At a Glance: best revolver speedloader
Comparison of best revolver speedloader
Our Top Pick
|Beckham Design S&W Rimz Speedloader||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Safariland Bianchi Comp II Speedloader||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|Bianchi Speed Strips||View Latest Price|
Revolvers are a popular carry option for self-defense, but they come with a significant drawback—they’re slower to load than automatic pistols. However, a speedloader can dramatically reduce the time it takes to reload your revolver. Here are the best revolver speedloaders available today.
Our Guide to the Best Speedloaders for Revolvers
Speedloaders, while not quite as fast as magazines, can make revolver reloading fast and easy. Using a speedloader is simple, and there are plenty of ways to carry one or two additional cylinder loadouts on your person. With a speedloader, you’ll be just as prepared to defend yourself as if you had an automatic pistol. Here are our top four picks for the best revolver speedloaders available today.
Beckham Design S&W Rimz Speedloader
Here’s a compact and low-profile speedloader for Smith and Wesson revolvers that use rimless cartridges. Rimless cartridges, like .45 ACP, aren’t as common as rimmed cartridges in revolvers.
Traditionally, speedloaders for rimless cartridges have been difficult to come by or unreliable. That’s not the case today, as the Beckham Design Smith and Wesson Rimz speedloader is the perfect companion to your rimless revolver.
The speedloader itself is a simple, one-piece polymer moon clip with six individual cartridge clasps. It’s compact, durable, and almost endlessly reusable. Speedloaders like the Beckham Design Rimz unit make tricky loading and unloading easy.
The Beckham Design Rimz speedloader keeps cartridges together when unloading as well, which guarantees that all empties eject at the same time. You can use this speedloader to carry additional cylinder loadouts as well, which is excellent for self-defense.
- Compact design
- Durable polymer construction
- Forever warranty
- Simple and easy to use
- Keeps empty cartridges together
- Only for rimless cartridge revolvers
- No handle to grip when loading and unloading
Safariland Bianchi Comp II Speedloader
The Safariland Bianchi Comp II speedloader is a modern take on a classic and dependable speedloader design. Unlike the Beckham Design Rimz speedloader, this model is designed for use with traditional rimmed cartridges like the .38 special and .357 magnum.
The Safariland Bianchi Comp II speedloader is a reusable device that loads cartridges directly into the cylinder but releases them after loading. In other words, it’s not designed to stay in the gun when you close the cylinder.
This speedloader is reminiscent of traditional law enforcement speedloaders, which feature a rotary knob on top to lock in and release cartridges. Unlike the Beckham Design speedloader, this model doesn’t help remove empties—it’s just for loading. That said, history shows that this design is likely the best revolver speedloader available today.
Safariland chose a high-strength polymer material for its speedloaders, which reduces weight and increases long-term durability. The Bianchi Comp II fits into most standard belt speedloader holders, which are an excellent way to carry additional cartridges for your revolver.
The Safariland Bianchi Comp II works with Smith and Wesson L-Frame six-shot revolvers, Ruger GP100 revolvers, and most similarly-sized wheel guns.
- Simple mechanical twist/drop speedloader
- Fits traditional speedloader carrying pouches
- Works with common .38 special and .357 magnum rimmed cartridges
- Lightweight and durable
- Fast and efficient revolver loading
- Doesn’t assist with unloading
- Material thickness is less than some competitors
Bianchi Speed Strips
Not all speedloaders are round, and a Bianchi Speed Strip could be the compact loading option you need for your self-defense revolver. The Bianchi Speed Strip is a classic speedloader with a compact design and no moving parts. Bianchi Speed Strips come in a two-pack, and each strip holds six rounds of rimmed revolver ammunition.
It doesn’t get much simpler than the Bianchi Speed Strip. The speedloader is reminiscent of classic battle rifle stripper clips of the 20th century in that it holds six rounds oriented side by side. This speedloader grips the rounds in an elevated cavity and leaves a bit of material for gripping, making it easy to use.
The primary benefit of the Bianchi Speed Strip is that it eliminates the need to fumble around for six rounds and to load them under stress. This speedloader loads two rounds at a time, which cuts loading time in half. Plus, it’s flat and easy to store in a pocket or along your waistline. That makes it compact enough to be one of the best revolver speedloaders for pocket carry.
Speed strips are a great alternative to traditional round speedloaders, especially if you conceal a compact revolver under a suit or button-down shirt. You can carry a Bianchi Speed Strip in your pocket, purse, or backpack without giving off the impression that you’re carrying ammo.
- Flat and compact ammo carry solution
- Fits well in a pocket, suit, or bag
- Lightweight polymer design
- Holds six shots
- Loads two shots at a time
- Not as fast as traditional round speedloaders
- Doesn’t help eject shells
T K S&W Revolver Moonclips
Here’s a heavy-duty alternative to the Beckham Design speedloader that’ll work with most .45 ACP Smith and Wesson revolvers. The T K S&W Revolver Moonclip speedloader is a clip-on device designed to make loading and unloading rimless cartridges fast and easy.
Unlike the Beckham Design speedloader, the T K S&W Revolver Moonclip speedloader is made of steel. But why would you choose a similar looking product in steel instead of polymer? For one, steel is stronger by weight and likely to resist damage better than polymer.
Additionally, many people find that steel speedloaders hold their cartridges more securely than other materials. Steel weighs a bit more than polymer, but most people find the weight difference to be negligible.
T K includes ten individual speedloaders in each package. If you lose or misplace one, it won’t be an issue. Additionally, you can keep a couple of loaded moonclips in your car, backpack, or day bag all at the same time. These speedloaders are a fantastic choice for stashing wherever you need them.
These steel moon clip speedloaders serve a dual function. They keep six shots of .45 ACP together and allow you to load an entire cylinder with one movement, and they keep empty cartridges together for smooth ejection. Overall, the T K moon clip system is a fantastic way to load up on extra rounds before leaving the house with your rimless revolver.
- Great for stashing around the house and car
- Works with .45 ACP rimless cartridges
- Keeps empty shells together for smooth ejection
- Strong steel construction
- Made in the USA
- Only for Smith and Wesson revolvers chambered in .45 ACP
- May bend easier than polymer clips like the Beckham Design Rimz
How Do Revolver Speedloaders Work?
Photo Credit: Rod Waddington
Revolver speedloaders were designed out of necessity in a time when wheel guns were the only practical repeating handguns available. Speedloaders work by holding a full cylinder’s worth of cartridges and arranging them in a way that’s convenient for loading revolvers.
Traditional Round Speedloaders
Some speedloaders, like the Safariland Bianchi Comp II, are round and mimic the shape of a revolver cylinder. They hold six rimmed cartridges using a rotary knob and a tab that locks onto the rims of each round. When you turn the knob, the tabs slide off the rims and release the shells.
Round speedloaders are what most people picture when they think of fast revolver reloading tools. They’re the fastest way to load a revolver, as the rounds are already positioned to slide into the cylinder.
The main downside is that they’re large and cumbersome and can’t be stored flat. They’re also prone to dropping rounds, as it takes very little force to twist the release knob.
Moon Clip Speedloaders
Moon clip speedloaders are designed for rimless cartridge revolvers. Though less common than traditional .38 special, .357 magnum, and .44 magnum revolvers, rimless wheel guns are a great option for people who want to shoot a .45 ACP or similar automatic cartridge from a compact gun.
Moon clips are the simplest speedloaders. They simply clasp the recessed rim of the cartridge and arrange six rounds in a cylinder-shaped clip. It’s like a round M1 Garand en-bloc clip, as the clip goes into the gun with the rounds.
Moon clip speedloaders are great because they keep all the rounds together when you eject spent casings. This makes loading the next cylinder easier and faster and keeps your empties organized if you collect your brass for reloading.
Moon clip speedloaders cause the same inconveniences as traditional round speedloaders, as they can only be stored in round containers on your belt. In other words, they have an awkward shape and can’t be flattened out when loaded.
Speed strips are the most compact speedloaders available for rimmed revolver cartridges like the .38 special, .357 magnum, and the .44 magnum. They’re simple to use and store flat, similar to a traditional bolt-action rifle stripper clip. In fact, they perform almost the same function as a stripper clip.
Speed strips hold cartridges flat and side-by-side, making them easy to store in a pocket or a vest without giving the impression that you’re armed. They’re extremely lightweight and usually made out of a durable polymer material.
The primary drawback of speed strips is that they only load one or two rounds at a time. With a speed strip, you can load two adjacent cylinders with each motion. This is faster than loading by hand, and it eliminates the awkwardness of handling one small cartridge at a time. Nonetheless, round speedloaders are faster and easier to use than speed strips.
What are the Advantages of Using Speedloaders for a Revolver?
The advantages of using speedloaders for a revolver are numerous and not limited to speed itself. For one, speedloaders reduce the clutter of carrying extra revolver rounds. They’re certainly better than carrying loose rounds in a pocket, and they’re easier to use than a leather bandolier.
Speedloaders also allow you to stash reloads wherever you may need them, reducing the importance of keeping extra rounds on your person. This is particularly good for truckers, who can stash reloads around their vehicle and free up space on their belt. It’s also great for home defense, as you can keep a full cylinder within reach in virtually any part of the house.
With a speedloader, you can reload your revolver almost as fast as dropping and swapping an automatic pistol magazine. Speedloaders make revolvers a formidable self-defense weapon, as they give the compact and reliable wheelgun almost as much tactical firepower as an autoloader.
Easier on Your Hands
Some speedloaders, such as moon clips, also make ejecting spent casings easier. Everyone who shoots revolvers knows that, sometimes, one or two spent shells get hung up during ejection and require extra attention. Moon clips keep all the rounds together in the gun, making ejection a reliable single-motion action each time. It’s worth considering a speedloader for a .45, as the caliber is normally only available in a few compact carry automatic pistols.
Features to Look For when Buying a Speedloader
What should you look for when buying a revolver speedloader?
First, determine what kind of speedloader you need. Factors to consider are cylinder capacity (how many rounds your revolver holds) and cartridge caliber.
Also, rimmed and rimless cartridge speedloaders are different and can’t be interchanged. Here’s a few more things to consider.
- How often do you carry your gun?
- Will you wear your speed loader on a belt?
- How many extra cylinders of ammunition will you need?
- Where do you store your revolver and ammunition?
- Can you carry your speedloaders in a separate bag (such as a purse)?
Be sure to find the right variation of your caliber, as there can be some confusion along these lines. For example, a revolver chambered in .45 ACP will not fire a .45 long colt cartridge, and so on. Additionally, speedloaders designed for .38 special will usually also accept .357 magnum, as the case diameters are the same.
Next, it’s important to decide how you want to use and carry your speedloader. If you carry your firearm under tight or thin clothing, it may be worth buying speed strips for low-profile carry. If you carry a duty revolver, you may want to consider a fast and full-size speedloader like the Safariland Bianchi Comp II.
Best All-Around Revolver Speedloader
Overall, it’s hard to beat the classic and proven design of the Safariland Bianchi Comp II speedloader. It’ll fit in almost all speedloader pouches, which have been a staple for law enforcement and duty revolver belts for decades.
If this design wasn’t effective, it wouldn’t have remained in production for so long. However, it’s designed only for rimmed revolver cartridges, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you carry a revolver chambered in a rimless round like .45 ACP.