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BE86 - any users?

This is a discussion on BE86 - any users? within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Now that BE 86 has been out for awhile, I'm wondering if anyone has used it extensively, amd what you think of it. Pam, feel ...


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Old May 8th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #1
 
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BE86 - any users?

Now that BE 86 has been out for awhile, I'm wondering if anyone has used it extensively, amd what you think of it.

Pam, feel free to jump in here, I remember you use it.

Thanks.



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Old May 8th, 2017, 05:05 PM   #2
 
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I am almost through a pound of it that I bought on sale awhile back. The store I bought it at had it on clearance. Apparently,mit was not selling.

I used it for both .357 magnum and .38 special. Which I guess leads to my conclusion, which is that it's nothing special. Seems to work fine, but one thing I do notice is that it's very smokey.

Would I buy it again? Probably only if I found it on sale again.
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Old May 8th, 2017, 05:51 PM   #3
 
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It is not a magnum powder but loads are available for it. It has become my mainstay for tamed .357 Mag, loading 7.3 gr with 158 hard cast lead. It seems as versatile as Unique but is finer and measures way better.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 02:46 AM   #4
 
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I've been using it for .45 Colt, using Xtreme 255 gr. FP plated bullets over 7.8 grains of BE-86. Happy with it, measures well, no surprises.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 05:27 AM   #5
 
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After testing, I found the powder is a lot like Unique. Just a tad slower. It flows good through my powder measure. Anyway, another one of those powders like Universal and 20/28 that you can substitute for Unique. Well, at least in my usage! I have no qualms about using it, nor can say anything bad about it. Good powder.

For example in .45 Colt

8.5g Unique 970fps
8.5g BE-86 961fps

And .44 Special

7.5g Unique 1033fps
7.5g BE-86 995fps
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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:37 AM   #6
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I used to think the sun rose and set on Unique powder. In the past 50+ years I have used a lot of it in various handgun loads and 12 & 20 gauge shotgun loads. After Alliant bought out Hercules and reformulated Unique, it was better than ever.

In the past few years, powder companies have started to use higher tech formulas for more consistent burn rates, better metering, broader loading spectrums, much better temperature tolerance, and cleaner burns. BE-86 is one of those new powders that has all of these attributes yet it still maintains a burn rate very similar to Unique.

I had recently switched from Unique to Power Pistol and found a vast improvement in performance. When BE-86 came out, it was advertised as Power Pistol with some added ingredients and attributes. When one of our members (Pampurrs) started using BE-86, I decided it was time to run a few tests of my own. I still prefer W-231 in 38 Special loads .... way better in all respects but in 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP, BE-86 beats the tar out of Unique. I have loaded up some 45 Colt ammo but haven't tested it yet. I'm hoping to find it burns cleaner and is less position sensitive than Unique.

In years past, I developed loads that I called "bench mark" loads. These loads were very accurate in virtually any firearm that was in good working order. This is important to me because I own several different guns in the same caliber so it would be a nightmare to develop specific loads for each different gun. Now that new powders are becoming available, it's time for me to reassess the situation and maybe replace some of my benchmark loads with new ones. My biggest concern is finding reloading data for these new powders. The only current publication manual that has BE-86 loads is Hornady's 10th Edition and even then it doesn't have near as many BE-86 loads as it does Unique loads.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 06:46 AM   #7
 
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Thanks for the replies, guys. That's been my experience as well, there's not much reloading data around for BE86. I may have to pick up a bottle or two and give it a try. If it's better than Unique, it may become my go-to powder.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 08:25 AM   #8
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scattershot, BE-86 is definitely better than Unique in all respects except load data. It meters much better and burns much cleaner .... providing you keep chamber pressure above 15k psi. I guess that's why I prefer W-231 for 38 Special loads .... it tends to burn much cleaner with lower pressure loads and chronographs with tighter max velocity spreads. Unique acts the same way with low pressure loads .... it burns dirty and doesn't chronograph as tight as faster burning powders in a 38 Special. If you load 9mm, 40 S&W, or 45 ACP, you will appreciate BE-86. As always, I try to match powder attributes with my loads and BE-86 really shines when it comes to semi-auto cartridges.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:56 AM   #9
 
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Yes, I reload all three. Thanks for the info. Can't wait to try some.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 01:11 PM   #10
 
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I ran across a thirty some page thread on THR about BE-86. Started playing around with it for .357 with cast bullets. Worked well. Then it was on to 45Colt it worked well there to. Picked up a 9mm and use it for that to. Just bought a Super Blackhawk 44mag. and I'm in the process of working up a load with BE-86 for that to. I'm finding out it is a very versatile powder.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 02:19 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jags View Post
I ran across a thirty some page thread on THR about BE-86. Started playing around with it for .357 with cast bullets. Worked well. Then it was on to 45Colt it worked well there to. Picked up a 9mm and use it for that to. Just bought a Super Blackhawk 44mag. and I'm in the process of working up a load with BE-86 for that to. I'm finding out it is a very versatile powder.
I stopped using it on magnums except in moderate loads of .357. At some level, I should be using a slower burning powder. I have lots of powder, so I wanted to conserve the BE-86 for rounds where it really is best suited. Unique measures well enough in larger doses, so I still use it for moderate big bore loads. I also have a good supply of Power Pistol, so BE-86 is a bit redundant. I like it a lot though.
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Old May 9th, 2017, 02:26 PM   #12
 
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I have never tried BE-86 or Power Pistol, but hear nothing but great things about both.

I feel the same way about Hodgdon's CFE-Pistol, it is a love affair.

Last edited by moakes58; May 18th, 2017 at 10:28 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2017, 10:49 AM   #13
 
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I've used about 4lbs of BE-86 in the past year and will continue using it for the following;

- .357 Magnum 158 gr LSWC mid range loads 1100-1200fps, above that I use 2400 or AA#9
- .45 ACP with 230gr HDY XTP and Federal HST JHP bullets to mimic factory load velocities.
200gr LSWC target loads I still use Bullseye.
- 9mm all types of 124gr bullets. Currently for steel challenge I'm using 124gr lead flat point bullet over 4.7 gr BE-86 to get 1070fps out of a Beretta 92. As DITTO1958 said above, it is smokey, although I never noticed it until the time keeper told me.

Last edited by eo1bart; May 15th, 2017 at 10:56 AM.
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