Oftentimes, loading bullets into your AR-15 magazine is not only takes up a lot of your time, but it is often pains-taking as well. Luckily, a magazine speed loader can make the loading process a lot faster and easier. But not all magazine speed loaders on the market are considered high-quality products. If that is the case, what features should you look for when you are buying a magazine speed loader?
One of the most important features you will need to think of is the product’s construction. As much as possible, try to choose models made with durable materials like polymer. Besides all of that, you should also consider the product’s design. In this case, you should choose a magazine speed loader that can help you load your magazine easily and quickly. At the same time, you should choose a product that can reduce your hand strain and finger soreness.
Magazine loaders tend to be quick, precise, and effortless. They come in many kinds of designs and so many of them are available on the market. Unfortunately, there are a lot of magazine speed loaders on the market for you to choose from. That means choosing the best product for you can take a lot of time. So, to help narrow down your search, here is our list of some of the best magazine speed loaders you can trust your ammo with.
Are Magazine Speed Loaders A Lot Faster?
There is a decent amount of debate about whether getting a loader is worth your time and money. On top of that, it comes down to a simple answer: just maybe.
To be frank, using a magazine speed loader will always faster than hand-loading rounds. However, that “maybe” refers to the skill of the loader in some cases. Without a doubt, a mag loader is faster than hand-loading, but if someone is not that quick with setting up a loader, then the resulting difference (5-6 seconds) might not be as substantial.
But using magazine loaders does speed up the process and its does protect you from any unnecessary scratches, bruises, and cramps in your hands. Some gun users may suffer from problems like hand arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome, so loading magazines can be a bit of an issue for them. Magazine loaders are definitely a bonus for those kinds of people.
Magazine loaders are also really helpful for people who needs to load a lot of magazines at once. For instance, like for three-gun shooting competitions, target practice, testing, or simple plinking. Those small gains on each magazines do add up eventually, so to speak.
The Types of Speed Loaders
There are quite a few kind of designs of magazine loaders that are currently on the market. Some of the more common ones are field loaders, bench loaders, stripper loaders and hopper feeds. Some magazine loaders are also called by the term LULA which stands for “loading and unloading accessory”.
A simple LULA magazine loader just sits on top of the magazine and can be used to load or unload rounds 1 by 1 by using a simple lever. Such LULA loaders are simple and compact for a lot of gun owners to carry. Just pull it out of your pocket and you can start loading rounds. There are no bench rest or additional support required.
The other type of loader is the bench loader. As the name suggests, you will need to place it on a bench to operate. The magazine is clutched on one end and the rounds are placed side by side in the middle cavity of the bench loader. Once it is full, a latch at the other end of the loader is pushed all the way down to the magazine’s head. Then all the rounds simply slide in after.
These loaders are good for range shooters who have to load a lot of magazines quickly or within a short amount of time. Bench loaders, on the other hand, cannot unload the magazines however.
Another type of loader is the stripper loaders. The rounds are being fed into a strip (which is similar to the WWII 303 clips). The loader is then placed on the magazine’s head and the strip is slid down. It will eventually load the magazine. Stripper loaders can also be used to unload rounds from a magazine too.
Hopper Feed Loader
This is a less-popular magazine loader among a lot of AR-15 users, which is the hopper feed loader. It does not mean gun owners and gun users don’t use it, however. The hopper feed loader is primarily a bench feeder but with a different mechanism.
It is a simple hopper feed mechanism where rounds are being fed into the upper cavity. Then the hopper is then repeatedly pushed up and down to load the magazine.
Hopper feeds are said to have higher capacities (90 rounds can be fed in one go). These feeders are very useful for quick bulk loading of magazines at once. On the other hand, these cannot be used for unloading rounds though.
The Important Criteria When Choosing A Speed Loader
Magazine speed loaders are here to help you do what it does – load magazines efficiently with minimal effort. However, there are plenty of designs on the market currently. So keep the following criteria in mind when you are picking yours out.
Method of Operation
There are many different methods of operating a speed loader. Since that the whole point of a speed loader is to keep you from putting in unnecessary effort, make sure that you have a full understanding of how it works! After all, if you don’t enjoy using it, then what’s the point of getting a speed loader then?
On a related note, the design of a magazine loader is legitimately going to decide whether if you are saving time. To a certain extent, that comes down to how fast you are with handling a speed loader. It is important to read reviews where and when you can to get an insight and general opinion of just how much it actually increases your speed.
Some magazine loaders feed only a single round at one time. Other magazine loaders may allow you to dump them all in and crank a handle. Those even not need you to pre-stage them. Most magazine loaders will fall somewhere in-between those 2 kinds.
For obvious reasons, your budget is definitely one of the more important concerns too. However, when it comes to a magazine loader, you will probably want to make sure that you are really getting your money’s worth. While magazine loaders do make your life a lot easier, you may prefer to put your extra funds into something else – like a long range scope.
Magazine loaders can actually be fairly huge and burdensome if they are not designed well. Depending on your setup, this can be an issue for you! Many of the gun owners tend to gloss over things like weight when it’s, let’s say, an iron sight, but for larger components, just make sure to pay attention!
The Best AR-15 Magazine Speed Loaders – Reviewed
Now that we know what a magazine loader does and the different types available on the market, let’s have a look at some of the best in the market. You probably have decided for yourself by now which model you will prefer to use for yourself. To help you cement your decisions further, we have reviewed some of the best magazine speed loaders that are currently available on the market.
1. Maglula AR-15/M15 Magazine Loader
New gun owners and gun users are reportedly quite happy with the durability of this magazine loader. They were really blown away with the polymer construction and knew right away that it is going to be one that is built to last. At the same time, they were happy with how lightweight it is, even with a full amount of bullets.
This magazine loader is everlasting and lightweight. Just because it is lightweight, that does not mean it is feeble by any stretch of your imagination. Polymer is one of the strongest materials that any manufacturer can use to date, especially when you want something that will not damage so easily. By the end of the day, it is a magazine loader that will preserve the life of your AR-15 magazines.
This speed loader model is a compact, graceful, and easy-to-carry magazine loader from one of the most renowned magazine loader manufacturers, Maglula. The magazine loader can load and unload plenty of rounds rapidly one-by-one with just a push of its lever. It is great for people who suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, or any other problems, so to speak.
The loader firmly grasps the magazine lips and prevents its wear and tear. It works perfectly well with polymer, as well as metal mags. The magazine loader is compatible with only 5.56 NATO and is a good choice for competitive shooting, tactical uses, and target practices. It features excellent construction and is quite resistant to wear and tear on just about any hunting trips.
This will be a great magazine loader choice for someone who might be getting a little tired of loading magazines manually. If you want something that will reduce a lot of time, pain, and frustration that comes from loading your AR-15 magazine regularly, you may want to give this magazine loader a try.
The bottom line is that the Maglula AR-15/M16 Magazine Loader is light in weight, strong in sturdiness, and reliable when it comes to loading as many magazines as possible. If you ever need a good amount of magazines on-hand for any purposes, you will definitely want a magazine loader that will get the job done. This Maglula loader may be one of your best possible options.
2. Maglula AR-15/M16 Stripula
After having a look at what gun owners and gun users have to say about this magazine loader, a lot of new gun users were quite happy with this magazine loader. They are able to load their magazines within less than a minute or so. One of the gun users said he loads his magazines mostly for competition purposes. He says he can easily load about ten extra magazines in just a few short minutes.
This speed loader is solid, durable, and can load magazines within a short amount of time. On top of that, it is considered one of the best speed loaders for either a right-handed or left-handed shooters that have ever graced the market.
If you are a left-handed gun user, then you will find this a lot easier to use than any other speed loader you may have used before. Furthermore, it is a lot better than struggling with other speed loaders that do not fit. Or even dealing with the pain of manual magazine reloading, so to speak.
The Striplula is an amazing product made by Maglula Ltd. This strip loader, when combined with stripper clips, is said to be able to load a 30 round magazine in less than 10 seconds. If you do not have those stripper clips, you can also load the rounds individually on the stripper and just slide it down.
However, we have to let you know that this takes a bit longer than using clips. But it still falls below 45 seconds for a 30 round magazine.
The Striplula magazine features a quality polymer construction. It can save you time and strain on your fingers. At the same time. It is compatible with .223 and .224 calibers. The magazine loader is said to be priced reasonably and there are not really any drawbacks. A lot of gun owners said that it is perfect for hunting, self-defense, tactical, and even target practice.
This will most likely be the go-to magazine speed loader choice for a lot of left-handed shooters. Application-wise, it will also be a great speed loader for those who are competitive shooters. If you use an AR-15 that allows you to use as many magazines as possible, then this speed loader might work to your advantage. Since that it is durable and lightweight, it will last you quite a while.
The bottom line is that this Maglula Striplula Magazine Speed Loader is a competitive shooter’s best friend. Let’s not forget it will be a left-handed shooter’s best friend as well because of its ambidextrous design. You will have a great time using this to reload dozens of magazines.
3. Maglula Range Benchloader Magazine Loader
This speed loader is quite impressive according to a lot of new gun owners and gun users. They reported back saying it is able to load a 30-round magazine in as little as 25 seconds. One gun user even said that he also had some extra magazines handy for target shooting. He was so captivated with the speed loader that he bought another for a friend who would often visit his local range.
This speed loader is the best option for you if you need something that will load high-volume AR-15 magazines quickly. If you have a 30 round magazine or more, you will definitely have more than enough speed to load each high-capacity magazine in less than a minute.
Besides all of that, it is said that this magazine loader is also really easy to operate. So if you are new to loading your magazines without needing the use of your hands, then this may be a pretty good speed loader for you to have on-hand.
This is a freshly designed, heavy-duty, .223/5.56 magazine loader made for 30-round magazines. It allows you to load a magazine with a single hand stroke. It is made for daily, high-volume use – such as firing ranges, armory, or other similar use cases.
Despite it being lightweight and compact, this is a very portable industrial-grade loader. Its body and slide are constructed of glass-filled, injection-molded, N12 polymer with UV stabilization. The magazine catches tooth is even made from 54HRC hardened steel. It has 6 rubber feet to keep it stable during loading. Other than its feet, this loader has only 3 parts. It is also easy for you to check for dirt or other problems on this magazine loader before loading.
The main benefits of this loader are its speed, elimination of pain or injury, and preservation of your magazine’s feeding lips. It fits really well in all AR-15/M4 compatible 5.56/.223 magazines without any modifications. When loading it, you do not need training or dexterity and it is easy to do so with gloves on.
The bottom line is that this will be a great speed loader for a lot of new gun users. Not just that, it will work really well for hunters, target shooters, and competitive shooters alike. If you are looking for something that is built to last long and useful for many years or even decades, this just may be exactly the kind of magazine speed loader you will want in your collection of AR-15 accessories. It might be the last speed loader you will definitely need for a long time.
The Maglula Range Benchloader Magazine Loader can come as quite useful if you need to load a lot of your high-capacity AR-15 magazines. Hence, if you need to get your magazines ready for any application at all, then this can be the kind of speed loader you will ever need. Even in the most vital of situations.
This is a well-received and reliable design. Not only does it have bomb-proof reliability, but it is also light, portable, and quite easy to use for a lot of gun users. Although it isn’t exactly the most affordable option on the market, as they say, “Buy once, cry once”. This unit will last you a lifetime and greatly eases the loading of 30-round magazines. Even if it does not last you a lifetime, it can definitely last you quite a long time too. The broad compatibility with almost all AR magazines is a great feature too.
Magazine speed loaders are an effective way to load your magazines with less effort and within a short and reasonable time. There are many types of magazine loaders that are available on the market currently. That means you must do some research and decide which magazine loader works best for you.
If you like loading magazines at the range, then we suggest that you opt for a compact model. If you like doing your work at home or need to feed a lot of rounds, then choose the Striplula or hopper feeders. Conclusively speaking, a magazine loader will save you time and protect your fingers and magazines from any possible damages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) some gun owners and gun users may have.
Q: What is the best speed loader for AR-15 rifles?
It depends on what you are looking for. There are plenty of speed loaders that are currently available on the market for you to choose from. It is said that Maglula produces some of the best speed loaders you can ever find, so you may want to check it out for yourself to see if it fits your needs.