What is the benefit of using Vihtavuori?


December 7, 2007, 07:07 PM
No one seems to stock much of it, and it is priced about 50% more than the average powder. What are the benefits of this powder compared to the more common US equivalents?

And while I'm at it, how do you pronounce Vihtavuori? :confused:

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December 7, 2007, 08:02 PM
Advantages: clean burning and produces low ES/SD numbers.

Pronounced "VEEtah VyourEE".


December 7, 2007, 08:07 PM
VV powders are also flash-suppressed, unlike most domestic powders.

December 7, 2007, 08:08 PM
Extremely clean, consistent, accurate, but you pay for it.

December 7, 2007, 08:36 PM
What they said and it really isn't that exspensive when you consider all the benifit.

December 7, 2007, 08:48 PM
and it is priced about 50% more than the average powder. What are the benefits of this powder compared to the more common US equivalents?

50% seems like a lot. Were I buy my powder it's only about $3.00-$4.00 a pound more than IMR and H. That's a far cry from 50%.

December 7, 2007, 09:16 PM
The reason it is perceived as being overly expensive is, in most cases it is packaged in 2# cannisters, and some people are mathematically challenged.;)


December 7, 2007, 10:49 PM
ussr said "in most cases it is packaged in 2# cannisters"

on the powdevalley site only ONE of the styles was priced as a 2lb container,and most were nearly 22 bucks a pound.

that is quite close to being 50% higher than some pistol powders I buy.

Tried it years ago and liked it.Just never stuck with it for some reason.

December 7, 2007, 11:20 PM
I've tried two different Vihtavuori powders--3N37 and N350. I've been VERY impressed--it's like USSR and Walkalong say--clean burning, low SDs.

And, although the velocities reported do seem to be very optimistic, the recipes appear to be honest ones, at least for 38/357.

I think I am going to try N340 next.

Jim H.

December 8, 2007, 09:46 AM
If you look at pennies per load, Vihtavuori does not look as expensive as it does when you compare it to the price of other powders. Only you can decide if you are willing to pay more.

In my fund challenged youth I bought a relatively cheap powder (W-231 - They were all about the same and W-231 worked best of the limited choices we had back then), the cheapest primers I could find, and the cheapest cast bullets I could find at a show. period. Cost was foremost.

Things change. I am no rich fellow for sure, but if I want to burn Vihtavuori, I can.

December 8, 2007, 10:00 AM

Upon looking at Midway's website, I find N110, N165, N170, N530, and N540 listed in 2 # containers. I also know that N550 is sold in 2 # containers, as I have one. It appears that pistol powders are sold in 1 # containers and rifle powders in 2 # containers. Still, regarding the price difference, I have never found it a burden to pay a little more for anything of high quality in life.


Eric F
December 8, 2007, 11:46 AM
In my area most folks use it only do so because that is what the local IDPA-uspsa-ipsc world class shooters use. and for no other reason.
Personaly I have used it and for the price I can save a few by using AA#2 instead of N320. Just talking .02 or so per round. It is a very good powder just more expensive than an equal is all. No reason not to use it at all.

Bad Flynch
December 8, 2007, 12:24 PM
>What are the benefits of this powder compared to the more common US equivalents?<

Well, here is the theory for part of what you ask: VV powders are made from nitrocellulose derived from cotton fibers. Most of the available U.S. powders are made from nitrocellulose derived from wood pulp.

Wood pulp has fine, hard particles in it made of silica and calcium salts like oxalates. Cotton is mostly free of this problem. In addition, wood pulp yields a nitrocellulose that contains small amounts of nitrolignins as contaminants. One can argue about this, but in theory, powder derived from cotton is less erosive and burns cleaner.

Yes, VV powders burn cleanly--sometimes impressively so. However, many things go into making a powder burn cleanly, not just the source of the nitrocellulose.

December 8, 2007, 01:44 PM
Good stuff, Bad Flynch.

I don't know if this will help, but the cost factor is what drove me to take a hard look at the Ramshot powders. ZIP is between N320 and N330 in burn rate. Very close to W231, actually. Although the burn rate charts place True Blue near N350, I believe it is closer to N340, maybe between 340 and 3N37. Both ZIP and True Blue are from Belgium and it would be interesting to know what the base chemistry is. I've used a lot of 3N37 over the years and the one thing that really strikes me about Silhouette (made by Primex) is how similar it appears to 3N37, except that it will flash even less than 3N37 in high pressure cartridges. Primex began manufacturing WAP just after the arrival of V-V powders to the US. The warmest loads are only about .2 grains higher with 3N37 vs. Silhouette in a number of cartridges. I suspect that Primex took a long hard look at 3N37 when they developed WAP/Silhouette.;)

Phil A
December 8, 2007, 02:07 PM
I use VV powder for precision rifle loads. I don't think I could justify the extra cost of VV for general shooting needs. - Phil

December 8, 2007, 02:28 PM
When I started working on 38 / 357 short-barrel loads six months ago, I worked off the Speer Data Sheet for the GDSB135-gr. bullets. As I dug in further, I found burn rate charts to be somewhat informative for powder selection--

Initially I settled on using the Lyman P&R 3rd ed. (current) burn rate chart, but then I discovered errors in the chart right in the range of powders I was using.

I've shifted to the Hodgdon Chart, which I believe was recently updated. That one is here (http://www.hodgdon.com/data/general/burnratechart.php). Although I am still learning how to use burn rate data, my impression is that its order--at least from powders 17 through 36--is quite accurate.

Jim H.

Linear Thinker
December 8, 2007, 06:52 PM
My 2 cents:

Vihta powders tend to be cleaner than most other powders, and more consistent. My velocity SDs with 3N37 and N140 are in the single digits in 38 Super and 308, respectively.

P.S. A dear friend of mine pronounces Vihtavuori as Vahootee-tootee. His Stanford-Binet IQ is higher than mine, and his reloading experience is 15 years longer, so I am unwilling to contradict ;)

December 8, 2007, 08:01 PM
I was up at Sincalir Int today , they specialize in catering to the benchrest/ precision rifle shooters and they sell the VV powders for rifle by the single pound in addition to the 2 lb containers. They are only a few bucks more then most of the powders of the Hodgdon line. Though I have never tried any so far since my results with H322 , H335 and Benchmark have been excellent. But I might try some VV later.

December 8, 2007, 08:33 PM
H322 ruled Benchrest for a while, but N133 rules today, for good reason.

H322 will still work, as well as a couple of others, but N133 is super accurate, consistent, temperature insensitive, and is by far the number 1 choice.

December 8, 2007, 08:48 PM
You guys talked me into it. I'll try some tomorrow. :)

December 8, 2007, 09:15 PM
While I'm not going over to Vihta Vuori completely for .45ACP, for .38 Special, it's all I'm using now.
After getting cooked at the chrono at a state IDPA match last summer when my book-max Titegroup load failed to make minor power by 25fps, it was time to go look at the powder shelf.
After fooling around with 340, I gave 320 a shot. The book max for a Rainier 158 plated is about 4.8gr, as I recall, and so I worked up to that for my similar Berry's.
I never saw a sign of excessive pressure at all, and the good news was on the chrono readout- in my four-inch Colts, it was doing 830-840 on a moderate temperature day, well above the 791 necessary. In my range of experimentation, that's the highest power factor I can get in the .38.
But even better- here's a photo of a patch that was run through my King Cobra after a small IDPA match, in which I fired about 65 rounds. The patch was soaked in FP-10 and swabbed through all six holes and the barrel, too.
I haven't loaded a different load for .38 since.
Meanwhile, 340 does a nice job for major .357 with the same bullet on the way to making 1100fps. Same for .38 Super- book max is around 5.8gr with a 147 plated and gave 1110 in an old Government Model.
I gave up on 310 for .45 auto, though- Winchester WST is softer shooting, quieter, and nearly as clean and consistent.

December 9, 2007, 12:09 AM
Cherryriver, that photo of the patch is enough to convince me. ;)

I can't stand the sight of black soot all over my guns!

December 9, 2007, 02:53 PM
It is the best powder in whole world. But I alwis tell You there in USA, doŽnt bue it, because my friens and I canŽt find it much enough here in Finland. (it is made in Finland). Use Hodgdon, please!

December 9, 2007, 03:00 PM
Hey, KI.W., I'm sorry, but like I said, I'm using Winchester in my .45s...

December 9, 2007, 03:06 PM
Mr Cherryriver, thank Yuo very much! Kauko.

December 9, 2007, 04:50 PM
Hello KI W!

Here in the US, we can't find much of it either. They must have very limited manufacturing capacity or some very large customers who buy it all.

Don't they make it in the US? In one of the southern states, I think... :)

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