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Old July 14, 2012, 01:32 PM   #1
Bubba the Roach
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CFE223 vs Varget

I was at the local reloading store today and found Hodgdon cfe223 powder. I have no experience with it but got a pound anyway. Any pros or cons vs varget? I get real good results from varget but cfe223 is about 3$ cheaper a lb.
Your infor is always welcome thanks

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Old July 14, 2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Do a search on here I know one person did a full range report. I know its supposed to be cleaner

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Old July 14, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3
dacaur
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Of course the main difference to ME between those two powders is that varget is an "extreme" powder and cfe223 is not.... So if you develop a load during the summer, cfe223 is going to shoot different during the winter while varget is not... Important for hunters, probably no so much for plinkers....

That said no I have not tried CFE223. when I get an AR, or some other high volume rifle i think I most definatly will....
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:24 PM   #4
mrawesome22
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Varget is single based. CFE223 is double based. It will be more temperature sensitive.

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Old July 14, 2012, 09:47 PM   #5
Marco Califo
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Of course the main difference to ME between those two powders is that varget is an "extreme" powder and cfe223 is not.... So if you develop a load during the summer, cfe223 is going to shoot different during the winter while varget is not
A lot of people say this. But, I doubt that it is really significant. Ball powders are SUPPOSED to be more temperature sensitive than extruded powders (Extreme is Hodgdon's brand for extruded).

Where is the quantifiable and measurable evidence of it? And how much of a factor it really is?

This "difference" is not important enough to the US Armed Forces to prevent them from consistently using ball powders in almost all military small rounds: 5.56 (844), 7.62 (846), 50 cal (867), 20mm Vulcan (872). The only exception I can think of is M118 LR Match 175 gr. which uses R15 which is an extruded powder.

So, if it is good enough for our boys in Afghanistan, I personally think the "difference" is an old wive's tale, too often accepted at face value.

The performance for both is nearly equal, some calibers and bullets favoring each:
168 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon CFE 223 .308" 2.800" 46.6 2662 48,200 PSI 49.0 2828 60,400 PSI
168 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon Varget .308" 2.800" 42.0 2520 41,200 CUP 46.0C 2731 50,600 CUP
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Old July 14, 2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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So, if it is good enough for our boys in Afghanistan, I personally think the "difference" is an old wive's tale, too often accepted at face value.
Well, you have to remember that our army's guns only have to shoot MOM (minute of man) to be acceptable.... An enemy shot in the stomach or leg is just about as good as one shot in the chest, better really, (because then it takes 1-2 of his buddies out of the action to help him). OTOH, a deer shot in the leg or gut.... not good...

Not to put down the army (I love and support our troops!), but using the army's standard of marksmanship for deer hunting would result in a LOT of wounded deer.....

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Old July 15, 2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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On the Grendel forum, there is a lot of talk about CFE 223. I have been developing loads for my 6.5 Grendel using it. Meters well, good velocities, seems to be pretty clean. Will start on some .223 when I get a chance.
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:37 PM   #8
Marco Califo
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Not to put down the army (I love and support our troops!), but using the army's standard of marksmanship for deer hunting would result in a LOT of wounded deer....
Actually, my point had more to do with temperature sensitivity: deserts in Iraq, mountains in Afghanistan, 24x7x365 they do not see a life and death need to use "less temp sensitive" extruded powders. That tells me the difference is not significant.

BTW, the long distance sniper confirmed kill records are at over 2,500 yards. Do you wound deer at those ranges?

"Canadian Corporal Rob Furlong, formerly of the PPCLI (Operation Anaconda, Afghanistan) - achieved a recorded and confirmed sniper kill at 2,430 m (2,657 yd) in 2002 using a .50 caliber (12.7 mm) McMillan TAC-50 rifle.
Sgt. Brian Kremer March 2004 2,300 m (2,515 yd) Barrett M82A1 Raufoss NM140 MP (.50 Cal) United States 2nd Ranger Battalion Iraq War [10]
Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock February 1967 2,286 m (2,500 yd) M2 Browning machine gun .50 BMG United States United States Marine Corps Vietnam War [2]"
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Actually, my point had more to do with temperature sensitivity: deserts in Iraq, mountains in Afghanistan, 24x7x365 they do not see a life and death need to use "less temp sensitive" extruded powders. That tells me the difference is not significant.

BTW, the long distance sniper confirmed kill records are at over 2,500 yards. Do you wound deer at those ranges?
Right, and they use different powder in the .338 lapua and .50BMG sniper rounds than they do in the normal grunt .556, but thats besides the point.

A load developed at 90 degrees which is then used at 40 degrees is going to show a lot more variance than one developed at 80 then shot at 120....... But that too, is besides the point.

Temperature sensativity is rendered moot if you sight in at the temps you will be using the gun at, Plus, the army doesnt tailor loads to guns like we do for normal use.


In any case, if you dont believe that temp changes affect POI, then thats your choice, if a silly one.

It is NOT, however, an "old wives tale". Its a true fact of life, which hogdons extreme powders take out of the equation, so that I dont have to worry about re sighting my rifle if the temp swings 30 degrees from one day to the next as its apt to do during hunting season... I can develop a load during the summer at 90-100 degrees, check my zero one last time in the fall at 70 degrees, then hunt in temps from 15-60 degrees, and not have to worry about a POI shift anywhere along the way.

Before you call something an old wives tale, perhaps you should do some testing on it so you know what you are talking about?
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Old July 16, 2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Here is a thread with some CFE223 velocities using standard and magnum primers. I did this test out of curiosity about the effect on velocity of CFE223 with the different primers. I normaly use H335 and mag primers help with the velocity variations. It seems that the mag primers give CFE223 a bit more velocity, but standard and mag primers give decent cosistancy.

I have never loaded varget in my .223, so I cant compare, but if you have some velocity data, compare it to mine. I used a long 24" barrel varmint gun for my test.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...ghlight=cfe223
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Old July 21, 2012, 03:06 PM   #11
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Dacur

Quote:
OK, I have also heard the cautions about H335 when I was planning to use it in my 45/70.

Soooooooooooo, I loaded up some of my hunting loads, put them in my up right freezer for a couple of days, then on one of my early morning shooting/testing sessions I quickly removed the ammo from the freezer, and packed it into a cooler with ice packs.

Went to the range, set up and then removed the ammo one cartridge at a time from the cooler/ice and fired each round over the chronograph and into the 100yd target.

The results ------------ barely any velocity loss and compairable groups with non- frozen ammo.

From my limited testing I can see nothing even close to a problem with cold weather use of H335.

Keep em coming!

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Quote:
"By UncleNick: H335 is cannister grade WC844, a St. Marks manufactured military ball ammunition powder developed for the 5.56 NATO round and used in M193 and M855 and their corresponding tracer rounds. As you might imagine, military powders have to work over a wide range of temperature conditions so you can expect the powder itself will continue to function suitable rifles over such a range. On the other hand, military ball ammunition accuracy requirements are not normally high by civilian marksmanship standards. You also may have noticed the military uses stick powders in their match and sniper ammunition. That said, a number of folks have reported more modern spherical propellant formulations, such as the Ramshot line and the newer Alliant and Hodgdon powders don't necessarily have either the fouling or the ignition difficulties that the older military formulations did so this is a fluid situation and, as always, you'll have to test these in your own guns to find out what they will or won't do.

Denton Bramwell shows pretty convincingly that barrel temperature matters to performance much more than powder temperature. Thus, cold barrel vs. warm barrel should be your primary concern. Cold weather function for civilians is mostly about hunting where a cold barrel shot will be made. Unfortunately, icing a barrel up in warm weather means condensation, so this is not a test normally looked forward to.
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And best for last - this thread nails it:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=496092

Dacur, It is a myth propagated by H.. to sell powders. The military didn't buy it. I use my loads over 40 degree swings (70 - 110 degrees F) all the time: no diff in shotshell and rifle.
Also, even H... Extreme Price powders have some temp sensitivity, all powders do. The impact of these variations are over rated.
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Old July 21, 2012, 03:39 PM   #12
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Dacur, It is a myth propagated by H.. to sell powders. The military didn't buy it. I use my loads over 40 degree swings (70 - 110 degrees F) all the time: no diff in shotshell and rifle.
Also, even H... Extreme Price powders have some temp sensitivity, all powders do. The impact of these variations are over rated.
70-110 isnt really a good test. I have never heard anyone complain about issues shooting between 70F and 110F, as you demonstrate, in fact i believe I said something exactly to that effect "A load developed at 90 degrees which is then used at 40 degrees is going to show a lot more variance than one developed at 80 then shot at 120......." .... As I said the problems come when a load is developed in warm temps, then shot in cold temps.... I never said hogdons extream powed has NO temp sensativity, but its a proven fact they have LESS

Before you respond, are you honestly trying to say its a myth that cold weather produces lower velocities?
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Old July 21, 2012, 06:03 PM   #13
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The "hot to cold" isn't an issue with the powder, it is an issue with the primers ensuring consistent ignition in deep winter conditions. That is the reason for "milspec" primers using a "magnum" primer charge even for standards rounds.

Lots of old wives tales about powder. But the military will continue to use ball powder because it gives the required performance cheaper than extruded, that is the only reason.

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