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Old 10-29-2012, 09:53 AM
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CFE 223 loads

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Has anyone compared CFE 223 with other powders of similar burn rate for accuracy? The miracle of cleaning copper fouling is intriguing, but if it just throws bullets all over the place or has other problems, I'd rather stick with something more accurate?
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:26 PM
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Darkker really likes it so far. He'll probably be by this thread eventually, although I think he's a bit busy right now.
"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." --Gerald Ford
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Old 10-30-2012, 05:37 PM
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To me the jury is still out, but the indications seem to be that it may be as accurate in my rifles as some other similar burn rate powders. For instance, in .308, before trying CFE 223, H4895 was my most accurate powder with 165 grain bullets (Ballistic Tip and Hot Core). This last weekend, I did my first tests in .308 with the new powder. One load gave me a .6 inch group with 165 Hot Cores and another gave me a .9 inch group with 175 grain Sierra HPBT, which is right up there with what H4895 has done. That was just with a couple of groups on a first outing. No chronograph work done yet and no fine tuning yet either.

With .223, my best powder has been Varget, followed closely by H4895. With 55 and 60 grain Ballistic Tip and V Max bullets, CFE 223 has been good, but not yet quite equal to the accuracy of those other powders, but I still have a lot of load development to do. But with 55 and 62 grain FMJ generic bullets with a good crimp in the cannelure, CFE 223 has really outshot Varget and H4895 in my rifles. Again, no chronograph work yet to verify velocities, but I am working on it.

My other powder experience with .308 has been with R15 and BLC 2, neither of which has done as well for me as the above mentioned powders. The same for .223 and BLC 2, not quite up to the other powder's accuracy.

So there you go with my opinion. I do think I can tweak some loads and approach my previous best accuracy with CFE 223, but that is partially just a hunch. I did just buy 2 more pounds of it, so I am planning on doing plenty more development with it in both rifles.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:00 AM
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I think it is a great powder, but what you are asking about doesn't exist like you think it does...
The bulk of my load work with this powder has been in the 243, with light bullets. With 3 different(amounts of powder) loads using CFE and 55-58gr bullets; It is accurate enough to shoot pigeon faces from the elevator at 100 yards. In my 308 I have also begun to do some work, but have only gotten to a few different loads/bullets so far. Yes it is still accurate.

The reason that I don't think what you want to be, actually is:

Lets go with some examples from Byrl, and my own experience.
I have never had what I would call Accurate groups from 4895, in ANY cartridge. Not that I think it is a bad powder, but just couldn't do what many other powders did.
The 223 - As has been shown by Denton, Varget is sensitive in the 223. I personally think that it is a steaming pile... Most shooters think that the "extreme" properties are across the board, and NOT only designed for a specific application. Why anyone would like this powder in the 223 is beyond me. Same with BL-C(2). With as many changes, and NASTY lot variations as they have had in the past decade; Which specific lot do you want to judge it by??

My point in all of this, is that I don't think a powder "Is, or isn't" anything, NEARLY as much as most people's minds want it to be.

I swap brass indiscriminately in my 308 and 223's. I have every headstamp(mil/com) spanning 50 years. I don't sort, I don't weigh, I don't believe in the bogey-man, and I don't see a difference in my groups @ 1,000 yards. Yet MOST people are willing to start another holy war, telling you that you must. My ES, SD, velocity, and groups say otherwise.

I think you will be quite happy with CFE, and find that it's firing event is a little different... I currently am down to about 16# of it left. Gonna get some real load work started hopefully soon!

Last edited by Darkker; 11-05-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:54 PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll give it a try (.308 & 7mm-08). i don't sort or weigh or any of that, either, but I have seen differences in accuracy between different powders and different loads. Just wondered if anybody has used this powder with good results.
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:05 PM
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This weekend or next, depending on my "honey do" list of things to do at home, I plan to do some more shooting of CFE 223 in both my .223 and .308. This trip to the range, I will be shooting all my groups through my chrono. Looking for a day with very little wind. I am hoping to verify some things in both calibers. I have learned from the past that one or two outings with only a few groups shot does not tell the tale. I have shot sub-quarter inch groups on one trip, only to fail to get under an inch with the same load on another trip. The fault was not with the load, but with me, or the wind, or the phase of the moon. I am feeling very positive about CFE 223 at this point. It meters very consistently in my Lyman powder measure, all my loads so far have not been compressed, and it does appear to leave a little less fouling in my barrels. But it is not a magic powder. It's only as good as I am, and sometimes I am inconsistent. To paraphrase a famous play writer, "the fault lies not with the powder, but with ourselves."
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