. I may try and go on Friday afternoon if I can break away from work early. Temps are suppose to be in the low 70's.
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Old January 15, 2019, 08:25 PM   #22
stagpanther
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x man on the valk forum has come up with some really good loads, though his build is also geared to pushing the COL's "out there." For the past year or so I had this crazy idea of drilling out tracks in the front of the magazine wall and into the barrel extension ramps to accommodate extra long cartridges but never did it, thinking it would be too much work and impractical. Low and behold--he had the same idea--but actually did it.
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