View Full Version : Imr Trail Boss loads..

04-09-2007, 03:43 PM
Finally managed to locate some Trail Boss powder to test various calibers for reduced loads. Like many others, have gone the pistol/shotgun powder route and was looking for something that provided more case volume . For those that like reduced loads, here are some of my results.

****PLEASE be advised almost 95 % of this load data is not in any manual*****

These were fired in a Ruger #3 45/70 22 inch brl. 3x9scope

Lyman 330 HP wc wheelweights .. WW cases ..WW Lrprimers

Full 45/70 case holds 27.5 gr Trail boss.

13.0 gr Trail Boss..1024..1083..1092 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 1.44 inch
14.0 gr Trail Boss..1117..1076..1128 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 0.83 inch
15.0 gr Trail boss..1187..1159..1151 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 0.72 inch
16.0 gr. Trail boss..1228..1230..1220 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 0.92 inch

190 grain gas checked wadcutter seated flush with case rim

14.0 gr. Trailboss..1298..1350..n/r......3 shots/ 75 yards/ 2.00 inch
15.0 gr Trailboss..1443..1435..1434..3 shots/75 yds/ 1.70 inch
16.0 gr Trail boss.1471..1465..1483..3 shots/75 yds/ 0.90 inch

150 grain round ball seated flush with case rim

14.0 gr. Trail boss..1448..1419..1430 fps..3 shots/75 yds/ 2.30 inch
15.0 gr. Trail boss..1496..1434..1430 fps..3 shots/75 yds/ 2.00 inch
16.0 gr. Trail Boss..1565..1543..1570 fps..3 shots/75 yds/ 1.70 inch

************************************************** *

1972 .444 Marlin 22 inch micro-groove 3x9 scope
RP cases, ww lrp w/c wwts. Full case of Trail boss is 23.0 grains

240 gr RCBS GC

8.0 gr. Trail Boss..939..935..955 fps....3 shots/50 yds/ 2.0 inch
9.0 gr Trail Boss...1040..1028..1042....3 shots/50 yds/ 0.90 inch
10.0 gr TB............1110..1095..1108.... 3 shots/50 yds/ 1.20 inch
11.0 gr TB............no readings...............3 shots/50 yds/1.30 inch
12.0 gr TB...one reading..1241 fps...... 3 shots/50 yds/ 1.03 inch
13.0 gr TB...no readings........................3 shots/50 yds/ 1.10 inch
14.0 gr TB..one reading..1338 fps.........3 shots/ 50 yds/ 1.50 inch

315 grain NEI PB @325 grains actual wt.

9.0 grains Trail Boss..905..898..889 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 1.00 inch
10.0 gr. TB.................967..963..966 fps...3 shots/50 yds/..0.55 inch
11.0 gr. TB.......... 1044..1034..1030 fps..3 shots/50 yds/1.10 inch

12.0 gr. TB...1083..1073..n/r..fps...3.0 inch/50 yds
13.0 gr .TB...1139..nr..nr fps..3.40 inch/50 yds

Rem 788 .308..18.5 inch brl. Lyman 155 grain 311466 gas check .wc wwts.
IVI CDN military case w.w .Lrp
Case capacity is 18.1 grains of Trail Boss

8.0 gr. Trail Boss..1077..1033..1046 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 1.05 inch
9.0 gr. TB.............1131..1129..1134 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 0.475 inch
10.0 gr TB............1220..1211..1193 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 0.88 inch
11.0 gr TB............1299..1324..1290 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 1.45 inch
12.0 gr TB............1351..1348..1349 fps...3 shots/50 yds/ 1.09 inch
13.0 gr TB............1395..1411.1394 fps....3 shots/50 yds/ 0.840 inch
************************************************** ******

Fired 240 gr Hornady in .444 and got under an inch at 50 yds with all TB loads used for cast... In .308 also fired Norma 95 gr. rn fmj..123 gr (.309) Lapua spz fmj and 150 gr. Norma soft point at 75 yards with at least 2 loads in each string under one inch. Also tested Trail boss in .222 and .223 remington with 45 gr Hornady Hornet and 55 Rem Fmj as I have no mold nor access to any .224 cast bullets....

Can provide load data if its of value but no chronograph data as it was shot a month ago in a bit of our lengthy rainy season..

04-09-2007, 04:18 PM
190 grain gas checked wadcutter seated flush with case rim

Where the heck did you get that mold because I want it.

I have gone all the way up to 19.0grs of TB in a 45-70 case with a 240gr Hollow Point bullet I made with a shimmed .452 mold so it throws out of round .452x.459, seems to work well at 50 yards, 1 hole from the bench, but at 100 or so it starts to open up the groups a lot about a 5" group...losing steam I dont know.

I love TrailBoss in my 45-70 lots of fun with over sized pistol bullets. No recoil, good accuracy, and low noise.

My hunting load last year was a 500gr RNFP loaded with TrailBoss, you couldnt hear it 200 yards away but it sure hit the target hard.

04-09-2007, 05:18 PM
I have found the load for the 40-65. 300 gr. RCBS CAS boolit , plain base very hard alloy, lots of lino.
16 grains of IMR Trail Boss all go into one ragged hole, roughly an inch
at seventy yards.
I am shooting these in a Uberti Highwall, iron sights.
I will also say that I pulled the trigger the first time with some trepedation, was concerned about pressure.
Also used pistol primers so as to be able to read pressure compared to magnum pistol rounds. No worries.
This is the most accurate load so far in my quest to get this rifle to shoot.
Don"t need to clean the bore after about fifty rounds.
I have not a clue as to what the pressure or velocity is, though I would bet a softer boolit would go plumb through a large elk and then some. It would be helpful to find a farmer with a dead cow he was gonna bury and do some some penetration tests.
Although I don"t need to, I will probably go up in charge weight in tenth grains just because I can.
This highwall rifle is a very strong action and is in new condition. I would be careful not to use these loads in a questionable, [condition] or older rifle until it has been determined what the real pressure of these loads is.
Happy shooting

04-09-2007, 05:27 PM
I bet the ES on these loads are quite low as well. It would be interesting to see how factual this guestimation really is. If the case is fairly full, keep using the pistol primers. If the ES is higher than say 50, switch to a stronger primer. I have dreams about that particular powder as being a real sleeper in a bunch of loads for the larger cases. ... felix

04-09-2007, 05:50 PM
hs45/70; ps.
I want to thank you for relating your experiences here. I was afraid I was the only one experimenting with this powder. I see some other guys are using it also.
I have been a gun looney for lots of years and have sometimes done strange, dangerous and outright stupid things. I don't think this would qualify as one of those.
Ain't the internet great, eh? Happy shooting

04-09-2007, 06:05 PM

About 4-5 years ago I read an article about a gent that made wad cutters for his 45/70. His process was to heat up his 500 grain mold and when it was casting just right he would open the mold and useing long needle nosed pliers place a .45 gas check into one of the lube grooves...close it up and fill with alloy....repeat until you had as many as you wanted.
The process is a bit slower but once you get into it you can do a lot in an hour or so.

Depending on which grease groove you place the gas check you can have circa 150 to 200 gr. plus wadcutters..complete with gas check and if desired can place GC on the other end too..
Have used this method in .30 cal. .35..416...429 and .457. with better accuracy than round ball out to 75 yds (as I haven't shot it at 100 yd yet except 45/70)

There is a gent on the forum "ANDY P" that I was in contact with several months ago and told him about this process....he being capable of posting pictures of these wadcutters in various weights did so on a thread that was started by him. A search will get you the photos if your interested.


The largest case I shoot cast in is .416 Rem. Mag. and after I try Trail Boss in my .338 will do so in the .416 ...but thats probably a month or so down the road.

Loose projectile

Your welcome...Have been into xperimentin for several decades now too with no end in sight..


04-09-2007, 06:14 PM
For about fifty years or more I have wondered why none of the powder manufacturers have not tried to duplicate the old Dupont Bulk Smokeless shotgun powder.
This Trail Boss is very close to being just that.
If you are not familiar with Dupont Smokeless shotgun powder, it was said you could use it as a substitute for black powder in shotguns, in measure, not weight as it was very light and bulky.
I used all I could find until it was all used up. Was great in all large capacity black powder cartriges.:drinks:
Happy shooting

04-09-2007, 06:48 PM
A while back I had a custom barrel made up for a TC Contender, the cartridge was 50-70 Government, the barrel length was 6-1/2". (not a typo). Trailboss is THE powder for this gun, it fills the case at acceptable pressure levels, and has given me loads with 3 different bullets that will hold 1" or less at 50 yds. I have also used it in 38 Spl., and .44 Mag with excellent results. It's not the most powerful, but boy, is it useful.

04-09-2007, 08:13 PM
Wow I never thought of something like that...need to get gaschecks, already have a 500gr mold, next step getting home with said gaschecks and make some of these wadcutters.

04-09-2007, 09:15 PM
That is a clever idea.

04-09-2007, 09:19 PM
The IMR/hodgdon website now has Trail boss load data.

Ohio Rusty
04-11-2007, 02:32 AM
I'm glad to see others using Trail Boss. I'm shortly going to be using it in both .38 special and .44 special. So where does Trail Boss compare on the loading charts compared to Unique and Bullseye? I'm anxious to get busy making bullets when I get some free time.
Ohio Rusty

04-11-2007, 12:10 PM
If you go to the Hogdon site they list about 104 powders on their chart from fastest to slowest in burn rates. Brief perspective for your question is:
#4 is redot
#7 is Bulleye
#11 is TrailBoss
#21 is Unique

04-11-2007, 01:11 PM
Alliant gives much more useful information about their powders than a simple ranking, by giving the burning rate as a percentage of the rate of Bullseye. For example, Red Dot, E3 and Promo are all rated at 94.1% of the burning speed of Bullseye. (In their standard "bomb" test.)

MT Chambers
04-12-2007, 01:01 AM
I found that the pressure builds fast in my 32/40 when using Trail Boss, I could only get 1100fps out of it before pressure was high according to IMR, very accurate though!

04-12-2007, 09:35 AM
I tried some Trail Boss out of my Rolling Block 45/70 with mixed results. 10 gns behind a 520 gn CBE 460-500 produced incredibly consistant velocities. Over 10 shots it returned a low of 791 fps and a high of 808 fps.

Whilst very pleasant to shoot the group was somewhat dismaying. Six shots into an inch and the remaining four scattered to make a 5 inch group.

What is going on?



04-12-2007, 09:42 AM
That load is apparently right on the edge of stability. It's a long way from a maximum load so try 1 or 2 more grains of powder and see if that doesn't eliminate the flyers.

04-13-2007, 06:21 AM
Hodgdon (IMR) list that load as their maximum for this weight bullet in my Pedersoli roller on their site. Should I be using a lighter boolit?


04-13-2007, 09:56 AM
Hodgdon (IMR) list that load as their maximum for this weight bullet in my Pedersoli roller on their site. Should I be using a lighter boolit?


I checked the website and you are correct. I wouldn't increase that load, it appears it's already over the recommended pressure level (18,000 CUP). It would seem to be a poor choice of powder for that caliber and bullet, it just isn't going fast enough to stabilize. Ten grains of Unique seems to be a popular load. Or maybe the Trail Boss with a 350 grain bullet and the same powder charge.

04-13-2007, 06:54 PM
Hi Scrounger,

I have some good loads for that gun using other powders. I was just experimenting with the Trail Boss. It is not actually availalbe here in Australia, although it is manufactured 30 minutes down the road from me.

The local gunshop was given a bit to try and passed on a little to me. I tried it with that 500gn boolit as the rifle just loves it, but no go.

I will save what little Trail Boss I have left to experiment in other calibres.

Thanks for your help.