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Old 04-09-2024, 12:28 AM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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How much should a 5 lb can of Trail Boss be worth??
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:55 AM
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Not enough information to offer a solid answer.
Is this a new can on a brick and mortar dealer's shelf?
Or...
Is this a private offer from some guy?
Big difference.
I would never buy "pre-owned" powder. Can't trust that it's truly factory sealed. Have no idea how it's been stored or what's happened to it.

There's a guy at the gunshows in SC that sells used reloading stuff, mostly from estate sales. OK prices for old tools. But he also sells old primers and powder from the same estates, usually for full price, or more(!).
No Thanks!

SC is the land of oppressive heat and humidity and too many guys store their stuff in a shed or garage. Big difference between "store in a cool dry place" and several years of seasonal cycles from freezing winter temps to 100+F summer temps, with humidity in the 90-100% range!

It could look brand new yet be totally worthless.

PS: On more than one occasion, I have pulled down other people's dud reloads. I've seen clumpy, spoiled powder, verdigris where there shouldn't be, etc. So, I'm a bit leery!

What's the story on the can of Trail Boss?

Last edited by 6string; 04-09-2024 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 04-09-2024, 01:18 AM
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Sealed jug. I've messed with powder for decades. I still have unopened and opened cans of powder 50 years old that load and work fine. Trail Boss is a powder I have never used but looks like a good powder to try. The powder is in a plastic jug...as it came from the maker. I doubt very much any of the scenarios you put forth apply. The stuff hasn't been made in a couple years and hasn't been made all that long anyway. Just wondering about a value is all. The individual 1 pound cans only have about 12-13 ounces. I recently gave a friend some surplus 4831 that had been stored out of the original 100 pound keg in glass instant coffee jars and some mason jars...for at least 50 years or more. He loaded and shot quite a bit(25-06 and 300 Win mag..10 rounds of 300 Weatherby). He said he's going to sell the Weatherby...too much recoil...I burned 30 pounds of what he felt was good powder
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Old 04-09-2024, 02:02 AM
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I understand. I should’ve mentioned that I keep my stuff in the house; normal room temperature 40-48% relative humidity. Like your 4831, I have a nice stash of SR-4759 I bought in the 80s.
I heard that Bruce Hodgdon originally sold surplus 4831 in brown paper bags.
What you describe works, being between knowlegeable friends where trust is a given.

Trail Boss was always a bit more expensive than most, selling in a 9 oz. container for what others charged for a pound. (I’ve got a 9 oz can I’ve never used. I think I paid $16 for it.). I guess a 5lb can of Trail Boss would go for the price of an 8lb can of most other fast pistol powders?
If it’s discontinued, maybe add a “seller’s market” factor?

You’re probably savvy enough to have already done an online search.
This is kind of intriguing, so, out of curiosity, I found some place called “Midwest Reloads” (never heard of them) claiming they have over 300 of the 5 lb cans in stock, for $143 each. Does that sound “too good to be true”?

The Better Business Bureau offered this:

Midwest Reloads was reported to BBB in August 2023. Consumers claim they ordered reloading products from the website HOME - Midwest Reloads and were asked to pay through PalPal Friends & Family, Venmo or CashApp. Some were then also asked to pay a hazmat fee or an additional shipping fee, through a company called US Postal Mails. All consumers who contacted BBB reported not receiving the products they paid for and when they contacted the business, they received no response. Neither website HOME - Midwest Reloads nor US Postal Mails – We'll do more than you can imagine. lists a full physical address. The actual physical location of these entities is unknown. The website domain registration for midwestreloads.com was privately registered for one year and is due to expire on 2/1/2024.”

Strange times we’re living in!!

I could see the right buyer paying $200, maybe a little more, for that 5lb can.

Last edited by 6string; 04-09-2024 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 04-09-2024, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 6string View Post
I found some place called “Midwest Reloads” (never heard of them) claiming they have over 300 of the 5 lb cans in stock, for $143 each. Does that sound “too good to be true”?

The Better Business Bureau offered this:

Midwest Reloads was reported to BBB in August 2023. Consumers claim they ordered reloading products from the website HOME - Midwest Reloads and were asked to pay through PalPal Friends & Family, Venmo or CashApp. Some were then also asked to pay a hazmat fee or an additional shipping fee, through a company called US Postal Mails. All consumers who contacted BBB reported not receiving the products they paid for and when they contacted the business, they received no response. Neither website HOME - Midwest Reloads nor US Postal Mails – We'll do more than you can imagine. lists a full physical address. The actual physical location of these entities is unknown. The website domain registration for midwestreloads.com was privately registered for one year and is due to expire on 2/1/2024.”

Strange times we’re living in!!
No question they're a scam site.
If you do a google search for "midwestreloads<dot>com scam", you'll find countless warnings posted on just about every shooting/hunting board on the web.

One of our members posted about them last year:
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Old 04-09-2024, 06:35 AM
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About the Midwest Reloads page I found: it was one of the first search results. Isn’t it odd that a known scam site, with piles of complaints and a warning from the BBB, and whose web domain had expired months ago, would even appear in a search?
I guess I’m a bit of a naive luddite to expect that such things would be better vetted, given all the stuff I heard about search algorithms, etc.

To Skeet 028, whether your buying or selling the Trail Boss, I hope it goes to a good home and provides lotsa loading fun!

PS: does your user name mean you shoot skeet with a 28 GA?
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Old 04-09-2024, 10:12 AM
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...of moving my powder stash into the house. It's a precious commodity.
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Old 04-09-2024, 11:24 AM
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I have never used Trail Boss powder or even seen it for sale. I did see a fellow in Tulsa at the Wannenmaker gun show a couple years ago asking $500 for four pounds of it. I think that price was too high even back then. Maybe you could get $75 a pound for it if someone needed it real bad.

I am not that guy.
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:41 PM
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I only use TB in my 38 special, target loads with 125 to 158 lead bullets.

A 100% full case reaches standard fps loads that many use in revolvers and rifles
in the "Cowboy" shooting matches but I find that the very light loads of Trail Boss are
acurate and have very little recoil, for shooters and also save powder.

I have tried just 2.7 grs of TB with a 158 Lwc in a M49 snub nose and the
bullet will clear the barrel and get fair accuracy but it does smoke a little more
than my standard 3.3 gr. loads.
in a 6" barrel, 4.0 grs gives me 755 fps with a 158 Lwc bullet with a light crimp.

Good shopping.

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 04-09-2024 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 04-09-2024, 12:49 PM
elgatodeacero elgatodeacero is offline
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I see one pound size (9 ounces weight due to bulk) Trail Boss selling very fast for 50 per 9 ounce can when it comes up. The larger container holds 2 pounds, but sells like it is 4 pounds (again due to bulk).

If you want to sell, you should do so ASAP as Hodgdon has indicated TrailBoss will become available again at the end of 2024.

I think you could get $200 easily right now. Try cowboy action shooters or SASS website.

I keep a small can of Trailboss as it is usable in basically every cartridge, and it is great for loading ammo to take a beginner to the range. One 9 ounce can goes a long way!

Last edited by elgatodeacero; 04-09-2024 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 04-09-2024, 01:19 PM
Skeet 028 Skeet 028 is offline
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[QUOTE=6string;141974702]I could see the right buyer paying $200, maybe a little more, for that 5lb can.[/QUOTE

Holy Crapo... I know the powder was hard to get. I asked the question on another site and got a PM offered me 300 bucks. 4831...I don't know if Hodgdon sold it in paper sacks bur the old 4831 was sold and shipped in quantities up to 100 pounds(70 dollars delivered Railway Express. I bought a couple. Wore the first 100 lb can out in under 2 years. I do know that the large kegs had a paper wrap inside. . All that 4831 was WWII surplus powder for 50 BMG and possibly 20 MM.. I've never had any canister powder go bad. I have seen some with rust dust. (4320) and maybe one other. I knew a few of the ballisticians and some chemists from the old Dupont co. Shot skeet and trap with some...and Hal Dupont. The chemists told me if the powder still had a reasonable bit of smell...dump the powder in a small strainer to get the rust dust out and load it. . Worked fine. Not many know but most powders are stored in powder magazines out in the cold and heat. I have had one can of powder fume up and eat the can. It was a Powder Hodgdon sold as Surplus. I can't remember the number but they only had one small lot of it according to them. I still have 2 more cans. I was talking with the Hodgdon people at the Shot Show They were next to our booth. I had bought an estate and the lady had filled all of the powder cans full of water. The told me flake and ball powders can be dried out and used. I tried it with a pound of L'il Gun...loaded it in 22 Hornet Compared to new L'il Gun...velocities were statistically identical. And yes I shot skeet with the aggravating 28 ga. couldn't break a 100 with the darn thing. In 5 years shot a lot of 99s with darn thing...19 times I had 99s missing a target at either station 5 or 6 in the last round. I had a few 100s with the 410 and I was annoyed. I was shooting at a shoot with an All American skeet shooter(Wayne Mayes). Straight to station 6 last round. I gave him an extra shell and said Wayner...If I miss at 6 I want you to shoot me. He just said OK matter of fact like. It worked. I had 7 more 100s that year in the 28. 20 ga was my gun. I didn't shoot the 12 ga...used the 20 in it
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Old 04-09-2024, 05:31 PM
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I had a powder magazine out in the corn bean sunflower field when I had my shop on the farm. And I had 4 refrigerators in the barn that I kept powder in. You could put 50 lbs in each but the plugs/wires had to be cut off. I happen to have about a pound of HiVel #2 left from a 3 lb keg dated 1937. It's the powder I use in 30-30. Works good. It was DCd about 1964
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Old 04-12-2024, 02:33 PM
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I used to use Bullseye in my family heirloom Model 1883 German Reichsrevolver, caliber 10.6 German Ordnance/44 Russian. Even though it is a black powder gun, I have only shot smokeless powder ammo in it, never a single black powder load.

Some years ago, I heard a lot of good about Trail Boss so I bought a can and gave it a try. It works fine, but I don't know what all the fuss is about. When I finally burn up what I have, I will switch back to Bullseye, and if I can't find that, I will use HP-38.
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Old 04-12-2024, 06:37 PM
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Seems likea good powder for soft shooting loads. But I decided to pass on the tuff. I have plenty of 230 and 231 and though I've never loaded any of it...at least 5 pounds of Bullseye and other powders
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Old 04-12-2024, 06:55 PM
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Trail boss is a fluffy powder intended to produce high load density in otherwise light loads in pistol cartridges used in cowboy action shooting. CAS/SASS uses a ridiculously low power factor threshold clearly intended to favor speed shooting.

It’s ironic as they seem to put an incredible amount of attention on period correct dress, and then shoot mouse fart loads that no self respecting cowboy would want to….literally…be caught dead using.

Trail Boss also has some rifle applications. Despite being designed for larger pistol cases, it works surprisingly well in the .22 Hornet with heavier bullets. With lighter bullets, you can’t stuff enough in the case, even with a drop tube and or swirling it in the case with a funnel, to get anywhere close to a max load.

That’s the primary use I have for Trail Boss, but it’s limited enough in the small .22 Hornet case that the few pounds I have will last me quite awhile. I frankly prefer Win 296 / H110 in the .22 Hornet at all bullet weights. It meters better and is more flexible in the .22 Hornet.
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Old 04-12-2024, 10:29 PM
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Trail Boss is good for low power pistol loads because it fills the case -> you physically can’t double charge a case. I have also used it in .45-70 for lighter loads where 4831 wouldn’t come close to filling the case. However, I think that the biggest demand today is for subsonic loads in 300 Blackout, 8.6 Blackout, or just about anything else you can think of. With .45-70, even though it’s only going 1,050 fps the bullet still weighs 405 grains. And it’s safe to down-load TrailBoss unlike many other powders.
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Old 04-13-2024, 01:19 PM
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Used it for a bit, then couldn't get it anymore. It's OK, but old habits die hard, back to 231.
While you can't double charge a case. There is a warning about not compressing it. Why anyone would try to IDK, but bubba reloads to I guess.
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Old 04-13-2024, 01:42 PM
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296/H110 is my go to powder for loading 410 shotshells. L'il Gun is great for it too but does burn hot and shotgun is where you shoot a fir amount of ammo in a short time. I use LG in the Hornet. Can't really overload it. I have a couple containers of TB I can load some mouse fart loads for my wife in her 45 SA Ruger...or I can use said 231 or anything else. I have partial cans of all sorts of powders...alot discontinued but good powdersesp the DCd Duponts 5066, PB ,7625,4756,800X,4227 and the hard to find Hercules/Alliant RL7,10,11, 21,Bullseye, RD,GD, Unique, Herco and 2400...Even some Blue Dot....and a lot of newer easier to find suspects. If'n I can't find a powder to use I would say I lost my mind
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Old 04-17-2024, 05:39 PM
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Two sellers on Gun Broker have the 5 pounders . One wants an opening bid of $1199.95 or a buy it now at $1249.95 . The other one wants $1750.00 and claims to have two to sell. My guess is both will be keeping them a while. I wouldn't give anything near what they ask for a 2 pounder ($ 103.00 ) from Midway, Graf, or Mid South let alone the GB price of $175-$250.00 per 9 oz bottle.
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Old 04-24-2024, 03:22 AM
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Two sellers on Gun Broker have the 5 pounders . One wants an opening bid of $1199.95 or a buy it now at $1249.95 . The other one wants $1750.00 and claims to have two to sell. My guess is both will be keeping them a while. I wouldn't give anything near what they ask for a 2 pounder ($ 103.00 ) from Midway, Graf, or Mid South let alone the GB price of $175-$250.00 per 9 oz bottle.
That's crazy.

We have an empty can of Trail Boss at the local Scheel's store...always has the out of stock sticker on it. I asked the guys about it a few months ago as I have never seen it "in stock." They checked the inventory and had no information...couldn't tell me if they have ever had it in stock since the store opened a few years ago!
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Old 04-25-2024, 12:58 AM
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I went to an auction in Montana today on the way to Billings. They had about 10 boxes of ammo(rifle) that I stayed around for. The ammo went pretty high. I got a RCBS Jr press with a 357 carbide die set. 50 bucks. There was also 2 containers of Trail Boss Powder. Got both for 20 bucks. That was an off the wall lucky buy. I let a fellow near home know I got a can. He wanted it 50 dollars worth. So I still have the 2nd. I have read up on loading it and it seems to be a little touchy if compressed. Not much powder in the container though
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