New flavour of the month: Trail Boss


May 5, 2008, 07:38 PM
Hey HR,

I have noticed at the range lately that the new craze is Trail Boss. Does anyone use it for 38 spcl, 357 Mag, or 44 Mag? I met a guy yesterday at the range who was using it for 45 LC but he was packing up as I arrived and was in a hurry to meet his wife and was already late 45 minutes. Needless to say, I couldn't ask more questions.

What's the front page on this powder. I know only what the IMR website has posted. Those who have first hand experience, please let me know.


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May 5, 2008, 07:49 PM
no experience with TB in handgun cartridges, but TB is the secret sauce in the best subsonic rifle loads

May 5, 2008, 08:38 PM
I've used it for both 38 special and 45 colt loads. One of the things I love about it is it is almost impossible to double charge a case due to the volume the powder takes. My wife loves the loads for practicing with her 38.

May 5, 2008, 08:49 PM
please, by all means, go into detail. What calibers. I don't know hardly anything about this powder, only the little bit I have seen on the website so I hope to hear from all who have experience. This is Trail Boss 101. Let's all learn something.


May 5, 2008, 09:23 PM
Great for soft loads and lead bullets in .38 special.

Not too smoky, and it takes up lots of room and cuts down on the chance of triple charges.

May 5, 2008, 09:46 PM
I use it for all 3 you mentioned plus 45-70. Great stuff

May 5, 2008, 09:59 PM
I have used Trail Boss in .45LC, .44 Spl, and .357 Mag. I use it for modest velocity, low pressure loads with lead bullets.

I seems to be clean burning and very accurate. And I like the smell of it for some reason. Maybe I am associating the smell with the nice ragged holed groups? :D

It is a bit more pricey than say Unique or 231 and what looks like a 1lb container is in fact a 9 oz container because it is so light and fluffy.

May 5, 2008, 10:05 PM
Is it cleaner than Unique? I dig Unique, but it makes a filthy mess on my S&W Distinguished Combat.

May 5, 2008, 11:12 PM
Thanks guys, I use Bullseye and titegroup for 38 spcl and 2400 for 357 and 44 mag. Bullseye is great but filthy, thus the Titegroup. 2400 is great for 357 and 44 mag. But you know how it is... It's like a soap opera...Ever learning but never ending. I'm just a handloading Junkie.

May 6, 2008, 12:11 AM
I like TB even if my powder throw doesn't, I think TB is a niche powder and Trail Boss fits it well.

May 6, 2008, 03:48 PM
TB is the bee's knees for soft-shooting cast bullet revolver loads.

I load it in .357mag with 158gr LSWC and .44mag with 240gr LSWC.

It is darned clean-shooting.

Forgot to add: My RCBS Uniflow powder measure meters it well.

May 6, 2008, 04:41 PM
Watch the pricing.If a dealer tries to charge you the same price as other pounds of powder are going for,look elsewhere,It's a 9 oz jug,and you have to figure it by 'cost per ounce' to see if it's priced competitively.
Designed for low pressure loads,especially cowboy shooter loads.
I"ve used it in 45colt and .38 special,and it works fine.
some loaders,like my dillon,require the rifle bar be used to get a large enough charge,it's that 'fluffy'.

May 6, 2008, 05:41 PM
I use it for 41mag, 38, 357,45. I have shot 308 and 223 in subsonic loads. Great stuff and easy to load. I have used both lead and jacketed bullets.

May 6, 2008, 09:10 PM
It works really well in cast bullet 200 gr. loads in .44 Spc. for IDPA.

Clean and makes power floor for ESR with a full case.

May 6, 2008, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by SASS#23149

Watch the pricing.If a dealer tries to charge you the same price as other pounds of powder are going for,look elsewhere,It's a 9 oz jug,and you have to figure it by 'cost per ounce' to see if it's priced competitively.

I agree. The last two cannisters I bought were correctly priced at $11.50 each, plus tax, at a local retail store.

When it's priced like that, it's really no more expensive than most of the full one-pound bottles at retail stores.

For those of you who haven't seen it first hand, here's what the buzz is all about as far as being light and bulky:

BTW~ I am amazed that it meters thru my Lyman #55 powder measure so well. I loaded 100-rounds of .38_special last night with 158-gr cast LSWCs and the first five throws and then every fifth throw was a perfect 4.2-grains.

May 8, 2008, 05:11 AM
I'm using it in .45 LC, 45-70, .357 Magnum, .38 Special, .45 ACP and .500 S&W. So far I've been very favorably impressed. I don't get quite as tight of groups as I was getting with bullseye (in .45 acp and .38 special) but it burns a heck of a lot cleaner and I feel much safer in terms of double charges. I've got a batch of 8mm Mauser and 7.62 x 54R loads under cast bullets that are loaded and ready for my next trip to the range. The last batch of 7.62 x 54R's I tried were not bad but not quite as good as using 2400 . .but I think I might've worked that issue out. (won't know until I get range time)

Overall I like it . . buy it by the 5lb jug. (8lb size)

Peter M. Eick
May 11, 2008, 04:48 PM
Trailboss is great stuff. Simply put!

You can load it with progressives and not worry about double charging since it will spillout and let you know if you screwed up. Basically, I am loading most of my midrange revolver rounds with it. It can be accurate and it can be pushed a bit, but don't start breaking the powder. It does not like to be compressed.

Here are some 50 shot offhand groups at 15 yrds with trailboss. These are at max or just mildly over so I don't recommend them.

I would say that I need to work on my accuracy, but since these were offhand groups, it may have just been me and not the loads.

May 11, 2008, 05:17 PM
trail boss is excellent stuff. easy to use. fills the case very easy. Hard to double charge. very light recoil. Just too many positives. Overall its a great powder worth every dollar of it. Currently i have two bottles in my cabinent.

May 11, 2008, 06:42 PM
I shoot a good number of subsonic .308 loads, and TB is my favorite powder for this.

May 11, 2008, 07:14 PM
I'm in the process of working up some Trail Boss loads in my .44 special model 441.

Had not found the point of aim at first on the 265 grain SWC bullets, but at the end of the shooting session dropped POA to 6:00 o'clock and in they went in the little ring.

Only bullet I shot that didn't shoot well was the NEI 429235 bullet that was 245 grain with gas check and lube. Still working on that one.

But was really surprised that those 265 grain heavy bullets did as good as they did...recoil wasn't bad either.

The Lee SWC of 200 grain with HP, an older bullet mould, did really good at 1.5 inch best group at 15 yards.


May 11, 2008, 07:28 PM
crazy thing is Trail boss is not the Flavor of the month either. i mentioned trail boss over a year ago when it first came out. Every month seems like someone else stumbles across it. Reviews have for the most part been pretty positive with very little people not liking it. Just like i mentioned a year ago. As more and more people start to use trail boss and see its advantages more and more people will see the benefits and start using trail boss. Its an excellent powder that cleans very well and shoots really good.

May 11, 2008, 09:30 PM
Use it in .41, .44, and .45 colt. Easy to dispense from my little dandy measure. Great groups, as shown in other post.

May 11, 2008, 11:02 PM
I loaded up a bunch of .45 ACP with TB under some 200 gr SWC and some 230 gr RN. Shoots good and is clean. Seems more expensive than Clays or Universal for no bump in performance with these bullets. Fills the case so no chance to double charge if that is a problem.

October 28, 2008, 03:52 PM
does anyone know which lee dipper is correct foe a 45 colt load of trailboss(approximately 6grain)? it is not listed on the slider index for some reason!

October 28, 2008, 06:32 PM
I have tried TB but for me it is really smokey in 45LC.

In every caliber 38spc, 45LC and 45ACP there is a distinct ammonia smell. Am I the only one that experiences this?

October 28, 2008, 08:35 PM
Nope, distinctly smelly. Try a heavier load in the 45 Colt. Most of the posted loads are well below SAA SAAMI pressure. You can extrapolate a load that will get closer to the pressure limits. It should be less smoky.

Ky Larry
October 28, 2008, 10:27 PM
I've shot it in .38/.357, 44 Mag and .45 ACP. Meters well, clean, accurate, doesn't lead barrels. IIRC, I read somewhere it burns at a lower temp than most powders. It's all I load for lead bullets.

October 28, 2008, 11:12 PM
i read its a really fast powder so be careful extrapolating loads cause you might get some kinda krazy pressure spike, speaking of which... i also read if you load some powders down low enough youll get magnum -like preassures/velocity... why dont people do this and save powder, for use in there mag guns anyhow? or is it too unpredictable to do this?

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