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Hodgdon's New CFE223 & 6BR

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Vartarg, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Vartarg

    Vartarg Well-Known Member

    I've got an F Class Savage in 6BR and a NF BR 12-42 scope. I'm using the 107SMK bullet, treated with WS2. I'm shooting at 200 yards.


    I'm posting this for a couple of reasons: one, I think there's interest in Hodgdon's new CFE223 powder; and to get some input and comments on my results.

    Re the powder, I decided to start with the CFE223 to see what the results are, and how it works in my 6BR. I've had good accuracy results with a .223 AR, but haven't done any velocity work with it. I also loaded some rounds with Varget for today.

    I got to the range about 8:30am....it's an hour from home...early for me, and the temperature was about 68 with mild humidity and there was little appreciable wind at least until I left at 10:45am.

    I began, just for benchmark purposes, by firing 4 five round strings with 29.8, 30.0, 30.2 and 30.4 of Varget. Accuracy was decent, with velocity ranging from 2701 up to 2733.

    I then fired 5 strings of five shots using CFE223 ranging from 29.8, in .2 increments, up to 30.6. Average velocity was from 2641 up to 2642. The SD in order were: 22.8, 24.7, 34.7, 14.0 and 32.8.

    I'm attaching a photo of the last two strings: 30.4 and 30.6 of CFE223. There were no signs of pressure issues at those levels. I'd especially appreciate comments about the high SDs. They were also high with the Varget, ranging from 13.9 to 31.8. It seems to me that there's not much velocity spread esp. with the CFE powder. The chrony is a CED M2.

    After putting 140 rounds through this new rifle, I haven't been able to observe any different or better cleaning qualities than other modern powders. I think that COULD be in part a result of using bullets treated with WS2

    Thanks, George

  2. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Well-Known Member

    Nice firearm! I would certainly try some bullets dry to see if there is an advantage with the WS2, and what effect it has on the the chronograph readings.
    Sierra is no doubt a great bullet, but there are a few other brands that may work as well, like the A-Max.
    What's the twist rate of the Savage?

    We probably need more input from other shooters on the CFE223 powder to make any educated determination on Hodgdon's claims. It appears to be a high energy powder though.

    You've probably seen this already at the 6mmBR site. Some good data.


  3. Vartarg

    Vartarg Well-Known Member


    Smitty: thanks for the response.....

    The twist is 1 in 8. I decided to go with the Sierra 107's...and you're right, lot's of good bullets out there: the AMax and the Lapua Scenar in particular. Right now I'm going to stick with the SMK...and work with other variables: seating depth, weighing bullets and brass, measuring and sorting on ogive, etc.etc.

    Re the WS2, I'll give that some thought. All my bullets, from 20gr .17's up to the 115's in .243 get the treatment, so I'm pretty committed to it overall. I expect it would increase the velocity.

    Thanks for the comment on the rifle....it's actually my first Savage and so far I'm very pleased with it.

  4. 788Ham

    788Ham Well-Known Member

    Do YOU like the new CFE223 powder? I saw a story on it just a short time ago, haven't heard anyone else using it. I shoot .223 reloads out of a Rem. 788 bolt, have used Varget and a couple of others, these others shoot very well, just wondering if I'd be at an advantage trying this. I shoot Hornady 52 BTHP and 53 FBHP bullets, these have shot so well I've never thought of changing anything. Appreciate your input, nice rifle too !
  5. Vartarg

    Vartarg Well-Known Member


    788Ham: yes, I like it.

    I've used it with excellent accuracy with 60gr Vmaxs in my 16" barrel .223 AR. I haven't found the accuracy to be any better, though, than Benchmark, N133 or IMR8208.

    I bought an 8 lb jug of IMR8208 when it came out, and think it's the cat's pajamas for my .204 and .17 Remington.

    When CFE223 came out, I bought an 8 lb. jug of that also....just kind of a reloading junkie with a thing about powder. I've not seen others using it in the 6BR....the "go to" powders for which are Varget, RL15, N540, H4895 and such.

    Since the rifle was new, and Hodgdon's been making claims about how the CFE cleans up, I thought I'd start the rifle out with that, and see if it shoots up to par with it. So far I've been satisfied with the accuracy, but for me the jury's still out re "clean up."


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