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CFE 223 for 7.62x54R?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by KansasSasquatch, Apr 12, 2013.

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  1. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Well I have plenty of this powder and I'd like to use it to feed my Mosin some hunting loads. The problem is I can't seem to find ANY data for this powder/caliber combo. I've e-mailed Hodgdon, no response. I've called them a few times and they must always be busy when I call. I've searched here and on Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and this is the only thing relevant that comes up http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=687015&highlight=CFE223+7.62x54R, still with no exact data. In that thread Jeeping mentions using .308 data, which is what I figured I might try, which would be in the 48.0-51.5gr range for a 150gr soft point. Has anyone tried it besides Jeeping? What kind of data did you use and what were the results?

    From all of Hodgdon's listed data, 7.62x54R charge weights, for just about every powder, always seems to fall directly between .308 and .30-06 charge weights. So a midrange .308 charge weight would be like 7.62x54 starting load and a midrange .30-06 charge weight would be a 7.62x54 MAX load. To me, it sounds good in theory, but this is/might be my first trip outside of published data and thought I'd get some advice/thoughts from more experienced reloaders. But I'm kinda thinking if I'd be better to start off with 48.0gr and work up to 51.0-52.0gr (or until I see some bad pressure signs).
     
  2. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    CFE 223 is a relatively new propellant as far as that goes. I have zero experience with it but the lack of data might be a telling thing. There might be some pressure spike problems or such so they decline to give data for you. Hodgdon is really busy these days and a slow response is is almost a given with all but the common stuff. Your reasoning is sound to me and as long as you started low and worked your load up this should be no big danger IMHO. You are stepping out of the tried and true so all bets are off, but as long as you stop when things get questionable I think you will be OK.:) Do let us know your results when you eventually figure out what works.
     
  3. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I'm going to try contacting Hodgdon again next week. If they tell me they've tested it and the results were bad in a blown your gun up way, I won't be doing it. If they say they just haven't tested it then I'll be testing some out next weekend if the weather is nice.
     
  4. JustSomeGuyinCA

    JustSomeGuyinCA Member

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    If you decide to go for it, I'd consider a chrono a must for this type of situation. At the very least, it will let you know exactly where you stand (velocity-wise) compared to established load data for this caliber.
     
  5. Tolkachi Robotnik

    Tolkachi Robotnik Member

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    The one to follow is 30-40 Krag.

    If you have data for 30-40 Krag, you have same pressure ballpark. You know the data is for a smaller case, maybe 6-8%. You can start there and work up. I would stay off the slower powders if you go this route, as they need to fill the case better or can spike.

    The .308 and 30-06 run at much higher pressures. They are modern where 7.62X54R came out before the 20th century.

    I know nothing of the CFE powder you are thinking about.

    If you see something for 303 British it would be close, it has a little higher pressure but very similar otherwise.

    The .308 case is similar volume to 7.62X54R but they are shaped differently and have almost 8,000 PSI difference in pressure maximum. If you use .308 data you need to pick what shows real low pressures in the .308.

    You are of course completely on your own here. I like IMR 3031 for 7.62X54R, and use IMR 4064 for larger bullets. I have tried some others with less accuracy. I have not tried anything faster than IMR 3031.

    Since this CFE must be for .223 I would wager it is in ballpark of 4198, 4227, and really quick powders. You would do better with something that is known to be good in 30 calibers.

    Don't get too intrepid.
     
  6. 4895

    4895 Member

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    Should I suggest the "tie it to a tree & pull the string" method of testing?
     
  7. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    From Hodgdon's website CFE223 is between BLC2 and H380. They list both BLC2 and H380 as usable powders but for different weight bullets, BLC2 with ligther bullets and H380 with heavier bullets. But they list Varget, which is faster than BLC2 for relatively light and heavy bullets. So to me it seems like they either haven't done the testing to be able to list x54R/CFE223 combos, or it acts erradically in the caliber. Being that close on a burn rate chart to BLC2 and H380 I really think it has to be a suitable combination at least for some bullet weights. But I think I'll just wait until I can talk to Hodgdon.


    93 IMR, Co IMR 4064
    94 NORMA 202
    95 Accurate Arms 4064
    96 Accurate Arms 2520
    97 Alliant Reloder 15
    98 VihtaVuori N140
    99 Hodgdon VARGET
    100 IMR, Co IMR 4320
    101 Winchester 748
    102 Hodgdon BL-C(2)
    103 Hodgdon CFE 223
    104 Hodgdon LEVEREVOLUTION
    105 Hodgdon H380
    106 IMR 4007 SSC
    107 Ramshot Big Game
    108 VihtaVuori H540
    109 Winchester 760
    110 Hodgdon H414
    111 VihtaVuori N150
    112 Accurate Arms 2700
    113 IMR, Co IMR 4350
     
  8. taraquian

    taraquian Member

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    While not directly answering your question I'll offer this; CFE223 works great in light projectile/light pressure loads for my .308, once I got into heavier bullets or higher pressure accuracy suffered and I noticed some blown out primer cups.

    They make great target loads, but I wouldn't use them on any larger animals they just don't seem to have much power.

    (I used 130 gr spitzers and 180 gr HPBT)

    If it works out let us know, I have some x54 brass that needs a load
     
  9. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    Well I spoke with a Hodgdon rep today. He told me that they had no data at all for this caliber/powder combo. I told him I had been considering using .308Win starting data. He told me that he couldn't officially recommend any data but said if he were going to work up a load for this combo that he would most likely start with BLC-2 data for 7.62x54R seeing as BLC-2 has a very similar burn rate. I didn't have the data in front of me but now looking at it I don't think I will follow that line of thinking. Typically, for just about every powder I've looked at, 7.62x54R data is right between .308 and .30-06 as far as charge weight. With BLC-2, Hodgdon's listed MAX for x54R is actually 1.5gr higher with a (150gr bullet) than .30-06. I think I'm going to start with the CFE-223 data for .308 like I originally thought about doing and work up until I find a good load or see signs of overpressure. I should have a chance to do this sometime this week or weekend and I'll report here how it goes, hopefully myself and my rifle are still intact.
     
  10. farmerboy78

    farmerboy78 Member

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    load data

    I'll give you some of my data... I load my 20" custom m39 with 43.5 gr of varget for 174-182 gr bullets for my accuracy loads... I use 44 gr of imr 4350 for 200 gr bullets... I use 44 gr of imr 4350 and 174-175 gr bullets for accurate low recoil loads... And 54 gr of imr 4350 and 174-175 gr bullets for my distance shooting in my .308 bore 28/76 mosin... Hope this helps...
     
  11. fizux

    fizux Member

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    Anybody receive an update from Hodgdon and/or conducted an experimental workup? I'm using 150gr .311s (my Tula bore slugs out to .316).
     
  12. Steve2md

    Steve2md Member

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2013
  13. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I did test my loads but I don't have my data immediately available, but I believe I used .308 data and stopped .5gr or so short of MAX. I do remember my accuracy was pretty terrible, worse than surplus Russian ammo, but that may be more due to the .308 Hornady bullets I had than the powder/cartridge combo. I couldn't get my hands on any .311 bullets at the time and I haven't tried to since. Recoil was pretty stout compared to every x54R ammo I've fired besides Herter's 150gr FMJ. PRVI 150gr SP factory ammo shoots good enough out of my rifle for hunting that I may not even try to experiment further. And since I'll only use a few rounds of it every year and it's fairly inexpensive ammo, the cost savings or reloading it won't be that great anyways. I may try to get my hands on a .312 bullet mold and make up some light plinking loads, but I won't use CFE223 for that.
     
  14. RentaCop

    RentaCop Member

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    subscribing
     
  15. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    I tried CRF223 in .308, mid-range load blew out primers, enlarged primer holes, and caused case-head separations with Federal brass.

    Load was worked up using Rem and Win brass, load was OK using that brass.

    I got the Federal brass second hand without knowing its provenance, but it sure did not like CRF223! :cuss:
     
  16. RentaCop

    RentaCop Member

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    I would gander CFE would do fine in the Russian with the lighter bullets.

    My experience with CFE223, is in the M700 8x57mm with bullets from 160gr-185gr. I would consider the overall results very good. I was able to track right along with hodgdon's data (charge weight/velocity) up to their listed max with the 175gr Sierras and 180gr Noslers with no overt pressure signs.

    What startled me was the velocity I was getting. Even though I was still with-in hodgdons loading parameters.
     
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