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Vihta Vouri

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  • Vihta Vouri

    What's the story on this powder? My local gunshop owner described it as "The most sophisticated powder available for the handloader today." Anybody know what is so special about it? Is it worth the extra money?
    "The best defense is not to be there when the blow arrives!"

  • #2
    Sophisticated Propellant..


    I guess we can't call it powder if it is sophisticated!

    I've found some of these "propellants" that are very good. Truth is some are no better than the Alliant or Hodgdons powders. They are supposed to have better thermal stability, not vary the burn rate as the ambient temperature changes, I can't verify that. What I look at in a rifle powde is good velocity within the pressure I can handle, consistancy from lot to lot and clean burning. They are across the board all those things. The pistol powders are quite a bit better than the Unique/Herco/Blue Dot, etc and of course much cleaner than the ball powders.

    They do have a series (500) of high energy powders that will give a little better velocity than the 'standard' powders.

    I have used these VihtaVouri powders;

    3N37, (I buy this by the 4# jug) N340, N350, N110(This replaces H110/W296 in magnum revolvers), N120 for handguns and N150 (similar to H4895), N160 (similar to RL-19), N165 (similar to RL-22) and the N550 and N560 HE series. N560 has the same burn rate and application as N160 but will produce slightly better velocity in some calibers.

    The down side of them is their lack of versatility. Mostly they do not have a very wide range of uses. There is a place for them where they excell but as you go either way from that they are not the best. For instance, the N160 and 30-06 165 grain bullets, none better, but for 150 or 180 grains they are not the best. H4350, in about the same burning rate and application, is much more versatile and is my powder of choice, if I could only have one powder for the 30-06.

    3N37 is a very good, very clean powder for small auto pistol. It is perfect in the 9mm, almost as good in the 40 S&W but only acceptable for lighter bullets in the 45. Since I load all of these, I still use it because it is so clean and easy to ignite. The down side of it is that it performs best at 20-35,000 psi. When I load it for target loads in the 38 spcl, it doesn't ignite well and leaves a lot of unburned powder, because the pressure is lower. I need to keep the 45 Auto pretty hot for it to burn cleanly. (There are very few clean burning powders at these pressure levels, anyway.) It does meter very well and I use it in the Dillon loader and with one powder setting I can load both 40 and 45 without changing the powder setting, with the right bullets for each, of course.

    I have 3N37, N110, N120, N160, N550 and N560 on my bench now. A problem is the 2# jugs are almost $60.00, just to try it. That's a lot just for a test run. If you're in Fairbanks, give me call. You can come over and try some if you like. Bring your bullets.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?


    • #3
      Thanks very much for your kind offer!. I can't make it to Fairbanks. I may spend the big bucks for a jug, but you're right, two pounds is a lot to start off with, just to see what it is like. It's good that this is hobby and not a necessity. On the other hand, that is less costly than a tank of gas, and I will have fun with it for a much longer time.
      "The best defense is not to be there when the blow arrives!"


      • #4
        Im using Vihtavuori powder for a three years now.

        In 30-06 caliber all my loads are done with N-550 and in 300 Win Mag N-560.
        Beside that,I did some ammo for my friend in 8x57 with N-550.
        Very nice powder to work with,producing good groups on target and preety high velocity.
        Some results from Chronny are :

        30-06 165grs Accubond makes 2950 ft/s (SAKO 75 with 5700mm barrel)

        30-06 185grs Mega makes 2754ft/s (SAKO 75 with 5700mm barrel)

        300 Win Mag 200grs Sierra Match King makes 3049 ft/s ( Steyr SBS Tactical 650mm barrel)

        300 Win Mag 200grs Mega makes 3045 ft/s ( Steyr SBS Tactical 650mm barrel)

        300 Win Mag 200grs Accubond makes 3003 ft/s ( Steyr SBS Tactical 650mm barrel)

        The biggest problem here in Croatia is that you cant buy it in the shop,but have to "find the way" to bring it from Austria or Germany.

        You know how are the prices for it in this two Country ?

        N-550 1kg cost 85 Euro.

        N-560 1kg cost 96 Euro.

        If they cost 60$ like at your store,I would buy 10 kg of each and dance till I come home in Zagreb.Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          I never saw any results i could not get with IMR,Alliant or Hodgdon. It was fine just not worth the price.


          • #6
            I use a lot of 560, 160 and 165 and am willing to pay the slight premium for the consistency. Thats why we try to stock that powder as well as other premium components. Ya only go round once in life


            • #7
              Anyone use a VV in a 358win? A guy at Shilen said you to try some in the 358win, I should have asked which he liked. Or a whelen I have both.


              • #8
                I did get a kilo of N-550 when I started reloading, as Handloader had an article about how you could make your .308 perform like a 30-06. Well I followed their data and ended up running high velocities, and the primers fell out of my cases. Not a fault of the powder.

                While they undoubtedly make fine powders, I have yet to see them as a big enough improvement to pay $40/lb.
                Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

                If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.


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