There are many means of carrying spare ammunition for the snub nose revolver on the market toady; speed strips and speed loaders top the list, although carrying loose ammunition is also an option. Personally, I like my spare ammunition organized, which means one or both of the first two options.
SPEED LOADERS:Speed loaders are great for carrying spare revolver ammunition. Companies like HKS and Safariland manufacture speed loaders for virtually all revolvers on the market. In fact, a speed loader can be found to top off even your Uberti Smith & Wesson No.3 revolver. I have to bet that a lot of good guys and bad guys wish that they had one of these back in the old west.
Of the Speed Loaders, I prefer the Safariland over the HKS, although both are excellent. The HKS Speed Loader is quick to fill and all it takes is a quick twist of the knob to drop all of the rounds into empty revolver cylinders. The Safariland Speed Loader is more difficult to fill, but empties its load my simply pushing the Speed Loader into the cylinder. I find the Safariland Speed Loader quicker to engage over the HKS.
Both Safariland and HKS Speed Loaders have drawbacks, however. Both Speed Loaders require completely empty cylinders. When you only need to top off one or two chambers, a Speed Loader will not help you to do so. Speed Strips; however, allow you to load one or more chambers when you need to.
Note that this article is not about how to perform a tactical re-load; it is only meant to mention existing and common tactical re-load device and to introduce a new one that you might consider.
SPEED STRIPS:Speed Strips were developed specifically for loading individual chambers on a revolver. Speed Strips are flexible and quite a few loaded Speed Strips can be carried in a pocket. Speed Strips; however, suffer from quantity problems. Speed Strips traditionally only carry 5 or 6 rounds (seven rounds in some cases). I will normally carry a couple of Speed Strips to accompany two Speed Loaders
Although Moon Clips are available for loading revolvers that fire semi-automatic ammunition, they are not as common as Speed Loaders and Speed Strips. Moon Clips, like other speed loaders suffer from not being able to load one (or two) chambers at a time; the revolver cylinder must be complete void of expended shell casings for the Moon Clip and Speed Loader to work as they are intended.
THE TEN-ROUND SPEED STRIP:At this point, I would assume that you are carrying, or plan to carry, a 5-shot or 6-shot revolver. The most common revolver, the 5-shot snub nose .357 magnum, suffers from bullet capacity and you may find yourself carrying one, two, or even three Speed Loaders or Speed Strips as part of your carry load. Would you consider something different? Would you consider carrying one, two, or three 10-rounds speed strips? But, you say, there is none available. Well, I beg to differ because there is one. If you carry .38 special or .357 magnum spare rounds, you are in luck. A standard Ammunition Stripper Clip for the SKS rifle works just fine, thank you. The curved spine of the SKS Stripper Clip will hold 10-rounds of .38 special or .357 magnum ammunition at the ready. Spring tension holds the rounds in the clip securely and you have just doubled your normal spare ammunition carry capacity.
When using flexible Speed Strips, a round is inserted into an empty chamber and the strip is “peeled” away from the fresh round. When using the SKS Stripper Clip, a fresh round is inserted into an empty chamber and the SKS Stripper Clip is “stripped” from the round, which allows the fresh round to drop into the chamber. How cool is that?
As with flexible Speed Strips, the SKS Stripper Clip allows you to load two adjacent chambers at one time. Simply insert two rounds into the two adjacent chambers and then pull the SKS Stripper Clip away from the rounds, which allows them to fall into the chambers.
To load the clip, insert the first round while pressing the retain spring outward. Then, simply slide the round down into place and follow up with nine more in the same fashion. The retaining springs hold the end rounds in place just as they do with 7.62×39 ammunition for the SKS. You might encounter a little resistance when loading the rounds into the Stripper Clip, but you can rotate the rounds as they are inserted to move past the resistance. Note that this resistance will not interfere while actually using the Stripper Clip.
So, how do you carry an SKS Stripper Clip loaded with 10-rounds of .38 special or .357 magnum ammunition? I am glad that you asked that question.Like most other means of carrying ammunition, the clips can be carried in a pocket. While pouches are available for Speed Loaders and even Speed Strips, carrying 10-rounds in a SKS Stripper Clip poses a challenge. A pouch is ideal, but no pouches exist that hold SKS Stripper Clip except pouches intended for the SKS rifle, and we like to conceal our spare ammunition as much as our EDC. I found a solution that works for me, the Remora Double Pouch Magazine holder.
A Little while ago, I created the “FrankenMora” magazine pouch. I have carried a myriad of magazines in this pouch from single stack to double-stack inside the waistband with very little discomfort. The “FrankenMora pouch has also been placed in a cargo pants pocket and works splendidly. I thought that I might experiment and try it out for carrying spare ammunition for my Ruger SP101 revovler just to see if it would work. In short, it worked fantastic! Two 10-rounds SKS Stripper Clips loaded with .357 magnum ammunition slid easily into the pouch, which I carry in the appendix position. With bullets facing forward, I can grab the end of the Stripper Clip with no problem and it is in position to start the re-loading process.
If you are really concerned with carrying even more fodder for your snub nose, or even a full size .38 special or .357 magnum revolver, the ten-pouch SKS bandoleer/chest pack can hold twenty SKS Stripper Clips loaded with .38 special or .357 magnum ammunition. That is 200 rounds to keep the zombies at bay! But seriously, I am talking about carrying a little bit more than your standard load-out that is concealable and easy to carry and not carrying 200-rounds of ammunition under your shirt in a chest rig (although I could see some virtue in that at times).
SUMMARY:The carrying of a snub-nose revolver, or any revolver for that matter, has the drawback of ammunition capacity. The use of the SKS Stripper Clip to carry .38 special and .357 magnum is an excellent means to transport more ammunition than you can with a single Speed Loader or Speed Strip. With a single SKS Stripper Clip, you can carry two complete reloads for your 5-shot snub nose revolver in a single, compact source. Using the Remora double pouch magazine carrier, the carrying of twenty rounds of ammunition is possible and takes up a whole lot less of a footprint over speed loaders and replaces the four Speed Strips that you would normally use to carry that amount of ammunition.
Also, SKS Stripper Clips can be found in bulk and they are relatively inexpensive. Consider that 10 SKS Stripper Clips will hold 100-rounds of .38 special or .357 magnum ammunition. Twenty SKS Stripper Clips stocked with .357 magnum ammunition are incorporated into my “Possible” bag that is dedicated to the .357 magnum revolver.
SKS Stripper Clips: Amazon.com, Midway.com. cheaperthandirt.com, and other on-line outlets. Many brands exist so buyers need to take heed of customer reviews.
Remora Double Magazine Carrier: http://www.remoraholsterstore.com/Remora-Dual-Accessory-Holder-IWB-p/1mhlg-.htm