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.308 Trail Boss Loads

December 1, 2011

So I mentioned before that I had planned on working up some new handloads for the .308 using IMR Trail Boss gunpowder. The weather man person was correct and it rained, so I had a day to work on my project. I did two different loads, a 110 grain Hornady V-Max and a 220 grain Hornady RN SP. I loaded 10 rounds of each and ran 5 through the Chrony.

20111201-215442.jpg

I loaded the V-Max over 14.5 grains of powder and a overall length is 2.270″.  The velocities were inconsistent.

  • 1718 fps
  • 1570 fps
  • 1585 fps
  • 1793 fps
  • 1550 fps

I’m no ballistics or reloading expert, but my best guess is the inconsistency is due to the low pressure and long travel of the short bullet to reach the rifling. I’m probably not going to continue working with this load.

The 220 grain bullet on the other hand is very promising. This one is loaded with 12 grains of Trail Boss. I seated the bullet to the cannelure and it measured 2.780″ overall length. The velocities for this load were much more consistent.

  • 938
  • 981
  • 939
  • 992
  • 1022

Two things are very cool about this load. First, this is a subsonic .308 load and second, it had almost ZERO recoil. The V-Max had more felt recoil. You might just have to try it to believe it. This load should work with match boat-tail hollow points also. Having a .308 load run subsonic is great news for any of you out there with a suppressor. Subsonic .308 loads are hard to come by with standard powders and usually involve specially made cases or buffered loads of some sort. Not so with Trail Boss!

My next step will be to test this load for accuracy. The late and great Townsend Whelen once said “Only accurate rifles are interesting”. This load will not have to be a tack driver to be “interesting”, but it wouldn’t hurt.

*UPDATE* https://drivelanddope.wordpress.com/2012/05/25/trail-boss-follow-up/ 

**SECOND UPDATE** More data at this post: https://drivelanddope.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/308-trail-boss-chrono-data/

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