Understanding the Differences Between Gun Clips and Gun Magazines

gun clips and magazines

There is often confusion surrounding the difference between gun clips and gun magazines, and while they are related, it’s important to know that they are not the same. The terms are used often in firearm communities, so if you want to sound knowledgeable on the subject, you should review the difference.

In today’s firearm culture, the terms are used almost interchangeably, even though it’s technically incorrect. Let’s review the meanings of these terms and how they relate to firearms to avoid any confusion.

What Is a Gun Clip?

A clip stores ammunition in groups, making it easy to load a magazine. It stores rounds in units anywhere from eight to fifteen bullets, so they are ready to insert into a magazine or cylinder of a firearm. Most hold twelve, but you can also purchase extended clips that hold twenty or twenty-five.

It makes loading and reloading faster and often allows for more than one round to be loaded at once. While they are made of inexpensive materials and are disposable, you can reuse them, and many people often do.

There are several types of clips including stripper clips, en blocs, and moon or half-moon clips. A stripper clip, also called a charger or charger clip, strips the cartridges off of the clip and into the magazine. It is used to load a magazine but you don’t have to have one for your firearm to work.

In an en bloc clip, both the cartridges and the clip are inserted into a fixed magazine in the rifle. In this case, it is essential to the operation of the firearm that you use a clip. Otherwise, there is nothing to feed the ammunition into the magazine.

Moon and half-moon clips are cylindrical pieces of metal designed to fit into revolvers. Unlike other types of clips, the moon and half-moon clips stay in place during firing and are used to remove the empty cartridge cases.

What Is a Gun Magazine?

A gun magazine is an ammunition storage device that is either fixed or detachable. They feed ammunition into repeating firearms. They move cartridges into position where they are loaded into the chamber for firing. While it is inaccurate, some detachable magazines are often referred to as clips. It is so incredibly common that it can be confusing.

While a magazine can feed ammunition into the chamber without a clip, a clip cannot feed ammunition without first being inserted into a magazine. You don’t need a clip to load a magazine because you can load it easily by hand. In fact, clips are relatively uncommon because most modern firearms don’t use them.

When to Use a Clip

You can use a clip to load a fixed magazine, but honestly, if you’re using modern firearms, you don’t need one. Clips are used for faster loading and reloading, which means they’re used mostly for fixed magazines but can also be used to load detachable magazines in rapid fire situations.

When to Use a Magazine

Most modern firearms use detachable magazines. You can load these magazines by hand or use a clip. While not all guns use clips, all guns, with the exception of revolvers, have magazines. Unless you’re firing a revolver, you will use a magazine.

Even if a firearm doesn’t have a detachable magazine, it has a fixed (or internal) magazine that you can’t remove, in which case you would use a clip.

Hopefully, now you understand a little bit more about the difference between a clip and a magazine. A clip loads a magazine, while a magazine feeds the ammunition into the chamber for firing.

Many online gun stores like Grab a Gun sell both clips and magazines. They offer affordable prices and online layaway. Now that you’re an expert on the differences between magazines and clips, check out this gun store online for all of your firearm needs.

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