A bit frustrated
One thing I learned when I started researching carry guns "way back when" was that every handgun type and caliber comes with it's own set of pro's and cons or challenges if you will. I learned to look at my carry set up and do what I could to minimize the short comings. That might mean making sure i was carrying one of the absolute best loads if I was carrying a smaller caliber or perhaps changing to a different gun all together if I was going to a area where the possibility of trouble was higher.
When applying that same philosophy to my Ruger SP-101 I see the 2 primary short coming as capacity and reload time. No surprise there as that's pretty universal when it comes to wheel guns. The downside to that particular issue is that the 2 are interconnected IE a possible fix to a low capacity is having a fast reload system. This brings me to the source of my frustration. I can't seem to find a way to carry my speed loaders that is comfortable and concealed while remaining fast and easy to access.
This isn't so much of a concern in the cooler months as it's pretty easy to just throw a speed loader in a jacket pocket. It's well concealed, comfortable and fairly easy to access although the loader shifting position can slow the removal down a bit. While the "pocket" system works fairly well for jacket pockets I have found it to be significantly less effective in pants pocket. Pants pockets tend to be a bit tighter. It's also likely that the loader will shift positions multiple times. It is also not horribly comfortable but that I could live with. My biggest issue is that because the loader is getting jostled around I have had it activate and dump the rounds in my pocket.
Overall the negatives of pocket carrying a speed loader seem to outweigh the positives. I have tried multiple belt carry options as well. While they tend to be faster and more reliable to access all the methods I have tried for belt carry also tend to bulge and print horrible. Not print as in "OMG! That guy has a speed loader hanging on his belt!" but more that it just bulges and looks goofy under my shirt. I even tried one of the "split six" style of holders that split the rounds in front and behind your belt. They worked the best but were still very bulky and fairly uncomfortable.
The remaining options that I have thought of are just not attractive to me.
- Speed strips : Makes a slow to reload platform even slower
- Carry a second gun : No offense to those that do this but I just can't bring myself to carry 2 guns.
- Wear larger clothes : Any of you that know me know this isn't going to happen lol.
So I guess at this point I should ask. Is there any method of carrying a speed loader that I haven't taken into consideration?
The strange and mildly humorous thing about my situation is that I went through so many pistols that I've lost count at this point to find one that I was satisfied with and while I finally have, I am considering changing because I can't find a way to carry a reload. I'm considering picking up a Keltec PF9 or Kahr CW9 for primary hot weather carry. I was always able to belt carry a spare mag for my single stack auto's with no issue. While I love my SP-101, it may just not be the best option for summer time carry :(
I am quite happy with speed strips. While being slower than the speed loader, with some practice you can load up pretty quick. I load two, rip, load two, rip, load and rip, then go. At one time, I timed myself and was well under 5 seconds. No need to switch over to something else. There are more things to consider in a real life than a quick reload, that are important.
I feel your frustration, I am getting to where I want to wear what I want, not what carrying wants me to. Waiting on the Kahr cm9.
Try carrying two speed loaders side by side in a shirt pocket. They hold each other in place and the bulge is tolerable, unless your fashion eye is very critical. They are also fairly quick to access and are close to where the weapon is in a reload.
About the best you can do is carry the speedloaders like Mas does here:
Speedstrips are a viable option if you use them for an administrative reload - just topping off the cylinder or throwing two rounds in. They're no good for a full reload. Work through the likely scenarios. You're trying to get away to a defensive position, and you throw 5-7 rounds of .357 at your problem. It is very unlikely that trouble will keep coming. If so, a speedstrip can quickly get another couple of rounds into play.
Otherwise, I'd work it the way Mas does and carry them at 2 o'clock, for the Stress Reload. (By the way, if you're doing the CIA reload, try this version and see what you think - I've found it to be worth the hassle of retraining.)
I carry them at 10 o'clock, but I don't use the reload that Mas' does. I do use the same loaders though.
My 642 was my first "compact" carry gun & I'm about to upgrade that to a 640. I've tried carrying speedloaders from both HKS and Safariland but I didn't care for the bulk either. My solution was speed strips. I know they're not as fast as speed loaders but they make up for that with ease of carry. I usually keep about 4 strips loaded up at home but generally only carry one of them, carried in the coin pocket of my Levi's. I rarely go into seedy areas intentionally these days so the need for a reload, while possible, isn't all that probable - though I DO like to be prepared, that's why we carry to begin with. 6 extra rounds on a speed strip plus the 5 in my J-frame generally satisfies my belief in always carrying a reload. When I need more than that I'll either drop extra strips in a belt pouch, pocket or opt for my 1911 (with one spare mag).
I really believe that speed strips would work for you.
First off, remember how you were apprehensive going with a 5 shot snubby? I remember the question was whether you had enough rounds on tap.
Then you decided to carry according your perceived threat level. Has that level changed? If you can rationalize carrying a 5-shot wheel gun, then possibly the same logic can apply to the reload.
As mentioned before, some strategy with the speed strip is not to completely reload the cylinder, but to get about 2 rounds in asap. Kinda like when you run a shotgun dry; you don't just sit there and shove the mag full, you start throwing them in one at a time in order to stay in the fight.
Do what you want, but remember the thought processes that got you this far. :wave:
I'd have to say go with speed/quick strips if speed loaders aren't working for you. As far as having the speed loaders dump your rounds in your pocket was that the HKS? Have you tried the safariland ones yet? Unless the speedloader breaks/malfunctions is pretty close to impossible to deactivate the retention device on those even if you have 2 of them in your pocket
HKS Speedloaders in Safariland Split Six Holder. Speedloaders infront of the holstered firearm at 2 o'clock. I use the stressfire method and with some practice (yes we need to practice) you can get it done in a couple of seconds.
Look for a cell phone holster that will work. You might need to line it with black felt (a lot have holes towards the bottom), but you can find one to wear on your belt that holds your speed loader and no one will be the wiser.
I agree, in general, re speedloaders and the time. I prefer SL Comp IIIs, for their positive injection of the rounds. I carry either two in a left shirt pocket or three in the SL belt holder. I prefer the holder as it orients the loaders in a specific position and I do the same re the cylinder with my thumb in a flute. This means that the cylinder and the loader I grab, are always in the some position relative to each other, so there is no twisting to line up cylinder holes and rounds.
Originally Posted by Old School
The solution to this problem is your Glock26.
I have heard great things about the Comp III's and it's what the fast wheel boys and girls use. I have been using HKS since the 80's and though not as quick as some they are quicker than speed strips for me. In reality most of the time I am carrying a Glock but there is something about a Ruger revolver that says every now and then "strap me on".:image035:
Originally Posted by Guantes
P.S. Silvertips huh.