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CFE Pistol Powder - my results

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by buckwheat762, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    Ok, i haven't seen much data floating around on the CFE pistol powder. I have 8lbs of it, hoping to use it to ride out the shortage on my regular powders.

    I had high hopes for this powder. After chronographing my 40 and 10mm loads, i am very disappointed. This powder is slow burning and does not come close to the published hodgdon velocity.

    Bullets used: Federal HST pulled 180gr
    Primers used: CCI small pistol
    Powder CFE Pistol
    Cases- mixed headstamp
    OAL - published min...


    So on 40S&W, i loaded at 6.2gr start and got a velocity of 958FPS average out of a glock 22 with a lone wolf threaded barrel. i jumped up to the book max after that of 6.5gr and averaged 1048FPS out of the same pistol.

    I decided to go past the published max since i had no pressure signs at max, and it was diminishing returns... i actually got slower FPS out of higher charges. 6.8gr brought me an average of 1038fps. no pressure signs, but why waste the powder?

    10mm
    Federal HST 180gr
    Cases - starline once fired
    powder - CFE Pistol
    Primers - winchester
    OAL - published minimum.

    For my 10mm, i now know why my glock 20 Long slide doesn't eject cases with the 22lb recoil spring... its because this powder causes bunny fart loads.
    I loaded 7.2gr at minimum OAL. Out of my glock 20 long slide with 6.61" lone wolf barrel WITH a compensator, i got an average of 1106 FPS. very underwhelming. I ran out of primers, but have more coming monday and will reload higher charges and retest.

    The same 7.2gr load resulted in 1046FPS out of the stock glock 20 setup. Pretty clear that more powder is needed as i believe the longer barrel with this pistol gives a much better advantage with this powder and its burn rate.

    overall, very disappointed with this powder. I am going to keep developing loads, but this powder should be considered decent for plinking loads. Hopefully because its a slower burning powder, it will benefit more from my 6.6" barrel on the longslide G20. I could live with using only that as i have 2000+ cases that need to be loaded currently.

    Haven't tried 9mm yet, and no plans to currently. If you have a suggestion for a load you would like to see tested in 10mm or 40s&w, i will be happy to load a handful up and see what they do on my chronograph. i can test in the backyard too, so no waiting until "range day" :tongueout:
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  2. njl

    njl

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    I think some of Hodgdon's published data gets loaded and collected by "the new guy" and published unchecked.

    If you want to see even more disappointing results, use their data for Universal Clays in .45acp with 230gr FMJ. Then for laughs, compare that data to Speer's data.

    I may be kidding with that first bit, but some of their data really is inexplicably way off.
     

  3. Gen421

    Gen421

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    CFE is the solution to a problem that doesn't exist!
     
  4. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    actually it is a solution to a problem... the problem is i can't find any powder worth a crap around here because all the stupid neckbeard hillbillies buy it up and neckbeard it.

    cfe is my solution to not having powder. i hope this 10lbs worth i have(double checked my stash) will last me until some REAL powder starts showing up. Id do some bad things for 20lbs of power pistol right now...

    ill develop my own loads and just use their max data as a starting point.

    i have a pound of winchester auto comp and about 3/4lb of power pistol. i like the cfe better for 40 cal, but for 10mm it stinks... have to wait until i get more primers tomorrow and retest. hoping 8grains of cfe in 10mm will be a nice 1300fps load out of my 6.6" barrel.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  5. JBnTX

    JBnTX

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    Well, I like it and I get great accuracy with it. I shoot mostly cast bullets so the CFE part doesn't apply, but it's still a good powder.
     
  6. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    i did get excellent accuracy out of it... just wouldn't cycle the slide/recoil spring combo on my g20 LS. super accurate at 15 yards. didn't have time to shoot further. i put 5 shots touching the red dot of the bullseye. i dont normally shoot pistols either. can't wait to work up more loads, this powder puff stuff isn't going to fly. i bought 10mm for the hot loads that can be used. i expect 1300fps out of a 180gr bullet from my 6.6" barrel with compensator. I am going to get it.
     
  7. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    I agree.

    I think this happens quite a bit and not just with Hodgdon. It might seem more frequent because they publish so much information (offer so many powders). I do have to say, when I first saw some of the CFE Pistol load data, it kind of hopped out as being likely overly optimistic.

    Of course, this is nothing compared to some of the VV load data... ;)
     
  8. jre1954

    jre1954

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    I got my 2 pounds of CFE pistol from a bullet casting/reloading shop visiting a town over an hour and a half away. There is only IMR4227 and H110 on the shelves locally. The shop reloads with IDPA shooters being their best customers. I asked if they had any pistol powder and they brought out 1lb containers of CFE pistol saying they were switching to this. I think they were doing me a favor and not just trying to move it. I am happy to have found it under $30 a pound.
    In .40/10mm I have some 200gr nosler and 230gr bullets from xtreme in addition to 140gr barnes xtac and 165gr fmj. Need to read more to understand how a heaver grain bullets react to slower burning powder. H110 is calling for 20-21gr of powder for a .357 mag loading with a 125gr hornday xtp. (handload.com). I will be sure to check this against at least 3 reloading books/reference sites.
     
  9. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    manuals are a good guideline, but this is new powder with virtually no "manual data" in any book i have seen. hodgdon has some online, but its clearly inaccurate with the reference to the FPS. i was mainly trying to give FPS results as i have not seen any for 10mm and very few ACTUAL results from 40 cal.
     
  10. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but CFE Pistol is very similar to AA#5 and HS-6 on the burn rate chart, so I would think it burns a bit fast for producing hot 10mm rounds. My brother and a co-worker picked up 8 lbs each recently, and IIRC it says 9mm - 40S&W - 45 ACP right on the jug. Your OP said this stuff burns slow but I'd say it actually burns pretty darn fast compared to what you're really needing.

    Tell you what, I'll buy those 10 lbs off you for a reasonable price :supergrin:
     
  11. Jailer

    Jailer

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    I have a pound of CFE Pistol powder because it was all I could get at the time for my 10mm. I had intentions of using it for 165 Speer Gold Dots, but after reading your post I will most likely save it to when I can get some 200 grain slugs. I can't find any data for loading this powder for the 165 grain bullets. Has anyone tried to load 165's for this powder?
     
  12. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    Actually, with 10mm, you will be better off using the CFE Pistol with lighter bullets than the heavy slugs. It is too fast for maximum performance with the heavies in 10mm.

    For the 165's, just use the Hodgdon 180 data, you know you have some headroom with that strategy.
     
  13. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    while that is a lovely offer, the one thing i have never been accused of is being reasonable :supergrin:

    did a bit more today. I am happy with the 40 S&W results after looking around online. i have federal HST 180gr bullets and was able to meet and exceed their numbers with 6.2gr of powder. 1058fps average. I will use this load going forward. I dont shoot competition, i dont give half a crap about "power factor" or all that nonsense. I am loading these for SHTF/target ammo. I like to shoot full power loads through my pistols, not pansy ammo.

    now, i did more working up with the 10mm. i know i can get better powders. and i will... i will check my honey hole for powders and hopefully they will have some bluedot.

    with 10mm, i got all the way up to 8.1gr before i lost light and couldn't use the chronograph any more. at that load, i got average of 1180FPS. i did some really, really crude math and figured i could possibly hit 1250 FPS with 8.4gr, again, out of a 6.61" lone wolf threaded barrel with compensator. recoil is minimal... less than an HST compared 40 cal loading.

    i have 10rds of 8.2 and 10 of 8.3 loaded up and waiting for this weekend when i go to the range to test accuracy and velocity. 8.1 had no pressure signs at all, very little black/carbon on the case and it measured .4275 after firing... less expansion than the 40 sw cases at 6.2gr. If i can run 8.2gr all day with this powder, i will be quite pleased. Thats fast enough for me with a 180gr.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2014
  14. thomas15

    thomas15

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    I think this is a valid observation. Some of the data on the website is different from that published in the free "Basic Handloaders Manual".

    In my opinion, the best all around manual is the Lee book. Having said that, some applications are really sparse and others seem out of wack when compared to several other sources. It makes it very difficult to fully trust any source of data. I guess that's just the way it is though.
     
  15. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    wanted to update. i went past the max loads as i felt they were very weak. the max "book" load from hodgdon wouldn't even cycle my pistol. i loaded up to 8.1gr and had no pressure signs. The case measured .4275 after firing and did not show me anything that a case loaded at 7.4gr did not have. saturday i am going to the outdoor range and will have a chance to test accuracy rather than just FPS. i have 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 and 8.4gr loads worked up. i will start with one at a time the 8.1gr loads. have 10 of each and see what happens.
     
  16. Schrag4

    Schrag4

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    Well it sounds like this powder isn't quite right for 10mm. On the plus side, though, your velocity for 180gr 40 S&W out of a Glock22 sounds pretty darn good! Despite burning roughly as fast-burning as AA#5, you're getting probably about 100 FPS more velocity than you could with #5 out of the same gun, from what I can tell. The published data from Hodgdon and Alliant seem to back that up.
     
  17. Kentguy

    Kentguy

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    buckwheat762,
    Thanks for posting your results, nice work.

    The "Hodgdon 2014 Annual Manual - Reloading" magazine has a complete test/run-down of Hodgdon's CFE Pistol powder. It doesn't list 10mm as being one of the calibers that this powder was "Ideal" for. I did find it interesting that next to the last paragraph states;
    "After hundreds of rounds in a diverse group of firearms, Hodgdon's new CFE Pistol powder certainly lived up to the claims make about it's ability to fight copper fouling... In addition, the accuracy in most cartridges tested and velocities in the most appropriate calibers were quite acceptable and on par with the guns' histories."

    Translation - That's about the nicest way of saying that they have produced some very average rounds with this powder.

    The article it'self is well written and full of data... a good read.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2014
  18. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    well, to update, i am done with CFE and 10mm. it sucks.

    i started to show signs of pressure issues at 8.4gr. not the case bulging, but the primer was a LITTLE bit flattened... hardly could tell, but under good lighting and a very close look and you could see it. at 8.4gr i got no consistency whatsoever out of the load. some shots i would get 1215 FPS, other shots 1285fps. nothing ever higher than the 1285 and that was one round. most were in the 1230's.

    8.3 was pretty awful as well. low 1200's.
    8.2 was high 1180's and 8.1 was about 1160 average.

    overall will not use for 10mm again. glad i didn't load up more ammo as i would have been pulling all the bullets.

    i have 2000 pieces of brass to load, and another 2k on the way some time next week from starline. i am going to take a chance and buy blue dot(if the local shop has any, ill stop by this morning after my 1st meeting of the day) and hopefully they will have some.

    on another note, not happy with my G20LS... trigger wont reset. like its sticking. may have to strip it down and take it in to glock.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  19. WeeWilly

    WeeWilly

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    I think you will find Blue Dot a much better performer with those 180gr slugs and your long barrel. 11grs should get you well into the 1300's. I will be interested to see any results with those HST's into wet pack etc. Gold Dots start really coming apart when you push their 180's above 1300.

    On the reset failure. Are you using a stock weight striker and trigger spring? I think the LW LS kit comes with a light striker spring. Resets can get problematic with light striker springs (even with stock weight trigger spring) and IME will likely have reset problems with a heavier trigger spring like Ghost sells and light striker springs.

    Good luck.
     
  20. buckwheat762

    buckwheat762

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    yes, i am using a light weight striker, light weight striker spring that came with ghost evo elite trigger(4lb spring) and competition spring kit. if i had to change out the trigger reset spring to glock, i dont have a problem doing that. I may have to just get rid of all of it and get a vanek or something... didn't want to go that route if it could be helped though. thanks for the tip, i appreciate it.

    also, i am interested in doing a gel block test, but dont know how to make it or anything. my local shop had no blue dot :( so i have no powder for my 10mm in the mean time. i have some OLD accurate #5 and #7 as well as 1# of winchester auto comp.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014