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sly225420
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Posted: 4/1/2012 11:35:37 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/1/2012 11:36:36 AM EST by sly225420]
I'm new to the AR and loading for the AR, I decided to try Hodgdon's new powder that decreases copper fouling.

I have no experience with other powders in 223, or other factory loaded ammo. I just put together my first AR with Del-Ton parts. I've only fired my handloads through it so far and I'm getting great reliability and accuracy. With my 1x4 I'm getting around MOA accuracy from 50-150yds. Haven't tried the 200yd range at my club yet. This is off my mediocre homemade bags. I bought a cheap rifle rest from walmart to do my future load testing. Pretty flimsy, but it should be better than my bags

Load info:

once-fired Lake City brass. CCI (#41?) 5.56 mil primers. 26.4gr CFE223. Hornady Z-max 55gr bullets seated to 2.235"

Powder seems a little dirty carbon-wise, but I ran over 300rds through the rifle without cleaning, no malfunctions of any sort. No pressure signs, maybe a little low pressure judging by the carbon around the mouths of the cases compared to other empties I found laying on the range. This loading has no trouble cycling my middy with carbine buffer. Rifle cleaned up fairly easily with CLP, no signs of copper fouling yet.

I've got a "ladder test" of sorts set up, going from 26.4gr to 27.8gr, I expect to find the optimal load in this range somewhere. I don't have a chrony so I'll only be able to guage accuracy. My current load is pretty good, but I figure I'll find something better. I'll post results when I have them. When I get a break from chemistry exams I might be able to report on the reasons why the tin in this powder prevents copper buildup, most likely electrochemical reactions taking place.
Plasteredtex
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Posted: 4/1/2012 11:48:17 AM EST
keep us posted.

Once i run outta the BL-C(2) i have i will be ordering 8# of CFE223
Believe only half of what you see, and nothing that you hear.

If a bigger hammer wont fix it, then it must be an electrical problem.
xtreme762
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Posted: 4/1/2012 12:02:56 PM EST
CFE223 is an excellent powder. Something I noticed with it, is the carbon will get less and less as you go up in charge weight. Dunno why, and that seems backards. But that's how it is.

Welcome to ARFCOM!


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
sly225420
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Posted: 4/1/2012 1:04:09 PM EST
Thanks xtreme! This site helped me alot in all my decision making for the AR, and theres alot of decisions to be made!
would you be willing to share your load data for this powder? I picked 26.4gr because I read a post on some other site where someone was using that load. I figured it was close to the published minimum load so it had to be safe.
Axleman27
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Posted: 4/1/2012 3:23:41 PM EST
There's a fairly recent thread where several of us that have used CFE223 with 55gr bullets found best accuracy near the max load. 27.5 is working very well for me. I get just under MOA 5 shot groups with a 16" 1/9 RRA barrel and I'm not that great of a rifle shot.

I'm using:
27.5 grains CFE223
55gr SP bullets at 2.200"
Wolf 556 primers
Hornady brass (switching to LC soon)

I just bought a bunch of the Zmax bullets and will be trying those next.
BIGGDAWG
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Posted: 4/1/2012 3:54:04 PM EST
my best load with the hornady 55sp and cfe is at 27.5gn i have gone to 28.6 with light ejector swipes but groups opened up.

it is a slower powder so you have to get close to max for it to clean up. at 26.4 your quite low in charge yet. try 27.5 and you will be surprized


sly225420
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Posted: 4/1/2012 4:05:39 PM EST
I did a search and didn't come up with any info about the cfe here. I had a hunch the best loads would be around 27.5

I suppose I forgot to mention my barrel specs.... 1in9 chrome lined 16".

I've also been putting a heavy crimp on all of my rounds with the Lee Factory Crimp die. Those z-max bullets seem to be very accurate for the price, probably why they seem to be hard to find in stock.
BIGGDAWG
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Posted: 4/1/2012 4:31:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/1/2012 4:32:20 PM EST by BIGGDAWG]
Originally Posted By sly225420:
I did a search and didn't come up with any info about the cfe here. I had a hunch the best loads would be around 27.5

I suppose I forgot to mention my barrel specs.... 1in9 chrome lined 16".

I've also been putting a heavy crimp on all of my rounds with the Lee Factory Crimp die. Those z-max bullets seem to be very accurate for the price, probably why they seem to be hard to find in stock.



my gun is a 1-7 16" and no crimp for me i get better accuracy with out a crimp.

here is my cfe thread cfe 223 thread
xtreme762
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Posted: 4/1/2012 4:38:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/1/2012 4:41:31 PM EST by xtreme762]

Originally Posted By sly225420:
Thanks xtreme! This site helped me alot in all my decision making for the AR, and theres alot of decisions to be made!
would you be willing to share your load data for this powder? I picked 26.4gr because I read a post on some other site where someone was using that load. I figured it was close to the published minimum load so it had to be safe.

No problem. Actually BIGGDAWG's(link above) thread has all the data for his workup and several from mine. For my rifle 27 shot the best. But I was only looking for 1MOA, so I settled with 28.5.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
dryflash3
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Posted: 4/1/2012 5:42:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By sly225420:
Thanks xtreme! This site helped me alot in all my decision making for the AR, and theres alot of decisions to be made!
would you be willing to share your load data for this powder? I picked 26.4gr because I read a post on some other site where someone was using that load. I figured it was close to the published minimum load so it had to be safe.
Welcome to the Reloading Forum.

Be very cautious using loads you get in forums, always confirm loads with published data.

That includes any load I may post.

Work up loads and watch for pressure signs.

I have only used CFE 223 with Sierra 69 gr Match Kings. Haven't tied it with 55 gr bullets.

With the MK's I'm getting 10 shot 100 yd groups of .75 inch. I'm not crimping my loads.

I like this powder.



Selling agent for Algores carbon credit scam.

Shooting and Reloading, one hobby feeds the other.


AeroE
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Posted: 4/1/2012 6:17:16 PM EST
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.

There are lots of shooters that could benefit from a gunpowder that reduces copper deposits in their barrels, but they'll never know since they aren't knowledgeable about copper in barrels anyway.

Remember Braydon Nichols and his Dad, Chinook Pilot CWO Bryan Nichols, KIA in Afghanistan 6 August 2011
sly225420
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Posted: 4/1/2012 6:58:57 PM EST
Have no fear, I'm cautious with every aspect of shooting and reloading. I've never gone outside the published range on any load yet. I certainly wouldn't trust any info on a forum that was above published max without carefully working up to it. I've never really "worked up" a load before, never needed to or desired to. This is my first real experience with it. I check every case for pressure signs.
xtreme762
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Posted: 4/1/2012 6:59:44 PM EST

Originally Posted By AeroE:
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.


This is something I've thought about also. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope it doesn't!

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
bfoosh06
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Posted: 4/1/2012 7:22:29 PM EST
Originally Posted By xtreme762:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.


This is something I've thought about also. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope it doesn't!



First off, good groups with CFE223, please, keep us posted as to anymore tests

Ok AeroE , and Xtreme,....guys.... why would you think this powder will shorten barrel life ? Just curious as to what makes you guys think this.
AeroE
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Posted: 4/2/2012 3:06:40 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/2/2012 3:07:23 AM EST by AeroE]
Originally Posted By bfoosh06:
Originally Posted By xtreme762:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.


This is something I've thought about also. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope it doesn't!



First off, good groups with CFE223, please, keep us posted as to anymore tests

Ok AeroE , and Xtreme,....guys.... why would you think this powder will shorten barrel life ? Just curious as to what makes you guys think this.


Something is going on that either prevents copper formation, or removes copper after it has been deposited. Does that action (thermo-chemical) also erode steel at a greater rate than conventional single or double base gunpowders?

I don't know, but this is a question that will be answered soon enough.

Remember Braydon Nichols and his Dad, Chinook Pilot CWO Bryan Nichols, KIA in Afghanistan 6 August 2011
xtreme762
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Posted: 4/2/2012 6:41:02 AM EST
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By bfoosh06:
Originally Posted By xtreme762:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.


This is something I've thought about also. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope it doesn't!



First off, good groups with CFE223, please, keep us posted as to anymore tests

Ok AeroE , and Xtreme,....guys.... why would you think this powder will shorten barrel life ? Just curious as to what makes you guys think this.


Something is going on that either prevents copper formation, or removes copper after it has been deposited. Does that action (thermo-chemical) also erode steel at a greater rate than conventional single or double base gunpowders?

I don't know, but this is a question that will be answered soon enough.



There is something in this powder to remove copper, and as AeroE said, will it corrode or eat through steel?

I can see it possibly causing major problems if used for hundreds of rounds. For plinking ammo and such. But if you are only going to use it for hunting ammo that will only be shot a few times at the range to zero, and maybe one or two to kill something, I don't think it will hurt anything.
We will definitely see what happens.

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
sly225420
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Posted: 4/2/2012 7:30:57 AM EST
Don't worry about this powder hurting your barrel.

Here's my almost complete college education at work......

At high temperatures, tin can form complexes with copper, basically forming bronze. These complexes are Cu4Sn, and Cu3Sn. The tin compound in CFE223 is tin dioxide (Sno2).

Normally metals don't bond with other metals, but from my brief research it appears that combustion creates the proper conditons to form these complexes. Normally combustion would allow copper to form a complex with the steel in your barrel, but formation of the tin complexes is more favorable, so the copper does that.

Now this is just my brief understanding of this theory, but for the most part thats the way this powder works. There's probably some minor errors in the actual chemistry, if anyone can clean it up a little feel free.
bfoosh06
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Posted: 4/2/2012 9:46:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/2/2012 9:57:05 AM EST by bfoosh06]
I e-mailed Hodgdon this morning about possible " barrel erosion" , here is part of their answer....

This powder was developed at the request of the Department of Defense for use in the M4, M16 and the M249 SAW light machine gun. It has been used for over 2 years by our military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is no way they would allow nor would it be possible to provide a powder that ate the barrel out of a weapon.



In plain terms, there is nothing about this powder that would create any greater erosion than any other powder suitable for the cartridge. They all burn at the same temperature regardless of manufacturer and they all have relatively the same burn speed or they would not work in the 5.56 cartridge.




His Name witheld , and parts of the e-mail witheld as his response was a little along the tone of "internet tripe" , rather than a more docile response. ( I sensed frustration...and I see no purpose including that portion. And no offense was taken from me, I appreciated the answer and him taking time to respond. )
AeroE and xtreme762 , if you'd like the full text , just message me via this website. It really isn't anything worth sharing, just his frustration over the "web experts", rather than reloaders just asking questions from the experts,... LOL.

So , it sounds like this powder should be fine for me.
xtreme762
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Posted: 4/2/2012 4:19:38 PM EST
Thanks bfoosh06, for emailing them. I've been busy most of the evening loading up some Sierra SP 55's with CFE223.

I'm glad he responded with what sounds to me as the truth in the powder. The Govt. wouldn't allow the troops to shoots this stuff through their barrels if it was going to make barrels go bad prematurely. The cost incurred for replacing that many barrels would be something the Govt. would want to stay away from. That cost would be enough to justify a new breed of AR be put into service IMO.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke
AeroE
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Posted: 4/2/2012 6:59:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/2/2012 7:00:56 PM EST by AeroE]

There is no way they would allow nor would it be possible to provide a powder that ate the barrel out of a weapon.


A little over the top.

We're not discussing that extreme, but whether this gunpowder causes throat erosion, alligatoring, or other damage. As for their frustration with internet experts, the Hodgon rep can get his panties unwadded, we're asking questions about plausible problems, not predicting problems, making claims, or spreading unfounded rumors.

I've talked to exactly one representative from a gunpowder company selling to reloaders that wasn't an asshole, and that is Pete Forras when he worked for Great Western at least a decade past.

Gunpowder companies, especially those that are resellers, do not have a lock on propellant and explosive expertise. Since I've started working on weapons, I've worked with 4 companies and three or four government offices that can all design propellants and explosives or modify existing products to produce custom profiles, do it quickly, and get it right. That doesn't make me an expert, and I don't claim anything of the sort, besides I have my hands full with my own expertise, but I know a few places to look for answers.



Remember Braydon Nichols and his Dad, Chinook Pilot CWO Bryan Nichols, KIA in Afghanistan 6 August 2011
CCW
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Posted: 4/2/2012 8:02:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By bfoosh06:
Originally Posted By xtreme762:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.


This is something I've thought about also. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope it doesn't!



First off, good groups with CFE223, please, keep us posted as to anymore tests

Ok AeroE , and Xtreme,....guys.... why would you think this powder will shorten barrel life ? Just curious as to what makes you guys think this.


Something is going on that either prevents copper formation, or removes copper after it has been deposited. Does that action (thermo-chemical) also erode steel at a greater rate than conventional single or double base gunpowders?

I don't know, but this is a question that will be answered soon enough.



Hodgdon has said the CFE does not remove copper from barrels previously tracked up with copper deposits. It does prevent deposition of copper in barrels [somehow].
A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends on the character of the user. Character in the long run is th decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike -TR 26thPOTUS CMO2001
bfoosh06
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Posted: 4/3/2012 4:18:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/3/2012 12:42:46 PM EST by bfoosh06]
Originally Posted By AeroE:

There is no way they would allow nor would it be possible to provide a powder that ate the barrel out of a weapon.


A little over the top.

We're not discussing that extreme, but whether this gunpowder causes throat erosion, alligatoring, or other damage. As for their frustration with internet experts, the Hodgon rep can get his panties unwadded, we're asking questions about plausible problems, not predicting problems, making claims, or spreading unfounded rumors.

I've talked to exactly one representative from a gunpowder company selling to reloaders that wasn't an asshole, and that is Pete Forras when he worked for Great Western at least a decade past.

Gunpowder companies, especially those that are resellers, do not have a lock on propellant and explosive expertise. Since I've started working on weapons, I've worked with 4 companies and three or four government offices that can all design propellants and explosives or modify existing products to produce custom profiles, do it quickly, and get it right. That doesn't make me an expert, and I don't claim anything of the sort, besides I have my hands full with my own expertise, but I know a few places to look for answers.





I hear what you are saying. I could tell he was fed up with the "stereo-typical" arm-chair bozo's ( not to say I'm much better than that ! ).... I'd be willing to bet, that he has had some really "crazy" e-mails during his job...LOL . That, combined with the " There is no good way to include your demeanour via an e-mail or website comments problem" , probably makes for a tough job.

That said, I do enjoy all the input from these websites also. I shutter to think "What it would be like without them ! " I have learned a great deal from here.... ( most recent being the $28 Bullet Feeder... awesome tip ) Keep up all the good work !



sly225420
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Posted: 4/3/2012 6:19:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By CCW:
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Originally Posted By bfoosh06:
Originally Posted By xtreme762:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
I'm going to be interested to learn whether this new gunpowder promotes short barrel life.


This is something I've thought about also. I guess we'll have to wait and see. I certainly hope it doesn't!



First off, good groups with CFE223, please, keep us posted as to anymore tests

Ok AeroE , and Xtreme,....guys.... why would you think this powder will shorten barrel life ? Just curious as to what makes you guys think this.


Something is going on that either prevents copper formation, or removes copper after it has been deposited. Does that action (thermo-chemical) also erode steel at a greater rate than conventional single or double base gunpowders?

I don't know, but this is a question that will be answered soon enough.



Hodgdon has said the CFE does not remove copper from barrels previously tracked up with copper deposits. It does prevent deposition of copper in barrels [somehow].


Tin Dioxide (SnO2), see my post above.
victor3ranger1
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Posted: 4/10/2012 6:59:13 AM EST
Ok, please bare with me guys. I have been researching powders to pick the best powder for my 55 sp, 55hp, and 62 fmj bullets for my 16" 1/9 barrel.

Has anyone worked up a load of the cfe223 for the 62 gr M855 bullets?
Has anyone compared regular small rifle primer loads to mil or small rifle mag loads? Just wondering what the differences would be in the way they perform.
CCW
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Posted: 4/10/2012 7:26:57 AM EST
Originally Posted By victor3ranger1:
Ok, please bare with me guys. I have been researching powders to pick the best powder for my 55 sp, 55hp, and 62 fmj bullets for my 16" 1/9 barrel.

Has anyone worked up a load of the cfe223 for the 62 gr M855 bullets?
Has anyone compared regular small rifle primer loads to mil or small rifle mag loads? Just wondering what the differences would be in the way they perform.


Good questions. And welcome to the forum.

When you ask the first question, first place to check is Hodgdon's own online database developed from their ballistic laboratory. If they publish the data showing CFE223 gets good velocities compared to other powders for 55 or 62 grain bullets then your first question is answered. They limit their publishedd data scope to staying withing SAAMI MAP. They have a free-to-use online database of their lab results. They also publish an "Annual Manual" of their lab data. One thing you will notice is that since they are 1st Cousins to the Speer Bullet Co., most of their data will be generated using Speer components. Sometimes a little translation is required for other bullet configs of the same weight (greenie bullets, flat base vs. boat tail or beveled base, etc.). Also, be aware that their test barrels are 24" bolt guns, so velocities are 24" related. Your carbine velocity will be less, for instance. Published peak chamber pressures are going to be about the same for you as for them, since barrel length has little to do with peak chamber pressure. CFE223 in cannisters is new and is being promoted by Hodgdon this year, so they will probably have the best current data for that powder. Call them up with your questions. They are nice folks.

Second question: My personal recommendation is to use the CCI#41 for your AR primers. They are engineered to be a little less sensitive to floating firing pin strikes in ARs during the autoloading sequence. I like that little extra comfort zone. The #41s are magnum rated. And, that would be another good question for a Hodgdon ballistician relating primer choice when using CFE223.
A vote is like a rifle; its usefulness depends on the character of the user. Character in the long run is th decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike -TR 26thPOTUS CMO2001
jasonprox700
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Posted: 4/14/2012 3:59:49 AM EST
Originally Posted By sly225420:
I've also been putting a heavy crimp on all of my rounds with the Lee Factory Crimp die.


You don't need to crimp. I've done a lot of loading over the years for autos and have never had issues with bullets backing out. Also, if the bullet you are using doesn't having a cannelure, then you shouldn't be crimping anyway.

Just my .02

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