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Speed Loaders?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Deanimator, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    I haven't looked at speed loaders for a long time:

    1. What is a good brand/model of tactical (not competition) speed loader? Are there any brands/models to avoid?

    2. Having answered 1., what is a reliable, reasonably priced source?

    I'll be buying for all S&W, J frame .38Special, N Frame .357/.38Special, and N Frame .44Magnum/.44Special.

  2. aguyindallas

    aguyindallas Well-Known Member

    HKS is the most common brand of speed loader. If you are looking for a speed strip, Bianchi is a good one to look at.

    Emjoy your wheeeeeeelies!
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Well-Known Member

    The two most commonly available speedloader types now are HKS and Safariland.

    Of the two, HKS are the easist to find at gunshops and chain gun stores. You pretty much have to mail order Safariland loaders these days.

    With HKS loaders you hold the metal knob and twist to release the rounds into the cylinder. With the Safariland loaders you hold the loader, line up the rounds, and press down to release the rounds into the cylinder. Some people prefer one, some prefer the other.

    With the Safariland, you want the Comp II loader. The Comp I loader is harder to load and the Comp III loader is HUGE and is intended for competition.

    HKS makes loaders for pretty much any revolver, including the newer 7 shot S&W's and .22 revolvers. Safariland makes loaders for S&W K and L frame revolvers and, I think, N-frame revolvers. I don't believe they make any for 7 shot guns.

    I'd say buy one or two of each and see what you like. Sportsman's Guide and Cheaper then Dirt offer both types.

    Avoid the "Maxfire" brand of loader. I've yet to hear anyone say good things about them.
  4. Lonestar

    Lonestar Well-Known Member

    Ditto On HKS, they make them for your S&Ws. Speed Strips are less bulky and easier to carry (great for CCW), but nothing beats a HKS type speedloader for speed. With pratice you can reload almost as fast as a semi auto with one.
  5. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    I have one HKS left over from when I owned a Dan Wesson 15VH. I just ordered three for various guns, from Midway. I've heard some things about Cheaper than Dirt that make me reluctant to deal with them, at least with a credit card. I might give Sportsman's Guide a try for my next order.

    Thanks for your help.
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Beg to differ. Safariland push-type speedloaders will beat the twist-knob HKS all hollow for sheer speed of reload. They are not available for as many models, and some say they are not as secure for carry, though.

    The German SL Variant speedloader is the nicest I have seen but they were expensive and did not catch on in the cheapskate US market. Don't think they even try to sell them here any more.
  7. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    There's just something about a blued steel S&W revolver without a lock!
  8. ACP230

    ACP230 Well-Known Member

    I've bought many from Mid South Shooter's Supply.
    A bit cheaper than the others mentioned, as long as the order totals $40 or more.
  9. Deanimator

    Deanimator Well-Known Member

    I'll check them out before I order another set. I've probably ordered from them before. I know friends have.

  10. madmattmd

    madmattmd Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, only HKS currently makes a speedloader for the N frame .44. I recently bought two at a local shop. I wish Safariland would make a Comp II (or III) for the N frame .44, they are much faster than the "twist knob" HKS.

    BTW, your Dan Wesson 15-2 speedloader will work with both K and L frame Smiths. I have one of each (I use the DW in IDPA) and they work fine in all three revolvers.

  11. Maddock

    Maddock Well-Known Member

  12. stevekl

    stevekl Well-Known Member

    Is there a reason that Safariland doesn't exist in any gun store?

    I've been to three gun stores and i've only seen HKS.
  13. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    N-Frame loaders

    Safariland makes a Comp I for the .357 and .44 N-frame.
    Every so often they will do a production run of .41.
    I only know of one run of .45 Colt they did years ago. I have one and would love to have a few more but they are few and far between.

    For CCW use, with practice the HKS can be employed as fast as the Safariland.

    You really can't go wrong with either brand.

    The long out of production Dade loaders are also good as long as you don't drop them. Their main problem is that, by design, they are a little bigger in diameter. You have to make sure they clear your grips or they'll bind in the cylinder.
  14. madmattmd

    madmattmd Well-Known Member

    Thanks Maddock!

    I had seen the Comp I online some time ago and thought it was a "twist-knob" action like the HKS. The photo sure looks like an HKS. Further reading shows it is a spring loaded action. I would prefer the Comp II or III as I was considering using the Model 29 in IDPA with .44 spl ammo just for fun. I guess I'll have to start saving up for more equipment.

  15. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer Well-Known Member


    This photo shows the difference between a Safariland Comp I (left-small knob), Safariland Comp II(right, larger knob), and a Bianchi speedstrip(foreground).

    I got rid of my HKS as I can reload the Comps much, much faster. I've never had the experience of having them drop rounds or come loose either.
  16. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    I'd like to see Safariland make the Comp II in N-frame size/calibers. Unfortunately they won't. So us N-Frame guys are stuck with Comp I and HKS.

    I've tried for years to get Bianchi to make Speed Strips in .44 but they say there is no market for them. :eek: :banghead:
    Can you say OSTRICH.
    I knew you could.
  17. g56

    g56 Well-Known Member

    The Safariland speedloaders are so far ahead of the HKS there is no comparison, it is much faster, not just a little bit. The design of the Safariland fits the natural action perfectly, just push the rounds into the cylinder and drop the speedloader if you are in a hurry.

    It is possible for the Safariland to eject the rounds it holds if dropped on a hard surface, but in all reality that just isn't a problem.
  18. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

    Perhaps in your experience. But not in everyones.

    The HKS does takes a bit more practice.
    I've trained/practiced extensively with both.

    If you ever get a Safariland wedged against the grips you have a much harder time clearing it then you do with an HKS.
    If you've ever handled speedloaders with wet or bloody hands that big knob on an HKS can be a huge asset.

    With the proper training and sufficient practice the speed differences between the Safariland Comp I and the HKS are minimal.
  19. g56

    g56 Well-Known Member

    I shot PPC with a revolver for many years, some of those were in the pouring rain, the match went on rain or shine, and the Safariland speed loaders worked fine. Of all the people I saw shooting PPC, thousands over the years, not one used HKS speedloaders, Safariland was the prominent brand, a few others were used like Jet Loaders, I never saw HKS speedloaders used in competition.

    I used Comp II's in competition and carried Comp II's on my duty belt.
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Well-Known Member

    When I was shoppin' for Safariland speed loaders, I had to get a comp 1 cause they didn't have comp 2s for J frames. Not sure if Safariland doesn't make 'em or if they just weren't available from the place I ordered mine, but I can tell you this, it's a whole LOT better than the HKSs I was using! I'm going to get a couple of safariland comp 2s for my K frames, too. They hold the rounds more sturdy, don't take as much jiggling to get in the cylinder, and the release is more positive.

    I normally carry one speed strip for tac reloads and one speed loader when I carry the little revolver. Sometimes I'll toss a speed strip with light loads in if I'm out in the wilds for snakes or small game.

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