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  1. #1
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    Best Load For CFE 223 Powder With The Hornady 55 Gr. FMJBT ?

    Yesterday I made the switch from H-335 to Hodgdon CFE 223 powder. My general purpose load of H-335 with the 55 Gr. Hornady FMJBT has been 25.7 Gr. of H-335. I'm seeing that CFE 223 is a tad slower burning. I'm just wondering what you guys are running for charge weight on this powder with the 55 Gr. bullets? According to my new Hornady 9th Edition Reloading Manual, it is showing a max charge of 27.5 Gr. of CFE 223 for the 55 Gr. in 5.56 NATO, and 25.4 Gr. (2-1/10th grain less), for the same combination in .223.


    I have 2 bolt guns in .223, (A CZ-527 LUX, and a Marlin X-7), as well as 3 Ruger Mini 14's, and countless AR's. I want one load for all. I don't segregate my .223 / 5.56 MM brass either. I've never found any need to. I'm hearing really good things about this powder, and the guy I talked to at Bruno's Shooters Supply where I bought it told me it meters through a powder measure just as nice as H-335 does. He also said he has received really good feedback about CFE 223 in general. I'm hoping that it will burn a bit cleaner than the H-335. Although admittingly, I never found H-335 to be that dirty. I still like the idea of shooting a clean powder. Especially for a general purpose round. Anyway, I just thought that perhaps some of you guys wouldn't mind sharing what loads you've had good luck with using this newer powder. Thanks in advance.
    "The problem with socialism, is sooner or later you run out of other peoples money." Margaret Thatcher

  2. #2
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    I reload a lot so here is my 2 cents. I don't have that kind of powder nor have I ever used it.

    BUUUT it all depends on what kind of load you want and how accurate and all that jive you really want to get.

    In a perfect world your brass is a huge component, more important that what most people think. Molon put up the numbers (which I cannot remember off the top of my head) and variations in brass weight and internal volume can effect velocity by something like 50 fps. Assuming you had everything else exactly on that is huge and does make a difference if you are shooting for extreme precision. For run of the mill shooting it doesn't matter. It only matters to the point that it matters.

    It also depends on how accurate you are going to measure each charge.

    I assume you already have your dies and everything set up because obviously you've been reloading. If it were me doing it again just make use of a led sled or a solid rest. Do some experimental reloads in lots of 5's or 10's. I don't know what the starting charge is but lets say it's 25 grains... do 5 @ 25 then another lot @ 25.1 and then 25.2 and on and on until you hit the magic button. Using a sled does make this a lot easier.

    For me, my ammo is made for each gun because I like the accuracy part of it.

    If you're not into extreme accuracy shooting you should still work up to whatever load it is. What works for my rifle might not work for yours.

    If you want one load for all... just measure the velocity you've been used to and work up until you can match it.

  3. #3
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    Not looking for extreme accuracy here because the bullet I'm using with this load is incapable of it, (Hornady Bulk 55 Gr. FMJBT). I buy these in the bulk box of 6,000 bullets. It's a good bullet for general purpose shooting. This load is a M-193 Ball equivalent. Nothing fancy. For accuracy work I'm much more anal. I use the Sierra 63 Gr. Matchking, with an assortment of different powders. I also seat to a longer C.O.A.L. to get the bullet closer to the lands on my .223 loads. The long throat 5.56 MM chambers, it doesn't allow for this.
    "The problem with socialism, is sooner or later you run out of other peoples money." Margaret Thatcher

  4. #4
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    Just work up to your desired load. I don't know what kind of load it would be for that specific powder. I am 99% sure it will end up working just fine.

    I have toyed around with the idea of just making a giant load of all around ammo. My friend has an auto reloader and I could probably wind up with a few cases of ammo in a day if I try. So far I haven't done so though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by alamo5000 View Post
    I have toyed around with the idea of just making a giant load of all around ammo. My friend has an auto reloader and I could probably wind up with a few cases of ammo in a day if I try. So far I haven't done so though.
    That is exactly what I do. I just isn't necessary for me, along with all of the shooting I do, to try and make every round a super accurate load. I have a general purpose load I use for most everything, and it works out well for shooting sitting, kneeling, and offhand. These type of loads are far more accurate than anything I could hold for out to 200 yards.

    I'm going to go with the max load for .223 and make sure that cycles in my Mini 14's. I know everyone says the Ruger Mini 14's are over gassed, but I find it still takes a bit stiffer load to reliably cycle them, compared to my AR's. I'll make up a couple of hundred. Then take them to the range and give them a shot. If everything works out well, I'll go into "full production". I'll start with 25.4 Gr. of CFE 223. If I need to bump it up from there, I will.
    "The problem with socialism, is sooner or later you run out of other peoples money." Margaret Thatcher

  6. #6
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    The 6k pack of hornady 55 fmjbt is great. Works out to 7 cents per bullet. I find my loads using these are consistently around 1.5 moa out of my match barrels. Beats the pants off wolf gold or fed ae for nearly half the loaded round cost.
    Will - Owner of Arisaka LLC - http://www.arisakadefense.com

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    curious as to the best price you guys find on the 6k box... need to grab one and start doing my own. Getting bored with making 300BLK so much! LOL Like right now Brownell's has it for $415, and I can get $10 more off, plus free shipping
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  8. #8
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    I usually run 25 even with CFE 223 and a 55gr projectile. I have really good luck with all my 223 loads though, pretty much any recipe is going to come out more accurate than low end factory stuff.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwissyJim View Post
    curious as to the best price you guys find on the 6k box... need to grab one and start doing my own. Getting bored with making 300BLK so much! LOL Like right now Brownell's has it for $415, and I can get $10 more off, plus free shipping
    Brownell's has it for $420 with free shipping as an edge member (7 cents per bullet). I think they're running a promo right now for non-edge members to get free shipping, too.

    I just got in a 6K box from them last week, then divided it up among some friends. James took 1000, and another buddy of mine took 2000.
    Last edited by Slippers; 6 November 2015 at 09:40.
    Will - Owner of Arisaka LLC - http://www.arisakadefense.com

  10. #10
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    For a plinking load, I stay away from the Max load just because there's no reason to be screaming these rounds downrange, wasting powder, etc. Max for a 55gr in my book is somewhere in the 27.5gr range...I use an even 26.0gr of CFE with 55gr FMJs at 2.240"

    I usually use Reloder 10x, and was using 23.0gr for my 55gr plinkers. I dropped back to 22.0gr; every 30rds I save enough powder for 1.3 rounds to be loaded. It adds up after a while

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippers View Post
    Brownell's has it for $420 with free shipping as an edge member (7 cents per bullet). I think they're running a promo right now for non-edge members to get free shipping, too.

    I just got in a 6K box from them last week, then divided it up among some friends. James took 1000, and another buddy of mine took 2000.
    That's what I'm looking at,altho I can drop $10 more with my new EDGE membership code. I was just curious if you ever see these boxes cheaper anywhere. Atho the free shipping to me in AK is *huge*...
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    Jim
    "You can never have too many guns" - my wife's actual comment
    Alaska Fun

  12. #12
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    $420.00 for 6K is a good price. I like the Hornady 55 FMJBT's the best.
    "The problem with socialism, is sooner or later you run out of other peoples money." Margaret Thatcher

  13. #13
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    I think I'm going to try 25.0 of CFE 223 with the 55 Gr. Hornady's and see how that runs everything.
    "The problem with socialism, is sooner or later you run out of other peoples money." Margaret Thatcher

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwissyJim View Post
    That's what I'm looking at,altho I can drop $10 more with my new EDGE membership code. I was just curious if you ever see these boxes cheaper anywhere. Atho the free shipping to me in AK is *huge*...
    I have not seen the 6K box cheaper anywhere else yet, although I haven't been looking very hard. The free shipping is the clincher for certain, especially if it applies to Alaska.
    Will - Owner of Arisaka LLC - http://www.arisakadefense.com

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slippers View Post
    The 6k pack of hornady 55 fmjbt is great. Works out to 7 cents per bullet. I find my loads using these are consistently around 1.5 moa out of my match barrels. Beats the pants off wolf gold or fed ae for nearly half the loaded round cost.
    Damn. Got a link to where to get those bullets?

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