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Best source and price for Trail Boss powder?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by cpy911, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    I am looking for Trail Boss powder to play with reduced cast loads for my 30-30. Who has this powder locally for a reasonable price???

    Thanks!
     
  2. taroman

    taroman Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Bi-Mart usually has it at a good price. Don't recall what I last paid, maybe $10 give or take.
     
  3. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    Bi-mart! Sheesh, why didn't I think of that! They have it for $12.99 for 9oz.
     
  4. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    before u spend money on it,my opinion,it's a VERY wimpy powder..as it's designed to be.I tried it in my 3030 and was much happier with my Unique loads than I was the TB loads. Those big 'cheerio' shaped flakes arent the easiest to meter either. fyi,ymmv,etc.
     
  5. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    Well, I have Unique, I use if for .38/.357 in a Rossi 92. I am just freaked out about double charging those large cases. Any thoughts on how to be careful? The cast bullets I have are rated for 1200 to 1400 fps.
    I would like to push at least 1200 or 1300.

    What about reduced IMR 3031 loads? Any data on that?
     
  6. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    when I( was using Unique,I was standing the cases up in blocks after adding the powder,and ALWAYS double checked,and even triple checked the powder level. double fill one so u know what it looks like,and dump it out right away.
    I don't see any loads for 3031 that can get down to that speed.I"ve never been one to vary from the books.. ie: reducing loads willy nilly.
    10 grains unique has been the go-to load for many many shooters for cast lead 30-30 bullets in the 170 grain range,btw.
     
  7. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Trail Boss has been my go-to powder for subsonic loads in several calibers. But my go-to powder for transonic and supersonic cast bullet reduced loads is AA5744. Has worked exceedingly well with 45-70 and 7.62x54R. But Unique is good, too. IMHO, IMR3031 is too slow to safely load at 1300 fps muzzle velocities. Plus, you will get a very wide velocity spread.

    Depending on the bullet weight, 1300fps may be pushing it with Trail Boss. But I would not know. I've never tried loaded for 30-30. I've read on several places you should not compress Trail Boss. Allegedly pressures go up very rapidly with any additional charge increase. Double check with Hodgdon.

    From my Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 3rd edition, for Unique powder:
    bullet, start load(gr), velocity(fps), max load(gr), velocity(fps),pressure (CUP)
    #311441 115gr, 7.5,1480,11.4,1913,36400
    #311440 151gr, 7.5,1333,11.0,1691,37300
    #311291 169gr, 7.0,1211,10.6,1568,36000
    #31141 170gr, 7.0,1240,10.6,1555,35500
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Simplest safety method of all. LOOK before you seat the bullet. Any time I am loading a round where a double charge without overflowing the case is possible I load one at a time. I dispense and measure all loads I don't load on a progressive using a Chargemaster. From the scale to the case and capped with a bullet. No chance of forgetting or spilling powder into a block of open mouthed cases waiting for bullets.
     
  9. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    You can screen for a double charge by weighting the loaded ammunition. This will inspire more confidence the more familiar you are with statistical analysis. But here is the gist: Let's say the cases weights 100gr +/- 2gr, charges 10gr+/- 0.1gr, bullets 170gr+/1 2gr, and primers 5gr+/- 0.5gr. You add up all the mean values and worst cases up and down, that is 285gr, 289.6gr upper bound and 280.4 lower bound. If you double charge a cartridge using all mean weight materials, you'd get 295gr, obviously out of bounds. But if you double charge with everything on the lower limit, you get 289.8gr, not only is it outside of the range but it is too close to the upper limit, so, I'd pull this one, and anything falling around the upper limit, even if it is within the range, at least initially. Same goes for squibs if you reverse the logic. As you measure your lot, the data will start showing a bell shaped distribution, bunching up around the mean value, 285gr. As data gets accumulated, out layers (double charges and squibs) can be more easily and accurately picked out.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    I thought of this too. I will need to acquire a good electronic scale. How do you determine the tolerances +/- on the case, primers, bullets and charges?
     
  11. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Weight them all. Take a sample size, about 10 to 20, depending on the dispersion of the population. The largest source of variance will come from the brass. The larger the sample size, the better. No way around this. All data must be empirical, using the same scale and measuring methods to reduce/cancel out error introduced by either. This is for calculating the upper and lower bounds, only. Once you start recording actual total cartridge weights, that new set of data will become your guiding line. Calculate the standard deviation and multiply it by 2. Some may argue x3 but I feel more comfortable with 2. That's your +/- spread, and your new upper/lower bounds.

    Example:
    {0.85,0.89,0.89,0.89,0.90,0.92,0.93,0.93,0.97,0.97,0.98,0.99,1.00,1.00,1.04,1.05,1.06,1.10,1.10,1.12]
    n=20, mean=.98, stdev=.08, 2xstdev= 0.16, upper limit=.98+.16=1.14, lower limit=.98-.16=.82

    But you may have to start all over when you change brass manufacturer or bullet manufacturer. And, when in doubt, pull out. If you want to understand this better, google up "statistical process control".

    The best methods are those that prevent squibs and double charges. It is always harder to inspect for than to design in quality into your product and production process. I offer this as a last resort method.
     
  12. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    So, I bought some bullets from Magnus bullets. They are 30/30 RIFLE-150 GR FP and when I called him, he said they are rated for 1200-1400 fps without leading. Can I use the Lyman 311440 mold data then? I suppose I could start with 7.5gr Unique and that should be right there in the range for what he rates his bullets. They don't look as good as other cast bullets I have, but they were cheap! Any generic data for Unique + 150 gr projectile in a 30-30??
    Thanks!
     
  13. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Yes, data for #311440 should be good. That's all I have. I have found a lot of data in the web for 30-30 for most of it is for gas checked bullets.

    If you are relatively new to cast bullets (as I am), I recommend this read: Missouri Bullet Company
     
  14. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    Does the manual say the pressure generated for the #311440 151gr low end load? I was running the hardness calculations from the link you sent and wanted to see what the optimal hardness is for a 7.5gr charge would be.

    Looks like there is a lot to think about with preventing leading, bullet size diameter, velocity, hardness, pressure, barrel condition, etc...I suppose I just need to try these out and if I lead the barrel, I have some copper brushes to start removing lead!
     
  15. k7grc

    k7grc Banks, Or Active Member

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    What rifle are you loading these for? Marlin 30-30 with micro-groove, has a tendency to lead up. The Marlin Cowboy has the deep Ballard rifling.
    I run light loads for the grandkids, in my 30-30 model 94's and the old Stevens 325. I will check the loads tonight, and post them here.
     
  16. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    Rifle: 1956 Vintage Winchester 94 with 20" barrel in 30-30.
    I have 150gr FP lead bullets sized at .309 supposedly rated at 1200-1400 fps that are "hard" cast. I don't have a hardness tester so I don't know. I am assuming they are not soft lead, they don't dent with my fingernail.
    I am thinking 7-8gr of Unique should be safe. I may start at 7gr of Unique. Would like any data you have! Thanks!

    PS. I have a cast reloading book on my wish list at Midwayusa.com!
     
  17. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    +1 on trailboss being a horrible powder. Many of the subsonic loaders like to use it to avoid the famed (and unproven) flash-over effect of fast burning pistol powders in high volume cases. Hodgdon lists both clays, and titegroup as subsonic loads in .308 Winchester. I've loaded up hundreds of these rounds and never had an issue. You may want to try some of these loads, yes, I know they are for a .308, however the load is so low pressure, you are unlikely to have any issues, if in doubt see if hodgdon lists subsonic load data for the .30-30.

    If you are worried about double charging with a pistol powder, fix your loading procedure so this doesn't happen, don't blame the powder. Throckmorton outlined the exact procedure for this.

    I've loaded light cast and plated bullets in .308 and a number of other rifle cartridges, powders I've used are blue dot, unique, 2400, lilgun, and clays. Lilgun and 2400 kinda share a niche in terms of burning rate, being somewhere between a pistol and a rifle powder, and are great performers in reduced loads, especially for big-bore rifles (up to .50 calibers including .50beowulf).

    The lyman manual lists a #31141 (170gr RNFP gas check) at 7.0-10.6gr of unique with 1240-1555FPS at the muzzle. Another powder you may want to try is SR-4759, a lot of people have had good results with that powder, but you're going to be pushing a bit faster in the 1600-1800FPS range which is starting to get marginal for cast bullets (even with the gas check).
     
  18. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    General knoledge says that .309 is too small for most rifles in a cast bullet. 310 and even .311 will provide more bite into the rifleing. however,ya just never know until you actually try them in YOUR rifle.
     
  19. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    For cast bullets, as cast they should be .002-.004 over bore diameter, after sizing they should be .001" larger on average. However, sometimes (.38/.357 being a classic case) keeping these at .357" actually makes better shooting ammo. For .30-30 .309" is the perfect size, if you go too big you just get more bore leading and erratic pressure.
     
  20. cpy911

    cpy911 Newberg Active Member

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    The projectiles I bought for my 30-30 are sized at .309