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Review of LULA 5.56-223 Strip & LULA 9mm-45 ACP Universal Pistol Magazine Loaders

LULA, where have you been all my life?

Like many shooters, I learned to shoot with bolt-action rifles and pump-action shot-guns, and it wasn’t until I was several years older that I was old enough to buy my first handgun, a battered by serviceable Argentine copy of the venerable 1911A1. The single-stack 7-shot magazines of the .45 were easy enough to load by hand, but as I got older and my desires turned to double-column 9mm and 40S&W pistols, I ran into increasingly powerful magazine springs and the curse-worthy aggravation of trying to fight the magazine in order to load it. It was like trying to feed a supermodel. I just accepted it as a bit of unpleasantness that I had to endure as a shooter.

Until last week.

It was then the fine folks at LuckyGunner.com sent me a couple magazine loaders... a Butler Creek StripLULA to feed my Ar-15 and a Butler Creek Universal Pistol LULA for my handguns. After testing them out, all I could think of was “Baby, where have you been all my life?"

I love my Bravo Company Machine Mid-16 Mod2. It is one of the finest examples of Eugene Stoner’s rifle built anywhere, and it always runs flawlessly, whether I’m running mil-spec 5.56 NATO, bulk-pack .223 Remington, or .22LR via my CMMG Stainless Steel Conversion Kit. The only problem is that it loves to eat hundreds of rounds a range session.

That used to be a problem, but won’t be any more.

The Butler Creek StripLULA is a very simple, very rugged design built out of what appears to be the same sort of polymer that make up the frames of many modern combat pistols. It has just two major parts, the cartridge guide that holds ten rounds (either individually-loaded or on stripper clips), and a sliding loading lever you press to charge the magazine.

In theory, it is just a simple matter of slipping the StripLULA’s guide end over the rear of the magazine until it is firmly in place, dropping in your ten rounds of ammo, and then flipping over the loading lever and pressing down, just like the video shows.

For a demonstration of this product, click play on the below video!

Of course, watching a practiced professional do something on video and doing it yourself are not the same thing. Except that in this instance, it was.

While I didn’t have the wide selection of exotic magazines that the guy in the video used, I did have the very common aluminum 30-round GI magazines, Magpul PMags (20 and 30-round), and batch of early-model Lancer L5 30-rounds mags.

I’ll be brutally honest; I had trouble with the follower on the GI mags going nose-down and not feeding right when using the StripLULA. Was it the fact I was using $9 magazines the government considers an expendable item? Probably. Because when I used the StripLULA with my PMags and L5s, it ate every round without so much as a burp or hiccup. Instead of taking minutes to charge my AR magazines, I was taking seconds, and encountering a lot less aggravation and strain on the way.

It it is a rugged, lightweight tool that will slip in a range bag or pocket where it is unnoticeable until you need it, and then it performs nearly flawlessly. How sold am I on the StripLULA? I’ll never load a AR-style magazine by hand again.

After using the compact StripLULA I was a little bit surprised by the size of the Butler Creek Universal Pistol LULA, but then, I wasn’t taking into account that it was a tool designed to feed a wide-range of 9mm-and-up pistol magazines, and had to envelop the magazine to work.

While the StripLULA loads ten-rounds at a time, the Universal Pistol LULA presses on stiff pistol magazine followers so that you can load individual rounds one-at-a-time without undue strain on your fingers and thumbs or the possibility of slicing yourself open on sharp magazine feed lips.

I also just happened to have the perfect test for the Universal Pistol LULA on hand, in the form of a pair of .40 S&W magazines that belong to a Smith & Wesson SD40 I had on hand. The two 14-round factory magazines had springs that very extremely robust, and even after running 200 rounds through one of them, I could never manually force more than eight rounds in the more broken-in of the two mags, and just five rounds in the other. It was a huge pain in the butt, and my poor, strained thumb. Would the Universal Pistol LULA do any better?

In a word, “yes.” I would load a round, squeeze the loading lever and push down to relieve pressure on the follower, and slip in the next round without a problem. Release the loading lever and slide it out so that the round seats, and repeat as needed. Within a matter of seconds, I was able to load 14 rounds into each magazine while exerting very little force or experiencing aggravation.

For a demonstration of this product, click play on the below video!

For shooters that plan on putting dozens or hundreds of rounds through their pistols in a range session or competition, the Universal Pistol LULA is a “no-brainer” purchase. It is simply a must-have if you intend to shoot enough to be proficient with your pistol.

It is also worth pointing out that the Universal Pistol LULA and StripLULA aren’t just vital to folks who practice and train a lot. These are valuable aids for shooters with reduced hand strength, and I don’t just mean wimps like myself. People with repetitive stress injuries to their hands, older shooters will also appreciate how much easier it is to load magazines when you have simple durable, purpose-designed tools that make the chore almost effortless.

Now, if only they could come out with a tool that completely cleans my firearms in seconds...

Writen by Bob Owens from Confederate Yankee and Bob's Gun Counter

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