Cartridges like 6.5 Creedmoor and 6mm Creedmoor have become incredibly popular to shoot and reload for. And for good reason! These cartridges offer great ballistics, minimal recoil, and outstanding accuracy. So when I found out about the new N555 Creedmoor-Class powder from Vihtavuori, I knew I had to try some. And that’s the subject of this article!
About VihtaVuori N555
From the VihtaVuori website:
VIHTAVUORI N555 – THE ULTIMATE RELOADING POWDER FOR 6.5 CREEDMOOR
Vihtavuori’s new N555 smokeless rifle powder is designed for precision rifle platforms chambered in cartridges such as 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor, .284 Winchester, .260 Remington and .30-06 Springfield and for rifle calibers with large case volume and comparatively small bullet diameters, among others.
Competitive shooters and hunters will benefit from the powder’s insensitivity in extreme weather conditions. The most temperature stable reloading powder in its class, N555 features unprecedented performance in the 6.5 Creedmoor. Like all our reloading powders, N555 includes an anti-fouling agent that minimizes barrel fouling to extend the length of your competitive shooting stages. The unmatched lot-to-lot consistency of the N555 also eliminates costly range time re-developing your favorite loads. The energy content of N555 is 3700 J/g, bulk density is 900 g/l.The burn rate of N555 is between N550 and N160.
Vihtavuori N555 comes in 1 lbs and 1 kg bottles as well as 8 lbs containers. Check with your local distributor for availability in your country.
VihtaVuori now has reloading data for N555 for the following cartridges:
- .224 Valkyrie
- 6 mm Creedmoor
- .243 Winchester
- 6,5 Creedmoor
- .260 Remington
- 6,5 x 55 Swedish Mauser
- 6,5 x 55 SE / 6,5 x 55 SKAN
- .284 Winchester
- .30-06 Springfield
A Close-Up Look at N555
For this powder story, I decided to compare a few Creedmoor-Class powders under the microscope! Here are the powders I chose:
From left to right we have: Winchester StaBALL 6.5, Hodgdon H-4350, and VihtaVuori N555.
For this examination, I used a 400 power WiFi microscope as seen here:
Here’s a closeup of the Microscope view with Machinist’s scale (1/64″ increments):
Above you can see from left to right Winchester StaBALL 6.5, Hodgdon H-4350, and VihtaVuori N555 (same ordering as picture with powder kegs).
Using the scale, the approximate dimensions for the powders (diameter or length as shown above):
This is curious because when I was loading with N555, I thought the N555 sticks looked longer than H-4350- not so!
Performance Evaluation: 6.5 Creedmoor
I didn’t want to talk about N555 without some hands-on loading and shooting time with it, so I decided to work up a quick 6.5 Creedmoor load based on bullets (Berger 140 grain hybrids) that have consistently worked great for me.
Here’s the Load data I was working from (from VihtaVuori 6.5 Creedmoor load data online)
I decided to start below max, and to work up just beyond max looking for signs of pressure.
Here are the results from this testing (incomplete data for some of this- was sighting in rifle at the same time).
*Note: These are preliminary results, I plan to take these 3-shot results, and to load and shoot 5-shot strings to “hone in on” results that look good for velocity and accuracy.
What is conclusive here is that N555 produces GREAT velocity- out of that same Ruger Precision Rifle (24″ barrel), I haven’t seen 2,700 fps with my other loads (topped out at about 2,685 or so with other powders). I think N555 shows great promise for the “Creedmoor Class” of cartridges, and other cartridges that use powders of similar burn rate (see list in overview section).
You can learn more about VihtaVuori N555 on the official product page.
If you are looking to pick up some N555, Midsouth Shooters Supply has it!
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