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Home on the Range June 7, 2018: Save your thumbs with this tool

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By MARJ LAW

Whether you just purchased your first handgun, or whether it’s your umpteenth one to go in your filled gun safe, there’s something special about opening that brand new case.
You cut the tape and open the box. Your gun may have a plastic or cardboard case, but it’s nested in foam and is, oh, so new!
First, of course, you read that manual that sits on top of the gun. Then you take what you learn from reading and field strip it. You use your solvents and clean out any packing goop. Then you grease as indicated in the manual. Not too much – too much collects dirt and shooting debris.
Put it back together and jack the slide a few times to make sure the grease is well spread.
Then, put it into a carrier and it’s off to the range.
Women come to the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office range usually on Wednesday mornings. They come other days too, but this is a special morning when women practice safe shooting skills and share what they know with friends and those new to shooting.
When the range is “hot” and nobody is down range putting up targets, we take our handguns in their pouches and put them on the shooting bench. The shooting bench is really like a counter-height table. We take the guns out of their carriers and begin to fill magazines.
Filling those magazines is a breeze. If you have a 9, 40 or 45 caliber handgun, you take the mag and hold it on the bench so the open top is facing up as you’re looking down.
One side of this opening is lower than the other. From the wide side, you press a round with its brass head sliding downward toward that narrower side with your thumb.
Piece o’ cake.
You might think your thumb is pressing fairly hard, but it’s not. Just wait until you have to put in a second, third and fourth bullet. And then fill up the rest of the magazine.
That first round going in is really easy compared to the rest. As you push the next rounds in, the magazine spring gets more and more compressed. Which means you have to press harder and harder with each subsequent round.
Pretty soon, your thumb is complaining big time. Especially if you are, well, sort of mature. Joints just don’t seem to get sturdier as we celebrate more birthdays.
This is a real problem.
If you’re at the range to become proficient with your new gun, you’ll probably want to shoot several magazine loads. How will you do that when the tip of your thumb is sore and the two joints are getting stiff and red?
This is where the UpLula or the Maglula comes in handy. It helps you load your magazine.
Oh, sure, you got a loader with your gun. But it’s not the same thing at all. I haven’t met many people who like or use those loaders.
But the UpLula, well this is something different altogether.
Put the base of the magazine on the shooting bench.
Slide the UpLula over the top of the magazine with the lock (pictured on the top of the UpLula) over the narrow portion of the mag’s opening.
Grab and squeeze the UpLula. Now, press down. The projection on the UpLula will push down on that mag’s spring.
Now you drop in a round over that projectile of the Lula, brass casing side first.

Open the hand holding the Lula, and the Lula springs open leaving the round in the mag. Presto! And the 2nd time you perform this, it’s still pretty easy. You could probably do this all day.
Easy loading means you’ll fill more magazines. More filled mags means more practice. More practice means you’ll shoot better and you’ll learn how to handle your new gun.
Save your thumbs.
Get a load of this handy dandy tool.

Marj Law is the former director of Keep Wakulla County Beautiful who has become an avid shooter in retirement.