CFE Pistol Powder report


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lx2008
July 6, 2014, 12:47 PM
hi, i just found some of cfe pistol for the 1st time since its been introduced.

i`m going for some loads in a 45acp 1911 Valor.

need a little help in knowing what to expect with respect to burn characteristics, and comparisons to other powder such as titegroup
that i mostly use for this pistol.

i have mostly used hard-cast lead ( 18 hardness) 200gr bbswc.
but with this new powder and whats its supposed to do for copper,
i thinking on using 200gr plated of the same type and 185gr. jacketed
from Sierra.

any users of cfe pistol want to chime in?

i know the cfe does work as advertised as the 223 version has all but eliminated copper in all my ar`s and even my m16 which i run very hot.

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ArchAngelCD
July 6, 2014, 01:16 PM
I haven't found any CFE Pistol available locally yet. IMO there is no need for a Copper remover pistol powder because the velocities generated in a handgun won't come near being high enough to leave Copper in the barrel anyway. Reports do say it's accurate so even if there's no need for removing Copper accuracy is never a bad thing! lol

(The CAP key is your friend)

lx2008
July 6, 2014, 01:53 PM
i can see your point about the velocity and jacket material left in the bore.

i also read that in several other forums. but, i have run copper solvent
thru my pistol bbls. w/ syn. brush bristles and got blue on my patches.
so i guess it can`t hurt to have a little xtra help. i not much for scrubbing
copper out!

bds
July 6, 2014, 01:54 PM
I think CFE Pistol fills the void that Winchester/Hodgdon powders had that is filled by Alliant's Unique, flexible powder well suited for full-power loads in various pistol calibers.

Although Universal comes close, I have used WSF to load full-power loads but I often needed to use high-to-near max load data for optimal accuracy. Perhaps Winchester/Hodgdon wanted Unique/Universal like powder produced domestically to better capture the market share currently held by Unique and to attain higher velocities of WSF?

I haven't used CFE Pistol yet but it seems promising as flexible W231/HP-38 almost capable of higher velocities of WSF. When CFE Pistol was introduced, I considered it as W231/HP-38 replacement but looks like I may consider it as replacement for WSF.

Reinz
July 6, 2014, 04:13 PM
I picked up some CFE because it was the only pistol powder I could find.

I figured if it drives a copper bullet, why wouldn't it drive a lead one?

I needed the powder for 38's. I went to the Hodgdon 's website and there were just as many loads for lead bullets as there were for jacketed.

No big deal.

rskent
July 6, 2014, 04:52 PM
I just got a few pounds. I have not had a chance to try it out yet.
How do you like it?

il.bill
July 6, 2014, 07:54 PM
I have used CFE Pistol Powder for reloading .38 special, .357 magnum, and 9x19mm Luger so far. I like it very much. It meters very consistently, although it seems to bounce around more than other powders and I started putting a sheet of paper under the powder measure to catch the wayward grains.

CFE Pistol loads use more powder by weight than my regulars (Bullseye and Titegroup), but it has actually become my new favorite in my S&W 10-5 snubbie. A 158 grain LSWC over 4.4 grains of CFE Pistol has made me a better shooter with that short barrel revolver.

sauer1911
July 6, 2014, 08:56 PM
For IDPA, I am running a sig TTT 1911 .45acp in CDP class. I just started loading 6.2grains of CFE behind a 230gr fmj rn at 1.22"oal.

It is alot more accurate than the 700x or WST or AutoComp i have tried in the past.

be safe.

lx2008
July 6, 2014, 10:27 PM
thanks for the tech info people.

will be trying some tomorrow. probably test these later this week.

will let you know.

ArchAngelCD
July 6, 2014, 10:45 PM
I think CFE Pistol fills the void that Winchester/Hodgdon powders had that is filled by Alliant's Unique, flexible powder well suited for full-power loads in various pistol calibers.

Although Universal comes close, I have used WSF to load full-power loads but I often needed to use high-to-near max load data for optimal accuracy. Perhaps Winchester/Hodgdon wanted Unique/Universal like powder produced domestically to better capture the market share currently held by Unique and to attain higher velocities of WSF?

I haven't used CFE Pistol yet but it seems promising as flexible W231/HP-38 almost capable of higher velocities of WSF. When CFE Pistol was introduced, I considered it as W231/HP-38 replacement but looks like I may consider it as replacement for WSF.
IMO Universal already covered the niche Unique has considering Hodgdon had Universal blended to mimic the performance of Unique.

From what I can see CFE Pistol and AutoComp are very close in performance but both are too new to really know for sure. In any case more powders are a good thing and it seems they all have their place.

trigga
July 6, 2014, 10:46 PM
i finally found some decent powder again. i did see some cfe pistol but only 1 lb cans. there were also a few power pistol and a 4 lb. I grabbed the 4lb of power pistol because i know i may not see it for a while. really wanted more bullseye.

sauer1911
July 10, 2014, 06:05 PM
I have 3 more pounds of CFE Pistol left. I really like it for my .45acp, 230fmj rn, 6.3gr, 1.22oal. At 10 yds it is awesome.

BUT I have alot of older powders to work thru, oldest being my 700x. and I have alot of that 8# keg left. Then Titegroup, WST, Autocomp.

Yeah I know its a tough delimma, but i will soldier thru.

Damn that CFE is nice!

be safe

quigley257
August 7, 2014, 08:55 AM
I recently worked up some loads for my XD40 4" using CFE. I loaded up some mid-level loads and tested them the other day. The powder is a ball style that meters through the powder measure very easily and precisely. I used 165gr plated hollow points from X-treme Bullets http://www.xtremebul...Now-s/48075.htm . These are good bullets at a very competitive price point. I started out using low/mid range jacketed bullet data since the X-tremes are a plated bullet. I ran two strings of 5 shots over the chronograph and was pleased with the numbers. I also ran through two mags just stump shooting and they seem to be quite accurate. I will do some paper testing when I get more time to get group measurements. This is the load I settled on for everyday practice rounds.

Bullet- 165gr Xtreme HP
Brass- Speer
Primer- CCI 500
Powder- CFE Pistol
Charge- 6.4gr
C.O.L.- 1.125"

Springfield XD40 4" barrel. Chronograph at 15' from muzzle.

Average velocity- 1032fps
Hi- 1046fps
Low- 1025fps
ES- 21.3
SD- 8.7
AD- 6.1

lx2008
August 8, 2014, 03:46 PM
have yet to try some. thought i would this wk. but just got too busy.

does anyone have any personal use with a 200gr swc?

was using titegroup w/ an avg. fps of 863.

i do know the CFE needs to be a little hotter to burn correctly
but not worried. my cast 200`s are B.H. of 18 so i can get hotter
if need be.

this weekend for sure so if you guys have any cfe data for 200gr swc,
i really appreciate the info tonight before i get started.

therealwormey
August 10, 2014, 04:42 AM
i shot my first CFE today. done some comparison shooting. loaded 100 rounds devided into five powders. so 20 rounds per powder. to try and make it fair i didnt use any of my weights or data from prior loading. used hodgdon data except for the bullseye powder i used the newest lee book.again trying to make if fair i loaded all at max load data.yes i used caution when loading max data but i didnt use starting loads because my gun dont like some of the loads and doesnt cycle well at starting load so dont act like i'm an idiot for using max loads to start. i've used W231 and all these in the past except CFE and didnt have any w231 or would have been in my comparison.
loaded all last thursday and shot all today as it was a dreary cloudy humid day.
this is 9mm using a ruger P85. 115g FMJ in R-P cases and cci sp primers. the data is copied from my excel program that does the math for the ftlbs etc. but i dont know how to make it readable when copied to forum so i removed a lot and had to add the ----'s to make it half readable. seems CFE has highest velocities but bullseye seemed the most consistant. accuracy?????
i dont know. thatll be another test another day. after the first 2 powders it was hard to tell.

Powder---Velocity---Ft lbs Energy------Power Factor

Autocomp--1117------318.54------------128.46
CFE--------1181------356.08------------135.82
Bullseye----1127------324.26------------129.61
IMR 7625---1078------296.68------------123.97
IMR 4756---1068------291.20------------122.82

huntershooter
August 10, 2014, 06:33 AM
So your results are from the Excel program, not chrono data?
You might find that chrono/"real world" results differ from the program.

therealwormey
August 10, 2014, 05:10 PM
So your results are from the Excel program, not chrono data?
You might find that chrono/"real world" results differ from the program.

you misunderstand.that is my real world chrono data on a excel spreadsheet.
i have created a sheet for each caliber i load. i find writing time consuming(and i cant read my own writing) so when i shoot i have a small digital recorder hangin on a lanyard around my neck.as i shoot i just say the results and when i get done or usually later that night i playback my results and type in the numbers. if you set up your spreadsheet and have a section off to the side for powder,primer,case, bullet mfg,bullet type,,,anything standardly used, then do a data validation to creat a dropdown for each so you dont have to type in standard things.you just click the one for that day. i type my velocities in and it does the math for the count,st dev and mean avg using the formulas
=COUNT(Q3:Q42)....=STDEV(Q3:Q42)....=AVERAGE(Q3:Q42)

then i type those results in on another part of the spreadsheet and and it does the math for ftlbs and energy using the formulas
=(D4)*J4^2 / 450450 and =D4*J4/1000

only problem is when you copy data from a spreadsheet to the formum is it doesnt keep the spacing so the columns are garbled and it makes no sense.

it looks like this sample mess that is hard to read

Load Data And Performance
Test Date Bullet Type Grn Weight Powder Trickled Up To Pwdr Grn Weight Disk or Measure Primer Notes Velocity Standard Dev Ft lbs Energy Power Factor
4/20/2014 Remington JHP 110 H 110 22.5 stckd .71 .76 CCI SP STD 1586 22 614.26 174.46
4/20/2014 Remington JHP 110 H 110 22.5 stckd .71 .76 CCI SP MAG 1619 23 640.09 178.09
5/14/2014 X Treme PHP 158 H 110 Tricked Up To 6.7 1.09 CCI SP MAG 1240 33 539.33 195.92
5/14/2014 Winchester JSHP 125 H 110 Tricked Up To 22 1.46 CCI SP MAG 1646 19 751.84 205.75
5/18/2014 Winchester JSHP 125 H 110 Tricked Up To 21.8 1.46 CCI SP MAG 1583 24 695.38 197.88

kcofohio
August 10, 2014, 09:56 PM
Thanks wormey, for your data.

I placed some CFE Pistol on backorder. So I'm watching this thread with much interest. :)

lx2008
August 11, 2014, 03:37 PM
+1 on the data.

if you own a 1911 .45 and get a chance before i do to crony some loads,
please post them.

i`m trying to get info using a 200gr hardcast swc. not too hip on the hotter velocity the hodgdon data implies for this particular bullet but going to try it anyhow.

CosmicCoder
August 11, 2014, 05:31 PM
I just went through 10 months without being able to find my favorite .380 ACP and .45 ACP powder - Unique. In mid January I switched over to HP-38 since I was able to find that powder. Then starting in June I ran into problems finding HP-38 [or 231] so I decided to give CFE Pistol powder a try since it was readily available. Last week I was able to find 2lbs of Unique at my lgs so I can get back to my preferred loads. My feeling thus far regarding CFE Pistol powder is that if I can't find my preferred powders, it will do but I would need to do more load development. Below are my chronograph results todate comparing the various loads. I've also included my .357 Mag data for comparison.


Caliber Gun Bullet Powder MV Energy PF

.380 ACP LCP 90gr XTP 4.5gr Unique 950 180 86
4.6gr CFE 915 167 82

PPK/S 90gr XTP 4.5gr Unique 1051 221 95
4.6gr CFE 1016 206 91

92gr LRN 3.8gr Unique 972 193 89
3.4gr HP-38 891 162 82
4.1gr CFE 869 154 80

95gr LRN 3.4gr HP-38 917 177 87
4.0gr CFE 884 165 84

.45 ACP XDm 200gr XTP 7.2gr Unique 1002 446 200
7.6gr CFE 932 386 186

200gr LRNFP 6.0gr Unique 849 320 170
5.7gr HP-38 836 310 167
6.8gr CFE 822 300 164

230gr XTP 6.7gr Unique 951 462 219
7.1gr CFE 872 388 201

230gr LRN 5.8gr HP-38 848 367 195
6.5gr CFE 828 350 190

.357 Mag 686+ 140gr XTP 8.5gr Unique 1258 492 176
18.5gr H110 1326 546 186
15.3gr 2400 1283 512 180
8.5gr CFE 1055 346 148

140gr LTC 7.7gr Unique 1248 484 175
17.0gr H110 1315 537 184
15.0gr 2400 1340 558 188
7.8gr CFE 1051 347 147

158gr XTP 8.0gr Unique 1190 497 188
16.5gr H110 1192 498 188
15.0gr 2400 1259 556 199
7.9gr CFE 1126 445 178

158gr LSWC 7.0gr Unique 1133 450 179
15.0gr H110 1216 519 192
14.5gr 2400 1293 586 204
7.1gr CFE 1123 442 177

kcofohio
August 11, 2014, 07:44 PM
Hey CC, pardon if my ignorance shows, but where did you find the charges for CFE? Or are they loads you worked up to? Thanks! :)

KansasSasquatch
August 11, 2014, 09:40 PM
Hey CC, pardon if my ignorance shows, but where did you find the charges for CFE? Or are they loads you worked up to? Thanks! :)
www.hodgdonreloading.com and the Hodgdon printed pamphlets are probably the only places to get CFE Pistol data so far. hodgdonreloading.com doesn't work too well for me on IOS (iPod touch) but it works great on my desktop computer.

CosmicCoder
August 11, 2014, 10:57 PM
kcofohio previously posted:
Hey CC, pardon if my ignorance shows, but where did you find the charges for CFE? Or are they loads you worked up to? Thanks!

I started with the info from Hodgdon's online website http://www.hodgdonreloading.com/ and worked up the loads shown in my previous post. As KansasSasquatch stated about the only place you can find published CFE Pistol powder loads is on the Hodgdon website. If I were really serious about switching to CFE Pistol, I would spend additional effort on load development - I'm sure I could probably work up loads with better perfomance.
--
CC

kcofohio
August 12, 2014, 04:46 AM
Thanks CC & Kansasasquash! Yes, I have seen the Hodgdon data. It looks to be an all around pistol powder. Just thought somebody else may have published their own data. :)

One more question CC. Any signs of lead or powder fouling? Thanks!

CosmicCoder
August 12, 2014, 09:47 AM
kcofohio previously posted:
One more question CC. Any signs of lead or powder fouling?

I don't know if I buy the "Eraser" moniker but there was no noticable leading from each 10-shot string for each bullet. However as usual I did shoot the jacketed XTP's as the last chronograph strings in each load test so that would have helped clean the bores of any lead. I haven't shot a lot of lead rounds using CFE so I can't say how it will perform with respect to leading in the long run. Nor did I notice any untoward powder fouling although I did notice more smoke than usual with the last round of load testing from my LCP and PPK/S in the .380 ACP loads.
--
CC

Potatohead
August 12, 2014, 04:13 PM
Thanks CC & Kansasasquash

Ive got a new name for KansasSas:

"Young RC"

txwingnut
August 12, 2014, 08:06 PM
I dont believe CFE helps with leading, only with copper fouling. But I may be wrong.

CosmicCoder
August 12, 2014, 08:26 PM
txwingnut posted previously:
I dont believe CFE helps with leading, only with copper fouling. But I may be wrong.


You are correct txwingnut. CFE is supposed to help remove/eliminate copper fouling and not lead fouling. But for me at least that would probably a hard claim to verify since I've never noticed any copper fouling in my handguns.
--
CC

KansasSasquatch
August 12, 2014, 08:28 PM
Ive got a new name for KansasSas:

"Young RC"
Nah. rcmodel has probably forgotten more about firearms/reloading than I'll ever know. I've just had too MUCH free time the last year or so.

I'm sure when the next round of manuals are published there will be a good bit of CFE Pistol data floating around but I somehow doubt it will vary much from what Hodgdon has out out. Of course companies like Speer and Hornady will publish data for their own handgun bullets, but the Hodgdon data should be a good place to start.

therealwormey
August 13, 2014, 08:12 AM
i did another comparison shoot of CFE. this time for .40 S&W. only did 4 powders this time. i was a little surprised because i been using IMR 4756 for 45acp with good results so i figured it would rank good with the 40. im thinking autocomp or cfe will be my .40 powders. havent been loading that caliber for long so i was wanting to do a comparison. I used 165 grain Xtreme RNFP HPCB which is their heavy plate base so i loaded on the high side. winchester cases,cci sp std. heres my results.

powder-----velocity---std dev--Ft lbs Energy--Power Factor
IMR 4756---1097-------28------440.81--------181.01
Autocomp-- 1069-------14------418.59--------176.39
CFE---------1112-------12------452.95--------183.48
Bullseye-----1030-------13------388.61--------169.95

Potatohead
August 13, 2014, 01:05 PM
rcmodel has probably forgotten more about firearms/reloading than I'll ever know

I would say "true" to that...but I dont think RC has forgotten anything about handloading:):

lx2008
August 19, 2014, 06:42 PM
hey guys, i just finished shooting some strings w/ CFE Pistol and a 200gr cast swc. used a beta master while shooting. (10 rds per string in .2 gr increments)

since hodgdon was the only data i could find for it, that is what i used.

their data starts @ 7.4 grs. for a purposed 1047fps. i started at 7.2 and worked up to their max of 8.2 in .2 increments.

most forum posters are questioning whether at a lesser charge in order to get a slower velocity i.e. 850 fps., all the powder would be burned up. i will say that i did load a few @ 6.2grs and w/ an avg. velocity of 868 and i did not notice any unburned powder but the accuracy did suffer.

starting at 7.2 grs, w/ an avg vel. of 978
at 7.4 - avg. 992.5
at 7.6 - avg. 1012
at 7.8 - avg. 1029
at 8.0 - avg. 1051
at 8.2 - avg. 1080

as you can see, at 8.2 i did not get close to hodgdon`s top velocity of i believe of 1120.

accuracy wise, the best was 7.4 grs. i was shooting off a rest at 25 yds
with my DW Valor. out of the string of 10, all except 1 was inside 1.5in.!

7.6 was next - pretty much the same except for 3.

after that, from 7.8 to 8.2 they all fell inside 3in. w/ 2 flyers.

it seems that at a higher velocity, accuracy suffers a bit but not too bad.

going to try some 9mm string sometime at a future date. let you know.

TommyD45
August 19, 2014, 07:46 PM
I don’t know if if it’s “cleaner” or “dirtier” than other powders or if it really cleans out copper fouling. Those things are kind of irrelevant when you are running out of powder to load your 45 acp and the powders you usually use cannot be found. So I tried some with my cast 230 grain LFN bullets. I am casting my bullets using a 230 grain Long Flat Nose (LFN) mold made by LBT and using the LBT soft blue lube. My brass is an unsorted mix of various headstamps and I use CCI large pistol primers.

Some observations:

I don’t get the velocities Hodgdon claims out of any of my guns with this powder. I shoot both full size 1911 with a 5 inch barrel and a compact with a 4 inch barrel.

In the 230 grain 45 ACP, Hodgdon lists 2 bullets, a 230 Lead Round Nose (LRN) and the Hornady 230 grain jacketed flat point. Oddly enough, Hodgdon specifies the same OAL (1.20) for both even though the LRN is a much longer bullet and would therefore be seated deeper into the case giving less room for the powder. The max charge for the Hornady flat nose listed is greater than the max for the LRN.

When my cast flat nose bullets were loaded (OAL 1.20”) at the max charge listed for the LRN, I only got 809 fps (Std Dev 15) with my full size 1911. A factor contributing to the lower than predicted velocity was probably that my 230 flat nose bullets are much shorter than the LRN bullets. Using the same OAL gave a much shallower seating depth with my bullets. I would hazard a guess that having more room for powder in the case gave lower pressures and therefore lower velocity.

Since I was trying to achieve the “standard” velocity of 830 fps for my 230 grain bullet, this was unsatisfactory.

Since my cast bullets were even shorter than the Hornady FP jacketed bullets, I reasoned that it would be safe to cautiously venture into the load data for the Hornady bullets.

To make a long story short, with 6.5 grains of CFE Pistol I was able to get 827 fps (Std Dev 8.5) even in my compact while staying below the max charge. Earlier in this thread, CosmicCoder reported 828 fps with the same load using LRN bullets. I tried a test with 0.2 grains more powder than this, but I started to get more erratic velocity readings on my chronograph. I interpreted this as a sign to back off and stay with the 827 fps load.

DISCLAIMER I found this load to be safe in MY gun, using the bullets that I cast and lubed with LBT soft blue lube, and loaded with the components specified. My compact gun is rated by the manufacturer for +P and +P+ ammo. I do not recommend this load for anyone else’s gun. As any reputable reloading manual will tell you, start with the minimum load and cautiously work up your loads while paying meticulous attention for any signs of excessive pressure.

Toprudder
August 20, 2014, 02:30 AM
I have done a few loads of CFE with Xtreme plated bullets. Unfortunately, the day I shot them I was having a slight issue with my chrono so I did not get complete data for some of the loads. Below is what I have.

All loads were Winchester small primers in RWS cases, bullets seated to 1.225 OAL. Gun used was a Witness 45 4.5" barrel. Population of 5 each unless otherwise noted.

230gr RN, 6.2gr, 709fps, 10.3sd
200gr SWC, 7.2gr, 800fps, 4.4sd (only 3 shots registered)
200gr RN, 7.2gr, 741fps, 21.8sd
200gr HP, 7.2gr, 746fps, 19.9sd
200gr HP, 7.4gr, 797fps, 22.7sd

For what it is worth. In other powders I have noticed roughly 30 fps less velocity with small primers. Also, expect more velocity out of a 5" barrel.

So far I like the CFE powder. My powder of choice for 45acp has been Titegroup, but I am a relative newcomer to reloading and am still learning. :-)

rduckwor
August 20, 2014, 04:04 PM
http://www.fototime.com/0112CACDA353D8D/large.jpg

Mo Bullet 200 GR LSWC, 5" 1911

RMD

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