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GLShooter

22 VALKYRIE RANGE TIME TRIP THREE

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I loaded up some 224 Valkyrie last month and along with the A-30 I thought I’d make a run at it using a few bullets that I had not fired previously. For the day I brought along 55 Nosler BT’s, 60 Nosler BT’s and the 77 Nosler CC pills. I used seven different powders apportioned over the three bullets. With three charge weights on each powder/bullet combination I had a good time at the loading bench when I prepared these.   All were set off using CCI 450 primers in Starline and Federal twice fired brass. No bullets were crimped and all were at usable magazine length. Routinely in this loading I have three shots each at the lower fill and a five shot batch for the top end loading in each powder.

 

This is a 24” barreled upper and I had a 6.8 Young BCG in place for the testing. It carries an 8X32 Mueller scope and is on top of my match AR15 lower I use in F-Class matches.  All rounds were from a front rest and rear bag set up.  Speeds were recorded by LabRadar.  Temperatures were heating up and I had only about 1 ½ hours to shoot these so the barrel got more than a bit warm. My notes show temperatures were right on 95 or so for the endeavor.  No real wind though mirage was starting to creep in as I was starting these. I used ¾” red dots for an aiming point.

 

On the Nosler 55 BT’s I started with CFE 223 at 29.1 and moved up in 0.3 increments for the remainder. I used 0.3 grains as my charge weight increase in all testing for the day. The first three looked decent with a 1.144 CTC spread. Not bad for a clean and cold bore.  The 29.4 was next up and speeds came up to 3434 with another group that was not too shabby in appearance at 0.944. My final batch of CFE gave me a top end of 3544. I was glad to see it had legs but I’m afraid the shooter let this one down pulling a 1.408 with a bad lower leaker.

 

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Moving along to the Benchmark  loads I had another 1.410 but as this was essentially a fouler for the powder change over I was not overly concerned. The next  two batches shot far better at 0.835 and 0.893. Speeds were coming up to 3434 on this one. While that is usable but CFE as usual was going to be the King of Speed for the 55 pills.

 

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The last powder I was trying on these was IMR 8208 XBR.  It’s a mild mannered propellant and I have done well with it in other 6.8 variants.  The first group was large at 1.384 and was horizontal. The next two groups started to round up nicely and also cut down a great deal of the spread on the first three. A load of 27.5 got me three into 0.430 at 3482 so I was happy there as it was the best of all nine loadings shot.. Bumping up 0.3 grains gave me 30 more FPS and opened up to 0.886 that was nicely rounded.  Not bad and usable but I feel it could be a tad better with some work.

 

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Moving along to the 60 grain Ballistic Tips was going to be interesting as I had not shot them in this chambering previously. I had decided to give AR Comp a whirl as it has been showing good velocity for me on several various cartridges. It seems to put out well with little effort at manageable pressures.

 

The first loading a 25.8 grains gave me 3304 and a slightly sub-MOA spread for three. The next bump up started horizontal and spread out to 1.104 for three shots. The final five went vertical but did manage to stay inside 0.602 CTC. I want to try this one with another 0.3 grains on board to see if things shrink down even more.

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Packing away the AR Comp I moved on to RL 15. I’ve used this in a lot of 6.8 variants and have been pleased plus it seems to handle Phoenix heat relatively well. I looked through the scope after the first three were sent packing and it looked pretty good from where I sat. The measurement later gave me a 0.437 so that was certainly worthwhile to look at.  Bumping up over the next two weights gave me a velocity top of 3430 over a starting level of 3365. The mid charge opened up a bit but when the 28.9 load was measured up I had a  spread of 0.794 with five going nicely into 0.520.  This powder is worth doing a little refining on based on what I saw here on this quick data gathering trip.

 

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The final powder I tried with a 60 was my standby 8208. This one usually performs well and after the first three shots I knew it was not going to  disappoint. Moseying along at 3408 I managed to make a nice little touching group of three that went a very acceptable 0.309.  Bumped up another 0.3 grains to 27.3 gained me 31 FPS but opened up to 0.663.  The final load of 27.6 was done with six shots since I just happened to find one extra case in the box after all was said and done at the bench that day. Six went into 0.956 but based on their placement to the dot shot about the same POI for the step below. Once again a hair vertical so another 0.3 would be good to see if I have the case capacity available.. Topping at 3471 I was happy with the extra oomph.

 

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I had the 70 grain Nosler Custom Competition left on the table to finish my day. On the first batch I had powder up with CFE 223 that usually gives me decent speeds and groups. For some reason this one didn’t happen and I found the groups to be rather large considering everything else I had shot. I actually saved the last two rounds in the 26.8 load as it had already grown large enough to make me frown. The speed was there at 3264 but I can miss plenty well at slower speeds and the sonic damage going own range don’t mean squat on paper or flesh.  

 

Not too happy but hopeful I moved on to my load with the 77’s over a nice batch of AA 2520 that has done well in the 22-NXS for me.  The first three down the tube formed up in what appeared to be a decent triangle that later measured out to be 1.001.  Adding 0.3 making the charge 26.3 gave me a smaller vertical spread of 0.874. Speed was less than the CFE which I had expected but you have to hit ‘em to get ‘em. 3026 was not bad. Another increment up went into a wider spread but on this one I knew the jerk at the trigger end was at fault. Ruining what could have been.  I want to revisit the top two loadings and put a bit more on it as the primers on all of these were picture perfect with not a shiny spot one on this batch nor the other three. Maybe just a few more FPS will pay of, or not.

 

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I had eleven more rounds in the box filled with Big Game. I don’t know why I keep coming back to this one but I do lately. I’ve got a bunch of it waiting in the wings for my 17 caliber load development where it allegedly shines.  I hoped this one would turn the trick as it had been a hot five hours on the range and the 500 yard guys were pushing for me to get gone.

 

The first load of 28.2 gave me a two and one that I expect with my first fouler change over in powders. It looked good through the scope and ended up showing 0.724. Nothing earth shattering but getting down close to ¾” is my goal for just run of the mill load work with no tuning on an AR.  Moving along in the row I picked out three with 28.5 of Big Game and was rewarded with a nice triangle that ran 0.766 that was faster by 40 FPS so this was nice.. The final five for the day were at 28.5. Speed hit the magic 3000 plus 1.   This one is teasing me with four almost perfectly vertical and one pushed to the side thanks to a bit of mirage and wind as I broke the shot.  Such is life. These went in to 0.794. I believe the Grail lurks at 29.1 grains.  Finally three under an inch and close to my mentally acceptable range of ¾” gives me some acceptance with this bullet.  More time with this powder is in order.

 

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While the 77’s finally turned the corner with Big Game I am looking at the 70 RDF for some future work and also the newer ELD’s need to be wrung out. The Valkyrie is far from a speed demon as I have two 6.8 based cases that out run it handily as well as a 22 built on the 6.5 case.  Looking for a BC edge is in order as this one barely squeaks by the 223 in capacities and with the ability to load up to higher pressures anything below about 80 can be matched by the old school offering. A longer bullet with that BC advantage might well be the ticket to making me go to this one more for paper at distance.

 

All told I found the 55’s shot four out of nine over 1.30 MOA or so with the remainder all  under an inch down to 0.430. Most certainly PD qualified.  The 60’s had only one two loads over an MOA.  The other seven had an average CTC spread of 0.538.  Three powders thrown in the mix assures me this is a doable bullet for the Valk. The 77’s were four out of nine over an MOA by a good margin. The other five managed to get down to 0.831 average. Not sterling but a bit of tinkering might well cut this down by 25% or so. At that point it would be viable to use lying on my belly shooting at a target that is six feet across.

 

I’ll report back more later as I shoot this little one some more.. Brass life so far is outstanding BTW. Using sane loads I am not seeing any case head markings and primers are good and solid when coming out and going in.

 

Greg

 

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Great report.

 

I just finished ASSembling my 20" 224V this evening. Now to find some range time.

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The more the merrier!!

 

Greg 

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8 minutes ago, GLShooter said:

The more the merrier!!

 

Greg 

 

I also picked up a set of Hornady's dies at my LGS last week. They were $2 lower than AMZ. I've got 5 boxes of that Federal ammo you also have. So I'm hoping to make some empties RealSoonNow[tm]

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Great writeup!

 

I really need to sit down and get some loads going for this caliber.  I've done a lot of reading up on it and it seems to be a pretty picky caliber to load for.

 

One guy who's been loading and shooting it for over a year has some good data, and says 0.1-0.2gr can make a huge difference.  He uses H4895 exclusively due to the temp stability.

 

He also favors the Hornady 80gr ELDs as the best balance of speed and distance over any other bullet for the caliber.

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23 minutes ago, newbe said:

Great writeup!

 

I really need to sit down and get some loads going for this caliber.  I've done a lot of reading up on it and it seems to be a pretty picky caliber to load for.

 

One guy who's been loading and shooting it for over a year has some good data, and says 0.1-0.2gr can make a huge difference.  He uses H4895 exclusively due to the temp stability.

 

He also favors the Hornady 80gr ELDs as the best balance of speed and distance over any other bullet for the caliber.

 

Would you happen to have a link to any of that feller's reporting or data?

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4 minutes ago, Flesh Wound said:

 

Would you happen to have a link to any of that feller's reporting or data?

It's a Valkyrie FB group.  You on FB?

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7 hours ago, newbe said:

It's a Valkyrie FB group.  You on FB?

 

No Farcebook for me.

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1 hour ago, Flesh Wound said:

 

No Farcebook for me.

Well, I gave you two components of his loads anyway.  Lol

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