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Clip vs. Magazine

Clip vs. Magazine

There still seems to be some confusion over the nomenclature of “CLIP” vs. “MAGAZINE”, and current dictionaries don’t seem to help the matter much. Consulting: Merriam-Webster, 2002 online edition Clip (noun) 2: a device to hold cartridges for charging the magazines of some rifles; also: a magazine from which ammunition is fed into the chamber of a firearm.

I personally feel only the first part of the definition sentence is correct, and the 2nd part refers to “slang” usage. Correct nomenclature usage could save your keister. If you were out of ammo during a firefight while equipped with an M-16, and yelled “Toss me an ammo clip!” you might get exactly what you asked for; a 10-round clip of 5.56mm ammo from a buddy’s bandoleer without the magazine charging adapter, instead of what you *really* needed; an already loaded magazine! The extra time required to
load the magazine from the clip just might cost you and your fellow Marines dearly.

Older service rifles, such as the 03-A3 and M-1 Garand, have magazines that are a permanent part of the rifle’s receiver, and are loaded using a “clip”. The current M-16 service rifles are loaded using a detachable magazine, which may be loaded either by inserting a single cartridge at a time, or by using a “clip” and a magazine charging adapter.

Perhaps the following definitions would be more clearly understandable and useful when applied to service rifles:
“CLIPS” – hold cartridges together in a compact unit, and are used for rapid loading of magazines. “MAGAZINES” – hold cartridges together in a compact unit, are nearly fully enclosed, and have a spring-loaded cartridge follower that positions the cartridges for loading into the chamber of the rifle.

But I’ve only been shooting for around 40 years, so some of the real “Old Corps” readers might have some better definitions.

It’s only the rounds that hit the targets which count.
The rounds that hit the targets quickly save lives.

Great newsletters, keep ’em coming!

Semper Fi,

Steve “Wookie” Wilke, SGT, USMCIR (29MAR74-30MAR80) MOS 6657 (Airborne
Weapons System Specialist, F-4J/S)

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Jim Wilkerson/Yonadi Tali/Two Bears . - May 11, 2020

Roger that. Semper Fi

1st Lt Edward L Dodd, USMC (forever) - May 11, 2020

I went into the Corps in 1954 and was told a clip for the M-1 was disposable, but a magazine for the BAR, .45 cal M1911 were not disposable, and you better damn well come back with what you went out with, magazines, not ammo.

Dennis Ray Smith - May 11, 2020

When I went through boot camp we were taught that a clip had no moving parts and a magazine did. Very simple. This was in 1957.

F. Morales, Cpl. 1629xxx - May 11, 2020

Very true, let’s keep it simple!

Sgt MARKO - May 11, 2020

I got to Vietnam during the TET offensive and was sent up to Phubai. They issued me an M16 with a bandalero of clips, and “ONE” magazine. They told me everything was shipped up to Hue Then I was put in a 6X6 for a convoy through Hue to Quang Tri. The explanation that a magazine has a spring, and a clip does not, is correct.

Tony Woconish - May 11, 2020

Hi Steve, I to am a 6657 (Fire Control Technician) F-4J/S. 1976-1982. MCAS Beaufort, SC. With VMFA333 ☘️☘️☘️ I agree with your definition of “clip VS Magizene” SEMPER FI Brother ?? SSGT. Tony Woconish, USMC

Al Helmar - May 11, 2020

M1 Rifle has a clip with 8 rounds, which is loaded in a firing chamber. Never heard the term magazine. I have a M1 thumb to prove it.

Johnny Reyes Jr. USMC 58-63 - May 11, 2020

For me, keep it simple. Military weapons; clip=no spring, magazine=spring.

Erv Paulson - May 11, 2020

I had a similar problem when I was training rookies on the Police Dept.. Finally I held up a hair clip, and said CLIP IS FOR YOUR HAIR, magazine is for your your weapon.. someone said a magazine is something your read…I said whoever said that must have been in the NAVY..end of discussion.

Fred Romero (62-66) MATCU-65: Yuma, AZ - May 11, 2020

Clip vs magazine: I was well schooled in the proper terminology back in ’62 when I was issued an M-14 in bootcamp at MCRD San Diego, and an M-1 Garand at Camp Pendleton for ITR training. Depending on who I’m having a discussion with (and how many beers have been consumed!) I have been known to try and correct the terminology used, sometimes my knowledge goes over well and sometimes we need to place bets… and order another round.

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