If you shoot a semi automatic handgun, you should own more than one magazine for it. The saying goes: "one is none, two is one, three is two, and 12 is getting close to enough." Okay I just made that up, but the point is you can never have enough magazines for your firearm. After you've spent the month's grocery budget on mags, you'll soon realize that loading more than one or two mags consecutively starts to become a pain.
If your firearm has an ammo capacity over 10 rounds and the ability for extended capacities, you begrudgingly know the discomfort and tediousness of loading magazines. Mags with 15+ round capacities can be a pain to load, and the faster you try to speed up the process, typically the more painful it is on your thumbs. For those who go thru a lot of ammo fast like competition shooters or instructors, topping off mags becomes a routine annoyance. Of course, humans do what we do best... invent a tool to get the job done better.
Tools that assist in magazine loading are commonly called "Speedloaders" and have been around for quite some time. Usually they are 'cap style' loaders that go over the mag's opening and help push down the loaded cartridge(s), compressing the spring and making it easier to insert the next round under the feed lips. This process still involves the same amount of force and the use of both hands. It just saves your thumbs and fingers from fatigue and saves you a few seconds per mag.
Recently I just came across a new style of speedloader that caught my interest immediately. A company by the name of American Speedloaders LLC has patented 'Nest Style' design that literally flips the script. Instead of pressing a tool downward on the mags, you turn the mag upside down and insert it into the speedloader itself. This gives the user more leverage, making it easier to compress the mag's internal spring.
The operation is really easy. When you insert the mag into the nest loader, it sits in an elevated resting position. In the side of the loader there is a small chute that slides down through a port. Dropping a cartridge into that chute and down into the hole aligns it directly under the magazine feed lips on top of a raise platform. Simply pressing the magazine downward into the Speedloader picks the round up. The loader's springs push the magazine back up into the resting position after the use releasing pressure. Thats it!
This process can be done both with one hand, or two handed for a faster rate per bullet. Extended magazines like the 33rd 'happy stick' can be loaded easily under a minute. This method is simply a better mouse trap. I can literally load every magazine I own in one sitting with no fatigue build up. If you've got the ammo, you can top off all your mags in one quick sitting.
This nest style design from American Speedloaders is only compatible with two magazine types so far. The Glock 9/40 mags, and the FN Five Seven (5.7x28mm) mags. According to their website, at the time of writing this review they are working on more speedloaders for other magazine types. I'm assuming Glock 45 acp mags are on the whiteboard, as well as other popular firearm models like the Smith & Wesson M&P, Springfield XD-M, FNX, Colt SMG, and other pistol caliber guns with high capacity magazines available on the market. Obviously these are merely my own predictions.
I don't foresee this kind of speedloader being adapted for smaller capacity magazines types like the 1911, single stack Glock mags likes the 42 and 43, and other mags with capacities of 10 and under, because they aren't all that difficult or slow to load. If you do own something along those lines and have a hard time loading mags...rest assured American Speedloaders has cap style loaders to suit your needs.
Not only do I own Glock pistols in 9mm and 40sw, but a couple carbines that runs on the same mags as well. There are dozens of pistol caliber carbines that utilize Glock mags like the Lone Wolf G9, Keltec Sub2000, Kriss Vector, JR Carbine, TWN Aero Survival Carbines, Quarter Circle Ten, and even more AR-15 style receivers. Carbines obviously make it easy to go thru larger mags faster, and loading them back up with this speedloader is almost as fast as unloading them downrange. Thats why I wouldn't be surprised if Colt SMG mags were being considered, as a fair amount of carbines and pistol caliber conversion kits use that magazine, and it's capacity warrants the need for assistance.
Here you can see a video of my loading Glock mags as fast and controllable as I can after some practice. If only I could rig this up with an automated reloaded press like a Dillan 650 and an Ammobot, but this is still very quick and extremely useful for an average shooter like myself. It works best when placed on a flat solid surface, but as long as its close to perpendicular so gravity can align the bullets properly inside the speedloader, it should work. If you don't have it vertical, or you don't fully let the nest rest by letting the mag come up, you could bump a round off the internal ramp and gum up the whole mechanism. (simply invert to dislodge jammed round).
Overall, I found this little gadget to be easily worth its asking price. Its easy to operate no matter your age or physical ability, and it is small enough to fit in a range bag or pistol case for range trips. I am anxious to see the next model of magazine that American Speedloader takes on. Heck, a 223/5.56 speedloader for STANAG rifle magazines would be very well received! *hint hint*
Firearms Insider Reviews – 8 Key Points
Claim to Fame: This changes everything. Load your entire magazine quicker and easier than ever before.
Target Market: Glock Pistol or Glock Mag Carbine owners
FNBs (Features & Benefits of this product):
- Compatible with Glock 9mm and 40sw magazines
- Simple to use
- Compact and easy to bring to the range
- Durable material
- Patented design
What other aesthetic options or finishes are available?: Black only. Other calibers coming soon.
What others are saying?: "Received one of these loader for a gift. It really works great" - User Review
- Loads quickly with little physical exertion
- Makes topping off larger capacity magazines with stiffer spring resistance easier
- Can be used one handed and two handed
- Mouth is designed to only accept mag in proper orientation
- Must be perpendicular when loaded, or round can bind up mechanism
- Compared to other cap style speed loaders, compatibility with only one magazine type is a downside
Score: 7.5 Good