Hey boys and girls, today I wanted to take a minute to talk about mag loaders. If you have ever trained with me or read this column often, you know that I was famously against them for years. Pistol magazine loaders specifically, I have always used them for rifles. At least, if my ammunition comes on stripper clips, which thankfully it did for a lot of years.
To the point, I quite often derided pistol magazine loaders as tools of the weak, and entirely to slow. This is easy to do if someone is paying you to shoot guns all day, and punishing you physically if you aren’t quick to get back to the firing line. One of the hazards of going to door kicker school is wearing the thumbs off of gloves, and it isn’t uncommon to go through 3 sets in either a school rotation or a train up.
My opinion changed, however, when I had to shoot 10,000 rounds in a weekend for Springfield Armory. Twice. For the first test, my boy Chris thankfully brought a couple of Uplula loaders. And while I was talking smack for maybe the first 1000 rounds, by the second I was interested. By the third, I was willing to eat some crow. And by the fourth, I was hooked.
In the years since, I have only grown fonder of the Uplula brand of loader for a couple of reasons. First, as age and arthritis set in, I have a newfound appreciation for a device to take the pressure off my thumbs. Second, I have learned that while I may still be faster without it, the Uplula does get pretty quick with practice. And third, it is a huge help for anyone that isn’t packing Popeye forearms.
Which is how I have seen it work best recently. If you aren’t accustomed to shooting A LOT, I would rather you saved your hand strength for the pistol than the magazine, should I be teaching you. It is one thing to yell at active-duty soldiers to get stronger, it doesn’t really work that way for normal peoples. Especially having trained a fair bit of the elderly and women over the last few years, the Uplula is a godsend for getting them some good training hours in. (I don’t want to hear it from the NCAA or Olympic Committee. Generally speaking, women have less hand and forearm strength than men. If you tie rebar for a living, okay, fair, you got me. On average, not so much.)
I also really like the Uplula for the big stick magazines now common or Pistol Caliber Carbines. A 33 round 9mm magazine has some spring tension, kinda how this works. Trying to cram those last couple in by hand is not a good time, I don’t care who you are. As more and more of them come to market, and better high-capacity magazines follow, the Uplula becomes a great tool to have.
On a final note, I have a recommendation. Get it in a fruity color and your range buddies are less likely to steal it. And you are less likely to lose it in the range bag. And even though I don’t need it, I think they got me with the new red, white, and blue model. Tell ’em Clay sent you, and this is a purchase you will never regret.