In the police academy, I remember a lot of fun things and some not-so-fun things. One of the fun things was shooting at the range. We did a lot of shooting, and I enjoyed every bit of it. One of the not-so-fun things, however, was loading all the Glock mags. Loading ammo into a magazine doesn’t sound like a hard task until you load hundreds of them a day. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easier way to load them fast without making your fingers sore? Well, guess what? Now there is, with the new SLAP Mag Loader by Unorthodox Design.
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With several mag loaders already on the market, what makes this one different? And, is it worth the money?
Why use a mag loader?
I’m not one to use speed loaders very often. I’ve been loading magazines for years and most of the time, I load them manually. In the early days when Glock was taking over the handgun kingdom, 15 and 17-round mags were the ones we used the most. But over the years, 30+ round mags have become more common. And with the growing list of PCCs that accept Glock mags, I find myself loading them more frequently. It can start to get tough putting bullets in a 30-round mag when you get past the 20-round mark. If you’re on the range for some training and must load them all day, it can start to make your fingers go numb.
Glock handguns come with a speed loader, and they work great when you get used to them. Speed loaders are one of those things you don’t give much thought to until you find one that works so well you can’t do without it. I have a friend that recently injured his hand and can’t use it for a while. He was surprised to see that he could load his Glock mags with his left hand using the Unorthodox Designs SLAP Loader. The need to load magazines with one hand never crossed my mind before. This could be a valuable magazine loader just for that aspect alone.
How It Works
Some magazine loaders allow you to push the loader down over the magazine, which compresses the spring and allows room for a bullet to be inserted. Others work by compressing the spring when you squeeze the loader, but this method can make your hand get tired after you have loaded several rounds. With the SLAP loader, you simply insert the magazine into the base (see photo below) and then drop a casing into the feed ramp of the loader. Once the casing has been inserted, just push or slap on the bottom of the magazine. Insert another bullet and slap it again for the next one and keep repeating.
This process was so easy I kept pulling the mag out to see if it was really loaded because it didn’t feel like I pushed it hard enough to load a round. I wanted to see how consistent it was so I loaded every mag I could find. It didn’t take long, and the SLAP loader never malfunctioned once. When using both hands, you can insert a round into the loader with one hand and push down on the mag with the other. If you need to load with one hand, it only adds a few more seconds to the process. After I loaded a few, I couldn’t help but wonder how fast this could be done in a hurry. This sounded fun so I recruited a timekeeper and started loading. Here’s how easy the SLAP loader makes it.
Speed Loading With the SLAP Loader
I’m not sure if Unorthodox Designs intended for the SLAP loader to be faster than other loaders, but it is. Here is how I did with a few different 9mm mags:
- Glock 15-round mag: 20.2 seconds
- Glock 17-round mag: 23.8 seconds
- Glock 33-round mag: 44.6 seconds
I was the most impressed with the 33-round stick mag because it can be tough to get the last few rounds in. One of the unique design features of the SLAP loader is that as the mag starts to fill up the weight helps as you push it down into the loader. The “slap” motion on the bottom of the mag resembles the same amount of force it takes to staple a few sheets of paper. The rubber backing on the SLAP loader keeps it from sliding around while you load. There is also a lip on the outside of the loader that helps to unload the magazine.
What mags work in the SLAP mag loader?
Unorthodox Designs says the SLAP loader will work with “9mm and .40 S&W Glock-pattern” double-stack mags. I wanted to see exactly what mags would work in the SLAP loader, so I dug deep in the mag box and started trying each one out. Every Glock 9mm and .40 mag loaded without issue. The Glock 43 and 38 mags also worked without issue even though they were a little loose in the loader.
Next, I tried some aftermarket mags and found some that worked great and two that didn’t work. ETS and KCI mags loaded with ease. The ETS mags were easier to load than the Glock mags because the spring is just a little weaker in ETS mags. I tried the SGM 33-round mag and found it would not load any rounds into it. I think this is because the metal feed lips on the SGM are slightly different than Glock mags. The other mag that didn’t work in the SLAP loader was the Shield Arms 15-round mag for the Glock 48.
Is it worth it?
Overall, I found two mags that didn’t work in the SLAP loader and everything else I tried worked like a charm. Like I said in the beginning, I am not a regular user of magazine loaders. But after using the SLAP loader, I have changed my mind. With the price this thing sells for, I will be keeping one with my ammo and one in my range bag. Anyone that has trouble loading their magazines manually will find the SLAP loader is a necessity. Even if you don’t mind loading mags by hand, this thing is a game changer when you need to load those high-capacity mags quickly. It’s durable, it works, and it costs about the same as a pizza.