clip vs. magazine

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 38 special, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. 38 special

    38 special New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    I have pistols and bolt action 22 rifle that use, what I've always called "clips." In the case of my model 581 Remington bolt action .22 I have a clip that holds about 5 shells. In my Ruger Mark II .22 semi-auto pistol the clip holds about 10 shells. I never heard anyone call them "magazines" just seems like too long a word. Everybody always used the word clip.
    Someone at work heard me refer to clip and they said "You mean magazine dont you? They argued that clip is NOT the right word. Seems stupid to me to call the little things magazines I kinda thought magazine was a military term for large capacity shell holders. Please let me know your opinions.
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I've always called them clips, also

  3. The basic definition is this...

    A clip holds ammunition for handling outside of the firearm and may or may not inserted into the gun.

    A magazine feeds the ammunition into the breech of the gun but may or may not be used to handle the ammunition outside of the firearm.

    Although the devise that slides into the handle of your Mark II is used to store ammunition outside the pistol, it is a "magazine" because it FEEDS the ammunition also.

    A clip is usually either a "stripper clip" used to handle ammo and then charge an integral magazine (think Mauser type bolt action rifles) or an "en-bloc clip" that is inserted into the magazine and holds the rounds together but does not feed them (think M-1 Garand).

    Have I confused the issue enough?
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I am pretty much with USMC. This is how I would explain...

    A clip is typically a thin steel frame that holds the rounds, and is discarded after the rounds are stripped into the weapon. Most common might be the five round clips used in most WW2 era bolt action rifles.

    A magazine is a box that is inserted into the weapon and once empty can be removed and replaced with a full one. Usually, but not always incorporating feed lips (Not the Tokerev).

    I dont like it when someone calls a magazine a clip.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2009
  5. SaddleSarge

    SaddleSarge New Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    I'll try and muddy the waters some more.....

    USMC is correct. The term "clip" became familiar due to the usage of the M1 Garand and became common slange, yet incorrect slang.

    A "clip" merely "clips" the rounds together, a magazine (like a magazine bunker) is self contained housing/storage of the ammo. (Tubular magazine on a winchester 30/30 or a detachable magazine such as below or for pistols where they are inserted into the weapon.

    Clip (M1 Garand-2rd):


    Magazine (AR):

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  6. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    Hey 38, don't feel like the Lone Ranger :)
    I have always been puzzled about the terms myself. Thanks for asking the question, and thanks, USMC, Tranter, and S-Sarge for those great explanations that not only answered the question, but explained the 'why', as well. (I shall 'clip' no more!)
  7. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    We all clearly know our subject, but its fun to make a pudding of it.

    So, yes the garand is the exception, where a clip goes into the weapon. The word clip for magazine seems most common among the untrained. Gamers, TV, movie watchers etc.

    Perhaps we could say a magazine has a spring when a clip dose not. But then some flat stripper clips have a flat spring, Hm?
  8. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2007
    SW PA
    I agree, but I don't like to see a guy put down when he says he needs a clip for his AR.

    I have a few older Marlin mags still the wrapper and they are called "clips" by Marlin. It's a use of the wrong terms that has been going on for a long time. Not a big deal to me anyway.:)
  9. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area

    Or say the Italian Carcaino ( not sure of the spelling) where the clip is also the magazine :confused::confused::confused::confused:
  10. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    Location location
    Exactly... We know what he means so there is no sense in being snotty about it.

    I call them magazines and in times past had guys say "you mean the clip?" I just smile and say "yep". :D

    Then of course there is the Stripper Clip that has been mentioned already. If you've never seen a Stripper Clip, it is a short movie of a... Well, I'll hush. :D

  11. 38 special

    38 special New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Wow Great information. I've been educated. Thanks All. This is a great forum.
  12. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    As I said, I dont much like it when someone calls a magazine a clip, but agree its not nice to go around correcting people. I myself inadvertently called the top edge of a cartridge case the rim last week. I should know better, but hey!

    So, is a revolver cylinder a clip or magazine? My monies on magazine.
  13. It's a chamber; neither clips nor magazines contain the round when it goes boom...
  14. Gosh, and here I thought a clip was what was used to hold papers together or women used to hold their hair back,, and a magazine was was something to read or look at the pictures. . . except Playboy and Page 3 of the Sun, of course, because I "never" look at the pictures there. :D;):p
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