My article on revolver speedloaders for CCW


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Trebor
September 28, 2012, 07:23 AM
Here's my latest Michigan Firearms Examiner article talking about the two most common speedloader types and their uses for CCW.

A review of revolver speedloaders for CCW permit holders (http://www.examiner.com/article/a-review-of-revolver-speedloaders-for-ccw-permit-holders)

"Anyone who uses a revolver for self-defense knows that the main disadvantage of the wheel gun is its low ammo capacity. A related issue is that reloading a revolver, especially with loose rounds, is slower than reloading a semi-auto pistol.

The best way to reload a defensive revolver is with a speedloader. A speedloader allows the shooter to reload the whole cylinder at once instead of filling each chamber individually. With a speedloader a well-practiced revolver shooter can reload almost as quickly as someone using a semi-auto.

HKS and Safariland make the two main speedloader types commonly available. In this article Iíll take a look at both types from a self-defense standpoint. Competition speedloaders will be discussed in a future article."

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Lawdawg45
September 28, 2012, 07:50 AM
Trebor,

Just an FYI, when I was on the road I used Safariland speed loaders, but several times I found them deployed in the carrier on my belt. Apparently when I was seated in the patrol car, my vest pressed against the leather carrier and deployed the rounds. Switched to the HKS after that.;)

LD

Trebor
September 28, 2012, 12:55 PM
^^^ Hmmn, I wonder how often that type of thing happens?

MrBorland
September 28, 2012, 04:36 PM
I would've suggested categorizing the general speedloader types, e.g. twist- and push-release. HKS & Safariland, respectively, are the best known examples, but there are others that some might consider. 5-Star & SL Variants come to mind. The SLs offer a number of things the Safarilands don't. And while I've never heard a good word about them, MaxFire speedloaders are a third option.

You also mentioned the problem with HKS weak-hand reloads (a spinning cylinder), but weak-hand reloads with push-release types (especially CompI/II) can stress the yoke. In the case of S&Ws, it can really stress the yoke screw, which is all that holds the cylinder assembly in the frame. Newer S&Ws, with the plunger-type screw, are particularly sensitive, and I've seen cylinders fall to the ground during weak-hand reloads.

When it comes time for the discussion of competition speedloaders, don't forget JetLoaders. SL Variants deserve mention, too. Many (or most) competitive wheelgunners also modify their CompIIIs & Jetloaders for even more speed, so if you didn't know about those mods, it'd be worth a little research.

W.E.G.
September 28, 2012, 05:32 PM
That link launches some serious pop-up advertisements.

Firefox killed some of them before they could spawn, but a couple still got through.

Surprised there was no mention of the Speed-Strip.

BSA1
September 28, 2012, 06:52 PM
Speedloaders are bulky. How do you propose carrying them as a civilian for CCW?

Lawdawg45
September 28, 2012, 07:11 PM
that link launches some serious pop-up advertisements.

Firefox killed some of them before they could spawn, but a couple still got through.

surprised there was no mention of the speed-strip.

+1

ld

mesinge2
September 28, 2012, 07:18 PM
Speedloaders are bulky. How do you propose carrying them as a civilian for CCW?
I carry them for CC for an N frame 357 without issue. Its all about the right speed loader pouch.


But I prefer 5 stars, can you tell? :D

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcYeWSlC0PE

http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/My%20heaters/MyFavoriteRevolvers22.jpg

sidheshooter
September 29, 2012, 12:33 PM
^^^Criminy, dude, you've got more invested in speed loaders than some folks do in revolvers!

:D



Speedloaders are bulky. How do you propose carrying them as a civilian for CCW?

Andrews custom split belt pouches:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=158453&stc=1&d=1328481204

mesinge2
September 29, 2012, 12:37 PM
^^^Criminy, dude, you've got more invested in speed loaders than some folks do in revolvers! :D


And that doesn't include a pile of HKS loaders.

And Sweet pouches! I need some of them.

Rexster
September 29, 2012, 10:06 PM
I have carried many HKS loaders in pockets over the years, since 1984, and have never had any of them dump the cartridges. I tried Safariland Comp I and II, and they did not hold up over time, especially when overweight co-workers stepped on them at the qual range.

Crowman
September 30, 2012, 12:57 AM
I usually carry 2 to 4 SKS speed loaders in my CCW vest pockets and two 7-round loop slides on my belt plus an Ammo Wallet with 18 rounds in my hip pocket and two 8-round speed strips in my pants pocket for my 386NG when I go to town.

If I am packing my 325PD, then it's 4 moon clips in the vest pockets and two Galco 2x2x2 ammo carriers on the belt with 1/3 moon clips holding 2 rounds each plus one 6-round speed strip loaded with bowling pin loads in .45 Auto Rim.

I've never had a SKS speed loader dump in my pocket. The speed strips carry flat.

P.S. An empty gun is a poor club.

Trebor
October 1, 2012, 01:39 PM
To answer a couple question:

I have some length restrictions on these Examiner articles and I've found it's best to have a relatively narrow focus on each topic. The focus for this piece was a direct comparision of the two most common speedloader types specifically looking at their use for CCW.

Speedstrips are different enough that I'll write their own article on them later. Also, they aren't generally as common as the HKS and Safariland loaders, in my opinion. They may be better suited for carry due to the smaller size and I'll discuss that in the article.

For Moonclips, again, moonclipped revolvers are different enough that I want to do their own article on them. Also, moonclipped revolvers aren't nearly as common as "standard" .38 and .357 Magnum revolvers and I wanted to stick to the "most common" reloading devices for this particular article. I'll write about moonclips specifically for competition and defense in the future.

David E
October 1, 2012, 05:28 PM
Trebor,

Just an FYI, when I was on the road I used Safariland speed loaders, but several times I found them deployed in the carrier on my belt. Apparently when I was seated in the patrol car, my vest pressed against the leather carrier and deployed the rounds. Switched to the HKS after that.;)

LD

Sounds like you didn't fully secure the cartridges in the loader. Or had a egregiously flawed/designed leather pouch.

David E
October 1, 2012, 05:47 PM
I've never had a SKS speed loader dump in my pocket. The speed strips carry flat.

Neither have I. But I have had HKS loaders release the cartridges in my pocket when I was pulling it out.

2zulu1
October 1, 2012, 05:47 PM
Having carried HKS speedloaders for years in all kinds of situations, I never experienced an accidental ammunition dump as mentioned in the OP's article. In my experience, more LEOs carried the HKS speedloaders than other brands.

9mmepiphany
October 1, 2012, 09:40 PM
My experience has been just the opposite with all the local LEA going with the Safariland Comp-II back when we issued revolvers. Plain clothes officers did indeed carry their reloads in the Split-Six type carriers. We never had a reported incident from the field or a observed incident during qualifications of the Comp-II releasing rounds except when being loading into cylinders.

We did has incidents of the HKS releasing rounds when drawn out of pockets or off the belt, there is a temptation to start rotating the wrist before the loader clears the carrier...much worst were the Dade or the Kel Light (the first for dropping rounds, the second for not letting go of them)

Trebor
October 2, 2012, 01:17 AM
Here's an interesting update. I stuck the HKS and Safariland loaders I loaded for the picture in the article in a Safariland two pocket pouch for storage and put the pouch in my gun room.

I went to get a loader out of the pouch to put in the single loader pouch I use for carry and the HKS loader had dumped the rounds! All I did was put both loaders in the pouch, move it to the gun room, and put it in a drawer. It got jostled a bit, but nothing that I thought was that extreme.

Just thought that was an interesting tidbit to share.

9mmepiphany
October 2, 2012, 02:02 AM
A couple of things I've noticed about the HKS loaders

1. The camming surface is very smooth and it doesn't take that much to cause it to rotate
2. Because the knob sticks up so much, it is very natural to grab it to adjust the fit...refer to point #1

Crowman
October 2, 2012, 11:08 AM
I use 7-round HKS speed loaders for my 386NG. Yesterday, when I picked up a 2-pocket nylon speed loader pouch with velcro flaps, one speedloader fell out on the floor from about 5 feet, hit and rolled without dumping any rounds. I've never lost a speedloader from a leather case with snaps. I also had a loaded one roll off my reloading bench, hit the floor and roll under the table without dumping.

I've only had loads dump by grabbing and twisting the knob. Even when carrying loose loaded speedloaders in a dedicated vest pocket, I haven't had any dump. It did not matter whether they were for J-Frame, K-frame, Rugers, L-frame or N-Frame revolvers. Having said that, I do make it a part of my daily drill to verify the state of my ammo on a regular basis.

I really like the HKS loaders for CCW.

I've only had experience with the old Safariland loaders from the 1970's and did not like them...those were too hard to manipulate. Can't say anything about the newer ones...just look too bulky for CCW. However, they look to be better suited for open belt/competition use. If I was in that game, I'd probably go that way.

2zulu1
October 2, 2012, 03:24 PM
This has become an interesting thread to read, so I thought to conduct an experiment with a dusty HKS speedloader that I carry for 7-shot 686s. This particular speedloader has been carried in shirt/pants pockets and it has bounced around in the console of the pickup. Anyone who lives in a rural area understands what the vibrations feel like on dirt, wash board county roads and this speedloader, and others, have been bounced around a lot over the years.

While some have issues with HKS speedloaders dumping their ammunition while in a pouch, I decided to do an extreme test this morning to learn how well my HKS would hold up. My shooting 'pit' was dug out by an end loader and it has earthen walls up to 12' high, plus there are 1/2 ton bales double stacked to provide additional safety.

With this in mind, I decided to toss an HKS speedloader into the pit from a safe position topside. In the unlikely event that a round/s fired, the bullet would either go into a wall or up and fall harmlessly to the ground.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-10-02_09-56-06_127.jpg

A seven round HKS speedloader landed after a vertical 25ft and 30ft horizontal journey.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-10-02_09-59-21_74.jpg

The heavy 170gr Keith bullets still where they were supposed to be and they subsequently loaded into a M686+ effortlessly.

As I wrote earlier, I never experienced an accidental ammunition dump while on/off duty and this morning's test was a culmination of pocket carry and rough county dirt roads, without the use of a pouch.

9mmepiphany
October 2, 2012, 04:46 PM
As mentioned earlier, it isn't the drop onto a surface. It is the release knob that many folks grab them by.

That was one of the nice things about the Safariland Comp-II. It had a knob you could grab which played no part in the release of the cartridges.

I believe 5-Star addressed the issue by reversing the direction of the rotation to activate the release from their loader

Trebor
October 2, 2012, 05:46 PM
My theory on why HKS loaders will sometimes dump in a pouch is that when they are jostled in the pouch the cylinder/barrel of the loader is held pretty stable by it's tight fit in the pouch which allow the tourque to be applied only to the knob. In other words, if it gets jostled, the body stays still while the knob might move and, if the knob moves, the rounds get dumped.

Just a theory, but it would explain it.

Lawdawg45
October 2, 2012, 06:39 PM
Sounds like you didn't fully secure the cartridges in the loader. Or had a egregiously flawed/designed leather pouch.

Actually no on both counts. As a Field Training Officer and Firearms instructor, calling me anal was an understatement.:D The rounds were all properly secured in a Safariland leather carrier on my duty belt, and as I searched for a rigid model after the unintentional release, I found that even they had soft leather tops.

LD

MrBorland
October 2, 2012, 06:56 PM
if it gets jostled, the body stays still while the knob might move and, if the knob moves, the rounds get dumped.


Could also be torque to the knob from one's hand if the loader isn't pulled straight up. Either way, it'd explain how they can release in a pouch, but not when carried freely.

9mmepiphany
October 2, 2012, 07:11 PM
The rounds were all properly secured in a Safariland leather carrier on my duty belt, and as I searched for a rigid model after the unintentional release, I found that even they had soft leather tops.

LD
Now I'm confused,

The Safariland carriers we used with our K-frames had a plastic insert inside the leather to support the edge of the body and keep the bullet tips from touching bottom.

Downward pressure on knob/body of the Comp-I/II wouldn't release the cartridges, you'd need upward pressure on the center star...between the cartridges

W.E.G.
October 2, 2012, 07:27 PM
I carried the same two size 10A HKS speedloaders in duty pouches for a couple years.

They never took a dump by accident during the many outings they rode with me.

2zulu1
October 3, 2012, 03:34 AM
I've conducted another experiment in an attempt to get four HKS speedloaders to dump their rounds. Two poaches were placed in a Lyman media tumbler for twenty minutes.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-10-02_16-23-03_361.jpg

Dustier after their 'tumbling', it would be interesting to see if they still performed.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-10-02_16-45-18_881.jpg

No rounds were dumped, even after grabbing the top button and spinning the handloaders back forth.

http://i1103.photobucket.com/albums/g474/aztrekker511/2012-10-02_16-46-53_201.jpg

44mag on the left and 357mag on the right held together w/o
incident. All four loaders dropped their ammunition into the appropriate cylinders.

Malamute
October 3, 2012, 05:58 PM
Was the inadvertant Safariland dump carried in the over the belt (split 6) type carrier? I think I've had one release when carried in that type. If one isnt familiar with them, the loader is carried with the belt through the middle of the loader. It makes it much more compact to carry. I use them, but am aware of the possibilty of a release if the carrier is pushed down hard from above. The belt apparently pushed the release button hard enough to activate it.

I've had some Safarilands not release cleanly on several occasions, taking a VERY LARGE amount of pressure to release, meaning I tried very hard and couldn't get them to release in several tries, then pushed them extremely hard and got them to release. Not sure why, they seemed to work fine the next try. I've also just flat worn out several HKS loaders, the rims of the cartridges wore the points that hold the shells in, and locked up the loader (knob wouldnt turn, and couldnt release rounds) when I went to use it. It was back when I rode motorcycles a lot, (the old fashioned vibraty kind), and walked a LOT. The movement seems to have eventually worn through the points enough that they locked up. Turning the loader upside down allowed them to release. Best to look at them once in a while with that in mind, and toss any that start to get wear. They arent expensive, and one shouldnt be afraid to toss them if they dont work right or show wear. Had one or two HKS's come apart also. The spring loaded ball detent came out, so the center part wouldnt stay in any one position.

I've tended towards the Safarilands after using the HKS's for years. After using the Safarilands, which I like very much, and think they are defiantely faster than the HKS, I'm leaning abck to the HKS. They are easier to deal with if they dont work as expected. The Safarilands that seized up were Comp 1's I think, perhaps 2's tho. I really like the comp 3's, wish they made them for 44's. Not mentioned in the article, the comp 3's have a spring that slaps the rounds into the chambers when it releases.

2zulu1
October 5, 2012, 04:22 PM
My experience has been just the opposite with all the local LEA going with the Safariland Comp-II back when we issued revolvers. Plain clothes officers did indeed carry their reloads in the Split-Six type carriers. We never had a reported incident from the field or a observed incident during qualifications of the Comp-II releasing rounds except when being loading into cylinders.

We did has incidents of the HKS releasing rounds when drawn out of pockets or off the belt, there is a temptation to start rotating the wrist before the loader clears the carrier...much worst were the Dade or the Kel Light (the first for dropping rounds, the second for not letting go of them)
What were y'all carrying? The Safariland website doesn't have a listing for comp-II N-frames nor the 7-shot L-frames that are now common.

9mmepiphany
October 5, 2012, 04:58 PM
What were y'all carrying? The Safariland website doesn't have a listing for comp-II N-frames nor the 7-shot L-frames that are now common.
A combination of of S&W K-frames, M-15/13/19/66, and Colt Pythons (Comp-I)

Lawdawg45
October 6, 2012, 02:54 PM
Was the inadvertant Safariland dump carried in the over the belt (split 6) type carrier? I think I've had one release when carried in that type. If one isnt familiar with them, the loader is carried with the belt through the middle of the loader. It makes it much more compact to carry. I use them, but am aware of the possibilty of a release if the carrier is pushed down hard from above. The belt apparently pushed the release button hard enough to activate it.

I've had some Safarilands not release cleanly on several occasions, taking a VERY LARGE amount of pressure to release, meaning I tried very hard and couldn't get them to release in several tries, then pushed them extremely hard and got them to release. Not sure why, they seemed to work fine the next try. I've also just flat worn out several HKS loaders, the rims of the cartridges wore the points that hold the shells in, and locked up the loader (knob wouldnt turn, and couldnt release rounds) when I went to use it. It was back when I rode motorcycles a lot, (the old fashioned vibraty kind), and walked a LOT. The movement seems to have eventually worn through the points enough that they locked up. Turning the loader upside down allowed them to release. Best to look at them once in a while with that in mind, and toss any that start to get wear. They arent expensive, and one shouldnt be afraid to toss them if they dont work right or show wear. Had one or two HKS's come apart also. The spring loaded ball detent came out, so the center part wouldnt stay in any one position.

I've tended towards the Safarilands after using the HKS's for years. After using the Safarilands, which I like very much, and think they are defiantely faster than the HKS, I'm leaning abck to the HKS. They are easier to deal with if they dont work as expected. The Safarilands that seized up were Comp 1's I think, perhaps 2's tho. I really like the comp 3's, wish they made them for 44's. Not mentioned in the article, the comp 3's have a spring that slaps the rounds into the chambers when it releases.

Yes they were.

LD

youngda9
October 7, 2012, 09:35 AM
I carry a dump pouch with a full re-load when carrying a revolver. Speedloaders are just too bulky for CC. Not necessary IMO for 99.99999% of civilian encounters IMO. I practice with the dump pouch and can do it very fast, I'm not undergunned.

9mmepiphany
October 7, 2012, 03:20 PM
Do you at least use Speed Strips in your dump pouch?

David E
October 7, 2012, 05:28 PM
I practice with the dump pouch and can do it very fast,

How fast, exactly, is "very fast?"

9mmepiphany
October 7, 2012, 09:49 PM
I'd think it would be painfully slow. I can reload faster out of cartridge loops than out of a dump pouch. We used to have competitions during our academy...the SO had loops, the PD had pouches

David E
October 8, 2012, 01:13 AM
I'm reminded of some doofus that posted that he utilized speedloaders.......by using it to dump the rounds in his palm then loading from there....:rolleyes: THEN claiming how well it worked!

9mmepiphany
October 8, 2012, 01:51 AM
Would he have been related to the guy with the 1.5 second magazine change?...the one with the distorted perception of time

2zulu1
October 8, 2012, 02:31 AM
A combination of of S&W K-frames, M-15/13/19/66, and Colt Pythons (Comp-I)
That would make for a nice combination for you. When I began in the early 70s we had M28s, probably the reason why HKS speedloaders were very common. :)

Do you know when Safariland began making speedloaders?

9mmepiphany
October 8, 2012, 03:32 AM
I attended the academy in '79 and the Safariland Comp-I (small knob) were widely available at LE supply stores...I still have some Comp-I loaders for my M-27

Most of the officers on the street carried the HKS Six-Second,

...the Dade
http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s178/Redberens/662.jpg

...or the Kel-lite
http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRJyaGrMqVwL1vsAw9d9Ndyo955jT1TWH7TB4883QoI9MZ-Z_f0d-BqnEphYQ

...the really cutting edge guys carried the Second-Six loaders, because they didn't depend on gravity to load the cartridges
http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/763/secondsixspeedloaderasm.jpg

Trebor
October 10, 2012, 01:07 PM
9mmEphinany,

Are any of those loaders still made and sold? Got any links?

I've heard of the Dade, but not the rest.

David E
October 10, 2012, 01:21 PM
I carry a dump pouch with a full re-load when carrying a revolver. I practice with the dump pouch and can do it very fast...

Again, how fast is "very fast"........really?

9mmepiphany
October 10, 2012, 03:15 PM
9mmEphinany,

Are any of those loaders still made and sold? Got any links?

I've heard of the Dade, but not the rest.
The only large manufacturers who have survived from that time are HKS and Safariland.

The Dade loader is still available on eBay, but the Dade Machine company has been long out of business. I still have mine from my PPC days

Kel-lite stopped producing theirs when they were bought by Streamlight. Their philosophical descendant is the Maxfire, which shares it's same simplicity and lower cost, but also it's same weakness of not easily releasing all the shells

The death kell of the Second-Six was the Jet loader...which we now know as the Safariland Comp III

The only new player is 5-Star, which many see as a product improved HKS

MrBorland
October 10, 2012, 04:32 PM
The death kell of the Second-Six was the Jet loader...which we now know as the Safariland Comp III


Was there an earlier JetLoader which led to the compIII? Current JetLoaders (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=303/Product/REVOLVER-JETLOADER) and CompIIIs (http://www.midwayusa.com/product/400282/safariland-comp-3-revolver-speedloader-ruger-gp100-s-and-w-581-681-586-686-38-special-357-magnum) are 2 separate speedloaders. Both are popular in competition. I prefer JetLoaders, myself. Cut down, of course. :cool:


http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/pp239/becke016/GunsTargets/JetLoader2.jpg


FWIW, SL Variants (http://www.bobmacs.com/variantcatalog.htm) offer the spring-loaded speed of JetLoaders and CompIIIs, and are available for guns not covered by JLs & CIIIs. Tough to find, but if you want to run a 7-shot or an N-frame fast with speedloaders, for instance, the SL Variant is for you.

9mmepiphany
October 10, 2012, 04:41 PM
Good catch, I was lazy in posting :uhoh:

Sorry, I meant that the Jetloader lead to the development of the Comp III...I'm surprised they didn't sue Safariland, unless they are a lot more different than they look

Trebor
October 10, 2012, 06:41 PM
Looks like I gotta do another article now.

If you enjoyed reading about "My article on revolver speedloaders for CCW" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!