Speedloader Swift reviewed and tested by Fire publications - Finland.
A re-loading device for a double-barrelled shotgun
Every once in a while you stumble upon things you never even knew existed. A good example of this is a speed loader for a double barrelled shotgun, which we will now test.
Speed loaders are very commonly used by almost all shooting enthusiasts (sports/hunting shooters). They’ve been used in revolvers and magazine fed shotguns and we are basically familiar with the term. The idea of speedloading a traditional folding stock shotgun wouldn’t normally include using any additional gear, but instead you take the cartridge from your belt/bag in one of the many techniques and load it into the barrel. But indeed, as we now see, one could use an actual speed loader to do that.
The idea for the Speedloader Swift™ was conceived in hunting situations, where birds were constantly flying around and some of the opportunities to shoot were left unused due to the slowness of the loading process. With the speed loader the first cartridges will be in the supporting hand, from where they can be easily moved to the barrels especially if you have auto ejectors. If needed, you can have a Speedloader Swift™ in each hand and the amount of shots available will quite quickly reach 6. Speedloader Swifts™ are also compatible with the cartridge belt making it possible to move cartridges from the belt into the gun in 2’s. The idea sounds very functional and suitable for the hectic situations in the pigeon, duck and pheasant hunting season.
Does it work in the real world?
The Speedloader Swifts™ are made with flexible plastic and at first glance they seem undersized. The space for the cartridge seems to be a fit for a 20 caliber, but it’s meant to stick very tightly around 12 caliber cartridges. The cartridges are placed into the loader simply by pressing in and as a result the clips/retainers give way and the base of the cartridge snaps into its place. When the loader is being used, the cartridges are pushed into the barrel and with a little twitch sideways the loader separates from them. Thus using the Speedloader Swift™ is very simple and can be done without much practice. There are a few specific advantages to the choice of material used. First of all it serves its purpose, meaning it holds on to the cartridges well, but lets them go easily when needed. Second, the material endures many repetitions meaning the life of the Speedloader Swifts™ should be long. Most likely the need for a new one won’t be until the old ones have been lost in the woods during a busy hunt. The third advantage is that the material is very lightweight, which cannot be emphasised enough when thinking about moving around while hunting. From a Finnish point of view the plastic is also a very “warm” material which won’t inhibit using the Speedloader Swifts™ in the cold. There is also the advantage in situations where the huntsman is forced to use gloves. Trying to get the loose cartridges into barrels with gloves on is not easy as we all know. But the handle of the Speedloader Swift™ allows a very good grip with gloves on.
Based on experience, I can say that the Speedloader Sift™ works the way it’s designed to work and has no fundamental flaws. The space for fingers is quite loose, so the hunters with more slender fingers found the grip slightly limp. But everyone with “normal” fingers didn’t find that to be a problem at all. Because we are in Finland, and as I mentioned the cold weather before, I decided to test the Speedloader Swift™ in the freezing cold. I placed two cartridges into the loader and threw it all into the freezer. After two hours of freezing its ability to return to its original size had weakened. The cartridges did still stay in the loader but not as well as before freezing. This change seemed to be permanent until I checked the next morning, and saw that the material had returned to its original shape. So after freezing it just takes a bit more time to return to normal.
Is there a need for it?
The Speedloader Swift™ is an outstanding invention, the only thing that might get in the way of its success is the conservatism of the hunting community, “we’ve never needed such things before, so why do we need them now?”. Another possible obstacle to its success are the local ways of hunting if the huntsmen consider two cartridges to be enough. I was going to bring up rabbit hunting as an example, as I have actually had to shoot at a rabbit four times in succession myself. Without the Speedloader Swift™ it’s ended up being quite a hasty, rash performance, with the Speedloader Swift™ it was almost serene. At the end of the day the potential to have the gun quickly ready for re - firing is beneficial in all forms of hunting. You never know how the hunting situation will proceed.
With the Speedloader Swift™ you can get new cartridges into the shotgun in no time, especially if the gun has ejectors. The cartridges are pushed into the barrels and the Speedloader Swift™ is turned forward to detach the cartridges. The cartridges will fall into the barrels under their own weight, the gun is closed and ready for firing.
Speedloader Swift™ material is resilient plastic which makes it lightweight and durable. The spacing for the cartridges has been calculated precisely to allow the cartridges to be squeezed tightly into the grips so there is no need to worry about them falling out. Similarly, the alignment of the cartridges in the loaders makes it simple to push into the barrels.