The use of a speed strip is an excellent way to expedite tactical revolver reloads, but they require some skill to properly use.
The SpeedStrip, Tuffstrip and other similar products are rubber strips that hold rounds by their rims. (SpeedStrip, like “Kleenex,” is a brand name that's come to be used to refer to any such devices. It's a registered trademark of Bianchi International.) Generically referred to as speed strips, these loaders hold the rounds in a row, so they're flat and convenient to carry.
Since speed strips are only used to insert two rounds simultaneously, they're much slower and more dependent on fine motor skills than speedloaders. To help compensate for their shortcomings, I have a specific way of configuring and using them.
First, carry only four rounds in your strips. Start at the tab end and load two rounds, leave one blank space, and load two more rounds leaving a leftover space at the other end. This setup provides a handling tab at each end and one in the middle.
No matter how you wind up grabbing the strip, you'll have a way to hang onto it and sufficient space to get your fingers in to manipulate the rounds as they go into the cylinder. This makes a big difference when peeling the strip off the rounds after inserting the cartridges into the chambers.
Retrieve the strip (I prefer carrying them in a back pocket or the watch pocket of a pair of jeans) and insert two rounds into adjacent chambers. Again, proprioception is your friend: bring the ammo toward the palm of the hand holding the cylinder, wiggle slightly to get the bullet noses started into the chambers and push the rounds in. Then ‘peel' the strip off the case heads, allowing them to drop the rest of the way into the cylinder.
If time permits, do the same with the other two rounds. I don't shift the strip in my hand; I simply use the heel of my palm to push them into the chambers and then peel off the strip.
Now drop the strip and close the cylinder. You're back in business.
Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt of Defensive Revolver Fundamentals, 2nd Edition.
More On Defensive Revolvers:
- .357 Magnum Revolver: Controllable Concealed Carry Options
- 9 Best Concealed Carry Revolvers For Personal Defense
- Fighting Revolver Project: Smith & Wesson Model 586
- Rolling With A .45 ACP Revolver
- .410 Revolvers: Are They Really Good For Nothin’?
- Best 9mm Revolver: 5 Options For Everyday Carry