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  #1  
Old 02-05-2011, 02:53 PM
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Default Trail Boss and RCBS Little Dandy

I got back into reloading last spring. Since I was only reloading 32 S&W Long and it was 1 basic load for plinking I was using a Lee scoop.

My son has now got a taste for 44 and 38 Special. So I have decided to up grade a little on dispersing the powder. Today I picked up an RCBS Little Dandy Powder Measure. I got the rotor for my favorite 32 load. Also picked up several others for loads I have listed.

Since my son is only nine I let him do most of the reloading process with the exception of throwing the powder. I have read some articles on Trail Boss and have seen some excellent plinker loads. The way Trail Boss is configured I would be very hard for him to overload with this powder.

I picked up 500 lead 200gr LRNFP's today.

Naturally RCBS does not have Trail Boss listed on their rotor charge.

Does anyone use the Little Dandy with Trail Boss and if so could you post or shoot me some data? Rotor numbers and what they throw.

Some good loads I have seen on here are 4.2, 4.5 and 5 gr with the 200gr LRNFP.

Thanks
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:37 PM
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Well I kept looking around till I found this. I also sent an e-mail to RCBS to verify the below. I picked up #19 today so 5.2 gr of Trail Boss looks like a pretty good load from what I have found on line.


Trail Boss/Lil Dandy rotor chart directly from RCBS. Looks like this:

Rotor #4 = 1.5 gr. #5 = 1.7 gr. #6 = 1.8 gr. #7 = 1.9 gr. #8 = 2.1 gr. #9 = 2.3 gr. #10 = 2.5 gr. #11 = 2.8 gr. #12 = 3.1 gr. #13 = 3.4 gr. #14 = 3.7 gr. #15 = 4.0 gr. #16 = 4.3 gr. #17 = 4.6 gr. #18 = 4.9 gr. #19 = 5.2 gr. #20 = 5.5 gr. #21 = 5.8 gr.
#22 = 6.0 gr. #23 = 6.4 gr. # 24 = 6.7 gr. #25 = 7.1 gr. #26 = 7.5 gr.



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Old 02-05-2011, 07:41 PM
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Hope that works out for you! One note though, Trail Boss does seem to like to "bridge" in the powder measure at times and light load one and overload the next, keep an eye on the charged cases. Trail Boss gets very nasty if you compress it and break up the little washers, trust me I know.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Bob View Post
One note though, Trail Boss does seem to like to "bridge" in the powder measure at times
What he said^
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:42 AM
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so just be careful with it watch the level of powder in the cases and weigh them every so often. Do you guys think 5.2 is a comfortable load for plinking or should I go lighter?

My son is 9 but built like a 12yr old. He loves shooting the 44 with Magtech Cowboy loads.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:59 AM
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Default RCBS Little Dandy

I've never used Trail Boss, but have used the Li'l Dandy for years with various powders. Always check your weights with a good powder scale and it's very common to find a variance from the RCBS chart and actual wt. Probably never enough to worry about safety but you will find wt. can be different than their charts. However, if you're consistent with the way you throw the charge both the Li'l Dandy or Uniflow with small cylinder is very precise. Still, I usually check after 10-20 charges from the loading block visually and occasionally weigh but RCBS is as good as they come.
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Old 02-09-2011, 09:24 PM
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Hi
A Little Dandy is an excellent tool; I've used one for years also. Wouldn't be without one.
But, if you do not have a scale of some kind to verify charges out of the rotors, I would get one soon.

The listed charge weights are close but often are not what you will get on your scale and, you will want to keep a chart of what your rotor actually throws for future reference. Some powders meter better than others. You can get quite a few tenths of a grain variation with some of the large flake type powders.
Also, as time goes by you will notice variations from lot to lot with powders.

If you are loading well under maximum charges it's not so critical, but if you are going to move up to maximum level loads later on, you really need to know what you are putting in that case!

Have fun and keep us posted
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:41 PM
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Another seasoned Little Dandy user here and I couldn't agree more with what the previous two posters have said. Excellent advice for sure!

I always throw ten hopper settling charges before I start charging any cases. Then I always weigh the first ten charges thrown and after that every fifth charge.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:29 PM
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Thanks, Bruce; I've been wanting to get more use out of my can of Trail Boss, but the lack of Little Dandy rotor settings was a hinderance. Since it wasn't listed in the table, I reasoned that Trail Boss wasn't compatible with the Little Dandy for some reason. I reasoned it had something to do with the large grain size of Trail Boss. Glad to be proven wrong.
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Old 02-12-2011, 02:00 PM
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That is the correct chart as RCBS sent it to me this week. Ordered my Rangemaster scale from Midway this week. Going to have some fun when it get's here.
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Old 07-19-2020, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Bob View Post
Hope that works out for you! One note though, Trail Boss does seem to like to "bridge" in the powder measure at times and light load one and overload the next, keep an eye on the charged cases. Trail Boss gets very nasty if you compress it and break up the little washers, trust me I know.
IIRC I did a bit of rework to my Dandy. (Larger diameter hole, drill, polish, reblue).

I use it with a Dillon adapter on a LEE powder through expander die. I had to open up the Accumeasure as well. Without the rework, yes, it will bridge and sometimes drop half the powder just after you take the case away, not good.

Note: My reloading need for increased capacity required an upgrade to a progressive. I upgraded to a Dillon 550B. To date, the Dillon powder measure has worked well. It sure seems to drop consistent charges for pistol, without any bridging issues. Rework not required.

Nitro
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Old 07-19-2020, 10:09 AM
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You probably know this , but just to be safe , check those listed weights with a good powder scale . I've had a lot of "Charts" not jive with the actual weights of the measure when I set it up and dropped charges .

Be Careful - Load Safe,
Gary
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  #13  
Old 07-19-2020, 11:55 AM
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Lightbulb WEIGHTS

I use a RCBS ChargeMaster-- no problems, even with IMR 800X. Have you ever considered Missouri Bullets coated wadcutter?? Nice bullet and less lead contact for the little guy. I also keep a Redding powder dispenser set up for my load of RED DOT, loading for 45Colt.
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Old 07-19-2020, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Bob View Post
Hope that works out for you! One note though, Trail Boss does seem to like to "bridge" in the powder measure at times and light load one and overload the next, keep an eye on the charged cases. Trail Boss gets very nasty if you compress it and break up the little washers, trust me I know.
This is a very valid point. I don't use TB in my rotary measures (RCBS and Redding) as it consistently bridges in the funnel over the case way too often. I guess you could drill out the funnel to get around that issue.
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Last edited by Scharfschuetzer; 07-19-2020 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 07-19-2020, 01:20 PM
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I have yet to do the stadic laundry sheet but I do tape the powder tube at first to settle any powder and "Knock" the handle as I throw powder into a case.

Most powders behave well if you keep an eye on them.

Enjoy those "Cheerio's".
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Old 07-19-2020, 03:16 PM
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I like my Little Dandy as well as my Lyman Accumeasure and Pacific Pistol Powder measure and have full or near full selections of rotors for each because I like the way they work with fixed rotors... I find that a relatively slow, but firm turn of the rotor in each direction with a hard stop at each end tends to give me pretty good consistency.

Froggie
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Old 07-19-2020, 03:44 PM
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Trail Boss Powder

No matter what tools you are using to dispense your Trail Boss, one thing remains the same. Published directly from IMR, Trail Boss is a safe load if you throw enough to fill the case to the bottom of the seated bullet with NO COMPRESSION WHATSOEVER and you don't do anything to crunch up or break the powder flakes. (breaking the flakes changes their burn properties)

That's what this powder was designed to do -- it's a modern option to replicate old school black powder where the charge weight wasn't really the key, it was the charge volume AND the size of the flakes/nuggets.

NOTE: don't take this in any way I didn't intend -- Trail Boss is no replacement or equivalent for black powder, but it absolutely was intended to be a powder for fat brass low pressure old school cowboy favorites, most of which were developed around black powder.

LAST TIP and I offer this one a lot and I'm sure most skip right past it... I only wonder if it will stand out later if/when you stick a bullet in your bore. That tip is no, no, NO don't make lower, slower, weaker, powder puff loads in revolvers. If you do, do it with soft lead bullets and not with plated and not with jacketed. Low speed poof loads in revolvers are a bad idea because the flash gap allows precious gas to escape and what happens all depends on how willing your bullet is to travel down your bore. If it is a lead bullet and the softer the better, bore resistance is less. If the bullet meets resistance and you are making weak loads, eventually that gas you REALLY NEED is going to take the path of least resistance, the flash gap. And your result will be a stuck bullet. If you are good and you are lucky, the best thing that happens is that revolver is done for the day. If you aren't, you might wreck that revolver and anything near it.

Understand that when you get near the "too slow" point, it gets erratic. You could make a box of 50 rounds that are all too light but it may very well be that only shot #21 is the one that decides it can't make it out of the bore before all the gas escapes out the flash gap. If one bullet out of fifty is a tiny bit oversize, that might be the stopper that shows you vividly that your load is FAR too light.

Don't let anyone tell you "you can't be too cautious", because if you are making pipsqueak loads with revolvers, I'm telling you, you CAN be too cautious.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:32 AM
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Honestly I’ve loaded a few thousand 38’s with trailboss and a uniflow (on my pro2000), and every time I check the weight it’s within a 1/10th or 2. The little dandy operates similarly with a rotor. Maybe it’s because of all the shaking and moving being on a progressive press? I had decent results with Lee auto disks on the same progressive.

I do however load more middle of the road so that if it goes up or down some it’ll be fine. Also if your ears are ok you can shake the loaded rounds and if you hear it rattling around inside it’s not compressed.
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Old 07-21-2020, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Bob View Post
Hope that works out for you! One note though, Trail Boss does seem to like to "bridge" in the powder measure at times and light load one and overload the next, keep an eye on the charged cases. Trail Boss gets very nasty if you compress it and break up the little washers, trust me I know.
Iím interested in knowing the story of what happened to your compressed load? Iíve sent a couple messages to them about what actually happens with compression and never received answers.
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:32 PM
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Any large flake powder and TB's little washers will have a fancy for bridging;a couple of light knocks on the steel part of Little Dandy with a small metal thing(I use a 7/16 small wrench)should break the bridge while holding the case up to the spout.
As a failsafe,check the level of powder anyway TB being such a quick burner.(I know it is so bulky but one is never too careful).
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