Five Best Magazine Loaders for Competitive Shooters in 2023

Ever get sore thumbs from reloading? If you shoot a lot, you’ve undoubtedly felt the pain from the constant thumb-on brass and magazine contact. Especially if you load XD mags. It’s annoying, and reloading, in general, can be a time suck. Magazine loaders can help alleviate your thumb pain.

Choosing the Top Five Magazine Loaders

Magazine loaders are especially handy for competition shooters. Today we are going to examine some of the best magazine loaders in 2023 for competition shooters. While anyone can benefit from a magazine loader, competition shooters are in a unique situation. They often have to load a lot of ammo, and as mentioned, that’s a great way to get sore thumb syndrome.

On top of that, there might only be a very short time period between runs to reload. Maybe you are getting an alibi run due to a broken shot timer. Maybe you’ve had a mag issue and are down a mag, so reloading your mags quickly is important.

ETS Cam loader
Mag loaders are very handy to have, for the pros and the amateurs.

We also had to consider the environment the competition shooters occupy. They need something that’s portable and easy to move between stages. Preferably something they can toss in a range bag and call it a day. Speed and portability are the two defining features we looked for when choosing our top five magazine loaders of 2023 for competitive shooters.

Supplementary features include the calibers and magazines they incorporate. We need some common magazine types and calibers. No one is shooting 9mm Makarov in competition these days. On top of that, we need one that’s easy to use and foolproof. With these features in find, here are our favorite magazine loaders.

Maglula Loader Lineup

The traditional Maglula Loader lineup uses a device that clamps over your magazine and uses a lever to press round after round into your gun. These have proven to be one of the most affordable, simplistic, and portable options on the market. Maglula makes these loaders for dang near any modern magazine and caliber configuration out there. For me personally, they were an absolute godsend when it came to reloading my Colt SMG magazines.

maglula magazine loader
Maglulas are small, easy to use, and effective.

They aren’t the absolute fastest option, but they are a lot faster than thumbing every round in. They preserve thumbs and are very easy to use. If you learn to use one Maglula, you’ve learned to use them all. In terms of size, they could drop into a front pocket if need be. They all feature lanyard loops that allow you to tie the loader to your range bag just so it’s always easy and quick to find.

Heads up, Maglula is one of those companies that’s constantly copied by less savory companies. Only purchase your Maglula devices from trusted and authorized dealers…like us.

ETS CAM Series

ETS is a magazine company, first and foremost, so their deep dive into magazine loaders is a comforting take. If you know how to make a magazine work, you know how to load one. The CAM systems come in rifle and handgun configurations. You’ll need to be caliber specific with the handgun models and have the 9mm and 40 S&W options, as well as a .45 ACP and .380 option. The rifle model allows you to use a ton of different calibers, including 5.56, 9mm, and 7.62×39.

ETS makes loading handgun mags extremly easy.

These are a two-piece system, and admittedly, if you lose one piece, the whole thing has to be tossed. The ETS CAM series allows you to pick rounds up and out of the box with one portion, and you can fit about ten on the part, then squeeze those rounds into the magazine with ease. It’s a genius design that makes reloading very quick. You can just swoop up the ammo and, boom, press it into the magazine.

They cost about as much as a Maglula, so they stick to the affordable side. The ETS CAM series is a bit bigger but still range bag or cargo-pocket friendly.

Caldwell AR Magazine Mag Charger

If you want something a little more robust but still compact and quick, the Caldwell AR Magazine Mag Charger is a great way to go. The idea is pretty simple. You have a 50-round plastic case that holds your .223 or 5.56 in nice neat rows. You load the ammo, pop the magazine in, and then ‘charge’ the magazine.

Caldwell mag charger
The Mag Charger makes loading 50 rounds fast and easy

Every charge loads five rounds, and you can load those fifty rounds in about 15 seconds. It’s super quick and easy to load various magazines, including drums and casket mags. It can load polymer mags or aluminum and beyond.

The design does restrict you to AR magazines and .223 and 5.56 as a caliber. That might feel restrictive, but I’m willing to bet it’s the most popular AR caliber in the competition world. The Caldwell Mag Charger is plenty compact and easily fits in your range bag. You can keep it pre-loaded for even faster reloads.

Maglula Range Benchloader

The Maglula Range Benchloader breaks the mold—in more ways than one. Of all the mag loaders on this list, this is the least compact and least portable option. As the name implies, it requires you to sit it on a bench. However, it can still squeeze into most range bags without much stress.

Maglula bench loader
If you don’t wanna take no crap when it comes to loading mags, the Maglula Bench Loader is for you. (Maglula)

The setup is simple. Place the loader on a table, and drop anywhere from one to thirty rounds into the device. Slide your magazine into place, grab the handle, and charge the device. In a flash, you’ve loaded 30 rounds into your magazine without much thought. It’s very simple, with only three real parts. It doesn’t require maintenance, and you’d have to try pretty hard to break it.

The Maglula Range Benchloader works with your most common AR magazines and even works with the HK casket mags. It’s simple but oh so quick.

Speed Beez Lever Loader

The Speed Beez Lever Loader is a magazine loading system aimed primarily at traditional pistol magazines. The devices are purpose-built for different magazines, and you’ll need to ensure you have the right Lever Loader for the right magazine. The magazines lock into the Lever Loader, and once locked in, a lever allows you to load the magazine in a flash.

Speed beez loader
The Speed Beez works like a pair of mag-loading scissors (Speed Beez)

If you can work with a pair of scissors, you can use the Lever Loader. Drop the round in, work the lever, and boom, you have a loaded magazine. Rinse and repeat. What’s great is that you can just stand around and load as you need to. No bench is needed, and it’s super easy to keep loading magazine after magazine.

The Speed Beez Lever Loader is pocket-sized and takes up no room in your range bag. It’s also fairly affordable at about the same price as a Maglula.

Staying Loaded

Magazine loaders are a must-have, and if you ever get into shooting high volume, you’ll truly appreciate one. They make life easier and make it a lot faster to go from empty to shooting again. While we aimed this list mostly at competition shooters, make no mistake, everyone deserves a magazine loader.

Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine Gunner and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. Now that his days of working a 240B like Charlie Parker on the sax are over he's a regular guy who likes to shoot, write, and find ways to combine the two. He holds an NRA certification as a Basic Pistol Instructor and is probably most likely the world's Okayest firearm instructor. He is a simplicisist when it comes to talking about himself in the 3rd person and a self-professed tactical hipster. Hit him up on Instagram, @travis.l.pike, with story ideas.

Sign Up for Newsletter

Let us know what topics you would be interested:
© 2024 GunMag Warehouse. All Rights Reserved.
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap