Butler Creek ASAP Magazine Loader, by Pat Cascio

We’re going to take a close look at the new double stack handgun magazine loader from Butler Creek www.butlercreek.com.

Getting Older and Feeling It

I don’t believe that any of us like to admit we’re getting older. No matter what you age might be, it’s a fact of life. Believe me when I tell you this, I never thought I’d live as long as I have. Very shortly, I’ll be turning 66 years of age. I lived a pretty wild, exciting, and dangerous life when I was younger and never thought I’d live beyond 35. That’s the truth. Had I known I would live this long, I sure would have taken better care of my body in many ways.

I spent more than 35 years active in the martial arts, either as a student or an instructor. I hold Black Belt rank in five different styles of martial arts with my highest rank being a 6th Dan. I’m not bragging, not in the least. It was a lot of work. And, even now, with all those Black Belts, I don’t consider myself an “expert”. I’m still just a serious student of the martial arts.

The martial arts have taken a toll on my body. My knees aren’t what they used to be. My hips, well, I just had the right hip replaced from wear and tear osteo-arthritis. From years of punching the heavy bag without any kind of hand protection, I have very serious osteo-arthritis in both hands and more so in the right hand. I’ve broken the right hand at least half a dozen times over the years, and it never healed properly. Several fingers on my right hand are now deformed, not growing straight any longer, and they’re painful.

Fast Loading Toughest Double-Stack Magazines

When I was teaching firearms classes, everyone would be amazed at how fast I could load the toughest double-stack handgun magazines. However, I’ve been doing it most of my adult life. It wasn’t any big deal as far as I was concerned. But in the past several years I’d had some problems loading those hi-capacity magazines because of the osteo-arthritis in the right hand and fingers. It’s sure slowed me down. And, I don’t mind admitting, on some handgun magazines, it is tough getting those last few rounds stuffed in there without a lot of effort.

The nice folks at Butler Creek sent me their new ASAP Magazine Loader. You can load double-stack handgun magazines from .380 ACP up to .45 ACP without changing any parts, and it is done with one motion, for the most part. I love simple! Simple products are easier to manufacture, and there are less things to go wrong to break them. It’s the simple things in life that endure, not the complicated ones. The most complicated thing I own seems to be my computer, and it is forever having problems. Some can repair themselves; others require a trip to the repair shop, and that’s $125 to start with…UGH! Give me simple!

ASAP Mag Loader’s Claim To Load Various Calibers

Of course I was dubious about the ASAP Mag Loader’s claim that it could load all those various calibers without having to change any parts. That just couldn’t be true, right? Wrong! The only caliber I wasn’t able to test was for a double-stack handgun magazine in .380 ACP and that’s only because I don’t have one. However, yep, I have 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP double-stack magazines that need loading all the time.

As I said, I no longer teach formal firearms classes, but I do take out family members and friends for some fun shooting. Most don’t have a lot of experience with firearms, and even those who do have a hard time loading double-stack magazines. My wife can’t load any of her double-stack magazines to capacity. She’s always handing them off to me to top-off the last few rounds. Women don’t normally have the same hand strength as we guys do, so I don’t mind helping my wife. However, if she were in a position on her own and had to reload some of her handgun magazines, she wouldn’t reach 12-rds or 15-rds in those magazines. They would end up being downloaded by a couple rounds.

How the ASAP Worked

Needless to say, I tested the ASAP before anyone else did to make sure it worked as advertised. And, boy does it ever. The instructions are on the box that mag loader comes in. There are a mere three steps. After you have inserted the magazines into the ASAP, you press down and hold. Secondly, you insert a loaded round. Third, you release, and the round is properly loaded into the magazine. Nope, I didn’t miss any steps. It is just that easy to use.

When you press down on the loader, once your double-stack magazine is inserted, it presses down on the magazine follower. At the same time, it moved a little lever out of the way, so you can introduce the loaded round into the magazine. Lastly, when you release pressure on the loader, a little lever presses the loaded round towards the back of the magazine. It’s all just that simple.

It does take a little bit of practice to get a rhythm going, but it’s not all that hard to do. In no time at all, you’ll be loading all your double-stack magazines extremely fast, and that last round or two that is always the hardest to get stuffed into the magazine, well, it takes a little more effort to press down to get those last few rounds into the magazine, but it is a lot easier to do than busting your thumb trying to stuff those last rounds into a mag.

The ASAP is made out of tough polymer material, like many handgun frames are manufactured from these days. And, as I stated before, it is a simply device, and simple works easier and doesn’t break as often as more complex machines do. And the ASAP is a “machine” of sorts, a manually-operated “machine”, but it’s still a machine, one that makes a range outing a lot more fun and a lot less work, too.

Magazine Loading Operation

So, let’s go over the magazine loading operation once more. After the magazine is inserted in the ASAP, you press down, then stuff a round into the magazine and release the pressure on the mag, and the round is pushed back into the magazine. Done!

I always try to make my articles no less than 1,200 words, and quite often I go over 2,000 words in an article. Some products require a lot of descriptive words. That’s not so with the Butler Creek ASAP. It’s fast, simple to operate, and it works as advertised. Full retail is $34.95, which is one great deal, if you ask me.


  1. As a bonus, Uplulas are made in Israel. So you can smile to the B.D.S (?) crowd as you buy one. Or “Buy American” providing Butler Creek is made here… Decisions, Decisions!! Couldn’t go too wrong either way!!

  2. I like Mr. Cascio have never had any issue, as of yet, with loading single stack of double stack magazines whether it be for pistol or rifle. This is in part to having strong hands and deadened nerve endings in my fingers in hours spent loading or reloading magazines. Plus I am not one to usually buy into, what I feel are over-priced but cheaply made gimmicky do-hickeys because more often than not they are just that gimmicky and cheaply made. But I have ran into a few devices that I was completely sold on. Both of the reloading devices I have grown very fond of were owned by friends and after trying them I had to pick one up for myself. One of those is the UpLula and the other is Ultimate Cliploader UCL22 Magazine Speedloader. The UpLula can be used on single stack and double pistol magazines with a few coordinated functions. It sounds that the ASAP from Pat’s description functions pretty much the same. Now the other speed loader makes shooting my Ruger Mark II much more enjoyable. In fact I shoot it more now that reloading magazines is such a slow process. It can be found on Amazon for about 20 bucks. It works for a multitude of .22 auto pistol magazines. Browning Buckmark, Ruger II, III, 22/45, Older and Newer Hi-Standards and the Colt Woodsman. Just dump fifty rounds into the hopper, give it shake, insert the magazine on the one end and tilt it up to get the rounds to fall right into the magazine. Voila, your reloaded and ready to go. The reason they just fall in is that as you insert the magazine an adjustable flat head screw catches the knob attached to the round follower and pushes it down until it bottoms out. Truly makes reloading simple and quick. Oh and they are made in the USA.

  3. 1) Somewhat off topic but what do you (Pat Cascio) think about the merits of the different martial arts? When I was young I trained a little bit in some Chinese systems but I never could figure out how to use them in a practical way. It now seems to me that western boxing has a lot to recommend it. Boxing and Brazilian JuJutsu have been adopted by the Army and Air Force.

    2) I seen rumors that the Chinese military have chosen western boxing as well, concluding that if you have limited time for training (e.g, a few months vs the 10 year plan)then western boxing provides a better return on investment than their native methods.
    3) A Chinese guy (Xu Xiaodong) who is into Mixed Martial Arts recently and loudly denounced the allegedly lethal Chinese masters — saying many of them were fake. When a Chinese master of Tai Chi accepted Xu’s challenge’s, Xu beat the TaiChi master like a rented mule, knocking him out in 10 seconds.
    4) However, the Chinese government has apparently lowered the boom on Xu. Xu evidently didn’t realize that (a) Even fake kung fu brings in a LOT of money from gullible western tourists visiting China for the “real” instruction and (b) The kung fu myth blankets the memory of how the US Marines and other western expedition units stacked up Chinese Kung Fu masters like firewood during the Boxer Rebellion. Followed up by small Japan then proceeding with the Rape of Nanking.

      1. Bolt action rifles/bayonets also. And if the historical tradition includes masters claiming their system will develop chi (body energy) so great that it will stop bullets then you have to wonder if their other claims are claptrap as well.

        But maybe I am wrong. Show me some tai chi MMA champions.

  4. Harold, no link, but I can tell you how I taught trainees to load multiple magazines in a short time, with out a lot of pain. Once the rounds .556, or .223 are in the stripper clips, either out of the can or put there by you, you marry the clip to an AR speed loader, and push the rounds in on a hard surface. Grasp the bottom of the magazine with both hands at the bottom while doing so. Push using both arms. My trainees on ammo detail at the range had to load as many as a thousand 20 round magazines for the company at the range. Your weight and arm and shoulder strength can easily overcome the resistance of the magazine spring, and the new improved followers make this a snap. Use your strength, weight, and smarts instead of arthritis to get er’ done. And if you still have problems, like I do, Fight the Pain! And when you push, use the narrow edge of like a table at the side to push rounds in. Aspirin and Blue Emu.

    1. I do believe that time for me, has now caused me to heed that great Cinematic Philosopher, Harry Callahan, “…a man has got to know his limitations…”! So, thanks to your article Pat, I’m grabbing two of these for use here at home.

  5. Bought the Butler Creek mag loader at Wal-Mart today for $27.97, it will be returned tomorrow so don’t waste your money. I have a Uplula mag loader and it will run circles around the b c loader. The Butler Creek loader would not push the last 3-4 bullets back into the mag when the loader comes back up. Just go out and buy the Uplula for about $10.00 more, you won’t regret it.

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