IWB Speedloader Pouches

IWB speedloader Pouches

In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re not. In theory I should be able to carry a speedloader reload for my wheelgun and use it effectively. Over the last 28 or 30 months, I’ve spent a massive amount of time thinking about reloading the revolver. I’ve worked with just about every speedloader on the market (and some that aren’t), and I’ve spent a good amount of time working with reloading techniques. And I’ve used a bunch of speedloader pouches, including some that haven’t yet been reviewed here.

In practice though, I’ve found that carrying a speedloader isn’t as easy as it ought to be. Even though I’ve bought into this old line of logic: “the speedloader isn’t any wider than the revolver it fits. If you can carry the revolver, you should be able to carry the speedloader!”  Sounds good in theory, right?

The Problem(s)

Carrying a speedloader boils down to finding a pouch that carries it well. Most of the current offerings on the market suffer one of three issues. The first is that they create a rather large, unsightly bump on your side. This is the complaint most frequently uttered about speedloaders holders. The second complaint (my complaint) is that some loaders don’t do this, but they aren’t all that easy to reload from. This is my experience with the DeSantis Second Six; it holds the loader well, but the snapped top is slow to use (not to mention it only works with “twistie” loaders).

The final complaint I can lodge against these reload pouches is that they carry the loader too high on the belt with nothing for ballast. This is the case with the Safariland Split Six and even the Jox Loader Pouches I reviewed a long while ago. Though these pouches both holder the loader well, the weight of the ammo tends to cause these loaders to roll forward. This problem seems to become more pronounced throughout the day, and with more sitting, where the body tends to push them out naturally. I like both of these pouches an awful lot, but they just aren’t quite there for my own day-in, day-out use.

The Solution?

I was very excited a few months ago when I discovered the Galco Walkabout. I thought this would be an answer to my problems because it carries the reload on the right (and correct) side of the body, and it carries it inside the waistband. The holster itself was a failure, but it got my gears turning. I have long noticed that (when viewed from above) there is a conspicuous gap between my body and my pants at the leading edge of the holster. It seems like a speedloader would fit well there, but… Why aren’t there IWB speedloader pouches on the market?

It seemed like a good idea, so I reached out to RevolverGuy (and friend of RevolverGuy.com) Nick Jaques from Jox Loader Pouches. Though they don’t completely satisfy my concealed carry needs, I have been nothing but impressed with Nick’s innovative speedloader holders, and he was happy to work with me on this little idea. What he came back with was an impressive proof-of-concept, and what I consider to be cutting-edge revolver technology!

JOX IWB speedLoader Pouches

Back in January I received a package from Nick. I opened it up, dumped it out, and found a plastic bag marked “Frankenpouch”. The bag contained my coveted reload holder. I wasted no time and grabbing my Jetloader and slapping this baby on.

IWB speedloader pouches

The pouch consists of a simple Kydex tube that covers the full body of the loader, and accommodation for a belt clip. It only works loaders with a usable “handle” like the S.L. Variant and the Jet (another reason to recommend these models in my opinion). The pouch sits deep in the beltline, with the loader’s handle protruding above the belt, which still leaves plenty of loader to purchase.

IWB Speedloader Pouches

I’ve carried Nick’s pouch for a couple of months now…at least every day that I’ve carried a revolver (that’s another story!). I’ve found that though this isn’t the most refined pouch (it is a prototype, after all) I can reload out of it as quickly as I can with any concealed speedloader holder. In fact, in some cases I can reload faster. The low ride of this loader lessens the likelihood of my shirt-tail fouling on the pouch when sweeping the concealment garment away.

The only issues I have with this pouch aren’t really with the pouch itself. Regardless of provenance, I imagine I’d always run into this problem: Kydex-on-Kydex. The holster and the pouch are always rubbing directly against each other and they don’t always seem to get along. Occasionally the holster will kick the pouch out at an odd angle when I sit down, and sometimes the holster gets thrown a little bit off kilter. This hasn’t been enough of an issue to dissuade me from carrying this holder, but it does demonstrate room for refinement of the concept.

iwb speedloader pouches

The Bottom Line

Though I love this pouch and deeply appreciate Nick’s effort on it, this article is more about the concept of IWB speedloader pouches. I believe the idea has a lot of merit. It carries the loader beside the gun, reducing the lumps on your belt to one. It also slides the loader into a nice, pre-existing gap in the waist of your jeans. It drops it into the beltline, reducing the chances of your shirt fouling on the pouch or the loader itself. It is doubtful that many are as excited about this idea as I am, but I think the time for IWB speedloader pouches has come!

Most of you probably read Mike’s article on revolver reloading last week, and most of you can probably guess (or already know) which hand I reload with. If you reload with the support hand, IWB speedloader pouches probably aren’t going to solve any of your problems. But if you’re a rightie who reloads with his right  hand, this might be for you.

Nick doesn’t plan to turn this into a regular production item, but I bet you could talk him into making one if you’re interested. He might even be interested in refining the design a little bit if you have any good ideas…

24 thoughts on “IWB Speedloader Pouches”

  1. The whole concept of a speed reload
    seems a bit alien to me, ordinary Joe.
    If a confrontation occurred and a
    speed reload was needed, I figure
    I’ve already lost.

    Doesn’t mean I’m against carrying
    a reload but the Bianchi strip has
    always seemed about as practical
    as needed or possible.

    Maybe I’m just too old to keep
    thinking about a better reload
    mouse trap.

  2. What an innovative idea, Justin!

    Amen on the challenge of where to put one’s speedloaders. I think conventional speedloader holsters work great in only one scenario… a Sam Browne belt. Otherwise you just end up with this odd protuberance somewhere, one that’s disagreeable all out of proportion to its size.

    I keep a couple of ready-to-go speedloaders in the console of my truck, but it’s been a long time since I actually carried one.

    I have a Kydex mag carrier that attaches to the appendix-carry rig for my 1911… exactly like your round-gun version. What makes good sense in a semi-auto context is even more helpful for a revolver… for, as you so aptly observe, there’s a gap there that usually just goes wanting.

    I doubt those speedloaders of mine will suddenly start seeing much service, despite revolvers being my carry weapon of choice a good deal of the time. I take solace in the statistics that suggest that, as a civilian, my likelihood of executing a reload while under fire is right up there with flying pigs and unicorns.

    But for those who want to cover all the bases, I think you’re onto something. I hope you patented it!

    1. Ed and Jeff,
      As the great and inimitable Delmar O’Donnell once said, “I’m with you fellows!” Though it’s fashionable these days to scoff at statistics (or, more accurately some statistics but not others) I agree that it’s unlikely in the extreme to need a reload. However, as with most things I nuance that quite a bit, so bear with me.

      If I were carrying a 10-15 round slab-sided gun, I wouldn’t need more ammunition. Even in the extremely rare event of finding myself in a mass shooting, I don’t need to hit the shooter with more rounds than you need to hit anyone else with, and I’m not going to be laying suppressive fire, so one magazine of ammo is plenty. But, I run square into a paradox: the malfunctioning magazine. So I’ll still carry a spare magazine (really more important in the civilian context for it’s “spare parts” value than it’s “spare ammo” value) if carrying a semi-auto.

      However, I’m not carrying a semi-auto… For now (and for the next couple of weeks at least) I’m carrying a gun that only holds five rounds. And that gets perilously close to the oft-stated mean for these sorts of affairs: 3 rounds. It just doesn’t seem to leave a lot of wiggle room. If I had a six-round gun that math might look a little different to me.

      One other thing on that from a completely different context, and in support of your position: know your environment. In Iraq I started out with the S.O.P. 12 magazines on my kit, 1 in my carbine. That S.O.P. was designed around long range recce patrols (and we adapted it to urban vehicle operations because…well, it’s the way we’d always done it!), but I started to realize pretty quickly that it was ill-suited to the urban environment. You can’t run very fast with all that stuff, you can’t really get prone, it’s hard to go over a wall, it’s hard to get in and out of vehicles, it’s hard to get up in a turret if you’re down below, or out of the turret if you’re on the “up-gun”, etc. A month in I cut that number back by 1/3, and six weeks later I was running around with two on my belt, two on my plate rack, and one in the gun. I never got close to using all five, and always had more at the vehicle. Could something have happened where I needed all 13? Sure. Was it very likely? No, and it’s good not to lose sight of that, or the fact that there are trade-offs for carrying all this extra stuff.

      And while I’m at it, I also fully acknowledge that there’s about a 99.9999% chance I’ll never fire another shot at a human being. And if I am forced to make that decision (and I will be forced – I’m not in a hurry to legally alter the course of my life, or take that of another) the first two or three up in my 640 will almost certainly be completely adequate. But there’s just something about that puny number of rounds…there’s an article in the works on that, too! Standby!

      JC

      1. Amen, brother!

        I’ve never been comforted by the “average gunfight” numbers. The way I figure it, if I got involved in a shooting fight, then the numbers weren’t working in my favor that day, anyhow. I wouldn’t suddenly expect them to take a turn in my favor, at that point.

        If the “average gunfight” is solved in 3 rounds (or whatever figure you favor–take your pick from a variety of reports) then that means there had to be quite a few fights where that number exceeded the average to balance out all those low count fights. How many 6+ round fights were necessary to balance out all the single shot fights and pull the average down to 3?

        Even if I didn’t need more than the initial load to win the fight, I don’t think I’d be too thrilled about standing around with an empty (or nearly empty) gun in the aftermath. It would be awfully comforting to get my empty gun fully loaded again, and a speedloader can accomplish that with greater efficiency and reliability than a speed strip when my body is suffering from the effects of SNS arousal.

        I never carry a gun without a reload for it, so I think you’re really onto something with this search. I encourage you to keep it up! Next step, I think, is to find a way to merge the loader carrier and the holster into one unit, to eliminate the interference you’ve encountered. I’m thinking about the Galco “Walkabout” concept, executed with better materials and design. That should do the trick.

        FWIW, I carry my pistol AIWB, but my tourniquet and spare magazine are carried OWB. Those don’t print any more or less than my speedloader carrier does (Safariland CD-2, with a Dade or Safariland Comp loader) when it’s worn on the belt. Printing is not an issue unique to speedloader carriers, after all.

        Speedloader in a pocket? Yeah, it looks like a lump there, but it could easily be keys or something else. I don’t think most people would look twice at it. I don’t like speedloaders carried loose in a pocket because they rotate around and sometimes discharge, but I wouldn’t hesitate due to concerns about printing. It’s not very comfortable in most jeans, but in looser fitting pants (like Dockers) it’s not too bad. Still, it’s better to carry them on the belt, in a proper pouch.

  3. “…….. there’s an article in the works……”

    Oh, you teaser, this site is getting like a Saturday
    afternoon movie cliffhanger. Not a bad thing!

    Keep it going.

  4. I love this concept.

    The top picture actually looks like a rigid holster/pouch combo similar to the Edgeworks Incog. If someone would produce it, I would own one.

    I haven’t gotten comfortable with appendix carry for my autoloaders, but my j frame only ever lives in the appendix position on my body. I’ve tried pocket carry for both gun and (off side) comp I, and it’s just not ideal. I yearn for a single system that I could just doff and don as needed, that would allow me to get rid of all the half-useful holsters combos I currently make do with.

    Aside: enjoyed your assessment of what is “fashionable these days,” Justin.

  5. I too would love to see IWB speedloader holders be more available. The one from Jox looks like a really decent option. For me, falls a little short by not being tuckable. I know that un-tucked shirts are more common these days, but I always tuck in my shirt, so I need the speedloader holder to be tuckable just like my holster. I think the reason we don’t see any of those is that it is hard to do. I have played with options for tuckable speedloader holders or mounting one on my already-tuckable holster. I have not found a really viable solution.

    I’ve gone to just carrying a pair of speedloaders in my pocket. I use a holder I made, but it is basically a traditional double-loader case without a top flap. I made it out of a little thinner leather so that a rubber band around the middle holds against the rounds while leaving the loader body available to grab (I use Safariland Comp I’s). If I need to pocket carry for some reason, I also ankle carry, so the reloads just get replaced with the pocket gun and I view the ankle gun as the reload (or vice versa if I am sitting down).

  6. “Though it’s fashionable these days to scoff at statistics (or, more accurately some statistics but not others).”

    Ain’t that the truth. There’s no shortage of confirmation bias out there…

    “If the “average gunfight” is solved in 3 rounds (or whatever figure you favor–take your pick from a variety of reports) then that means there had to be quite a few fights where that number exceeded the average to balance out all those low count fights….”

    An excellent point. I think a lot of people, especially those of us who have deliberately chose a lower-capacity firearm, tend to cling to that “average” rather than acknowledge the reality of what coming up with an “average” means.

    “But there’s just something about that puny number of rounds…there’s an article in the works on that, too!”

    Looking forward to that one.

    Have any of you played around with the Wilderness Tactical speedloader carriers? I have two of them, in a 5-shot and 6-shot version, and there are a lot of things I like about them. Secure and adjustable, quick access, simple. The adjustability in particular is something I really like – when I’m switching between .38 and .357 in the same loader for example, I can adjust the depth of the pouch, so that I’m still able to grab the body of my speedloader (I use 5-Stars) rather than having the loader ride too low with .38s and having to grab the knob. They’re not perfect, but as has been observed, no speedloader carrier really is.

    1. Fellas, I just drop a speed loader in my front pants pocket and leave it at that. I train with them there and realize that it’s not perfect but it works reasonably well. The rounds don’t come loose nor do the loaders come out of my pocket.

      I can tolerate two K frame speedloaders in warm climate or one N frame loader in cooler climes when one can “hide” a can of ham easier. Best wishes to all.

  7. I am curious if the issue associated with having the loader and pouch pushing out away from the body could be solved, or at least mitigated by having the speedloader pouch extend below the belt to prevent that from happening. It is not unheard of to have holster makers add length to AIWB holsters for smaller guns like G43’s and Shields to accomplish the same thing. It would seem to make since that the same could be done with a speedloader pouch.

    I have used the JOX, and it definitely has that issue. I had to be careful about where I positioned it on the belt to minimize that issue. I reload with my support hand though, so I have a little more room to play with on the left side of my body.

    I had good luck with a double Split Six pouch too, but modified it to work specifically with my belt size. The modification also had the added benefit of doing what I mentioned above and having some of the pouch below the belt to counter any outward rotation. This pouch certainly concealed the best, and after some practice, I got pretty good at using it, even though it had flaps.

  8. Really appreciate this column. I’ve a use for a speed loader and am considering what to do about carrying it OWB on our forest property. Keep up the good work, guys!

  9. I live in a WARM climate area and my fear of IWB speedloaders next to my body would be that of moisture (AKA sweat).
    I already have on a loose fitting shirt to cover holster & gun, so I am not too sure that another “bump” is such a big deal.
    Gun (J frame or SP101) is typically AIWB, crossdraw, Comp I gets carried on strong side in Crossbreed “holster” which carries the speedloader horizontally, and my speed strip get carried in a speed “holster” from R Grizzle left side belt-line.
    Yes I too hope to get er done in 3 or less,,, but dammit man some days Murphy is camped in my back pocket.

  10. Interesting product and good review of the holder and the issues. I probably have 8 or 10 speed loader carriers in a box. Other than when on the range, they just don’t work for concealed carry.

    On related note, I carry two speed loaders, usually in a jacket (I live in Alaska at the edge of the ocean, a light jacket is kind of necessary). I practice reloading regularly and have since i was 12 when i got my first revolver. I am no Jerry Miculek, but I am pretty fast….and I use my non-dominant hand.

  11. Frequently, when I choose to carry revawvers, I’ll put on two, either a Ruger Security Six and a Speed Six, or the Ruger .44 GP100 and one of the Sixes, OWB at the 3-4 and 8-9 o’clock position–think ‘Two Gun Pete’. I use inexpensive clip-on cell phone pouches to carry two speed strips, one smaller one for the .38/.357, a little larger one for the .44–two strips per pouch. If I’m wearing a jacket or shoot-me-first vest, speed loaders can go into the right-hand pocket.
    At the local gun show some years back, I found a vendor with cheap nylon gear, and he had double speed loader pouches. I bought one to try, and was able to wear it strong-side, behind the right-hand holster, and hide the whole mess under a one-size-larger polo-type shirt. Unfortunately it got lost, and I haven’t been back to the gun show to try and replace it.
    I’d like to try a rig like the Jox, but outside the waistband. I just ain’t built to put round things inside, and can’t carry such things AIWB or AOWB—Momma cooks too good. Ace

    edit to add: If you decide to go with the cell phone pouch thing, be sure to get one with a stout clip that won’t come off the belt. Somebody out there ended up with my first pouch and a dozen rounds of Golden Saber .357 rounds before I learned to make better equipment choices. Ace again

    1. Ace,
      I use nylon Wallyworld multi tool pouches when I carry compact single stack mags… But you have me thinking that they might also work well for speed strips. They look innocuous on the belt and have the advantage of a belt loop rather than clip. Thanks for jump starting my thought process!

  12. The Sticky Holster “Mini Mag Pouch” also fits a 6-round Speed/Quick strip nicely. Attaches to a belt with a velcro loop so you don’t have to open your belt to slide it on, our you can simply wear it IWB, and with the sticky material, it doesn’t budge.

  13. I saw the picture at the head of the article and thought “finally! Somebody figured out how to make one unit that holds the revolver AND the speedloader!” And then, not.

    1. Ha! My speedloader for my 442 is another 442 followed by 2-3 Jetloaders in my pockets. I have gone back and forth between hi-cap autos and revolvers many many times over the years. I just favor the J-frame over everything else I have tried. But, the capacity issue has always been a concern. The solution for ME anyway is to just carry two J’s and a couple of loaders. I have been doing this now for about 20 years and haven’t looked back.

      1. Yup, same thing for me. I carry 7 round strips instead of loaders. They fit perfectly into the “cell phone” pockets of my shorts.
        Two J’s is 10 shots for sure!

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