Difference Between a Clip and a Magazine

One thing I find infuriating is when watching or reading so called anti-gun experts refer to anything that holds ammo as a clip. Do not call yourself an expert if you cannot get the terminology right. A clip and a magazine are two different things and in this post we will talk about them.

Let’s start with a clip. A clip is a device that is used to store multiple rounds of ammunition together as a unit, ready for insertion into the magazine or cylinder of a firearm. Once loaded onto a clip, you can simply push into a magazine or drop into a cylinder to load the weapon. Several different types of clips exist, most of which are made of inexpensive metal stampings that are designed to be disposable, though they are often re-used.

Stripper Clip

The picture above is a stripper clip. Ammo is loaded onto the clip and then pushed down onto a magazine for easy loading. This clip itself is never actually loaded into the magazine. It simply strips the ammo off into the magazine.

This is a en bloc clip.

enblock clip

A M1 Garand rifle is loaded with an en bloc clip holding eight rounds. The entire clip is loaded into the magazine and the bolt is closed. The clip then stays in place in the magazine until it is ejected with the last expended case.

A Magazine is a feeding device that holds the ammunition & has a spring to feed the ammunition into the firearm. These are typically loaded manually and the action of the weapon along with the spring in the magazine causes a new round of ammo to feed into the weapon.


Basically the magazine is the actual ammunition feeding device, a clip just holds cartridges together to facilitate loading into the magazine. A magazine can be fixed or detachable, and generally feeds cartridges into the action by use of a spring.

Now you know the difference between a clip and a magazine!

About Rachel

Rachel Akers writes about crafts, recipes, and features the adventures of a family of 4. It is always crazy but I wouldn't change it for the world! Comments or questions? Talk to me on Facebook or Twitter or sign up for our RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.