CFE BLK

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CFE BLK

Postby Decoy Defender » Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:52 am

I've recently done some testing with Hodgon's CFE BLK and had not so great results. Bullets have been 250 and 300gr Speer Deep Curls and primers have been Winchester Small Rifles. Gun is a Ruger american 22" barrel. First issues I had on round one of testing were terrible hang fires and incomplete powder burn. You could pull the bolt out and see the suit and unburned powder laying in the barrel. The reloads did not have any crimp applied to them due to the case mouth being almost too tight on resizing. When the bullets was seated during reloading, a small sliver of copper jacket was peeling off so I figured there was no need crimp. So, after a call to Hodgon, I was told to try applying more crimp to the case. Next round of testing I did just that. Kept everything the same except a very minimal flare of the case mouth to alleviate the jacket cutting, and then a nice heavy crimp after seating. Hang fires stopped, but still had very dirty cases and powder laying in the barrel. So for my next trick, I've still kept everything the same as the last round of testing, but switched out to a CCI mag 450 primer to continue my troubleshooting. I've been using toned down data from Sierra's book that has information listed for a 240gr bullet when testing my 250gr bullets.

Has anyone else done any testing with this stuff and if so, what have your results been like?
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Re: CFE BLK

Postby Al in Mi » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:18 am

My guess is you'll want to stick with the heavier bullets with CFE BLK.

Years ago I had similar problems with 1680 in my 16" Bushey until I got to a point where I was compressing the powder a bit then hang fires stopped and accuracy really tightened up the higher I went. I've pretty much used CCI 450's since day one as Remmy 7 1/2's are scarce around here.

My expander die doesn't expand at all but I use it to flare the cases a little plus I deburr the case mouth a little bit on the inside which eliminates the scraping. And I pretty much crimp everything to .473
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Re: CFE BLK

Postby Lar45 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:02 pm

I tried CFE BLK with some Speer .458" 350s that I sized down to .452". I lubed with Imperial sizing die wax and ran them through a Lee .451" sizer in a strong press.

Hodgdon's data for a 300 had a max of 37gns, but seated to 2.065"
I seated them to 2.300" and started at 36 gns which gave 1426fps lots of unburnt powder and hangfires.
I kept adding more powder until it started to burn clean, that got rid of the hangfires.
I ended up at 43gns which gave 1792fps and good accuracy. Empties are landing about 2' away, so it doesn't seem to be over pressure.
I used this load on 3 pigs last year, worked great.
This is not pressure tested or published load data, so use at your own risk.
by seating the bullets out farther, I got more case volume to use, so more powder could be added safely.
I'm shooting a Ruger AR. Your Ruger American should be able to handle more pressure safely.

You didn't list your load, or how far you went down from Sierra's Data, so it's hard to tell for sure, but the unburnt powder and hangfires sounds like it is either too light of a crimp or the pressure is way too low for the powder to burn.
Going from a 240 to a 250gn bullet shouldn't require more than 1 grain reduction.
Check your seating depth compared to Sierra's.

If it was me, I'd get a Lee case mouth expanding die, or the Lyman M die. Anything that will just kiss the case mouth to open it slightly. Don't use the regular belling die as it expands the case neck which gives less tension on the bullets. Do like was mentioned above and deburr the inside of the case mouths, then flare them slightly and you should be able to seat them without any problems.
Be sure to taper crimp to get rid of the slight flare.
If that doesn't do it, I'd start increasing the powder charge until it burns clean.

Just my 2 cents worth
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