Recoil - - Contents - BY CANDICE HORNER

.224 Valkyrie

Old gun parts that are laid to rest and rust in a rub­ber bin are quickly for­got­ten thanks to the next new and shiny things that UPS de­liv­ers. But when we were sent a com­plete Cross Ma­chine Tool .224 Valkyrie up­per, those old parts needed to be res­ur­rected. It’s rare that we can dou­ble-dip parts from one sport for use in an­other. In this case, three-gun gear was rein­car­nated into a pre­ci­sion ri­fle gas gun setup.

Com­pet­i­tive shoot­ers con­stantly chase what will give them the ad­van­tage to gain ground. Fed­eral’s

.224 Valkyrie can do ev­ery­thing a

.223 can — but bet­ter. The bal­lis­tic per­for­mance is closer to that of 6.5 Creed­moor, but the felt-re­coil mir­rors a .223. While Fed­eral has dif­fer­ent loads for plink­ing, hunt­ing, or pre­ci­sion, this build had only com­pet­i­tive pre­ci­sion shoot­ing in mind.

We usu­ally wouldn’t base a whole Buildsheet on a com­plete up­per re­ceiver, but we couldn’t turn down the op­por­tu­nity to try the CMT .224 Valkyrie with in­te­grated brake and crown (IBC) ma­chined into the bar­rel. We’ll run sup­pressed at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity, but this wasn’t pos­si­ble with the IBC bar­rel. We were will­ing to ig­nore the lack of threads if the IBC bar­rel was ac­cu­rate.

For the PRS Gas Gun se­ries, com­peti­tors can ex­pect to en­gage tar­gets out to 800 yards. The tar­gets are usu­ally 2 MOA or larger, but a well­shoot­ing ri­fle will be more for­giv­ing in awk­ward shoot­ing po­si­tions when wob­ble in­creases. Items that mat­ter the most for a pre­ci­sion ri­fle are the bar­rel, trig­ger, and op­tic. All the other com­po­nents of the ri­fle usu­ally boil down to per­sonal pref­er­ence and ac­ces­si­bil­ity of the parts. Past that the ammo and the shooter must be able to per­form with the ri­fle.

The com­plete up­per ar­rived as the ti­tle im­plies — com­plete. All the com­po­nents were CMT-la­beled. The only item we re­placed on the up­per was the cheese grater quad rail for a 15-inch Luth-AR Palm Hand­guard.

This ex­change was done for per­sonal pref­er­ence and com­fort when hold­ing the rail. Bar­rel specs make this up­per in­ter­est­ing solely be­cause it’s cham­bered in .224 Valkyrie and runs off of a ri­fle-length gas sys­tem. We’ve heard of peo­ple hav­ing trou­ble get­ting the 90gr SMKs to sta­bi­lize and shoot ac­cu­rately out of a 1 in 7 twist rate bar­rel, but we didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence that with this ri­fle and were shoot­ing groups around .75 MOA con­sis­tently out to 800 yards.

The lower was built us­ing a JP Ri­fles bil­let lower re­ceiver, AR Gold dropin trig­ger, JP Ri­fles Silent Cap­tured Spring, and TACMOD AR-15 Butt­stock. Small in­ter­nal parts and springs were scav­enged from other guns or found in the bot­tom of bins.

The TACMOD butt­stock was se­lected be­cause of its ad­justa­bil­ity. The main fea­ture that helps you get on tar­get faster is the fact that the cheek piece is ad­justable. This pro­vides con­sis­tent eye re­lief ev­ery time you place your head on the ri­fle. A long base on the butt­stock gives more area for a rear bag to be moved for­ward or back­ward, rais­ing the muz­zle down or up.

Some peo­ple frown upon run­ning light trig­gers, but they’re ben­e­fi­cial in com­pe­ti­tion if you’re pro­fi­cient with them. Be­ing able to press the trig­ger and make the gun go off right as the crosshairs float over the tar­get while you’re in an un­sta­ble po­si­tion can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween a hit and a dis­ap­point­ing run at the prize ta­ble. It’s hard not to push the gun off tar­get while pulling a heavy trig­ger, so we sidestepped that hand­i­cap by drop­ping the trig­ger weight down to a 1-pound pull.

This .224 Valkyrie res­ur­rec­tion build was topped off with a SIG SAUER Tango6 5-30x first fo­cal plane scope with an MRAD Dev-L ret­i­cle. Hav­ing too much mag­ni­fi­ca­tion isn’t a prob­lem, just as long as the lower end of the mag­ni­fi­ca­tion isn’t so high that you get lost be­hind the scope. In this case, it’s five-power, which is good and low, mak­ing it easy to find tar­gets while look­ing through the scope. For PRS

Gas Gun matches, you can ex­pect to stay in the 10 to 20 mag­ni­fi­ca­tion area when en­gag­ing tar­gets.

Other than set­ting up this rig with all the items of a pre­ci­sion AR-15, we had to go one step fur­ther and find a cou­ple of 6.8 SPC ri­fle mag­a­zines. Be­cause the car­tridge is a necked down 6.8 SPC, a stan­dard .223 mag­a­zine can­not be used. For­tu­nately, 6.8 SPC mag­a­zines are easy to find on­line and rel­a­tively cheap.

Af­ter set­ting up the ri­fle, we needed a few more items for the PRS game, a bi­pod, rear bag, fat bag, bal­lis­tic en­gine, and a dope card for your wrist or one that can be at­tached to the ri­fle.

Set­ting up a new ri­fle is al­ways fun and grat­i­fy­ing, but when you’re able to re­use parts that had been long for­got­ten, the re­ward is even sweeter. So, the next time you’re think­ing about junk­ing used and abused parts, look into other ways to re­use them for a new project. We’re look­ing for­ward to us­ing this new setup at one of the up­com­ing PRS Gas Gun matches.

Gear that’s used for bolt gun matches can also be used for gas gun matches.Af­ter try­ing out mul­ti­ple bags, the Rea­sor Pre­ci­sion/Armageddon Gear Game Changer bag gets the most use at matches. This spread is what’s usu­ally needed to com­plete a stage (the ex­tra ammo is just in case and rarely needed).

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