Author Topic: Trail Boss tips, anyone?  (Read 8513 times)

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« on: March 11, 2017, 09:31:10 am »
I picked up a 5 pound jug of Trail Boss for reloading my .45 Schofield.  I plan on loading 5.0 grains with a 200 grain bullet. Should be about 1.1 CC.   I am using a Lee four position turret press with auto index, and a a LEE Pro auto disk powder measure through a LEE charging die.  I have read that the airy little grey doughnuts don't measure well.  Besides giving the measure a slight tap between loading, any other tips?
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Online Buffalo Creek Law Dog

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 10:41:35 am »
I have been using Trial Boss for my CAS guns over the past 5 years, using the exact same equipment as you, and I never had to tap the powder measure after each drop.  It gets a little fluffy when pouring from one container to another and I use my open hand to block any flying donuts.

I used to use Trail Boss for 45-70 but changed that to IMR 4198.
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Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 02:14:59 pm »
I tried a small container of TB for my .30-40 Krag and at about 10 grs i went through a Dillon hopper full during load development so fast that I loaded a few cases with NO powder which I caught when I tried them out on my backyard range. Never had that happen before. When they say TB is light and bulky they ain't kidding. My tip to you would be to keep a close eye on your measure reservoir. I've since started using V-V Tin Star for my light Krag loads with good results and while it resembles TB it is a whole lot denser and acts like normal powder, not a bulky one.
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Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 04:51:23 pm »
When I started using TB in my Dillon 550B there were many semi squibs with the bullet (200 grain laser cast) usually clearing the barrel some time not.
I tested by running 10 rounds and pulling them before seating the bullet and found a great variation in powder charge weight.
Solution...pull the handle down, count one Mississippi, two Mississippi while reaching for the next case then continue. that fluffy powder takes a while to fall and problem solved.
Yes it does slow down the loading process, but a squib stops the shooting process, simply find the right tempo to load.
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Offline Drydock

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 06:11:42 pm »
I always drop Trail Boss from a measure into a dipper, so I can see the load before I pour it into the funnel on my Powder Thru Die. (Lee 4 hole turret press)  Got a Lee Perfect drum measure set up next to the press.
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Offline pony express

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 07:01:24 pm »
I use a single stage press, so all my charging is done with a Lyman 55 and a loading block. Check weigh about one in every 10 or 15. then visually check them in the loading block before doing bullet seating. It helps to "tap" the handle an extra time in the down position to make sure all the powder clears the measure. I've noticed that without a baffle in the hopper, the charge weights will vary a little as the powder level goes down, so I keep the can of powder handy and top it off after about 25 or so rounds. One nice thing about TB, you can visually check powder levels even in 30-40 or 30-06 cases, when using Unique or other "normal" pistol/shotgun powders, it's hard to see the powder, I always use a pencil (marked for proper powder level) to check each case.

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2017, 08:51:22 am »
Another thing about TB is, unlike most other pistol powders, you cannot overcharge a case period. As I recall, since I am not at my
bench ,the way to find the correct charge is to fill a case and take some percent of that weight.
Now when using real Gun Powder I just fill the case bout 1/16" above the bullet base the seat the bullet and crimp that rascal down
 Back in the day I burned up a lot of smokeless back as far as Hercules HiVel 2 and when I am lazy about cleaning use TB in my .45-70 1886 rifle rather than FFg a proper powder for that cartridge.
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Offline August

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2017, 12:18:24 pm »
I only use Trail Boss in my Hornady Black Powder measure, where it works very well and consistent results are no problem.  If I had to use it in a measure with a steel charge bar or drum, I'd take the precausion of grounding the measure to prevent the static charges that are one of the biggest problems with Trail Boss and getting consistent charges.

I've learned that letting any powder sit in a measure for more than a few minutes between sessions is an invitation to problems.  This has been particularly true with Trail Boss in my experience.

And, of course, cleaning the powder measure occasionally has paid dividends in terms of consistent results and absence of powder bridging.

I like Trail Boss.  It seems that using a black powder measure has prevented problems.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 12:20:05 pm by August »

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 03:40:41 pm »
Well, I started cranking them out.  My best results were using ta single disk, using the 1.18 CC chamber.  Out of 20 throws, no more than 0.1 grain deviation:  between 4.9+ and 5 grains every time.  I randomly check every 15 or 20 rounds now, and always the same.  Now I need to see how I like the load, compared to 7.1 grns of Unique.  I hope I like it a lot, since all I could find to buy was a 5 pound jug! LOL ;D
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Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2017, 12:55:56 am »
Well, I started cranking them out.  My best results were using ta single disk, using the 1.18 CC chamber.  Out of 20 throws, no more than 0.1 grain deviation:  between 4.9+ and 5 grains every time.  I randomly check every 15 or 20 rounds now, and always the same. 

Excellent drops!
Quote
Now I need to see how I like the load, compared to 7.1 grns of Unique.  I hope I like it a lot, since all I could find to buy was a 5 pound jug! LOL ;D

Well you better like iit , cuz you're not leaving the table until that whole jug is gone.....


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Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2017, 07:59:41 am »
I run trail boss through my Dillon and always get proper weight charges. The trick is though to use the large powder bar rather than the one you would normally use for that small weight charge. That way you have a narrow column for the powder to fall through.

I first had all kinds of trouble when I tried using the small charge bar opened up. The fluffy donuts would bridge and fall after the ram was down making all kinds of mess.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2017, 11:00:55 pm »
I have heard that it is impossible to overload Trail Boss in a pistol cartridge, unless you compress the load.  Folks are saying that 5 grains should be max for the 45 Schofield with a 200 grain bullet.  It seems like a light load to me.  Any input?
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Online Coffinmaker

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2017, 10:01:32 am »
Just an observation.  Trail Boss does not play particularly well with Petroleum Based Lubes.  Tends to get a bit gummy.  Personally, I have never particularly cared for Trail Boss.

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Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2017, 08:37:16 pm »
My recollection , dim as it might be, seems that you fill a case to the position of the base of the bullet than take some %age of that for a max load. I will check on this in in the IMR manual tomorrow and post it here. I  shot a pretty good amount of it until I went to the Dark Side and had no problems with it. A few squibs until I figured out how to run it through my 550B but that was all on me, not the powder or press.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2017, 09:30:11 pm »
OK, 44 Special and 45 Schofield cases are almost identical capacity, BUT Hodgdon list 44 Special with a 200 grain bullet max load with trail boss is 6.3 grains for 885 fps and 5.0 grains for Schofield with a 200 grain bullet with 780 fps.   I am looking for the 850+ fps from the Schofield.  I get it easily with 7.1 grains of Unique.  I just bought 5 pounds of Trail Boss and don't want to shot mouse f@rt loads....

EDIT:  I just checked and a 45 Schofield actually has about 5% MORE capacity than the 44 Special.  I have always been told that when there is no loading data for a 45 Schofield with  bullet weight, use 44 Special load data.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 09:34:30 pm by Tuolumne Lawman »
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2017, 02:08:58 pm »
Ugh, the 5 grains of Trail Boss was a no go for me.  After shooting Triple 7 and Unique, the Trail Boss was MOUSE FART loads!  I went back to 7.1 grains Unique.  Now I have to peddle the 5 pounds of Trail boss somewhere!
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Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2017, 10:05:15 am »
According to the IMR web site to determine data on a cartridge simply mark the place where the bullet base will be in the loaded cartridge and fill with Trail Boss to that point. According to the site that is maximum(!!!) load. Woowzy I would say so!
70% of the weight is your starting load. Seems a bit much to me.

http://imrpowder.com/PDF/Trail-Boss-data.pdf

Is the site where I found this, but I would check a good manual first.
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Offline rbertalotto

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2017, 01:02:37 pm »
I've loaded thousands upon thousands of TB in 38-40, 45 Cowboy Special, 45LC and 38SPL......Never had a squib. Never any issues what so ever. Amazingly clean powder in these cases.

I'm using Lee 1000 progressive loaders for all four cartridges.

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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2017, 03:09:10 pm »
According to the IMR web site to determine data on a cartridge simply mark the place where the bullet base will be in the loaded cartridge and fill with Trail Boss to that point. According to the site that is maximum(!!!) load. Woowzy I would say so!
70% of the weight is your starting load. Seems a bit much to me.

http://imrpowder.com/PDF/Trail-Boss-data.pdf

Is the site where I found this, but I would check a good manual first.
Yr' Obt' Svt'
Bunk

That makes more sense than 5 grain mouse farts.  probably about 7 grains, I am guessing.  I will have to try it and see.  Thanks!
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2017, 12:49:23 pm »
well, using the "maximum load method" Hodgdon has on their web page, I come up with 8 grns of Trail Boss in a .45 Schofield Case with a 200 grain bullet.  Even considering how wimpy, 5 grains was, the 8 grains seems about a bit stiff.  They do say it is impossible to overload a revolver using their method. With that method, 5.6 grains would be a starting load. 

I guess I'll try 6 grains and 7 grains, and see what I get, and try them from the Henry and 1872s to see how the measure up to the 7.1 grains of Unique of my pet load.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 02:01:12 pm by Tuolumne Lawman »
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2017, 04:19:10 pm »
Interesting:  I did an unscientific comparison.  I loaded the following grain weights of Trail Boss: 5.0, 6.0. 7.0, and 8.0.  I fired each one, after firing one of my 7.1 grains of Unique loads for recoil comparison. ( TB then Unique, TB then Unique, TB then Unique, etc.)  5 grains and 6 grains Trail Boss were noticeably less kick than the 7.1 grains of Unique.  7 grains of Trail Boss felt identical to the Unique load, and 8 grains was noticeably heavier, with a slight sharpness.    No signs of pressure with the 7 grain load of TB, either.

When one considers that the velocity of a 5.0 grain load of Unique is nearly identical to a 5 grain load of Trail Boss, the fact that 7 grains of each felt identical is not too amazing.  The 7 grains of Trail Boss is 85% of the 8 grain maximum, using Hodgdon's method for determining min and max loads with Trail Boss.

You know, trail Boss is almost smokey enough to satisfy my like of BP cartridges, too!

I guess I am loading 7 grains of Trail Boss now.  The LEE auto disk 1.56 cc chamber throws 7 grains TB every time.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2017, 10:39:37 pm »
Hmmm... Let's see. 7000 grains to the pound, so 35,000 grains in 5 pounds, that 5,000 rounds of .45 S&W loaded with 7 grains of trail Boss.  That should last me a couple years!  ::)
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Offline Roscoe

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #22 on: September 07, 2017, 02:41:20 pm »
If you like the gun to push back, you should try 250 grain bullets, staying with that supply of TB. When you push 200 gr too hard, you are getting into excessive velocity (1000 fps Max allowed), even pressures beyond which the gun is certified, and unproven loads. Either way, when seeking more recoil rather than less, there is the possibility for being liable for damage to targets. There should be ricochet concerns as well.

I like Trailboss so I can see the charge easily in tall cases. It is certainly relatively soft shooting, and very clean in my guns/loads. When comparing loads, I found my Bullseye load with similar ratings had more snap to it, so maybe you could move toward a faster powder, watching for erratic ignition in mostly empty, cavernous cases meant for black powder.

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2017, 03:26:28 pm »
I load my .45 Schofield with 6.0 grains Trail Boss and a 200 grain bullet.  Lots of thump, but down around 900 fps.  Would be a little less in .45 Colt cases.  &.0 was too much, and accuracy suffered.  6.0 is perfect for me.
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Offline Roscoe

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 03:45:55 pm »
I load my .45 Schofield with 6.0 grains Trail Boss and a 200 grain bullet.  Lots of thump, but down around 900 fps.  Would be a little less in .45 Colt cases.  &.0 was too much, and accuracy suffered.  6.0 is perfect for me.

You may be happy, but that is over the maximum by 10% according to the Lyman book.