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Old 12-12-2013, 02:23 PM
arctic cat arctic cat is offline
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Default 38 S & W load (Trail Boss)

Can anyone tell me where to find load data on 38 S&W. and is anyone loading Trail Boss in it
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:33 PM
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From Hodgdon load data:
145 GR. CAST HP-38 2.2 595 2.5 630

They do not list Trail Boss for this cartridge.

Considering how bulky TB is, I doubt that you could safely get enough in there (without compressing it - big no-no) to get any useful velocity.
When I had one, Bullseye worked fine.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:46 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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Hodgdon will have a load on their site. When Trail Boss first came out, they gave instructions on how to use / develope your own loads. Select the case and bullet to be used. Find seating depth on bullet. Measure the case depth below seated bullet. Fill case to 1/16 below seated bullet & weigh. You now have your max Trail Boss charge... for that bullet in that case. Every time I did this it was the most accurate load too. I've done 45-70, 38-55, 32-20, 32 S&W Long, 44 Russian, and a few others. Have fun. Ivan
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:22 PM
Green Frog Green Frog is online now
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Ivan theButcher; that sounds almost like some of the old Black Powder and Bulk Smokeless loading directions. If that worked that well with the 32 S&W Long, it might be very worthwhile for me for my older I-frames. Did you see any signs at all of pressure? I want to avoid even factory level pressures (SAAMI spec maximums) for those older guns... they deserve to get a little slack!

Froggier
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:34 PM
arctic cat arctic cat is offline
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Default 38 s&w

Greenfrog: I have used Trail boss on 32 S&W long with great results, I think it was .46 on the lee disk with a 100 gr. lswc. just wondered if anyone did the work up for 38 S & W already.
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:36 PM
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Thanks, AC! I'll try it if I can ever get a supply of TB Powder!

Froggie
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:45 PM
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
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IMO the best place for that data is the source.
Contact Hodgdon directly, they are usually very helpful.

CALL US DIRECTLY 7:00am to 5:30pm Central Monday-Thursday : 913-362-9455
E-mail: help@hodgdon.com
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Old 12-12-2013, 11:01 PM
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Fill case to bottom of bullet and it will work, probably low velocity. DO NOT compress it and you will be safe.
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Old 12-13-2013, 12:51 PM
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You never know what you will get with Trail Boss until you try it.

In my 38 Special snub with the 148gr HBwc Speer at 1.16" oal I got the following velocity with it and Bullseye with a medium light crimp.

TB 2.5gr 550fps
BE " ..... 594fps

TB 3.1gr 680fps (max charge)
BE " .... 693fps

With the fps and case volume of Trail Boss, I think it is one of the safest powders on the market for light to medium target loads. Follow the data and notes and you will be fine, with the 38 S&W.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 12-13-2013 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:04 PM
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Default 38 S&W

I agree with your assumption of Trail Boss being one of the safest powders on the market. It is fast becoming my go to powder for 32s&w, 38,44,and 45ACP. bought 10 lbs. and looking for more.
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Old 12-13-2013, 01:11 PM
ArchAngelCD ArchAngelCD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctic cat View Post
I agree with your assumption of Trail Boss being one of the safest powders on the market. It is fast becoming my go to powder for 32s&w, 38,44,and 45ACP. bought 10 lbs. and looking for more.
I see nothing wrong with doing that. I just don't care for it because finding accurate loads in all cartridges has become a project. (for me at least) I have tried Trail Boss in the 38 S&W, .38 Special, 45 Colt and 45-70 and the only one that I liked was the 38 S&W and maybe the 45-70 but that needs more testing.

If I were shooting Cowboy Action I would probably use nothing else...
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Old 12-13-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan the Butcher View Post
Hodgdon will have a load on their site. When Trail Boss first came out, they gave instructions on how to use / develope your own loads. Select the case and bullet to be used. Find seating depth on bullet. Measure the case depth below seated bullet. Fill case to 1/16 below seated bullet & weigh. You now have your max Trail Boss charge... for that bullet in that case. Every time I did this it was the most accurate load too. I've done 45-70, 38-55, 32-20, 32 S&W Long, 44 Russian, and a few others. Have fun. Ivan
Maybe that would be fine for .32-20 in a rifle or a tough SA revolver. I'm pretty sure that would give WAY more than the max load recommended by Hodgdon for the .32-20, and might be trouble in lighter guns.

I have a Colt Police Positive Special in .32-20, which I would NOT subject to a 90% full case of Trail Boss. The recommended load is 2.5 grains under a 115 grain bullet, which is 0.55 cc by the Lee volumetric conversion table. The .32-20 case volume is supposed to be 22 grains of water, which come to 1.3 cc, I think. A 90% case full would be 5.8 grains of Trail Boss, if I'm calculating correctly.

For the much shorter .38 S&W case, this should not be a problem. Just pointing out that Trail Boss is not 100% fool-proof in all guns and calibers.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:30 PM
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If I could ONLY find some Trail Boss locally....... nothing in over six months of wanting some to play with .45/70 & .38 loads.... someday :sigh:
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:10 PM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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Buck13, After I develope the load for Trail Boss, I always check pressure tested data to be sure my loads will be safe in the guns I have. The 32-20 Loads are on the light end which is what I was after, my S&W 1902 and my Colt 1919 PPS are just too old and fragile for hot loads.

AR Black try powder Valley. Also my local Cabela's has kept some in stock for 3 or 4 months. The small "1 pound can" is 14oz, so TB is a littlt on the pricy side. I picked up 3 sm cans when it first came out. The first load I worked up was a 38-55/255 LFN and the book and I agreed on that load, 3 different shooters got 5 shot-1 hole groups with my rifle, the sights were/are Lyman tang sight and a Lyman Globe front. That big slow bullet is a sight to see on groundhogs

I've enjoyed Trail Boss in several modern and older smokeless guns but only one BP rated revolver, My Grandfathers Iver Johnson 38 S&W first model, CA 1880. He Used Remington smokeless loads ( ca.1920) that are hotter than my hand loads. This pistol has a moderate street value, but is a priceless family treasure to me, and I would do nothing to hurt it. Ivan
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Old 11-17-2020, 02:49 AM
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Default Reloading .38 S&W with Trail Boss

I reload .38 S&W with 2.5 grains of Trial Boss under a 125 grain lead bullet. I don't think there is enough room in the cartridge case to put a heavier bullet without compressing the powder, which is a no-no. The load is very accurate in a Model 2 S&W Spur Trigger Revolver (1880's) and a Hopkins and Allen Falling Block Rifle (Model 938). I have fired modern factory loads in the revolver without any problems. The Trail Boss load seems milder. I am very pleased with it.
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:19 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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Rolling Block, welcome to the forum! This is an almost 8 year old thread. Sometimes they resorrect, and sometimes they don't. Please continue to have input in our discussions.

Ivan
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Old 11-17-2020, 10:59 AM
TIMETRIPPER TIMETRIPPER is offline
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I have used Trailboss in 32 S&W, 38 S&W, 32-20 and 45 Colt with good results. Felt recoil was far less than standard Remington ammo in all four cartridges. Load without compressing and lead bullets only! Here's a link from Hodgen on how to work up a load. https://hodgdon.com/wp-content/uploa...864.1597189359
I generally use a dipper when loading my pistol cases with TB.

However, I hesitate to use it in my straight wall rifle cartridges because pressures are sometimes higher than other smokeless loads, even though velocities are far lower. For example, in the 38-55 Winchester with a 250 gr cast Lyman bullet, 6 gr of TB will only give 842 fps at a 20,300 cup pressure level while 18.5 gr of 4198 results in 1408 fps with only 1710 cup. Something to consider when loading for older guns.

OTOH data for the Colt 45 and a 250 gr bullet shows more acceptable pressure levels, though with lower velocities. Here's some comparisons:

5.8 gr Trail boss 727 fps 12700 cup
6.2 gr Titegroup 881 fps 13000 cup
7.1 gr Win 231 916 fps 13900 cup

All this from Hodgen's wonderful reloading site. | Hodgdon Reloading

Apparently, a lot depends on the case.

John
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