September 26, 2016
March 31, 2009
I have never used Trail Boss. Mike Ventuino's book recommends 30 grs. of Accurate XMP5744. I don't know if he used a filler? I have used 24.5 grains of 4759, 31 grains of 4198 and 43 grains of 3031. Each of these loads I use a partial square of toilet paper to fill the space above the powder. This filler is not rolled up tight and it is not compressed. It just keeps all of the powder near the primer. These loads have been chronographed at about 1500 fps. I use a 300 grain bullet with a .459 diameter. This load shoots at 1600 fps in my 30" highwall. Be safe and start low and work up. Make sure you make up a dummy round to make sure it will cycle through the 86.
November 7, 2015
I’m a big fan of 5744 in this type cartridge but I only load black powder in the 45-90. BP cleans up a lot easier than most “experts” will lead you to believe.
June 11, 2014
I once had an original 1886 45-90 and experimented with quite a few different loads. It is such a long cartridge that for smokeless powder I used a single sheet of single-ply toilet paper very loosely rolled and folded. Without the toilet paper, some powders had a HUGE extreme spread in velocity. The two worst were IMR 3031 and IMR 4227. I'd definitely recommend TP with those powders. The best powder if you don't use TP is 5744. It seems to have the most consistent velocities but there are powder grains in the bore, but I don't worry about those. The second best for burn consistency is IMR 4198. I only loaded to original ballistics (300 grains at around 1500 fps with cast bullets).
June 4, 2017
I use 38grs of 3031, cover powder with thin paper wad, then fill with corn meal to within 1/4" of top of case. I cast in original Winchester mold (300 grains) with wheel weights. As I cast them I drop them in a bucket of water to harden, I do not size, then hand lube. I use brass stretched from 45/70, it's thinner and makes room for the unsized bullet. 1450fps plus or minus 20fps. I use a Lee collet crimp. With a jacketed Remington 300gr hollow point I raise the 3031 to 40grs. velocity remains the same. The 45-90 case has a lot of room and you have to fill it with a filler when using 3031. I use TP as a filler in my 50cal loads and it works get. I have used this load in my 86s for 25 years, barrel lengths from 26" to 32", standard to extra heavy, with accurate results. This is what I do and not a recommendation. T/R
June 11, 2014
Trail Boss is a very fast burning powder, giving a very sharp and high pressure spike. For this reason, it is extremely important to never go higher than the published load for that caliber. The 45-90 has such a huge case, that it could easily be accidentally overloaded with Trail Boss. I would rather use a medium speed powder that has consistent burn properties, like 5744.
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