In the competition and tactical shotgun worlds, speed loading is quite the interesting topic. The traditional weak/strong hand “load 2” and “load 4” techniques seen many years ago in Europe and have since made their way to the U.S. have inspired innovations in shotgun caddies.
If you aren’t familiar with these speed loading techniques, check out this short video:
For the past two years, as a competitive 3-gunner, I have used a variety of caddies. I’m always interested in trying something new, and recently I came across a new company called Invictus Practical who makes a variety of shotgun caddies.
The big reason this caddy caught my attention was a particular note from fellow 3-gunner Jesse Tischauser who wrote about them in 3-Gun Nation magazine. He’s a top-ranked shooter and knows his stuff. Tischauser noted that these caddies really help facilitate the new “load 4” method where you have four shells in one hand, but stacked 2×2 on top of one another, as such:
I had tried using other caddies but it simply didn’t work for me and I concluded that my average sized hands must be too small to hold the shells properly. But when I tried the Invictus Practical 8Q and pulled four shells off and loaded them with ease, my jaw almost dropped. The secret is how the 8Q offsets the shells. When your hand grabs them, the shells are aligned in a way that facilitates easier load four grabs.
I’ll be chatting about two models, the “Straight 8ight” and the “12Q.” Looking at the Straight 8ight, the first thing that struck me was its light weight and ruggedness. There’s usually an inverse relationship between where you sacrifice one for the other, but I think Invictus Practical (IP) found a great balance. I’ve used caddies that have fallen apart in the middle of a stage from aggressive use, and I don’t see that happening with the Straight 8ight. Now to be fair, I have only logged about 10 hours with the caddy, so I still need to put the caddy through its paces. But at first glance, things are looking very bright.
The Straight 8ight (and all IP models) accepts multiple attachment systems like TecLok, TMMS, and ELS. The holders do not move unlike other IP models. The shooter will have their shells in a static “straight” position the entire time. However, the entire unit can be mounted at an angle.
The 12Q model is designed for shooters who not only want more capacity, but want to tilt the shell holder arms at an angle. Many shooters find angled holders to be beneficial since it can provide a better angle of attack for the hand, and a faster point A-to-B movement from the holder to the mag tube. Personally, I don’t like having my shells at an angle, but I noticed a similar ruggedness to that of the 8Q. Since the 12Q arms can swing though, be ready for potential movement when if the caddy gets bumped really hard, if you go prone, etc.
There are multiple models that go beyond what I’ve covered here so check out their website if you want to see more.
For me, the Invictus Practical caddy is a truly innovative and impactful product that upped my game. In competition, seconds matter. I recently won 6th place in my division at the California Action Shotgun Challenge and I credit the Invictus Practical caddies in giving me an edge. If you’re interested in trying the new load 4 technique, I suggest giving Invictus Practical a look.
Price: Starting at $55.00