We get a lot of questions and try to answer them all directly by email. Common questions and those that bring up significant points we also answer here.
Q: Why do you make both J-STRIP and SYM-STRIP for J-frame revolvers and which one is better?
A: J-STRIP was our very first product. We designed it specifically for 5-shot J-frame revolvers because other speedstrips on the market seemed to be made for 6-shot revolvers because they didn’t precisely line up in a J-frame. The J-STRIP has since become very popular.
SYM-STRIP was designed after receiving much customer feedback, especially from law enforcement, asking why we did not have a tab on both ends of J-STRIP. The single tab on J-STRIP identifies which end has the fifth cartridge, so we couldn’t include two tabs. So we designed SYM-STRIP to be completely symmetrical with tabs on both ends. When you grab a SYM-STRIP there is no concern for which end is which.
Which one is better depends on why and how you carry a speedstrip. If you carry speedstrips in a bag or loose pocket where the strip can can get turned around, or you prefer tabs on both ends, then SYM-STRIP is a better pick. And if you don’t need the tabs, they can be cut off making SYM-STRIP much shorter. If you carry speedstrips in a small pouch or small pocket where the strip won’t get turned the wrong way, then J-STRIP might be a better option since don’t have to flip the J-STRIP to load in a 2, 2, 1 order as you do with SYM-STRIP.
Q: Which grips will the J-CLIP work with? You are not very clear about this. Will the J-CLIP fit in the old Charter Arms pistol pictures on your site? You only show it with the J-STRIP.
A: Your first question is difficult to answer with a simple rule, a list of gun models or a grip measurement. First, there are so many different OEM grip types, and manufactures change their standard grips from time to time, so it’s hard to keep up. Second, it not necessarily the overall grip thickness that determines fit or not. It’s more the contour of the grip, especially how the grip slims down at the frame (or not).
For example, the S&W360, S&W642, S&W638 pictured on our website have overall grip thicknesses of 1.070″, 1.120″, 1.136″ respectively. But on all three of these pistols, the grip thickness is sculptured down to blend in nicely with the frame. The J-CLIP works great with all three of these pistols.
The Charter Arms pistol pictured on our website has a grip thickness of 1.156″. Not much more than the S&W638 Airweight, but the grip remains thick at the pistol frame, so the J-CLIP does not drop in as it does on thinner or sculpted grips. Can the J-CLIP load the Charter Arms Off Duty pictured on our site? Yes. You can force it without much effort; about 10-15lbs of force to clear the grip edge before it drops in.
Q: The rubber material is softer that the speed strips I have. I’m afraid the bullets might fall out.
A: The polyurethane rubber used to make our speed loaders is about 10% softer than the brands you might be familiar with. We tested a range of materials from 70 to 100 Shore-A and found that this more flexible material makes it much easier to populate the reloader, align the bullets and strip the reloader off the bullets. The mpre flexible material allows the cartridges to flex and conform when in a pocket yet align the rounds perfectly when reloading the revolver.
Q: Why do you advise not carrying wadcutter type ammunition or Federal HST +P Micro cartridges in the J-CLIP and J-CLIP-R?
A:Speedloaders that load all rounds at one time rely on the conical shaped tip of the bullet to align the speedloader and guide all the rounds into the cylinder chambers. Without this conical shape, it is substantially more difficult and time consuming to align the speedloader and reload the revolver. So, while we think that the Federal HST +P Micro is an excellent round for defensive carry in your revolver, we do not recommend carrying them or wadcutter ammunition in your J-CLIP or J-CLIP-R speedloader. However, both the J-STRIP and SYM-STRIP may be used to load wadcutters and the Federal HST +P Micro if you turn the strip 45 degrees to the cylinder face so that the edge of the two casings dip slightly into the chamber for positive alignment.
Q: Will the J-CLIP fit the Ruger LCR?
A: No. Ruger made the LCR cylinder smaller than J-frame size revolver cylinders. The J-CLIP, J-STRIP and SYM-STRIP will not align the rounds well in the LCR cylinder. You must use the J-CLIP-R for the 38SP/357 Ruger LCR
Q: Sometimes the J-STRIP pulls a round out of the cylinder when I pull the J-STRIP off the bullets. Frustrating.
A: When stripping the J-STRIP from the 1-2 rounds in the pistol cylinder, hold the body of the J-STRIP and peel it off, with your finger or thumb holding the J-STRIP (or J-CLIP) against the cylinder face. Don’t strip the reloaders off from the rounds by pulling on the tab. We considered leaving the tab off, but decided it was necessary to distinguish which end of the J-STRIP should be loaded into the cylinder first. The new K-PAK (coming early March) has no tab for this reason.
Q: Where did you get the blue snap caps that I see in your photos?
A: We bought them Baker Bullet (bakerbullet.com). You can also find them on eBay. They are weighted 38 Special dummy rounds. Our local gun shops only had lightweight plastic snap caps, which don’t work well in our speed loaders.
Q: How many times can I use the J-CLIP before it wears out?
A: Based on the design (interference/clearance fits, release angles, overall geometry), material type and hardness, all our speedloaders and strips should work well for more than 5,000 cycles. Our product engineer says 10,000 cycles. Test samples have been tested for more than 2,000 cycles with no noticeable change in performance. Unfortunately, polyurethane rubber will slowly dry out and become stiffer over two years or more. This is just the nature of polyurethane rubber.
Q: Why do K-CLIP, K-PAK, J-PAK, and J-CLIP-R cost more than your J-frame speedloaders?
A: The manufacturing cost of the K-frame size and LCR speedloaders is more than the J-frame size loaders. We tried to keep the price the same, but could not. The mold tooling cost and manufacturing time are each substantially more for K-CLIP, K-PAK, J-PAK, and J-CLIP-R than for our regular 5-shot J-frame products.
Q: You have added a picture of SYM-STRIP with the two end tabs cut off. How do you cut them off and does this make them slower or more difficult to use?
A: SYM-STRIP was originally designed without the two end-tabs to make them as short as possible. Since some people are accustomed to tabs, we added them with the intent that they could be easily removed by the customer. Removing the tabs does not make using SYM-STRIP slower or more difficult to use unless you normally use a tab to peel the strip off from downward the top (often called soda or pop top method). More people peel upward from the bottom (often call scalpel method) and the tabs are not necessary for them. The tabs can be cut off using a sharp razer blade or scissors to make the SYM-STRIP much shorter. I personally use a half-round leather punch to remove the tabs from the SYM-STRIP’s that I carry.
Q: Do you offer LEO discounts?
A: We do offer both LEO and agency discounts when purchased through their respective agency. Contact us for more details.