Author Topic: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer  (Read 917 times)

Offline fiatmom

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Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« on: August 27, 2020, 01:49:35 PM »
I have learned through the years that the cases for my 56-50 Burnside Spencer could be a lot longer than the case length listed in Cartridges of the world. With the short cases most of the bullet is exposed and it is difficult to keep them clean and hold them in the case.
For this reason I wanted to explore the possibilities of using smokeless powder. I use a lot of Unique, and 5744, but I also have a can of Trail Boss. Would it be possible and wise to use one of these powders. I currently use 38 grains of 2f.
Thanks for the help
Nick

Offline AntiqueSledMan

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2020, 02:54:17 PM »
Hello fiatmom,

I've never tried this, and he does state not to use in an original.
9 gr. seams a little stiff to me, I think we used 6 gr. in the 45 Colt.

http://lovemyspencer.blogspot.com/2012/01/56-50-armi-sport-spencer-loads.html

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Offline ndnchf

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 08:19:04 AM »
My model 1871 Springfield Spencer uses a longer than normal case too.  In fact, it will not feed using a standard length Spencer cartridge.  Coincidentally, it is identical in dimensions to the .50-45 cartridge used in my model 1867 rolling block navy carbine.


This shows the difference between the two and how well the Spencer shoots using the longer cartridge.

 
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline fiatmom

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 08:47:07 AM »
Good shooting. With no wads or grease cookies how do you manage the fouling? I am using a RCBS 350 gr mould and after 5 shots accuracy is gone. I started using cookies but the bullet is barely in the case with 38 gr of powder.

Offline treebeard

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 10:22:31 AM »
Hello fiatmom,

I've never tried this, and he does state not to use in an original.
9 gr. seams a little stiff to me, I think we used 6 gr. in the 45 Colt.

http://lovemyspencer.blogspot.com/2012/01/56-50-armi-sport-spencer-loads.html

AntiqueSledMan.

I saw the post quoted above and tried the Trail boss but backed it down to 8.5 grains in my Armi Sport Spencer using 350grain bullet. I WOULD Not use TB in an Original Spencer. I averaged 931 FPS for this load-- plenty of recoil so you know you are shooting a real rifle but not severe by my standards. Still trying to get to range and try Black powder loads with some of the Buffalo Arms Spencer bullets I picked up. Just seems right to use Black powder in an arm designed for it. Not recommending using TRail Boss but thought you might find it interesting what happened when i tried it.

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #5 on: Today at 03:26:41 AM »

Offline fiatmom

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 03:07:32 PM »
Thanks I appreciate the report.

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 06:54:16 PM »
Good shooting. With no wads or grease cookies how do you manage the fouling? I am using a RCBS 350 gr mould and after 5 shots accuracy is gone. I started using cookies but the bullet is barely in the case with 38 gr of powder.

The Rapine 350 is a big lube style bullet. It carries plenty of lube for the trip down the 32.5" barrel.
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline fiatmom

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2020, 07:49:10 AM »
It appears that Rapine is out of business.

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2020, 08:38:20 AM »
Yes. Ray Rapine retired 5 or 6 years ago. But Accurate Molds makes a near duplicate and other similar molds.
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Drydock

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #10 on: Today at 03:26:41 AM »

Offline fiatmom

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2020, 08:19:35 PM »
I am still in search for something other than BP for the spencer.
I enjoy shooting it with black but want something to use when I feel lazy and it would be nice to shoot more than 8 rounds before accuracy goes out the window. has anyone tried Buckhorn 209, or should
i just be happy and live with the fouling?

Offline ndnchf

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2020, 07:04:09 AM »
I have used BH209 in other BPCRs and have been very satisfied.  I've loaded my longer .50-45/.56-50s with it too, but only fired them in my rolling block carbine, not the Spencer.  Its pricey, but it works very well.  I've also used APP 3F with good results.  Both clean up easy.
"We're all travelers in this world.  From the sweet grass to the packing house, birth till death, we travel between the eternities"  Prentiss Ritter, Broken Trail

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2020, 08:27:30 AM »
 :)  Chiming In   ;)

Just to piggy back in on once of ndnchf's comments, I shoot APP exclusively.  APP "fouling" is Consecutive vis Cumulative for BP.  Each round fired removes the residue from the previous round.  Clean-up is simple and quick.  Try it.  You'll like it   :D

Forgot:  I don't like Trail Boss for anything.  Then again, I no longer use Smokeless for anything anymore.

Forgot #2:  APP also doesn't care about, nor, what type of Bullet Lube is used.  In fact doesn't care if there is ANY lube.  APP residue functions as it's own lubricant (Shameless Plug(s) for APP)

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Offline fiatmom

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2020, 07:26:07 PM »
Is American Pioneer Powder still available. I called and the number was not available. I was told they went out of business.

Offline hatfield

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2020, 11:23:13 AM »
Meine Spencer Rifle von Pedersoli geht am besten mit 350grn.Geschoss
Und 36grn.Schweizer Pulver Nr.3(

Offline Trailrider

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Re: Has anyone used Trail Boss in a 56-50 Spencer
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2020, 01:49:21 PM »
A number of years ago, I developed smokeless loads for a M1860 Spencer Carbine, cal. .56-56. (Actual groove diameter tapered from .545 at the breech to .535" at the muzzle.) Using a 380gr. Rapine #546390 mould cast with #2 alloy (9lbs wheelweights+1 lb 50/50 bar solder), behind 8.8 gr. Unique gave me a muzzle velocity of 959 ft/sec and 5 rd groups of 3-1/4" at 50 yards. Brass was shortened .50-70 cases.  Some other reasonably accurate loads were 18.6 gr of IMR4227 behind a 411 gr. Lyman #533476AX hollow-based bullet.
The interesting thing I found, was that the Relative Sectional Densities and water capacity was similar to the heavier bullets in .45LC. The 380 gr. bullet mentioned above would be equivalent to a 263 gr. .45 bullet. RSD = w (gr)/7000 x dia. x dia.  Water capacity of the cases was very similar, depending on the seating depth of the bullets, etc.

I am NOT recommending these loads for use in an original Spencer, and anyone doing so does it at their own risk.  Out of respect for the 150+ year old gun, I have quit shooting it altogether, but for .56-50 replicas, .45LC might be a reasonable starting point for smokeless loads.
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