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trail boss load for 38/56
October 21, 2019
6:22 am
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Sydney Australia
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I have never used trail boss, but want to give it a go in my original 86 Winchester.Its in excellent working condition,and a nice bore.

from what ive read, but cant find a chart on trail boss for 38/56, fill case to bottom of bullet, take out 30% and start from there.

wont be hunting with it , or looking for accurate shoots, just fun loads to shoot the 86.

thanks

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October 21, 2019
8:51 pm
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I don't agree with your logic at all.  You need to use a powder that shows exactly the grains to be used with the type and weight of the bullet you are using.  Data for the 38-55 MIGHT be close????

October 21, 2019
10:01 pm
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 If you cannot find load data for Trail Boss in.38-56 there could be a good reason why it is not available.If it were myself ,I would stick to data available.Just my opinion however.Smile

 In the past I had a .38-56 and use to load for it.

October 22, 2019
3:34 pm
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South Texas
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Never used Trail Boss before, nor load for the 38-56.  From what Ive read its not much different than loading for the 38-55 other than adding a grain or two more powder (dependent on the powder) to attain similar velocities as the 38-55.  Thats just what Ive come across in the past, its not the gospel. 

Arbitrarily filling the case and removing 30 percent with any powder, or any combination of scenarios or percentages, can get you in trouble.  Either too much or too little of a given powder can have potentially equal and adverse effects.   

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October 22, 2019
4:37 pm
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Northern edge of the D/FW Metromess
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Trail Boss is a unique (but NOT Hercules Unique!) powder with unusual characteristics and loading practices. To be quite honest I’ve never been comfortable with it or the volume-based powder charge calculations but my shooting buddy has been using it for years. Bottom line it’s a smokeless powder and I won’t use it without published data from a reliable source. It’s a great powder from a reputable manufacturer and it is probably a good choice for cartridges like the 38-56 but I need hard data.

 

Mike

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October 22, 2019
6:06 pm
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Call the manufacturer, (ask for tech support) they will set you up with a load. it's designed for reduced loads at low pressure with a high volume of powder. You only get 12 ounces of powder in a one lb. jug.(IIRC) I used it while loading 38-40's in a very old Marlin. The load they gave me was about the equivalent to shooting large diameter 22 shorts in standard velocity. You could see the bullet traveling downrange towards the target. The report was about the same as a cap gun. Good enough for bouncing tin cans around...…….

I just checked Hodgdon's site:  This data is for 38-55 NOT for 38-56  Starting load is 6 grains of Trail boss powder with a 250 grn. cast slug will give you 842 FPS and 20,300 CUP  Max load is 7 grains of powder, 911 FPS and 26,300 CUP  This doesn't seem like much powder, as you will see it's a very "light" powder and will fill a good portion of the casing.

 

Erin

October 22, 2019
11:54 pm
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Trail Boss is a very fast burning powder, even though it takes up a lot of volume. For the same velocity and bullet weight, Trail Boss gives a much higher peak pressure than a medium speed powder like 5744.  The faster the burn rate, the higher the peak pressure for the same velocity, is the general rule for powders. I know it is handy because of how it fills the case, at least for straight-walled cases. The 38-56 case, however, is slightly bottle-necked, which may not be ideal for a very fast powder like Trail Boss. 

October 23, 2019
6:06 am
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Sydney Australia
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Thanks for the replys, much appreciated.like i said ive never used it so know nothing other then what ive read on their web site.

and going by that, fill the case to the bottom of bullet(max load) take out 30%(minium load) and this applies to all cartridge's . like some have said without having proper data for loading it seems a bit iffy.

they say it cant be overloaded, as long as the powder doesnot compress the powder.

November 9, 2019
1:34 pm
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Trail boss is a bulk type /semi bulk powder which is loaded by case volume as per the manufacturer, although you might find specific list variations. I don't prefer it in older or original black powder arms because it's power curve peaks high and is pretty sharp at ignition. 4227 is much gentler, 5744 is good, 4895, 4198, 3031 are good smokeless choices. 3031 is ww1 vintage and commercially available since the 30s, as was 4227 and is versatile but not maximal performing.

Thinking about trail boss the other day, i came up with a theory, based on nothing, that trail boss power curve was trying to duplicate black powder to get that initial bump which can be useful with lead bullets at times. I dunno. I don't trust it (personal thing) in my original guns as I do 4227 or 3031. 

Do your research, there is a lot published and posted about these powders in vintage and replica weapons. 

Mike

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