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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
speedloader history

can anybody tell me how these came to be developed? was it because of the Newhall Massacre?or some other law enforcement tradgedy?
 

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speedloader history

They've been used for more than 100 years - I've got some books (sorry, no scanner) with photos of speedloaders from the late 1800s. Apparently they were available very soon after the introduction of the swing-out cylinder DA revolver.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
speedloader history

There was a type of speedloader available for the Webley break top revolver. I don't know if it ever really caught on. Modern speedloaders did not really catch on until the 70's I believe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
speedloader history

It looks as if the patent for the speedloader was applied for in 1978:

Rapid loading device for a revolver Document Type and Number:United States Patent 4229896 Link to this page:http://www.freepatentsonline.com/4229896.html Abstract:A rapid loading device for revolvers which provides releasable securement of cartridges in condition for simultaneous loading of the cartridges into the cylinder chambers of the revolver. The device includes a first cylindrical member having an open end and a closed end which forms its base and a first disc having a center bore and a plurality of axially extending, radially distributed cartridge-receiving bores adapted to align with and introduce the cartridges into the cylinder chambers of the revolver. The first disc is disposed within the first cylindrical member and is mechanically coupled to the inner sidewall thereof. The device also includes a star sprocket whose lateral projections releasably lock each cartridge flange while laterally supporting each cartridge in conjunction with the first disc and a mechanism for releasing the star sprocket system in order to release the cartridges when the cartridge ends are in the cylinder chambers of the revolver. The mechanism includes a second cylindrical member which fits concentrically within the first cylindrical member and which has an open end which is adjacent to the open end of the first cylindrical member and a closed end which has a plurality of bores which are aligned with the bores of the first disc, a spring means for resiliently biasing the second cylindrical members in relation to the first cylindrical member and a coupling device for rotating the star sprocket in response to the second cylindrical member being pressed into the first cylindrical member.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
speedloader history

Here is a blurb about the webly speedloader:

[Jan 1, 2001] The Webley even had what was probably the world's first efficient revolver speedloader. It was developed in 1896 with an improved version appearing in 1914, just in time for World War I. The .455 Webley had the admirable characteristics of ruggedness, reliability, accuracy, stopping power, ...
From Classic Fighting Handguns Of All Time. - Guns... - Guns Magazine ($$) Related web pages
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
speedloader history

Here is a clip from a 1989 article talking about how St. Louis officers are being issued speed loaders for the first time:
news

1 matches were found for:
( (unq:"0EB04BFF2C70C40C") )

Article 1 of 1

By Carolyn Bower

Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
St. Louis Post-Dispatch January 29, 1989

Section: Edition: L5
Page 6C Word count: 360

ID#: 6890006748
St. Louis County police officers recently received a device to help them reload their revolvers more quickly. The device, called a speed loader, can put a full load of six bullets into an officer's revolver in a few seconds.

Without such a device, an officer may take 15 to 20 seconds to reload a revolver, said Jim Shoemaker, department armorer for the St. Louis County Police.

''This will help our officers survive,'' Shoemaker
 

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speedloader history

Greetings Mister Stocklt:

The Newhall Massacre you are referring to , I assume, was the incident in April of 1970 in which four members of the California Highway Patrol were shot to death in the same shootout with two suspects in Newhall, California. I was a member of the C.H.P from 1965 to 1993 and remember the incident and its aftermath quite well. While this incident, among others, tended to revolutionize police firearms training theory and equipment, it was not responsible for the invention of the speed loader for revolvers per se. They had been around for a while......This incident only helped to hasten their adoption as standard equipment, along with changing some very outdated ideas.

I don't recall any specific brand or type of loader or other item of safety equipment being marketed as a direct result of the Newhall Incident alone. These were very troubled times for America and there were a number of companies making speed loaders at that time: Dade Screw Machine Co made a very popular set that I still own, and HKS became the C.H.P. issue loader when the Department began to issue equipment in 1977.

So I can't say when the speed loader came into being, but it was one of many items of safety equipment to attain popularity in the tumultuous early 1970's, and I would be surprized to find that the Newhall Incident alone brought it into being.

Long winded answer to a beautifully short question. Best wishes.

Jerry
 

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speedloader history

Most folks don't give it credit for being a speed loader, but the half moon clip used in American .45 caliber revolvers during World War I sure came close to being one. IMHO.

Jerry
 

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speedloader history

Right after my first reply (above) someone posted on a response to stocklt's same Q on the S&W Forum showing the speedloader from 1889. :) Check it out if you want to see the image that I couldn't scan.
 

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speedloader history

As a totally insignificant item of popular gun lore, if you ever encounter an older S&W or Colt .38 Special or .357 Magnum DA revolver with some holster wear and the left grip panel sanded down to be much thinner than the right panel up near the top, you can bet it was probably owned by a LEO who was carrying the gun when speed loaders were adopted by his Department........the factories didn't start milling the left grip down to accomodate the speed loaders for several years after they became popular - you had to do it yourself! I have a Model 19 Smith from 1965 with this modification done in 1970 to prove it. Pardon the little trip down memory lane, boys......us ol' folks just can't help it once in a while.
Best.

Jer
 

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speedloader history

When I was commissioned a Deputy in 1977, the rangemaster considered me to be quite radical because I carried two HKS speedloaders instead of drop pouches or loops. They were new and trendy. Well, I guess you had to be there. I tried the modified magna stocks and Pachs but went back to the service stocks with a T Grip after a while. I also tried the Safariland SLs but if you fumbled them you were in the soup. I still like HKS for revolvers.
 

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speedloader history

+1 on the HKS loaders being first rate. The problem with the Dades I love so well is that the rounds are only held in place by fairly light spring tension and if you drop one, you're going to lose rounds just bigger'nheck. So you soon learned not to drop them. Same if you carry them in your jacket pocket...sooner or later something will bump the plunger and you'll lose rounds.

The HKS, on the other hand, retains the rounds with a very stout physical lock that is almost impossible to release accidentally. You can carry a dozen of them in a jacket pocket and you're not going to lose rounds because one of them came loose. They're also quite fast with practice.

I love the Dades because they are the fastest speed loaders I ever used. Just one bump on the plunger and the rounds are in the chambers and ready to go. But it's that same ease that causes the problems I described above. So if I was still back on the road I'd do it like I always did it before we transitioned to automatics.........Two Dades in the pouches for primary use, and a pocketful of HKS's in reserve. But here goes another trip down memory lane.......


Jerry
 

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speedloader history

I started using speedloaders in 1973,Had the same problem as JayPee, had to trim the stocks down on my model 28. as I type this there is with in arms reach a model 13, and three HKS speedloaders.Old dog, dont you know ::) Doug
 

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speedloader history

With some really first rate instructions from Gib, I finally got around to learning how to post photos and wanted to show our younger guys how we had to mill down the left grip panel of our revolver grips to accomodate speed loaders. Here goes:

This photo is of my 1965 S&W Model 19 Combat Magnum with the left grip panel sanded down. The front sight blade is a non-standard blade from the 4" model.....the M19 with 6" barrel came with an undercut target front sight that had a nasty habit of hanging up when drawing from the "suicide bucket" holsters we were required to wear at the time - and causing an accidental discharge. The loaders are my Dade's. This equipment is typical of the equipment being used throughout the CHP at the time of the Newhall Incident in 1970. The finish on the grips is a TruOil finish I put on them in 1972.


This photo shows the left grip panel from directly behind. My wife adopted the gun as her own, named it "Maggie", and I now only have visitation rights for the purpose of cleaning it. She's good with it, too! The chewed-up backstrap is from going down on my motor on the Santa Ana Freeway in 1966.


This is a closeup of the grip panel. My wife will not allow me to reblue the gun because of the "character lines" you see some of here. In using these loaders, we were taught to hold the cylinder so that one chamber was at top and bottom, two at left and right, and to begin the loading process by getting the two rounds on the outside left started first. It works, too.

Well, again, pardon the trip down memory lane.


JayPee
 

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speedloader history

After doing some fairly intensive research, the earliest device I have been able to locate for the simultaneous loading of revolver cartridges is the Prideaux device, for top break Webley Revolvers. The Prideaux is a pretty difficult device to find, but I believe its patent date was 1897,98, or 99, and I know it was in use during WWI by the British. They can still be found from time to time among collectors and collections, but are really pricey.

I guess the first truly successful device for quickly loading revolvers was the use of half and full moon clips.
 

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speedloader history

Finally found the few pictures I had located of the Prideaux Device. Once again, this guy was used to load any .455 Webley revolver.





 
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