Hodgdon CFE Pistol Powder for 45 acp


up 2 snuff
April 17, 2014, 05:53 PM
Hello folks! This is my first topic as a new member. I could use some of your collective experience and wisdom. I have been reloading for about 5 years.

I reload for my 45s, and wish to load 230 gn. jacketed hollow points. Pistol powders have been hard to come by, but today I ran across some CFE Pistol and purchased it. I felt as though I had to take what I could get. I like to shoot.

I looked it up on the Hodgdon web site and it provided loads for 230 gn. LRN and FMJ FP bullets. The store owner said it was a new powder and it probably would not be in any manuals yet. It is not in my manual. On their website Hodgkin has a starting load of 6.0 to a max of 6.8 for the FMJ FP. I am not certain what the difference between a FMJ FP and a GDHP, and I cannot find data for the ballistic coefficient of the FMJ FP to do a comparison. The powder seems to be pretty hot with a narrow charge range for this bullet. My gut tells me to start at 6.0 and max at 6.4, but I don't have enough information to make that call.

I need advise in establishing a safe starting load and max load for this round. If I am totally off base I would like to know that too.

I would also appreciate your impression of this powder if you have worked with it before.


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April 17, 2014, 06:06 PM
First off, welcome to THR ! Well, posting anyway !

Your message came through loud and clear.

Generally, Jacketed bullet data is exchangeable with other Jacketed data of the same type.

However, you mentioned GDHP's- which are not jacketed, but a unique plated bullet.

If I had Powder "A" which said to use X.XX grains for a 230gr FMJ, that same data would be useful in a 230JHP, assuming the COL was similar.

As always, start low, and work up.

If you indeed have Speer Gold Dot Hollow Points, feel free to give them a call at (800) 379-1732 and they will provide you all of the load data they have.

up 2 snuff
April 17, 2014, 06:25 PM
GDHP is the closest that I had in my manual. I would like to load a Zero JHP as a practice round and load a Hornady XTP or similar for self defense. I did not know the GDHP was not jacketed. I appreciate your help.

Tony k
April 18, 2014, 09:42 AM
I'd love to get my hands on some CFE pistol.

Bear in mind that I am a pretty new reloader compared to many on THR. If I was lucky enough to find some CFE Pistol and had some zero FMJ 230grain bullets, I'd trust the Hodgdon website's load range of 6-6.8 grains. As always, start at the bottom. With that narrow range, I'd probably start with one magazine each of 6.0, 6.2, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, and 6.7 grains. More experienced reloaders might have a better system.

I've loaded and shot 2000 Zero FMJs (with different powders). 1.26" oal works well in my taurus 1911, but was a little too long for my Kahr CW45. Plunk test a dummy round to make sure the bullet isn't touching the rifling.

I tried the hornday xtps you mentioned. I was never able to find a length with the XTPs that cycled reliably in my taurus.

Let us know how it works!

up 2 snuff
April 18, 2014, 12:07 PM
Tony, Thanks for the feedback. My PT1911 and XDS have both worked well with the Zero FMJ RN with OAL of 1.270. I going to load some Zero FMJ HP and try to get another good round that both will eat.

I current load with Unique at 6.3 gn, which is in the neighborhood of 800 fps. 815 fps is the starting load for CFE. I will probably end up in the middle to low end of the range. Depends how jumpy the XDS becomes. Going to be fun to see.

April 18, 2014, 01:50 PM
I would like to load a Zero JHP as a practice round and load a Hornady XTP or similar for self defense.

Thats an instance where the jacketed data is interchangeable, although your COAL may end up a little different between the HP and the FMJ. I'd have no problems starting at the low end of the data you have for the CFE using either projectile, and working it from there.

May 10, 2014, 11:16 PM
I picked up some CFE 2 weeks ago and loaded some test rounds using RMR(Rocky Mountain Reloading) 230gn plated round nose bullets. I started with the Lead data off of Hodgdons website, as you should do with most plated bullets.

I loaded 5.5, 5.7, 5.9, 6.1 and 6.3 grains and tested. No pressure issues and all functioned reliably in my XD .45 tactical 5 inch. I loaded to COAL 1.26.

5.5gn was very soft shooting and accurate and the 6.3gn was the most accurate and is soft enough to shoot all day with no fatigue.

I also used to load with Unique and found this to be a much better powder. A lot less smoke! CFE also metered very well in my Lee micro-disk with +/- .1gn on my Lee Pro1000.

May 12, 2014, 01:33 AM
Speer generally uses the same data with their GDHPs as they do with their JHPs. The plating on the GDHP doesn't affect the loading data, they are loaded using the same jacketed data. The COAL is usually different between a GDHP and a JHP but the powder data is the same.

Hodgdon's data tends to run fairly conservative compared to other data sources. If they are saying 6.8gr is max I wouldn't stop at 6.4gr, I'd test right up to 6.8gr. Just use the COALs you are already using for the Zero bullets and the XTPs and find what powder charge works best.

May 12, 2014, 03:40 AM
The Hodgdon Load Data Site lists a Hornady XTP bullet in their data. The charge range of 6.0gr to 6.8gr is not all that marrow IMO. Also remember they are using a COAL of only 1.200" which is a short cartridge IMO. I do not like loading the bullets that deep in the case. If you lengthen the COAL and increase the case volume you can safely go to the Max charge listed in the data with that Speer Gold Dot bullet, or at least I would. (you may not want to)

Yes, CFE Pistol is a very new powder so only the online data sites will have data but at least you know the data was tested since the site is supplied by the powder's distributor...

Welcome to the forum.

up 2 snuff
May 31, 2014, 02:15 PM
Loaded and tested 6.0, 6.2, and 6.4 gn of CFE with 230 gn 45 acp, zero JHP, COAL of 1.20". All test rounds fired well out XDS and 1911. The 6.4gn rounds chrono'd at 840 f/s with the 1911, and 794 f/s with the XDS. I may test a 6.5 gn round, but overall I am pretty happy with the 6.4.

up 2 snuff
May 31, 2014, 04:46 PM
Just wanted to add that there is a lot less powder residue with CFE Pistol compared to Unique. It also meters better than Unique. I can keep it within +/- 0.025 with my RCBS unions powder measure.

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