VihtaVuori Powders


Phil in Seattle
June 7, 2003, 10:14 PM
I have a 300win mag that is giving me fits trying to tweak an accurate load out of it.
I know the rifle will shoot well with at least one load but that's a factory (expensive too) load that's not often available and I don't think it's a good bullet for the 300wm anyway. (It's Hornadys 178gr AMAX Tap load)

I'm going to give one of the VihtaVuori powders a try either N560 or N165. Probably the 165.

More to my point though, I was perusing the load data and see that N350 has usable data for many of the pistol cartridges I load, 357, 44Spec, 44mag, 45colt, 45 auto, 41 mag.

Does any one have an experience with this powder?
Like it?
Hate it?
Best thing since they invented the new cleaner Unique?

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June 8, 2003, 12:02 AM
Hell ... I must be outa date! I have used Vit powders for a long time for some things ... but these must be new ... not on my load data sheet. It is a tad old i admit.

Going by Vit burning speed numbering . that 165 must be just a tad slower than 160 ..... a good powder for 375 holland.

The 560? Well ..... again new to me. All the powders I have used for pistil rounds were the 310 (much as bullseye) .. and the 320 and 340 ...... the 340 is great for 9mm. Then N-110 for mag loads .... that is effectively their fastest rifle powder.

I will have to go look at their site again methinks..... which should be ... or was ......

Jim Watson
June 8, 2003, 10:17 AM
I don't know much about VihtaVouri rifle powders except to say that those who use them like them.

There is USABLE data for N350 in all those calibers, but I found it to be rather slow burning for low pressure calibers like .44 Special and .45ACP; and too fast for top velocity in magnums. Shot great in 9mm and .38 Super, though.
If you want to use one powder for all pistol calibers you had just as well stick to Unique. But N320 is a fine .44 Spl and .45 powder, or even N310 for target loads; and N105 and N110 are great magnum revolver powders.

June 8, 2003, 12:26 PM

You say:

"I know the rifle will shoot well with at least one load but that's a factory (expensive too) load that's not often available and I don't think it's a good bullet for the 300wm anyway . (It's Hornadys 178gr AMAX...)"

The highlighted portions contradict each other. I don't shoot 300WM, but the 178 AMAX in my .308's beat everything else (within reasonable cost) to death. What kind of groups are you getting with this round? What was the reloading regimen you used--i.e., how much case prep did you do, what powder were you using, etc.?

Phil in Seattle
June 8, 2003, 01:49 PM
Being vague is what I get for posting late at night after one of the hottest days for the year.

The load that works well in this rifle is Hornadys TAP load that uses the 178gr AMX. It's not supposed to be sold to use general public members and when you can find some it's very pricey.

I don't think it's such a good bullet for the 300WM because it's so light, not because it won't shoot or fly well. I've used the 178 in 308 and it's great there, I don't see the need to take the pounding from a 300WM just to throw the same bullet 4-500fps faster. I'd prefer to use 190 or 220 SMK in the 300WM.

I've tried AA3100, H1000, and RL22. RL 22 has shown the most promise. I'm just looking at my options.

The TAP load made one ragged 3 shot group, nothing else has touched it so far. Good groups for my reloads are in the .9" neighborhood at 100yds, 2.5" at 200yds.

I do the standard case prep trim, deburr flash holes, true up the primer pockets, cases are fireformed to the rifle and minimally resized. I'm doing something right there because I've haven't lost a casse yet and they are all at 5-10 firings.

Jim I'm sure that you are right on as to N350 having usable data for a wide range of cartridges, Unique does too but neither one is going to be the best for all of them. Jack of all trades, master of none; right? I was looking at the rifle data and started skimming some pistol data when I saw that powder popping up everywhere and it kicked my mind into it's what if mode.

June 8, 2003, 02:30 PM
I have a Taurus revolver in 45 colt with a 2" ported barrel and was trying to get some velocities above 800 fps with 185-200 grain jacketed bullets. Tried lots of powders but none would give me faster velocities. Corbon makes a 45 Colt load that is rated at 1100 fps which gave me 950-1000 fps out of that gun but the groups looked like shotgun patterns. So I tried some V V N 320 after seeing the load data in the Lee reloading book. I'm well above maximum load weight listed in the book but the powder was still giving me more and more velocity when I matched the Corbon velocities and for safety reasons decided to stop due to pressure signs. The groups are reasonable and the spent cartridges drop right out of the cylinder. This particular powder seems to give a linear burn progression without hitting critical mass and going nuclear though my main problem with the earlier tried powders seemed to be not enough barrel length to get the powder burned. So I'm a new fan of V V powders. :D

June 8, 2003, 10:15 PM
Not familiar with the rifle powders, have been using VV-N350 for hotter 45 acp jacketed loads for several years. It is especially good with 230 jacketed loads, at higher velocities. Am also using it for 44 special loads, 180 and 200 gn jacketed.

The 45 acp loads were taken from earlier mini-manuals.

June 12, 2003, 06:55 PM

I don't think that you are going to like what I have to say, but the exceptional performance of the 178gr bullet may actually be due to its weight! Well, indirectly, anyway.

Here's the theory:

Every rifle is a little bit different and so the resonant frequency of every rifle is a little different. When you fire a rifle, the barrel "rings" like a bell ... and the muzzle wags around like the tail of a dog ... only the displacements are pretty small. Loads that "shoot well" out of a particular gun are loads that tend to have the bullet exiting the barrel when the muzzle is at one end of its ringing travel or the other (where the muzzle has to stop in order to change directions) ... small changes in departure time, don't result in drastically different muzzle locations and therefore they don't cause changes to the point of impact. If a load happens to have the bullet exiting at the middle of the muzzle travel, then even the smallest changes in exit time (caused by small changes in bullet velocity) will result in relatively large differences in muzzle location at exit and correspondingly large groups. This is all pretty well explained in Browning's BOSS patent application at the USPTO web site.

Usually, people will find that a certain rifle will perform best with loads at some given velocity ... this is because that velocity tends to have the bullets exiting at the optimal muzzle location for that rifle. Anyway ... if you want to run 220 grain bullets, you might want to take one of your existing powders (I'd go with the one that gives you the highest velocity) and load for a bunch of different velocities and see if you can find the next velocity that gives you an optimal departure location. I'd say that it was purely coincidental that the TAP loads worked so well in your rifle.

IMHO you can load up great components and expect ANY properly bedded rifle in good shape to shoot them into 1.5 to 2 inch groups, and some rifles will do better. But to do much better than that, I think that the rifle's natural resonant frequency has to match the load. You have two choices ... either tune the load or tune the rifle.

Good luck!


Phil in Seattle
June 13, 2003, 10:17 PM
Thanks saands, what you described is pretty much I think the basis behind the OCW method of load development. It's time consuming but I think I'll have to give it a go for the 190s and 220s. Of course by the time I get a nice load for the heavy bullets the barrel will need replacing.

I can already nearly dulpicate the 178TAP performance in my handloads when I use the same bullet, so I have that to fall back on, if I can't get to where I'd like to be with the rifle as it is.

June 15, 2003, 11:25 PM
Howdy to all,

I have found Vihtavuori's powders to be excellent for handgun reloading. All of the ones I use (N320, N340, N350, 3N37) meter very consistently, exhibit low muzzle flash, and burn exceptionally cleanly when used in the appropriate cartridge.

N350 would work great in the magnum / high pressure cartridges you listed, but for lower pressure cartridges, such as the .44 special and .45 ACP, you may want to try a faster powder. For mid to upper loads in the .45 ACP and .38 Special, I use N340, and for light plinking loads in those calibers, I prefer N320.

3N37 is my choice for upper end 9 mm and .40 loads.

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