Finnish gunpowder is selling like hotcakes

The following is a link to a finnish news article.
https://www.hs.fi/politiikka/art-2000009014661.html

There's some translated pieces:
Vihtavuori gunpowder factory is nearing it's record production values, but the reason is not in Ukraine but in USA.

The Vihtavuori factory in Laukaa is producing gunpowder like during war years of WW2.
In picture the factory workers are filling artillery shells during 1942.

The gunpowder factory was doing poorly in 2013, and there was even talk about shutting it down. Then everything changed. Now there is not enough Vihtavuori gunpowder for everyone who would want to buy it. The world-wide demand is greater than ever.

The reason for demand is not the war in ukraine or the increased defense budgets world wide, at least not yet. Instead, the demand is caused by sports shooters in USA.
One of their main exports is reloading gunpowders. Usually the end customer is a sports shooter or a hunter, who reloads their own ammo.

Another reason is that in 2014 the factory was transferred to the ownership of multinational Nammo Corporation, which manufactures ammunition and rocket engines. Nammo has roughly 30 different factories world-wide. The corporation has concentrated their gunpowder acquisitions to Vihtavuori, which is currently their only gunpowder factory.

"While the war in Ukraine is not the chief reason for increased demand for our products, it does echo to us." says Vihtavuori CEO Ilkka Heikkilä. "We have had large amounts of inquiries if we could provide gunpowder to multiple contries. The international situation means that our demands will remain high for future years".

Finnish Military forces are high on Vihtavuori priority client list. The year 2022 is a 100-year anniversary for their first gunpowder factory in Finland. In 1920's and 1930's Finland established several cartridge- rifle- artillery and aircraft factories.

>Continued

  1. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    For better or worse, there has been a massive explosion in American gun ownership and a massive expansion in 2A rights over the last 20 years.

    Good to see the Finns are capitalizing.

  2. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I can tell you from the American reloader side, OP, that gunpowder and other components are still scarce. At local stores, there's usually powder available, but the selection is limited and you can't always find the best powder for your application (there are a lot of different types of gunpowder out there and the differences in performance for a specific given cartridge across a range of powders are vast). You can probably find what you want on ammoseek but you have to pay hazmat shipping which means it's only economical to buy kegs of the stuff.

    None of the vihtavuori powders are indicated as ideal for any of my applications, but if it was all they had at my local store, I'd probably find a way to make them work.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Maybe where you live.
      Grafs has 2 cabinets full of Hodgdon, IMR, Ramshot, Accurate, Viht, Alliant powders. Even the tough to find powders(Varget, Retumbo, H4895) come in stock online about every few days.
      Large Rifle and Pistol primers are a pain in the ass to find unless you pay through the nose.
      Also noticed that many bullet mfg have a streamlined bullet selection and rarely is stuff available.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        There used to be three or four smaller shops that I could find some powder at nearby. Now I have to travel 40 miles. The store is a large independent gun shop that had a whole binder full of pages of powders. Now their powder fits on a one page printout. I had to switch to different brands for a couple of my needs.

        Primers are even worse, I haven't seen a primer at a store in two years. Thankfully I haven't needed primers in an even longer time, but I am probably going to run out before the end of the year. I am thinking of buying a couple 5k cases of what I need online and being done with it.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      apparently ONE plant produces virtually all of the gunpowder in the US lmao so yeah i'm not surprised we're having to import it from across an ocean
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Marks_Powder

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        This is not true at all. Some powder made in Australia, some in Canada, some in Sweden...

  3. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    <Continued

    National defense has always demanded that gunpowder production must be able to multiply their production values several times over very quickly, if the nation should come under attack. This has caused additional costs in production.
    On the other hand, the factory has always wanted to remain an economically viable and able to compete on free markets, and be able to find alternative clients than Finnish Defense Forces.

    Political attitudes towards the gunpowder factory have been varied. The leftist political wing have even called it "murder machine factory". They have also criticized the international exports of gunpowder. But on other years, they have praised the factory for it's job-creating ability.

    The shifts in demand have been difficult. There have been times when deminished orders have been very bad news. In early 2000's finnish defense budget was heavily put into acquisition of F-18 Hornets, which meant less money coming to the gunpowder factory.
    Finnish Parlament has made a ruling that half of military supplies should be bought from domestic producers, but in reality those numbers have sometimes been only one fifth.

    In 2013 was the closest that the factory came to being closed, as Finland waas reducing their military spending significantly. It was positively labeled "Re-organisation of Defense forces". During that time they even quiestioned, if it was smart to keep gunpowder production in Finland, despite it being key part of military supply security.

    In 2014 when Vihtavuori became part of Nammo corp, everything changed very quickly. international demand sky-rocketed. In 2021, 80% of production was for export.
    "while the FDF is very important customer for us, their part of our client base is deminished. I think it is good that our production is export-heavy but the factory remains in Finland. That way we can secure our domestic supply, if the country faces crisis. If the factory had been shut down, they would not have rebuilt it."

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Is that some kind of explosive paste or what? They're filling artillery shells so I can only imagine that's what it is. Fuck me, imagine doing THAT as a job. Wonder how explosive all those funnels are at the end of the day before they're (I assume) cleaned.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        They're pouring hot TNT.
        Most artillery filler is hot castable for ease of production.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Huh.
          >TNT was first prepared in 1863 by German chemist Julius Wilbrand[6] and originally used as a yellow dye. Its potential as an explosive was not recognized for three decades, mainly because it was too difficult to detonate because it was less sensitive than alternatives. Its explosive properties were first discovered in 1891 by another German chemist, Carl Häussermann.[7] TNT can be safely poured when liquid into shell cases, and is so insensitive that it was exempted from the UK's Explosives Act 1875 and was not considered an explosive for the purposes of manufacture and storage.[8]

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            Despite what Bugs Bunny taught you as a kid, TNT =/= Dynamite. TNT is both relatively safe and quite stable but dynamite is incredibly dangerous because it's literally just nitroglycerine play-doh and the longer it sits around the more sensitive it gets.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Huh.
        >TNT was first prepared in 1863 by German chemist Julius Wilbrand[6] and originally used as a yellow dye. Its potential as an explosive was not recognized for three decades, mainly because it was too difficult to detonate because it was less sensitive than alternatives. Its explosive properties were first discovered in 1891 by another German chemist, Carl Häussermann.[7] TNT can be safely poured when liquid into shell cases, and is so insensitive that it was exempted from the UK's Explosives Act 1875 and was not considered an explosive for the purposes of manufacture and storage.[8]

        You can abuse properly made TNT quite a bit before anything happens. Never tried melting it, but at least the chunky flaky powder stuff is less volatile than gasoline or something. And they let a lot of people handle that.
        The small blasting caps used with the stuff are where the danger's at. If you somehow manage to dent one or crimp it from the wrong spot it might go off and frag your balls with its metal casing.

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          >properly made TNT
          How do you make it "properly"? Offer it hot tea and biscuits in midafternoon?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >hot tea
            Not sure if that will work, but from what I understand the raw stuff needs to be washed very thoroughly with something to get the impurities out.
            If someone was lazy with that step, the result might be less stable than expected.

  4. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    thanks binland

  5. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Viht stuff is too expensive for me to buy on a whim to just try out, however it looks breddy gud from what I can tell.

  6. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    On Finnish Front, Supply is good. Everything is in stock and easily available.
    But because Finland, it is (comparatively) expensive.

    One 50-round box of Geco's 9mm Luger costs you 17 euros.
    larger 1000-round bulk boxes cost 270 euros.
    That's around 27 cents per shot. This is considered "normal, although a bit more than it was a few yers ago".
    Finland has heavy taxation on stuff like ammo.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I dont think its tax because only 2 years ago 9 mm was like 15 cents (VAT included). Its the gorona and now ukraine and americans buying everything so we get left with expensive shit that becomes even more expensive when they realized demands exceeds supply

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Yeah, it was somewhere between 15-20 cents before corona. Also, there has been increased demand since Ukraine and generally "uncertain times" so that added to corona-times logistics difficulties definently has increased prices. I'd say that somewhere around 25-30 % increases in prices have been noted. Still, could be worse. I have never been told "out of stock" yet.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      27 Euro cents is 34 Leaf cents, and at the moment the best deal going in leafland is 40 cents. Somehow despite being right next to the US with a larger domestic market as well. Plenty of sites are out of stock and have been more often than not since 2020.

  7. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I just don't feel like she's hot. At all.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      you really dont want hot persons handling gunpowder by the ton, anon, you need cool people for that

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        Bro she's not even wearing sunglasses or smoking a cigarette. No way she's cool.

  8. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I season my salads with Vihtavuori N310.

  9. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Is Vihtavuori considered a quality brand outside Finland?
    t. finn

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      I don't know about nowadays, but 20-25 years ago it was promoted as a premium product compared to run-of-the-mill American gunpowders.

      I bought some samples to try it, but my reloading dwindled to just .308Win, and I had a standard IMR load that I stuck with.

      Sad to hear that they were having trouble in the market, glad it worked out in the long run. I wouldn't be surprised if the reason they're becoming successful now is that other companies couldn't keep up with demand, so shooters were forced to try different powders.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      BTW, both times I saw Vihtavuori booths at the NRA conventions, they had Miss Finland autographing photographs of herself. That alone sold me on what a fantastically great company they were/are. 🙂

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Yes
      t. frog

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      For the most part it's considered an excellent option but it's not perfect for anything.
      That said I use it for 54R and it's great.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Its so hard to find honest apples to apples powder comparisons. For instance, the test data on the hodgdon and winchester powders I use is tested with a 10" barrel, while vihtavuori is tested from a 7" barrel. the vast majority of consumer collected data on powder is fuddlore. But everyone who uses vihtavuori seems to swear by it. I think you Finns can take pride in using a professionally produced domestic powder that has found a place in the global market.

  10. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Just wondering.. are there any alternatives to gunpowder? e.g. polymer explosives

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      There's been some tests with various alternatives, ie. Hydrogen based propellants used in shoulder fired launcher. Norwegian military used those for a while, but apparently the vapors were toxic and made people sick, so they went back to good ol' gunpowder again.

  11. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Vihtavuori makes some of the best powders for reloading. I use n350 for 9mm, it's some of the only single based pistol powder. I get 115gr moving at 1350fps. Also use n140 for 308 and n133 for 223. N133 is a top powder used for short range bench rest competitions.

  12. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I'm in Norway and my newest gunpowder box is Vihtahuori. Good stuff.

  13. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >Vihtavuori

    Is the Italian sports car of powders. Hodgdon extreme powders are also really in demand. H4895 is like the 4L i6 of powders.

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Good on Nammo for keeping the factory going. If that was an American corporation they would have drained the pension fund and sent the work to China.

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    During the pandemic it was the only stuff I was able to find when I first started getting into reloading.
    They provide they're own information on their website. But n320 is usually listed in most reloading books.
    I use n350 and n320. My first 115gr 9x19 xtp loading got around 1250fps w 6.3gr of n350. I also loaded a 90gr 9x19 xtp going 1450fps w 7.1gr of n350. That shit was zipppppppin
    Been using n350 for my .44mag lately with 200gr xtps with great results. Extremely accurate with 14gr of n350.

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