Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guns: Battle of the Speedloader Pouches

Carrying spare ammo for a wheelgun can be a bit of a chore. Sure, speed strips aren't too hard to conceal (I like the excellent Tuff QuikStrip Pouch), but most people prefer speedloaders, and they're as bulky as a revolver cylinder. Here are a few belt carriers that are a heckuva lot faster and more positive than stuffing the darn things in a pocket:

HKS Universal Double Speedloader Pouch review

This is one of the cheapest speedloader pouches you can buy (it retails for about ten bucks). It's as simple as it looks - a couple of nylon pouches with flaps to hold the speedloaders in. The thin nylon actually conceals pretty well, since it adds minimal bulk to the loader, and the flaps have lots of Velcro so you can adjust to different size loaders.

Unfortunately, this is also the slowest of the three pouches. The two compartments lack any kind of side cutout to help you grab the loader, and, being nylon, the compartments tend to conform to the shape of the loader. These design quirks mean that extraction of the loader is slower and trickier than the other two carriers I tried. If you do opt for the HKS, I recommend using your fingers to push up on the soft bottom of each compartment when you draw a loader; this will raise the loader enough for your other fingers to get a decent purchase.

Wilderness Speedloader Carrier review

The Wilderness Speedloader Carrier is the bulkiest pouch on this list; it uses medium-weight nylon webbing that folds up to form a rough box around the loader. Thanks to this construction, the Wilderness carrier is fully adjustable - you can change how high or low the speedloader rides in the pouch, how tight the pouch cradles the loader, and so forth.

Though it loses some points for its bulkiness, the Wilderness model is the fastest of the pouches. There are half-moon cutouts on the sides of the pouch for grasping the loader, and the pouch itself doesn't hug the loader too tightly; you can even jam a finger in there if you need to.

Don Hume Pack Six review

The Don Hume Pack Six strikes a balance between the Wilderness and HKS carriers in terms of bulk and speed. Unlike the other two pouches, the Pack Six is made of leather and uses a snap arrangement instead of Velcro.

It has a less boxy profile than the Wilderness carrier, but isn't nearly as size-efficient as the HKS pouch. You can actually thread a belt through the pouch's center slot so that the loader can straddle the belt, but I've found the loader conceals just as well using the rear belt loop.

In either case, the Pack Six is very stable on the belt, and carries the loader high enough so that it doesn't bug me. There are no side cutouts, but the Pack Six's rigid leather design makes it fairly easy to pluck the loader out of the pouch.

Hopefully this comparison has been helpful. All three carriers have strengths and weaknesses, so I can't say one is "better" than another, though I think you should pass on the HKS pouch unless you're on a tight budget. There are more speedloader pouches out there...someday, I'll find the perfect pouch.


At 8:20 AM, Blogger James R. Rummel said...

Good post!


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