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Thread: speed loaders

  1. #1

    Question speed loaders

    Not real familiar with speed loaders, I have a S&W 629 44mag, with the cheap wal-mart speed loaders. Any way to use anything faster or is there gunsmithing involved.

  2. #2
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Not sure what a "wal mart" speed loader is, but for revolvers you can't really get much faster unless you go to full moon clips, which will only work with certain types of ammo and guns. With a little practice, you can speed load a revolver as fast as you can change a mag in a semi-auto.

    There are basically 2 flavors of speed loaders. The traditional type has an aluminum knob in the center that you twist to release the rounds. A newer version has a plastic center hub that you simply push in, though these are a little tricky to get the ammo loaded into correctly in the first place.

    There are also 2 general methods to reloading from speed loaders. The first and most traditional method you hit the cylinder release and flip it out as you transfer the gun to your support hand. You are gripping the gun from the bottom with the trigger guard in your palm. You hold the muzzle up while hitting the shell ejector rod and your shooting hand is retrieving the speed loader. These are generally carried in individual pouches on the belt located between the belt buckle and the holster if you are wearing a duty-style belt rig.

    You pick up the speed loader via the release knob and bring it to the gun. Meanwhile, your support hand is inverting the gun back to a muzzle down position with your thumb stabilizing the cylinder in a full open position. The shooting hand now brings the speed loader onto the cylinder using a slow twisting motion to the right until the bullets find holes. Continue twisting the knob to the right while pushing the speed loader all the way flush to the cylinder. Note that the aluminum hub loaders need to be twisted to the right to release the ammo, but the plastic plunger type need only to be pushed straight forward until the knob "pops" in to release the ammo. Let go of the speed loader and it will fall away. Retake the grip with your shooting hand and push the cylinder closed with your support hand and you're now ready to shoot again.

    Run through these steps slowly and deliberately dozens of times. Very slowly increase your speed while focusing on maintaining accuracy and smoothness of your movements. With practice, this reload can be performed in a couple seconds.

    A newer version of this reload places the speed loaders to the support side on your belt (same as you would carry spare magazines for the semi-auto). You never break your shooting hand grip and do all manipulations with the support hand starting by opening the cylinder and ejecting the brass, then grabbing the speed loader from the pouch and dumping it into the cylinder. Finally close the cylinder and retake the supporting grip. Especially for those who primarily use semi-autos and have mastered the magazine speed reload, this method also works very well... with lots of practice.

  3. #3

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    The push button variety I used to use in competition were made by Safariland. They were only available at the time for 38/357 guns. HKS twist types were all that were available for Smith 44's. If that's changed in the years that have passed, good on you because the Safarilands were certainly faster and more secure under stress. Not sure what you are seein at Walmart.

    One thing to check is the fit of the speedloader past your grips. If it hangs in any way, you can forget the speed part. It may require carving on your grips to get the clearance needed, and that's okay in my book. Kind of turns a show gun into a working tool, to my eyes.

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    Default Wal-mart!!!!!!!!!!

    Joat, that is a very good description of a good reload. Nice job.

    I have an HKS (I think) for my 41 mag model 58, and for N frame 357 and 44.

    Yep the Safariland push buttons were what I always used. They are a little faster but it takes a nack to fill the loader, I had touble with that.

    If this is for field use I would say get the HKS the Safarilands can suffer from premature whatchmacallit, if you're not careful.
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    Default Safariland speed loaders

    They are a little tricky to load. It's been a while since I've used them, but as I recall, you first have to make sure the mechanism is reset, then you place the cartridges into the loader and invert the whole operation onto a firm surface while holding the ammo in place. Then you lock it by twisting the center hub. After you load a couple, you'll find it's not too complicated.

    Once it is loaded and locked, the only way it will release the ammo is to push in on the center piece that is on the ammo side. This is what gets pushed against the center of the cylinder as you are loading the gun and releases the ammo. They seem fast, though we are probably talking about less than a tenth of a second over the traditional type of loaders.

    I've often used custom-made ammo trays that my dad built decades ago when he was shooting (and winning) police competitions. You simply place your ammo into the holes of an aluminum plate that is pre-drilled for the speed loader spacing. There is a bucket at the end of the tray for dropping your brass into. As you are shooting, you reload the speed loaders by setting it onto the pre-grouped cartridges. It was a very cool device that eliminated a bunch of time at the range reloading speed loaders between drills.

    Unfortunately, due to the way the Safariland loaders work, you can't use a tray like this to load them, so I only own a couple of that type, but probably have 2 dozen of the traditional loaders for my .357's.

  6. #6

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    One thing to keep in mind with speedloaders- The larger the meplat (flat nose on the bullet), the more likely one or more will hang when using a speed loader that lets the bullets flop around a bit, as does the HKS. Safariland loaders hold the bullets really rigid and cut down this problem, but it's academic because I am not sure they make a 44 model these days, if they ever did.

    The big point for me is that I finally switched to jacketed sp bullets for the rounds carried in my 44 HKS loader, irrespective of what is loaded in the gun. My thinking is that by the time you get down to speedloading another six ruonds, the situation is probably so critical that anything in the gun is better than horsing around with a balky speedloader. Played with speedloaders in my 629 lots in the bowling pin days. Got pretty smooth, but if anything at all went wrong, the seconds mounted quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JOAT View Post
    They are a little tricky to load. It's been a while since I've used them, but as I recall, you first have to make sure the mechanism is reset, then you place the cartridges into the loader and invert the whole operation onto a firm surface while holding the ammo in place. Then you lock it by twisting the center hub. After you load a couple, you'll find it's not too complicated.

    Once it is loaded and locked, the only way it will release the ammo is to push in on the center piece that is on the ammo side. This is what gets pushed against the center of the cylinder as you are loading the gun and releases the ammo. They seem fast, though we are probably talking about less than a tenth of a second over the traditional type of loaders.

    I've often used custom-made ammo trays that my dad built decades ago when he was shooting (and winning) police competitions. You simply place your ammo into the holes of an aluminum plate that is pre-drilled for the speed loader spacing. There is a bucket at the end of the tray for dropping your brass into. As you are shooting, you reload the speed loaders by setting it onto the pre-grouped cartridges. It was a very cool device that eliminated a bunch of time at the range reloading speed loaders between drills.

    Unfortunately, due to the way the Safariland loaders work, you can't use a tray like this to load them, so I only own a couple of that type, but probably have 2 dozen of the traditional loaders for my .357's.
    I have probably used one of those trays back in the PPC shooting days, maybe one of your dad's designs. I remember one shooter would bring a few to sell at each match. All made of wood with several groups of six holes drilled in a circle on a woodden tray sitting over a box at one end for the empties. A quick and handy way to reload your loaders. Pretty cool. Also back then there was a rubber speed loader, just push it over the six rounds standing in the tray, then "break" it off after loading into the cylinder by pushing it sideways. They worked but were tricky.

    Back when I was shooting Action Pistol, Safariland marketed a tray and bucket arrangement of plastic that lots of shooters used. Stand up the six rounds in the Safariland speed loader for easy access, but I think they had to be loaded by hand. I think I still have that tray.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    One thing to keep in mind with speedloaders- The larger the meplat (flat nose on the bullet), the more likely one or more will hang when using a speed loader that lets the bullets flop around a bit, as does the HKS. Safariland loaders hold the bullets really rigid and cut down this problem, but it's academic because I am not sure they make a 44 model these days, if they ever did.

    The big point for me is that I finally switched to jacketed sp bullets for the rounds carried in my 44 HKS loader, irrespective of what is loaded in the gun. My thinking is that by the time you get down to speedloading another six ruonds, the situation is probably so critical that anything in the gun is better than horsing around with a balky speedloader. Played with speedloaders in my 629 lots in the bowling pin days. Got pretty smooth, but if anything at all went wrong, the seconds mounted quickly.
    Yeah, you pretty well gotta get the pins off the table with the frst cylinder full to stay competitive. I remember those days. I really liked bowling pin shoots. I ended up going with a 45 ACP in a modified 1911 so it would handle wide meplat flat nose bullets. I sighted it to hit 6" low and aimed at the neck of the pin, aim small miss small. A belly hit would work with this set up. I used a different slide and removed enough stock at the lugs and used a long link for a tight fit and this was a low shooter. Then swapped that upper with the correctly sighted upper of my carry gun. When I got good and got down to the low four's, somebody would show up in the three's, story of my life.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9

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    "When I got good and got down to the low four's, somebody would show up in the three's, story of my life."

    Aint life grand!

  10. #10

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    Safariland still makes speedloaders for the S&W N frame 44's. I just bought 6 of them from "Cheaper than Dirt". It takes a little practice to get the hang of them but once you get it down there's nothing to it. I even reload wadcutters with them but I've been using them for 20+ years. Also check out Midway USA as they have them in stock.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=367179

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    Default Safariland Speedloaders Locally

    Anywhere in ANC or FBX to buy Safariland Speedloaders, or is mail-order the only option?

    Quote Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
    Safariland still makes speedloaders for the S&W N frame 44's. I just bought 6 of them from "Cheaper than Dirt". It takes a little practice to get the hang of them but once you get it down there's nothing to it. I even reload wadcutters with them but I've been using them for 20+ years. Also check out Midway USA as they have them in stock.

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=367179

  12. #12
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    Check with Northern Security in Anchorage. I would say they are the most likely to have some in stock. If not, there are a half-dozen other gun shops in town that may have some.

  13. #13

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    Good news on the Safariland. I'm more confident in them after many years of use in 357's, so I'll probably pick up a couple. Never a problem for me to load them up, but measure that in many hours of use.

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