Windham Weaponry’s Rodent Harvester

By Oleg Volk

Above: Varmint .224 on a Lyman field stand for accuracy testing.

The .224 Valkyrie Varmint Rifle

The Windham Weaponry Varmint rifle in .224 was designed to bring long-range accuracy without the usual concomitants of excessive weight, obnoxious blast, heavy recoil or drastically expensive ammunition. The recently developed Federal Ammunition cartridge, .224 Valkyrie, is based on 6.8SPC case necked down to .224”, the same caliber as .223 Remington. This approach allows fractionally greater powder capacity than .223 while lengthening the neck for secure seating of long, low-drag bullets. Whereas .223 Remington cannot accept bullets heavier than 77 grains without running out of internal volume for powder or increasing overall length past the magazine dimensions, .224 may be loaded with aerodynamic 90 grainers for better downrange energy retention. With the heavy 90gr, .224 Valkyrie reaches the same velocity as .223 does with lighter 75gr bullet typical of .223 match rounds. If pushing the same 75 grains out, .224 reaches 3000fps, about 200fps faster than the corresponding .223 load. The 60gr Varmint load meant for short and intermediate range use reaches impressive 3300fps, plenty to ensure a rather flat trajectory though at the cost of greater wind drift further downrange.

The potential for accuracy with this new cartridge calls for a good rifle to realize it, and Windham Weaponry .224 Varmint is just such a weapon. Having made AR-15 rifles for 45 years, Windham created a competent launch platform. Mounting a heavy fluted, threaded 22-inch stainless 1:7 twist barrel, it comes with Luth-AR adjustable stock to provide correct eye placement for large 1000-yard optics. Other than the magazine, the bolt and the barrel, .224 rifles share all other components with the regular .223 AR-15, making for excellent parts availability. Meant for supported precision shooting, this rifle ships with a 5-round magazine fitting almost flush with the bottom of the magazine well. 25-round 6.8SPC magazines also fit, giving this rifle a possible social use. The threaded barrel is thick enough to support sustained fire without overheating. Looking quite solid, at 8.7 pounds this rifle isn’t as heavy as expected. Some of the...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N1 (January 2019)
and was posted online on November 16, 2018


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