introducing a new gunpowder that precludes copper fouling in rifle barrels.
This is huge, especially for shooters of high volume rifles like the AR.
fouling and residue is pretty easy to clean out, but copper fouling left behind
from when the tight-fitting bullet goes down the barrel at high heat/high speed
is, at best, a real pain to remove. And if not removed, over time it degrades
powder is called CFE 223 (Copper Fouling Eraser). It works in a number of
different cartridges, but really excels in the .223 Remington/5.56 NATO and
7.62x51 NATO cartridges.
to not fouling barrels, this new powder also is top performer in delivering
peak velocities at acceptable pressures.
powder was announced recently, I asked Chris Hodgdon: “Does this CFE stuff
really work?” Of course, he said yes, but also sent a pound of the CFE for
kicks and giggles.
I did the
normal things like load some and shoot it for velocity/speed consistency. It passed
with flying colors.
16-inch barrel of an Anderson Manufacturing AR, a suggested maximum charge of
CFE 223 powder loaded into a Winchester .223 case with Federal 205 Primer and
topped with a 55-grain Hornady spire point bullet delivered a median velocity
of 2,942 feet per second. Through a Colt M4 with 24-inch barrel, the same load
delivered a median 3,134 fps. Standard deviation was 25 and 29.
loaded some Winchester .308 cases with a maximum suggested charge of CFE, using
Federal 210 primers and 150-grain Sierra Game King bullets (great hunting
bullets for .30 caliber) and shot them through a converted Mauser rifle with
24-inch barrel. Median velocity is easy to remember: 3,006 fps. Standard
deviation was 36. Getting 3,000 fps out of a 150-grain .308 load within
acceptable pressure is significant. Traditionally, it has been somewhat of a
challenge to get that speed from a .30-06, for example.
proceeded to load 100 .223s with the new powder and shot them quickly through
an AR that had a fully cleaned barrel – running it a bit hot but not overly so.
Following the quick 100 shots, I cleaned the bore over several days. Virtually
no indication of copper on the patches – even after several days.
would expect to see at least some green on the patches from copper fouling
following such a shoot. There was the tiniest hint of a green tinge after two
days on one of the patches, but it was so faint that we’re talking microscopic
amounts of residue – could even have been residual, it was so faint.
I corresponded with old buddy Ron Reiber at Hodgdon, and although he said they
had not specifically tested for such, that the additive in the powder that
precludes fouling, if anything, would extend barrel life. Not bad.
Hodgdon has come up with a real winner in CFE 223.
Comus is a nationally recognized hunting editor with Safari Club International
and a former WON Guns and Hunting Editor. His column appears every other week
in WON and he can be reached at email@example.com.
CFE 223 powder
works great for high volume shooting.