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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 8:19am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

When I was low on powder I used trail boss for a friends 223 like an ar15 or the like. It didn't work and I got the left over rounds today and unloaded a few and some were very light like 3g total. Most were 24g or close. I think I see the problem. I used the "fill the case up with powder to the bottom of the bullet" scenario, then I measured that and came up with 24g. The powder is so bad I feel it bridged in the powder measure thus the problem. I looked today for any good data and there isn't any that I can find. I will use Varget or Lit'l gun as I have used these before with no problems. Any input will be nice although I have had no success with Trail Boss to date. I think IMR not having any data on there site say's it all. Craig

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RT58
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 10:30am | IP Logged Quote RT58

The reference sheet on IMR's site doesn't list .223, but it does have others and it does explain how to figure out how to find the data for any cartridge, which is how you said. They list a maximum of 13 grs. for the .243 by the way, so you might want to double check the 24 gr. you had.

I don't know if it would cycle the action on an AR type weapon as the port pressure should be much lower than with powders normally used.

That being said, I don't much care for it myself.
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 10:44am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Yeah thanks for the input! I am finding all kinds of data for subsonic loads which I could care less about. I do have a bolt action action rifle I could shoot these up in safely although I am finding 27g in some rounds. Those must be to the top or just under the base of the bullet but I will take a few more apart to make sure what I am shooting. Thanks again for the input. Craig

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 11:32am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Not all powder measures will work correctly with a few of the more fluffy powders. Trailboss is certainly one of the ones that one must check out a good many powder drops worth of testing to check for uniformity before settling down to actually load a round.

Myself, I would never use a reduced load for any auto rifle. Really fast burning powders are not suitable and many of the slower burning powders are not suitable for the gas operated rifles because they have not enough or too much retained bore pressure at the gas port.

Certainly best to just look at a few manuals before substitution. There are many reasons that Trailboss would not be listed in the manuals of course.

If you are finding such large differences in powder weight from the pulled rounds, I think I would just pull them all rather than even shoot them from a bolt gun unless you just want to make some noise. I doubt they will be very accurate.

Oh, by the way, I do not see how you could get 24gr. of Trailboss in a .223 round without compression, let alone 27gr. Better check your scale or something. Certainly does not sound right.

Edited by Ham Gunner on December 27 2018 at 11:39am


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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 2:58pm | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Ham, I checked about 7 of these and 24 to 27g is what I am getting. if a load bridged and only dropped 3 or 4g then the next load could have been 27 or so!! Anyway I am thinking about s..t canning these and saving brass and primer for a good powder!! Craig

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joed
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 7:02pm | IP Logged Quote joed

I agree with Ham, I've had lots of problems with some powders in measures.
Never messed with Trail Boss though so can't say how well it measures.   It is a
flake powder though and I try to stay away from those because of bridging.

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M700
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote M700

On Hodgdon's site, I found one 223 load with Trail Boss:

4 grains (four) of Trail Boss, with a 55 grain Hornady bullet for 1074 fps.

I don't understand these figures of 24 or 27 grains.

Quoting from Hodgdon's site:

"Trail Boss was designed specifically for low-velocity lead bullets suitable for Cowboy Action shooting.
It is primarily a pistol powder but has some application in rifles.

Trail Boss is based on new technology that allows very-high loading density, good flow through powder measures, stability in severe temperature variation, and, most importantly, additional safety to the handloader."

Doesn't sound like anything I'd want a 223 to do. That pretty much turns the 223 into a 22 long rifle, at least for velocity.

Regards, Guy
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RT58
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Posted: December 27 2018 at 8:58pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

If you break the little doughnuts up you might get 27 grains in the case, but that would be quite dangerous. This is why they tell you not to compress it. This will increase the burning rate considerably and will create a spike in the maximum pressure.
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 5:39am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

Hey I got sucked into the hype of"you can use it with any caliber"thing. There are people using it with 3006 although I can't figure why. I really just used it for a friend but my experience failed to excite me or anyone!!! Craig

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M700
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote M700

Desert Eagle41 wrote:
Hey I got sucked into the hype of"you can use it with any caliber"thing. There are people using it with 3006 although I can't figure why. I really just used it for a friend but my experience failed to excite me or anyone!!! Craig


Ya, it's important to know what the heck we're dealing with for sure. Thanks for sharing your experience here.

I've thought about using Trail Boss for some reduced power loads for my 375 H&H. Never got around to doing so, but I think it would be kinda fun. Get about a thousand fps from a 235 gr bullet. Might be fun to plink some soda cans with that!

Guy
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RT58
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Trail Boss is intended for light Cowboy Action Shooting loads but is supposed to be suitable for reduced loads in a large range of calibers. It's real purpose is to keep morons from blowing themselves up by using light charges of fast powders and double, or triple, charging a case.

Present day reloaders have been programmed to think that everything has to be loaded to the max. or well beyond the max. Older books and manuals taught how to use one rifle for multiple purposes by varying the bullets/powders used to cover a wide range from light gallery loads to full power loads. I like having different rifles for different purposes myself, but I also like having rifles that can be used for many different roles too.
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 9:47am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

I went to Cabelas today and bought some collets for the Hornady bullet puller which is the way to go for pulling anything over 5 rounds. I had maybe 40 to do and have done 25 or so now. I was weighting the loads as I emptied them and all were close to 25g but some were 3 or 4. Go figure. The bullet remover was well worth the trip. Craig

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M700
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 12:42pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Craig - is it possible that those 25 grain powder charges were some other powder?

I don't think it's even possible to get 25 grains of Trail Boss into a 223 case...

I do think it's a good idea to pull those bullets and start over with a more appropriate powder.

A little concerned here. Thanks for bringing this up - and I think you're on a good course of action, breaking those loads down.

Regards, Guy
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 12:53pm | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

I have reloaded them all with varget 25g with 27.7 being max on HOdigen website. There were only 46 to do and with the bullet puller working with the correct collet it didn't take any time to fix. Well I need to come up with a load to use up the Trailboss crap. Maybe 9mm or 38sp or 357 or something that uses a lot of that to get rid of it. Well see ya. Craig

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M700
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Cool.

Ya, I think it would make fine reduced-power handgun loads.

Guy
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RT58
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Posted: December 28 2018 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

I don't know how well it'll work for 9mm, but the .38 and .357 will be fine.

Data can be found at Hodgdon's site. It's no longer labeled as IMR but is now a Hodgdon product, which owns IMR and markets Winchester powders too. Trail Boss powder is actually made by ADI in Australia and you can find data at their website also.
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 6:24am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

I would agree with not trying reduced loads in autos unless I was OK with manually cycling it, which may be acceptable. I plan on developing a load like that for the 1907 Winchester because I like to shoot it and don't like chasing expensive and hard to find brass.

A reduced load in a .223 would be a nice thing in a bolt rifle though. Haven't done it in .223, but have a lot in .22 Hornet and some in the .222. You can accomplish that with fast to medium pistol powders, plenty of data out there.

A friend who hunts coons with dogs developed loads for taking out treed coons with head shots using a single shot .223 and cast. He reduced the load until he stuck a bullet, then went back to the last load that reliably shot. Perfect for what he wanted and would be a good thing if you wanted to target practice in your basement or something.

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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 7:04am | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

richhodg66 Thanks for the info!! I went there and they had data for 223 which I had given up on but no data for 9mm,38sp,357. Oh well I will study further but reloaded with Varget so 223 data isn't needed anymore. Boy I would sure like a way to get rid of this powder. Craig

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Posted: December 29 2018 at 7:58am | IP Logged Quote dahlin

Craig I just looked in my Hornady manual it has Trail Boss listed for 38 special for 158gr SWC as 2.9gr=650fps 3.5gr=700fps 4.1gr=750fps is the top load they also have 45 long Colt listing for Trail Boss hope this will help you out. Randy
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Posted: December 29 2018 at 9:04am | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Never used Trail Boss, but always thought it was for use in big cases that were designed for black powder like .45 Colt. If you don't have a .45 Colt, you should, or find someone with one. I bet it would do as well in the .44 Magnum or Special too.

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