PDA

View Full Version : Trail Boss - I get it


cindynles
07-28-2012, 9:10 AM
I finally get the advantage of Trail Boss powder. I just recently started loading 38 special. I have been using W231, and while the performance has been great, it kind of freaks me out that there is so much open space in the case (3.3gr). It seems like it would very, very easy to double charge. Its also hard to see a single charge in the case.

I picked up a bottle of Trail Boss (even though it is about 30% more expensive on a pound per pound basis) and gave it a shot. It takes up about 2X as much case space. Much easier to see in the case and a double charge would overflow. Now to see how it shoots.....

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_1358.jpg

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_1359.jpg

Javi
07-28-2012, 10:15 AM
Wow, that's very little W231 haha. I plan on making my very first rounds out of .38 spl with Trail Boss.

sofbak
07-28-2012, 10:19 AM
I just got into reloading, and started with 45 LC. I chose trail-boss for my first venture for the same reason as your observations on volume and the possiblity of letting a double get by.

TB is a good powder. Burn rate is slower than 231, so you get more of a "push" than a "pop", with very mild recoil. Even at the max listed loads, it was a pleasant experience instead of a "handful" to hold. Accurate enough for me, but YMMV.

It sure metered through my Lee pro auto-disc a lot more consistently than unique.

I think you are going to be pleased with it.

CalTeacher
07-28-2012, 10:38 AM
Trail boss is also great for reduced velocity cast bullet loads in rifles. Ive used it many timesbwith good results in 45/70 from my Marlin 1895.

Clownpuncher
07-28-2012, 10:41 AM
Unique also works well for filling the case. Although, as referenced a ton on here lately, it is pretty tough to meter out at times.

XDRoX
07-28-2012, 10:45 AM
Trail Boss is one of my favorite powders.

It's been very accurate in my guns. I pay $11.65 a bottle at powder valley. My ony complaint with it is I wish it would function in my semi auto 9mm's :D

Here a pic of a recent indoor range trip grouping shot with TB.
http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc412/XDRoX619/TB1-2.jpg

cindynles
07-28-2012, 2:34 PM
Nice 586. I will be shooting it through the same gun....

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG_1348.jpg

XDRoX
07-28-2012, 2:52 PM
That's funny, you don't see too many. I have a matte black version.
My pet load is 2.3gr of TB under 148gr LWC. Feels like a 22 out of that 586. Accurate, clean, and soft to shoot. Super fun to shoot.

LexLuther
07-28-2012, 3:42 PM
I use it in 38s and have recently started using it in my 45, super soft recoil, and the cleanest powder I have found...

sofbak
07-28-2012, 8:12 PM
Interestingly, IMR claims you can't overcharge a case with trailboss-as long as you don't compress it. Read their "three step formula" here:

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

CGT80
07-30-2012, 9:10 PM
100% loads of trail boss don't seem as consistent and accurate as lower charges. I load 45lc and 460 with tb. I think 8.5 grains was a 100% load in the 45lc case, but the books list 45lc charges that are less than that. I other words the IMR generic formula isn't perfect for 45lc. I went over published book data, but followed the general IMR data. I also used a smith 460 xvr, so I knew the gun was very stout. Now I know why the book had lower loads listed.

In 460, 14 grains of TB is max by the general formula. 9.8 is 70%. 9.8-11.0 works great with 200-270 grain bullets.

One of these days I will try shooting some paper, if I ever run out of steel targets to shoot. Steel is so much fun.

M27
07-31-2012, 12:17 AM
Love trail boss.

Use it with 90gn bear creek round nose in a 380 feels like a squib

Use it in my 45 with bear creek 200 gn swc feels like a hard 9mm

CEDaytonaRydr
07-31-2012, 8:31 AM
Such a great powder. I love it for regular reloading, as well as load development. I will be using TB to develop some 41 Special loads in a few months. That way, my nephew can shoot his great-grandpa's pistol without having to worry about the ridiculous recoil of 41 Mag loads.

CGT80
07-31-2012, 11:26 AM
Has anyone tried loading rifle cases with trail boss? I was thinking about some 30-06 loads with it. I like the 30-06 and have a ton of jacketed bullets for it, but the recoil gets old after a while with a bolt gun. I used to shoot a 3lb coffee can of loaded 30-06 at full power in a day when I was a teen, now not so much. IMR says it's ok to run jacketed, and I have done so in pistol cases, but not rifle.

I am going to give it a shot, but I was just wondering what anyone else thought. TB is a great powder.

CEDaytonaRydr
07-31-2012, 11:52 AM
Unique also works well for filling the case. Although, as referenced a ton on here lately, it is pretty tough to meter out at times.

Unique is another one of my favorites. I probably use more unique than anything. It loads well for both 45 ACP and 41 Mag. Love that stuff.

It seems to meter okay for me in a lil dandy but I have yet to try it in my dillon. So does Trailboss...

For those of you who are on the fence about this powder, I cannot saw it enough times: Trailboss powder is fun!!! Get yourself a 9oz can and give it a try. Next time, I'm buying in bulk... :D

Dark Mod
07-31-2012, 12:00 PM
I started loading with it but moved on to W231, dont remember why. How dirty is it with jacketed rounds? also How is Unique as far as dirtiness goes?

Love the Matte 586 by the way, wish i had more revolvers. Also wish i never got rid of my 460.

Next revolver will be blued with wood grips for sure.

sofbak
07-31-2012, 12:07 PM
Has anyone tried loading rifle cases with trail boss? I was thinking about some 30-06 loads with it. I like the 30-06 and have a ton of jacketed bullets for it, but the recoil gets old after a while with a bolt gun. I used to shoot a 3lb coffee can of loaded 30-06 at full power in a day when I was a teen, now not so much. IMR says it's ok to run jacketed, and I have done so in pistol cases, but not rifle.

I am going to give it a shot, but I was just wondering what anyone else thought. TB is a great powder.

IMR lists a .30-06 load with TB and a 150 gr. boat tail. Load is 19 grains, and using the published VMD for TB, that just about fills the usable volume in the case.

It also shows a mv of 1477 fps out of a 24" barrel, so it should be easy on your shoulder. Lots of drop at distances, but that's what elevation adjustment is for. Try it and report back....

CEDaytonaRydr
07-31-2012, 12:09 PM
How dirty is it with jacketed rounds? also How is Unique as far as dirtiness goes?


It depends from caliber to caliber and load to load. It's the cleanest powder I've ever seen for 45 ACP. 6.0gr under a 200gr lead, or copper plate. That load is very popular...

On the other hand, I've used it for 40 S&W and it's not that great. W231 seemed cleaner for that cartridge...

Javi
07-31-2012, 2:27 PM
Has anyone tried loading rifle cases with trail boss?

Ix2si1M2iM8

Noonanda
07-31-2012, 8:39 PM
Has anyone tried loading rifle cases with trail boss? I was thinking about some 30-06 loads with it. I like the 30-06 and have a ton of jacketed bullets for it, but the recoil gets old after a while with a bolt gun. I used to shoot a 3lb coffee can of loaded 30-06 at full power in a day when I was a teen, now not so much. IMR says it's ok to run jacketed, and I have done so in pistol cases, but not rifle.

I am going to give it a shot, but I was just wondering what anyone else thought. TB is a great powder.

Aint5 done .30-06 yet, but did .308 using 110Gr Frangibles, fun little plinker load with zero recoil.

Bill Steele
07-31-2012, 8:45 PM
..TB is a good powder. Burn rate is slower than 231, so you get more of a "push" than a "pop", with very mild recoil..

TB is quite a bit faster than W231. It is just less dense.

sofbak
07-31-2012, 10:07 PM
TB is quite a bit faster than W231. It is just less dense.

Not according to the "Powder Burn Rate Chart" in my Lee manual (pg 111). W231 is 6 or so places higher up the list that TB.

edit:


Now that I look more closely at this chart, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Several powders are "ranked' with the same number(s), and the numbers go from 1 to 67, but there must be close to 220 listed. I can't find any text reference to it either in the chapter it is in. hmmmm...

Bill Steele
08-01-2012, 6:33 AM
Not according to the "Powder Burn Rate Chart" in my Lee manual (pg 111). W231 is 6 or so places higher up the list that TB.

edit:


Now that I look more closely at this chart, it doesn't seem to make much sense. Several powders are "ranked' with the same number(s), and the numbers go from 1 to 67, but there must be close to 220 listed. I can't find any text reference to it either in the chapter it is in. hmmmm...

I always go to the source on these kinds of things.

http://www.hodgdon.com/burn-rate.html

CGT80
08-01-2012, 1:07 PM
Thanks for the video Javi. I think I will start at a medium load of TB in a 30-06 case with a standard size flash hole. I would love to shoot a 30-06 with subsonic ammo and a suppressor though. I just want a fun, low recoil load. As long as I don't get a squib, it will be all good. I tried SR 4759 in the 30-06 and was pleased. It still kicks, but it is much more pleasant than a full load of 4895. I also found that 4895 can be downloaded to 60% of published loads. I haven't tried it yet, but I do have a good supply of that powder.

231 is my favorite pistol powder and I run it in 45lc with mild recoil, but it would be very easy to miss a double charge. I think 231 ends up costing less than trail boss for my loads. I bought TB for the bigger 460 case, but I am curious to see how it works out in some other cartridges.

cindynles
08-02-2012, 2:02 PM
I loaded up some 38 special with 158gr Bear Creek SWC and hit the range for a comparison. I shot 75 with 3.3gr of W231 and 75 with 3.0gr of Trail Boss. I didn't notice a huge differenence in accuracy or recoil. I did notice that with the small charge of W231 I got some unburnt powder (not much, but noticable), I did not see this with Trail Boss.

Trail Boss grouped a little better, but that could be just because of the reduced recoil with the lighter charge. W231 is on the left, Trail Boss on the right. All shots were double action out of a 4" S&W 586 at 15 yards.

http://i557.photobucket.com/albums/ss20/cindynles/IMG-20120802-00080.jpg

socal147
08-13-2012, 5:53 AM
Unique is dirty. I have never heard someone say Unique is a clean powder. I should have taken pictures of my spent 45LC cases loaded with unique. Bad bad bad.........

CalTeacher
08-13-2012, 8:26 AM
Unique is dirty. I have never heard someone say Unique is a clean powder. I should have taken pictures of my spent 45LC cases loaded with unique. Bad bad bad.........

Unique will be dirty at lower pressures. It burns very clean, at least in my experience, when loaded at higher pressures in .40 and 9mm.

bruceflinch
08-13-2012, 11:24 AM
I've found W231 burns cleaner than Unique, but never felt Unique was that bad.

I'm gonna try some Trail Boss for my Milsurps. Good Thread!

cindynles
08-13-2012, 2:18 PM
FYI, I loaded up some 38 special Trail Boss and clocked it this weekend.

3.4gr Trail Boss, 158gr Bear Creek SWC, Remington Brass, Winchester SPP. Shot out of a 4" S&W 586:

Avg: 757 fps
SD: 13.9 fps

761
746
743
782
755
757

Whiterabbit
08-16-2012, 1:50 PM
Has anyone tried loading rifle cases with trail boss? I was thinking about some 30-06 loads with it. I like the 30-06 and have a ton of jacketed bullets for it, but the recoil gets old after a while with a bolt gun. I used to shoot a 3lb coffee can of loaded 30-06 at full power in a day when I was a teen, now not so much. IMR says it's ok to run jacketed, and I have done so in pistol cases, but not rifle.

I am going to give it a shot, but I was just wondering what anyone else thought. TB is a great powder.

I used to shoot cast in my 7x57 with trailboss with reasonable results before I switched to 4895. Great practice kind of round.

lapsbpbep
08-17-2012, 2:00 PM
I tried 20 grans of varget in a 308 very light load the wife loved it

stilly
09-05-2012, 12:32 AM
Hey can you use that for a 44 mag or a 50 AE also? :\

CEDaytonaRydr
09-05-2012, 10:17 AM
Hey can you use that for a 44 mag or a 50 AE also? :\

For .44, yes! As long as you're using lead or copper plated, you can pretty much use it for anything. I'm not sure it will work for 50 AE, though.

Also, it sounds like you might have a Desert Eagle that can switch between 44 and 50 AE. If that's the case, TB would not be a good powder for that application. You're not supposed to shoot lead or copper plated in those. Only jacketed...

CEDaytonaRydr
09-05-2012, 10:21 AM
I tried 20 grans of varget in a 308 very light load the wife loved it

That is VERY low for .308! Did you get that load data out of a manual or other resource?

I load more than 20grns of Varget in my .223 loads!

stilly
09-05-2012, 11:28 AM
For .44, yes! As long as you're using lead or copper plated, you can pretty much use it for anything. I'm not sure it will work for 50 AE, though.

Also, it sounds like you might have a Desert Eagle that can switch between 44 and 50 AE. If that's the case, TB would not be a good powder for that application. You're not supposed to shoot lead or copper plated in those. Only jacketed...

Yeah. I have a Deagle in .44 but I am gonna be upping it to a .50 in the next few months. But right now I shoot X-treme Bullets and Rainiers. I have not and will not shoot straight lead through it. I have put close to 700+ copper plated rounds through it. No problems. So plated and jacketed are okay to use from what I can tell. When I get a hold of jacketed bullets I use them too but so far for what I do, the plated Rainiers and X-tremes have worked great. The HP bullets are especially cool. The Rainiers mushroom VERY NICELY in the dirt.

rsrocket1
09-05-2012, 12:13 PM
Varget and other rifle powders are too valuable to shoot powder puff loads.
10-12 grains of Unique/Red Dot/Bullseye works great with 110g 30 cal round nose bullet. You can do the same with a standard 150g bullet and modify it up or down. No need to go above 1800 fps (recoil) or below 1100 fps (risking a stuck bullet).

Yes Bullseye is listed as a "fast" powder, but it really burns closer to Unique after its initial ignition. Quite honestly, with rifle length muzzles, most pistol/shotgun powders have completely finished combustion before the bullet exits the barrel and the amount of powder is a bigger factor than the type. I've tried Unique, Red Dot, Bullseye, Power Pistol, Clays, Titewad and they all behave about the same when using about 10 grains in a .308. Light recoil, low noise, great accuracy at 50 yards and good accuracy to 100 yards.

BTW, I can neck size the cases and crank out a bunch of these rounds on my LnL AP which makes for a lot of fun shooting with the kids with little time at the loading bench.

ExtremeX
09-05-2012, 12:23 PM
I have no experience with the powder... so I have a question.

Is this mainly for revolver cartridges or will it work in 9mm and .45 ACP?

I am still waiting on my jug of W231 to come in so I can take a try at my first pistol loads, but I want to use a powder that is forgiving during the learning process…

CEDaytonaRydr
09-05-2012, 12:42 PM
I have no experience with the powder... so I have a question.

Is this mainly for revolver cartridges or will it work in 9mm and .45 ACP?

I am still waiting on my jug of W231 to come in so I can take a try at my first pistol loads, but I want to use a powder that is forgiving during the learning process…

No, it will work in auto-loaders, so long as you are using lead or copper plated projectiles. The problem is the powder is so bulky that with jacketed bullets, you'd need to compress the hell out of the powder to get enough of it to make the velocities you want to achieve for jacketed loads.

The Desert Eagle is an issue because of the lead projectiles, not because of TB Powder. You're technically not supposed to use lead bullets in a DE because it has a direct inpingement gas system (like an AR). I guess the lead fouling can plug up the gas system and cause problems.

CGT80
09-05-2012, 6:11 PM
Trail boss makes some pretty low velocity loads. In the 460 case, 11.0 grains and a 273 grain cast lead bullet will make just over 1,000 fps. I don't know if 44 mag and 50 ae will work the action of a desert eagle properly. Same goes for small semi auto pistol calibers. I have not tried it in an auto. In my revolver, I had loads in 45lc brass as slow as 550 fps.

I tried some reduced 30-06 loads with 150 grain jacketed bullets.
14.0 grains of trail boss was around 1200 fps. This was a very mild load. The muzzle report is much more quiet than a full power 30-06 load. It sounded similar to an average pistol. The recoil was the same or maybe even less than my mini 14 target model. I shot the loads from a 1926 year Winchester bolt action rifle. I think it was a model 54. It is a fairly short gun that was used in the past for hunting from horse back. I have a saddle holster for it.

13.0 grains of red dot in the 30-06 was around 1400-1500 fps. It had just a tad more recoil than the trail boss load, but I think red dot is less expensive and I have a good supply of it. It might work with less powder, but I went ahead and loaded more at 13.0. I am wondering if the red dot load will be more accurate at 100 yards than the slower trail boss load. I would like to check out Angeles range and try out their rifle steel while shooting from the bench.

I also downloaded IMR-4895 to 30.0 grains for a 150 jacketed bullet. It still feels like a big rifle, but the recoil is easy to handle. The velocity was 1580, 1672, and 1703 on the three rounds I ran over the chrono. A full power load with BL-C(2) was 2424 fps and has a hard sharp recoil. A full power load of imr-4895 feels the same. After a few handfuls of full power loads this rifle becomes less fun. My dad's 70 or 700 rifle (I don't remember the exact model-it is a bolt action), which is longer, has noticeably less recoil.

I have also tried SR 4759 in the 30-06. 32.0 grains and a 150 jacketed bullet comes out to 1785 fps. It feels and sounds the same as IMR-4895 at 30.0 grains. It has medium recoil and medium volume report.


It seems that the 30-06 is a very versatile rifle that can utilize many powders. I will stick with red dot, since it is the most affordable for me. Trail boss might be my first choice if I bought powder for the 30-06 light loads, since I use it for revolver as well. I use win 231 for pistols, so I don't really need red dot for pistols.

I have been thrilled with the versatility of Trail Boss. I can use it in almost any gun with any bullet, even without having load data. I only shoot at the range, so I rarely load hot. YMMV