How to Load a Stanley “Sharpshooter” Staple Gun

It’s funny how the little things can really trip you up.  I’d like to think I’m a pretty smart guy but I got a Stanley TR250 “Sharpshooter” staple gun today and I must have spent 10 minutes figuring out how to load the damn staples in it.  Unlike most staple guns I have used before, the staples don’t ride in on the sliding rail but are dropped right into the slot on the bottom of the stapler (while the slide rail is out.)  Of course the instruction sheet says nothing on loading the stupid thing.  (Thanks Stanley…)  So if you have any of the Sharpshooter staple guns, there you go.  Maybe I’ll save someone a few minutes of aggravation.

83 Responses to “How to Load a Stanley “Sharpshooter” Staple Gun”

  1. 1 Bill386 Jan 26th, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I gave up on the brads a long time ago. That is until I saw the picture that someone posted of the brads being loaded as a stick. I’ve been trying to load the #$%@*& thinks in one at a time and the only way to drive a single brad in is to use the gun as a HAMMER!!

  2. 2 Darling Flowers Feb 11th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Wow! My wife and I have been working with this Stanley staplegun for 25 minutes with no luck. Thank you Thank you, we have been florists for combined 34 years using staple guns all the time and also like to think we have a bit of intelligence, but frankly, this one had us stumped! Saving this site in my Favs, thanks!!

  3. 3 sandy May 3rd, 2013 at 9:39 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! This has been a huge help to me.. Your post has lasted a few years and helped many people. I worked on the staple thing for over an hour and thought I must bave drank too much as a kid and my brain cells were fried. Such a silly thing to get so frustrated over! Thanks again. 🙂

  4. 4 Emily May 12th, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Still a valuable hint… Three years later! THANK YOU!!!

  5. 5 Eric May 18th, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    This article saved my life (and my sanity)!

    I was having an existential breakdown struggling with my new Stanley TRE550, and thanks to this article I came out of the battle wounded but VICTORIOUS!!!

  6. 6 Sally Jul 8th, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    There’s nothing else I can say, except every good thing said above about you is true. I’m not a tool dummy by any means, but this thing had me doubting I have a brain at all. THANK YOU! I have to agree, you should send Stanley a bill!

  7. 7 Ted Jul 21st, 2013 at 10:59 am

    You made me look like a genius to my wife!!!! 😉

  8. 8 Linda Aug 2nd, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you soooooooooo much! You saved me so much frustration. I was trying to load it on the slide rail as well.

  9. 9 Barry Nelson Aug 22nd, 2013 at 6:41 am

    I have a Stanley TR250 and there seems to be a staple jammed in the carriage. I have tried to find ways of removing it but with no success. On reading the comments on your site it appears that there is a method however I cannot find it anywhere. Could you please help me.
    Many thanks,
    Barry Nelson

  10. 10 Danielle and employee Aug 29th, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I just want to let you know that an employee of mine and I have been trying to figure out how to put brad nails in this stapler for the past 15 minutes until I decided to look it up. Thanks to your instructions, you saved us. I can’t explain how frigging stupid I felt while trying to figure it out and even contemplated firing my employee ( we work in the construction field) so thank you very very much for relieving my frustration. I will be writing to Stanley about this. – Danielle from Maine

  11. 11 Grumpy Geek Sep 13th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Barry, unfortunately I don’t have a suggestion.

  12. 12 Karen Sep 17th, 2013 at 9:02 am

    A HUGE thank you.

    I thought I was going mad!

  13. 13 Julie W. Dec 19th, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Thank you so much. My husband and I are both very smart people, and neither of us could figure it out. I have been using staple guns for at least 20 years, but never used a Stanley, always had Arrow guns. A couple of lines in the instructions, or a little picture, would save a load of trouble.

    I am so glad I went to google instead of my first impulse, which was to call Stanley and yell at somebody. Thanks again.

  14. 14 Lovaine Jan 14th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Praise the Lord for google and thegrumpygeek! We just about gave up then I googled!

  15. 15 lea Jan 22nd, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    thanks so much – i never would have figured that out.

  16. 16 Zach Apr 13th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Thanx brother. I found that to be an annoying few minutes myself.

  17. 17 Stan Mann Apr 18th, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Thanks for taking up slack for Stanley: “[T]he staples don’t ride in on the sliding rail but are dropped right into the slot on the bottom of the the stapler.” … Presto! Picked a used one, and after several attempts to load the staples, I figured the product was defective.

  18. 18 Kathleen Hancock Apr 18th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks, Grumpy Geek.. I was feeling pretty grumpy myself until I found your download. Viola! Staples are loaded and working.

  19. 19 David Henry Apr 20th, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    thank you so much, grumpy geek! i’ve had a stanley sharpshooter for over five years and never could figure out how to load it. about once a year i’d take it out and try to load it only to end up feeling stupid and frustrated. this year i googled for a manual and saw your post on how to load the thing. five minutes later—four of which were spent finding staples, it’s loaded and working great. THANKS!

  20. 20 Kim Jun 14th, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    THANK GOD FOR GOOGLE! And thank you for telling me how to load this stupid gun! My husband and I just spent over an hour trying to load this thing, which included going to the store to buy different staples and they still wouldn’t load. After reading your instructions it was loaded immediately! Kim

  21. 21 Kelly Jul 19th, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Brilliant, thank you! I was about to toss the gun through the window.

  22. 22 Ken Bateman Nov 29th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    A quick question. While on the package of the Stanley TR250 it claims to be able to shoot 5/8″ brad nails. However, on the one page manual it has a chart, “Brad Length Guidelines,” which shows 2 sizes. 5/8″-SWKBN625 and 1/2″-SWKBN050. Will the TR250 shoot 1/2″ or is this just something which should not be on the page of a stapler which can only shoot 5/8″ brad nails. Thank you.

  23. 23 Kate Dec 3rd, 2014 at 3:12 am

    This post is the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you. I was about to beat the staple gun to death trying to get it to load the damned things.

  24. 24 Grumpy Geek Dec 6th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I don’t actually use it for brads so I don’t know. I would guess with the 1/2 being shorter than 5/8 it wouldn’t be an issue.

  25. 25 RockingNE Jan 3rd, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    I did not discover this post in time, it would have saved me much frustration. I did bungle my way through figuring out how to load staples. I later discovered the online manual at Stanley website. It would not have helped. So now with staples loaded I only get about a 25% success rate on staples “firing”. I squeeze the handle four times and get one staple. I have tried two different brands of staples, one of them Stanley brand. Maybe lubrication would help but then it stains the item I am stapling on, I presume, I have not tried. Not subject of this post but helped me relieve stress!

  26. 26 Carlos Jan 4th, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Ok so I don’t know if my gun is missing something or not but I pull out the sliding rail. Turn stapler upside down. Drop the staples in with the points pointing up at me. Push the rail in and lock it and it makes the sound like a staple should come out but it doesn’t. Also the staples are loose inside. I can hear them sliding back on the rail. Am I missing something on the stapler it self or am I over looking something?

  27. 27 Sam Jul 13th, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    THANK YOU. Even being a mechanical engineer with Masters degree was not enough to figure this out in ten mins. Thanks to Google and this site, it was a snap!

  28. 28 Bill Geiger Nov 1st, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    So far this thing gets a one out of 5 star rating. 2 issues I simply cannot find ANY instructions on are: 1) Where in the heck is this “hi-lo power lever”. I can find it nowhere. 2) The “+/-” dial on tip turns endlessly, and does not appear to make any difference. What is the trick to make it effective? Thanks!

  29. 29 Two of us Jan 25th, 2016 at 12:46 am

    Add another two to the list of people that couldn’t figure it out until reading this post. Thanks.

  30. 30 Keith Apr 24th, 2016 at 5:41 am

    MY STAPLES DO NOT FIT INTO MY GD STANLEY MODEL # TR150! I have been trying for an hour to figure it out, I have three bloody fingers, I look at the video where “the staples just fall into place!” WELL, NOT MINE! They don’t FIT! They are standard 1/4″ staples, which the stapler itself lists as appropriate. In fact, I’VE LOADED IT BEFORE, months ago, I forget what I did, but TODAY I had about ten staples in there, used them up, got a box of staples to reload AND THEY DON’T FIT! They do not “just drop” in the craves because they don’t FIT in the crevice. Best I can accomplish is sideways staples, meaning the mechanism doesn’t close and I am ready to DRIVE OVER THE EVIL LITTLE DEMON WITH MY TRUCK! WHAT can I POSSIBLY be doing WRONG?


  31. 31 Annie Sep 6th, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Now your valuable post has saved yet another Stanley staple gun owner. 6.5 years and your simple answer’s still saving people from going mad! Thanks so much. I’m blonde; but now I’m a blonde armed with a loaded staple gun! Look out world.

  32. 32 Cynda Oct 16th, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for your help. This was the first time either my 10 year old grandson or I had tried to load a staple gun but hey, how hard can it be? The hardware store man had spent some time with us ensuring we got the right ones so we just had to figure out how to get them in. I tried, unsuccessfully, on my own so we went to the Internet. I quickly found thegrumpygeek.com and the answer to our question. Now the project, and our day, can happily continue. I also will make TGG an Internet favorite. Thanks, and I hope this cheers you up!

  33. 33 Mark Jan 27th, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks, got mine out after a few years and plumb forgot how to load it.

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Random opinions of a slightly jaded geek in Cincinnati, OH, US.

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