Speed Loader Vs. Speed Strip


I’m not really a revolver guy, even though I’ve carried one every day for the past several years. So quick-reload gadgets still seem a little exotic to me – why not just slap in another magazine, right?

taurusWith the old 431 I used speed strips because they were compact, simple, and had no moving parts to get screwed up by the everpresent dirt and dust, to say nothing of my own ineptitude.


But when I got the new Tracker late last year, I thought I’d try some o’them newfangled “speed loaders” the cool kids talked about.

Just for the record, I’m back to speed strips. The speed loaders are indeed much faster, and they seem adequately robust – at least I’ve never broken one or chingered one up with dirt. But there doesn’t seem to be an unobtrusive way to carry them. The pouch flaps keep catching on the Jeep’s seat backs and coming unsnapped; they’re literally in the way all the time. Considering how seldom you really need to reload, they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

Later today when I’m killed in a shootout with a biker gang I could have won with only a few more rounds of ammo, my last thought will be to regret the decision. But there it is.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to Speed Loader Vs. Speed Strip

  1. MamaLiberty says:

    I hear you… one of the reasons I stopped carrying the revolver myself. Only five rounds in the gun, and the reload took much too long and was cumbersome even though I practiced a LOT. Since then I’ve carred the XD both OC and CC…Drop mag, insert next one. Oh yeah.

    But I never had any real problem with the speedloader pouch catching on things, even though they were clearly visible on my belt. I put them slightly to the rear of 9 O’clock (on the left hip), and never worried about them. I have very robust snaps on them, which was part of the slowdown getting the gun reloaded. I can’t imagine trying to conceal them on a belt, but they were invisible in the small compartment of the fanny pack.

    It’s a tradeoff, in more than one way, no matter what you choose or how you carry it.

  2. M Ryan says:

    hey Joel It’s too bad you carry a canon. If it was the same caber (.357) as my S&W 19 I would send you my speed loader pouches designed for undercover work but my pouches would never fit your cannon rounds.

    I looked around and this may solve the issue of the pouches hanging up. I know they are a little pricey but you get what you pay for.


  3. Joel says:

    Yeah, well, you supplied that pouch I’m currently using for speed strips, so you’re on the belt anyway. 🙂

  4. Matt says:

    Joel, I agree with your choice of speed strips. Have carried them for my .357 for years. It does slow down the reload, but if I need to reload under fire and in the open I have really screwed up. They do not work that well for a single action revolver though.

  5. Howard says:

    I carry either a .357 or a .44mag depending on circumstances and have speed strips for both. I also have Marlin carbines in both calibers so speed strips allow me to carry reloads for them too. If I’m going fishing where I might run into a grizzly bear I do carry a speed loader for the .44.

  6. Harry Steele says:

    I came to the same conclusion as you did Joel. I did, however buy and now carry a Taurus 7 shot .357 snubbie so I have an extra 2 rounds vs most who carry small snubbies… Kinda made up for the slower speed reloading… As dirty Harry would say, Do you feel lucky punk? lol…. in this case, they wouldnt be very lucky if they thought 5 or even 6 shots meant I was out….

  7. M Ryan says:

    Well what do you know? I used to use that pouch to carry latex gloves and the other paraphernalia for CPR. I’m glad to see it’s being put to better use… carry on. :^)

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  9. abnormalist says:

    So when I carry my tracker 44, I have two speed loaders that I will grab one of the two and toss it in my left pants pocket, or jacket pocket. Keys go in the right pocket and leaves room for it on the other side.

    I must wear baggier pants though, as its not a space issue, and doesnt seem to unduly print, though its rare I care about concealing the wheel gun.

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