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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm curious, is anyone using Trail Boss powder in their .38SPL or 45ACP loads?

I'm starting to see some of it showing up at various matches and it seems to do quite well, but I'm having trouble finding much load data on it.

I use a lead 148HBWC in my 38's and generally lead 185HPWC or 200SWC in my 45's.
 

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Yes and Yes Stuff works great did you try but i don't use it in the Bullets weight listed

http://www.hodgdon.com/ for data

or Gunblast.com

or handloads.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm looking for some proven loads for the 38 and 45 myself. I see the table on the 45ACP is like 3.5 to 5.5 grains for a 200LSWC, but a much smaller range for the .38 Spl - like 2.0 to 2.3 grains.

I guess if all else fails I could start experiementing in the spring as I don't take any reloading equipment with me to Arizona for the winter.

My interest was sparked by the fact that it sounded like typical loads almost fill the case so double drops are almost impossible, but more importantly, we all know a full case generally means more consistency. I'm told the bullet almost touches the powder, but it's not a compressed load.

Funny, but another comment was that it has a sort of wierd smell - something like ammonia or urine. I've heard that comment a few times.

I've shot Bullseye powder for many years and I'm quite comfortable with it, but some of the shooters now using Trail Boss were also dedicated Bullseye shooters and they really like this Trail Boss.
 

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I really enjoy using Berry LSWC Bullets with some Titegroup of 4.7-5.0 and the .200 grain hole puncher becomes a shooter trader, Bring some of your loads and I will let you compare to mine bro.
 

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I use 2.3 in a DEWC not Hollow Base in 38 talk about a plinker round


It does Fill the Case even in my 460smith it fills the case

and it does have a odor but not sure what it is

Guns clean easy though
 

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Off-topic post, as I have not had a chance to try TB with 45ACP as yet.
I use it for 45 Colt - 5.6gr and 45 Schofield - 5.0gr with 250gr bullets; mild loads for cowboy guns. Trail Boss has an acrid smell to it, but I got over it. Smokes a bit, almost as much as Pyrodex. Just the ticket for SASS matches.
LT
 

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Off-topic post, as I have not had a chance to try TB with 45ACP as yet.
I use it for 45 Colt - 5.6gr and 45 Schofield - 5.0gr with 250gr bullets; mild loads for cowboy guns. Trail Boss has an acrid smell to it, but I got over it. Smokes a bit, almost as much as Pyrodex. Just the ticket for SASS matches.
LT

I does have a funny Smell but i haven't noticed any smoking on the 3 calibers i have used it in 45acp 38 and 460 S&W
 

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I have loaded and fired a couple hundred rounds of ammo loaded with IMR Trail Boss powder. I had some on hand from my CAS shooting when I saw load data on the IMR web site in 45 ACP using a 230 grain lead bullet. The load is 4.5 grains and it is a very good shooting load in my Kimber. I compared it to 4 grains of Clays and I prefer the recoil impulse of the Trail Boss for fast shooting.
Tried it in .45acp using Precision moly 230gr. Didn't work out. At 4.4gr it hadn't made it to USPSA major and it had a strange feel that I didn't care for. Nice try but no cigar.
Bought a can-o-Trail boss today..just to try it in the 45 auto.

started with 3.9 grains and a 225 grain truncated cone lead bullet(thats what the powder was designed for)

federal 150 primers
3.9 Trail boss
1.200 oal
light crimp.

Velocity out of my 1911 was 665 fps avg for 10 shots
Velocity out of my ruger p97 decocker was 677 fps avg on ten shots.

actual bullet weight was 228.9 grains.
SOFT recoil with very little smoke...sounds funny too!

next was 4.0 grains with the same set up as above.

in the 1911 the velocity jumped to 690 fps avg
in the P97, average was 702 fps.

determined to make major and seeing no signs of pressure i jumped the powder charge to 4.2 grains..
1911 was 717 fps
P97 got 732 fps...still not good enough...still soft recoil, and very little smoke.

4.3 grains brought the 1911 to 165.1 power factor with very little extreme spread and stil less smoke than the major power CLAYS load i have been using. Too close to Minor still for me.

4.4 grains brought the p97 and the 1911 up to major at 170 and 168 power factor with both.. The gun doesnt sound like its shooting a major round...but it is.
the load is clean and consistent, plus the bullet is touching the powder charge, slightly compressing it.

During the shooting, i noticed a funky odor...the powder smells WIERD!!


I loaded some Precision 230s with 4.4 grains of trail boss and shot them.
Practically NO smoke, and it gets 740 fps..


Some more testing of this powder may move clays down to a secondary powder in my 45s.

one thing i noticed was the Ruger P97 shot faster than the 1911 even though the 1911 has 3/4 of an inch more barrel.


hope this helps anyone who is looking into trying this powder

230 GR. LRN

DIA: .452"
COL: 1.200"
Trail Boss 4.5 761
15,100 CUP

that load is the only load that makes major...the lighter bullets peak at 163 pf..

that load makes the old power factor if my math ic correct.

the rest of the loads can be found on http://www.imrpowder.com/data/handgun/45acp.php
Copied these from several locations. Tracy
 

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I think im running 4.3 or so with trail boss and a 230 bullet .. A great soft load
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TSP45ACP - Thanks for the detailed report.

I guess I'll have to buy a bottle and give this powder a try. I've used Clays and Bullseye for years with a fair amount of success, but with the exception on the 'Odor', this sounds interesting for certain competitions...
 

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Trader,

I only bought a # when I thought I was going to have time to experiment.

NONE of those loads listed are mine. I just saved them as I found them.

Just learned to copy & paste yesterday! LOL Tracy
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I've got some load data from guys I shoot with and I'm going to do a little playing in the spring. I'm at my winter home without any reloading equipment, but when I get home I'll do some tests and report back. At my age, patience has become a way of life...

Here's some info I found in a reloading manual.
45 ACP [Pistol]

180 GR. LFP 3.5 to 5 Grains
200 GR. CASTL SWC 3.5 to 5.5
230 GR. LRN 3.5 to 4.5

It's seems 3.5 is the place to start and some bullseye shooters tell me 3.6 to 4.0 works well will little difference in recoil and accuracy in this range with the 200 grain LSWC bullet.
 
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