Here are the Best Pistol Magazine Speed Loaders for 9mm, .40, .380, 45ACP and More!
“Demon Speed is what we need – greasy fast speed!” That was Mick’s opinion in Rocky II. But when it comes to loading up a single or double stack magazine for 9mm or any small pistol round you need a well-designed Magazine Speed Loader or magazine charger.
If you own a 9mm you know how difficult it is to load a magazine by hand. After about 3 rounds your thumb and finger begins to hurt.
Decades ago when I bought my first 9mm, a Beretta 92F, I found a simple magazine loader made from die-formed steel. It was dirt simple, cheap, and it worked great. With a little practice I was able to build up some pretty good speed. It sure beat the heck out of using my thumb & fingers.
Time for a New Magazine Speed Loader
A few weeks ago I purchased a new Beretta PX4 Storm Compact chambered in 9mm. I figured I would just use my old one until I discovered the PX4 magazine is .870 wide compared to a 92F at .810. That’s almost a 1/16th difference. Needless to say my old magazine loader wouldn’t fit, so I decided to go online and shop for a new one.
I found one on eBay that promised to fit the PX4 for about $10. It was just a simple one piece molded plastic part so I went ahead and ordered it. Every time I would push a round in it would stick to the magazine. I had to fight with it each time so I finally gave up on it and decided it was easier to load with my fingers. Well, I got what I paid for.
I had not considered a universal speed loader to accommodate all my pistol calibers. My experience with one size fits all products is that they seldom work well. But after that experience I decided that might make more sense for my needs if I could find one that would work well on all my pistol magazines.
After some research and some tinkering around I found several Magazine Speed Loaders that I believe are the best ones available.
The ETS (Elite Tactical Systems) CAM Universal Speed Magazine Loader is designed to handle 9mm, .40, .380, and .45 caliber rounds.
What I like about this magazine speed loader is that in addition to speeding up the process of loading your pistol, it’s also designed to speed the process of loading the speed loader itself. No, that’s not a play on words but one of the shortcomings of other speed loaders is that some of them take a too much time to prime with cartridges. So any time saved by loading your magazine is lost by having to stuff cartridges in the loader.
The Way it Works
The way this speed loader works is simple. First you insert your pistol magazine into the loader. Then you simply use the long appendage to slide over the heads of the cartridges while their in the ammo box (It has a T-Slot to accept the rim of the cartridge).
It allows you to pick up as many as ten cartridges at a time with one motion. Once the loader is primed, place the stripper/pusher over the appendage and press the whole stack of cartridges into your magazine with one motion. Wa la! Your loaded and ready to shoot.
Elite Tactical Systems calls this a “universal speed loader” which isn’t exactly accurate. It comes in (3) separate configurations: .380, .45, and 9mm/.40.
Like other speed loaders there is a short learning curve to be able to use it effectively. But once you get the hang of it it’s one of the fastest pistol magazine speed loaders available.
Check out this Customer Review Video!
Based on the same principal as my old 9mm speed loader, the MakerShot is one of the most popular pistol magazine loaders available. Although its dirt simple, its highly effective and has some ergonomic features that make it comfortable to use.
Injection molded of high strength plastic, this loader has a skirt around it to facilitate gripping it without digging in to your hand.
The MakerShot is not a Universal, one size fits all Speed Loader! It is available in “custom” sizes to fit most single and double stack magazines. Calibers ranging from .22LR up to 45ACP in just about every popular pistol model can be ordered.
Check Out this MakerShot Demo VIDEO Loading a Sig Sauer P365 9mm Mag!
With this type of magazine loader there is very little learning curve to develop good speed. They work great and are extremely affordable.
The Sylvan Raptor is a One-Size-Fits-All pistol speed loader designed to load both single and double stack magazines for .380, 9mm, all the way up to 45 ACP from most manufactures.
The reason this speed loader caught my attention is the way it is designed to operate. It gives you the option to use one or both hands to manipulate it. Either way you can build up speed with just a couple mags full. Once you get the hang of it you can easily load a 15 round mag in under 30 seconds.
The most striking feature about this magazine speed loader is the build quality. The Sylvan Raptor is made from injection molded glass-filled nylon and heat treated die formed steel parts so you can expect this product to last for years to come.
It allows you to drop in rounds easily with no finger pushing or pressing. The Sylvan Raptor has a spring-loaded device (Wings) that help center it on the magazine and give it more stability when loading smaller mags.
Watch this Cool Demo VIDEO!
The Sylvan Raptor is a Military grade shooting accessory that will last you for years
It comes with a hex wrench so you can adjust it and a small rubber mat so you won’t scratch up the magazine base pad. Its compact enough to carry in your pocket.
The Caldwell 110002 is a universal magazine charger designed to accommodate .380 up to 10mm and 45ACP, single and double stack magazines.
When I first looked at this product I thought to myself “this is overly complex.” But once I saw how it operates I really became impressed and could see the benefits it has to offer.
Removes the Element of Hand Strength
This cleverly designed speed loader removes the hand strength and dexterity factor from loading your pistol magazines. It also eliminates the need for a table or rest to operate.
Unlike any other magazine speed loader or mag charger it operates from an inverted position.
You simply insert your magazine and then use the rotating shim or cam adjustment that enables you to preset it to your magazine’s width. A twist of the large knob locks the magazine in place. Set the Selector to the correct setting #1, 2, 3, or 4.
Then you simply drop the round in the loading port and squeeze the handle. This lifts it into the magazine. One of the big benefits of the Caldwell 110002 is the handle operates at a 2:1 ratio which means it takes half the hand strength to operate. This makes it ideal for someone with limited hand strength.
Watch this Cool Demo VIDEO!
Once you get the hang of how this loader operates you can change from one caliber to another quickly. You will find yourself able to load a 15 rd. 9mm mag in under 30 seconds with just a little practice. It works well on standard pistol magazines including small calibers such as the .380 and 9mm up to 10mm.
The only negative issues I see with the Caldwell 110002 are it is somewhat large and takes up more space in your range bag and it does require a couple adjustments each time you change to a different caliber or model magazine.
Other than that, this is an excellent magazine speed loader that you will enjoy using. It’s well-made and should provide you with years of service if used correctly.
I love my old Ruger Mark I but loading up one of the small magazines is another story. The HILLJAK Gen 2 Quickie Loader is the best 22LR magazine speed loader I have seen for the Ruger Mark Series and most other popular 22LR pistols.
This little gem will save your fingers and make magazine loading faster so you can get back on target and enjoy shooting.
There are no moving parts to break or jam. Just durable injection molded plastic. Its super easy to use and fast once you get the feel for it. A key ring is included so you can attach it to your key chain or attach a lanyard. And, it’s super cheap!
Contents at a Glance
- 1 Here are the Best Pistol Magazine Speed Loaders for 9mm, .40, .380, 45ACP and More!
- 2 Recommendations
- 2.1 ETS Elite Tactical Systems CAM Universal Speed Magazine Loader for 9MM./40., 380 and .45 Caliber
- 2.2 MakerShot Custom Magazine Speed Loader (Select Your Magazine)
- 2.3 Sylvan Raptor Universal Pistol Speed Loader
- 2.4 Caldwell 110002 Pistol Magazine Speed Loader
- 2.5 HILLJAK Gen 2 Quickie Magazine Speed Loader