Clips Versus Magazines

Clips Versus Magazines

Clips versus magazines. Many people think these terms are interchangeable, and I’ve read several books where an author states the hero “dropped the clip in his gun”. As a writer, this type of mistake can cost us credibility. The reader, if he or she knows much about guns, may think the author didn’t do his/her research. Most gun aficionados will quickly correct the interchangeable use of clip and magazine. A magazine cannot be used in a clip fed firearm, nor can a clip be used in a magazine fed firearm.

The photo below is of a stripper clip or charger. Notice how the ammunition is open and not enclosed. Weapons  such as an SKS utilize stripper clips.

Cun Clip

photo credit: mr.smashy via photopin cc

The photo below is a clip.

 ClipBelow is an XD 1911 with the magazine out. Notice the differences between the magazine and either a stripper clip or a clip

XD 45 Tactical - Springfield Armory

Photo (c) M.Dyer 2013

Magazines are spring fed, and many are detachable. Most semi-automatic handguns and AR rifles use magazines.

When researching guns for your next novel, it’s important to use the correct terms. When in doubt, call a local gun store. Most will be very happy to steer you in the right direction.

For further information, you might want to visit these sites:

The Minute Man Review

The Gun Zone

The Firearm Blog







About mdyer

Marcy G. Dyer is a retired Registered Nurse and Amazon best-selling author.
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8 Responses to Clips Versus Magazines

  1. kenny says:

    Nice work Marcy, really only read O.A @F.B. but think I might checkout your passion for writiing (Kenny /Odessa

  2. carlenehavel says:

    Interesting. I must have an alternative mindset – thought this would be an article about (film) clips and (on-line) magazines!

  3. Barri Bryan says:

    This was very interesting. I enjoyed reading it.

  4. Good points. Some think accuracy is unimportant, but a reader will always catch errors.

  5. I only shoot single action guns (Colt revolvers and such) so hadn’t thought about clips vs. magazines, but you explained it very well. Yes, writers need to be accurate in their description–this article may help someone get it right!

  6. Derek says:

    I think accuracy is relevant when establishing a character’s familiarity of firearms. For example, it would still be appropriate for a character to use the word “clip” in the wrong context if your goal is portray him/her as a casual user or inexperienced, but not necessarily a firearms “expert.” Nonetheless, thank you for explaining the significant difference between the two word to your peers.

  7. mdyer says:

    You are so right. An inexperienced character could use the term incorrectly to help establish him/her as a novice. Thanks for making that point.

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