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IMR Trail Boss powder & jacketed bullets

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by mnhogrider, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. mnhogrider


    Sep 10, 2007
    Just bought me a 9 ounce can to try for no real reason. I've been hearing good things about it. I know it's developed for lead bullets, but has anybody been using it with jacketed bullets? .38 special, .357 magnum or .44 magnum?

    Anybody load any semi-auto ammo with Trail Boss? I'm thinking there's not going to be enough power to cycle the action.
  2. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    TB was developed for lead bullet shooters, the CAS guys. While you may be able to get enough into a case to make a jacketed bullet run, it should not be compressed. I think some guys have had limited success in the 45acp w/ lead bullets, not enough case volumn in the other rounds IMO. It is at it's best w/ lead bullet sin big cases like the magnums & 45colt.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010

  3. Blitzo


    Sep 17, 2006
    Trailboss is one of my favorite powders. I really like it in the 45acp and I use it it semi autos with no problem. I heard from a guy at the range who tried TB with a jacketed bullet and he said it barely came out of the barrel. Not something I want to experiment with.
  4. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    IIRC, it's got the wrong pressure curve profile for pistols. Big writeup in "Propellant Profiles" book. Not that it can't be made to work; but it's like making pigs dance.

    OTOH, it's a great powder for wheelguns. Specifically CAS and lead boolits. Big, fluffy kernels make it hard to double charge (but then, you get 9oz in the normal Hodgdon 16 ounce container),
  5. TonyT


    Mar 14, 2009
    I use Trail Boss with lead and plated bullets in 38 Special, 44 Special and 45 ACP for use in revolvers. I saw the Trail Boss data for reduced loads in the newer Hodgdon manual and called Hodgdon to inquire about it's use with jacketed bullets in pistol calibers. The gentlemean with whom I spoke said it was possible but that accuracy would probably be poor due to very reduced velocity. I'll stick with Trail Boss with lead and plated bullets.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  6. I have used and continue to use TrailBoss in my .45 LC pistols and rifles, .44 Mag pistols and rifles, 30-30 and 45-70 rifles, all with lead and I love the stuff!

    But... I have always wondered if you could shoot a jacketed bullet with TrailBoss as I have never tried it.

    Lots of folks use it for the old and new trapdoors, rolling blocks, Sharps, etc.
  7. Kentucky Shooter

    Kentucky Shooter NRA Life Member

    Jun 12, 2009
    This attachment came straight off the IMR website and discusses using trailboss for lead OR jacketed bullets for reduced loads.

    Though it does not show 45-70 loads, I used the formula to work up a load for my 45-70 using a 300 grain jacketed bullet and 20 grains of trailboss. Shot very well for me and easier on the shoulder than full throttle loads.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2010
  8. 390ish


    Dec 6, 2004
    i use it for subsonic 308 and 30-06 jacketed subsonic loads. only game in town.

  9. Kentuc... thanks for that pointer. I will try to use that formula with my jacketed bullets for my 45-70. 46gr (and that is not even max) of 3031 with a 405gr SP bullet about tears my shoulder off!