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Trail Boss powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Conservidave, Jun 29, 2013.

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  1. Conservidave

    Conservidave Member

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    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
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Nor does Hodgdon/IMR.

    For a very good reason.

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

    rc
     
  3. ngnrd

    ngnrd Member

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    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.
     
  4. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    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).
     
  5. PVD

    PVD Member

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    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
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    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?
     
  7. floydster

    floydster Member

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    Trail Boss is a fun powder in the 38 Spl.
     
  8. Conservidave

    Conservidave Member

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    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
     
  9. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    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.
     
  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    WST is great for light loads in .45 ACP.

    AA #5 works well in .40 and is good for full power .45 ACP.
     
  11. 45lcshooter

    45lcshooter Member

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    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.
     
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    There you go, good advice...
     
  13. biogenic

    biogenic Member

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    I got excellent results with 5 grains of either hp38 or unique behind a 200 grain swc.
     
  14. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    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.
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    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.
     
  16. ess45

    ess45 Member

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    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.
     
  17. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    It works well if you use scoops instead of a powder measure.:D
     
  18. stu1ritter

    stu1ritter Member

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    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
     
  19. scotch827

    scotch827 Member

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    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.
     
  20. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Right on.

    I use a home made scoop for my 30-30 plinking loads.
     
  21. stu1ritter

    stu1ritter Member

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    Interesting idea scotch827, I'll try that and see how it works.
    thanks,
    Stu
     
  22. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Why doesn't it like plated?
     
  23. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    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.
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    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)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  25. greenlion

    greenlion Member

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    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.
     
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