CFE by Hodgdon

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by FortRock, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. FortRock

    Salem, OR
    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have loaded some very nice .223 ammo with CFE with good results (27 gr under 55 gr fmj....very tight at 156 yards). But has anyone tried it in either 6.8 or .308? And if so, what charge weight and bullet weights have you tried. Am mostly curious about 6.8 but believe it should work well with either of the other calibers. Looking for input.
  2. deadshot2

    NW Quadrant WA State
    Well-Known Member

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    I like it so much I just bought 32# of it. For my .308 Remington 5R Milspec I load the following

    168 gr Nosler Custom Competition (same performance as Sierra SMK only 21 cents each when bought in cases of 1,000)
    Winchester Brass
    Wolf Primer
    48.1 gr CFE223
    2.820 OAL.

    Contrary to all the posts by others on different forums I saw no pressure signs. This load is the best for accuracy in MY rifle yet I have loaded to within .3 gr of the max (49 gr) for this powder.

    Speed in my 24" 5R barrel is 2737 fps which is much faster than I've been able to get from Varget unless I compress the crap out of the load.

    CFE223 meters through my Uniflow so smoothly it's almost like metering water. Load consistency is now limited only to the consistency of the scale itself.

    This is a double based powder that Hodgdon has reformulated to reduce copper fouling. One thing I did note was a little more soot in the barrel but it wipes out with either the passing through of ONE patch or a Bore Snake. "Deep Cleaning" doesn't show the blue-green patches I used to get with fast loads of varget so the copper fouling reducer apparently is working.

    Also, didn't notice any temperature spread from Cold Rounds to rounds that were allowed to sit in a hot action for a minute or so. Called Hodgdon and they advise that it has been tested in both HOT and COLD conditions with no ignition or sensitivity swings. Perhaps not as immune to temp as 8208 XBR but certainly OK for good old PNW weather.

    I plan on using it in my .223 and in my .308 all the way up to 185 gr bullets. So far it has shown me ragged hole groups at 100 yards and sub MOA groups at 300 yards. I'm limited in this rifle as the freebore is almost 1/4" so I don't even attempt to "jam", just keep rounds short enough so I can feed them from the magazine.

    Here's the last 300 yard group of the day from a HOT barrel:


    BTW, the guy who owns the shop where I "stole" the ruler is a great mechanic. It's the least I can do for him after stealing the ruler:thumbup:
  3. Darkker

    Mesa, Wa
    Active Member

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    Like all ball powders, it is a double base powder. CFE223 is the canister version of General Dynamics SMP 842 powder. The one that was developed for the all copper M855+ ammo. The "Copper Cleaner" is a Tin compound with some bismuth. That bit O technology was originally invented by the French around 1900. And has been in Win 748 and Win 760/H414 for at least 25 years(according to the MSDS); So don't get excited about what Hodgy advertises as "New to the reloader", it's marketing.

    I also have a large quantity of it, been reloading for my 243 and 308 very heavily with it; GREAT results so far. It also doesn't suffer from the Hard Carbon problems that plague the newer Extruded powders.

    Hodgy's "Extreme" powders are indeed made for a SPECIFIC application. If you go to their website, MOST of the shown "differences" are not statistically valid differences. Lets be honest, over a 140-some temp swing, a 5 fps difference is a distinction without difference.....

    Dr. Denton Bramwell has done a number of tests with Varget for that purpose. Statistically Varget is a steaming pile in the 223 case.

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