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Old June 23, 2012, 03:54 PM   #1
Mike38
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Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
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Tried some CFE223 powder today.

I finally got around to testing some CFE223 powder today. I do believe I found a replacement to my good old reliable IMR3031. Here’s the results.

All shot in a NEF Handi Rifle, heavy barrel, 1:12 twist, in a target stock, 10x scope, 100 yards. Don’t laugh too hard about the rifle. It’s a ton of fun to shoot, and as you can see, it’s very accurate for only $400 invested. I shot two five round groups of each load, results of the best group shown. Bore cleaned after 10 rounds, and left to cool for about 10 minutes. One minute between each shot.

26.0 grains CFE223 powder. Winchester brass. Remington bench rest primers. 55 grain Vmax bullet. Best group size 0.63 inches.

26.5 grains CFE223 powder. Winchester brass. Remington bench rest primers. 55 grain Vmax bullet. Best group size 1.25 inches.

27.0 grains CFE223 powder. Winchester brass. Remington bench rest primers. 55 grain Vmax bullet. Best group size 1.75 inches.

27.5 grains CFE223 powder. Winchester brass. Remington bench rest primers. 55 grain Vmax bullet. Group size 3.75 inches. I only shot one group with this load. I noticed signs of high pressure, and the fifth shot the action was difficult to open, and the case would not extract. I had to help the case out with a small screw driver.

26.0 grains CFE223 powder. Winchester brass. Remington bench rest primers. 52 grain Amax bullet. Best group size 0.56 inches.

That last group of 0.56 inch has been the best I’ve seen with this rifle in the 10 years I’ve owned it. Previous best using IMR3031 powder and 52 grain Amax bullets was 0.62 inch. I’m going to cook up some more loads with the Amax bullets using one tenth intervals of powder to see if I can squeeze out some smaller groups.

I’m bound and determined to break the 0.50 inch mark with this rifle. I just may luck out and get there with CFE223 powder. This rifle has around 3000 rounds now, and I would guess it won’t be too much longer and the accuracy will start fading away, so hopefully I can reach that 0.50 mark before it starts going south.
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Old June 23, 2012, 05:07 PM   #2
wingman
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Try the 52gr Sierra match along with that powder you may improve on your best group.
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Old June 24, 2012, 03:57 PM   #3
Utah Shooter
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I am curious how this powder works for the heavier projectiles? Looks like some good results you are getting though.
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Old June 24, 2012, 04:12 PM   #4
mohr308
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Mike38

I did just 8 different load types today, most with varget using a 55 grain nosler varmageddon .223. I found my best accuracy was at the lower end of my powder loads. I did fire some 62 grain barnes with cfe223, best was 25 grain
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Old July 7, 2012, 07:37 PM   #5
dgood71
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I also ran some test loads of CFE223 through a CAR15 HBAR Elite with a 1:9 twist. I used 55gr FMJ bullets and CCI 400 primers, with an OAL of 2.250 to 2.255 inches. I did 8 different loads, started at 26.0 grains of powder and ran in 0.2 grain increments up through 27.4 grains. At 100 yards, I found that loads from 26.4 through about 26.8 grains did very well, with 26.4 being the best. In fact, the 26.4 grain loads performed almost identically to the 25.0 grain Varget load I'd used to sight my gun in on (same bullets/primers). As I increased the charge with CFE223, I found the groups were creeping lower on the target and opening up quite a bit.

I've used 26.4 grains to load a few hundred more rounds but have yet to shoot them.
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Old July 8, 2012, 10:16 AM   #6
603Country
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I used to load for my Dad's handi rifle, and the 63 gr Sierra flat base was a great bullet for it. It could be that your rifle might prefer a flat base bullet. I did notice, as you did, that I got hard extraction well below book max loads.
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