The XD comes with a magazine loader (among other things) that works quite well once you get the hang of it. I've noticed a common theme on one of the XD forums I frequent...."I just got my new XD and I can't figure out how to use the magazine loader. I don't see how it helps." Unfortunately, a commonly offered solution is to go drop $30 for another magazine loader that has moving parts in it (since the XD loader has no moving parts, it must not work?).
I'll admit that the first few times I used the XD magazine loader, I was less than impressed. It wasn't until I spent 4 days at Front Sight that I got serious about using it (when it became obvious that my finger tips weren't going to be happy with all the magazine reloads I was doing).
You can use the loader with either hand. I normally use it in my right hand but since I was taking photos, I opted to leave the camera in my steady hand and so this series of photos will be with the loader in my left hand.
Here is the method I've found that works well for me.....hopefully it will give you a better idea on how to use the magazine loader.
Start by positioning the empty magazine in your hand as shown above. The flat side of the magazine (with the numbered holes in it) is facing away from you.
Slip the XD's magazine loader over the top of the magazine as shown above. It is a loose fit.
Next, place your thumb into the notch on the bag side of the magazine loader. You may have to shift your grip a little bit until it feel comfortable. You need to be able to squeeze the magazine loader down onto the magazine with enough force to overcome the magazine's spring.
Squeeze the magazine loader down onto the magazine and slip a round of ammunition into the compressed opening as shown above. You won't be able to push the round and further into the magazine until you begin to release the magazine loader.
Slowly release the tension on the magazine loader (allowing it to move back up the magazine). As the loader moves upward, push the round further into the magazine. It doesn't take much effort to push the round into the magazine once the magazine loader has moved upwards far enough for the round to slip into position. Note that you are not trying to push the round down into the magazine but rather towards the rear of the magazine.
With the first round fully inserted into the magazine, compress the magazine loader down onto the magazine (which also then pushes down the round you just loaded) and position the next round into the opening. At this point, repeat the above steps until you have loaded the magazine. As you near the maximum capacity of your magazine, the spring tension will increase and getting the last one or two rounds in will be more difficult. As you become more familiar with the process, it will become easier (and the spring will soften up a bit as well).
That is it....pretty easy. Honestly, I can't see spending $30 for another magazine loader when the free one that came with your XD works as well as it does. Also, if you have a little room in one of your 5.11 pants pocket, you can easily carry it with you at the range or when out doing informal target practice.
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