Cartridge: 45 Colt
Brass: Winchester, 1x fired
Primer: Rem 2½ Large Pistol
Powder: CFE Pistol 8.8gr (per Hodgdon)
Bullet: 250 gr Nosler JHP, #43013
Crimp: Heavy Lee factory crimp
Velocity: 841 fps (814,868,844,850,825,845)
Extreme Spread (6 shots): 814-868 = 54fps
Standard Deviation (6 shots): 19fps
LabRadar Series: S29
Firearm: Ruger Blackhawk, 5.5″ Barrel
Notes: Low flash.
Hodgdon claims 915fps at 13kPSI with a Hornady XTP, WLP Primers, 7.25″ test barrel. I started with the maximum load, on the assumption I would get a cleaner burn at a higher pressure (since 45 Colt is much lower pressure than most modern pistol rounds CFE was presumably designed for). I felt safe doing that because I had a tremendous safety margin since this was intended for a Ruger Blackhawk.
The WLP primer Hodgdon used in their load data is suitable for hard-to-ignite “magnum” powders. Given the inconsistent performance of this load, I should try the WLP or a magnum primer, with my next CFE load, and see if I get more consistency.
I tried this same load with mixed brass, and 250gr HiTek coated lead bullets and got:
Velocity: 963 fps (940, 948, 952, 963, 937, 948, 972, 963, 967, 972, 980, 966, 948, 951, 983, 983, 971, 977, 978)
Extreme Spread (19 shots): 983-937 = 46.12
Standard Deviation (19 shots): 14.63
LabRadar Series: S106
Notes: Recoil was not bad, but a bit snappier than I expected
I tried the same load, but with mixed brass and a powder-coated lead bullet, and got much more respectable numbers (LabRadar S106):
Velocity: 963 fps average
Spread: 46 = 983 – 937
StdDev: 14.63 (19x)