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The Best Handgun Calibers For Self-Defense

Handgun calibers - Titan Reloading

Having the ability to defend yourself and your loved ones is crucial, and handguns offer a level of self-protection that is unmatched. But if you opt to use a handgun for protection, it’s essential that you choose a caliber that meets your needs. Deciding on a caliber can be difficult, so to make things easier, we’ve compiled a short list of the best handgun calibers for self-defense.

How to Choose the Best Caliber

Everyone has different needs and preferences, and therefore there is no “one size fits all” caliber for self-defense. Before deciding on a handgun caliber, you’ll want to consider the weight and size of the handgun, as well as the amount of recoil that you can safely handle. In short, you must be comfortable carrying and using the handgun.

Self-Defense Calibers

Here is our list of the top handgun calibers for self-defense:

1. 9mm Luger

When the 9mm Luger was introduced it was deemed a subpar round and, in turn, it received heavy criticism. However, it didn’t take long for the 9mm to win over its skeptics, and today it is the most widely used self-defense round in the world. It is a favorite among both civilians and law enforcement agents.

One of the primary benefits of using the 9mm Luger is the wide range of ammo available for the caliber, so if you’re a reloader, you’ll have no trouble finding adequate reloading supplies. This variety of ammo also makes it easy for shooters to find a round that they’re comfortable firing. Overall, the 9mm offers the perfect balance between recoil and stopping power. Moreover, because of their popularity, 9mm handguns are very affordable.

2. .380 ACP

The .380 ACP, or .380 Automatic Colt Pistol, has been around for over a century, and today it’s one of the top choices for self-defense. The bullet for a .380 is slightly smaller than a 9mm, and it lacks the stopping power necessary to make it a candidate for home defense. Furthermore, .380 handgun magazines typically hold only 5 or 6 rounds, which is somewhat limiting.

So why is the .380 ACP such a popular self-defense caliber? Well, the primary reason for its popularity is the ultra-compact size of the handguns, which makes them great for concealed carry. Their small size also bodes well for those looking for a backup weapon. Additionally, the .380 ACP produces minimal recoil, so it’s the perfect handgun caliber for those new to shooting.

3. .38 Special

If you prefer a revolver or wheel gun rather than a standard blowback-style handgun, you’ll want to consider the .38 Special. Technically, the .38 Special is the same caliber as a 9mm Luger, however it uses a low-velocity cartridge, so the bullet speed is less than that of a 9mm. This also means the .38 Special does not have the same stopping power as the 9mm.

On the other hand, the slower velocities of the .38 Special is safer to use in crowded areas or inside the home. Revolvers are safer to carry than blowback-style handguns because there is less chance of user error or the gun accidentally going off.

Preparation is Key

There is nothing more important than protecting yourself and your family, and handguns are one of the best options for self and home defense. As noted, there are several calibers that are suitable for self-defense, and each has its own set of pros and cons. Furthermore, if you reload your ammo, you should have no problem finding reloading supplies for any of these rounds. So whether you opt for the 9mm Luger, .380 ACP, or .38 Special, you can rest knowing that you’re prepared, should an emergency arise.

For further information or inquiries about the vast option of reloading supplies or specific item you are in need of, please contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 or visit to learn more.

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4 Basic Tips Every Reloader Should Know

Lee Precision Reloading

Whether you’re a professional marksman or a weekend warrior, reloading ammo has countless benefits and it’s an activity that the whole family can enjoy. And while the fundamentals of reloading are easy to learn, there are always ways to improve the process. Here are four basic tips that every reloader should know.

Don’t Get Carried Away

One of the foremost benefits of reloading is the ease with which different bullets, powders, and casings, can be tested. This testing is particularly useful for competitive shooters because it allows them to improve the accuracy of their rounds by testing each component individually. Similarly, many hunters prefer to reload because they can increase the power of the round by adding more gunpowder than comes standard in factory-loaded rounds. The ability to try various combinations of bullets and powder levels is advantageous, but it’s easy to get carried away and, in doing so, stray beyond the manufacturer’s guidelines. Failing to adhere to these guidelines can compromise the integrity of the round, creating a potentially dangerous situation. Therefore, always follow the guidelines and specifications set forth in the manual.

Keep Records

Record keeping probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of reloading, but tracking your progress is essential for improvement. After all, it can take a lot of loading, shooting, and adjusting to find that sweet spot, so once it’s found, it needs to be logged. Likewise, it’s important to note when things go wrong, such as a lousy powder/bullet combination that results in a misfire or a load that builds up a dangerous amount of pressure before firing. Best of all, record-keeping is easy. All you need is a pen and a spiral notebook, and you’re ready to go!

Maintain Clean Equipment

Reloading involves working with precise tolerances, and if a bit of case lube or some metal shavings get in the way, it can cause problems down the line. The resizing die and setting die are components commonly compromised by dirt and grime. Fortunately, this issue is preventable so long as you’re willing to spend a few extra minutes cleaning your reloading equipment and reloading supplies after use. Ultrasonic cleaners work wonders for this task, but if you don’t have an ultrasonic cleaner, you can use cotton swabs dabbed in a copper solvent.

Stay Safe

Becoming a skilled reloader takes a lot of practice, but you’ll be pumping out rounds with confidence before you know it. As you familiarize yourself with the process, it’s easy to become complacent, and when working around gunpowder and live ammunition, complacency can lead to a dangerous situation. Therefore, you must always adhere to safety protocols, like wearing safety glasses and keeping the area free of clutter.

Becoming a Better Reloader

There is no doubt that reloading is a great way to save money and increase the reliability of your ammo. Not to mention, it’s a lot of fun. The reloading process is relatively simple, and assuming you have the correct reloading supplies, you’ll be turning out rounds in no time. But before you get started, take heed of these four basic reloading tips, as they will help you become a better reloader. For further information and/or to shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any question.

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The 4 Components of a Loaded Round of Ammo

Online Reloading Supplies

One of the first steps in getting started as a reloader is understanding the four basic components needed to create a loaded round of ammunition: brass case, primer, powder, and bullet. Each of these components plays a crucial role in ensuring that the loaded round performs as it should and doesn’t misfire. Understanding these basic components will help as you continue to learn more about reloading supplies and equipment.

Brass Case

If there is one component on which the other components rely, it’s the brass case. Brass case acts as a container for the powder while holding the primer and bullet at varying ends. There are many different reputable manufacturers of brass casings, so whether it’s for a pistol or rifle, you shouldn’t have a problem finding cases for the caliber you need.


The primer is a small cap-like device that ignites the powder initiating the combustion required for propelling the bullet. Primers come in an array of sizes so always check with a reloading manual or contact the manufacturer to ensure that the primer fits correctly. Surprisingly, primer performance varies considerably by manufacturer, and therefore, it’s best to stick with a brand you trust.


The powder, or reloading powder, is a substance that acts as the propellent for the round. Once ignited, the reloading powder turns into a gas, which creates tremendous pressure inside the casing. Eventually, the pressure becomes too great, forcing the bullet from the cartridge at an astonishing speed.

Reloading powders are typically divided into three categories: pistol, rifle, and shotgun powders; however, there is some crossover between them. Nonetheless, these categories offer good starting points for novice reloaders. It’s always best to buy a small amount of powder at first, and if it meets your needs, you can purchase a larger quantity.


There is a seemingly endless variety of handgun and rifle bullets on the market, but some of the most popular types include:

  • Lead Round Nose (LRN)
  • Semi-Jacketed (SJ)
  • Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)
  • Hollow Point (HP)
  • Hollow Point Boat Tail (HPBT)
  • Soft Point (SP)

Each of these different bullet types has its own set of designated uses, such as for target shooting, hunting, or self-protection, and each is available in an assortment of weights and calibers. One of the main advantages of reloading your ammo is that you can easily and affordably test different types of bullets.

As with brass cases, there are numerous manufacturers of bullets, and so to avoid getting low-quality rounds, you should only use trusted brands, such as Hornady or ACME. This will help ensure that the bullets are made to strict tolerances with the optimal ballistic coefficient.

The Components of Reloading Success

As a novice reloader, it’s important to understand the individual components used in creating a loaded round of ammo, and how they function together. This will help increase the probability that the round will fire properly and safely. And while this is only a small part of reloading, with the right equipment and reloading supplies, you’ll be an expert in no time.

Titan Reloading is dedicated to helping novice and veteran shooting enthusiasts safely and properly reload their own ammunition every time. Let us hear about your ammo reloading tips and experiences via email. You’ll find updated stream of insights and tips on our blogs, newsletters, help videos, and FAQs.

Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies& Equipment online. For further information and/or to shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any question.

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The Best Rifle Calibers for Reloading

Reloading supplies

Reloading your ammo is a great way to save money, plus it can leave you with a sense of accomplishment. And, believe it or not, reloading is a lot of fun. Whether you are an avid shooter or hunter, if you have never tried reloading, then you will definitely want to give it a shot. Once you have the proper reloading supplies and equipment, in no time, you’ll be turning empty shell casings into ready-to-use rounds.

However, the caliber of the round will determine how easy reloading will be and how much money you will save. Even though the overall reloading process is similar for every rifle caliber, some differences make certain rounds better than others. Here is a shortlist of the best rifle calibers for reloading.

.22 Caliber Rounds

There are several different .22 caliber rounds that are commonly reloaded, including the .22LR (long rifle), .220 Swift, and .223 Remington (5.56mm NATO). The .22LR is the most widely used cartridge in the world. Unfortunately, the .22LR is a rimfire round, not a centerfire round, which makes reloading the cartridge incredibly difficult and laborious. Therefore, the .22LR is not one of the best calibers for reloading.

On the other hand, the .220 Swift and .223 Remington are very popular among reloaders, especially the .223 Remington. The brass casings for the .220 and the .223 are relatively cheap, and there is an array of bullet types available for them, ranging from the ultralight 55gr full-metal jacket (FMJ) rounds to the formidable 80gr boat tail hollow points (BTHP). The .220 Swift and .223 Remington are perfect for hunting small to midsized targets.

.243 Winchester

The .243 Winchester is a caliber lauded for its accuracy and reliability, making it a must-have for serious shooters. It is effective for controlling varmints when equipped with 58gr V-MAX rounds, and near the other end of the spectrum, the 95gr SST (Super Shock Tip) is optimal for hunting.

Certainly the .243 Winchester is a capable round in the field, but it is also one of the top choices among reloading enthusiasts. Some claim that the .243 Winchester is the cheapest round to reload. The reason for this cost-effectiveness stems from the .243s popularity, and the availability of the reloading supplies. So, if you own a .243 Winchester and still spending your hard-earned money on overpriced ammo from the store, it is high time you start reloading.

.270 Winchester

An often overlooked caliber in general, the .270 Winchester is a versatile hunting round, capable of taking down prey as large as an elk. And while it is a formidable caliber for hunting, it’s not as effective in target or competition shooting. Unlike some rifle calibers, which have a wide range of bullet weights, Winchester .270 rounds only vary by about 30gr, with 110gr BTHP bullets on the low end and 140gr SST rounds on the high end.

It is true, the .270 Winchester is not going to win a popularity contest, but it nonetheless remains a prevalent, well-liked caliber among reloading enthusiasts. Reloading .270 ammo still provides massive savings over store-bought ammo, plus there are a bunch of handy reloading gadgets that work seamlessly with the caliber.

.308 Winchester

When the .308 Winchester hit the market, it immediately became one of the top-selling rifle calibers in North America, and many other countries. The .308 is an excellent hunting round, effective for medium to large targets. In addition, it is incredibly accurate, making it the preferred choice of military snipers, police sharpshooters, and competition target shooters. The .308s versatility comes from the numerous bullet weight options, which range from an ultralight 110gr V-Max round to the punch-packing 250gr A-TIP MATCH round.

If you are considering reloading your .308 Winchester ammo, do not waste another second stuck in indecision, and instead, do it! Reloading your .308 ammo will not only save you loads of money, but it will open up new possibilities for testing different bullet weights and types. There is no shortage of reloading supplies for the .308 Winchester, so start reloading today!

.45 Caliber Rounds

There are numerous variations of .45 caliber rifle ammo and the most common for reloading are the .45-70 Springfield (alternatively called the .45-70 Government) and the .458 Winchester Magnum. Both the .45-70 Springfield and the .458 Winchester are massive rounds and some of the largest commercially produced. They provide enough stopping power to take down anything really.

Just when you thought ammo for your small arms was expensive, consider that commercial-grade ammo for a .458 Winchester Magnum costs more than $10 per round. So, if you own a .45 caliber rifle and have been looking for a good reason to start reloading the ammo yourself, then the cost per round should be the only reason you need. And although the .45-70 Springfield and the .458 Winchester Magnum are not your typical run-of-the-mill hunting rifles, they are surprisingly prevalent.

Reloading Is Your Best Shot at Saving Money

It is no secret: reloading your spent ammo will help you save a ton of cash. However, there are certain rifle rounds that are more cost-effective than others for reloading, such as the .243 Winchester and the .308 Winchester. Of course, reloading your own ammo can help to save money, but it is also the perfect medium for spending time with family and friends, learning new things, and being productive. Best of all, when reloading is complete, you get to head to the gun range to see your hard work in action! For further information and/or to peruse our online store please visit or call Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any questions.

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How to Properly Reload a Cartridge

Reloading supplies

The fundamental steps for reloading a cartridge can be reduced to a few basic operations. Additional operations and reloading supplies will be required in some situations or omitted in others.

  1. Inspect and clean cases. Clean dirt and grime from each case before inspecting for deformities and splits. A sonic cleaner is good for removing carbon buildup and oxidization. To clean and polish brass, use a tumbler.
  2. Deprime the brass. Use a dedicated decapping die to punch the old primer out of the casing bottom, or (more common) the die that resizes your brass will also knock the old primer out.
  3. Lubricate cases to prevent them from getting stuck in the sizing die.
  4. Resize the brass. A resizing die is used to bring the brass back into the correct exterior dimensions.
  5. Trim the case to specified length if needed. Fired brass can lengthen beyond safe limits. Use calipers or a case gauge to check the length. Trim as required.
  6. Clean the primer pocket as required.
  7. Prime with correct primer size and manufacturer according to the reloading manual.
  8. Weigh and load the correct powder charge with a powder funnel. Double-check your reloading manual for data on powder type and proper load for your bullet weight and cartridge.
  9. Select proper die and adjust for proper seating depth. See your manual for proper settings.
  10. Review your setup.
  11. Run preliminary test rounds and examine each step for correct results.
  12. Complete a batch with periodic checks for accuracy.

Getting Started with Reloading Supplies

Reloading kits are great for beginners getting into this fun and rewarding hobby. The cornerstone of a reloader’s workbench is the press. It enables you to almost effortlessly complete functions with a pull of the handle. Different kits include different tools. The main press styles are single stage, turret, and progressive. Your shooting preferences and the amount of ammo you want to load help determine the most suitable press and other reloading supplies for you.

Titan Reloading is dedicated to helping novice and veteran shooting enthusiasts safely and properly reload their own ammunition every time.

Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies & Equipment online. Choose from Lee Precision, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Mec, & Lyman. For more information and/or to peruse and shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any questions.

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Setting Up Reloading Supplies and Equipment

reloading supplies - Titan Reloading

Ammo reloading is and should be an enjoyable, rewarding, and money-saving hobby. It is all of that and more… as long as your process is safe and reliable. At the heart of an error-free process is proper handling of reloading supplies with special care given to powder and primers. Combining that with trusted manuals and precisely following the instructions for reloading supplies assures an error-free process that delivers desired results.

A clean and organized workspace is a productive and safe workspace. Start by clearing any remaining equipment and reloading supplies from a previous project off your workbench. That doesn’t mean pushing things to the side of your bench. It is best to have a storage place for everything and put everything in its place. Make sure powder and primers are well labeled, properly packaged, and stored apart from each other.

Next, go through your manuals, notes, checklists, and other instructions to identify what you need for the reloading project you are about to begin. Make sure only the equipment and reloading supplies that you are going to use are on the bench and then double-check everything.

Once everything is ready to go, run one round through your setup. Check that round for accuracy and recheck your setup. Pay particular attention to your powder load. Run nine more rounds through your setup and check everything out one more time. If everything is good to go and you have a clear mind, you are ready to do the job. It’s also smart to check more rounds on a regular interval such as one out of every ten. After seating a bullet and before the completed round is ejected from the press, you want to visually inspect it. Just a glance is all you should need to see if something is off the mark.

Know When to Stop

If you start pinching fingers or cases, your mind isn’t on the task at hand, and it’s time to stop. Same thing if bullets or primers are misaligned. Too tired? Something else on your mind? It’s time to walk away until you’re in the right frame of mind.

Your process should not be redundant. You should get the same results every time. If something goes wrong, stop to reexamine your setup and process. For example, spilling powder on a progressive press indicates a powder bridge, with heavy and/or light charges. Examine the powder trails. What happened? Why? How do you fix it so that it doesn’t happen again?

Have a Step-by-Step Sequence

Ask 10 experienced reloaders their exact reloading process and you’ll probably get 15 or 20 good answers. Customizing ammo to your specific needs is more valuable than you might realize. Experimenting with various reloading supplies, powders, and bullet types/weights enables you to find the most accurate combination for your firearm and application.

With research, practice, and experimentation, you’ll fine-tune a step-by-step process that performs to your expectations for each cartridge that you reload. You want to start with a basic documented process and document each and every change that you make until your results meet your expectations. Don’t expect to remember every detail about a load unless you document it. There are many ways to keep your documentation organized. You might consider a spiral notebook for load research and field notes but a separate composition book for your finished master notes.

Tip: Starting with a loading manual from the same manufacturer as the bullets you use will take you step-by-step through the entire process. Having a second manual on your bench allows you to cross-reference load data.

Titan Reloading is dedicated to helping novice and veteran shooting enthusiasts safely and properly reload their own ammunition every time. Let us hear about your ammo reloading tips and experiences via email. You’ll find updated stream of insights and tips on our blogs, newsletters, help videos, and FAQs.

Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies & Equipment online. Choose from Lee Precision, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Mec, & Lyman. For further information and/or to shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any questions.

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Advanced Reloading Supplies for Performance and Satisfaction

reloading supplies

Choices come down to what you want from your reloading supplies or what you are willing to accept from factory cartridges. It only takes a basic understanding and a little practice to be quickly rewarded with superior and cost-effective ammo. From there, it becomes about incrementally optimizing your ammo’s performance. Hand selecting your reloading supplies and equipment lets you fine-tune your ammunition to your own needs. You can optimize for more ange, better accuracy, and more power from every round.Hence, so many highly experienced shooters insist on using their customized ammo as often as possible.

Being familiar with the four basic components of reloading supplies(case, primer, propellant, and projectile) is merely the first step to the fascinating and time-honored tradition of self-loading. Each component has multiple variations that can be combined in assorted ways with numerous variations of each of the other components.

You can develop the right cartridge that allows your firearm to deliver the performance that you want and need. Reloading supplies and equipment become essential for users of obsolete cartridges and non-standard or wildcat cartridges. Obsolete isn’t always a historically old cartridge. Rounds like the Winchester Super Short Magnum were only manufactured for a short amount of time. Fortunately, few cartridges have totally unique case dimensions. Most centerfire cartridges were created from a parent case and can be formed using an existing case. Dimensions are known, so die manufacturers can make them. With most bullet diameters being more or less standard, your ability to reload obscure cartridges across a wide spectrum is better than ever.

With accuracy being the primary goal of most enthusiasts, the best combination of bullet performance and velocity, experimentation for that single perfect round is endless. Improvements in accuracy are usually incremental and rarely exponential. For hunters, weather and other environmental factors require developing specific rounds for specific situations. Even target shooting under controlled conditions requires different rounds for varying distances with each firearm used.

As you begin your experimentation with different reloading supplies and equipment, you need to first hone the basic procedures. As you become a more precise reloader, you’ll need to decide where you want to begin making changes. This becomes a lifelong hobby as you make one change at a time, and adjusting accordingly. You likely begin by trimming cases to consistent and proper length. And then step up to weighing your cases and bullets because manufacturing tolerances vary. In time, you begin weighing each powder charge down to the last kernel but only after trying several different powder shapes. What comes next? You might ask? Do you clean your primer pockets? Have you tried neck-sizing only, and competition dies?

If you want rounds that are better than store-bought, you’ll need to put in some work.

Titan Reloading is dedicated to helping novice and veteran shooting enthusiasts safely and properly reload their own ammunition every time.

Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies & Equipment online. Choose from Lee Precision, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Mec, & Lyman. For more information and/or to peruse and shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any questions.

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Back to the Future with Reloading Supplies

reloading supplies

Do you know what were some of the most common items found in both frontier trading posts and general stores? Not surprisingly, the answer is ammo reloading supplies! Basic components like black powder, flash powder or caps, bullet molds, patches/wadding, lubricant, and other necessities for reloading and maintaining guns.Often, people even manufactured some of these reloading supplies themselves to save money and to be more self-sufficient.

Our forefathers began arriving in North America in the 15th century with more advanced weapons (for that time) and large stores of reloading supplies. The German-made blunderbuss, an early version of the shotgun, was a favorite among early colonists. It featured a flared muzzle and a broad opening for fast and easy loading. Another common weapon was the matchlock musket, which used a match – in the form of a small burning rope to ignite gunpowder through a small hole in the gun’s loaded barrel. American firearms and reloading supplies have come a long way since those times.

Pioneering the American Wilderness

The American tradition of making your own ammunition dates back to the Revolutionary War, and before. In 1776, a crowd of New Yorkers and a group of soldiers lead by General Washington tore down a lead statue of King George II and sent it to be melted into musket balls. In need of reloading supplies, soldiers often melted lead into slugs with hand clamp molds. Pioneers were also hand-pressing bullets at cabin firesides.

From the time of the earliest pioneers, gunsmiths were vital members of small settlements. It was these pioneering and skilled gunsmiths who developed the American long rifle that became known as the Kentucky, Ohio, or Pennsylvania rifle. Of course, the most important feature was the extended barrel with twisting grooves that guided whatever was used as a bullet to spin as it exited the barrel, ensuring a straighter shot and better aim. These rifles were so prized that they were often elaborately carved and decorated with finely etched brass or silver plates.

Without skilled gunsmiths and trading posts for reloading supplies, bringing civilization to the American wilderness would have certainly taken much longer and been much more difficult. In some ways, it’s comparable with the modern reloader’s back to the future solution to get around the national ammo shortage since the pandemic began.

Many other advances in gun technology and reloading supplies occurred between the Civil War and the early 20th century. The Spencer Repeating Rifle Company patented a design at the start of the Civil War capable of repeated firing from a single ammunition load (a favorite of President Abraham Lincoln). Innovations also included rear-loading and breechloading systems from Sharps, Maynard, and Burnside.

Today, the availability of different caliber and bullet types has increased exponentially with a matching availability of reloading supplies. The next time you are ready to place an order, take a moment to appreciate the history of ammunition and the advancements in gun technology along the way.

Titan Reloading is dedicated to helping novice and veteran shooting enthusiasts safely and properly reload their own ammunition every time.Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies & Equipment online. Choose from Lee Precision, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Mec, & Lyman. For more information and/or to shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading at 262.397.8819 with any questions.

You’ll find a constantly updated stream of insights and tips from our blogs, newsletters, help videos, and FAQs.

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Olympic Biathlon and Competition Level Reloading Supplies

Olympic Biathlon and Competition Level Reloading Supplies

The Olympics’ biathlon competition will take place from February 5- 19.Biathlon combines two sports into one race – cross-country skiing and rifle marksmanship. The best of competition is determined by clock time with a penalty for each missed shot. Biathletes must balance speed on the ski course and on the range along with shooting accuracy. They shoot from both prone and standing positions in various sequences depending on the event. Each shooting stage involves 5 shots at 5 targets positioned 50 meters downrange. From the prone position, the target area is 4.5 cm (1.771 inches). From standing, the target is 11.5 cm (4.528 inches).

Optics are not allowed; only non-magnified diopter rear and globe front sights are permitted. For every target missed, the athlete is penalized. Depending on the event, the penalty can be one lap around a 150 m loop, or a one-minute penalty added to their time. The penalty loop is separate from the regular course.

The Winter Olympics biathlon uses the .22 LR cartridge only. The .22 LR rimfire cartridge was standardized for International Biathlon Union (IBU) competitions in 1978. Current rules require that the muzzle velocity not exceed 360 meters per second (1,181.1 feet per second). Bullets must weigh between 2.55 and 2.75 grams.

Athletes must carry their rifles at all times. The minimum rifle weight is 3.5 kg (7.716 pounds)without the magazine and ammunition. Biathlon rifles are usually equipped with straight-pull actions, integrated magazine carriers, and ergonomic stock designs suitable for both prone and standing shooting positions. One unique feature on a biathlon rifle is a pistol grip with an integrated thumb rest to isolate the movement of the trigger finger from the thumb, which tend to move together as a sympathetic reflex.

Competition Rounds and Reloading Supplies

Obviously, almost none of us compete at the Olympic level but other competitions can be just as demanding of equipment and ammo. The targets become more challenging, and rifles are specialized to the various competitions. Highly proficient shooters must bring equipment, ammo, and personal performance all together at the same time to achieve peak results. Where we fit in is with reloading supplies and equipment that have less “wiggle room” when it comes to reloading custom ammo.

Finding a good 200- and 300-yard load for your service rifle shouldn’t be an agonizing process. While firearms are generally accurate, they can be further maximized by loading ammo that is specific to them. With some studying and by controlling every step of the reloading process you will produce exceptionally reliable ammunition.

Practice makes “almost” perfect and that takes thousands of rounds. Reloading precision rounds not only improves your overall performance, but for those on a budget it allows you to practice as often as time allows.

Recommendation for Improving Your Precision Loading Process

Many highly accomplished shooters believe quality brass is the foundation of great ammo. Begin by inspecting every cartridge case and discarding those that are worn.

Most top shooters also anneal the brass. Annealing extends brass life and makes neck tension more consistent (important for accuracy). The process is heating the neck and shoulder of the case — but never the body and base. An effective and inexpensive method is using a torch to heat the cases only to the point of a dull red glow and then quenching in water. It’s important not to overheat the case. This might not be the perfect process, but it is better than nothing. Andhey, reloading is about trying different techniques to find what works best for you.

Sizing and trimming cases to length is essential for ammo to be functional. Stretching does occur but can be trimmed with a case trimmer. When primer pockets become stretched they are no longer reliable.

Weight sorting brass can be optional depending on the quality of brass used. When working with superior quality brass that comes from the same lot, it dramatically decreases the need to weight-sort.

We recommend full-length sizing when shooting fired brass for the first time in any rifle. Neck sizing with Lee’s Collet Dies generally provides increased accuracy because the spent cartridge becomes “fire formed” to your specific chamber. Neck sizing is only preferred when reloading cases that have been fired out of your rifle. Collet neck sizing results in cases lasting up to ten times longer without the need for trimming near as often, as when full-length sizing.

As you might guess, top shooters spend almost an excessive amount of time to achieve a precision powder charge. The number of high-caliber shooters using very high-end pharmaceutical grade scales is split at about 50-50 with those using more common high-grade powder scales. It’s worth noting that pharmaceutical grade scales (costing over $500) can achieve accuracy down to a single kernel of powder. It is also very time-consuming and not always worth the time, especially for practice rounds. This is why 50% use a less costly and faster scale.

Handloading provides a solid education in how ammunition works, ammunition pressure curves, bullet selection, and accuracy. When you load your own ammunition you will have consistency. Best yet, it’s an enjoyable pastime!

Titan Reloading is dedicated to helping novice and veteran shooting enthusiasts safely and properly reload their own ammunition every time. Let me hear about your ammo reloading tips and stories at Titan Reloading wants to be part of your reloading experience. You’ll find a constantly updated stream of insights and tips from our blogs, newsletters, help videos, and FAQs. For more information and/or to shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading the Master Distributor of Lee Precision reloading equipment & supplies at 262.397.8819.

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Build Your Personal Ammo Factory with Reloading Supplies

Personal Ammo Factory with Reloading Supplies

As a general rule, you should have several hundred or a couple of thousand rounds on hand or at least the reloading supplies for your most essential and most used calibers. You also want other reloading supplies that give you the flexibility to manufacture alternative rounds.

Here are the basics to get started:

  1. Reloading Bench

    You probably want to do some reading and research before getting started but when you’re ready to take action, the first two things you want in your reloading factory are a workbench and a trusted manual. Preferably a large sturdy workspace with plenty of storage. For details about creating your first workspace, check out the previous blog Workbench Ideas for Your Reloading Supplies. If you’re not going to build your own, any highly stable and strong commercially available workbench will work.

    It does need to serve two primary purposes. First, a place to prepare cases and to operate your press. Second, a place to store reloading supplies, sorted brass, and finished ammo. You want to keep everything within arm’s reach but use special caution when storing primers and powder. The first thing that goes on your bench, in a dedicated space, and within arm’s reach is your trusted manual.

  2. Reloading Press

    Now, you are ready to start making decisions based on your experience, needs, and budget. You can select from a single stage press, turret press, or progressive press. Almost every experienced reloader recommends starting with a single stage. These presses hold one die at a time in a very rigid frame. Each pull of the lever completes one step of the process. Things to consider include automatic primer arm, small and large primer cups, adjustable for right- or left-hand use, and able to reload handgun and short rifle cases.

    With a turret press, you rotate the dies manually and press the round through each step. It should hold four dies so that you can complete rounds without the time-consuming need to change dies. With each handle pull, the die plate rotates to the next station without needing to screw in a different die.

    With a progressive press, a pull of the lever automatically completes every step for multiple rounds at the same time. This can be an excellent choice if you are shooting more than 500 rounds a week. Removable turrets allow for the change of calibers in seconds.

    Unless you’re shooting precision bench rest competition, all the name-brand presses do mostly the same thing and in the same way. If you’re on a budget, it’s hard to beat the Lee Precision Breech Lock Challenger Kit.

  3. Reloading Supplies -Dies, Components, and Case Prep

    All reloading presses take removable dies. You select dies depending on the caliber you will be reloading. You will also need different dies depending on what step you’re at in the process. A die is what the brass and bullet are pressed into to form your finished ammo. Every caliber has its own die; a .357 die will not load a 9mm and vice versa.

    The process is to take clean brass, resize it by pressing the brass into a resizing die, trimming the case length if needed, and then expand the neck of the case so a bullet will fit.

    The next step is to insert a primer, charge the case with powder, seat the bullet, and press it in with a seating die. If your cartridge requires it, the case will need to be crimped.

    Besides the mechanical equipment, your ammo factory needs reloading supplies. You’ll need brass, bullets, powder, and primers. Depending on the cartridge and the load, these components will vary. This is when you must refer to your reloading manual. Only use the reloading supplies and components designated for a specific load. Substituting powders, primers, and bullets can be disastrous. We don’t want you to injure yourself.

    You’re going to need brass prep tools. If you are just getting started, you may want to go with new brass until you collect some used brass and/or if you don’t have the budget for prep tools. Unfired brass doesn’t usually need much work unless you’re doing precision shooting. Once you start reusing brass, it will be dirty and stretched out. Before putting in a fresh primer, powder, and bullet, the casings need to be cleaned and sometimes trimmed. Tools to get started include case trimmers, tumblers, and sonic cleaners.

    Start with the ammo that you use the most. Over time, you’ll want to move up to faster presses and acquire the dies as well as other reloading supplies and tools that you need for every gun that you own.

    Titan Reloading wants to be part of your reloading experience. You’ll find a constantly updated stream of insights and tips from our blogs, newsletters, help videos, and FAQs.

Reloading Supplies & Equipment Online: Titan Reloading

Titan Reloading is a Master Distributor of Reloading Supplies & Equipment online. Choose from Lee Precision, Dillon, Hornady, Redding, Mec, & Lyman. For further information and/orto shop our online store please visit or contact Titan Reloading the Master Distributor of Lee Precision reloading equipment & supplies at 262.397.8819 with any questions.