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Old June 11, 2012, 10:57 PM   #1
Wyoredman
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Hodgdon CFE223 Test (.223 Rem)

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The Firing Line, nor the staff of TFL assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

I tested CFE223 in my 22" DPMS AR-15 with both standard CCI 400 primers and magnum CCI 450 primers.

I loaded 8 rounds each of 26.0gr, 26.5gr, 27.0gr and 27.5 gr. I also loaded 8 rounds with the CCI 450 and 28.0gr to test a max charge for pressure.

I measured velocity 15 ft from the muzzle with a Competition Electronics ProChrony.

Below are the results in a pdf file. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

I was planning on measureing the groups, but all groups were over 1.5" for 8 shots. I am not sure what was going on, as I have gotten five shot groups under 1" with other loads. So this test is strictly a velocity test comparing CFE223 and the two types of primers.

There were no signs of pressure noted on any spent brass.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf cfe223.pdf (140.9 KB, 320 views)
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Last edited by Wyoredman; June 11, 2012 at 11:02 PM. Reason: Added warning
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Old June 12, 2012, 07:40 AM   #2
wingman
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I had excellent results with the CFE223 in my stag model 3, under an inch groups using the Sierra 52gr match, what bullet were you using?
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Old June 12, 2012, 07:50 AM   #3
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Cool test, with very clear results. Now you should try 22 through 26gr... see if you're accuracy lives down there somewhere. That'd be an interesting add to the data you've already got; group size / accuracy vs. velocity.

Wish I owned a chrony. Probably wouldn't like what I'm seeing, but at .5moa accuracy... I don't care.

According to Hodgdon, the CFE produces a significantly higher max pressure in the .308 as compared to the others. Doesn't appear to do this for the .223. I'd like to try the stuff at some point (haven't seen it for sale at the local supply yet).

Cartridge: 308 Winchester
Load Type: Rifle
Starting Loads
Maximum Loads

Bullet Weight (Gr.) Manufacturer Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L. Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon H414 .308" 2.800" 46.0 2484 40,300 CUP 49.0 2629 50,100 CUP
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon CFE 223 .308" 2.800" 45.5 2612 49,600 PSI 47.5 2752 60,400 PSI
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon Varget .308" 2.800" 42.0 2583 42,600 CUP 45.0C 2690 48,600 CUP
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon BL-C(2) .308" 2.800" 43.0 2517 39,200 CUP 46.0 2706 50,300 CUP
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon H335 .308" 2.800" 38.0 2390 38,800 CUP 41.3 2592 50,100 CUP
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon H4895 .308" 2.800" 40.0 2489 39,100 CUP 42.7 2647 49,000 CUP
175 GR. SIE HPBT Hodgdon Benchmark .308" 2.800" 38.0 2400 40,100 CUP 41.5 2590 50,800 CUP
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Last edited by WWWJD; June 12, 2012 at 07:58 AM.
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Old June 12, 2012, 08:19 AM   #4
moxie
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Nice results. Pretty clear your gun likes the 450 primer. More speed and consistency.
The only drawback I can see with CFE223 is you use a pretty hefty charge weight to get the performance. So not very economical; but, whether that matters is personal preference.
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Old June 14, 2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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Wingman, I used the Hornady 55 gr. SP with canuler bulk bag bullets for this test. You can purchase them for $10.95/100 from Natchez.

I am not sure what was up with the accuracy on this test, as I shot each using a rest. Most grouped into 2" or less but the 28.0gr/450 grouped >3".

I have gotten 5 shot groups with this rifle <1" using different powders, so I must have been having a bad day, the barrel got too hot, or I just can't get 8 shots to group!

Anyway, I think I am going to try the 27.0 gr / CCI 450 load for accuracy this weekend. It is very close in velocity to the 3250 fps that my NIKON M-223 BDR scope is suposed to be calibrated for.

On a side note, I started with a clean barrel for this test. After shooting this test, cleaning the bore was super easy. I use Barnes copper cleaner and with 5 patches, the bore was clean, so at least the "copper erasing" claim by Hodgdon seems to hold up!
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Old June 16, 2012, 12:16 PM   #6
Marco Califo
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WWWJD Units of Pressure

WWWJD Units of Pressure
Your table includes two different units of pressure: PSI and CUP
These are not equal, nor interchangeable.
It is possible these two values represent the exact same pressure, or are both within SAAMI specs.
If Hodgdon published that load, it is within SAAMI specs.
It does not indicate that CFE causes higher pressure in 308.
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Old June 16, 2012, 06:46 PM   #7
wingman
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Quote:
Wingman, I used the Hornady 55 gr. SP with canuler bulk bag bullets for this test. You can purchase them for $10.95/100 from Natchez.
Thanks, I never found a 55gr bullet that would give me less then 1 moa, however the Sierra and Berger 52gr match will do so although more expensive.
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Old June 16, 2012, 10:05 PM   #8
WWWJD
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Quote:
WWWJD Units of Pressure
Your table includes two different units of pressure: PSI and CUP
Seriously? How did I not notice that? Thanks for the correction.
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Old June 17, 2012, 10:45 AM   #9
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Do you know your barrel's twist rate?
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Old June 17, 2012, 02:54 PM   #10
Marco Califo
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Quote:
Do you know your barrel's twist rate?
Yes, I do. Both 223 rifles and all my other guns, too.
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Old June 19, 2012, 10:33 AM   #11
Wyoredman
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The barrel on my DPMS is a 1:8 twist.
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Old November 29, 2012, 02:13 AM   #12
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Wyoredman

with that twist rate, you may find the heavier bullets will stabilize better for you. maybe you could find some bulk SMK in 69gr, I use the 65gr SGK and they group outstanding for my 1:9 twist RRA AR15.
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Old January 5, 2013, 02:06 PM   #13
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Hi, new to the forums. What was col, headspacing you used. I have been using H335 and been satisified, now I am looking at the cfe. I have a sig 556 16in with a 1-7 twist and currently using Hornady 55 grn fmj with canulare. Thanks for any information.




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Old January 6, 2013, 06:26 PM   #14
Wyoredman
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The OAL for these loads was 2.220. They were seated so that they tapper crimped slightly in the cannelure. My rifle is a 1:9 twist.
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Old January 7, 2013, 10:55 AM   #15
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I've never crimped any of my rounds for my AR, but I also have never used a FMJ either or anything with a cannelure. Usually you would want to seat your rounds to the max length (closest to your lands). In an AR the standard OAL is about 2.250", 2.250" is what I use on all my rounds I load because it leaves just enough room to keep the bullet tips from rubbing on the mag. But all that stuff depends on your rifles chamber. But I can almost bet off the shelf ammo you buy is about 2.250-2.260" OAL. Maybe try a bullet without the cannelure and adjust your OAL for accuracy, if thats what your looking for.
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Old January 7, 2013, 03:14 PM   #16
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Besides the excellent cleaning properties of this powder, it was also the best powder for accuracy I have ever tested in my: .223/5.56mm AR and bolt gun also in my .243WSSM AR and bolt gun--Hodgon is listing loads for other cartridges now, so come spring, I'll be trying them as well.
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