How to Carry a Speed Loader IWB | Revolver Reloads

IWB Speedloader Pouch

I love revolvers, plain and simple. For a long time I trusted my life to just a J-Frame in either .38 Special or .22WMR depending on the time period and situation. While most people consider the civilian revolver reload to be a farce, I think it's important to carry spare ammunition when your capacity diminishes. From speed strips, to 2x2x2 pouches, the New York Reload, and more, we have a lot of options. Today we're focusing on the concealed carry of a speed loader, specifically worn inside the waistband.

The Setup

I can hear it now: "But Dan, basically nobody makes an IWB speed loader pouch!" No worries children, I'll show you the way. You are correct, there are very few, if any, options for carrying a speed loader IWB. Unfortunately, revolver gear is very behind the times, but we can make this work.

IWB Speedloader Pouch
A purpose made OWB pouch, the Speed Beez does a good job when worn IWB

First, we'll need something to carry our loader in. My go-to here is the Speed Beez Speed Loader Pouch. With these we'll have a wide variety of options to cover virtually every gun and caliber combination on the market. There are some differences in pouch shaping, so your mileage may vary, but I've had great success with these for several years. The Speed Beez pouch features adjustable retention, which will help us ensure our chosen loader is secure across a variety of loader choices.

Speed Loader Selection

Next we need a loader. Speed Beez seems like the obvious answer here, but in most cases I would actually suggest you avoid these for IWB use. While Speed Beez makes great products, I don't find it suitable for concealed carry forward of the hips. Their simple plunger method of pressing down on the handle to release rounds is an issue here.

On more than one occasion I've ejected rounds from my Speed Beez loader when bending over, or raising one leg especially high when climbing. This is a problem, as now our quick reload is a bunch of loose rounds. To make matters worse, their companion pouch is semi-open at the bottom. This can result in loose rounds tumbling down your pant leg into the view of onlookers. Not a great situation to be in. Those with larger tummies will likely experience this more often.

IWB Speedloader Pouch
The plunger style of release can lead to problems with Speed Beez loaders worn forward of the hips

This isn't to say that you should never use these loaders. They may be your only option depending on your gun or ammunition choices. Just be aware of their potential downsides and try to mitigate them if you go that direction.

Better Options

Instead, we'll look at more traditional loaders. Ideally we want something with a handle, as the Speed Beez pouch is a bit deep. Typically I use a Jetloader here, as the handle gives me a great gripping surface without being overly large. Slightly sanding the top edges helps reduce discomfort from rubbing on my skin. The Safariland Comp III is another decent choice, thought these are fairly large, which can impact concealment. The new production SL Variant loaders could also fill this role, though I haven't used mine enough to see if they're worthwhile.

IWB Speedloader Pouch
The Speed Beez pouch isn't ideal for smaller loaders like the Safariland Comp2 or HKS

Loaders like HKS, Pachmayr, and 5-Star are tempting, but caution is necessary here. These three all release by twisting their knob. Typically I advise shooters to not grab these by said knob to avoid inadvertently unlocking them and preemptively losing their rounds. While I have never seen this issue occur, it is a possibility. If going this route, be sure to thoroughly practice your technique.

Carrying your IWB Speedloader Pouch

Now that we have our pouch and speedloader selected, it's time to strap them on. This part is actually pretty simple. All you have to do it flip the Speed Beez pouch around backwards, so that the clip it facing outward, and the cup part of the pouch is against your tummy. Much like holster clips, the pouch's clip will attach to your waistband and be concealed by your shirt. Some thinner belts like the EDC Belt Co Foundation may have issues getting a solid purchase with the clip, so check your gear here.

IWB Speedloader Pouch
The Jetloader gives you plenty of access without being uncomfortable or printing

Position the pouch like you would a sidecar magazine, just a little above the sights of your revolver. Here, the loader sits in a void created by the holster, avoiding any additional bumps along your waistline. This also ensures it is easily accessible by both hands, for strong or weak hand reloads.

Alternative Methods of Carrying a Speed Loader

We won't deep dive here, but there's another pseudo option for speed loader carry. The DeSantis Second Six is based upon the old Safariland Split Six pouch. These place the loader atop your belt, straddling it between your cartridges. Not quite IWB, not quite OWB either. With these pouches your belt will run between rounds, which can cause problems with thicker belts. I recommend sticking with HKS or Safariland CompII loaders with Second Six for a mix of security and accessibility. Overall, this is a solid option, though not technically IWB. We'll look at these in detail later.

IWB Speedloader Pouch
Not quite IWB, not quite OWB, the DeSantis Second Six is an interesting option for carrying spare ammunition

Jox Loader Pouches briefly made an IWB pouch, but it appears as though they're no longer in business. There are some other discontinued options from other manufacturers, but we won't cover those here since they're not readily available.

Final Thoughts on How to Carry a Speed Loader IWB

I can't tell you how many times I've heard people say that a speed loader cannot be carried IWB. Clearly that is not the case, as this method has worked wonders for me. From conceal carry, to classes and competition, this configuration works. You'll want to do some experimentation to find your perfect setup, but this should provide a solid foundation. While it may be unlikely that you'll need a speed loader in the moment, topping off after a defensive gun use is always a smart idea.

Author's Note: I have a couple of IWB pouch designs in the works as of this writing. Stay tuned as I work to get these brought to light in the near future!

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About Daniel Reedy 399 Articles
Daniel holds instructor certifications from Rangemaster, Agile Training & Consulting, and the NRA. He has received training from Craig Douglas, Tom Givens, and Steve Fisher among others. He also has experience competing in USPSA, CAS, 3 Gun, and Steel Challenge. In his free time Daniel enjoys petting puppies and reading the Constitution. His work is also published by AmmoLand, Recoil Concealment, and Air Force Times. Daniel has also written and edited for The Kommando Blog.

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