Monday, July 25, 2011

Product Review – UpLULA™

I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Weeks from Brownells at the NRA Convention in Pittsburgh last spring. I was standing around, listening While Grownups Were Talking (and trying to learn something) when he looked at me and asked me how I loaded my magazines. My first thought was “Is this a trick question? Is this some sort of secret gunnie inside joke? Should the answer be ‘one round at a time’? ACK! What do I say??”

I believe my answer instead was “Um, slowly”.

I guess that was the right answer, because he said he had something to help with that, and to expect a package in a few weeks. Well, a few weeks passed, and what showed up from the Brown Truck of Happiness but a cardboard box with my name on it from Brownells. (And seriously – if the job they did packing that box is indicative of the care their shipping department takes, I’m seriously impressed. The packing tape was even folded with hospital corners.  Serious attention to detail, here.)

I opened the box to find something called an UpLULA™ . The small print said “Universal pistol mag. loader & unloader”. There was one sized for 9mm to .45ACP and the other was a BabyUpLULA for .22LR to .380ACP. Tonight the R. family put them to the test -- a middle-aged n00b mom, a dad with a broken hand, and a five-year-old girl. Hint: Dad had the hardest time as you really need two hands for these, but he managed handily (hardy-har-har) even with one hand in a splint.

You position the UpLULA™ over the feed lips of the magazine with the magazine resting on a table, or something, squeeze the two sides the UpLULA™ together, push down, slide in the round, and release the sides of the UpLULA™ so that the follower pushes it back up. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sweet Daughter loaded my XD mag (9mm double-stack) with 8 of the 16 rounds before she needed help, but those springs are still pretty tight. She then loaded 10 rounds of 8mm PA stage prop ammo into its magazine (it’s the only small caliber gun in the house), needing help only with directions: Squeeze, push down, load round, release.  Shorter Half had no problems other than manipulating the rounds with his gimpy hand.

And the unloading feature? None of the three of us had any problem other than keeping track of where the rounds ended up, because it unloads FAST.

They seem to run somewhere around $25 - $30, and I sure wish I’d had one when I first got my pistol. Just the thought of loading those new magazines and pinching my thumb was enough to keep me from the range. With an UpLULA™ it wouldn’t have been an issue.

The three of us would recommend these if any of the following apply:
  • New magazines with tight springs (far superior to the loader than came with my pistol)
  • You have weak, damaged, arthritic, and/or digit-deficient hands.
  • You like gadgets.
  • You must have everything that is tacti-cool. Hey, it’s black, plastic and steel.
  • You really like your manicure.
  • You have to load lots of magazines in a hurry because the Zombies are headed your way.
  • You’re 5 years old and really want to help defeat the Zombies but you’re not old enough to shoot unsupervised yet.
  • You don’t want a callous on your loading/unloading thumb.
  • You’re a n00b and need graphics to tell you which way the round goes in.
If thought of loading another party pack of ammo into magazine makes you twitch, you may want to spend that money on one of these instead.

*Obligatory FTC Disclaimer. Yes. Brownells sent these to me for free so I’d review them. There’s precious little I’m qualified to review as far and gun stuff goes, and these are one of those items. I like them. If I thought they sucked out loud, I’d say so. But they don’t. Go tell the BATFEIEIO to go buy a bunch.


  1. Bought one, love it. Works down to .380

    Beautiful with my .40.

  2. I agree. Got one a couple of weeks ago for my newly acquired double stack 17 round magazines. They make it much nicer! I was a single stack 1911 .45 person and had no problem with them, but these little 9MM things vexed me to no end!

    It was also the hit of my basic pistol and CCH classes last week!

  3. When you're loading 1000 rounds in a weekend for a shoot, you will be GLAD you have one... Trust me on that... :-) They also make em for 5.56 mags also!

  4. I love mine, gave them to my guys as stocking stuffers last year too. I have arthritis in my hands and not sure I could load many rounds without it.

  5. Sweet! I've been thinking about buying something along these lines. I'll give this a try. By the end of most big shoots, my meathooks are aching!

  6. Having just load some Sten Mags for the upcoming Northeast Shoot, I wish I had some like that, since my previous mag loader disappeared. But since I need to go to the Ammo Store today anyway....

  7. Brownell's rocks. If only I had a bottomless bank card to spend there, I would never stop!

    Reading this post, I remember I was going to leave you with a .32 ACP and .380 mag for your review of the UpLULA at the OC lunch. Sorry about that. Seems you made do though! Good stuff!

  8. I was hoping for a pic of you standing beside Larry.


  9. Doesn't your XD have a built-in "unloading" feature?

  10. Andy: You mean other than pulling the trigger?

  11. Nancy nice real world review, appreciate you sharing, I've been looking for a good mag loader.

  12. I picked one of those up for my better half when I bought her full size mags for her Glock 30. It was appreciated.

  13. I can now state that the Baby UpLULA made loading my P64 magazines (Polish service pistol; a 9x18mm Makarov caliber near-clone of a PPK) nearly effortless.

    In contrast, loading them by hand (while not terribly difficult) is not all fluffy bunnies and rainbows. One or two mags, no problem for me. . . but by the end of an extended range session, my thump would be pretty sore.

    Geodkyt (AKA Shorter Half)

  14. I've got one too-the M&P mags are bloody impossible to load by hand after the 3rd or 4th round.

  15. I've the larger LULAs for my AR and M1A magazines. Definitely two thumbs (see what I did there?)up for the whole product line.

  16. Yeah. What Scotty said. Love it on the 40 mags.

  17. Larry is a swell guy and fun - and SayUnc is funny! Larry was at all the Gunblogger Rendezvous except the last one and we missed him!