“Are the hogs shooting back?!” a bemused Brian McCombie once asked.
The answer illustrates the need for fast reliable magazine loaders. In my experience, the best of the best are easily affordable, incessantly reliable and it appears they will last long past the zombie apocalypse. Maglula of Israel has been delivering their magazine loaders and unloaders to America since 2001, with estimated sales in excess of a million units world wide. I’ve owned a number of their loaders/unloaders over the years and consider them essential to the gear bag.
In fairness to my good friend McCombie, he could only hear, not see, the action as I opened up on group of wild hogs in East Texas. Given the nature of tactical hog hunting, it’s a great opportunity to get close, practice follow up shots, engage multiple moving targets and enjoy the fun of multiple trigger pulls. It’s a different experience than sitting in blind and taking that one shot on Bambi for the year. At the time, that was a new idea to McCombie. Now he’s one of the most prolific and well regarded hog hunting writers in the world.
All that shooting had to be preceded by loading, of course. I’ve been at the Spike Box Ranch to hunt hogs with good sized gun industry groups, and there’s no end to the loading of mags. The truth is that unless you’re a single shot shooter, loading round on top of round is a fact of your shooting or hunting life. Maglula loaders take that exercise from being a necessary pain to fun. Fun at first, at least.
A couple of years before SHWAT™ was launched, I did some independent marketing work for Maglula. When I received my first M16/AR15 LULA (Loader and UnLoader Accessory) and StripLULA, my 7 year old son and I would sit in the floor and race to see who could load the most rounds the fastest. Loading mags went from a necessary evil to facilitate shooting and hunting to a grin producing father – son affair. Well, I’m over the initial infatuation, but the value these things bring to the table makes them a no-brainer to add to your gear bag.
Today, Maglula makes a lot of products and I’ve not gotten to try them all. My most used and favorite product is the LULA for AR15 and M16 rifle mags. The LULA is also available for the AK47 and Galil mags, along with numerous 7.62/.308 configurations. This was the first Maglula product, inspired by one of Founder Ran Tal’s sons while serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). I could write 500 words about how this works and you’d miss the simplicity and speed of using this both for loading and unloading mags. So, I’ve added a YouTube video from Maglula’s website. The M16/AR15 LULA runs about $27 online.
The UpLULA (Universal Pistol Loader Unloader Accessory) is another of my favorites. Pictured here along with my HK VP9 in its CrossBreed® holster, it has traveled many roads in my gear bag. Call me spoiled, call me a fan boy, but I dread loading pistol mags without my UpLULA. I’m not the only one. A US based pistol maker has documented loading more than a million rounds with a single UPLULA, issue free! You can find the UPLULA online for around $35.
The fact is that these things are incredibly simple on the one hand, and ingenious on the other. Maglula holds six US patents at the moment and continues to grow and create new products. Every product is created, tested and quality control supervised by the father – son team of Ran and Guy Tal in Rosh Ha’ayin, Israel.
You can find these in gun stores everywhere and online. You can find them, and you should. And then send me a “thank you” note. Better yet, post yours to Instagram and hash tag “maglula”. Adding Maglula to your gear bag is one of the best investments you’ll make. Just ask anyone who’s already done so.