As a long-time user of small frame revolvers as my deep concealment option I have worked with many different loading devices over the years. Since the very essence of the small revolver is deep concealment, I find I always come back to just carrying a speed strip along for the ride when I do carry the revolver. Speed loaders are bulky, and when I carry a snub to accommodate gym shorts, or formal dress, the speedloader simply does not work. Still, I occasionally try a new speedloader and I do keep them on hand.
Several months ago I bought a Speed Beez speedloader for my Ruger LCR. I have long been skeptical of this particular loader because many of the reviews I have read on them have been less than flattering. The primary issue that concerned me was the many reports of the loader loosing rounds even when carrying it. Well, I went for it anyway and ordered one.
Ok, at this point I have been using it for several months and here are my observations:
I think the complaints of these devices loosing rounds in the pocket, or just in handling, might be attributed to the larger models that hold 7-8 rounds, as possibly they are designed differently, because this 5 round model does not lose rounds in the pocket or while handling at all. I have been carrying it in the pocket quite often to see what it does, no issues.
It will, however, drop rounds if it falls and hits the ground. By comparison, the 5 Star twisty speedloader I have used in the past for the LCR rarely looses cartridges if dropped, and the Safariland Comp I that I used to use for my Ruger SP101 does not loose rounds if dropped either. This is a potential negative for the Speed Beez.
The other two potential negatives are the size, as it is a larger loader, and the cost, as it is about 40 bucks. By comparison, the ubiquitous HKS loader can be had for about 9 dollars, and the Safariland for about 12 dollars. Concerning size, though, it is not really any larger than equivalent spring loaded loaders like the Jet Loader, SL Variant, or Safariland Comp III, so I have a hard time considering that a negative, although size does matter for anything that backs up a deep concealment gun.
So, what are the positives? Simple, it is the fasted and most efficient reload available for the LCR, period. I like the 5 Star loaders, and find them superior to the HKS loaders, but the 5 Star is still a twist nob design and they are simply slower to use. The Speed Beez is actuated by simply pushing it into the cylinder, and it shoves the cartridges in with spring tension. This mechanism is much faster to use and much more predictable and positive in execution.
Bottom line: if the fact that this speedloader looses rounds if dropped to the ground is a problem for you, and that is a valid concern, this loader will disappoint. If you are turned off by the larger profile and higher price, that is also a con.
However, if these two negatives don’t bother you, and you want a speedloader that perfectly retains its load while in pocket and is the fastest and surest reload available for the LCR, this is your loader. For something smaller, use the 5 Star. If size is not an issue, this is the only game in town.