If you’ve ever tried to cram rounds into a magazine with your thumbs, you’ve probably wished that there was a better way. During high round-count training, I’ve literally worn the skin off my thumbs from jamming rounds.
Well, there is a better way: a magazine loader.
And you don’t have to do a lot of shooting to make a magazine loader more than worth the money. It’s easily one of the best shooting gear investments you can make.
SPOILER—there are quite a few options out there. If you want to cut through the noise, get the Maglula UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader. It’s only for pistol magazines. But rifle magazines are easier to fill. And you’ll easily get your money’s worth out of the UpLULA.
If you’d like to scout the other options, or if you need a rifle magazine loader, read on. We’ll cover all the best magazine loaders out there.
Top Magazine Loader on the Market Today
The Best Magazine Loader Reviews - Filling Magazines Fast
Our best magazine loader is up first. All the rest will be reviewed in order of price.
The most affordable magazine loaders will be up first.
The most expensive whiz-bang magazine loaders are near the bottom.
Let’s pack some mags.
1. Maglula UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader - Overall Best Magazine Loader
The Maglula UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader might be the most popular magazine loader out there. And that’s because it’s an awesome magazine loader. There are very few loaders that make packing a pistol magazine any easier.
This loader is made of the same high density polymer that you’d find in the frame of a polymer gun. It’s tough. And it will last just as long as your pistol.
Also, the operation is dead simple. Just squeeze the loader, press it down, drop a round in, then release the loader. It’s not the fastest loader out there. But it’s super easy.
Additionally, the design offers the best blend of magazine filling efficiency and space efficiency. This loader doesn’t take up much space in your bag. And you can hang it on your kit with a small carabiner or a bit of cord.
Lastly, it comes in a handful of colors. So your magazine loader can match your gear. Or you can get the purple one to deter tough guys from stealing it.
In the end, this isn’t a speedloader. And it won’t handle rifle magazines. But it’s the easiest way to fill pistol magazines. It’s worth every penny.
2. Maglula LTD. AR-15/M16 Mag Loader - AR15 Magazine Loader
The Maglula LTD. AR-15/M16 Mag Loader makes filling AR-15 magazines faster and easier. And it not only saves wear and tear on your thumbs, it actually reduces wear on your magazines.
The operation is just as simple as Maglula’s other magazine loaders. Just put it on top of your magazine. Then put a round in, and flip the switch. Then put another round in and flip the switch baack. Repeat until your magazine is full.
And the filling action doesn’t just force the rounds down between the feeder pawls. It actually slides them under the feeder pawls to reduce wear on your magazines. So it’ll help your magazines last longer, too.
It’s constructed from high density polymer to ensure that it fills magazines for as long as you have a rifle to put full magazines into.
And it’s compact enough to stuff into any range bag, or even into a hard case. Or you can use the small keyring to secure it to the outside of your kit.
Unfortunately, it’ll only speed up your magazine filling a little bit. This Maglula loader is slightly faster because it’s easier. But you’re still loading one round at a time.
However, it’s still much easier, more comfortable, and more convenient than stuffing magazines with your thumbs. And it helps keep your magazines reliable for longer.
3. Elite Tactical Systems Group Universal Pistol Mag Loader - Fastest Magazine Loader
The Elite Tactical Systems Group Universal Pistol Mag Loader is the loader to get if you want a magazine speedloader that’s going to make it much faster to pack magazines.
This magazine loader is cleverly designed. It picks up 10 rounds at a time by the rims of the cases. Then you zip them into your magazines the same way you’d use an AR-15 speedloader. It’s much faster than thumbing rounds one by one.
And it works on most 9mm and .40 caliber pistol magazines. Unfortunately, it’s not quite perfect for every type of magazine. Some single stack magazines aren’t wide enough to work properly.
Also, this magazine loader needs to be oiled to work as easily as it’s intended. You can use it without oil. But it makes it a bit more challenging to slide the rounds in.
However, this ETS Group loader is built from rigid, high density polymer. It’s actually weather resistant. So you don’t need to worry about covering your magazine loader if you’re the sort who trains in any type of weather.
This loader isn’t as simple as some other loaders. But it makes up for the complexity with speed. It fills magazines fast.
4. Maglula LTD. Colt SMG Mag Loader - Colt SMG Magazine Loader
Colt SMG magazines are notoriously hard to fill. The Maglula LTD. Colt SMG Mag Loader makes it easy. If you use Colt SMG magazines, this loader might do more to save your thumbs than any other magazine loader.
It’s based on the same design that Maglula used for their AR-15 magazine loader. So it grasps the rounds and slides them under the feeder pawls rather than jamming them straight down into the magazine. This reduces wear on your Colt magazines, which is especially useful since the Colt SMG magazines can be pricey.
Also, the design is also equally easy and simple to use. Just put the loader on top of your magazine. And start cranking away at the lever to pump rounds into your mag.
Lastly, it’s the same reinforced polymer that you’d find on a polymer pistol or polymer AR-15 lower receiver. So this loader will last as long as your carbine does.
The only downside to this magazine loader is that it’s not super fast. It’s an easy loader. Not a speedloader.
But it will save a lot of wear and tear on your thumbs and your magazines. So it’s definitely worth the investment.
5. Maglula AK-47/Galil LULA Magazine Loader - AK-47 Magazine Loader
The Maglula AK-47/Galil LULA Magazine Loader is the modern version of the original Russian magazine loaders that were made of wood. It makes jamming rounds into your AK mags simple and easy.
It’s the same lever action design that Maglula uses on their other loaders. It’s simple, easy to use, and reduces wear on your magazine feeder pawls.
Also, I find it to be a bit more challenging to fill AK-47 magazines by hand than to fill AR-15 magazines. So I find this magazine loader to be especially helpful in saving my thumbs.
The only difference between this and the AR-15 model is that it clips onto the front, where the AK-47 magazine catch is (and it’s big enough to fit AK magazines).
Lastly, it’s built from reinforced polymer, which is remarkably durable. Some might say that nothing is as durable as an AK-47. But this loader will hold up for as long as you need it.
Overall, if you’re an AK-47 shooter, this will easily be one of your most used pieces of gear.
6. Maglula LTD. Ruger 10/22 Magazine Speedloader - .22 Magazine Loader
You know how fast magazines get empty when you’re shooting .22LR. It’s easy and fun to shoot fast. The Maglula LTD. Ruger 10/22 Magazine Speedloader takes the work out of refilling your .22 magazines.
This magazine loader is designed primarily for Ruger 10/22 magazines. But it will fit many other magazines that use a similar magazine style. And it fits extended 10/22 magazines.
Unlike many of the other Maglula magazine loaders, this magazine loader makes filling .22 magazines notably faster and easier. So it’s a bit of a speedloader.
However, it’s slightly more complex than some of the other magazine loader designs (it’s a two-piece design). So it’s faster. But not quite as simple.
It’s made of the same reinforced polymer that all the Maglula magazine loaders are made of. It will last just as long as your .22 rifle.
Ultimately, this is an excellent piece of gear for any .22 shooter. You’re going to shoot .22LR fast. So you should get a magazine loader to refill your magazines fast.
If you shoot at all, your magazine loader will quickly become a piece of gear that you use all the time. It might become your most-used piece of gear (other than your gun and magazines). The sooner you get a magazine loader, the more pain it’s going to save you.
Ready to pick one up? Get the Maglula UpLULA Pistol Magazine Loader. It’s simple and easy to use. And you won’t even notice it’s in your range bag until you need it. Then it’ll make a world of difference.
Now that you know, stop beating up your thumbs. Get a magazine loader and spend more time shooting and less time packing magazines.