Magazine vs Clip: Don’t Be A Noob –By Scott Mayer

Magazine or Clip? Don’t be a Noob.


We’ve all heard people on the range and in movies ask for another “clip” for their gun or say how many rounds their “clip” holds when they’re actually referring to a magazine. I’m not trying to nitpick semantics here, but if you went to the auto parts store to get a wheel, you wouldn’t want the clerk to bring out a tire.  There is a difference between a clip and a magazine, and knowing the difference will help your overall shooting satisfaction when the world of magazine/clip accessories is revealed to you.



The difference is simple: a clip feeds a magazine and a magazine feeds a gun. There are lots of examples to help you remember. The magazine on an SKS is charged with 10-round stripper clips. Unless you’re shooting something like a Mauser Broomhandle, your semi-auto pistol takes a detachable magazine that you charge by hand one cartridge at a time. On the M1 Garand, the fixed magazine is charged with an 8-round en-bloc clip that springs free after the last round. The AR-15 uses detachable magazines and you can charge those magazines one cartridge at a time, or you can also get a stripper clip guide and charge AR-15 magazines quickly using stripper clips.


Next time you’re on the range and someone asks about a “clip” and you know they mean magazine, help them out by politely explaining the difference.



Scott Mayer

Writer at John1911
Mayer began his outdoor industry career in 1993 on the NRA Technical Staff where he became American Rifleman magazine first Shooting Editor. Mayer left NRA and entered the business end of publishing in 2003 as Advertising Account Executive for Safari Club International SAFARI Magazine and Safari Times newspaper. In 2006, Mayer was named Publisher of Shooting Times magazine where he was also tasked with launching and leading Personal Defense TV, the first television show of its kind.

In 2008, Mayer returned to the editorial side of publishing, this time in the digital field, as Editorial Director for Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Handguns and Rifleshooter online magazines. After a brief stint in 2011 as the Digital Media Director for an ABC TV affiliate, Mayer returned to the outdoors industry and Safari Club International where he is currently Assistant Publisher and Multi-Media Communications Editor.
Scott Mayer

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