All right, made it out to the range today to run a ladder test with CFE223 powder and a 40 grain Sierra Blitzking bullet. The picture of the results are attached.
The Hodgdon website does not have very many loads for CFE223 powder. There were none for 34/35 grain bullets, which I have about 600 of.
I only had a few 40 grain bullets left so I loaded up five each of 27.5 (minimum load), 28.0, 28.5, and 29.0 (maximum load). When I got through loading those twenty, I had a dozen bullets left so I loaded four at 28.8, four at 28.3, and four at 27.7. I forgot what I was doing and shot the fourth one for the 27.7 target at the one below it.
I'm glad I did the other three loads, because the 27.7 turned out to be the best I've shot so far. That is three holes right on the last "7" below the 2 inch spot target. After the first two rounds, I brought the scope up two clicks to get the shots out of the writing.
I had eight 45 grain bullets left in a box so I loaded them up with 28.0 grains of CFE223 powder. I shot them first to heat up the barrel a little. The first two shot of the day are the two just to the left of the "45".
Before I shot, I inspected the barrel and it looked clean to me. I did not see any copper fouling, but without a bore scope it would be hard to see anyway. After I finished shooting, I inspected the barrel again and really can't tell you if it was any cleaner or not. It did look a little brighter but that could have been wishful thinking!! I can tell you that there was a little un-burned powder in the barrel. I would guess that with having to use such high loads, it must burn very slow.
I also loaded up some 69 grain Hornady BTHP with 24.7 grains of powder (for the AR) and found that they are so close to being a compressed load that I won't use the CFE again for anything heaver than 55 grains.
All in all, I guess I would say that I am happy with the powder, I will load 40 grain bullets with 27.7 grains of powder from now on for the Weatherby!!
OH, the other picture is 40 rounds of 115 grain bullets at 25 yards through my newish Taurus PT1911 9mm.