Trail Boss (IMR or Hodgdon) is especially made for large cases. It is my unqualified recommendation for the best first powder to try when getting into reloading handguns (ideally a popular revolver cartridge). But it has features you will never outgrow.
Bottom Line: 👍 Fantastic for light loads, especially in large magnum or black-powder-era cases. Very safe and easy to work with.
- Safe. Bulk makes double-charges easy to spot (all published loads I’ve seen will literally overflow if double-charged).
- Excellent case-fill may promote accuracy.
- Acceptable accuracy when working quickly with an old-fashioned dipper, because variations in volume have less impact.
- To work up a load with an unknown cases, 70% case-fill to start, 100% case-fill MAX. Safe with nearly everything (not OK for 50BMG, but yes for 458 Win Mag). No really, it is officially that easy
- Lots of static cling because it’s light and fluffy.
- Limited to light loads only, unlike some classic light powders (e.g Bullseye) it can’t also be used for “duty” level loads.
- Very inconsistent metering in a lever-actuated powder measure (e.g. Redding 3BR). It’s the worst powder I’ve tried in that measure. I got significant under-throws, but never overthrows (so far… to be honest, consistency was so bad I stopped trying). No problems with manual dippers or trickle-style measures (e.g RCBS Chargemaster).
Density (per Lee dipper chart) 4.6 grains/cc; 0.2172 VMD
Different dipper-techniques will give different results. I filled the dipper in one pass, then skimmed off the top with my finger, or the base of another casing.
|Lee dipper||Grains Actual (measured)||Nominal (chart)|
Redding 3BR Pistol Insert
Do not use this powder and this measure. It is not repeatable.
|Pistol Insert #||Grains Thrown (Max of 5 throws)|
|80 (tap between throws)||4.7|