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Posted: 11/18/2012 5:45:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 6:06:10 PM EST by rgerh]
I have been working with this powder from Hodgdon CFE223 in my ARs using 55 grain V-max 55 Grain FMJ and 60 grain V-max. Two of my ARs a 16 mid and a 20 A2 rifle do not cycle correct often short stroking. I have been bumping the load up and am getting close to max as found for 223 online at Hodgdon's web site. Anyone have any ideas other then keep going up and up? Or should I just go back to one of the other powders have had good success with Varget 322 and W748.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 5:47:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 5:54:10 PM EST
With the 55 grain I am up to 27.5 max is 27.8 and on the 60 grain have used 26 max is 26.7
COL for both is 2.250. CCI primer Lake City brass and Rem brass.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 6:26:25 PM EST
Originally Posted By rgerh:
I have been working with this powder from Hodgdon CFE223 in my ARs using 55 grain V-max 55 Grain FMJ and 60 grain V-max. Two of my ARs a 16 mid and a 20 A2 rifle do not cycle correct often short stroking. I have been bumping the load up and am getting close to max as found for 223 online at Hodgdon's web site. Anyone have any ideas other then keep going up and up? Or should I just go back to one of the other powders have had good success with Varget 322 and W748.


I have loaded a couple of thousand rounds of 55 grain bullets using 27.5 grs of CFE and everything has been great. If you are short stroking it is probably because you are loading light.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 8:23:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/18/2012 8:25:05 PM EST by Poindexter10thae]
I am now using CFE223 for all my 5.56 loads. I use the following recipe with outstanding results

SS109
LC Brass(mixed)
CCI 450's or Wolf SRM primer
25.7 GRN CFE223
2878 FPS AVG (measured at 10YDS from muzzle)
2.25 OAL

I worked this load up over several weeks and the recipe listed gives me the best accuracy. I took it all the way up to 27.5 GRNS on my work ups, but this is what works for me. What Buffer/ Buffer spring are you using?
I would not use anything less than an H2 buffer

Rifle Specs:
Rifle 1:
LMT MRP w/ 16" 1:7
LMT BCG
Spikes T2 Buffer and spring

Rifle 2:
Larue PredaTAR - Stock everything, just as it shipped
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 2:52:47 AM EST
I have a colt A2 with a rifle length spring and buffer, the second rifle is a Palmetto mid gas with a H2 buffer and stock spring. Sounds like I need to do some more testing with this ammo to make sure its not rifle issues.

Thanks that points me in the right direction.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 3:20:12 AM EST
Have you tried any other powders? how do they shoot with those?

have you calibrated your scale? what type of scale you using?

27.5 works very well for me with the 55 hornady sp and hornady fmj. i went as low as 26.5 and as high as 28.5 and my lmt 16" cycled them all just fine.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 3:35:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 3:37:16 AM EST by rgerh]
I have been loading for my ARs for years now and have had good luck with Win 748, Hodgdon H322 and Varget. I picked up two pounds of CFE223 to give it a try first loads were on the low end of specs and have been bumping up. Two of my ARs a H bar with a 20 inch barrel and my 16 middy both short stroke and have been adding powder to get them to cycle. both weapons function fine with M855 or any other powder but they both short stroke on CFE223. I see you have gone up to 28.4 which is a warm load but before I go any higher I will take a good look at both rifles and see if maybe its something else causing problems. I also own a Colt AR 15 Ultra Elite with a 24 inch barrel and it works just fine with the starting load of 25.0 so I was a bit puzzled with the results and thought a post would give me more information on this powder.

I have two beam scales a RCBS and a Hornady I was using the Hornady for all loads.

thanks for the post
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 3:37:22 AM EST
I have only used CFE223 in my Grendel so I can't help with loads but I also noticed that even with very stout loads I was getting FTE's with CFE. I get excellent accuracy so I'm going to play with buffer weights to see if I can make things more reliable, but it makes me wonder if there's something about the powder that could cause that?
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 3:53:32 AM EST
Which cci primer you using?

i use rem 7 1/2 which are like magnum primers. cfe is a dense ball powder and mag primers may work better.

cfe is slightly slower than varget from what i can tell
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 3:57:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 7:49:59 AM EST by CCW]
Originally Posted By rgerh:
With the 55 grain I am up to 27.5 max is 27.8 and on the 60 grain have used 26 max is 26.7
COL for both is 2.250. CCI primer Lake City brass and Rem brass.


Well at 2.250 COAL and 55 gr boat tail, unless it is a solid gilding metal bullet, it is about to fall out the front of the neck of the case. Please tell me that 27.8 for 55 gr and 26.7 for 60 gr is not "crunch the powder load" with 1 D of the shank in the neck.

[ETA] OK, I see where you listed a 55gr Hornady V-Max in the OP. The Hornady V-max, IIRC, has a polymer tip, and has a flat base (not boattail). So the bullet shank is longer to make up for the loss of mass in front using the polymer tip, and the missing boattail increases the length of the shank. This allows sufficient purchase of the shank in the neck (ie. the V-max is longer than the same weight FMJBT). I still have trouble envisioning a 55 gr FMJBT sitting out at 2.250 COAL.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 4:51:49 AM EST
I never could get any real respectable level of accuracy out of CFE223. Saw excellent velocity, but whats velocity without accuracy?

I've tried several different bullets, primers, cases, and techniques to try and get this stuff to show itself. But nothing good every showed up. I might add though, that anything under 3/4 MOA is respectable in my eyes.

I didn't see it remove, or keep copper fouling down either.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 7:58:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/20/2012 10:25:37 AM EST by CCW]
CFE 223 has a burn rate at about BLC(2) according to Hodgdon 2012 Annual Manual. The OP should check the fired cases to see if there is soot leaking back around the outside of the neck and how far back it goes.(soot blowback can imply low pressure). Also, check the case head face and see if there are swipe marks, ejector or extractor embosses, primers that look like flat rivets, or are extruded back up in the firing pin hole (early unlock and high pressure signs). If there are no early unlock and high pressure signs then it should be safe to go up a tad in the powder load to achieve full cycling. Also double check the powder scale or powder vol throw accuracy.
Link Posted: 11/20/2012 9:50:12 AM EST
I worked up some loads with CFE223, my results showed a large difference in group size between using CCI 400s, CCI 450 and Wolf SRM 223 primers. I didn't write the results down (Yes! I know, I should write everything down!!!) but I do recall the groups fired with the 400s were close to another time as large as the groups with the 450s and WSRMs. The 450's and WSRM's groups were nearly identical. All other factors were the same, IE: charge weight, bullet lot and case.

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