The first revolver speedloader patented was that of William H. Bell in 1879. Bell’s device was a simple metal disk with a rotating locking mechanism that held six revolver rounds. When used with a top-break revolver of the time, such as the Smith and Wesson Lemon squeezer, the speedloader would drop six ready rounds in the cylinder extremely rapidly. It is unclear if Bell’s device ever was manufactured, but it certainly seems like the first of its species.
Now, 130 years later, people are still tweaking the idea.
CK Tactical went live with their Ripcord series five and six-round revolver speedloaders in September and they have been generating some buzz in the gun industry and earning newfound fans. Their signature product is designed, like other speedloaders, to hold a full load of spare rounds for a wheel gun until needed, then dump them into the cylinder.
Unlike existing Safariland and HKS loaders that use a central knob or button, the Ripcord, as its name implies, is designed to be deployed by pulling by a loading tab, leaving the cartridges behind.
At a cost of $10 for a two-pack, CKT currently offers the loader in two different models with a range of compatibility with various Chiappa, Rossi, Ruger, S&W, and Taurus revolvers. As such, I am getting a few sets to see how they stack up against the Bianchi speed strips and HKS/Safariland loaders I’ve used for years.
Going all the way back to the days of Rollin White’s revolutionary cylinder design of 1857, immortalized by two guys by the name of Smith and Wesson, the cartridge revolver that could be quickly reloaded has been a hit. Even though the detachable magazine semi-auto pistol was introduced just a few decades later, the wheel gun has endured and is still popular today.
The two largest publicly traded firearms companies in the U.S.– S&W, and Ruger– still have almost as many if not more revolver designs in production as they do semi-auto handguns. This is because the revolver is inherently simple, has few moving parts to master, can be very compact in snub nosed varieties, can bring the heat in large framed magnums, and a lot of people just plain old like ‘em.
With that being said, there is nothing that bars the average wheel gun user from stepping up their game when it comes to being able to rapidly reload an empty cylinder. This can be for fast and positive use on the range, competition, or in trimming the time needed to get back in the fight during a self-defense scenario.
Enter: The Speedloader
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