CFE 223: .223 load data


February 15, 2012, 01:11 PM
I am looking for others who have loaded up the CFE 223 in their .223. I have consulted the hodgdon data center and it calls for 26.0 grains as a starting point and a max of 27.8 when using a 55 gr SPR SP.

I am loading 55 gr FJM BT w/ mixed commercial head stamp. I was thinking of starting at about 25.0 grains and working up from there.

Would also be interested in how others have loaded up .308 w/ CFE 223.

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February 15, 2012, 01:23 PM
CFE 223 is too new for most of us to predict how it responds to being under-loaded.

If Hodgdon says start at 26.0 grains?

You should start at 26.0 grains.

It will be safe in mixed cases, GI cases, or any other cases you might have.

You can get in just about as much trouble going under listed Starting loads as you can going over listed MAX loads with some powders.


February 15, 2012, 01:26 PM
Will the FMJ BT be similar enough to the SPR SP (spritzer soft point?) to load the same?

I figure at the worst I load up 20 bullets @ 26.0 grains and shoot a few. If they don't work I just dissasemble the rest and start over.

February 15, 2012, 01:29 PM


February 15, 2012, 02:15 PM
I'm with the others....start where the manual tells ya and you will be fine.

If you're looking to just check pressure there is no need to load up 20...I usually do it in groups of 3 or 5.

February 15, 2012, 08:01 PM
I bought 4 lbs last month and have loaded a few hundred rounds so far. I've only loaded it with 55gr FMJs. I found that 26.4 got the best groups in my rifle in my initial test, and it's a great blasting load. I've only loaded blasting rounds since then, so no accuracy tests. I went from 26.0 to 27.4, with nothing I could see as pressure signs. It's been safe in my mixed brass. 26.4 is lower pressure than 5.56 NATO, judging by the distance the brass flies.

February 15, 2012, 08:17 PM
@J Mcleod - Good information! Now I just have to wait for Lee to release the data to use the correct discs.

February 15, 2012, 08:33 PM
I don't have a double disk kit, but if you're interested in the single disks, I can do some measurements for you. I use an LNL. It seems pretty close to BL(C)-2 in consistency metering and burn speed, but not to use the same data.

I plan to do some more accuracy tests and load some 75gr bullets. I'll post the results when I do.

February 16, 2012, 12:18 PM
Now I just have to wait for Lee to release the data to use the correct discsIf you are going to reload, you really should buy a powder scale.

Lee's disk info is based on a figment of someones imagination.
Without exception, you will never get exactly what the charts says you will get, because powder density varies a little from lot to lot & can to can.


February 16, 2012, 12:47 PM
Good catch.

Yep, always verify the disks. I've seen variance of. 3 gr on the pistol size disks.

February 17, 2012, 01:52 AM
@rcmodel - I do own a scale and use it frequently. I check every 3rd drop.

I get a +/- .1 grain unless the hopper is incredibly low. With a low hopper it can be +/- .4 I don't let it get less than 25 percent full.

I got this e-mail from Lee on how to figure the VMD myself. It makes no sense to me.

You can also calculate the VMD yourself. To find the exact volume of a single grain of the powder, set the powder measure to any setting, preferably a large whole number such at 4 or 5.

Weigh a sample. Divide the micrometer setting by this weight to find the volume of a single grain of the powder you are testing. Mark this number on the powder container and you'll have it for reference in the future. Average of several samples increases accuracy.

In short: micrometer setting / grain weight of sample = VMD factor.

You can then take the VMD factor * the charge in grains you want to use to find the volume cc. Use the disk number that is closest to that volume CC number.

I load the scale for 4.0 grains and then do what with a micrometer? I am not the most mechanically inclined.

February 24, 2012, 05:54 PM
Looking for advice o loading for my .308

I have 147 grain FMJ bullets. There is no data on the hodgdon site. I figure it is not safe to just take 150 grain recipes and just "subtract" a few grains.

February 24, 2012, 06:34 PM
I posted an excel sheet a while back with the CFE223 data. It is the exact same density as H335. Use the chart and find your load weight, weigh each charge at least twice to make sure it is correct.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

February 24, 2012, 09:56 PM
I loaded a ladder with 55fmj from low to high just to test for my ar. Almost no odor. There some but low odor. Accuracy test tomorrow with some zmax before i hermatical seal batches of 100.

March 7, 2012, 02:24 PM
Gonzofam, how did the accuracy test turn out?

March 12, 2012, 05:14 AM
I'm wondering what effect, if any, this powder will have on the brass. I mean brass is, after all, an alloy of copper. If the powder oxidizes and elimates copper from the bore, what is it doing to the cases?

April 15, 2012, 10:51 PM
Just got back from the range. Loaded up 5 each in .5 grain increments in mixed brass for my 308. I started at 48.4 as listed for a 150 grn bullet I stopped shooting after 49.4 grn load which is way under the Max load (51.4) listed. I got flattened primers at 48.9 and at 49.4 cratered primer strikes and on the LC brass there was lifting of the primer. The gun I was shooting was a DPMS LR 308b 18 inch barrel. Accuracy was just so-so for the 308, I think I'll go back to H4895 in the 308. I am going to try this powder in the 223 in my AR next range trip. The first sign of over pressure in starting loads and I will have a partial can for sale.

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