224 Valkyrie - Load Development - Round 1

Discussion in 'Small Stuff--22s, 20s, and 17s' started by AMG04, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. AMG04

    AMG04 Silver $$ Contributor

    Dec 11, 2015
    Got a chance to shoot some quick ladder tests to establish max charges in my Valkyrie. Due to time constraints I was only able to shoot at 100 yards with limited rounds down range. I picked the 80 grain Berger VLD over Superformance and H414. I haven't seen much data in this thread for this bullet or these powders and I have a ton of them, so that's what I went with.

    20" Larue with 1-7 twist
    80 grain Berger VLD
    COAL: 2.271"
    CBTO: 1.777" (Jammed 5 thou)
    CCI .41 Primer
    New Federal Brass (H20 - 31.4 grs)
    Fired Federal Brass (H20 - 32.0 grs)

    Superformance: (grs / fps)
    27.0 2310
    27.4 2372
    27.8 2440
    28.2 2465
    28.6 2520
    29.0 2567
    29.4 2621

    H414: (grs / fps)
    25.0 2385
    25.4 2421
    25.8 2470
    26.2 2520
    26.6 2560
    27.0 2604
    27.4 2656

    I was surprised to see this much vertical spread on target at only 100 yards. Several of my bolt guns shoot ragged holes over a 2.0 grain spread at 100 yards and it's not until 300 yards that you see meaningful dispersion. Not sure why that is, but not really concerned with it.

    It appears that with each powder there is a low and high node with a "scatter" in between. The "scatter" shot was exactly 2520 fps with both powders (coincidence, who knows!?) and the low node is between 2372-2470 fps, and the high node between 2560-2656 fps. I was also surprised by the linear increases in velocity, approximately 49 fps per 0.4grs of powder. I did not reach any pressure signs during these ladder tests, so I will explore slightly higher charges in the next round of testing.

    So what does all this tell me... Avoid anything in the 2520 fps range, and H414 produces more velocity per grain of powder than Superformance (it's more efficient?). Neither of these powders are said to be temperature stable, so in the future I'll do some testing with other powders such as Varget, N540, 8208 XBR, BLc2 and AR-Comp. I know, some of those aren't temp stable either, but I'm curious... It's also nice having two nodes in two different powders that span about 100 fps each. That tells me this round should be very forgiving and stable if loaded to the middle of a node.

    The next round of testing will consist of an OCW style test to better identify the high nodes. Most likely focusing on Superformance between 29.0-29.8grs (5 groups of 4 shots, 0.2gr increments). Then H414 between 26.6-27.8grs (7 groups of 3 shots, 0.2gr increments). As I mentioned I did not reach pressure max with either powder, so loading on the higher end will let me verify the outside edge of the node. If I reach pressure before then, I'll stop.

    I did load some extra rounds for sighting in and fowling the barrel. The last picture is a decent group that makes me think this rifle has potential. Oh, by the way, I HATE FLIERS! (rifle will out shoot me every day!).

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
    SPJ likes this.
  2. garandman

    garandman Bolt Gun Bodacious Gold $$ Contributor

    Nov 17, 2016
    I'm working up a load for 23.6 to 23.8 gr AR-Comp under a 80.5 Berger Fullbore. Got to 0.40 - 0.50 pretty consistent groups at 2875 - 2925 fps (depending on charge) with a 4 - 6 fps SD.

    I think I'm getting close. Seating depth test is next to tighten up groups.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2019
  3. Dan Calhoun

    Dan Calhoun

    Feb 18, 2016
    There is a lot of load data on the Valkyrie group on FB. The choice seems to be H4895 behind 80gr ELD M with a max of 25.2 my 24" WOA barrel 1n7 was putting bullets out 3000 fps with 24.9-25.0
  4. AMG04

    AMG04 Silver $$ Contributor

    Dec 11, 2015
    I have an 8lb keg of H4895! That's the next test...
  5. Orcon


    Sep 21, 2015
    Good luck, hopefully your journey is better than mine. I have the same barrel as you and it's been a frustrating experience. I'll find nodes near the bottom of the load map (mid 2400fps) and after that the groups tend to blow up and over-pressure becomes apparent near max loads. The only exeptions to this was the 55gr NBT at 3250fps using 29.7gr of CFE-223 and the 73gr ELD-M at 2940 using 29.3gr of Ramshot Big Game. Both loads are firmly in 5.56 NATO territory in terms of bullet and velocity so I'm kind of bummed that I can't get the heavies to shoot.

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