Hodgdon CFE BLK – Ultimate Reloader


You see the powder on the shelf or in the book, but what exactly is it best for? This time I’m taking a closer look at Hodgdon’s CFE BLK, a powder I’ve used in both rifles and handguns.


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About Hodgdon CFE BLK

Here at Ultimate Reloader we are no stranger to Hodgdon’s CFE — Copper Fouling Eraser — line of powders. We’ve previously taken a close look at both CFE Pistol and CFE 223.

CFE BLK was specifically designed for subsonic .300 Blackout, but is also ideal for 7.62x39mm. As a ball powder, it meters consistently, particularly through progressives. 

From Hodgdon:

This spherical propellant is designed expressly for the 300 Remington AAC Blackout cartridge and meters very accurately.

CFE BLK contains our Copper Fouling Eraser ingredient, originally used in military propellant, which greatly deters copper fouling and contributes to longer periods of top accuracy with less barrel cleaning time.

It provides full function in modern sporting rifles throughout a range of bullet weights and is perfect for subsonic loads. In addition to being outstanding in the 300 Blackout, it performs well in many smaller capacity cartridges such as the 17 Hornet, 17 Ackley Hornet, 218 Bee, 221 Fireball and many more. It also yields top performance in the 6.8 Remington SPC and the 7.62X39 mm Russian cartridge.

Available in 1 lb. and 8 lb. containers.

Burn Rate Analysis

CFE BLK falls in the middle of Hodgdon’s burn rate chart— in the magnum pistol and 300 BLK subsonic range. Ideal cartridges include the .300 AAC Blackout, 7.62x39mm, .17 Hornet and .221 Fireball. We’ve also used it in the 500 S&W Magnum.

Under the Microscope

We compared CFE BLK to CFE Pistol, H110, and Varget.

CFE BLK had the most spherical appearance out of all the powders reviewed. CFE Pistol contained both flakes and spherical elements, H110 presented as a slightly flattened ball powder and Varget showed its iconic cylinders. 

(L to R): CFE BLK, CFE Pistol, H110, Varget



I pulled results from previous 7.62x39mm stories featuring CFE BLK, Berry’s 123 grain 7.62x39mm plated bullets and Hornady’s 123 grain 7.62 Spire point bullets.

Average velocity for the Berry’s bullets was 2313.6 fps, only slightly less than the Hornady’s 2339 fps. Both loads had standard deviations of approximately 17 fps. 

.300 Blackout 

Shooting subsonic .300 Blackout suppressed is incredibly fun and practical with noise levels comparable to a .22LR!

Our load results with Hornady 190 grain Sub-X bullets and CFE BLK yielded an average velocity of 1014.8 fps with a standard deviation of 29 fps. 

500 S&W Magnum

Pulling data from Hornady, a 350 grain Hornady XTP should run approximately 1800 fps from a 500 S&W while a 500 grain XTP should average 1600 fps. These are promising for handgun hunting. 


CFE BLK is a very versatile powder for both rifle and limited magnum pistol applications, best suited for .300 BLK subsonic and 7.62x39mm rounds. As a ball powder, it meters consistently from powder drops and progressives. 

(I tested this specifically on the Hornady Lock-N-Load AP.) The integral copper fouling eraser is also a nice feature. 

Get the Gear

CFE BLK is available in 1 lb. and 8 lb. containers from Midsouth Shooters Supply

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Gavin Gear

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