Well what an interesting topic. I keep seeing some replies to another Trail Boss topic about is it an underappreciated powder.
Well, owning a Corvette can be disappointing if you purchased it hoping to get the same performance of a Bugatti Chiron.
Lets back up just a little bit and go over to the Hodgdon website and see what they have to say about Trail Boss.
Hodgdon says that "
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."
That should pretty much sum it up right there for anyone that decides to use this powder for anything other than what is was designed for. Trail Boss was manufactured to be a BULK powder to fill the cases of black powder cartridges like the 45 Colt and 44-40 cartridges. It was designed as a plinking load for Cowboy Action Shooting which has a velocity limitation. It was also manufactured to help prevent double charges in those same high volume cases.
1. Hodgdon has load data for such Cowboy Cartridges on their web site.
2. I also know that there is a Trail Boss Reduced Loads PDF floating around on the net were guys that shoot stuff like 243s, 270s, 308s....what I call exotic cartridges...can load reduced loads. What these guys fail to realize is what the title of the PDF says....REDUCED LOADS!!!
The PDF claims that using such reduced loads in such rifle cartridges are fun but I don't see how if accuracy and velocity is a problem. The Cowboy shooter is typically shooting 12 x 12 type size steel plates typically no further than 25 yards. Accuracy is still important but who wants to shoot a 308 at even as close as 50 yards....and at what? Again, Cowboy Action Shooting competition has a velocity limitation for competitions.
Hodgdon offers load data for rifle and pistol cartridges in their load data section of their website. However, if you can not find your "favorite cartridge" in their PDF "RIFLE and PISTOL" chart, they claim you can use a formula and stay inside safe pressures.
Here is my experience with Trail Boss in Cowboy Cartridges. I absolutely love it!
Here is my experience with Tail Boss in my 45 ACP pistols...I absolutely love it for plinking!!!
Same with Cowboy cartridge rifles.
When using such loads in pistols and weak action rifles, I highly suggest NOT USING the PDF loading suggestion.
I shoot the 44-40 exclusively. Hodgdon load data limits a max load to 6.5gr MAX to stay under SAAMI max pressures of 11,000psi (13,000 cup). Using the PDF suggestion, I can get 9.3gr in using a Magma type 200gr LRNFP bullet like Oregon Trails Lazer Cast. There is a tad but of "spongy" compression but not crushing the donuts!
Working my way up to that 9.3gr load.....
Results from a 20" MGM barrel I use for strain gauge pressure testing.
6.4gr gave me a result of 7,224 psi with a ten shot group avg with a strain gauge.
9.3gr gave me a result of 15,182 psi @ 1,250fps with a ten shot group avg with a strain gauge.
I fear any crushing of the powder would send higher pressures through he roof!!!