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My article on revolver speedloaders for CCW

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Trebor, Sep 28, 2012.

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  1. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    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

    "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 I’ll take a look at both types from a self-defense standpoint. Competition speedloaders will be discussed in a future article."
     
  2. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    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
     
  3. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    ^^^ Hmmn, I wonder how often that type of thing happens?
     
  4. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    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.
     
  5. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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    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.
     
  6. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Speedloaders are bulky. How do you propose carrying them as a civilian for CCW?
     
  7. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    +1

    ld
     
  8. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    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

    [​IMG]
     
  9. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    ^^^Criminy, dude, you've got more invested in speed loaders than some folks do in revolvers!

    :D



    Andrews custom split belt pouches:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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

    And Sweet pouches! I need some of them.
     
  11. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    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.
     
  12. Crowman

    Crowman Member

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    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.
     
  13. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    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.
     
  14. David E

    David E Member

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

    David E Member

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    Neither have I. But I have had HKS loaders release the cartridges in my pocket when I was pulling it out.
     
  16. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    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.
     
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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)
     
  18. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    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.
     
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  20. Crowman

    Crowman Member

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    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.
     
  21. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  22. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  23. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    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.
     
  24. Lawdawg45

    Lawdawg45 Member

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    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
     
  25. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

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    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.
     
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