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#2193171 - 04/01/12 10:15 AM CFE 223 powder
Daze Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/05/11
Posts: 117
Loc: Illinois
I'm torn about this powder. It Measures absolutely perfectly every throw in my Dillon. I mean perfectly. I believe it cleans the copper but it seems like the dirtiest powder I've ever shot. I just found a load that got me a 5-shot group at .258 with my .22-250. But I haven't shot that load consecutively to see when the carbon buildup starts to mess with accuracy. Any other opinions? I'm also trying it with 53 gr vmax for my RRA .223. And trying it with 175 smk's for my LAR-8. Still searching for the right loads.


Edited by Daze (04/01/12 10:20 AM)

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#2193538 - 04/01/12 08:45 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: Daze]
PriMeR450 Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/31/12
Posts: 105
Loc: Illinois
I have also tried cfe 223 with pretty good results. I compared it to varget and viht140 for 69 grain sierras and the accuracy seems better but i have not noticed it being any cleaner.

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#2193720 - 04/02/12 01:15 AM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: PriMeR450]
Darkker Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 557
Loc: Dry Side of Washington
It measures well because it is a ball powder, not a clunky stick powder.
If "cleaning copper" is your quest, use Win 748(223&308) both 748 & 760 have had that tin compound in them for AT LEAST 20 years; I have the MSDS to prove it.
"Copper cleaning" by means of a tin, or bismuth compound IS NOT new(despite what crap Hodgdon says). Get yourself a copy of Hatcher's Notebook, The (IIRC) French tested it a LOOOOOONG time ago.

CFE223 is canister grade SMP-842, which is what the military is using in the new M855 all copper ammo.

While all listed, do a VERY good job of keeping copper at bay(as you said); they need to be run hot, the powder fouling you noted won't become "hard carbon" like with stick powders.
ALL, ALL of Hodgy's ball powders(yes the Win versions also) are made by General Dynamics in St. Marks, FL. Most of the stick powders are ADI... Due to a licensing... issue.... between Hodgdon and Winchester, load data is HORRIBLE.
Look at the 223 on hodgy's site. 55gr and Win 748: The FOREVER accuracy load has been 26.6 gr. THIS LOAD IS NOT MAX. The listed max is a ways below that, but look at the posted pressures..... If you want REAL 748 loads look to Sierra.
If you follow there load info, and run in the higher range, the fouling goes way down. Barrel temps will drop noticeably also. The coatings of stick powder(ironically, to make them act like a ball powder) tend to not show fouling as bad, but it takes alot of scrubbing to remove. The ball powders mentioned have visually alot, but it comes out with a dash of WD-40 and 1 bore snake pull.

best of luck


.... to address the "fouling becomes an issue" issue...
My 308 with 748 and 175SMK's; holds MOA at 1K. I haven't scrubbed that bore in almost 500 rounds.


Edited by Darkker (04/02/12 01:17 AM)

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#2193777 - 04/02/12 09:08 AM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: Darkker]
CatShooter Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 9094
Loc: The Socialist Republic of CT.
Originally Posted By: Darkker


"The coatings of stick powder (ironically, to make them act like a ball powder)..."


Actually, stick powders were here looong before ball powder - and they were coated before ball powder was invented, so to say, "The coatings of stick powder (ironically, to make them act like a ball powder)..." is not accurate.

It is actually the other way around... ball powders are coated to make them act like stick powders.

ALL small arms powders have been coated since the advent of IMR powders, and the demise of English Cordite string propellents.

IMR stands for "Improved Military Rifle"... the improvement was the coating process. The coating process made Dupont billions of dollars.


.
_________________________
CatShooter
Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

NRA Life member since 1965

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#2193822 - 04/02/12 11:13 AM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: CatShooter]
Darkker Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 557
Loc: Dry Side of Washington
I agree sticks were here first.
The deterant(SP) coatings on, shall we call them "new production" stick powders; generally attempt to add surface area, and slow to a more progressive burn.

One-way-or-the-other, it is interesting to note the "back to the future" trend.
Ball powder was released and became to "go to powder". Then new coatings came around, new powders, etc. We were introduced to magic "extreme" stick powders, that didn't have the supposed "problems" of ball powders.
However the folks who gave us "Extreme" powders have abandoned that path, and the past 3 wonder powders are all ball again.... LeverEvolution, CFE223, Superformance.

Isn't marketing great?

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#2193825 - 04/02/12 11:20 AM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: Darkker]
CatShooter Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 9094
Loc: The Socialist Republic of CT.
Originally Posted By: Darkker
I agree sticks were here first.
The deterant(SP) coatings on, shall we call them "new production" stick powders; generally attempt to add surface area, and slow to a more progressive burn.

One-way-or-the-other, it is interesting to note the "back to the future" trend.
Ball powder was released and became to "go to powder". Then new coatings came around, new powders, etc. We were introduced to magic "extreme" stick powders, that didn't have the supposed "problems" of ball powders.
However the folks who gave us "Extreme" powders have abandoned that path, and the past 3 wonder powders are all ball again.... LeverEvolution, CFE223, Superformance.

Isn't marketing great?


WHAT???? I think you have your powder and chemistry history confused a little bit.

So the temperature stable, clean burning powders have been abandoned???

You should call Hodgdon, and tell them - I don't think they have heard the news yet. lol lol


.
_________________________
CatShooter
Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

NRA Life member since 1965

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#2193866 - 04/02/12 01:01 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: Darkker]
pcammo Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 1686
Loc: Helena, MT
Originally Posted By: Darkker
...The deterant(SP) coatings on, shall we call them "new production" stick powders; generally attempt to add surface area, and slow to a more progressive burn....


This is wrong in so many ways.



Chemistry/Kinetics aside, CFE 223 does tend to show the same ailments as many other ball powders. In my limited testing, it is a bit dirty at lower pressures. It is also fairly temperature sensitive. On the positive side, ball powders can yield a high load density and some impressive velocities. Ball powders also meter exceptionally well and often have a lower flame temperature (at least the temperature at the deflagration front).
Personally, I use quite a bit of ball powder while shooting prairie dogs and ground squirrels. For me, it is perfectly acceptable in this application. For most other rifle applications however, I use extruded powders. And I don’t think Hodgdon has abandoned development or marketing of their Extreme line of propellants.

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#2193887 - 04/02/12 01:44 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: pcammo]
ackleyman Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 5413
Loc: Hickville
I loved the smell of cordite in the morning!

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#2193923 - 04/02/12 03:22 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: ackleyman]
CatShooter Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 9094
Loc: The Socialist Republic of CT.
Originally Posted By: ackleyman


"I loved the smell of cordite in the morning!"



A man after my own heart thumbup


.
_________________________
CatShooter
Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

NRA Life member since 1965

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#2194440 - 04/03/12 12:47 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: pcammo]
Darkker Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 557
Loc: Dry Side of Washington
PCammo,

I guess I wonder why(or in comparison to what) you say CFE is fairly temp sensitive?

To the "better tell Hodgdon that" comment. Remember that Hodgdon does not make any smokeless powder. Last I checked(few months back)most of the stick powders are from ADI. Most(maybe all) the ball powders are coming from General Dynamics out of St. Marks, FL.
With the US military using 90-some percent Ball powder in their small arms ammo, that is where GD(probably others) are focusing their research. Also why Hodgdon's(a reseller)newest wonder powders are ball powders.

CFE223 is a canister-grade blend of SMP-842. Which is the new ball powder used in the new M855A1 ammo.
WC-844 = H335(H335 is the canister grade) ball powder used in the standard M855.

In defense of my coating statement(disagree if you will). An over-simplified for illistration example.
Stick powders control burn rate by surface area(indentions) and being made hollow. Whereas ball powders use deterant coatings. However with the Extreme line of powders(stick) in order to be "temperature insensitive" they use coatings. Thus my statement of using coatings to act like a ball powder. I probably should have worded it differently admittedly.

An interesting thing about the Extreme line and the "temperature insensitivity" claims. If you search on Hodgdon's website, you can still find the "data" they use. Interestingly in (IIRC) the 30-06 test, they use a OLD, OLD ball powder in comparison that hasn't been around for a VERY long time. They also don't actually give you much info(in fact all but none) about the testing parameters. Without some sample size data & conditions info, it really isn't statistically valid.

Dr. Denton Bramwell did some testing on Mag Vs. Standard primers not long ago. In his testing he was looking for velocity/pressure differences between the two. He tried heated, ambient, and cold temps; on the powder, cases, and primers themselves.
He also tested at least one of the Extreme powders for it's insensitivity qualities(I think it was Varget). One of the interesting things was that Barrel(therefore brass temp) was the difference, NOT powder temp. Also noted that the Extreme powders magic can really only be tuned to a specific cartridge. Meaning if you use it in a case that it wasn't designed to work in, it was the same as any other powder. Hodgdon doesn't tell you what cartridge the specific powders are built for....
This doesn't mean the Extreme line of powders aren't good powders, just that perhaps the marketing dept hasn't shared as much info as would be helpful.

At the very least it is an interesting read.

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#2194452 - 04/03/12 01:10 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: Darkker]
CatShooter Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 9094
Loc: The Socialist Republic of CT.
Originally Posted By: Darkker
PCammo,

I guess I wonder why(or in comparison to what) you say CFE is fairly temp sensitive?

To the "better tell Hodgdon that" comment. Remember that Hodgdon does not make any smokeless powder. Last I checked(few months back)most of the stick powders are from ADI. Most(maybe all) the ball powders are coming from General Dynamics out of St. Marks, FL.
With the US military using 90-some percent Ball powder in their small arms ammo, that is where GD(probably others) are focusing their research. Also why Hodgdon's(a reseller)newest wonder powders are ball powders.

CFE223 is a canister-grade blend of SMP-842. Which is the new ball powder used in the new M855A1 ammo.
WC-844 = H335(H335 is the canister grade) ball powder used in the standard M855.

In defense of my coating statement(disagree if you will). An over-simplified for illistration example.
Stick powders control burn rate by surface area(indentions) and being made hollow. Whereas ball powders use deterant coatings. However with the Extreme line of powders(stick) in order to be "temperature insensitive" they use coatings. Thus my statement of using coatings to act like a ball powder. I probably should have worded it differently admittedly.

An interesting thing about the Extreme line and the "temperature insensitivity" claims. If you search on Hodgdon's website, you can still find the "data" they use. Interestingly in (IIRC) the 30-06 test, they use a OLD, OLD ball powder in comparison that hasn't been around for a VERY long time. They also don't actually give you much info(in fact all but none) about the testing parameters. Without some sample size data & conditions info, it really isn't statistically valid.

Dr. Denton Bramwell did some testing on Mag Vs. Standard primers not long ago. In his testing he was looking for velocity/pressure differences between the two. He tried heated, ambient, and cold temps; on the powder, cases, and primers themselves.
He also tested at least one of the Extreme powders for it's insensitivity qualities(I think it was Varget). One of the interesting things was that Barrel(therefore brass temp) was the difference, NOT powder temp. Also noted that the Extreme powders magic can really only be tuned to a specific cartridge. Meaning if you use it in a case that it wasn't designed to work in, it was the same as any other powder. Hodgdon doesn't tell you what cartridge the specific powders are built for....
This doesn't mean the Extreme line of powders aren't good powders, just that perhaps the marketing dept hasn't shared as much info as would be helpful.

At the very least it is an interesting read.


You are wrong, and by this poor assed effort of trying to save face, you are making it worse.
_________________________
CatShooter
Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

NRA Life member since 1965

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#2194626 - 04/03/12 07:04 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: CatShooter]
Darkker Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 557
Loc: Dry Side of Washington
That is neither helpful, nor warranted.
Lets get back to constructive discussions, not personal attacks.


Here are some sites that talk about the types of construction.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokeless_powder
http://www.reloadbench.com/burn.html

Here is a copy Denton's primer test:
http://www.snipershide.com/UserFiles/Image/articles/powder_primer_temp_experiment_2.pdf

Here is a discussion relating to that, AND Denton talking about Varget and the temp sensitivity.
http://www.shootersforum.com/handloading...le-powders.html

Here is the MSDS for Hodgdon's extruded powders. The MSDS are from Thales/ADI.
http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/MSDS%20Files/...4227_AR2205.pdf

Here is the MSDS for their ball powders, they are from General Dynamics.
http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/MSDS%20Files/...ders_090111.pdf

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#2194922 - 04/04/12 09:34 AM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: Darkker]
pcammo Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 01/03/05
Posts: 1686
Loc: Helena, MT
My limited experience with CFE 223 is as follows:

As once the owner of an ammunition company (including a CIP approved and NIST accredited laboratory), I have retained ownership of some pressure testing and radar equipment. This is no longer my job; it is a hobby (and is MUCH more enjoyable in this capacity). My doctoral work in the field of Physical Chemistry involved exploration and discovery of fundamental bonding principles of high energy materials. Ironically enough, we even had three publications relating to the metals used for the reduction of copper fouling(and their subsequent stable redox intermediates).

Antimony and Bismuth Oxide Clusters:  Growth and Decomposition of New Magic Number Clusters M. R. France, J. W. Buchanan, J. C. Robinson, S. H. Pullins, J. L. Tucker, R. B. King, and M. A. Duncan J. Phys. Chem. A, 1997, 101 (35), pp 6214–6221

Metal and Multimetal Complexes with Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons:  Formation and Photodissociation of Fe(x)−(Coronene)(y) Cations J. W. Buchanan, J. E. Reddic, G. A. Grieves, and M. A. Duncan J. Phys. Chem. A, 1998, 102 (32), pp 6390–6394

Growth and Photodissociation of Crx−(Coronene)y Complexes N. R. Foster, G. A. Grieves, J. W. Buchanan, N. D. Flynn, and M. A. Duncan J. Phys. Chem. A, 2000, 104 (47), pp 11055–11062

One of our Forum members has produced some preliminary data to suggest that CFE 223 may be a superior propellant in the 6x45 cartridge. In addition, the thread evolved into a discussion of temperature sensitivity of said powder (see the sticky at the top of this page). I have volunteered to carefully conduct some experiments to elucidate the sensitivity issue. The hypothesis was proposed that CFE 223 will show the typical sensitivity of other ball powders.

The experimental design is pretty simple. Test loads are fired at various temperatures and the results analyzed for any trend. For those loads fired at reduced temperatures, the transducer equipped rifle and a single round in the chamber are cooled to -30 degrees F in an over insulated deep freeze. It takes about two hours for the temperature of the rifle to come to equilibrium. Once thermal equilibrium is established, the rifle is quickly removed from the freezer and fired through a chronograph. The rifle is reloaded and the process repeated. A recording thermocouple attached next to the rear tri-axial transducer provides verification of barrel temperature at the time of the shot. Almost exactly one minute is required to remove the rifle from the freezer, plug the wiring harness into the oscilloscope card in the laptop, and fire the shot.

This is an experiment that I (we) have repeated many times over the years with a multitude of propellants and a plethora of cartridges. With many cartridges the strain gauges are calibrated against reference cartridges verified by HP White laboratories. This is however not needed for the current experiment. The specific data will be placed in the 6x45 load guide when it is complete. The powders used in this experiment are CFE 223, X-Terminator, H-335, Benchmark and Varget. Primers used are RP 6.5, RP 7.5, and Wolf SRM. It is likely I will blow some of the RP 6.5 primers when I fire those loads, but I wanted a fairly low caloric primer.

In short, will anything earth shattering be gained by this experiment. Of course not. There are plenty of prairie dog shooters on this forum that can attest to what happens when you work up a max load of H-335 in their .223 Rem. when it is 40 degrees F outside and then head to the dog towns when it is 97 degrees F in the shade. Conversely, there are also plenty of shooters that can attest to the fact that Varget exhibits these properties to a lesser degree. Yes, it is true, every rifle is different and every cartridge is different. But even in a new heretofore unknown cartridge, if I had to bet, my money would be on the stick powder (low NG content stick powders anyway) being less sensitive to temperature extremes.

Next shall we discuss kinetics and inhibition? How about a MSDS in which 25% of the substances are un-named and trade secret? The point is, there are a lot of folks here with a tremendous amount of experience from a variety of backgrounds. That is to say…..FIRST HAND experience and knowledge. The fallacy of Google is that many people now think because they can provide a link to some non-peer reviewed article or Wiki that they actually have an understanding of the knowledge (or blasphemy) contained therein. Don't misunderstand me; I have a tremendous amount of respect for a shooter that can communicate first hand experinece. To a great degree, that is defining characteristic of the PM Forum that I find enduring. We have quite a collection of those such shooters.
John


Edited by pcammo (04/04/12 09:46 AM)
Edit Reason: degree symbol never displays

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#2194942 - 04/04/12 10:28 AM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: pcammo]
CatShooter Offline
PM senior

Registered: 01/24/02
Posts: 9094
Loc: The Socialist Republic of CT.
Well said!!!

Wiki and Google do not = experience.
_________________________
CatShooter
Spring has sprung, da' creek has riz, I wonder where dem kitties is.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty...

NRA Life member since 1965

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#2194979 - 04/04/12 12:12 PM Re: CFE 223 powder [Re: pcammo]
Darkker Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 557
Loc: Dry Side of Washington
Very good! I would love to read the results of those tests.

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