4 Best AR-15 Speed Loaders (2024 Complete Guide)

best ar 15 speed loader
Alfred Mendoza

https://bit.ly/3uM3nmGManually loading magazines is time-consuming and repetitive, making an AR-15 speed loader a welcome luxury for many. But it’s a game-changer for those with hand strength issues or arthritis, where manually loading magazines is a daunting task, if not impossible.

After testing several options on the market, we have to agree with countless others that the best AR-15 speed loader for most people is the popular AR15/M4 Maglula StripLULA. Although its our favorite, there are other great options available for those who need a more universal solution or are loading high volumes of magazines. Read on to see our favorite picks.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Maglula StripLULA

EDITOR’S CHOICE: LARGE CAPACITY

Maglula Range Benchloader

LARGE CAPACITY – BUDGET PICK

Caldwell Mag Charger

EDITOR’S CHOICE: BROAD COMPATIBILITY

Top AR-15 Speed Loaders

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Maglula StripLULA

Designed to fit all M-16 / AR-15 5.56mm type metal and polymer magazines, the AR15/M4 Maglula StripLULA is our favorite low-priced AR-15 mag loader. Compatible with a wide range of magazines and stripper clips, including the popular Magpul PMAGs, Lancer, and even Beta C-mag, is a great option for most shooters, and can be a game-changer for those with hand strength issues or arthritis, making the reloading process less daunting and more manageable.

Using this 5.56 magazine loader is straightforward with almost no learning curve, loading 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 100 round 5.56/.223 magazines with speed and ease. This loader can load both 10-round stripper-clips and 10 loose rounds, making it a flexible tool for various needs. Maglula promises the StipLULA will eliminate wear on feed lips, prolonging magazine life.

It is significantly smaller than many comparable options, making it easy to carry along in a range bag without sacrificing space. Best of all, the compact, durable, and reliable Strip LULA AR 15 magazine loader is reasonably priced, making it a great value for the quality and functionality it delivers.

PROS

CONS

EDITOR’S CHOICE: LARGE CAPACITY

Maglula Range Benchloader

The Maglula BenchLoader is a heavy-duty, industrial-grade magazine loader designed to load 5.56 x 45 / .223 cal magazines in a single stroke. This loader is great for those with high volume needs like competition shooters, military and law enforcement armories, and shooting ranges, but after using it myself, I can confidently say it’s an excellent addition for any avid shooter that can afford it.

In terms of performance, the BenchLoader smoothly loads 1 to 30 loose rounds in a single stroke, taking about 25 seconds to load a 30 round magazine.

After loading several magazines in a matter of minutes, the ease of use and lack of wear on both my thumbs and the magazines were evident. Plus it doesn’t require inserts or adjustments for different magazine types. It fits and loads all AR15 / M4 compatible 5.56 x 45 / .223 magazines, including popular ones like Magpul PMAGs, H&K metal 416/SA80, and Lancer, among others. This universality is a massive plus, as it eliminates the need for multiple loaders.

Made from a durable, reinforced polymer with a 54HRC hardened steel magazine catch tooth, this loader is built to withstand the rigors of heavy use. Its rugged construction, comprising only one moving part, ensures reliability and minimal maintenance. Plus it is weather-resistant, making it suitable for use in a variety of conditions. With such a robust tool, its portability is an unexpected bonus. At just 12.7 oz. and 16.5” in length, it can be packed in a range bag. In fact, Maglula includes a sturdy drawstring bag so you can bring it along easily.

The price is a bit steep but the BenchLoader’s efficient and user-friendly performance justifies the investment, especially for those who frequently need to load many magazines.

PROS

CONS

LARGE CAPACITY – BUDGET PICK

Caldwell Mag Charger

The lightweight yet sturdy Caldwell AR-15 Mag Charger is designed to load.204 Ruger, .223 Remington, and 5.56x45mm rounds in just seconds, almost instantly transferring from ammo box to the mag Charger. The process is simple: dump 50 rounds, insert magazine, and rapidly operate the plunger, loading 5 rounds per stroke. This durable polycarbonate loader is compatible with mil-spec and molded plastic AR mags.

While initial setup and operation are straightforward, and your thumbs will certainly thank you, be prepared for a bit of trial and error as you learn to use it effectively. In the beginning, you may experience more jamming and will have to manually adjust to move the process along. As a result, it won’t feel like you are saving much time initially, but once you figure it out, it becomes much faster than loading by hand. It would be nice if it held 60 rounds to better align magazine capacities, but it’s not really an issue once you get going.

PROS

CONS

EDITOR’S CHOICE: BROAD COMPATIBILITY

ETS C.A.M.

The ETS C.A.M. universal speed loader is impressively compatible with a wide range of platforms including AR15, AK47, and MP5, and calibers from 5.56×45, .223, .308, .300 Blk, 9mm and more. This broad range of compatibility means it could be the only mag loader you need for most of your rifles.

ETS designed the C.A.M. loader to pick up rounds from an ammo tray, allowing the user to avoid manually handling ammunition. I found that there’s a slight learning curve at first but, after a few tries, the process became straightforward. It can load about 10 rounds at a time efficiently, and the ability to load magazines rapidly without manually touching each round is a plus.

The durable polymer loader is compact enough to fit easily into a range bag. Some feel that its construction seems somewhat flimsy at first glance, but the loader’s durable polymer construction has held up well under regular use. The ETS lifetime warranty puts that issue to rest.

Overall, the ETS C.A.M. Mag Loader is highly effective. Its universal compatibility, affordable price tag, and ease of use make it an affordable tool for frequent shooters.

PROS

CONS

Your Guide to Buying

buying guide

Price

When it comes to the speed loader, there is a variety offered from an expensive to an affordable option. Our team wants to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. Consider the price before buying but don’t solely base your decision on it. 

Method of Operation

We all want a magazine loader that is easy to use since the primary purpose of buying a mag loader is for convenience. We don’t want a device that will put you through any unnecessary effort. Make sure to check the methods of operation with full understanding before buying one. 

Speed

Another thing you should consider is the speed of the magazine loader for AR-15. There’s no sense in buying a magazine loader that slows you down. Aside from its familiarity over time, it must increase your speed when reloading, not the other way around.

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Simultaneous Feeding

Most loaders feed a single round at a time. You may think that it may be slow, but it is slower to reload a round manually. However, several speed loaders have a hopper feed loader to dump the ammo and crank a simple lever in a single hand stroke.

Weight

The weight of the loader may affect the mobility of the user. Depending on the setup, it may be an issue for some, so you might as well check the weight. You may choose a lightweight loader not to be too burdensome, and it can fit on any range bag.

Our Team's Selection Process

selection process

Overall Performance

When selecting the magazine speed loader, we first test the overall performance of the device. Does it bring convenience to the user? It is not enough that it is fast; it should be accurate and reliable. After all, playing with guns could be dangerous, especially when reloading bullets. 

Weapon Compatibility

Aside from testing out the devices, we also read reviews from gun enthusiasts if the purchased loader is compatible with their weapons. 

Product Quality 

It is essential to invest in high-quality products with higher capacities. The speed loader will be repeatedly pushed to load an empty magazine, so it should be of good quality and sturdy.

And Our #1 AR-15 Speed Loader is…

Our Number 1 AR-15 speed loader is the Maglula StripLULA. It is broadly compatible with a wide range of magazines and stripper clips, including the popular Magpul PMAGs, Lancer, and even Beta C-mag.

Operation is straightforward with almost no learning curve, loading 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 100 round 5.56/.223 magazines with speed and ease. This loader can load both 10-round stripper-clips and 10 loose rounds, making it a flexible tool for various needs. Maglula promises the StipLULA will eliminate wear on feed lips, prolonging magazine life.

It is significantly smaller than many comparable options, making it easy to carry along in a range bag without sacrificing space. Best of all, the compact, durable, and reliable Strip LULA AR 15 magazine loader is reasonably priced, making it a great value for the quality and functionality it delivers.

Our #1 Recommendation

Maglula StripLULA

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