But why load only four rounds in each strip? Because loading four rounds in a five (or six) round snub is disproportionally faster than loading five rounds. Generally when timed and when using a loading strip filled with four-rounds, most five shot snub shooters are not 20% faster loading (four rounds insertion time vs. five rounds insertion time) but 30% to 50% faster. (Amount of time save will vary with individual shooters.) This is because the first two rounds can be inserted into any of the five available charge holes. (Inserted two-at-a-time the first two rounds can be inserted in empty charge hole numbers 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, or 5-1) The next two rounds have two loading options as regards the three remaining charge holes (charge holes 3-4 or 4-5) Most of the lost time (four rounds being 30% to 50% faster to load than five rounds) is spent trying to isolate and orient the last available round with the last available charge hole. Well four rounds now have to be of more value than an additional fifth or sixth round in a few more seconds. On the range and in a fight don’t waste half-again more time trying to line up that last round with that last charge hole. Load four; it’s faster and get back in the fight now. Not enough time? – Load two rounds and get back in the fight. Still don’t have enough time? Load ONE ROUND and get back in the fight.
Before discussing this further it is important to note that a five-shot snub loaded with four rounds is not 80% loaded. It is 100% loaded, four times over. Too many shooters too easily dismiss the lesson that the single round makes the firearm 100% loaded. I would like to remind the shooters who consider a partially filled cylinder a partially loaded revolver that CHP Officer Pence was murderer in Newhall, CA many years ago while trying to fill the cylinder of his duty revolver rather than shoot down his killer with his partially filled but fully loaded revolver.
If the shooter has time and insists that the snub must be loaded full and if the situation will safely permit it then access the second loading strip and load the last charge hole. These are a few of the reasons I believe carrying two 4-round loading strips gives the shooter multiple loading options.