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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Powder Room - CAS reloading (Moderator: Professor Marvel)  |  Topic: Help Trail Boss Mystery 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Help Trail Boss Mystery  (Read 1315 times)
dutchy
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« on: October 19, 2017, 08:30:11 pm »


Guys , this is a long post so I ask for two things
1. HELP
2. Your indulgence

I am shooting a pair of 1872 Uberti Cimarron Open Tops , chambered in 45 Schofield

In March of this year I loaded up several hundred rounds with 4.5 grains of Trail Boss which I had in my Dillon reservoir

The first chance I had to use them was this past week . At the range I was getting this problem

I would fire a few rounds and get a squib , Fire a few more ..more squibs Cleared the bullet , most of which never left the barrel , some just barely..
Went home weighed over 200 rounds ...all consistent. Pulled a few , lots of powder. ??
Back to the range today ,same problem.

Another shooter questioned my loads in an effort to assist . I did tell him I had left the powder sitting in a clear plastic Dillon powder charger which I use on my 650 Dillon. This particular load of powder may have been in the reservoir for 3 to  months  He suggested it may have "gone  bad" seemed like the powder was not being completely burned off??

At the worst I have a projected to do this winter ...pull the remainder of the several hundred rounds I rolled!

Anyone ever hear of this before ? Does Trail Boss or any powder "go bad" if left exposed to light or humidity?
I'm not only stupid but really confused .
If I have not bored you to tears I would appreciate any replies here or by PM
Sincerely
Dutchie
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 08:47:39 pm »

I have heard of smokeless powder reacting chemically to the plastic of powder hoppers resulting in the deterioration of the powder-breaking down the chemical makeup of the powder. Can't give the actual process off the top of my head, but have always read and heard not to store powder in powder measure. Did the color of your power hopper change at all. I've heard of powder granules sticking to the sides of the interior, sometimes actually bonding to the plastic. If this happened to your Trail Boss, I'd say the whole lot is suspect and is unsafe and not reliable. I dump powder back in the can as soon as I'm done reloading, even if I plan on reloading the next day.
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 09:01:06 pm »

Ts for the reply.
I did not notice any change to the hopper. I am going to make sure I return any powder to the original container from now on . This has me puzzeled ..but then again that doesen't take much1
Cheers
Dutchie
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2017, 09:07:01 pm »

I have heard of smokeless powder reacting chemically to the plastic of powder hoppers resulting in the deterioration of the powder-breaking down the chemical makeup of the powder. Can't give the actual process off the top of my head, but have always read and heard not to store powder in powder measure. Did the color of your power hopper change at all. I've heard of powder granules sticking to the sides of the interior, sometimes actually bonding to the plastic. If this happened to your Trail Boss, I'd say the whole lot is suspect and is unsafe and not reliable. I dump powder back in the can as soon as I'm done reloading, even if I plan on reloading the next day.

I lost a can of IMI ball powder many years ago thru poor storage - it didnt look different but was doing what Dutchy describes - inconsistent half and quarter throttle loads - partial burning - lots of residue - been real careful ever since - humidity is the biggest killer I think - follow Crow Chokers system - put it back in its can - close the can - store in a cool dry place. If the powder had a few years on it before you bought it would not help either.  
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dutchy
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2017, 09:14:54 pm »

Now that you mentioned it , there was  a bit of unburned powder on the table beside where I was shooting
 Thanks
Dutchie
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 04:17:42 pm »

I shoot pounds of TB a month loading 44-40; 38-40; 45 Cowboy Special and 38 Special. I always leave it in the the LEE 1000 powder hopper. But not for a moth as I use it pretty fast. Also, my reloading room humidity is kept at 50%. Never ever had a squib load and Iíve fired over 10,000 rounds easily.
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greyhawk
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 04:36:51 pm »

I shoot pounds of TB a month loading 44-40; 38-40; 45 Cowboy Special and 38 Special. I always leave it in the the LEE 1000 powder hopper. But not for a moth as I use it pretty fast. Also, my reloading room humidity is kept at 50%. Never ever had a squib load and Iíve fired over 10,000 rounds easily.

movin it through the system that quick it dont have time to deteriorate - you always gonna be shootin fresh powder at that rate !! some others of us are not so enthusiastic, lucky, dedicated, flush wid money 
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 05:01:58 pm »


Ah Ha!!

If your not in a very climate controlled environment, leaving powder in your measure for any length of time is a NO NO NO NO.  Smokeless powder is very .. read .. VERY .. susceptible to moisture.  If you happen to live in a somewhat humid climate, you powder will absorb the moisture out of the atmosphere (stuff you breathe) and rapidly become fertilizer.

Additionally, atmospheric moisture settles DOWN as in the Dew on your lawn in the morning.  As the evening cools, lower elevations such as a basement increase in humidity.  Your gunpowder will begin to suck up that moisture very rapidly.  Any gunpowder you leave in your hopper more than a day or two is suspect.  Makes good fertilizer.
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 07:10:43 pm »

Hi Dutchy,
Before going to the dark side I shot a lot of Trail Boss and had a similar problem. What the problem with TB is it falls through the powder measure like snow ( something we don't have here in central Texas, but I saw one time) very slowly because it is so fluffy and clumpy.
My method is to run the ram (Dillon 550B) up to drop powder,  count a couple of Mississippi's for the stuff to fall and continue.
I would suggest you run a few cases checking powder amount per pause and find the rhythm. My rate is to run the ram up, pick up the next case and push down the ram to prime.
In my 550B I use the big powder bar it seems to work better with that fluffy powder.
YMMV but it worked for me.
Good luck
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk
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dutchy
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2017, 07:29:15 pm »

Thanks Pards for all your comments.
 I have to  say at first I was a little worried about posting . I have been on some sites where a post like mine would have won you a royal reaming
One thing I have to note is that as always this Form provides a good open discussion without any sarcasm and the usual smarta@@ comments

 I think it is a combination of long term improper storage ,combined with moisture in the loading area. Appreciate the replies .
All on me  Roll Eyes
Thank you
Dutchy
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2017, 07:49:49 pm »



Whoops!!  A minor correction to your impression there Dutchy.  I am always (almost always) a smarta$$.  I can't help it.  It's the voices in my head you understand.  I also believe an honest question deserves and honest answer.  As do most of us whom lurk here.  Although there is good possibility I'll deliver an honest answer with a modicum humor.  Some call it sarcasm (who??  Me???  Nah!!!).  And:

Yes.  Improper storage (in the hopper is NOT storage) combines with moisture to create "Fertilizer).  I'll bet however, after you pull all those bullets, you remember and don't do it again  Grin
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dutchy
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2017, 06:04:15 am »

ha going o be a long winter Grin

Cheers
Dutchie
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2017, 10:32:00 am »

For what it's worth, I shoot Trail Boss exclusively. I hand dipper all my loads out of a ceramic dish which I have filled from the plastic bulk  5lb. jug. 50 rounds at a crack and then use a single stage.
Been working on the same jug for the last three years. After a session of re-loading the remaining powder goes back into the jug.
No squib problems, and so far powder is still good.


RCJ
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2017, 10:51:51 am »


That's "Dinosaur" River City John ...... ahem. (snicker snicker)  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 10:53:15 am »

I tried a can of Trail Boss and didn't like it. I prefer the Dot (red dot, clays, clay dot) powders for the majority of my reloading. I also leave the powder in my Dillon powder measure hoppers all the time. The caps of the Dillon measures fit very tight and I plug up the little hole too. But my reloading room is located IN my house, a 10x10 kitchen add on I built years ago so it is the same temp and humidity as the house and I run ac or heat 24-7. I wouldn't even try to set up a reloading area out in my shop, way too humid here in NC. Hope you figure out the problem, having to pull bullets is a pita, (I was given a 5 gal bucket of military ammunition that had been through a flood) it's a lot more fun to 'pull' them with your Colt.
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2017, 11:08:37 am »

That's "Dinosaur" River City John ...... ahem. (snicker snicker)  Grin

(humming to myself: "Everybody move, get on the floor, everybody do the Dinosaur!) Grin


RCJ
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2017, 11:36:49 am »

Love it , seems like the older I get the more fun I have. Now don't have it as often ... I should say I have shot TB exclusively for over 10 years , never had a problem . That's why this is so perplexing . One good thing is that I have heard from a lot of great guys  and I thank you all

 Now I have to get into my gun room and start pulling rounds. Roll Eyes
Cheers
Dutchie
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« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2017, 08:24:24 am »

It occurred to me that you might have had a batch of wet brass, depending upon how it was cleaned.
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dutchy
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« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2017, 09:34:19 am »

Good point I donít normally wash my brass but to be honest it has been a while since I loaded these up. As well as the fact that I sometimes have troubles joe remembering my socks ......I donít remember if these rounds were just tumbled or not
Thanks
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« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2017, 05:55:06 pm »

  I have three powder measures on my bench and keep powder in them 24/7 day in, day out for the last 10 years. Same with two MEC shotshell loaders, which have had the same powders in them for years, only occasionally topped off. Iíve NEVER had powder ďgo badĒ. My reloading setup is in an outbuilding. Unless you donít cap the powder reservoir I think itíd be very difficult to have a meaningful amount of moisture get in the powder measure.  The only time Iíve ever had squib loads was in shotgun shells. I figured out it was due to my using a powder baffle in an effort to get more consistent powder drops.
  Iíd bet the farm your problem has to do with a combination of the large flake, Cheerio-shaped powder and a progressive loader. About the only way to know for sure is to weigh loaded rounds and look for those that are markedly lighter than most, then pull them down. That may be difficult too since your powder charge is relatively light, but for sure a place to start.
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dutchy
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« Reply #20 on: October 30, 2017, 10:28:14 am »

Yeah Iím still confused as to what happened here   I weighed the rounds and did find a lot that were 3.2 to 3.5 grains of Trail Boss instead of the 4.5 that I was supposed to be loading ,this leads me to believe  there was a problem with the powder measure on the Dillon set up So I was dropping 4.5 in most then for some reason 3.2 to 3.5
Would the smaller loads be enough to cause the squibs.?
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2017, 04:16:40 pm »

Greeings My Good Dutchy
Yeah Iím still confused as to what happened here   I weighed the rounds and did find a lot that were 3.2 to 3.5 grains of Trail Boss instead of the 4.5 that I was supposed to be loading ,this leads me to believe  there was a problem with the powder measure on the Dillon set up So I was dropping 4.5 in most then for some reason 3.2 to 3.5
Would the smaller loads be enough to cause the squibs.?

That would do it.

Minimum for trailboss in .45 Sch and 200 gr bullet is 4.0 grains. Trailboss does not do well with reduced loads and
3.2 to 3.5 gr sounds too low.

yhs
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« Reply #22 on: October 30, 2017, 05:47:07 pm »

I think we are closing in on the rascal. Well done friends
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2017, 08:57:45 pm »

  I have three powder measures on my bench and keep powder in them 24/7 day in, day out for the last 10 years. Same with two MEC shotshell loaders, which have had the same powders in them for years, only occasionally topped off. I’ve NEVER had powder “go bad”.
After you dropped the hammer on your hogleg dutchy to cause ignition to your Trail Boss powder, not having enough of the powder to produce enough gas causing your 'squibs' MAY have been at fault, but what caused your rig to drop various volumes of powder. I don't care if some reloaders have never had any problem. They're lucky reloaders.

 Every manufacturer of reloading equipment (which includes powder measures) say in their instructional manuals to remove powder from the hopper after a reloading session. I looked up via computer, downloaded, and read every major reloading equipment manufacturers do's and don'ts about the subject before posting this so I could post and say what they are saying. Not only will the right chemical composition of a powder react to the right plastic causing deterioration of the powder, but so will exposure to light, as will humidity. They all point this out as do the manufacturers of powder--google some of them and read, it's there.  If you had that Trail Boss in your plastic hopper for up to three months of your Canadian environment, it had to pick up some moisture. Couple that with any light shining on it if that was a factor, along with any reaction to the plastic if any. Could have just been one factor, maybe two working along side with each other. Who knows. Whatever, change in the chemical composition, maybe just enough moisture to cause a little clumping of the powder causing some of your loads not to receive your preset powder volume droppings (adjusted to wanted grains). I'd say whatever caused it, made a mess of a lot of your efforts and it wasn't worth it to have left the powder in the hopper.

I went online also and reviewed a few firearms forums (googled 'leaving powder in powder hoppers') and the vast majority and very high percentage of posters/reloaders said they dump the powder out after finishing a loading session. Some admitted if they planned on reloading later in the day or the next day, they'd leave it, but not for any length of time. Besides concerns for powder deterioration, safety was also a major reason. Reasons given ranged from 'kids' getting at it, lessen any fire hazards, forgetting what powder was in hopper, etc. Your choice dutchy or anybody else, some can say they leave in all the time and never had problems, but ya have to color that "yet'. How long does it take to dump the powder out? You can open up the baffle all the way and a few cranks of the handle will do the job or if a person has a bench mounted separate hopper, you can either open up the baffle or loosen the hopper and via funnel pour it back in the can. By doing one of the procedures, it would have taken a whole lot less time than pulling bullets and a lot less time writing on this forum wondering why there were squibs. Take care. 
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« Reply #24 on: October 30, 2017, 09:53:23 pm »

My stupid I guess. Sorry to have been the cause of anyone here wasting time on my behalf. The several points I did pick up were to dump my powder and also ensure the measure is dropping correctly. Thanks again for your comments
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