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Thread: IMR Trail Boss... anyone use it?

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default IMR Trail Boss... anyone use it?

    Just got my 550B and Rock Chucker mounted last week. Found 2 pounds of Trail Boss locally. Got 2,000 Winchester primers each for large rifle, small rifle, and large pistol. Got all the bullets I need. Got all the dies and brass I need. Plan is to start off reloading 45/70 for my guide gun. Then 44 special for my Henry Big Boy Deluxe and Taurus pistol. Then 500 S&W. Can I use Trail Boss for all these loads. Can't find any info in my manuals about Trail Boss. I am looking for cost effective plinking rounds that don't kick much. Heard the Trail Boss would be good for that, but can't find much load data. Thanks for any insights.



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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    Yes, you can use that powder for all of those cartridges. As you navigate the menus at the site above, for 45/70, choose "trapdoor" data to find the trail boss loads.

    I like trail boss for reduced loads, but is expensive.. A can costs just as much as a pound of other powder, but you don't get a pound per can.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    Yes, you can use that powder for all of those cartridges. As you navigate the menus at the site above, for 45/70, choose "trapdoor" data to find the trail boss loads.

    I like trail boss for reduced loads, but is expensive.. A can costs just as much as a pound of other powder, but you don't get a pound per can.
    True' but it's bulkier. I dunno if you could get a lb. in the same size can. And, it's cheaper per can.

    I use TB for reduced loads a lot and for several cartridges.

    It IS more spendy than the pwdrs so often used for such loads, but it's safer because the bulk reduces the possibility of double charges. It fills the case better, and can even be more accurate than some more case sensitive pwdrs.

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    I like TB for reduced rifle loads a lot. Makes a great powder for that purpose but I believe it is originally meant to replicate black powder's bulk in the big old cases like 45 Colt so it's probably great for the .44Spec and 45-70. As Smitty mentioned- double charges are impossible to get in a case so it's certainly safer in those old BP cases.

    I'm sure a load could be found for the 500 S&W....Hodgdon gives a formula for generating safe loads for just about any cartridge on their site.

    Not sure about cost effectiveness for any sort of volume since I use it intermittently; but I would imagine you'd run through it pretty quick in the big cases.
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    Works good in subsonic rifle loads too.
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    I forget what magazine I read this in, but there was an article about Trailboss and how versatile it is. You can literally use it in almost every caliber there is. The article gave this rule of thumb for Trailboss: Select the bullet you will be using and determine where in the case the base of the bullet will be when seated to COAL. Then fill the case with Trailboss right to that point - where the base of the bullet will be. This is your max load. Back off 10% for your start load.

    I've used this rule when loading Trailboss in .460 S&W, .243, 30-06, .450 Marlin and 45 Colt. I never had issues with any of them.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Good to hear it is versatile as I picked up two more bottles the other day. Seems it is about the only powder I can find.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Works good in subsonic rifle loads too.
    There is an article in Reloading: Hogdon's 2013 Annual Manual called 'Quiet time with Trail Boss' about subsonic loading.
    BEE.

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    I am just finishing up a pound - er uh, 9 ounces of it, in my .38's, 45 colt, and .357. Too expensive for my plinking needs. Try Tite Group - you get a full pound for the same cost.

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    I use it, love it, and sing it's praises every chance I get. It's truely an innovative powder. Doesnt look like other powders, meters just fine, and when loaded on the progressives, virtually eliminates the double charge issue. Not going to give you smoking velocities and not necessarily great for jacketed bullets though....

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    I tried some recently and found it underwhelming. Although it will work in just about anything, I didn't find it to work especially well in anything unless you are trying to load without scales.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    I tried some recently and found it underwhelming. Although it will work in just about anything, I didn't find it to work especially well in anything unless you are trying to load without scales.
    You may not have a good application for it.

    It is basically, a reduced load powder and it serves it's purpose better than anything else out there.

    I also like SR 4759, another bulkier powder.

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    Once things settle down and I can get some leads I'm going to try some trail boss and 53gr Sierra and try to get 22mag volicity with my 22-250. I figure it is worth a try and would make a good round for beavers and what not. Also it would be a little cheaper then buying a 22 mag and ammo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    Once things settle down and I can get some leads I'm going to try some trail boss and 53gr Sierra and try to get 22mag volicity with my 22-250. I figure it is worth a try and would make a good round for beavers and what not. Also it would be a little cheaper then buying a 22 mag and ammo.
    Sounds like a fun project to work up. You'll probably still be a little north of 22 mag velocities, but it should still suit your purpose fine as long as it turns out to be an accurate load. Let us know how it works out.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    Once things settle down and I can get some leads I'm going to try some trail boss and 53gr Sierra and try to get 22mag volicity with my 22-250. I figure it is worth a try and would make a good round for beavers and what not. Also it would be a little cheaper then buying a 22 mag and ammo.
    Good plan. I like stuff like that. It shows how versatile hand loading can be, and a powder like TB helps.

    Play around with your loads. You may even find one that shoots the same sight adjustment as your full power loads at up to 25 yards.

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    The way that people are buying up bullets and powder it might be a year in the making. I thought it would be a fun project and see what I can do with trail boss. I will more then likely turn out to be more 22 hornet speeds, but either one will work. If I can get it to shoot good. If not I will just have to drop the money on a 2 hornet or mag.

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    Default Trail boss usage option

    Have starting using this powder to break in barrels on large calibers, it is easy on the shoulder and makes break in time a lot more enjoyable
    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    The way that people are buying up bullets and powder it might be a year in the making. I thought it would be a fun project and see what I can do with trail boss. I will more then likely turn out to be more 22 hornet speeds, but either one will work. If I can get it to shoot good. If not I will just have to drop the money on a 2 hornet or mag.

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    I had a jug of TB and shot some of it this weekend and thought Id add my experiences to this thread. I loaded up some 223 40 grain Ballistic Tips for my AR15 with 8 grains and a few with 4.5 grains. Amazingly the 8 gr loads shot to within an inch or so of POI with full house loads. I was also suprised to shoot close to a 1" group. That was at 100 yds. The 4.5 grain loads were about 8" low but shot another nice group. They will not cycle the action of course, but for a bolt rifle they would be pretty darn nice for varmit hunting I would think...

    It worked well enough that I thought I'd try one in my 325 WSM. I only loaded one up to try, but it hit close to where I was aiming at 100 yds and it was cool to actually see the impact. No recoil, no muzzle rise. I hate send expensive bullets downrange at 1200 fps, but it was nice to shoot that rifle without any recoil, just for the heck of it. I like it.....I'm gonna load up some for my 338WM too, I could easily put 50 of these down the pipe and not have to worry about my shoulder the next morning.

    As far as cost goes, it costs 2.11/ ounce for trail boss versus 2.00/ounce for say H4831, and you're using three times less powder per round. Not really too expensive at all...

    For 223 rounds, at the "max" loading, you'd get about 500 rounds out of 9 ounces of powder. That's less than 4 cents a round...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    I had a jug of TB and shot some of it this weekend and thought Id add my experiences to this thread. I loaded up some 223 40 grain Ballistic Tips for my AR15 with 8 grains and a few with 4.5 grains. Amazingly the 8 gr loads shot to within an inch or so of POI with full house loads. I was also suprised to shoot close to a 1" group. That was at 100 yds. The 4.5 grain loads were about 8" low but shot another nice group. They will not cycle the action of course, but for a bolt rifle they would be pretty darn nice for varmit hunting I would think...

    It worked well enough that I thought I'd try one in my 325 WSM. I only loaded one up to try, but it hit close to where I was aiming at 100 yds and it was cool to actually see the impact. No recoil, no muzzle rise. I hate send expensive bullets downrange at 1200 fps, but it was nice to shoot that rifle without any recoil, just for the heck of it. I like it.....I'm gonna load up some for my 338WM too, I could easily put 50 of these down the pipe and not have to worry about my shoulder the next morning.

    As far as cost goes, it costs 2.11/ ounce for trail boss versus 2.00/ounce for say H4831, and you're using three times less powder per round. Not really too expensive at all...

    For 223 rounds, at the "max" loading, you'd get about 500 rounds out of 9 ounces of powder. That's less than 4 cents a round...
    That sounds awesome for small game hunting with an AR! Shoot some Sierra soft points out of the bigger calibers, they aren't too expensive. Shoot cheap bulk bullets for the .223, they're still around!

    I bought some trail boss a while back to try in my .44 for small game, i'm going to have to try it in the .223 now!

    Thanks for sharing!

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    The thing is you can use most any fast powder in most any rifle. Real popular are Red Dot, Unique, 2400 and a host of other shotgun speed powders. 5 or 6 grs of most any powders like these will give accurate low speed low recoil grouse loads. I have been loading 2grs of w231 in my Mosin Nagant with a 98gr cast 32cal pistol bullet. I have only shot it at about 20 feet at some 2x4. From kneeling it puts them all touching and will just shoot through a 2x4 and bury it flush in the next and quieter than a 22lr in a rifle. 2grs is 3500 to the lb and I'm using RIO shotgun primers in drilled out 7.62x54r brass. RIO sg primers are available and at $29.95 per thou. That's about 3.5 cents per shot at todays component prices.

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