By Dave Anderson
Compared to revolvers, semi-auto pistols are faster to reload, generally hold more cartridges, usually have the bore closer to the hand for less muzzle flip, and a trigger easier to learn than the DA pull of a revolver.
This is hardly breaking news, especially to Handgunner readers. My wife Simone shoots a Glock 19 better than about any other centerfire. So how come she prefers an S&W J-Frame or her favorite Colt Detective Special? It’s actually quite simple. Before you can shoot a gun it has to be loaded. It’s easy to drop cartridges into the chambers of a revolver cylinder. On the other hand, loading cartridges into magazines can be hard on fingers and fingernails, especially if the fingernails are long and the fingers not very strong.
Personally I never had much trouble loading single-stack magazines even during long shooting sessions with my match .45’s. But even with my powerful fingers, stubby, broken fingernails and decades of experience, I find some mags a nuisance to load. With many high-caps the last few rounds are a pain. Rimfires can be tricky because the cartridges are both tiny and rimmed. My hands are strong, but not very deft.
A pet peeve is the 10-shot limit, which was once federal law and still is in force in some states. Naturally you want to get the full 10 rounds permitted. On the other hand if some strong-thumbed bureaucrat manages to stuff in an 11th round you suddenly go from being a law-abiding responsible American to potentially being a criminal in the eyes of the law. Just to be on the safe side, manufacturers of 10-shot mandated magazines make it impossible to get an 11th round in, and darn hard to load the 10th round.
Maglula has several designs of magazine loading tools for different applications. On the left are the best-selling Uplula models, the “Baby Uplula” (top) for single-stack .22 to .380 magazines and the standard Uplula (bottom) for 9mm to .45 ACP single- or double-stack. In center are several loaders for .22 LR magazines with projecting slide button; top, X12 and T12 Lula fit many popular models (Ruger SR-22 shown). Bottom, X10 and V10 Lulas for narrow magazines with side button (Ruger Mk II shown). Left, Lula for loading/unloading AR-15 magazines, and Stripula for loading 10 rounds at a time into AR mags. All are well designed, well made of good materials and function reliably.
Two designs for rimfire magazines. The X12 Lula on the left works with magazines having a projecting button attached to the follower. There are a choice of four comfortable shelves to pull down the follower while dropping in cartridges. The T12 Lula on the right works with magazines not having a projecting button, holding down the follower/top cartridge as the next cartridge is loaded beneath the feed lips.
Okay, enough about the problem, what about a solution? Maglula has the answer — in fact not just one solution, but many. They have loading tools for most pistol magazines, from .22 LR through .45 ACP, for single-stacks and high-caps, wide magazines and narrow, magazines with a projecting loading button on the follower and those without. They also make loaders for rifle magazines, including those for AK-style and the popular Ruger Mini-14 rifles. A bestseller is the loader for AR-15 magazines, which I’ve included here.
After loading several thousand rounds into various magazines with Maglula loaders, I can make several observations. First, Maglula loaders work, and work very well. They make loading magazines faster, and more importantly, far easier. They are cleverly designed and appear to be very well made of durable, quality materials. A few thousand rounds isn’t a severe test but Maglula has had reports from users (firearms manufacturers, police and military units) who have loaded millions of rounds with the same loading tool.
For the utility and quality received prices are very reasonable. I can recommend them highly and without reservation. As part of the test I gave Simone a 2-minute lesson on how to use the Uplula with Glock magazines. Her comment was, “Is this ever easy!” She’s now claimed one of the Glock 19’s. Heck, I may even get my Detective Special back.
For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/product-index