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Old 07-12-2010, 10:34 AM
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Default Trail Boss Powder for Milsurps

While searching out loads for my 1885 HiWall Winchester in .32-40, I discovered IMR Trail Boss powder. Primarily made for Cowboy Action shooting as a smokeless BP substitute, it's a milsurp shooters perfect powder for accurate plinking loads.
This stuff is just about idiot proof, you can use any case, any caliber, any bullet weight, and any kind of bullet, but a non gas check cast bullet works best. Powder flakes look like tiny donuts.
Fill a case to about the base of the bullet, or fill it and compress the load, and you still can't overload with it. Shooting BP cartridges with smokeless and having to use fillers to keep the powder on the primer is eliminated.
Lighter bullets barely break the sonic level, standard weight bullets for the cartridge are subsonic, I "could" shoot the .32-40 without ear protection.
Loaded up some NEC .311 110grn cast, some with gas checks, some without for 7.62x54. Recoil in the Mosins was like shooting Czech 45grn practice ammo, with better accuracy out to 100yrds that any milsurp ammo.
Makes a great load for kids and the women folk that shy away from the recoil and muzzle blast on your M44.
The only bad I could find is:
Won't cycle semi autos (turns your SKS into a bolt action, but with the subsonic plus)
Bulky powder so the supply goes pretty fast on the larger cases
Doesn't do well through the powder measure, A home made Lee style powder dipper worked much better anyhow.
More testing on other calibers is in the future.
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Old 07-12-2010, 1:44 PM
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There was an article about using Trail Boss for low-recoil loads in the April 2010 issue of Handloader

The Speer Reloading Manual #14 includes reduced load data for several popular cartridges. I finally received my order of 8mm bullets from Grafs today so I can start making some reduced load 8x57mm rounds using IMR 4198 to try out.
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Old 07-12-2010, 4:22 PM
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Originally Posted by TRAP55 View Post
Doesn't do well through the powder measure, A home made Lee style powder dipper worked much better anyhow.
More testing on other calibers is in the future.
It goes through a "Little Dandy" well enough...

Certainly not the most accurate charging powder but you'll never get yourself into trouble with it, I wouldn't think...

They even have .223 cast loads you can use Trail boss for. Probably don't cycle in an AR but still...
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Old 07-21-2010, 7:56 PM
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I loaded TB in 45ACP and it cycled in my SA loaded 1911 with 200gr SWCs. They were going mighty slow though maybe 550 FPS??? My paper target looked like I just pushed my finger through it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 8:07 PM
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I use it for 30-30 cowboy loads and 45-70 loads in an old Trapdoor. It shoots great!
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Old 07-21-2010, 8:15 PM
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I like real blackpowder for my 45-70 loads. Sure it is time consuming to load but there is something special about shooting BP over smokeless. I however have tried rounds with Pyrodex but was less than excited about it. Either way, you have to clean the cases and gun right after shooting.
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