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CFE 223 thoughts

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by My 3 sons, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons Bonney Lake Active Member

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    Given our current circumstances of poor powder supply I picked up an 8# keg of CFE 223 to load for my 5.56 and .308. I haven't used this before but needed to find a quality powder to use and this came available.

    Of course just before I get ready to begin loading, the powder I had been looking for came available so I bought two 8# kegs of TAC.

    Now I'm torn, which do you find to be preferable for accurate loads. Both being spherical makes them work well in my loader and gives great control on accurate measures but is one a better performer at the range?

    Looking for your thoughts in general.

    Thanks in advance,

    Tom
     
  2. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    They'll both work.. as will like a hundred others.. perhaps equally as well as the other.
     
  3. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    Of the two powders, I can only relate my experiences with CFE 223. It was the best performer in my .233 rem - both Bolt and AR pushing 60 -ish grain bullets in both, being very easy to tune. It aslo worked very well in my .243WSSM again both bolt and AR again using light (for the cartridge) bullets.


    BTW, the copper fouling, which was only heavy in my ARs, and that only past the gas port, was reduced greatly as advertised by Hodgon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  4. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    Well I'll admit in a "made in Merica" snob so I shoot a lot of CFE. Somewhere in the middle of my 20th pound right now.
    It is from the same general family as Bl-c(2)/H335/Win 748 line up.
    So it likes to be loaded on the higher side of the range, to keep clean. Will really shove 308's at reasonable pressures.
     
  5. Otter

    Otter Oregon - mid Willamette Valley Active Member

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    I've read lots of stories of the CFE powders burning clean and doing as advertised. Never tried it myself but a buddy uses it with success.

    I'm in a similar boat. I have an 8lb keg of Varget that I'm not using, but I'm not going to be selling it. I'm keeping every pound of powder I have along with all my primers, bullets and brass. The next school shooting is just around the corner, along with it the cries of gun control that lead to all the shortages. Keep what you have and don't get caught with your pants down ever again is what I advise.
     
  6. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    I prefer TAC, as it seems more versatile across the full spectrum of bullet weights, giving excellent performance with 40 gr up through 55 gr. (I haven't tried it yet with the heavies, since up till now, I was shooting 1 in 12" twist bolt guns.) I did get excellent performance with CFE 223 with 55 gr bullets, but it couldn't match M
    TAC's velocity with lighter bullets. Both shoot very clean and CFE 223 showed good accuracy with the 55 gr bullets. I wish I could find some TAC.
     
  7. prkrgrp

    prkrgrp oregon Active Member

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    imr 8208xbr will out perform both powders, it's easy to find and priced right, this new powder is stable, economic, and will save on the brass.
     
  8. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    Not with the 40 gr bullets, if you want velocity and accuracy. 8208XBR is great with the heavier bullets, though. You just can't fit enough in the case to match the velocity potential of TAC, Accurate 2015 or H-335 with the light bullets. My go to powder for the 69 gr Nosler Custom Competition BTHP is IMR-8208XBR, although I have yet to try TAC with that bullet.
     
  9. My 3 sons

    My 3 sons Bonney Lake Active Member

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    I load 55g hornady btsp in 5.56 and 168g Amax in my .308 typically. My previous loads with TAC have produced accurate consistent rounds and not a lot of mess in my action to have to work hard to clean up. It sounds like the two powders are comparable with no real appreciable difference except in pressures.
     
  10. prkrgrp

    prkrgrp oregon Active Member

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    I'm just going by data charts on line
    tac powder 40 grn bullet- max load 27 grn powder 3737 fps 54760psi
    8208 40 grn bullet- max load 26 grn powder 3700 fps 50400psi
     
  11. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer SE Washington state Active Member

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    Real world experience with a chronograph has shown a 150 to 200 fps advantage with TAC, H-335, and Accurate 2015 vs. IMR-8208.BR with various 40 gr bullets out of a 26" barrel. The difference is much less as bullet weight increases, in my experience. FWIW.
     
  12. SinisterSouthpaw

    SinisterSouthpaw SW WA Active Member

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    The powder has been proven over a number of years of use and storage by the military. The cleaning is accomplished in the combustion process. If stored properly--primer down- the powder has no chance to react with the bullet jacket even if it were somehow able to react with the copper without the required catalyst (heat). Someone will surely mention compressed loads if I don't, but since the unlit powder is not going to eat away any copper, the point is moot.........

    A better question would be:
    What reaction takes place between the burning powder and the case, which is mostly copper, albeit an alloy? This might be a concern to handloaders who anneal and reuse cases several times.
     
    Darkker likes this.
  13. Darkker

    Darkker Mesa, Wa Active Member

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    Proven? As in Win 760/H414/AA2700, or maybe you like Win 748?
    All of those powders have the same Tin/ bismuth cleaning compounds in them, at different levels, but none the less.
    CFE223 is the canister version of SMP 842, which General dynamics created around 2006 for the military and their All copper ammo.

    If you want to get really technical, re-read your copy of Hatcher's Notebook. You will see this "miracle" set of copper cleaners was originally built by the French @ 1900.
     
    branchbuster likes this.