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CFE 223 Yay Nay ?

This is a discussion on CFE 223 Yay Nay ? within the Ammunition forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; Has anyone done any testing and load development with this new powder in the M1A rifles? Whaddaya think? http://www.hodgdon.com/new_prod.html...


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Old January 19th, 2012, 12:12 AM   #1
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CFE 223 Yay Nay ?

Has anyone done any testing and load development with this new powder in the M1A rifles?

Whaddaya think?

http://www.hodgdon.com/new_prod.html


Last edited by stainless1911; January 19th, 2012 at 12:12 AM. Reason: link
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Old January 19th, 2012, 12:15 AM   #2
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From Hodgdon

168 GR. SIERRA HPBT
Hodgdon CFE 223
.308"
OAL 2.800"
MIN 46.6... VEL 2662fps... 48,200 PSI...
MAX 49.0... VEL 2828fps... 60,400 PSI...

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Old January 19th, 2012, 04:45 AM   #3
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I just bought a keg and am about to try some in working up loads for a .308 bolt gun. According to Hodgdon, it will develop higher velocities than many other powders (along with the reduction of fouling). I should be shooting some this weekend in a ladder test, weather permitting.

I'd like to try it for M1A loads once I finish working on a couple of new guns. My only concern is the burning rate vis a vis port pressure. Some people (Glen Zediker for one) think that Varget is too slow-burning for the M1A and this new powder is shown below Varget on Hodgdon's burn rate table. OTOH, I've seen plenty of folks who swear by Varget in their M1As, so it's hard to say what's right. Burn rate tables can be deceiving because you don't know how much slower they're talking about.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 04:50 AM   #4
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Let us know what you think about it, I've been planning on doing some experimenting with it too but I'm still revisiting IMR 8208. Will you be able to post muzzle velocities too?


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I just bought a keg and am about to try some in working up loads for a .308 bolt gun. According to Hodgdon, it will develop higher velocities than many other powders (along with the reduction of fouling). I should be shooting some this weekend in a ladder test, weather permitting.

I'd like to try it for M1A loads once I finish working on a couple of new guns. My only concern is the burning rate vis a vis port pressure. Some people (Glen Zediker for one) think that Varget is too slow-burning for the M1A and this new powder is shown below Varget on Hodgdon's burn rate table. OTOH, I've seen plenty of folks who swear by Varget in their M1As, so it's hard to say what's right. Burn rate tables can be deceiving because you don't know how much slower they're talking about.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #5
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Good point, I wasnt thinking about the gas system this morning when I first saw the stuff.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:41 AM   #6
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When I read about CFE 223 I thought it had alot of potential but looking at the burn rate chart told me I'm not comfortable with the potential port pressure that might happen by using this "slower" powder. I have lots of info on port pressure using other "right" powders but I won't be comfortable using this powder till I see some data on port pressure.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 09:21 AM   #7
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Good point, I'll send them an email, you guys might want to do the same.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 09:30 AM   #8
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Email sent

Hi there, I have used your powders in the past, and will use them again.

I want to start loading for the M1A Socom 16 Springfield Armory pretty soon, and was intrigued by this new powder that you have that is supposed to reduce copper fouling. I am pretty new to the M1A platform, and to rifle reloading in general, but one thing that I have learned about recently, is that these gas operated guns have to operate on a specific pressure range for those gas systems to operate properly. Certain powders can actually damage these rifles. Some of the guys online said that they are concerned with the powder being too slow.

I think you might have better luck in sales if you develop some data on port pressures so that people aren't afraid to use this powder in thier rifles. I'm certainly not going to try anything unproven in any of my guns, it is considered foolish to do so.

Here's the link to the discussion, it might be helpful to your company to hear first hand from your customers what we are saying about your products, and any imput or comments would be welcomed and appreciated.

Thanks, Neil.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 01:11 PM   #9
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Personally I don't use any one "expert" opinion as a guide to my hand loads, I usually put more emphasis on what others are using successfully. While Zediker might not recommend using Varget, an awful lot of people are using it without destroying their rifles.

Remember, Zediker wrote that article at least 15 years ago (I think it's more like 20+ years but can't remember for sure) and he developed his comments based on interviews with well known match shooters at the time. He started out as a golfer and sort of migrated in to shooting but his main income is publishing so he isn't a vastly experienced match shooter that writes from first hand knowledge. I'm not knocking his article, it's very good but like all other writers, don't take every word he puts in print as the gospel, mine included.

I think that his comments on burn rates has been refined since the article was written and more is known about burn rates in general than was known then. My opinion is that the only reason Varget was considered to be out of the range of useful powders was because the slowness of the powder made it difficult to get the kind of speeds that a match shooter was looking for without adding more powder which resulted in higher max pressure. And at that time most people assumed that the slowness meant that the pressure/time curve was shifted latter in time and that the port pressure would have to be higher but now we know that that isn't necessarily true. The pressure curve can just have a higher peak or be wider, it depends on how the manufacturer designed the powder.

For example, the three graphs below represent the powder burn rate as compared to the percentage of powder burnt. So these represent the quickness of the powder which relates to how fast pressure is produced.

Varget


IMR 4895


IMR 8208XBR


Muzzle velocity is created by how long there is high pressure behind the bullet as it travels down the bore, the longer the pressure exists the higher the velocity. What the curves above say is that Varget has a lower average initial push but it performs almost the same as 4895 after that initial push. That means that you have to use more Varget to get the same velocity that 4895 gets, that results in higher max pressure within the chamber. 8208 starts off with a push that is between the other two but it goes to a higher maximum burn rate in a slightly shorter time (takes less percent of powder to get there), and the curve takes longer to drop so the pressure is higher than either of the other two farther down the length of the barrel so it gets to higher pressure quicker and stays at a slightly higher pressure longer.

These burn rates result in the pressure curves below.

Varget


IMR 4895


IMR 8208


Notice that all three curves show pretty close to the same pressure at the end of the burn (with slight differences), that means that regardless of how the pressure curve is shaped they all have pretty close to the same pressure when the bullet reaches the gas port. The key differences between the curves are the maximum heights and the width of the pressure curves. 4895 has the lowest maximum and the skinniest curve, Varget is in the middle and 8208 has the highest peak with the widest curve. Also note that Varget and 8208 have lower ending pressure than 4895.

So what all this means is that, with all other factors being equal, compared to IMR 4895, Varget will produce slightly less pressure and slightly slower muzzle velocity with a little less felt recoil. 8208 will produce quite a bit higher pressure and noticeably higher velocities with recoil being somewhere between the other two powders. But there will be very little difference in pressure at the gas port between all three. The way to estimate safe port pressures is keep the max chamber pressure within SAAMI standards (no greater than 62000 psi, my personal limit is 54000 psi) and keep the velocities at a reasonable level. The difficult part is determining what a reasonable muzzle velocity is; I can only say that reasonable velocities to me are what seems to be the average speeds that most others are getting with any particular bullet weight. If your powder brand and charge weight stay within these limits it will probably produce port pressures that are acceptable.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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They sent me an informative, yet condescending response. They claimed that our rifles were of an open system design, and that they would not be damaged by various powders.

I wanted to post their response, but the email came with a legal disclaimer demanding that it not be reproduced. Sorry, I would have loved to have posted it.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #11
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I suspect that they believe that any gas not used by the system will be vented. I wonder if they know something that we don't and figure it's beneath them to bother explaining the details or if they're just ignorant.


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They sent me an informative, yet condescending response. They claimed that our rifles were of an open system design, and that they would not be damaged by various powders.

I wanted to post their response, but the email came with a legal disclaimer demanding that it not be reproduced. Sorry, I would have loved to have posted it.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #12
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They did explain, sort of, but they think we, are the ignorant ones.

I dont know a lot about these rifles, learning curve ya know, but this is where I would look first for info.

PM inbound.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAMMAC View Post
Let us know what you think about it, I've been planning on doing some experimenting with it too but I'm still revisiting IMR 8208. Will you be able to post muzzle velocities too?
I plan on taking the chrono, but it will be hard to get reliable data from a ladder test with so few shots per charge. The follow-up sessions with more rounds per charge will give better results. The weather here is unusually mild right now so I might be able to move ahead fairly quick.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 07:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
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They sent me an informative, yet condescending response...

I wanted to post their response, but the email came with a legal disclaimer demanding that it not be reproduced. Sorry, I would have loved to have posted it.
BS.

If they sent it to you, then you can do with it as you please.

Read it again: they're probably just saying that it's not legally binding if it's posted publicly.

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Old January 19th, 2012, 07:42 PM   #15
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