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DaveB
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Posted: May 17 2008 at 7:32am | IP Logged Quote DaveB

I've been using 10gr. of Blue Dot under a 50gr Speer TNT for a couple of years now and have finally given up on trying to keep the TNT's on hand. Order them up in the off season as $$$$ permits but come spring time nobody has them on the shelf and the internet companys are all back order. So I switched to 40gr Nos. BT's. With the 40's I started @ 8gr and worked up by halfs to 12gr's. The velocity isn't as consistant as with the 50's and neither is the accuracy. My old load had an extreme spread of around 60 fps and usually kept the groups between 5/8's to an inch. None of my trial loads with the 40's would stay under 2 1/2" & the velocity spread was close to 200 fps.
So I got to wondering if it was possible to use Trail Boss instead of Blue Dot? I am trying to stay with a fast burning powder which has a high bulk factor.
Anybody tried this yet? Thanks in advance.

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: May 17 2008 at 8:21am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

I wouldn't switch powders, Dave. Instead, I'd try a few other 45 or 50-gr bullets. As you're shooting in the Hornet/Bee velocity range, try a box of Hornet bullets first. I've tired them all and it's hard to beat plain old Hornady bullets. Your 12-gr of BlueDot should work fine as is.

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DaveB
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 4:20am | IP Logged Quote DaveB

Rocky, I typically switch between the Blue Dot loads and my full power loads frequently and durring early trials noticed that the first full power shot after a string of light loads did not shoot to the same point of impact as subsequent rounds when using different bullets for each load. That's when I started using the TNT's as they worked well at both starting velocities.
Slightly compounding my problem is the fact the the rifle I'm shooting is an old Herters (BSA) which has a 1-14" twist and will not shoot ANY 55gr+ bullet, 50gr boat tailed bullet or even some 50gr flat based bullets worth a darn. Quite a few where keyholing at less than 50 yrds.
So if I tried using the 45gr Hornet for the light loads does it have the same gilding metal as say the 40gr V-Max so that maybe it won't throw that first round off so badly?

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 7:25am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

The metal alloy itself is likely to be nearly the same, but it's also thinner. It may even be softer if they anneal the jackets before final forming.

All you can do is experiment, I'm afraid.

I use several bullets in those BD loads, none of them heavier than 50 grains. Most of them are 45, but I also concoct a bunch of ground squirrel medicine using either the 37-gr Calhoon Double Hollowpoint or the new 36-gr Barnes Varmint Grenade. Both of them are long for their weight, but stabilize perfectly in my own 1-14" rifle as well as in my 1-16" Hornet.

Your 1-14" used to be the standard twist for the 223, and was designed for the long 55 FMJ military boattail bullet. So it's odd that your rifle pukes on them. Rifles are just weird sometimes. I have two ostensibly identical Rem 788 rifles, both 1-14" and one of them is only accurate with bullets 50-grains and under (like yours) while the other one only shoots 55 and 60-grainers worth a hoot. Go figure.

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turbo1889
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 12:54pm | IP Logged Quote turbo1889

     Depending on burn conditions Trail Boss has a burn rate that varies between Bullseye at it's fastest and Red Dot at its slowest. I got it to work fine in the 7.62x39 cartridge for 115gr. cast bullet loads but in the .223-rem I'd be careful with the stuff. Definently start at no-more then 5gr. of it to start with and work the load from their. Check and see what "Reloader-#" powder is comonly used for full power loads with your particular bullets. If it's Reloader-7 or Reloader-10 then it might work but if it's something slower like Reloader-15 I wouldn't bother trying. Basic rule of thumb is that if the rifle cartridge uses Reloader-7 for full power loads then an equal volume (half case / full case / Lee cc measurements) of Trail Boss will make a good light load (usually with cast bullets for me) and if the cartridge uses Reloader-10 for full power loads then you can sometimes get a reduced volume of Trail Boss to give you a low, low power load but for cartridges generally using slower burning Reloader-# powders it's a dead end road.

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DaveB
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 3:31pm | IP Logged Quote DaveB

Rocky,Turbo- Thanks for the info. One question, has either of you tried crimping with the light loads? I was thinking of buying the Lee FCD and putting a light crimp on them. Would this help make a more consistant burn or cause pressure problems due to too high of an initial start?

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Paul5388
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 4:02pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

Dave,

I use a 1 in 12" Handi rifle in .223 and this is what the Blue Dot loads look like with a 55 gr V-Max.



I get similar results with 60 gr V-Max, so I guess you know where I'm heading.

The 45 gr Nosler solid base bullets I have aren't grouping well in the loads I've tried so far and they cost more than the Hornadys. I think I would look at the 50 gr V-Max and see if it'll do as good as the TNTs.
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Rocky Raab
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 5:29pm | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

Dave, while I ALWAYS crimp my true Hornet loads with Lil Gun, I do not crimp the Blue Dot 223/Hornet clone ones. Blue Dot doesn't seem to need that high bullet pull.

Paul's load shows that this is one instance where load workup isn't needed. Just drop 12.0 of Blue Dot under ANY suitable bullet in 223 cases. I do like to use a milder primer in these, sticking to a Rem 6 1/2, a Fed 100 or even a small pistol primer such as Fed, CCI or Rem. I find WW primers too hot for Blue Dot in any case, any load.

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DaveB
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Posted: May 18 2008 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote DaveB

Paul, using the 50gr and 55gr V-Maxes my Blue Dot loads look just like that. Trouble is, when I load them up to a normal .223 velocity they keyhole. I have some very interesting looking groups in my loadbook.

Rocky, how much does the switch from sm. rifle primers to sm. pistol primers affect velocity or the consistancy of the velocity? I guess I was just assuming (yeah, I know ) that the inconsistant velocity readings where caused by inconsistant powder burn due to differing powder positions in the case or not enough neck tension to cause the powder to burn correctly. Currently using CCI 400's for the BD loads and Fed. 205 Match for the full powder loads.

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: May 19 2008 at 6:21am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

I'd have to go shovel down into my pile of notes to get details, but I do know I tried both, and settled (firmly) on the milder primers for these loads. So there must be a significant degree of improvement.

Blue Dot is a very easy-to-ignite powder, and its fluffiness pretty much means that it fills at least half the case in these loads. There's also what I call the "leaf blower effect" of the primer blast. The net result is very consistent ignition.

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Placitas Slim
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Posted: May 19 2008 at 1:53pm | IP Logged Quote Placitas Slim

I always use a Lee FCD on my .223s.It helps with consistency. While Trail Boss is my go to powder for cowboy action and pistol plinking I don't think I would use it for .223. Varget normally fills my cases and the same for X-terminator, so I don't think I could get enough TB in a case to be effective.
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gandog56
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Posted: May 19 2008 at 3:11pm | IP Logged Quote gandog56

My first question would be why would you want to use Trail Boss in .223?
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Ranch 13
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Posted: May 20 2008 at 2:28pm | IP Logged Quote Ranch 13

Dave you might want to drop hogdons a note and ask them if they have any data for the 223 with trailboss. Chances are if its possible they'll let you know.
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DaveB
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Posted: May 21 2008 at 5:52pm | IP Logged Quote DaveB

Slim,GD56, The reason I'm using Blue Dot and was wondering about Trail Boss is that I'm trying to get a 40-50gr. bullet going out of a .223 case around 1900-2200fps. When you're in a dog town shooting over 200 rounds a day in 85-95 deg. temps the barrel gets hot and stays that way without prolonged cooling times. So shooting the reduced loads with the lighter powder charge,lower velocity and very low muzzle report is deffinately the way to go on the ones close enough to do so (150yds and under). I can usually shoot 15 shots of the reduced load for the same rise in barrel temp as 3 shots of typical .223 power loads. In the spring the average range is around 60yds. Since we are walking in around a mile just to get to the start of the town carrying all our ammo and water it doesn't make sence to try and carry both my .22Lr and .223Rem so my friend found out about the reduced loads on the Calhoon site and we have been in love with them ever since.

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