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A use for Trailboss in semi-autos?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Centurian22, Nov 19, 2013.

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  1. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    I was talking to another member about the usefulness of Trailboss powder and how it can be worked up and used for any caliber with any weight bullets (this can be referenced on the IMR page here: http://www.hodgdon.com/PDF/Trail Boss Reduced Loads R&P.pdf ). It is mentions that while usually accurate to reasonable distances (50yards or so) the reduced recoil loads will not usually cycle semi-automatic actions. I thought about working some up for 9mm and .223 (when I get them) but couldn't see much point beyond just some fun single shot light recoil lower muzzle blast loads. Then it dawned on me!!! Could these be the 'perfect' (ok fine not perfect but Very Useful) malfunction inducing, training loads?!? They'll fire, should hit target (though I'd expect a different POI), and may either 'stove pipe' or just clear the ejection port upon extraction, but will not pick up the next round for the chamber.

    Probably best to mark the "malf rounds" so as not to mix them up with others, then have someone else load your magazine. Upon getting 'click' instead of bang, perform your "tap rack squeeze" or whatever malfunction clearing drill of your choice and move on. Sounds awesome to me, I would think with practice and depending on your 'normal' ammo, it may be possible to tell from recoil and sound alone that it was different.

    I'm not sure what, if any, advantage this would have over a true 'dummy round' aside from being something different, but I would love to get people's input on this use and the potential benefits or any problems you can think of?

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I don't. I tried some in revolvers and do not care for it but just for grins I looked it up online.

    Hodgdon lists loads for the 45 ACP, 380 but not 9mm or 40SW. There may be others but I did not check.

    I would not even bother with it myself trying to make malfunctioning loads??:scrutiny:
     
  3. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    If all you want are practice loads that will induce malfunctions, rather than buy a special powder for it, just use the slowest burning caliber-suited powder you have and use listed starting loads. For me and what I have on hand, I'd use starting Longshot loads in the 9mm and starting Varget loads in .223. Chances are the starting loads won't cycle your action but will at least hit on paper, ensuring that the bullets go into your backstop. But you don't necessarily have to use the slowest powders suitable for your calibers, I've yet to use a powder in .45acp that will actually cycle any semi-auto .45 with listed starting loads. And that's using a wide range of powders; Bullseye, Unique, True Blue, Longshot, W231, Red Dot, 800x, and a few others that I'm forgetting about.
     
  4. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Rule3: I use it in my .32S&W Long revolver loads. As the link I posted explains Trailboss can be worked up for any pistol or rifle caliber. The purpose of causing malfunctions is to train with them and be able to quickly and efficiently clear them to be able to return the firearm to a functional state where it can continue to be used for protection.

    KS: I already have Trailboss for .32, I plan to work up some light recoil loads with it in .308 and 7.62x54R. Being new to 9mm I will only have Titegroup which is quite fast burning. Thanks for the input about the starting loads of slower powders, I'll keep it in mind for the future when I have more powders available.
     
  5. MrMarty51

    MrMarty51 Member

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    Something most shooters does`nt get in practice is clearing a malfunctioning load.
    I think it is a great idea so a person would have the practice in an emergency situation.
     
  6. stu1ritter

    stu1ritter Member

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    Centurian22, I load for .32 S&W Long for my i and j frame revolvers and happen to have a bottle of Trailboss on the shelf. Care to share your loadings? I load only 98 gr. WC at the moment. Are you weighing each charge or do you have a measure that can handle that small a quantity of Trailboss? Which measure if I might ask? I've had troubles with Trailboss in my LnL measure before and haven't been using it. When I was trying it in .38 Spc I was using the rifle drum and that seemed to work. With the pistol drum the charges were all over the place, due to bridging, I think.
    thanks,
    Stu
     
  7. noylj

    noylj Member

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    It works fine in .45 Auto. It doesn't meter that well, but it performs fine.
    .38 Spl, .357 mag, .41 Mag, and .44 Mag is where it really shines for light target loads.
    Don't compress the charge.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Trailboss is erratic with plated or jacketed in pistol calibers, but loves lead.
     
  9. KSCCHTrainer

    KSCCHTrainer Member

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    I've been using it with jacketed bullets in .44 special for around 3 years now and have found it to be very reliable. Erratic behavior only seems to come if you compress the charge. Hodgdon specifically mentions that it burns erratically if you compress it.

    I use the stuff specifically with Hornady's XTP jacketed hollowpoints in my 2" Taurus .44 special revolver. The velocity is right around 800 FPS and the XTP's are designed to expand very reliably at the lower speeds.

    The load point is just shy of where the base of a seated bullet winds up in the case. I don't have the TB weight for that load up here right now, but my PACT auto-dispenser fills the pan to the right point pretty much every time.

    Jim
     
  10. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    I've been using Trail Boss with cast bullets in .45 ACP. Pretty accurate and no malfunctions at all in two 1911s. No clue about how it performs with jacketed bullets and not interested in finding out.
     
  11. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    MrMarty51: I'm glad someone sees the value of this lol.

    DoubleH: I'm very surprised to hear it cycles a 1911 is that with 'heavy for caliber' bullets?

    Stu1ritter: I'm loading Rainier 100gr plated FN, and I'm using the Lee .5cc scoop (comes with the 9mm dies) which very consistently (with my technique, your results may vary) measures out 2.3gr of Trailboss with 1.265" OAL. These are just my first loads so far. This method is so easy I doubt I'll bother with trying my lee perfect powder measure. The case mouth fits over the scoop mouth. So I dip into the middle of the powder, pull out, tap to settle, set case on top of scoop, hold them together and flip so the case is on bottom, done. They shoot well but I haven't tried for accuracy yet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  12. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Centurian22, Yes I am aware of the "load anything" instructions for TB. I just do not care for the powder, it is expensive for that container that looks like a pound but is not. The Cowboy action guys like it though. It's good for those that want to fill a case up with powder.

    I prefer to load ammo that works, I have enough problems in life.;)
     
  13. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    I made up a Trail Boss load for my 10 mm, described here:
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=700533

    Short answer, filling the case 90% to the base of the bullet, it barely cycled the stock spring (16 pound spring, I think). I've not yet bought any more of these bullets, but I'm almost certain these rounds would not run the 20# spring now in the gun.

    If your only goal is to induce malfunctions, unless you already have TB, why not just work down with some other fast powder like Titegroup or BE or #2 or Red Dot or...until the cycling goes south?
     
  14. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    deleted smart remark
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I know not to compress Trailboss, and I never have in pistol calibers. I do use 101% Load Density in rifle calibers.

    I will state again that for the numerous applications I have tried it in, Trailboss has been erratic in pistol calibers with plated or jacketed. .44 Special is one I have done this in, lately as a matter of fact.
     
  16. Centurian22

    Centurian22 Member

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    Walkalong: erratic in velocity, accuracy or both? Just curious.
     
  17. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    I use it for lead in .45 acp and it makes a great target load. Works fine in my 1911s and meters consistently in my Dillon powder measure. Very accurate and consistent in .45 Colt and .357 lead bullet loads. When you buy a 5 lb jug it weighs 5lbs. It is designed for target loads with lead bullets in large capacity cases, and it works very well for its intended purpose.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Velocity.
     
  19. KSCCHTrainer

    KSCCHTrainer Member

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    Because you'd have to go far enough below the recommended minimum load to achieve it and that's just looking for a "detonation" to happen with usually catastrophic results using normal fast burning pistol powders.

    Not sure why, but something in Trail Boss' chemical composition or the actual size of the powder flakes seems to prevent this. Ask Hodgdon's customer service for an exact answer.

    Jim
     
  20. KSCCHTrainer

    KSCCHTrainer Member

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    Walkalong,
    I don't doubt you at all, but as I said earlier, I have not had that problem with the Hornady XTP bullets in .44, either special or Magnum cartridges. The .44 special load I use chrono's at 790-815 fps consistently with the 240 grain Hornady XTP and it chrono's 805-820 fps with 240 grain round nose, flat point (no gas check) lead bullets in .44 special. Got rid of my Tracker .44 Mag before I started using lead bullets so I don't know how they would have done. I used the same load in .44 mag for the XTP's and got pretty much the same velocity spread out of the 4" Tracker compared with the 2" model 445 in .44 special. I don't consider a spread of 25 fps to be erratic but you might.

    It may be the base configuration of the XTP's, I don't know for sure.

    Jim
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have seen similar low ES numbers with lead ("Loves lead" comment.), but not with plated or jacketed. Now I am curious. I have some .44 caliber XTPs, maybe I'll try it.

    N32C has shown results similar to Trailboss with plated.


    4.1 Grs of Trailboss in .32-20 with a 100 Gr Berrys gave an Avg 597 FPS with an ES of 479 with the powder back against the primer. This is normally where powder behaves better and gives a higher Avg velocity than if the powder is forward against the bullet. That same load powder forward gave an Avg 804 FPS with an ES of 67. That is completely backwards from normal results with standard smokeless powder.


    The cowboy action guys generally bring the gun up from a barrel down position to shoot. Maybe IMR is so smart they made TB shoot better powder forward. Maybe. The problem I have had is huge ES numbers. Bang, bang, bang, poot, bang. I don't like to use powders that lose a great deal of velocity if they are powder forward, and if a powder is going to perform the same way but opposite, it isn't useful either, IMO.
     
  22. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    There's a lot of people who think that phenomenon is a myth, or rather that it's caused by accidentally loading double charges. The Lee manual (p. 34-35, 2nd Ed.) says "do not become obsessed with worry about this very rare phenomenon," that this is only thought to occur with small charges of *slow* powders :confused: and also that it has not been possible to reproduce this under lab conditions in pressure barrels. This last point seems very telling.

    I'd have sworn there was a thread not too long ago showing tests (by Walkalong, maybe?) of drastically reduced charges in a pistol, down to the point of the bullets barely (or not even) making it out of the barrel, but I can't think up the magic combination of search terms to find it.

    But if it makes you feel safer, try 80 to 90% load density with Trail Boss. The difference vs. the same weight of a conventional powder is what, almost a dollar per box of ammo?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  23. doubleh

    doubleh Member

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    Centurian22, I'm using 225 LRN.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=523172
     
  25. Buck13

    Buck13 Member

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    Thanks. That was a lot farther back than I thought! I must have lucked into it via some search I did late in the summer or a link from a recent thread.
     
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