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Safariland Speedloaders

19 Sep

Safariland Speedloaders- L-R: Comp I, Comp II, Comp IIIIf a double action revolver is your main firearm for shooting or carry, you probably know what a speedloader is. For those of you who don’t, a speedloader is a cylindrical unit that holds between 5 to 8 (but mainly six) revolver cartridges that facilitates the reloading of a double action revolver. The speedloader has a hold/release mechanism unique to its design by manufacturer. One of the best speedloader lines manufactured is by Safariland . Safariland is one of the largest police and shooter supply companies in the world. The speedloaders they manufacture are under three models: the comp I, comp II, and comp III. In the picture above, the comp I, comp II, and comp III are shown left to right. As the number of the model increases, so does the size of the speedloader. The Comp I and Comp II models are direct-release gravity assisted loaders, while the racy Comp III is a spring propulsion loader. The Comp I is extremely low profile. The one I have pictured is for a J-frame Smith and Wesson or Ruger SP101. Comp I Safarilands are fast loaders, but have a reputation for fragility that I will explain later. The Comp II is the duty model. This model was the bread and butter speedloader for law enforcement back in the 1980’s through the early 1990’s. This was the model speedloader that competed head to head with the HKS and Dade speedloaders of the previously mentioned time for law enforcement contracts. The Comp II is a very fine speedloader, with a perfect balance of speed and size along with rugged durability. The Comp III speedloader is probably Safariland’s most popular model. The Comp III is actually a larger version of an Austrian speedloader called the Jet Loader. Jet Loader
The Safariland design covers the main spring as seen on the Jet Loader. This model is very large; it kind of looks like the old German “potato masher” grenade when loaded. This is Safariland’s fastest speedloader. This loader is spring propelled, lauching the cartridges into a revolver cylinder from any angle, even upside down.
Of the three models, the Comp I suffers from a weaker design, and will, over time, “lose rounds”, in other words, when you pick it up to use it at that critical moment, it will dump some, or all its cartridges. I had conversation with Rick Devoid of Tarnhelm Supply ( , several years ago about the Comp I. Rick said that the Comp I also would eventually “stick”, in other words, fail to release its rounds when you need it to. I personally do not use the Comp I’s for anything but training or competition. The Comp II and III are stone reliable. Of the two, I have owned one Comp III that failed. I bought it used and it had a damaged release mechanism. I used it for 7 years until it finally came apart in IDPA competition. It came apart sort of like a jack in the box exploding. Interestingly, it released all its rounds and reloaded my revolver even though it came apart. Much has been said about the speed of these speedloaders. This is achieved by a star shaped disc that is located in between the rounds in the center of the speedloader. When the cartridges are lined up with the revolver cylinder holes (when reloading), all you have to do is push forward. The disk impacts the rear of the revolver cylinder and releases the rounds. The Comp III the uses same principal, but has a round plunger instead of a disc. When this plunger is depressed against the back of the revolver’s cylinder, the rounds are spring propelled into the revolver.
Safariland speedloaders are charged up as follows: 1)place the rounds in the speedloader 2) hold rounds in speedloader by depressing against your palm or a hard surface, like a table 3)Pressing down on the speedloader body (on the Comp III, the long handle) turn the button clockwise until you hear a click 4)To release without reloading, press the center disk/plunger.
I personally use only the Comp II and Comp III for carry and competition in IDPA. I would not carry the Comp I, but would use it for range and competition.


Here is an example of a Comp II reload:

One minor correction I would make to this otherwise fine video, the Comp II’s are not spring propelled, that would be the Comp III.