How Does a Speed Loader Work?

How Does A Speed Loader Work
Alfred Mendoza

Does reloading of bullets one at a time slow you down and cause pain as it is done repeatedly? Why manually reload bullets for your revolver if you can use a speed loader to do the work? 

Let’s dive in to know more about how a speed loader works to help you keep the speed and not lose momentum.

A speed loader is a device you can use to reduce time and effort in loading bullets for your guns.

Without the speed loader, you have to fill the chamber one by one, which is very time-consuming. Speed loaders are used to load bullets in multiple chambers simultaneously. 

Speed loaders are famous for swing-out cylinders or top-break cylinders.

However, speed loaders can use fixed cylinders with a special bracket for shotgun, rifle, and semi-automatic firearms with different designs.


Popular Types & How They Work

Circular Reloaders

Circular reloaders are speed loaders spaced in a circular configuration. They hold a complement of cartridges securely and allow them to drop quickly and simultaneously. The mechanism of revolver speed loaders enables the cartridge to be dropped from the speedloader when loaded; Then, when removed, it will remain in the cylinder easily. 

These kinds of speed loaders have circular latches that rely on mechanical gates and rotating knobs. It rotates clockwise and counterclockwise and is dependent on its loading mechanism.

Speed Strips

Developed in the late 1960s, speed strips remain popular and available in the market. The rubber speed strip can hold six cartridges in one direction and can reload a revolver in 8 seconds with some practice. In addition, since it is flat, speed strips can discreetly be carried as spare ammunition for the pocket. 

Speed strips operate by placing the individual cartridges in chambers one or two at a time, then breaking the strips. It replaces the loose rounds in the dump pouch as it can hold six cartridges in a reusable neoprene plastic strip.

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Moon Clips/Half-Moon Clips

In reloading revolvers, a moon clip, which is a ring-shaped metal holding multiple cartridges, can be used to reload and drop simultaneously. It can be a full cylinder, which is called a full moon clip, or half a cylinder called, a half-moon clip. 

During World War 1, steel clips around the round allowed rapid military loading and extracting of bullets. It is made from spring-grade steel for a corresponding high spring pressure.

They also chamber rimless cartridges in revolvers. Like stripper clips, a moon clip stays in place during a fire that can be used to extract empty rounds.

moon clip

Magazine Loaders

As technology evolves, revolvers have been developed for competition shooters to have an enjoyable time in a huge range. A gun magazine loader will press the magazine spring, helping you insert additional rounds. 

In shooting multiple rounds, you have to push first the bullets into the mag manually, then the spring of the magazines do the work of moving the bullets into the chamber. 

With the repeatedly filling of rounds of one chamber, your hands will sore and cram, creating a lousy aim. With the comfort this device provides, it’s popularly known as a “thumb saver.”

Do you know how many shells a shotgun can hold? 


Speed loaders are legal in some states but there are restrictions to follow especially in transporting them. Since speed loaders are not part of the gun, they can be carried along with the other ammo. Upon transporting revolver speed loaders and other ammo, they should be locked in containers, not in the pocket, and separated from the guns and pistols that are not loaded with bullets.

No, a speed loader is not considered a magazine. While both magazines and speedloaders serve the same purpose, speed loaders are not part of a pistol, unlike a pistol magazine. 

Fixed tubular magazines are ammunition storage [1] attached to the firearm, while a speed loader is a tool to reload bullets quickly.

Final Thoughts On Speed Loaders

Speedloaders are a big help for a gun owner in a shooting range as few motor skills are only needed when loading revolvers and other firearms. Revolvers may not be as popular as before, but loading options keep evolving from time to time. 

Being a universal loader, speed loaders for revolver can work in various types of firearms with the loading mechanisms made easy. May it be a single stack or double stack, filling the magazines using a speed loader should be as easy as snapping your fingers. 



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