S.L.Variant Speed Loaders

S.L.Variant’s speed loaders are now being sold in the US. The speed loader has individual springs for each round, which in theory are better than old big spring. The loader comes in a variety of sizes to accommodate different revolvers.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Jim

    More parts means more to break.

  • One of the neat things about the SL Variants over other speedloaders is that as soon as you insert an individual round, it locks in. There is no jiggling of six rounds to get all of the rims lined up with the locking mechanism.

    Dillon sold these back in the 1990s, but most folks got sticker shock over the price.

  • Don

    In theory socialism is “better” but we know that it isn’t. Everywhere it was tried the people end up with the short end… With all gear it must be tested in rigorous training to see when not if it fails. I have Safariland and HKS speed loaders for my .44mag and .357mag. Safariland is more of a race loader that “shoots” the rounds into the cylinder but it also doesn’t retain the rounds well carrying in a pocket. I usually have the HKS loader which requires a 1/8 turn to release the rounds but holds them like a champ.

    Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

  • Nick Pacific

    Well, I don’t think the idea is “more parts,” but rather “redundancy.”

    Though I’ve never used a spring loaded speed loader, and I’m starting to move away from gadgetude towards less is more / function is form. I do need a few new ones though, so who knows.
    I don’t shoot competitively, are spring loaded speed loaders suitable for defense, or are they primarily performance driven?

  • Vitor

    No, socialism isn’t better in theory. Mises already debunked the theorical possibility of socialism being good since it wouldn’t have spontaneous system of prices that would allow economic calculation, and that was in 1922.

    Theory is only different from reality if the theory is wrong.

  • Jim

    I’m sorry, but how did we get on the completely irrelevant topic of socialism?

  • Cymond

    Yeah, more parts to break, resulting in a partial failure. It also means more parts have to break before total failure.

  • Nick Pacific

    I don’t know, but lately it creeps into every dinner conversation I have regardless of topic so I’m not surprised.

  • Bill Lester

    I’m of a different opinion than Don re. the topic at hand. I’ve never had any problem using Safariland Comp I, II, or III speedloaders in over twenty years of regular concealed carry, range and match use. For many of those years I carried at least one speedloader on a daily basis and never had a Safariland dump ammo. Many a Safariland speedloader has rolled around in my coat pocket for a full winter without losing a single round. HKS, on the other hand, wobbles around so much that I did lose rounds for the three or four of their loaders I used with Charter Arms .44 Bulldogs. (Safariland never got around to making a compatible loader.) That wobble also adds noticeable clumsiness to a speed reload, which isn’t the smoothest of actions to begin with.

    As for these S.L. Variant loaders, $30+ per device is a pretty steep price point. I can get three Safariland Comp II’s with MidwayUSA’s current sale for that same $30.

  • Squidpuppy

    Socialism? Er, with individual springs per round, all rounds are equal? I don’t get it…

    Still prefer full moon clips. If they’re good enough for Jerry M., they’re good enough for me.

    Combat reloads with a mechanical speed loader requires a deft touch, good timing, and flawless round delivery; these individual springs will probably help with the round delivery to chamber.

    I’ve seen plenty of folks get hung up on the sequence between the push/twist round release, the gravity seating of the rounds, and dropping the speedloader while simultaneously closing the cylinder and bringing the gun back on target. Any round that doesn’t come free of the loader will hang up the process.

  • Anecdotal

    Socialism? You guys need to stop watching Fox News and start shooting guns.

  • Vak

    If socialists offered free revolvers, I would vote for them more often. (yes, I didn’t understand what we were talking about)