Trouble with Trailboss?


hariph creek
December 25, 2011, 03:16 PM
I'm loading Trailboss for my 1950 Colt Detective Special. My objective is very mild and reasonably accurate ''powder-puff'' loads. This is may not be relavent but, I'm using 158gr LSWC Bear Creek Supply Moly-bullets.
I'm using an old Pacific powder measure. It works fine with other powders, ball, stick, etc...
I'm trying to start the load at 3.5gr. My results are erratic at best, ranging from just over 2gr to nearly 5gr! I'll set the measure, triple check the weight, fill 50rds in a block, inspect the cases and it's all over the place. Some nearly full, some nearly empty, some fairly close.
The little ''donuts'' seem almost ''static clingy'' in the way they stick to stuff, too?

Is anybody having this problem? Should I just make up a dipper?

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Peter M. Eick
December 25, 2011, 03:24 PM
No. Mine is very consistent. Either your measure has some residual static or has some clinginess to it. Try wiping it down with a used dryer sheet.

My uniflows will drop trailboss to +/- 0.1 grn all day long.

December 25, 2011, 03:25 PM
Yep, dip it or weigh it. Static can be an issue. Wipe everything down with a used dryer sheet.

hariph creek
December 25, 2011, 03:37 PM
I'll try the dryer sheet.
Does it need to be a used one?
Can I use a new one?
Money's no object, plus it would smell ''outdoor fresh''!

Could the static issue cause that much deviation?

December 25, 2011, 04:01 PM
Yes it could.

Erratic operation of the measure from one throw to the next is probably more likely.

I'd fill the measure, then throw 20 or so charges and dump it back in the can to settle the powder in the hopper.
Then get serious about operating the handle exactly the same each time.
A bump at the top and bottom of the stroke will help settle the powder the same each throw.

Static-Guard spray works great:

You can get it at the grocery store or probably Walmart.

It will also stop your slip from clinging, and keep packing peanuts under semi-control.
I also use it on my truck seats in the winter to keep from getting my socks knocked off with a lightening bolt every time I get in and out.


Master Blaster
December 25, 2011, 04:35 PM
Its very consistant through my Dillon measures. Try the dryer sheet it sounds like static which is also bad in other ways for reloading. You may want to consider adding a little humidity to your reloading area.

Actually you are in Washington St. Plenty of humidity there, is it possible, could there be build up or residue from other powders fouling the measure a bit?

December 25, 2011, 04:41 PM
Static or oil will ruin powder measure consistency.

December 25, 2011, 05:11 PM
Get a RCBS Chargemaster.

December 25, 2011, 05:22 PM
Take a "Q" tip lightly dipped in alcohol and swab the throat of your dispenser. Sometimes risidual lub will get in there and "bridge" it. Be careful to completely wipe the lub from the throats of your casings to eliminate that chance. Sounds like you have an obstuction of some kind. What dispenser are you using? Can the "gauge" get loosened?

December 25, 2011, 05:27 PM
Get a RCBS Chargemaster.

With all due respect, that's a waste of money for this application. It may be fine for precision rifle loads, but Trail Boss is a light recoil powder to be used for cartridges designed for black powder. Perfect for 38 special. If you can't make your powder drop work, make your own dipper out of a used case with a brass rod soldered to it. TB is so fluffy, a crude dipper will easily get you 0.1 to 0.2g accuracy which is way better than you need for your applications.

I found 2.5g Red Dot under the 158g LSWC Bear Creek bullets to be real fun to shoot also. About 600-650fps out of a 4" Service Six.

December 25, 2011, 05:31 PM
A RCBS Chargemaster is never a waste of money.

December 25, 2011, 06:16 PM
I use quite a lot of TB. I measure it with dippers most of the time, some I made to fit the specific application, some I use Lee dippers. I do sometimes use an Old Bonanza Pistol Powder measure, it works well, also. My Lee disc measure and my Lyman 55 are more trouble with TB so I don't use them.

Greg Mercurio
December 25, 2011, 08:14 PM
TB will bridge if you look at it crosseyed. It's a lovely powder but has not much mass for it's size. In other words, the density is very low so when it has a chance to bridge it will. I use a double tap at both ends of the stroke with my Bonanza powder measure and it meters just fine with excellent consistency. Not tapping will guarantee erratic charge weights.

December 25, 2011, 09:53 PM
Meters very well for me, and has never "bridged" in my measures and powder funnels. .30 cal and up anyway, haven't tried it in anything smaller.

hariph creek
December 25, 2011, 10:20 PM
I've tried tapping or knocking the handle to settle the powder. All told, I probobaly dispensed around 150 times to get 50 ''keepers.'' My throw is consistent. My friend, whose been loading longer than I've been alive, could'nt get it to work, either.
This measure I'm using is not contaminated with oil. It throws ball, stick and flake powder consistently (including Unique and Bullseye).
Humidity is not lacking either, I'm in the pacific northWET.
I think static charge makes since. The Trailboss is sticking to the shells and scale pan, too.
I've been using his setup for a while now. I'm about to start at my house with a press he gave me. I'll be using dippers for now, to save money.
I'm only loading for two guns right now. My 10mm load is dialed in and this .38 load makes two. We're going to make up dippers for these specific applications. I can still do load development at his place, though.


hariph creek
December 25, 2011, 10:25 PM
FWIW, I'm using Accurate #9 for my 10mm. It flows and measures beautifully. Maybe I'll look at one of their faster powders for my .38? Eventually I'd like a nice powder measure, Accurate's ball powder is nice.
In particular RCBS's scale/measure combo has my eye. But for now, money's tight.

December 26, 2011, 09:04 AM
I think static charge makes since. The Trailboss is sticking to the shells and scale pan, tooYep, there you go.

December 26, 2011, 02:07 PM
I use a lot of Trail Boss in my 38 spl. and 45 ACP loads, my Lee Pro Auto disc throws this powder very accurate as does my Hornady measure on my LNL. I wipe the outside of the measures with a used dryer sheet, however there has been times when this powder did bridge using the LNL measure but never the Lee Pro.

December 26, 2011, 04:40 PM
Trail Boss meters exceptionally well in my Dillon 550.

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