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Trail Boss in 45 ACP?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by santacruzdave, Jul 3, 2018.

  1. santacruzdave
    • Contributing Member

    santacruzdave Contributing Member

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    I picked up a 5 lb jug of Trail Boss. Mostly to use in low power revolver loads which I'll use with my new to shooting son, daughter and their spouses.

    The thought crossed my mind of loading some 45 ACP with Trail Boss. I have some 200 gr SWCs and some 200 gr. RNFP bullets. Hodgdon shows a load for 45 ACP and 200 gr. SWC starting at 3.5 gr and a max of 5.5 gr.

    My question is does anyone have experience with Trail Boss and 200 gr bullets in 45 ACP? I'll be shooting these loads in a Springfield 1911 mil-spec. Wondering if the 1911 would cycle at the starting loads.
     
  2. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I played with Trailboss in 45 ACP. Did Trailboss under a Penn Bullet 200 gr Round Nose Flat Point Bevel Base and some Precision Delta230gr FMJ. It is very soft shooting. I had to run a softer recoil spring in my XD-45 Tactical (5-inch barrel) to get them to run reliably but they where soft shooting.
     
  3. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Not 200 grain. But 4.0 grains of TB behind a 230 grain LRN and 1.240oal clocks 621fps and is very accurate.
     
  4. rskent

    rskent Member

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    I’ve never tried Trail Boss in 45acp. I’m sure it would work fine. I have used a 185grain semi wadcutter over about 3.6 grains of bullseye. Gives you about 650 fps and runs well in a 5” Colt.
     
  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I only shoot 230 grain projectiles as well but Trail boss ran my pistols OK as is. As mentioned they are fairly soft shooting rounds. The only drawback is that being such a bulky propellant you use it up faster than most. TB was designed to take up space when loading the old time black powder cartridges so that they were not position sensitive IIRC. That is why I like 700X for the 45 ACP. A little dab will do ya.:D
     
    Hokie_PhD likes this.
  6. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    You should be able to get a load to work with a little experimenting. I was able to get it to work last year with that combo but don't remember the exact load. It'll depend on the specific gun how light you can go.
     
  7. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Checked my Hogdgon manual and there are Trail Boss loads for several different bullets/weights for 45 ACP. No need to experiment...
     
  8. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    OK, just pick one load and if it works then forget experimenting with any others, I guess....
     
  9. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    I've tried it with 200 and 230gn plated bullets, cycled my gun just fine, very soft shooter.

    I'll warn you, though, primer size matters with this powder. Use large primer brass with this powder for best performance. If you have to use small primer brass, use magnum primers.

    RMR 200gn RN plated bullets, seated 1.245" OAL, 5.5gn Trailboss powder. 10 rounds each.
    Winchester large pistol primers, 744.7fps, 27.8sd, 104es
    Winchester small pistol primers, 575.8fps, 55.0sd, 197es
     
    ATLDave and ray15 like this.
  10. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I don't think primers matter that much. I have used allot of Trailboss in 45ACP and 38 Special and never really noticed a difference between the primers and performance.
     
  11. mdi

    mdi Member

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    Actually it means you can find safe, tested loads and start from there. Load "work up" is a given and no guessing, extrapolation needed, just find yer bullet, use the starting load, and add a little powder with each succeeding load/group until you get what you want. Basic Reloading 101...

    Or just give it a WAG...
     
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Working on .45 Minor in a 1911 with 12 lb recoil spring, I got
    .45 ACP 200 gr SWC + 3.6 gr Trail Boss = 688 fps.
     
  13. reddog81

    reddog81 Member

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    I never said anything about extrapolating or guessing. Reading comprehension helps. In the OP he asks if a specific load will cycle his gun. The only way to find out is for him to test it and go from there.
     
  14. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    Did you ever use small primers with Trailboss in 45acp?

    I never noticed any problem in 38spl with Trailboss, of course I don't have any large primer 38. :) I can't explain why the small primers did not work well with Trailboss in 45acp.

    FWIW, there was one other powder in 45acp where I saw over 100fps difference between small and large primers, and that was with PB, now discontinued.
     
  15. greg_r

    greg_r Member

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    Interesting. I would not have thought that TrailBoss would run something like a 1911.

    I use TrailBoss to load 45 Auto Rim to shoot in my late Grandpa's 1917.
     
  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Wow! Really?? Same powder charge?
     
  17. JohnB-40

    JohnB-40 Member

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    I use Trail Boss for 357 Mag.,I like the powder. Hodgdon's load data calls for small pistol magnum primers. Because of this I have used them with my TB reloads,never tried the regular SPP . Maybe TB needs a hotter primer for its larger case volume? Look forward to where this thread is going as I have been wondering how TB use would be 45ACP.
     
  18. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    Yes, same charge. I worked them all up at the same time, and shot them under the same conditions.
     
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  19. mdi

    mdi Member

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    A "snarky " statement usually gets a "snarky" reply (...or just give it a WAG). "Experimenting " with powder charges means trying something not necessarily in line with proven, tested powder charge data as supplied in a reloading manual; trying something outside the norm. In most cases, if a member asks a question about a powder charge he isn't well versed, not experienced in powder charging, pressures, or even looking/researching a reloading manual. My initial reply was in line with replying to a new reloader (a seasoned reloader would not have to ask the question, he'd just go to the reloading manual that lists Trail Boss, and the least expensive manual I know of, and find a load)......
     
  20. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    From Hodgdon
    200gr Lead
    200 GR. CAST LSWC IMR Trail Boss .451" 1.225" 3.5 652 9,200 CUP 5.5 816 16,100 CUP

    So it looks like a MAX charge would probably work ok with a sock spring.
    I would load maybe 5 at 3.5, 5 at 4, 5 and 4.5, 10 at 5, 10 at 5.2 or 5.3, maybe 5 at 5.4 then 10 at the MAX at 5.5.
    Hope it works for you.
     
  21. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I tried Trail Boss in my 1911 using the Lee TL452-230-TC and with 3.3g, the bullet was touching the powder (max load). I only got about 550 fps which did cycle the gun with stock springs and locked the slide back on the last shot 100% of the time. The recoil was ridiculously small and calculated out to something similar to a 9mm round. I didn't deliberately try to limp wrist it, but if I did, that load could possibly cause cycling issues unless I used a weaker spring.

    Since you already have the powder, go ahead and use it but don't expect to break any speed records with it. If you were considering buying it for 45 ACP, I would say save your money and used the same charge of Red Dot, Titewad, Clays or some other uber fast shotgun powder and you'll be able to safely stuff more powder into the case to get a slightly more substantial recoil from the gun.

    Trail Boss is a nice powder for those who want the security of a bulky powder for low recoil loads, but an experienced loader can get the same performance at a lower cost with a fast shotgun/pistol powder.
     
    Toprudder likes this.
  22. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Actually 4.0 gn Trail Boss cycle both my Taurus 1911 and a Beretta PX4 45 ACP. Nice accurate slow loads.
     
  23. HankC

    HankC Member

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    Is 45ACP Trail Boss load sufficient for home invasion defense and cycle reliably? Would be quieter. I would not think 38SPL Trail Boss but 45ACP is a more powerful round.
     
  24. berettaprofessor

    berettaprofessor Member

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    Well, if you believe in Power Factor, my 4.0 gn Trail Boss behind Berry’s 230 gn PRN going 621fps has a PF of 143, compared to a PF of 133 for a 124 gn 9mm Berry’s PRN going 1071 fps from a load of 5.2 gn CFE Pistol. On the other hand, the 9mm has 316 ft-lbs compared to 197 for the 45.

    I wouldn’t want to bet on penetration at 621fps but it would surely thump.
     
  25. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    At the low velocities it produces, I doubt it would expand any of the typical defensive hollow-point bullets.
     
    Walkalong likes this.
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