Nobody likes loading magazines. It's one of the most tedious, thumb-busting, boring parts about the shooting sports, and it ranks right up there with cleaning as one of the necessary yet unenjoyable elements of an otherwise exciting and dynamic day at the range. Luckily, Butler Creek, one of the brands under the Vista Outdoor umbrella, is stepping up to change all of that with its ASAP Universal Magazine Loader lineup.
Of course, there are a number of magazine-loading devices on the market, and many of them work pretty well. However, the Butler Creek loaders bring a few new elements to the table. For example, many magazine loaders relieve the spring pressure, allowing shooters to drop a round into the magazine. However, these products don't have any control on how effectively the rounds are seated in the magazine body, which can lead to binding issues.
The Butler Creek ASAP Universal Double-Stack pistol-magazine loader incorporated a unique feature that removed that issue from consideration. in addition to a top-mounted tang that pushes the follower and bullet stack down into the magazine body, a swinging arm nudges each loaded round to the back of the magazine, ensuring that users don't get jammed up loading the next round.
The pistol-magazine loader is designed to work with most magazines on the market that hold .380 ACP to .45 ACP pistol rounds. In our testing, we found that the magazine loader works pretty well, experiencing some difficulty with the last couple rounds in a new magazine, which is to be expected.
Butler Creek also introduced several rifle-caliber magazine loaders designed for AR-15 and AK-style rifles. The ASAP AR15/M16 Mag Loader features a long loading arm that grabs the cartridge rims of 5.56-size cases and allows stacks of 10 rounds to be pushed into a magazine at a time. While we experienced occasional binding during testing, using the loading arm was a definite improvement over single-loading rounds. However, users can load one round at a time with the loader as well.
The company's ASAP Universal AK47/Galil Mag Loader doesn't feature the loading arm of the AR15 loader, but it makes single-loading rounds much easier on thumbs.
The suggested retail price on the Butler Creek ASAP Universal Pistol Loader is $34.95, while the company's rifle-magazine loaders retail at a suggested price of $29.95.