The .220 Swift and 22-250 Remington have been the factory offered speed kings of the .22 centerfire world for a very long time. But putting either in an AR pattern rifle has not been a practical or successful endeavor. Now MSR rifle lovers have some new options that give them much better trajectories and ballistics than can be had from the classic .223/ 5.56 offerings. Let’s take a quick look at 2 new hotties.
First the 22 Nosler®. This is a .224 caliber offering from the namesake company. This cartridge offers approximately 300 fps more than comparably loaded .223 ammunition. Using an 18 inch barrel, the 22 Nosler® pushes a 55 grain Ballistic Tip® bullet to 3350 fps muzzle velocity and for the long range heavy bullet fan, the cartridge sends a 77 grain Nosler® Custom Competition® bullet to 2,950 fps muzzle velocity. These higher velocities are achieved with a 25% larger case capacity than the .223 family giving MSR shooters a new and effective option. As an added note, tests with a 24 inch barrel gave velocities for the 55 grain Ballistic Tip® and the 77 grain Custom Competition® of 3500 fps and 3150 fps, uprespectively. Obviously, varmint hunters with bolt action, heavy barrel rifles will really like this new round. For more information go to: www.22Nosler.com, you’ll like what you find there. For you handloaders out there here’s the link to the .22 Nosler® load data: https://load-data.nosler.com/load-data/22-nosler
The other new .22 centerfire rocket comes from Federal®, the 224 Valkyrie, which Federal® touts as WORLD’S FIRST SUPERSONIC 1,300-YARD MSR 15 CARTRIDGE.” I was unable to find any definitive velocity and energy numbers, but Federal® claims that the 90 grain Sierra® MatchKing™ stays supersonic past 1300 yards. The Valkyrie is also available with Nosler® Ballistic Tip®, Fusion®, and American Eagle® TMJ® bullets. As you can see from the photos, the 224 Valkyrie reminds one of the not so successful Winchester® .223 WSSM. It is a short fat cartridge that will fit in AR pattern rifles. The 90 grain round has similar trajectories to the favored long range 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge, but with about half the perceived recoil. This new offering might make a big splash in the Precision Rifle Series and other long range competitions. Also with a heavy 90 grain hunting bullet, it should be a viable option for small and medium big game. For more information on this very interesting new cartridge here’s a link:
Only time will tell if these new offerings achieve commercial success or go the way of the WSSM cartridges. American shooters know a good thing when they see and use it. For those who might be considering building their own MSR 15, there are now more options for your intended shooting purpose.
Be safe and good shooting.