Most shooting enthusiasts are no stranger to the AR-15, which comes with an innovative design for practical long-range shooting. Accordingly, 224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel is the two bullets with the longest firing distance on the AR-15, according to the announcements from the manufacturer. And, you should choose between the two to put on your butt.
However, where is the difference between these two? Which would be more suitable for you? In this comparison, I will introduce you to the specifications and distinguish the performance of these two special editions in many aspects, including price, design, accessories, and recoil. First, we will learn about two cartridge a bit before comparing them.
Something about .224 Valkyrie Ammo
.224 Valkyrie is a relatively new and specialized rifle cartridge designed for long-range shooting. It was introduced by Federal Premium Ammunition in 2017. The .224 Valkyrie cartridge is designed to offer excellent accuracy, low recoil, and flat trajectory, making it suitable for shooting at extended ranges.
- Caliber: The “.224” in .224 Valkyrie refers to the bullet diameter, which is .224 inches (5.56mm), the same as the popular .223 Remington cartridge commonly used in AR-15 rifles.
- Velocity and Range: The .224 Valkyrie cartridge is known for its high velocity and relatively long effective range. It can maintain supersonic speeds and accuracy at distances beyond 1,000 yards, which is an advantage for long-range precision shooting.
- Ballistic Performance: The design of the .224 Valkyrie cartridge includes a relatively heavy and aerodynamic bullet that retains energy and resists wind drift effectively. This results in flatter trajectories and less bullet drop compared to many other cartridges in its class.
- Compatibility: .224 Valkyrie cartridges are designed to work in AR-15 platform rifles with modified magazines and barrels specifically chambered for this cartridge. While it’s not a standard AR-15 caliber, many companies manufacture rifles chambered in .224 Valkyrie.
- Ammunition Types: .224 Valkyrie ammunition is available in various bullet weights and types, including target and hunting rounds. Some loads are optimized for precision shooting, while others are designed for hunting game at extended ranges.
- Market Purpose: The .224 Valkyrie was developed with the intention of providing a cartridge that excels in precision shooting competitions, varmint hunting, and other applications requiring long-range accuracy.
Something about 6.5 Grendel Ammo
The 6.5 Grendel is a type of ammunition and cartridge primarily designed for use in rifles. It was developed in the early 2000s by Alexander Arms and is known for its excellent long-range accuracy and ballistic performance. Here are some key characteristics of 6.5 Grendel ammunition:
- Caliber: The 6.5 Grendel cartridge is 6.5mm in caliber, which refers to the diameter of the bullet. This caliber size falls between the more common .223 Remington (5.56mm) and .308 Winchester (7.62mm) cartridges.
- Performance: The 6.5 Grendel is valued for its relatively flat trajectory, high ballistic coefficient, and excellent long-range capabilities. It is often used for hunting medium-sized game and for precision shooting in competitions.
- Bullet Types: Like most ammunition, 6.5 Grendel is available in various bullet types, including full metal jacket (FMJ), soft point (SP), hollow point (HP), and ballistic tip, among others. The choice of bullet type depends on the intended use, such as target shooting or hunting.
- Compatibility: To use 6.5 Grendel ammunition, you need a rifle chambered for this specific cartridge. It is not interchangeable with other calibers, so it’s essential to ensure that your firearm is chambered for 6.5 Grendel.
- Availability: While 6.5 Grendel is not as widespread as some other rifle calibers, it has gained popularity among enthusiasts, hunters, and competitive shooters. You can typically find 6.5 Grendel ammunition at gun shops and online retailers.
- Reloading: Some shooters choose to reload their own 6.5 Grendel ammunition, allowing for customization of the load to suit their specific needs and preferences.
The Similarities Between 224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel
|Similarity||.224 Valkyrie||6.5 Grendel|
|Shoulder Angle||30 degrees||30 degrees|
|Overall Length (OAL)||Approximately 2.26 inches||Approximately 2.26 inches|
|Effective Range||800-1,000 yards||800-1,000 yards|
- AR-15 Compatibility: Both cartridges are designed for use in AR-15 platform rifles, making them popular choices among AR-15 enthusiasts.
- 30-Degree Shoulder Angle: They both share a 30-degree shoulder angle in their cartridge design.
- Overall Length (OAL): The overall length of both cartridges is the same at approximately 2.26 inches (57.4mm).
- Effective Range: Both cartridges are known for their effective range of 800-1,000 yards, making them suitable for long-range shooting applications.
- Versatile Use: While the primary design goals differ (Valkyrie for long-range precision, 6.5 Grendel for versatile use), both cartridges can be used for a variety of purposes, including hunting and target shooting.
- Similar Ballistic Performance: They both offer excellent ballistic performance, with the 6.5 Grendel known for its outstanding long-range ballistics and the .224 Valkyrie for its flatter trajectory and reduced wind drift.
The Differences Between 224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel Ammo
The only similarity between 224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel lies in the high accuracy. However, the considerable differences in price, design, accessories, range, size, and weight make the two particularly suitable in different situations.
To shed light on each, continue to follow the detailed comparisons below.
The explosion of both versions has been proven on numerous real-life tests. So, their cost is extremely high, up to tens of thousands of dollars per magazine.
Although the Valkyrie is the more updated version, it is not much more expensive than the 6.5 Grendel.
The caliber of bullets, range, and plinking are almost equal. So, on a given target, the amount of ammo both can consume is nearly the same. And it’s pretty hard to see which one fits your budget better.
However, there will still be the following aspects that will help you see their differences more clearly.
The winner: Draw
2. Design & Ergonomics
Immediately after its release, 224 Valkyrie soon became a hot hit, with sales peaking at 1000 tablets per day.
The outstanding sound design and convenient styling are the perfect accents to explain the product’s popularity.
224 Valkyrie has a rather slender body like many other long-range rifle ammunition, which may be lighter for your different usage requirements.
In version 6.5 Grendel, it seems to be more prominent in the overall design.
It possesses refined styling and admirable durability and is much improved over versions. Each vein on the bullet body brings professionalism to the user.
The winner: 6.5 Grendel
|224 Valkyrie Federal Fusion 90 gr SP||6.5 Grendel Federal Fusion 120 gr SP|
|Muzzle velocity (fps)||2700||2600|
|Velocity @ 100 yds||2498||2351|
|Velocity @ 200 yds||2305||2115|
|Velocity @ 300 yds||2120||1894|
|Velocity @ 400 yds||1945||1689|
|Velocity @ 500 yds||1778||1502|
|Velocity @ 600 yds||1623||1337|
|Velocity @ 700 yds||1479||1200|
|Velocity @ 800 yds||1350||1096|
|Velocity @ 900 yds||1237||1020|
|Velocity @ 1000 yds||1145||962|
|G1 ballistic coefficient||0.439||0.346|
|G7 ballistic coefficient||0.24||0.177|
Performance, energy, and ballistics are the key factors determining the product’s quality. 6.5 Grendel is the first long-range and non-velocity bullet for precise laps over 600m and drift.
Meanwhile, 224 Valkyrie has a distinct advantage in bullet drop performance and wind net. It can be much faster and lighter than the 6.5 Grendel version.
In this respect, 6.5 Grendel is much weaker than the 224 Valkyrie version. And you can rely on this information to have the most accurate final choice.
The winner: 224 Valkyrie
Released a long time ago, 6.5 Grendel proved extremely powerful for its design, configuration, and accessories. It has a full range of accessories and parts to serve customers’ needs best.
But also because of that, it will be tough for 6.5 Grendel to combine with different types if its original items are damaged or lost.
In the 224 Valkyrie version, the manufacturer offers fewer accessories than the 6.5 Grendel. Although it has included different gun pegs, barrels, and mags, it does not seem to be enough for the requirements of today’s users.
The good news is that it can be suitable for a broader range of OEM accessories than the 6.5 Grendel. If comparing between 224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel in accessories field, 224 Valkyrie is the winner.
|Recoil Energy (ft lbs)|
|224 Valkyrie Federal Fusion 90 gr SP||6.36|
|224 Valkyrie Hornady 88 gr ELD Match||6.12|
|224 Valkyrie Federal 80.5 gr OTM||6.12|
|6.5 Grendel Federal Fusion 120 gr SP||8.79|
|6.5 Grendel Hornady 123 gr ELD Match||9|
|6.5 Grendel Federal 120 gr OTM||8.84|
Recoil is an essential factor affecting accuracy and trajectory stability for professional shooters.
Honestly, the 224 Valkyrie version has less recoil than the 6.5 Grendel. Therefore, professional hunters often consider it the first solution for their hunting trip.
Meanwhile, most people who like a proven system, want to hunt at a moderate level, and don’t care about recoil, will choose the 6.5 Grendel. The reason is that its recoil stability is better than the competition in the long run.
The winner: 224 Valkyrie
The size and weight of these two bullets are entirely different. Accordingly, the firing range also has a particular influence.
Since the 6.5 Grendel is heavier and more prolonged, its capacity can only shoot as far as about 1100 – 1200 yards. Depending on weather conditions will also change this range, but it isn’t essential.
Meanwhile, the 224 Valkyrie version uses a smaller and lighter gun, giving a more extended flight of 1300 yards. If you are particularly critical of range, the 224 Valkyrie is the best option.
The Winner: 224 Valkyrie
7. Size & Weight
No matter what gun or environment it is used for, the bullet’s size and weight are essential factors affecting the flight path, speed, and accuracy of the shot.
The 6.5 Grendel’s weight is more than twice that of the 30-30 bullet and about four times that of the other 74-grain versions. Accordingly, it will create a relatively heavy gun on the market that few customers use.
In contrast, the 224 Valkyrie is incredibly light to fit standard AR-15 cartridges. Valkyrie is the best recommendation if you want to carry it all day.
The winner: 224 Valkyrie
8. Hunting Capacity
Hunting prowess is the aspect that most gun owners are concerned with. We appreciate the 224 Valkyrie’s hunting ability.
It is an excellent cartridge for you to have more productive hunting trips because of its lighter weight.
Its payload is also ideal for shooters who demand high speed and range.
But if you don’t focus much on hunting, use it for typical games; the 6.5 Grendel option will be the most perfect.
The winner: 224 Valkyrie
|224 Valkyrie||6.5 Grendel|
|Weight||60 – 90g||100 – 140g|
|Range||1300 yards||1100 – 1200 yards|
|Size||5.6 × 41 mm||6.5 x39mm|
|Overall length||57.4 mm||57.5 mm|
|Tank capacity||2.24 cm3||2.3 cm3|
|224 Valkyrie Federal Fusion 90 gr SP||6.5 Grendel Federal Fusion 120 gr SP|
|Muzzle energy (ft lbs)||1457||1802|
|Energy @ 100 yds||1247||1473|
|Energy @ 200 yds||1062||1192|
|Energy @ 300 yds||899||956|
|Energy @ 400 yds||756||760|
|Energy @ 500 yds||632||601|
|Energy @ 600 yds||526||477|
|Energy @ 700 yds||437||384|
|Energy @ 800 yds||364||320|
|Energy @ 900 yds||306||277|
|Energy @ 1000 yds||262||247|
Pros and Cons
224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel: Which One Is better?
I prefer 224 Valkyrie because it offers lower recoil, a tiny projectile, and a flatter trajectory. In particular, it can fly super far more than 1300 yards.
With a lighter weight, you can take it all day long for the most productive hunting trip. Valkyrie’s hunting prowess is also great for your hobby.
Although the price of the 224 Valkyrie is slightly higher than the 6.5 Grendel, it is acceptable because of its significant advantages for hunting reality.
However, if your needs are just essential hunting or participating in more fun games, 6.5 Grendel can still meet all your usage requirements.
Given the reasonable price and the accessories it comes with, I think it’s perfect for those who aren’t demanding performance.
What is the .224 Valkyrie cartridge designed for?
- The .224 Valkyrie was designed for long-range shooting and target competition. It’s known for its flat trajectory and minimal bullet drop at extended distances.
What is the effective range of the .224 Valkyrie?
- The effective range of the .224 Valkyrie can extend beyond 1,000 yards, making it a popular choice for precision shooting.
What type of rifles are chambered for the .224 Valkyrie?
- The .224 Valkyrie is commonly chambered in AR-15-style rifles, but you can also find bolt-action rifles chambered for this cartridge.
Is .224 Valkyrie ammunition readily available?
- Yes, .224 Valkyrie ammunition is relatively easy to find, and there is a growing selection of bullet types and loads available.
What are the advantages of the .224 Valkyrie over other cartridges?
- The key advantages of the .224 Valkyrie include its high velocity, flat trajectory, and excellent long-range accuracy. It also offers relatively low recoil compared to some other long-range cartridges.
What is the primary use of the 6.5 Grendel cartridge?
- The 6.5 Grendel is a versatile cartridge suitable for hunting and long-range shooting. It’s known for its excellent accuracy and ballistic performance.
What is the effective range of the 6.5 Grendel?
- The effective range of the 6.5 Grendel can extend to 800 yards or more, depending on the load and rifle setup.
What rifles are chambered for the 6.5 Grendel?
- The 6.5 Grendel is typically chambered in AR-15-style rifles with a modified bolt and barrel, but it’s also available in some bolt-action rifles.
Is 6.5 Grendel ammunition easy to find?
- While 6.5 Grendel ammunition has become more available in recent years, it may still be less common and more expensive compared to some other cartridges.
What are the advantages of the 6.5 Grendel over other cartridges?
- The 6.5 Grendel is known for its excellent long-range performance, versatility in bullet selection, and balanced ballistic characteristics. It also offers a longer barrel life compared to high-velocity cartridges like the .224 Valkyrie.
Do I need special magazines for the 6.5 Grendel?
- Yes, due to the larger case size of the 6.5 Grendel, you typically need magazines specifically designed for this cartridge, which may limit your magazine capacity compared to standard AR-15 magazines.
224 Valkyrie vs 6.5 Grendel both have apparent advantages and disadvantages and are suitable for different uses. In this article, we have analyzed the differences between the two to help you clearly understand which one is right for you. Don’t forget to leave feedback on my posts. Each comment or share is the biggest motivation for the following quality comparison. Thank you for reading!
Shelly Jark Drakny is a retired SF weapons sergeant (E-5 or above) with a military occupational specialty (MOS) code 18B. He served 24 years in the military, including assignments in SF, Infantry, and Special Forces.