Trail Boss powder


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Conservidave
June 29, 2013, 01:47 AM
Anyone using Trail Boss for .45 ACP or .40 S&W?

Local warehouse store has about 20 9oz bottles and I might pick up one or two if I can use it. My Lyman manual doesn't list it for these calibers.

Thanks,
Dave

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rcmodel
June 29, 2013, 01:50 AM
My Lyman manual doesn't list it for these calibers.
Nor does Hodgdon/IMR.

For a very good reason.

Small capacity, high pressure auto pistol calibers is not what it is for.

rc

ngnrd
June 29, 2013, 02:03 AM
Actually, Hodgdon/IMR doesn't list any loads for the 40, but they have three loads listed for the 45. Check their website for load data.

rsrocket1
June 29, 2013, 02:59 AM
I personally would not buy it. You can get the same performance with other powders at a lower price. It works well as a low recoil powder in "made for black powder cartridges" like 38 special and 45-70 since you cannot double charge it without overflowing a case, but it is so bulky that some calibers like 9mm cannot get enough powder in it to cycle the action. In fact, you may not get enough momentum with a case filled to the bottom of a seated bullet in 40 S&W. Plus you should never compress Trail Boss.

In terms of value, first of all check the price per pound (a Trail Boss jar only has 9 ounces in it).

PVD
June 29, 2013, 08:20 AM
I don't think I'd use it for a hunting or defense load but it's one of my favorite powders for a nice, mild plinking load. I'm finding 3.8gr. of TB behind a 200gr SWC cast bullet is very accurate in my 1911 .45 ACP. I'm also trying some of Smith's TrailBoss reload data for my 30-06 Enfield. The bullet drops significantly at 50yds so I need to use the flip-up peep sight set for +/-200yds. I haven't found "The Load" for this gun yet but it shows promise. As for cost, a 9oz jar was $17 last time I bought some and it takes very little powder to fill a case.

M.D. Smith has a number of recipes for TrailBoss. http://www.reloadammo.com/45loads.htm

Walkalong
June 29, 2013, 09:32 AM
Lots of other more suitable powders. Trail Boss doesn't play well with plated or jacketed, but would work in .45 ACP with lead. It isn't suitable for .40, but would make it go bang, barely.

What other powders does the LGS have?

floydster
June 29, 2013, 09:37 AM
Trail Boss is a fun powder in the 38 Spl.

Conservidave
June 29, 2013, 10:48 AM
Guess i'll pass on this one then.
WST, 296 and AA#5 are the only other powders on the shelf at this point. I still have a good supply of Unique and HP-38 but thought I could expand my inventory a little with something new, provided it would work for my calibers.

Thanks,
Dave

bobinoregon
June 29, 2013, 11:37 AM
I use Trail Boss in an ancient Colt .45 It fills a niche but there's better and more reasonably priced powder for everything else of mine.

Walkalong
June 29, 2013, 11:39 AM
WST is great for light loads in .45 ACP.

AA #5 works well in .40 and is good for full power .45 ACP.

45lcshooter
June 29, 2013, 04:06 PM
Trail Boss is for your lead bullets, not jacketed. Your cowboy guns, 38spl, 357mag, 45lc, and rifles too, im going to be loading for my cast 170grs flat nose bullets in my 30-30, 308 and 30-06.

Trail Boss is kind of like your Pyrodex in blackpowder guns. But its smokeless of course. And its made for less recoil loads. Its your alternative to your normal Unique, Bullseye and so on.

ArchAngelCD
June 30, 2013, 02:45 AM
WST is great for light loads in .45 ACP.

AA #5 works well in .40 and is good for full power .45 ACP.
There you go, good advice...

biogenic
June 30, 2013, 04:01 AM
I got excellent results with 5 grains of either hp38 or unique behind a 200 grain swc.

Don McDowell
June 30, 2013, 09:53 AM
Trailboss's burn rate is between bullseye and red dot. The stuff is seriously fast, and builds very high pressures for the velocity it gives. It doesn't give top notch accuracy in any of the cartridges I've loaded it in, but it does make for lite recoil plinking loads. As has been mentioned it is sort of pricey per round , those cans are only 9 oz.

FROGO207
June 30, 2013, 12:40 PM
For those old 32 S&W short, 38 S&W short, and other black powder caliber top break handguns that are safe to shoot Trail Boss loads that are light are the best in my book. I take them out and let friends shoot them a bunch on the 4th just because. Also the day to shoot all the black powder relics that I have accumulated over time.:D

I have friends that shoot CAS and Trail Boss has no equal they say as it does not require the clean up that BP does and functions about the same for them.

ess45
June 30, 2013, 01:03 PM
I have used it for light loads in 45ACP, 400 Corbon, 38Spl, 45 Colt and 308Win with no problem. But it does not meter so well.

FROGO207
July 1, 2013, 07:48 AM
It works well if you use scoops instead of a powder measure.:D

stu1ritter
July 1, 2013, 09:11 AM
I have tried to use Trail Boss but the powder measure in my Hornady LNL press does not like the powder at all. Very crunchy in operation and I find intense variation between drops. I think the powder, due to its very large size, is bridging in the powder measure.
Stu

scotch827
July 2, 2013, 10:03 PM
I use the rifle rotor when using Trailboss with the LNL powder measure and find it very accurate. Not so with the LNL pistol rotor. I load 45 Colt lead 200 gr RN Missouri bullets with it for shooting steel.

jcwit
July 2, 2013, 10:30 PM
It works well if you use scoops instead of a powder measure

Right on.

I use a home made scoop for my 30-30 plinking loads.

stu1ritter
July 2, 2013, 11:22 PM
Interesting idea scotch827, I'll try that and see how it works.
thanks,
Stu

1KPerDay
July 3, 2013, 02:04 AM
Why doesn't it like plated?

ljnowell
July 3, 2013, 02:09 AM
AA5 is a great powder for 40S&W and 45acp! I load 40S&W for my dad with AA5 and 180gr LTC, they are very accurate and pretty soft shooting.

Walkalong
July 3, 2013, 08:18 AM
Why doesn't it like plated?I don't know why, it just doesn't like plated or jacketed in pistol calibers, especially if there is any free space in the brass after loading. Erratic velocities, erratic, and sometimes huge, ES & SD numbers, even at 100$ load density it can be erratic. A bang, then a poot, just doesn't work well. I'll post a sample later.

It does pretty well with jacketed in rifle if loaded to 101% load density. (IMR warns not to compress Trail Boss)

greenlion
July 3, 2013, 10:46 AM
Since Trail Boss was originally made to fill revolver caliber cases while keeping velocity and pressures low, it is not going to translate well into higher pressure cartridges like the 9mm and 40S&W. The 45 ACP is lower pressure and has a fairly large case too, so I can see it being a possibility, but I've never tried it. I have used it to make some low power loads for my Mosin Nagant. It work great in 38 special and 44 special plinking loads.

Walkalong
July 3, 2013, 11:06 AM
I'll post a sample later.Here is one.

warhwkbb
July 3, 2013, 11:52 AM
If I had nothing else available, I might use it for 45ACP with lead or plated bullets. I have used Trailboss for bunny-sneeze 38spcl and plated bullets successfully.

Speedo66
July 5, 2013, 02:06 PM
5.5 gr. of Trailboss behind a 180g lead bullet works well for a light load in my original 1873 in .38-40.

A double load of anything would probably blow it apart, hard not to see a double load of Trailboss.

This is no doubt what they had in mind when they brought this miniature bagel powder to market.

DeadFlies
July 5, 2013, 03:45 PM
As stated earlier, .45 is a large-cased, low pressure round and, if teh internetz is to be believed, plenty of people out there have used TB in their .45 with satisfactory results. Google is your friend on this one.

ArchAngelCD
July 5, 2013, 03:54 PM
Just to add to the conversation, Trail Boss makes a very good 45-70 load for use in older Black Powder rifles like the Springfield TrapDoor. Trail Boss even adds some smoke to the realism and the pressures are low protecting the rifle.

I was out yesterday with a 45 Colt and a TrapDoor with ammo built with Trail Boss and they were a hoot-to-shoot! Very light recoil, some smoke and the ammo was accurate too...

45 Colt w/250gr LRN bullet
45-70 w/405gr LRN bullet

Don McDowell
July 5, 2013, 05:41 PM
This stuff about trailboss being low pressure is totally false. Look at Hogdons data, it runs right at the firewall of sammi spec. The low velocity part is absolute , but the pressure the stuff generates is almost spooky when compared to other powders.
In rifle cartridges such as the 45-70 it will develop pressures nearly twice what blackpowder does, and yet only delivers at best 3/4 the velocity.

ArchAngelCD
July 6, 2013, 06:48 AM
This stuff about trailboss being low pressure is totally false. Look at Hogdons data, it runs right at the firewall of sammi spec. The low velocity part is absolute , but the pressure the stuff generates is almost spooky when compared to other powders.
In rifle cartridges such as the 45-70 it will develop pressures nearly twice what blackpowder does, and yet only delivers at best 3/4 the velocity.
So what you're saying is Hodgdon/ IMR are lying to us? From what I see you can't get enough Trail Boss into any case to cause an overpressure problem unless you compress the powder which is very dangerous.

Don McDowell
July 6, 2013, 11:07 AM
NO I am not saying Hogdon is lying to us.
I am saying people are not paying any attention to what Hogdons tells us in their data.
It is true you can't over load a "handgun" case, altho they do warn against any compression as when those little donuts get broken all bets are off on pressure.
But when you start looking at the data they provide on the web site using 45-70 trapdoor loads and the 405 gr bullet, Trail Boss produces the highest pressures (just a tad shy of the Saami max) with the lowest velocity, of 10 powders they list. And if anyone has messed around with trailboss and a 45-70 case, you'll know right away that the max listed load still leaves room for more powder...

anothernewb
July 6, 2013, 01:16 PM
I've had really good luck with 125 gr plated in both 38 and 357 cases.
but TB has really shined with 148 wadcutters.

stevehenry1
July 7, 2013, 10:27 PM
A while back I was looking for info for a low pressure load for a Webley MarkVI converted to .45ACP. I had figured on using Trail Boss, , but the info I found said NO to both Trail Boss and Tightgroup (the 2 powders I use the most). In fact, Unique was recommended. The reason--those two had very high pressures that the Webley couldn't take much of. Unique didn't have the big spike and was much safer than the other 2.

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