Magazine or Clip?

Q: When at the range, I frequently hear other shooters referring to how many "clips" they have for a gun or how many rounds a "clip" holds. I've also heard the term "magazine" used for what I think are the same parts of guns? Is there a difference between a clip and a magazine? —Earl J.


A: The terms "clip" and "magazine" are incorrectly used interchangeably these days. Purists, myself included, consider a magazine as the ammunition reservoir for charging the gun's chamber, and the "clip" as the reservoir for charging the gun's magazine. Unfortunately, reality is not so black and white. For example, there are internal magazines such as on the Remington Model 700 or SKS and detachable magazines as on the M1A and most semi-automatic pistols. There are also internal magazines that are detachable, such as on the Browning A-Bolt.

There are "stripper clips," which hold cartridges that are stripped down into a detachable or integral magazine that are removed from the gun before firing such as with the Mauser '98. There are also charger clips that are placed along with their component cartridges into the magazine. The best-known examples are the M1 Garand and Italian Carcano. There are also "moon" and "half-moon" clips meant to allow the use of rimless semi-automatic pistol rounds in revolvers.


For most folks, who have only general knowledge of firearms, the terms will continue to be interchangeable. For others the difference between the terms "clip" and "magazine" is comparable to the difference between the terms "wheel" and "tire."--sem

More Training

Training

The Basics of Shooting: Stance

Handguns TV - June 21, 2017

James Tarr and Richard Nance discuss and demonstrate the basics of a good shooting stance.

Training

Handgun Malfunction - Getting Out Of A Jam

Richard Nance - January 11, 2018

Nance lays out best practices for clearing malfunctions in a semiautomatic ' skills that could...

Training

Handgun Fit

Handguns Online Staff - December 27, 2017

By Eve Flanigan Too many women approach shopping for a firearm the same way they shop for

See More Training

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×