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My experience with TRAIL BOSS POWDER

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Kurt
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My experience with TRAIL BOSS POWDER

#1 Post by Kurt » Thu May 31, 2018 1:19 am

I just wanted to offer for those who may not know but be interested, that Trail Boss powder is a hoot. I discussed some 7.62X51 ammo I acquired and through that discussion discovered the brass maybe brittle. Wanting to err on the safe side but not abandon it completely, I pulled the bullets and switched it out for 10.5 grains of Trail Boss and stuck the bullets back in. The Hodgden site says this load generates about 28000PSI and 1150 FPS. I use an 8" slow fire pistol target so the bull is obvious and with a 6 o'clock hold the load hits center of the bull at 50 yards and a bit high at 100. Recoil is about like a sporter 223 REM and the report, with hearing protection, sound like the same round. The brass shows no negative signs from firing, and though it was my original intent to throw them away afterward, I mat reload a few to see how they hold up. The trigger on the rifle is too heavy to make claims on accuracy but the 3" 50-yard groups I got with Spanish Mauser sight and my tired eyes made me grin a bit. Anyway, this is offered, in case it might assist someone else in having some fun. The can is 9 ounces for $16.95 where I got mine. Hodgdon has data on their website under the title Reduced Loads.

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RWS
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Re: My experience with TRAIL BOSS POWDER

#2 Post by RWS » Thu May 31, 2018 6:54 am

Good info, Kurt. Trail Boss is an incredibly good powder, in my experience. One clarification though... the bullets you pulled and reused were 147 or 150 grain FMJ boattails, correct?

I have a friend that is using a lighter charge of Trail Boss with 180 grain bullets for sub-sonic shooting with a silencer. He has found that this is about the heaviest bullet as he can shoot in a 1-in-12 twist rifle without keyholing (he wants the heaviest .308" bullet that will both stabilize and transmit the most kinetic energy at sub-sonic velocities). Also, he has found that some bullets that do very well in standard military loadings often keyhole at velocities below 1,500 fps. Since you are trying to salvage ammo that might otherwise be junk it probably makes no sense for you to use anything other than the original bullets unless you get the bug to produce as accurate reduced loads as you can make.

He also sez a 1-in-10 twist works much better for 150 grain bullets, and that flat base bullets give better accuracy than boattails, in his rifles at least. He is so thorough in his testing and load development that I will let him do the heavy lifting and begin my own reduced load development for my FR-8 using his data as a starting point.

Are you also salvaging the old powder? Might be good for use in range pickup .308 cases. My favorite powder is WW-748 behind a 147 grain bullet. Each charge costs me about 15 cents so you could really save some money on full-bore loads if the old powder appears to be OK. Just thinkin' out loud there.

-Bob

Kurt
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Re: My experience with TRAIL BOSS POWDER

#3 Post by Kurt » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:40 pm

Bob, Yes I am using the pulled 147-grain FMJ boattails and I am salvaging the powder too but since I don't know what it is I can only use it to reload 7.62 NATO or 308 Win. The weighed salvaged amount is 42.5 grains per round.

Here is a picture of a group I shot with another scoped 308 Winchester using the 10.5 grain Trail Boss load and 147-grain fmjbt bullet, at 100 yards. The scope was a 4X but I was pleased even though I don't know what order the holes were made. I hope to experiment a bit more trying to get better accuracy with the Trail Boss but my ambition with it is directed toward best 50-yard accuracy.
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Re: My experience with TRAIL BOSS POWDER

#4 Post by DaleH » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:40 am

I tried it, but got similar results you did ... vertical stringing ... for a few calibers tried. I think the charge and amount in the case is too light (small in volume) for an ‘efficient push’ behind the bullet, almost like combusting versus a really fast burn. I feel this leads to the erratic groups.

And cost-wise, there really isn’t any savings over 2400 or 4759 powdahs, so I still stay with them for my mil-surp and BP cartridge rifles whilst shooting cast bullets or pull-downs for the mil-surps. And they will group nickle-sized groups at 50-yards or better!

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