Author Topic: Trail Boss tips, anyone?  (Read 11758 times)

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.

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #25 on: Today at 04:45:11 pm »

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 03:55:25 pm »
But it is far less than Maximum by Hodgdon's own web page.  "Load to bottom of bullet" is maximum, and reduce 30% and work up.  6 grains is about 30% less than a full case (minus bullet depth). I have fired a few with full case (Hodgdon's maximum).  They were stout, but still no signs of pressure and cases fell out of the chambers.  Published trail boss loads are "gamer loads" in my opinion (giving about 650 to 700 fps with a 200 grain bullet).  My bottom end, by the manual, Unique loads are stiffer than the 5.0 grains in a Schofield case (about 60% of volume less bullet depth).  Hodgdon even says it is impossible to overload a Trail Boss load...  Lawyers have other ideas, maybe.

I have been reloading for over 40 years, and shooting and reloading for SASS for 23 years.  I have watched the conventional wisdom go from good, solid loads in SASS, to load as low as you can go.  Suddenly if you choose to load full loads it is considered aberrant behavior....  I take Hodgdon at their word.  Our firearms are all SSAAMI spec.

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Offline Roscoe

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 04:48:11 pm »
I was just saying, and now I see that Hodgdon's data is lower than Lyman's, maximum 5.0 for a 200 grain lead. I didn't find any statement about simply filling the case to get a good load. I was reacting to the guideline on most of the boards that going above maximum published by recognized sources at least requires a caveat. So, you do as you wish, but are somewhat limited in what you can share without qualification.

200 GR. LRNFP
Starting Loads
Maximum Loads
Manufacturer
Powder
Bullet Diam.
C.O.L.

Grs.
Vel. (ft/s)
Pressure

Grs.
Vel. (ft/s)
Pressure
Hodgdon
Trail Boss
.452"
1.430"

4.0
684
9,000 CUP

5.0
791
13,200 CUP

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #27 on: September 07, 2017, 06:35:19 pm »
Trail Boss has the advantage of being impossible to double charge since it is such a bulky powder. It has the disadvantage of being very fluffy and slow to drop in a progressive loader in my experience YMMV. My Dillon 550B takes about about a "one Mississippi. two Mississippi" to drop the charge in a .45 CAS case. Until I figured that out I has some pretty feeble sounding shots. Finally I stopped fighting it and went to FFFg which fills the case, makes a bg bang, and solved the squib nonsense.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 07:58:30 pm »
Hodgdon's own data sheet....  Read the header, and then sections one, two and three.  I think this qualifies as from the horse's mouth.... "This formula may be used in both rifle and pistol applications"


https://www.hodgdon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/trail-boss-reduced-loads-r_p.pdf
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Offline Roscoe

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 05:59:42 am »
Hodgdon's own data sheet....  Read the header, and then sections one, two and three.  I think this qualifies as from the horse's mouth.... "This formula may be used in both rifle and pistol applications"


https://www.hodgdon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/trail-boss-reduced-loads-r_p.pdf

That indicates that it applies only to rifles (with much higher pressure limits). There should be little doubt that Hodgdon would stand behind the load data they already posted for handgun cartridges.

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #30 on: Today at 04:45:11 pm »

Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2017, 08:15:31 am »
???? It says " May be used for both rifle and pistol applications"  Anyway, whatever.  I'll take their word.  Even the title of the document says "for rifle and pistol".
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Offline Roscoe

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2017, 05:42:52 pm »
???? It says " May be used for both rifle and pistol applications"  Anyway, whatever.  I'll take their word.  Even the title of the document says "for rifle and pistol".

I see it now. Thanks. I am going to try it and see how it compares to their published loads. I use TB in 38 Spl, 44 Mag, and 45 Colt. I also plan to try it in 357 Magnum when my new bullets arrive.

Offline Crow Choker

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2017, 08:51:39 pm »
I've been loading 45 Colt with Trail Boss for maybe 10 years now, while it is a good powder, it's not the "Holy Grail" of available smokeless powders for 45 Colt or any other pistol caliber IMO. Two things it has going for it, a old timey sounding name and the fact it's fluffy and fills the case better than most SL powders. I like Titegroup (I think one of the best), Red Dot, 231/HP38, Unique, 700X (sorta dirty, but good shooter) for the 45 Colt, accurate for what I shoot at and don't need muzzle flippin recoil to enjoy (and I don't load mouse loads, but don't load to beat the guns to death.) Have never used it much for anything else except some 44 Special loads in Open Top and Richards II. In those two hoglegs I shoot FF black 99% of the time anymore. Have never tried it in a rifle, although I have three lever guns I could do so in 38/357 and 44 Spec/44 Colt. My Colt 72 topstrap Model and Ruger Vaquero will get some stiff loads though in 45 Colt, but not howitzers. I have .357's and a Super Blkhawk to shoot if I want to get feisty.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2017, 10:45:35 pm »
Personally, I love Unique, but it is too easy to double charge....  I switched to Trail Boss after I caught a double load of Unique in a 44-40, before I put the slug in.
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Offline Crow Choker

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2017, 07:01:49 am »
Personally, I love Unique, but it is too easy to double charge....  I switched to Trail Boss after I caught a double load of Unique in a 44-40, before I put the slug in.
I use a Rock Chucker press and RCBS Uni-flow powder measure, have been since I started loading in Feb, 1976. I do around 200 rds in a batch, 50 rds to a tray. Each case gets one crank of the powder measure, look down into every case after 10 rds. After the tray gets powder and before I seat the bullets, every rd in the tray is viewed a 2nd time to ensure no double charge. I intentionally double charge powders such as Unique, 231, Titegroup to see what a double charge will look like in the case/caliber I'm loading. Fussy yes, I l load methodically to try and get the best reload I can and safe one. Have seen the results over the years of reloaders skipping steps, not paying attention, drinking while reloading. Have seen many get setup for reloading and end up selling their gear because of a variety of reasons, mostly they didn't want to take time and follow steps you need to do. My single stage is slower than using a Dillion or any other super duper ammo animal, yep, but have no desire for such a machine. If desired, I'd have no problem in writing a check for such a setup, but happy and satisfied with thee Ol' Rock Chucker. Besides other than case trimming, I enjoy reloading as much as shooting. Take care all, safe shooting.
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Offline Tuolumne Lawman

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2017, 08:40:28 am »
I use a 4-hole Lee Turret Press with an auto index (poor man's progressive).  I have used it for 25 years.  I use a LEE charging dir with a LEE powder measure on it.  Up until that point, I have never had a problem because of the auto index. This time, however, I did not finish the down stroke (which activates the auto index) because the wife called me.
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Offline Roscoe

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2017, 07:44:29 am »
I use a 4-hole Lee Turret Press with an auto index (poor man's progressive).  I have used it for 25 years.  I use a LEE charging dir with a LEE powder measure on it.  Up until that point, I have never had a problem because of the auto index. This time, however, I did not finish the down stroke (which activates the auto index) because the wife called me.

There are family issues that conflict with reloading, even shooting a match. There are simply times when it must be understood that we are off line. Only a generation since communication was somehow less urgent and essential. Trailboss does help though, I must say.

Yesterday I tested a Trailboss load for my 357 rifle, using 357 cases and 158 gr RNFP bullets, crimped over the leading band. 3.2 grains, per the published IMR/Hodgdon data is going to work well, it seems. The pistols use 38 Special.

Offline Baltimore Ed

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2017, 08:24:15 am »
I feel that I've solved my potential double load issue by using Dillon 550 auto powder measures on my Lyman T2 turret presses. Have a pair of T2s, one is set up for .45lc and the other .38 spcl. Station 1 deprimes/sizes, station 2 expands/ primes, station 3 dumps my powder. To dump my powder charge all I do is raise the case to operate the Dillon measure. Pretty foolproof and Dillon measures are very consistent. Station 4 seats the bullet. I had been using the manual 450 measures with the black button but got to thinking why not so I tried the auto measure, works great. Eliminates a step.
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Offline Bryan Austin

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2019, 10:44:27 am »
But it is far less than Maximum by Hodgdon's own web page.  "Load to bottom of bullet" is maximum, and reduce 30% and work up.  6 grains is about 30% less than a full case (minus bullet depth). I have fired a few with full case (Hodgdon's maximum).  They were stout, but still no signs of pressure and cases fell out of the chambers.  Published trail boss loads are "gamer loads" in my opinion (giving about 650 to 700 fps with a 200 grain bullet).  My bottom end, by the manual, Unique loads are stiffer than the 5.0 grains in a Schofield case (about 60% of volume less bullet depth).  Hodgdon even says it is impossible to overload a Trail Boss load...  Lawyers have other ideas, maybe.

I have been reloading for over 40 years, and shooting and reloading for SASS for 23 years.  I have watched the conventional wisdom go from good, solid loads in SASS, to load as low as you can go.  Suddenly if you choose to load full loads it is considered aberrant behavior....  I take Hodgdon at their word.  Our firearms are all SSAAMI spec.

You march to your drummer, I'll march to mine....


I know this is an old post but I wanted to add my test results. I used the Pressuretrace II strain gauge system.

Using Buffalo Bore's "Heavy" 44-40, said to be withen SAAMI MAP 11,000psi, I set this load at 11,300psi...SAAMI MAP is 11,000psi

Buffalo Bore's 44-40 Heavy is certainly more powerful than any other factory loaded 44-40 ammunition...thus the "control" and gives me 1,350fps.

6.4gr of Trailboss under a popular manufactured 200gr Magma hard cast bullet (the same style as BB uses) produced 7,224psi
9.3gr, a case capacity load where the bullet sits firmly on top of the powder, gave me 1,250fps from my 20" testing barrel @ 15,182psi. That would be close to 18,000cup with a SAAMI MAP of 13,000cup. The is no magic formula to convert psi/cup BUT factory High Velocty loads produced 22,000cup which would be in the ball park of 19,000psi

Trailboss also says that if a load is not supplied for a cartridge, the caseload formula will work. Well, there is a max load data supplied and it is 6.4gr...about a 30% reduction from max psi of 11,000.

I also tested 40gr/w og Swiss FFG with a .19-.21 compression in original semi-balloonhead cases which resulted in 14,284psi with handcast Lyman 427098 soft lead bullets @ 1,373fps. Same loads with Goex FFG resulted in consistent 12,650psi @ 1,300fps and in modern Starlin brass.....10,000psi-11,000psi @ 1,250fps. Swiss FFG in modern brass required more compression and pressures dropped to 8,8000psi @1,230fps

For what it's worth

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Re: Trail Boss tips, anyone?
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2019, 06:22:01 pm »

I know this is an old post but I wanted to add my test results. I used the Pressuretrace II strain gauge system.


Thanks Bryan for the pressuretrace data! Such contributions are extremely valuable.

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