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Old January 27, 2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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Trail Boss in 30-06

I'm working up some reduced loads for 30-06--for my Ruger m77 and a Springfield 03A3.

I've followed Hodgdon's instructions to fill the case to the bullet base, then reduce by 30%. So my starting charge looks like 14.5g of Trail Boss. I'm using a 168g HPBT (Sierra) bullet. CCI LR Primers. New Winchester cases.

I've loaded 10 rounds just to check function.

Anybody else tried this? Any advice before I go out to the range with these 10 rounds? (other than to verify bullets don't get stuck in the barrel!)

I also plan to load some H4895 reduced loads (per Hodgdon's guidance) as well. Just playing around with powders and trying new things...

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Old January 27, 2015, 04:42 PM   #2
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I've used Trail Boss for a number of years now. Recall phoning IMR 5-6 years ago seeking advice for using Trail Boss with cast or jacketed bullets in 30-06 and .308 Win cartridges. IMR rep on phone advised me against such use. Basic reason given was Trail Boss was only safe in straight wall cartridges....bottle neck cartridges such as the 30-06 and 308 caused pressure spikes or something. Then about 3 months after my phone call, a gun magazine had an article about using Trail Boss in 30-06 and 308 Win. Suggested loads in the article were pretty close to what I'd phoned IMR about using.

Then by 2010, IMR is under Hodgdon control and in the 2010 issue of Hodgdon Reload Magazine/manual there is a 4 or so page article about Trail Boss and in it there is is the suggestion to fill a case to base of bullet. Then measure the grains of powder to determine the 100% load density. Once this is done, then mulitply your grains measured by .70 to calculate the 70% load density. "Some where between 70% and 100% you'll find the most accurate load" This was for both cast and jacketed bullets.

But, to answer your question. Yes I've used Trail Boss with anything from 110gr to 168 gr bullets in my 1903 Springfield rifle, mostly jacketed bullets. Sometimes the accuracy was very respectful.

Used 19grs of TB with 125 or 135 gr Sierra bullets in a surplus military rifle 100 yd competition for awhile at range I'm a member. Stopped using it when we began shooting 200 yds in the competition. Last week, shot a few 110 gr Hornady bullets with the same 19 grs of Trail Boss in a very early (scoped) SAKO (made 1950s) 30-06 rifle I have. LOL, first two shots basically went into the same hole, third hit about 1/2" away. Generally, I can expect a 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" group at best with the Sako and my regular powder reloads. Do not recall ever having a true clover leaf with the rifle.

Shot my 19 gr TB 30-06 reloads thru a shooting buddies chronograph once. Recall the velocity was somewhere between 1400 and 1500 FPS.

You can expect a 6"-8" lower hit on a 100 yd target with Trail Boss.
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Old January 27, 2015, 07:29 PM   #3
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For rifle, I have used it in 35 Rem before. If I remember right, accuracy wasn't the greatest( but I didn't do a lot of experimenting to find an accurate load), but I was just trying to make some really light loads for the kids to shoot out of my Remington XP 100. They worked perfectly fine for that.

I have used it in many handgun cartridges and it works great.

As long as you don't get a bullet stuck, like you mentioned, you'll be fine.
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Old January 27, 2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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I've loaded trail boss all the way to the base of the bullet. 150 gr sp hornady's in 30-06, No problems, just stay away from compressing the load unless a published load says to. impacts are way south, but acurecy was good. Nice soft recoil for the kids, and lady's.
As far as FMJ projectiles, trail boss really shines in 38 snub loads.
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Old January 27, 2015, 07:51 PM   #5
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I use Trail Boss with over 20 rifle calibers including 30-06 Springfield. For each loading regardless of bullet weight I fill the case to the base of the bullet. We're talking calibers from .22 Savage Hi-Power to .416s and .458s and in between. A 30% reduction below bullet base is going to be an extremely mild load and it probably won't be long until you are loading to the base of the bullet. With any new caliber I start and end with the max powder charge. I'll bet you a 9 oz can of TB that you will end up doing the same. Having loaded so many calibers with TB I pretty much feel that I know how it works and trust it completely. I have found no reason to be timid with TB.

Last edited by condor bravo; January 27, 2015 at 09:45 PM.
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Old January 28, 2015, 09:52 AM   #6
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I use 11g of TB with case and coated 150's in 308, so I think you load will exit the barrel.
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Old January 28, 2015, 11:13 AM   #7
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Just a precaution that TB should not be used with the M-1 Garand since it would not be powerful enough for cycling; just use bolt rifles for 30-06 and TB. This of course is obvious to regular Garand shooters and does not need to be pointed out.

Last edited by condor bravo; January 28, 2015 at 12:33 PM.
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Old January 30, 2015, 08:48 PM   #8
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Thought I'd report back on my experience with my first attempt at Trail Boss reduced loads in a 30-06. I loaded 10 rounds with 14.5g under a 168 HPBT Sierra bullet in new Winchester brass. CCI LR primers.

I went to my local indoor gun club and fired the rounds offhand at 25 yards (limit of the range) with my Ruger bolt action 30-06.

My perception was that each round went "Puft." Less recoil that a .223, and each bullet went downrange and impacted about 4 inches lower than full power 30-06 ammo. It kind of felt like I was shooting a pellet gun. Shooting offhand, I was not shooting for accuracy (my casual offhand accuracy at 25 yards is only about 2 inches with good ammo). The spread was somewhat more than I was getting shooting minimum (43g)H4895 ammo during the same session. (like 4 inch group of 5 shots vs. 2 inches for the higher power loads). Shooting offhand, standing in a crowded indoor range, I would not put much credence into any of the group size info. I was a little distracted the two girls learning to shoot next to me...

I've loaded another couple dozen rounds to continue playing with them. I'll try shooting from the bench and see how they group.

I also loaded a dozen reduced H4895 (29g) rounds tonight. Will try them next time I get a chance. These H4895 loads are based on Hodgdon's guidance to load H4895 at 60% of the max loads listed in their manual.
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Old February 1, 2015, 03:58 AM   #9
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I'm an SR 4759 fan

I use 4759 for reduced loads in 30-06, which they have now discontinued and I believe they now suggest Trail Boss as a substitute. I hope I have enough 4759 to last because I'm not sure 1500-1800 fps is obtainable with Trail boss.

Last edited by rwsmith; February 1, 2015 at 04:03 AM. Reason: addition
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Old February 1, 2015, 04:47 AM   #10
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I use 4759 as well. I picked up 4lbs the other day at my lgs, I know he just got it in. Are you sure it's discontinued?
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Old February 1, 2015, 05:26 AM   #11
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Word from last year was that Hodgedon closed down the powder plant [in Canuckistan?] where the 4759 was being made as it was no longer profitable to run the facility; the net-rumour that they were planning this originally began shortly after SHOT 2012? and that they only kept thing up & running another couple years because of the hue & cry, but supposedly officially announced the closure at SHOT 2014.

Maybe w/ the huge demand for ammo, they saw fit to reopen the facility, or perhaps all the output was going into other powders and Hodgedon finally felt that they were caught up w/ the backlog to run off another batch of 4759 just recently? All I know is that I thought I'd found the last extant supplies of it online last month & bought up all I could, since everything I had read stated that it was going to be no longer manufactured.

Alliant 5744 is supposed to be the closest substitute, but all the "favorite loads" & similar posts quoting its use in N4B ["nitro for black"] & other reduced loads stated that it tended to burn dirty/leave unburnt powder grains vs. similar loads of 4759. But Alliant may now have that particular market niche all to itself if the rumours of 4759's demise are true?..
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Old February 1, 2015, 09:12 AM   #12
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I'm not sure 1500-1800 fps is obtainable with Trail boss.
I'd be surprised if my trail boss loads exceeded 1500fps. I don't have a chronograph, but I think Trail Boss can load down to this level readily.
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