Hodgdon CFE 223 Powder/AR15
I am adopting the one load/one gun philosophy for my defense and target batteries. I don't hunt much anymore so I'll use factory ammo and existing hand load data when I do. I am doing more defensive training and skills practices which means higher round counts so I'm going to exclusively use a single new powder for my AR rifle.
Hodgdon released a new powder, CFE 223 (Copper Fouling Eraser) this spring (2012). Their 2012 manual lists a few loads but not nearly enough, especially for semi-auto or service rifles, specifically one with a 16 barrel and 1 in 7" twist. I am developing two loads with this powder: The first duplicates the military M193 load using 55 grain FMJBT w/c bullets and the second will be a mid range target load using 168 Hornady or Sierra 169 grain JHPBT bullets.
Most of the loads I in the Hodgdon manual are for bolt action longer barrel rifles and no other manuals list this powder as they were printed before it was released. CFE 223 uses a chemical recipe that prevents copper fouling and will gradually remove existing fouling. It is suitable for .224, .30 and other calibers, reportedly achieves good accuracy and higher velocities with loads ranging from 22 to 28.5 grains depending on bullet weight.
So, my reason for posting is to ask if anyone has worked up or found any good hand load data for similar circumstances. I have tried several different bullets, primers and recipes so far, all with reliable function and reasonable accuracy but have not yet found what I hope to be the best 'one load/one gun' combination. So far I have not had any problems with copper fouling but my total round counts with this powder are under 500 and 3,000 fps and up loads counts are under 100. As this is a new powder, none of the loading manuals will have any until the next reprint so it will be up to hand loaders to report what they are experiencing for all of us to share.
If anyone is interested in what I have found so far and I will compile it and send it to you with specific load data and results. I don't use a chronograph but approximate velocities should be easy to extrapolate. I have four batches of 20 rounds waiting for a drop in temperature to test now. The weather is too hot to hit the range every day but as I test, I'll be glad to share.
I bought 4# of it and have loaded alot for my .308's for which it has worked quite well, it pushes 125 bal tips & 130 TSX's very accurately and pretty darn fast - I extrapolated loads for my 325 WSM and although not the best, if it were all I had I could make it work well enough - I have not messed with 223 loads YET, will soon though - It seems like good stuff, meters well and the write ups for it are encouraging