The Butler Creek Hot Lips Speed loader. This particular one has been mine for over 20 years, and has probably loaded more than 40,000 rounds of .22LR.
If you don’t have a Ruger 10/22, you don’t have a gun collection. If you don’t own a Butler Creek Hot Lips loader to go with your 10/22, you are excusably ignorant of this wonderful invention, or you really enjoy menial tasks instead of having fun.
There. ‘Nuff said. Review done.
I do suppose I could elaborate more.
In 1964, Ruger introduced the Ruger 10/22, and this has become the standard all other semiautomatic .22 rifles have been judged by. There are several other fine rimfires, but none match the 10/22 in ease of customization, or the availability of aftermarket stocks, barrels, magazines and accessories.
The detachable magazine of the 10/22 makes it handy and quick to load or unload around the house or farm when varmints need eliminated, or when entering or leaving your vehicle hunting in the field.
That said, the most common use of a .22 is economical plinking and target practice. When you finally get the time to plink and play, it is much nicer to spend your time peering down the sights or through the scope at a can or other target and squeezing the trigger, rather than spending your time thumbing rounds into a magazine.
Enter the best invention since the autoloading action: The Butler Creek 10/22 Speed loader. For an investment similar to the cost of two bricks of .22 ammo, you too could minimize the tedium of loading and maximize the fun of shooting.
I’ve had mine for about 20 years now, and it has probably had 40,000 rounds of .22 loaded through it. It is the first thing to go in my range bag, and the last thing I take out. Even if I am sighting in a big game rifle or blasting with a tactical rifle, I always bring along the 10/22 for some fun plinking…and a large part of that has to do with the rapid fashion in which I can reload 10/22 magazines with this loader.
Top, the Butler Creek Speed loader. Left, A Hot Lips Magazine, middle, a Banana, Right, A BX-25
The concept is simple. You dump 50 rounds in the hopper, shake it up to drop cartridges in the loading chute, then insert the magazine and clip it in. You then rotate the loading knob a half a turn 25 times and your 25 round magazine is loaded.
I’ve found that the loader works quickly and flawlessly with the Butler Creek hot lips magazines. It also works with the Ruger BX-25 and BX-10 magazines, although slower and only with a little bit of technique and finesse.
As you’ll see in the video, loading the HotLips magazines with the speedloader is about three times as fast as thumbing them in by hand. Loading the factory Ruger mags is about twice as fast. It’s also a lot easier on your thumbs and will encourage ‘one more round’ instead of packing up for the day.
There is only one drawback to the HotLips Speed loader. You will be guaranteed to shoot more ammo in a day at the range. However, if that’s a drawback to you, perhaps you’d be happier cleaning grout, washing windows, or scrubbing your truck tires with a toothbrush. If you have a 10/22 and don’t own this loader, buy one. You won’t regret it.
Mark Spreadborough writes from his family homestead in Kalama, Washington, where he lives with his wife, son, daughter, dog and cat. When not writing, shooting, hunting, fishing or working on his property, he goes to his day job as a HVAC repair mechanic.