The ammunition clip is a storage device that stores individual rounds of ammo together on one device and goes directly into the magazine.

It’s designed to make reloading easier and the rate of fire faster. It improves efficiency, and it was made to load multiple rounds instead of one at a time.

If the rifle has an internal magazine, like on the SKS Carbine, or the M1 Garand we mentioned earlier, the clip loads ammo directly into the rifle. Usually, the clip is made of steel stamping.

Today, clips are uncommon for most modern firearms.

The most common types of clips are en bloc clips and stripper clips, made for internal magazines.

There are some stripper clips for removable (detachable) magazines and modern alternatives like the StripLULA for AR magazines. Here’s an example:

Stripper Clips

Stripper clips, also called charger clips can hold a row of cartridges on a strip of metal. The magazine can be detached or is built into the firearm — it works either way.

It’s most likely the most popular type of clip and is used for internal box magazines.

You position the stripper clip on top of the box magazine and push the rounds inside the mag in a swift motion. The rifles are usually bolt-action rifles or are semi-automatic.

There’s an interesting piece of firearms called the Mauser C96, or the “Broomhandle.” It’s a semi-automatic WWI pistol, it has a top-loading box magazine, and it functioned with a stripper clip.

En Bloc Clips

We’ll use the M1 Garand rifle as an example for the last time. Promise.

En bloc clips are basically a cross between a clip and a magazine.

You can load ammo into the M1 Garand with en bloc clips from the top or the bottom of the internal magazine. The clip has an important part in the functionality of the firearm — if the en bloc clip is not loaded, the weapon won’t budge.

Stripper clips are removed after loading the ammo, but not the en bloc clips. You fully insert the en bloc clips into the magazine, stripping them of the ammunition, as they are loaded into the firearm.

When an M1 Garand fires its last round, you hear a sharp, hotel-lobby bell ring. That’s the en bloc clip.

The internal mag pushes rounds through the clip and into the chamber, and the en bloc clip is ejected from the firearm after firing the final cartridge.

That’s the main difference.

Full Moon/

Half Moon Clips

Let’s talk about revolver cylinders.

They are not exactly magazines, but these concealed carry blasters use clips in a different fashion than rifles.

The technical term for the ammunition-storage of a revolver is called a wheel. You can say that it’s the revolver’s magazine.

The revolver’s wheel defies our definition that detachable magazines use springs to force rounds into the chamber. That’s why the revolver’s wheel is considered as the third type of container, in contrast to the two common types.

The revolver ammo cartridge is rimmed and is different from your regular pistol ammo which makes extraction from the chamber easier after firing.

The full moon/half moon clips are usually chambered in revolvers, and unlike their 9mm and .45 auto cousins, the chambering is in a revolving fashion, hence the name.

The clips are like stars. A half moon clip holds three, while a full moon one holds six rounds, and the clip makes reloading easier.

Revolver Speedloaders

Here’s some ingenuity.

Speedloaders reduce time and effort when you’re reloading concealed carry firearms like revolvers since they can load 6 chambers simultaneously.

You can find good deals on speedloaders at your local gun store or here.

Now, onto magazines.

* * *

 Brady Kirkpatrick has been an avid gun enthusiast and hunter since he moved to the Midwest over 15 years ago. For more information visit

In other news

I got drawn into an online discussion the other day about the variable colorations of rainbow trout. The discussion got me thinking about the different colored rainbows I have caught from a variety of Nebraska waters.  I put together a little “collage” of some of them: