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December 2018

From .224 Valkyrie to .22 Creedmoor. A comparison of two hot .22 caliber cartridges!

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SF-10 .22 Creedmoor

There has been a plethora of bad press surrounding the .224 Valkyrie, a cartridge based on a .30 Rem/6.8 SPC case necked down to accommodate a .224 projectile.   And much of it is well deserved; however, that doesn’t mean we should chuck the Valkyrie into the pile of forgotten calibers because most of the issues revolve around poor ammo.  For some that is simply not acceptable, especially to the masses that rely solely on “off the shelf” ammo.  Our extensive testing has certainly been a windy road with extremely accurate shot placements to not so good accuracy using some factory loads.  With hand-loading it’s quite easy to get consistent accuracy and velocity, but that’s simply not good enough.  This would be less of a problem if there wasn’t so much hype surrounding the cartridge, a brilliant marketing campaign by Federal was responsible for much of that hype.

Nevertheless, we have seen the Hornady 88 Grain ELD-M hover just below and just over the 1 MOA mark.  While certainly not breathtaking, practical accuracy is solid.  I do think that Federal will work out the kinks and these discussions will be a foot note in the coming years.  We continue to build the .224 Valkyrie and have gotten very positive feedback, much of that is the result of the barrels we use, which are nothing short of great.  We also disclose our opinions on ammo issues and ways to mitigate before we sell to customers.  If we’ve learned anything over the last 18 months, its that the book is still open on this cartridge and we certainly aren’t throwing in the towel.

And now, the .22 Creedmoor, which is a .22 caliber projectile stuffed in a 6.5 Creedmoor case.  Reloading is straight forward, just resize the brass in a full-length sizer die and proceed to load.  Furthermore, .22 Creedmoor brass is available, and Hornady will be releasing brass very soon.  Now let me back up a minute.  We build the .22 Creedmoor and it’s one of our regularly stocked rifles; we only stock rifles that have readily available commercial ammunition.  Well we bucked that policy with the .22 Creed for several reasons; first, Hornady will in fact be offering “off the shelf” .22 Creedmoor ammunition soon, also, there are several smaller custom munitions retailers that sell the .22 Creedmoor.  Copper Creek is one of those companies and we have had fantastic results with their .22 Creedmoor lineup.  And lastly, we released this rifle because it’s just that DAMN GOOD.

I know we’ll have some that scream, why not stick with the 22-250, which is a fine caliber; the answer is that the 22 Creed out performs the 22-250 in almost every major category outside of barrel life and commercial ammo availability.  We plan to run a side by side comparison video very soon.

We wouldn’t have touched the 22 Creedmoor if we manufactured full size AR10’s, but offering this caliber in the Small Frame AR10, it’s almost like running the 22 Creed in an AR15.  Our Small Frame .22 Creedmoor is a bit lighter than our F4-15 EBR chambered in .224 Valkyrie.  We frequently get questions about the application of this cartridge and what it’s primarily used for.  This rifle is an absolute nightmare on Coyotes, Feral Hogs, Prairie Dogs, and Whitetail Deer.  It’s also a fantastic option for those shooters that love shooting .22 caliber projectiles and getting the absolute most performance possible out of that bullet.  The .22 Creedmoor is here to stay, and I have a feeling it’s going to be the very successful once Hornaday really starts pushing this caliber.  We got an early start and I’m glad we did because it’s exceeded expectations and it’s a ton of fun!