As noted in the section on Stocks not all speedloaders work with common “combat” stocks. Please thoroughly test your current speedloaders with your stocks both with and without gloves before you bet you life on them.
These are a few speedloader tips worth passing along. The first comes from Ed Lovette in his text The Snubby.
(Photo 1 here) Ed offers the following: “Don’t attempt to load all five of six rounds (depending on your revolver of choice) into all five or six charge holes in the cylinder. Just concentrate on loading two rounds into the charge holes under you thumb. […] Trust me the rest will follow.”
(Photo 2 here)It should be noted that when Ed advocates that the two guiding rounds being inserted should be indexed under your thumb it is because he prefers a more classical FBI style reloading method. As an advocate for the lesser known “auto-pistol” reloading method I support the “aim-two, load-five” tip except that I prefer to aim for the two charge holes closest to the tip of your right hand’s index finger when reloading a snub held in the right hand. For this to work the snub needs to be fitted with a set of stocks that are properly relieved for speedloaders. Most stocks are not properly relieved so please check first.
When reloading the snub held in the left hand with either the FBI or the “auto-pistol” manual of arms Ed’s recommendation about indexing under the thumb remains in effect.
FILLING THE SPEEDLOADER
(Photo 3 here)Filling the speedloader is distinct from reloading with the speedloader. As a general rule the directions included with each maker’s speedloader are straight forward. Nonetheless there are a few items worth passing along regarding filling speedloaders. Six-round D- and K-frame sized speedloaders can be quickly loaded with the aid of a loading block. The loading blocks can be a helpful range tool, are inexpensive and is still available from Safariland. If you do purchase one for your range practice you may wish to add a small 1/4 inch strip of skate board tape around all four sides of the base. This gives a better purchase when moving or transporting a block loaded with ammunition.
(Photo 4 here) One speedloader that could use a load block is the 5-shot J-frame sized Safariland Comp I. Filling a five-round Comp I speedloaders is down right anoying compaired to filling the nearly identical six-round Comp I. With practice the Comp I speedloader can be as convenient to load as any speedloader, but many J-frame sized snub owners are casual shooters and many won’t take the time to learn how to lock in the rounds when using the five-round Comp I.
A very effective home made tool I use in class to address the issue is a 9mm Ruger moon clip, produced for Ruger’s 9mm SP-101 snubs and fitted with five-rounds of either spent 9mm or .380 brass. To load the Comp I pick up the five shot Comp I and insert your five .38 rounds. Now pick up the loading tool with your free hand and slip the empty cases over the bullet noses of the currently unlocked rounds in the speedloader. Remember to follow Ed Lovette’s advice to “aim-two, load-five.” Once the five empty cases of the loading tool are on top of the bullet noses, cover the loading tool with the palm of your left hand and invert the combined unit. This will orientate the small locking nipple of the Comp I up. You can now 1) press down on the nipple and give it a quick 2) clockwise twist to lock in the rounds. In my snub classes I keep the loading tool handy with a short length of key ring chain and attach both to a de-jamming tool. (See more on the de-jamming tool below)
There is one speed loading tip that works well with HKS style loaders but can be used with almost any speedloader. This reloading tip is a variation on Massad Ayoob’s StressFire method for reloading the revolver but can be applied to the speedloader.
(Photo 5 here) With Mas Ayoob’s StressFire reload, the ejector rod of the revolver is pinched between the index finger and the middle finger with the ejector rod kept closest to the web of the hand at the base of both these fingers. With the revolver, this hand position holds the open cylinder in a “cup and saucer” fashion. While reloading both the revolver and the loose ammunition are kept in the left hand and the right hand picks the rounds off the palm and loads the cylinder.
(Photo 6 here ) Using the same mechanics for filling the speedloaders, the loose rounds are scooped out of the pocket and the locking knob of the speedloader is slipped between the index and middle fingers and kept closest to the web of the two fingers. The strong hand plucks the rounds off the cupped palm and inserted into the speedloader. Any extra rounds remaining are returned to the pocket. Then the speedloader’s knob can be manipulated to lock the speedloader.