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Subject Topic: Anyone Try Hodgdon’s New 223 CFE Powder? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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TexIndian
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Posted: December 18 2011 at 10:17am | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

Has anyone tried this new powder? It's main feature is an additive that reduces copper fouling - something they say was originally used in military powders. It is supposed to be suitable for calibers from .223 to .308 and beyond.

A few points about it:

- it is a ball powder so it should meter well
- It seems to develop higher velocities than other popular powders
- It costs about the same as other powders
- It is not one of Hodgdon's Extreme powders (that are insensitive to temp changes)

I'm just getting started in a big project of working up loads for some new guns in .223 and .308. I already have several powders to try. Adding this one is tempting, at least for the high-volume guns.

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Posted: December 18 2011 at 1:42pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

Found this write-up:

Hodgdon CFE 223
308 Winchester
Once fired, full length resized, Hornady match brass trimmed to min length.
Federal Gold Metal Match primers.
175 SMK seated to 2.795 O.A.L. light crimp (1/4 turn in)
Hodgdon CFE 223
Test rifle DPMS 308 LR 24 inch stainless, CM trigger, Vortex 6.5-20 BDC 1 in 10 twist
Very good-looking groups. 100 Yards
All groups measure less than 1 MOA
The 47.2g and 47.4g all bullets are touching and can be covered by a Quarter ($.25)
Once fired, full length resized, Hornady match brass trimmed to min length.
Federal Gold Metal Match primers.
168 Ballistic Silver Tip seated to 2.795 O.A.L. light crimp (1/4 turn in)
Hodgdon CFE 223
Test rifle DPMS 308 LR 24 inch stainless, CM trigger, Vortex 6.5-20 BDC 1 in 10 twist
Very consistent groups. 100 Yards
I ran two control groups:
Winchester Supreme 168 BST. Grouped at 1.25 inches. Did not Chronograph
Same brass/primer as above with my pet load of BLC2 and Combined Tech BST.
Hand loaded Ballistic Silver Tip load averages 2651fps with ES of 37.32, SD of 13.6 and
shoots a group about the size of a quarter at 100 yards.
The 48.3-48.5-48.7 all bullets are touching. The 48.7 is 4 bullets in to a hole measuring
.45 inches with one bullet low but still touching the main group. Looks really good for a
gas gun. I will build some loads and shoot them in my 1 in 12, 26inch bolt gun and post
the results soon.
As for cleaning I ran a bore snake two repetitions every 5 shots. Powder seems to be very
clean. All strings 5 shots.
Environment: 2560 MSL, 35 to 40 F and 1-2 MPH headwind
Looks to be about 100fps faster and just as accurate as any powder I have tried in the last 25 years.



Sounds intresting at least.....

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: December 19 2011 at 9:01am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

Ramshot TAC does exactly the same thing and was also originally created as a military powder for the .223 and .308. TAC is my current favorite .223 powder. I can shoot hundreds of rounds without cleaning the bore at all - and then it cleans up with two wets and one dry patch or two pulls of a bore snake.

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TexIndian
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Posted: December 19 2011 at 10:31am | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

Well, my curiosity got the best of me. I ordered some of the new powder to add to my load development testing. At the snail's pace I'm going, it might be a few weeks before I have the results. The main thing that is slowing me down is processing some large lots of brass I've accumulated. That and having 5 guns that have never been worked up, all in .308 and .223.

I don't know what I'll do if it really out-performs every thing else. I already have kegs of 4895, 748, 4198, 4064, and Varget on hand. I seriously doubt that all of those will be involved in the initial testing.    

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gotsig?
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Posted: December 19 2011 at 8:41pm | IP Logged Quote gotsig?

I'd pick the 4064 or Varget and do some testing with your new 223 powder.

I mainly use 4064 in my .308's and Varget in my .223's, but I've been testing some 175g SMK's with Varget and they like it pretty well.

With my .308's I can nearly interchange 4064 and Varget in the 43.0- 44.0g range and get nearly the same results- velocity and accuracy wise.
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Posted: December 20 2011 at 7:17am | IP Logged Quote M700

I note with some minor interest that Hodgdon claims CFE should produce 3000+ fps with a 235 gr bullet from my .375 H&H...

Normally I run those bullets at about 2700 fps via Varget.
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TexIndian
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Posted: December 20 2011 at 10:23am | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

I sent Hodgdon an email asking how the burn rate of 223 CFE compares with other powders. I don't see it listed on their burn rate chart.

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Ominivision1
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Posted: December 20 2011 at 12:43pm | IP Logged Quote Ominivision1

Burn rate is #103 in this burn chart from Hodgdon's.
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

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Posted: December 20 2011 at 12:54pm | IP Logged Quote davemuzz

Hmmmmm......Sounds like BL-C2 with some Moly mixed in.

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: December 20 2011 at 5:04pm | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

Not moly - although I know you were being facetious.

The three metals known to be effective as copper-reducing additives in gunpowder are bismuth, lead and tin. Tin additives were tried way back in the 40s and proved to be a disaster. Lead is clearly out due to airborne contamination. The chemical additive is therefore a bismuth compound. That's true for both Ramshot TAC and Hodgdon's new CFE223, by the way.

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Posted: December 20 2011 at 5:20pm | IP Logged Quote davemuzz

Yes....I was tossing in a bit of humor. But it's interesting to note that when you mix in "old stuff" with "other old stuff" you get "new stuff"!

Well....if it works better.....I'm all for it...as long as I don't have to pay an arm and a leg for it.

Dave

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: December 20 2011 at 5:36pm | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

As I mentioned above, Ramshot TAC has been available for years - and is often cheaper than other brands.

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Posted: December 20 2011 at 5:40pm | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

Ominivision1 wrote:
Burn rate is #103 in this burn chart from Hodgdon's.
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html


Thanks, Omni. I must be blind. Hmmm, that's slower than any other powder I've ever used in the M1A. I'm halfway scared of excessive port pressure in my .308 gas guns, which is kinda funky considering that those are the high-volume guns that could benefit most from this powder. But with those higher velocities, it's likely to be sweet in the varmint guns and the long-range .308 loads out of a bolt gun.

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Posted: December 21 2011 at 7:59am | IP Logged Quote Abram

TexIndian wrote:
Ominivision1 wrote:
Burn rate is #103 in this burn chart from Hodgdon's.
http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html


Thanks, Omni. I must be blind. Hmmm, that's slower than any other powder I've ever used in the M1A. I'm halfway scared of excessive port pressure in my .308 gas guns, which is kinda funky considering that those are the high-volume guns that could benefit most from this powder. But with those higher velocities, it's likely to be sweet in the varmint guns and the long-range .308 loads out of a bolt gun.


I was just thinking the same thing when I compared the CFE to other powders I have used. Right now I am using IMR4895 and H4895 but I have several loads worked up using the 8208XBR and some AA2520. I have heard of folks using Winchester 748 I think in the M1A, seems like that one would be too slow as well. So many powders so little time.
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Posted: December 21 2011 at 10:06am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

I wouldn't put a whole lot of faith in any "one through..." burn rate chart.

Not all powders are good in all cartridges, of course, but it is also true that they aren't good for all action types. I'd call Hodgdon and ask if they recommend CFE223 for a gas-operated rifle.

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Posted: December 21 2011 at 10:41am | IP Logged Quote JohnT

Rocky Raab wrote:
I'd call Hodgdon and ask if they recommend CFE223 for a gas-operated rifle.


It's on their web site;
" Match, Varmint and AR shooters will love this one"
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Posted: December 21 2011 at 10:57am | IP Logged Quote TexIndian

I'm not sure if that means .223 ARs or the bigger variants. They haven't answered my email yet.

Granted, the higher port pressures won't bend or break stuff in an AR like it can in an M1A, but I've always (in my short AR experience) worried that higher pressures would just bang the BCG around unnecessarily hard. No proof of that, just me being worrisome.

And I've always wondered about what Rocky said. I have no way of knowing how much actual difference a few spots on the burn chart will equate to in real life and in various calibers/guns.

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Posted: December 21 2011 at 11:31am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

That type of burn rate chart is more or less useless - and is can be useless to dangerous for interpolating powder choice.

Since you have to put one powder ahead of another, what do you do with identical powders under different names? I've seen charts with W760 and H414 as many as three "numbers" apart - and it is the exact same powder.

Worse, there is no way to judge the gap between two adjacent powders. Their actual burn rates may be quite different, a little bit different, or no different at all - but must be ranked sequentially nonetheless.

Finally, burn rate can vary not only from lot to lot but in the way it performs in different cartridges or with different bullet weights. A rigid ranking is no more valid than a still photo of a race.

Edited by Rocky Raab on December 21 2011 at 11:33am


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Posted: December 23 2011 at 2:34pm | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

Hodgdon's 2012 Anual Manual has a write up about the CFE223 and is on store shelves.

There is some load data for various cartridges listed.
Loads are listed for 223 (many shown), 30-30, 30'06 & 308 Winchester with 130gr bullets and heavier.



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     Not all burn charts are created equally, either. For one thing, a particular powder's burn-rate at lower chamber pressures (say, 20,000 psi and lower) may be quite different from its burn rate at higher pressures (above 20,000 psi). It is unlikely that everyone who publishes a burn-rate chart uses identical conditions to arrive at their results.
     This is why it's prudent to check SEVERAL burn-rate charts from DIFFERENT sources. When possible, inquire of the originator about the conditions of their tests. If one finds close agreement about the position of a particular powder among 3 or more different charts, they may be reasonably confident of that powder's rate.
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