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Old 12-01-2016, 05:25 PM
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Question Trail Boss powder in .223 Rem?



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Reloading data from Hodgdon lists a recipe for a 223 Remington load that uses Trail Boss powder--- max of 4 gr. with a 55 gr bullet yields an expected rimfire-like velocity around 1000 fps. Has anyone here tried this load? If so, please share your thoughts on how it works.
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:24 PM
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I never tried Trail Boss in 223 but in 308 and 30-06. I never really liked it as it seemed to have a long time from pulling the trigger and the bullet went off. I tried some IMR 4759 for reduced loads and got better results. Snappier ignition. Unfortunately 4759 is no longer in production. I managed to get 10 lbs which will be for me the rest of my life so I am set.

To your 223, I cannot say. At 4 gns you will get like 980+ loads out of a can. IIRC it is 9 oz.

David
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Old 12-01-2016, 06:28 PM
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Subsonic velocity with accuracy, in bottleneck cartridges, is one of the 'holy grails' with my handloading goals; am interested & will keep an eye on this thread.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:07 PM
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That sounds like a good plinking load to try in my 12" Contender, I will make a note of it to try later.
FM
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:18 PM
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I have followed Hodgdon's guidelines to create Trail Boss loads for two other cartridges:
  • 243 Win is 12 gr. Trail Boss with 100 gr. Sierra SPT Pro Hunter
  • 30.06 is 15 gr. Trail Boss with 150 gr. Sierra SPT or 155 gr. Nosler Competition
Both of these are pleasant to shoot and are very consistent. They're not subsonic, however, and probably fly at about 1200 fps. As for delayed ignition, I can't say. My style of shooting from a bench pretty much relies on free recoil on a ballistic bag, and that set up seems to be very compatible with these reduced loads.

I've also used IMR SR 4759 for reduced loads with good results in 22 Hornet, 222 Remington and 45-70. I, too, am sorry it's no longer available. These loads are more powerful than what Trial Boss produces and a good compromise between the very mild Trail Boss loads and the full power loads.

Last edited by kimberkook; 12-02-2016 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:54 PM
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Not quite subsonic but fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrel4k View Post
Subsonic velocity with accuracy, in bottleneck cartridges, is one of the 'holy grails' with my handloading goals; am interested & will keep an eye on this thread.
I have been learning my way with AA 5744 for reduced loads in .223 Rem and .30-06 Win. based on the Speer #14 handloading manual. Here is my approach:

Accurate Arms 5744 for reduced loads
This propellant is suitable for reduced loads for most rifle / bullet combinations. It is position-independent within the case. Even if some powder is not consumed, the energy is consistent.

To develop loads:
1) Fill case to bottom of bullet level
2) Weigh propellant (Lapua = 26.3)
3) Multiply this weight by 40% ~ 65% for a safe reduced load.

From Page 202 of the Speer manual:
Speer 1032 55gr TNT HP with AA5744:
11.0 gr (42%)  1,885 fps
12.0 gr (46%)  2,022 fps


Here is my best reduced-load recipe so far:

Bullet: Speer #1032 TNT HP, propellant: AA5744 12.0gr, primer CCI 400, case Lapua, COL 2.969", fps 1,940, 5-round Extreme Spread 24.53fps, Standard Deviation 9.79fps, group 0.6125" at 100 yards through T/C Venture with 9x Nikon.

Last edited by Squeezer; 12-02-2016 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Punctuation
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:10 PM
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Squeezer, your load development with AA 5744 is very interesting. Looks like velocity is reduced about a third in contrast to about two thirds for Trail Boss.

The idea of a universal powder use based on a percentage of case capacity is where Hodgdon ended up with Trail Boss, only in their case, the guideline was about 70% of case capacity below the seated bullet. My experience testing that guideline with bullet weights lower than their recommended load never proved to develop a consistent round. For example, they documented the 243 Winchester recipe for a 100 gr. bullet. I tried getting consistent results with 70 and 80 gr bullets and never got it. Maybe I didn't try hard enough, but the 100 gr worked so well I didn't have a lot of incentive to go further.
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Old 12-02-2016, 04:00 PM
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FWIW, I have done extensive .223Rem load testing with Red Dot & Blue Dot that yields /astounding/, near-unbelievable accuracy in my off-the-shelf Rem700 Classic sporter with very little muzzle report - particularly when paired with a .22RF suppressor. ;-)

But I don't post details about those loads online because it's disagreeable to argue with folks who say that the velocity & accuracy I've achieved, safely; cannot be done.

Last edited by Kestrel4k; 12-02-2016 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberkook View Post
Squeezer, your load development with AA 5744 is very interesting. Looks like velocity is reduced about a third in contrast to about two thirds for Trail Boss.

The idea of a universal powder use based on a percentage of case capacity is where Hodgdon ended up with Trail Boss, only in their case, the guideline was about 70% of case capacity below the seated bullet. My experience testing that guideline with bullet weights lower than their recommended load never proved to develop a consistent round. For example, they documented the 243 Winchester recipe for a 100 gr. bullet. I tried getting consistent results with 70 and 80 gr bullets and never got it. Maybe I didn't try hard enough, but the 100 gr worked so well I didn't have a lot of incentive to go further.
I have heard of Trail-Boss loaders mixing in something inert like Kapok to help fill the case.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrel4k View Post
FWIW, I have done extensive .223Rem load testing with Red Dot & Blue Dot that yields /astounding/, near-unbelievable accuracy...But I don't post details about those loads online because it's disagreeable to argue with folks who say that the velocity & accuracy I've achieved, safely; cannot be done.
Awe shucks. I thought we have to be tough to live in Oregon
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberkook View Post
Awe shucks. I thought we have to be tough to live in Oregon
LOL - must be why I'm moving to MT in a couple yrs.
Judging by your profile pic, is that the coast? The weather there, /that's/ tough living.

Last edited by Kestrel4k; 12-02-2016 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squeezer View Post
I have heard of Trail-Boss loaders mixing in something inert like Kapok to help fill the case.
I use a product called Puff-Lon with my reduced 308 and 30-06 loads. It does make the groups more uniformly round and smaller :-)

David
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Old 12-02-2016, 06:49 PM
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I like Trail Boss for .38 Special wadcutters. Low velocity, a little smoke and a dirty barrel!
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Old 12-02-2016, 07:11 PM
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Interesting thread. I am building an AR pistol and really wanted it to be in .223/5.56 but my research said that the muzzle blast and flash from unburned powder was pretty much unbearable at the range. When I started asking in some forums about reduced loads or using pistol powder with heavier bullets, I was "schooled" about how dangerous that would be and to just suck it up and deal with it. I couldn't really find any published loads using pistol powder for .223/5.56. I kept wondering then why does 300 Black Out use pistol powder to achieve the same thing with out "blowing up". I don't feel experienced enough to start experimenting on my own, plus I'd rather not damage what is becoming a rather expensive rifle. I eventually went with a 8.5" 300 BO barrel but now have to keep my loaded magazines separate, and stock a more expensive round. I will be watching to see what you guys come up with.
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kestrel4k View Post
LOL - must be why I'm moving to MT in a couple yrs.
Judging by your profile pic, is that the coast? The weather there, /that's/ tough living.
Ha! Montana?!? I moved back to Oregon (sunny Florence) after shoveling snow in Coeur d'Alene for 30 years. You can have it

mycanoe44 ... I think any AR presents a problem with these reduced loads. I don't think they're strong enough to cycle in an AR, but that's just speculation on my part. I don't have one and have never talked with anyone who's tried to use reduced loads in one. Single shot in an AR?
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