224 Valkyrie vs 223 Remington

When dissecting the differences between 224 Valkyrie vs 223 Remington, you really need to start with each caliber’s origins.

The 223 Rem was conceived as a cartridge for warfare. Eugene Stoner and Remington developed it in the late 50’s to effectively incapacitate an enemy combatant standing up to 600 yards away. That means it also retains enough energy to ethically pin down a whitetail at ranges between 100 and 150 yards.

The 224 Valkyrie came along much more recently – 2017 – and was developed for an altogether different application: recreational long-distance shooting. As such it is designed to reliably strike a 1,300-yard target. With the right bullet, the 224 Valkyrie can easily pin down a buck at 300 yards.

Taking the two rounds’ effective ranges into account, we still wouldn’t say the 224 Valkyrie is necessarily “better” than the 223 Rem. Doing so would overlook the very different applications they were designed for. For example, while the 224 Valkyrie’s effective range may be about double that of the 223 Rem. However, we’d much rather implement the smaller, older, less powerful cartridge for home defense.

Let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between these two rounds’ performance. If you’re debating getting a rifle chambered for one or the other, then you’ll definitely know the right move before you grow tired of reading this article.

Cartridge Dimensions – 224 Valk vs 223

224 valkyrie and 223 rem ammo side by side

 224 Valkyrie223 Rem
Parent case6.8 SPC222 Rem
Case typeRimless, bottleneckRimless, bottleneck
Bullet diameter0.2245 in0.224 in
Neck diameter0.2560 in0.253 in
Shoulder diameter0.4031 in0.354 in
Base diameter0.4207 in0.376 in
Rim diameter0.422 in0.378 in
Rim thickness0.049 in0.045 in
Case length1.6 in1.76 in
Overall length2.26 in2.26 in
Case capacity34.5 gr H2O28.8 gr H2O
Maximum pressure55,000 psi55,000 psi

The 224 Valkyrie and 223 Rem are remarkably similar in dimensions. They share the same overall length. Plus, their bullet diameters are virtually identical. They even have the same maximum chamber pressure.

But the 224 Valkyrie’s case is two important things: shorter and wider. This gives it more capacity for propellant, and also lets it seat a longer, heavier bullet without becoming too long to function in the AR-15 platform. (Any longer and the 224 Valkyrie would require a costlier AR-10 receiver.)

223 Rem bullets are commonly available in weights of 40, 55, 62, 69 and 77 grains, with 55 and 62 grains being most common. 224 Valkyrie bullets are heavier on average at 60, 75 and 90 grains. But even if both rounds shared the same bullet weight, the 224 Valkyrie’s larger charge of powder would give its bullet a significantly higher muzzle velocity.

In essence, the 224 Valkyrie pushes a heavier bullet to a higher velocity than the 223 Rem. This makes a great difference in the two rounds’ ballistic performance!

Ballistic Performance

Let’s take a look at how the 224 Valkyrie’s heavier bullets perform relative to the 223 Rem’s.

Pulled 224 valk vs 223 remington bullets

Velocity of 224 Valkyrie vs 223

 224 Valk - Federal Varmint 60gr V-MAX223 - Federal Varmint 40gr V-MAX224 Valk - Federal 75gr FMJ223 - Federal 55gr FMJBT224 Valk - Fed Gold Medal 90gr MatchKing223 - Fed. Gold Medal 69gr MatchKing
Muzzle velocity (fps)330038003000302027002950
Velocity @ 100 yds293032582768267825442647
Velocity @ 200 yds259027812547236023942364
Velocity @ 300 yds227423502337206522492098
Velocity @ 400 yds198119592137179321081850
Velocity @ 500 yds171316131947154819731624
Velocity @ 600 yds147413241768133618431422
Velocity @ 700 yds127311161602116917201252
Velocity @ 800 yds11229911450105316031122
Velocity @ 900 yds1020908131597414931030
Velocity @ 1000 yds94984412009141391964

The difference between the 224 Valkyrie and the 223 ammo becomes really apparent when we compare their respective middleweight 75 and 55 grain bullets side by side. These rounds have virtually identical muzzle velocities. But because the 224 Valkyrie bullet’s superior mass enables it to retain more momentum (and thus exhibit a higher ballistic coefficient), it is able to retain more of that velocity as it screeches farther and farther downrange. This has the important effect of delivering a flatter trajectory – precisely the ballistic performance which makes long-distance shooting easier.

Trajectory

 224 Valk - Federal Varmint 60gr V-MAX223 - Federal Varmint 40gr V-MAX224 Valk - Federal 75gr FMJ223 - Federal 55gr FMJBT224 Valk - Fed Gold Medal 90gr MatchKing223 - Fed. Gold Medal 69gr MatchKing
G1 ballistic coefficient0.270.2040.4070.2740.5720.306
G7 ballistic coefficient0.1350.1010.2040.1390.2870.154
Elevation @ 100 yds5.474.725.836.366.636.42
Elevation @ 200 yds5.364.635.616.326.366.35
Elevation @ 300 yds0.03000.010.020.01
Elevation @ 400 yds-12.06-11-11.98-14.53-13.21-14.27
Elevation @ 500 yds-33.09-31.19-31.61-39.96-34.28-38.76
Elevation @ 600 yds-66.06-64.92-60.43-80.02-64.29-76.53
Elevation @ 700 yds-115.14-118.63-100.42-139.64-104.56-131.56
Elevation @ 800 yds-185.73-200.18-154-224.68-156.6-208.81
Elevation @ 900 yds-284.07-317.26-224.17-341.23-222.2-313.85
Elevation @ 1000 yds-415.6-476.26-314.48-494.21-303.42-451.44

You may have noticed that the 40 grain 223 Rem load actually exhibits a flatter trajectory than the 60 grain 224 Valkyrie load at short range. Is it more accurate? Not necessarily, once you take wind drift into account. The bullet with a higher ballistic coefficient is naturally better equipped to resist wind deflection. That’s an advantage no serious varmint hunter should fail to take into consideration.

The 223 Rem’s lighter bullets also become subsonic (aka slower than approximately 1,125 fps) at closer distances than the 224 Valkyrie. A bullet destabilizes and picks up a wobble when its velocity transfers from super- to subsonic. That’s one more reason the 224 Valkyrie reliably reaches much farther targets.

Stopping Power

 224 Valk - Federal Varmint 60gr V-MAX223 - Federal Varmint 40gr V-MAX224 Valk - Federal 75gr FMJ223 - Federal 55gr FMJBT224 Valk - Fed Gold Medal 90gr MatchKing223 - Fed. Gold Medal 69gr MatchKing
Muzzle energy (ft lbs)145112831499111414571334
Energy @ 100 yds1144943127687612941074
Energy @ 200 yds89468710816801145856
Energy @ 300 yds6894919105211011674
Energy @ 400 yds523341761393888525
Energy @ 500 yds391231631293778404
Energy @ 600 yds290156521218679310
Energy @ 700 yds216111427167591240
Energy @ 800 yds16887350135513193
Energy @ 900 yds13973288116445163
Energy @ 1000 yds12063240102387142

Outside of extreme exceptions, 224 Valkyrie ammo hits its target harder than the 223 Rem bullet at any range. We touched on this in the introduction, but the 224 Valkyrie’s 300-yard effective range for deer hunting is basically double the 223 Rem’s. You can certainly hit a deer with a 223 Rem rifle at 300 yards. However, the bullet just won’t retain sufficient energy at that distance to reliably and humanely kill the quarry. Tracking a deer all day through the woods – not a fun time.

The 224 Valkyrie’s superior stopping power doesn’t provide all that great an advantage for home defense. Unless you live in a house with rooms larger than Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, it is highly unlikely that you would have to defend yourself against a threat over distances greater than 100 yards. The 223 Rem delivers about four times more kinetic energy to a 100-yard target than the minimum typically recommended for personal protection (220 to 300 ft lbs). Upsizing to 224 Valkyrie would therefore provide needlessly more overkill at the expense of added unwanted recoil.

Recoil

 Recoil Energy (ft lbs)
224 Valkyrie Federal Varmint & Predator 60gr V-MAX5.51
224 Valkyrie Federal American Eagle 75gr FMJ6.48
224 Valkyrie Federal Gold Medal 90gr MatchKing7.16
223 Rem Federal Varmint & Predator 40gr V-MAX4.06
223 Rem Federal American Eagle 55gr FMJBT4.48
223 Rem Federal Gold Medal 69gr MatchKing5.71

Less recoil is a good thing. It makes target shooting and hunting more comfortable, and it decreases the amount of time you have to spend restoring your aim on target in between shots. Lighter recoil, more accurate rapid follow-up shots!

It’s easy to calculate a cartridge’s recoil energy once you have its muzzle velocity, bullet weight, propellant and rifle weight. For the sake of an apples-to-apples recoil energy comparison, let’s reasonably assume all the cartridges above have 25 grains of powder and we are firing two six-pound rifles.

The 224 Valkyrie’s heavier bullet comes at the cost of heavier recoil. But you may not even be able to perceive the difference between firing either type of ammunition. None of our comparison rounds come anywhere close to generating 15 ft-lbs of recoil energy. That’s the threshold many shooters feel recoil gets uncomfortable (although personal opinions may vary, as they are known to do).

That said, if you’re buying a rifle for home defense, it only makes sense to go with the lower-recoil option which still delivers more than enough energy to quickly neutralize a human-size threat.

Price & Availability

223 Remington rifle at the shooting range

 The time has come for the 223 Rem to truly shine. Alongside the virtually identical 5.56×45, the 223 Rem is the most popular centerfire cartridge in America. This motivates ammo companies to mass-produce it. Typically, the U.S. government is certainly cranking out plenty of ammo for their standard issue M4 carbines. The 223 Rem’s characteristically lighter bullets lower its production cost somewhat as well.

224 Valkyrie ammunition is not prohibitively expensive, but it is noticeably pricier than 223 Rem. It won’t let you enjoy the same easy access to affordably priced range and target ammunition, either. You’ll also have less variety to choose from. What you do find will be mostly limited to specialized long-distance shooting ammo. Fair enough, since that’s the whole point of the 224 Valkyrie.

The Takeaway: 224 valkyrie vs 223

If you’re debating whether to make your first rifle a 223 Rem or 224 Valkyrie, go with the 223 Rem. It is excellent for personal protection, effective over the longest distances most shooters care to cover, and makes buying lots of ammo much less painful.

The 224 Valkyrie’s greater accuracy, effective ranges and stopping power make it preferable for hunting varmints and deer alike. That said, a rifle chambered for it is really only worth investing in if you intend to start shooting targets positioned farther than 600 yards from the firing line. But here’s the neat thing: Once you own an AR-15 chambered for 5.56/223, you’ll have the option of converting it to fire 224 Valkyrie later down the road!