Revolver slow strips

Pop quiz, hotshot: what’s the slowest way to reload a revolver? Trick question, they’re all slow! All kidding aside, reloading a wheelgun isn’t a quick exercise. Other than manually putting single rounds in the chambers, by far the slowest way to reload a wheelgun is with a Speed Strip.


So if they’re so slow, why do I carry one? There are a couple of good reasons to carry a speed strip, and the first is that it’s not a bad idea to have extra rounds. If you do need to use your revolver in a defensive situation, topping the gun off might be a smart decision. Carrying loose rounds in your pocket would be a pain, but the Speed Strip lets you keep five rounds in one handy location.

It lays nice and flat in your pocket, doesn’t weigh much, and holds the rounds securely. It is faster than loading loose rounds from your pocket, and about equally as fast as loading two at a time from cartridge loops on a belt. Unfortunately, cartridge loops on your belt is a little out of style these days, which really is too bad.

I didn’t always carry a speed strip, but recently I’ve realized that if I’m willing to carry the gun itself, I should really make sure to have at least one reload on hand. I accept the likelihood that if I get in the sort of fight where I need to reload my j-frame I’m probably going to get killed anyway, but I figure I’d rather die trying than not.

I suppose it would be smarter to just carry a Glock 19, but that’s so mainstream.


  1. It’s great to read your talks on revolvers… The HKS speadloaders and now the speed strips. Im a revolver shooter and carry my LCR ruger dailly so reading materials on revolvers really excite me. Thank you!

  2. I carry my J frame lots, mostly with a speedloader in my watch pocket. I also think speed strips are a good idea. Some of us will always prefer a revolver over a bottom feeder even if we shoot the others quite regularly. Now, if I could just find the perfect holster for my snub nose 629!

    1. I like the Galco Stinger for my Ruger LCR in .357 flavor. It is OWB, runs through my belt loop, and conceals nicely. Don’t know if they have anything for a snub 629, but I thought I would throw that in there.

  3. The four round speed strip reload, as taught by Claude Werner and a few other guys, is IMHO the way to go.

    Having chamfered chambers and using something more user friendly than wadcutters or LSWCs helps.

    Once had to carry my snub on a trip to NJ so I was illegal to carry JHPs, wadcutters in the gun, but 130gr FMJ in the speed strip. Those load into the gun MUCH faster than wadcutters.

    1. I agree with Chuck. I thought the speed strips were worthless until I stopped buying the 5 round ones, upgraded to the 6 round ones, and kept 4 rounds in them. Michael DeBethencourt over at snub training teaches a similar setup.

  4. Ditto on downloading the 6-round strips; haven’t tried Tuff Strips yet. And especially agree with the chamfered chambers– if you haven’t done so, you’ll be surprised what a difference breaking that 90-degree angle makes!

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