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Thread: Vihtavuori powder for 85 gr in .243

  1. #1
    Established Poster
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    Feb 2010
    Northants & Poverty Bay

    Vihtavuori powder for 85 gr in .243

    Having just about run out of Varget I'm looking for an alternative european powder to use with Speer 85 gr BTSP and Sierra 85 gr BTHP bullets in my .243. Viht list N150, N540, N550 and N160 as the powders for 85 grain bullets in their latest .243 loading tables. Speer have N560 listed in their tables and Sierra N140.

    I've tried N140 and at Sierra's max load (37.3 gr) get good accuracy but modest velocity, barely 3,000 fps through my 22" barrel which is marginaly large deer legal in England. Has any one experience of any of the other Viht powders listed above with 85 grain bullets? I'm looking for a load which will give accuracy at 3,150 - 3,200 fps which is where I am with my Varget load.


  2. #2
    N160 always worked for me

  3. #3
    Using 41gr of N550 with 87gr Vmax. Works fine. Don't know the velocity as I don't have a chrono.

  4. #4
    The Viht' manual has significantly reduced maximum loads.
    Using the older manuals and the Speer manual, I have worked up loads for the 85 grain Speer SPBT, which is the only bullet I use in my .243 now.

    I load 44.5 grains of N160, which gives 3,050 fps average from a 20'' Sako Finnlight. In the past I have loaded 45 and 46 grain loads too for my Sako Hunter. The 45 grain load gave the 3,100+ fps velocity.

    There were no adverse signs with 45 and 46 grains but 47 grains produced the first signs of high pressure, with a shiny mark on the case head, so I fired one only.

    I am a recent convert to using the Lee Factory Crimp Die, which I find marginally increases velocity (25fps) but makes the loads very consistent, with a maximum spread of only 15 fps. It also gives a clean burn with N160, which can be a little mucky. I have used N160 for many years in the .243 and it works very well.
    Please work up your load carefully and start low.

  5. #5
    N160 very consistent.C

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Gone onto Ramshot Hunter for all my rifles getting good results with my .243, never had a deer complain yet!! These are all 4 shot groups @ 100 yrds, still got a few loads to try on Sunday 43.5 seems best so far with 85 g bullets
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails image.jpg   image.jpg  
    Last edited by Steve Sykes; 16-08-2014 at 17:41.

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