Clip vs Magazine: Difference and Comparison

Firearms are used by security officers, political leaders, cops, and leaders for security purposes. Firearms are used for both good and bad intentions.

Firearms are formed by connecting many devices to eject ammunition. However, the terminologies are wrongly used even by experts. Clip and magazine are two words that differ but are used interchangeably.

Key Takeaways

  1. A clip holds ammunition together for easy loading, while a magazine stores and feeds ammunition into a firearm.
  2. Clips are external and removable, while magazines can be detachable or integrated into the firearm.
  3. Magazines have a spring mechanism that feeds the ammunition, whereas clips do not.

Clip vs Magazine

A clip is a device that holds cartridges together in a single unit. They are made of metal or plastic used in older firearms such as bolt-action rifles and pistols. Magazines are containers that hold cartridges and can be detachable or fixed made of metal or plastic.

Clip vs Magazine

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A clip device is used to speed up the reloading of ammunition in the firearms. Its design varies for different guns. It does not have a strip of spring to hold the bullets like a magazine.

These are used mainly in military firearms, where the device is external to the gun.

On the other hand, a magazine is made of metal, with a spring inside to hold the clip device. These are internally built-in firearms; in some, it is a detachable device.

Magazines are made reliable with the help of technology to reduce the danger of misfires.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonClip Magazine
MaterialSteel stampingMetal or plastic polymer
DefinitionThe clip is used to hold rounds of ammunition ranging from six to thirtyThe magazine is used to hold clip devices in the fire chamber of the firearm. 
PurposeThe clip helps to speed up the reloading during shootingThe magazine helps to push the ammo into the fire chamber of a firearm
Derived fromMiddle French Magasin, Italian Magazzino, and Arabic magazine, meaning storehouseMiddle french Magasin, Italian Magazzino, and Arabic magazine, meaning storehouse
SpringSpring is not present in the clip to hold bullets.It has a spring to push bullets into the fire chamber.

What is Clip?

Firearms have a device in which the ammunition is loaded called a clip. It is inserted into the magazine to prepare the gun or firearm for shooting. The clip must be handled carefully. Otherwise, it reloads the gun automatically, resulting in a misfire.

The clip helps to reload the ammunition faster in the firearm. In some guns, it is an internal part; in some, it is external.

Various types of ammunition available are used in different firearms, and each gun has an additional clip device to hold the shot.

It is a device made of steel stamping and is inserted into the magazine to load ammunition quickly.

In some firearms, the ammunition is loaded into the fire chamber, and in some rifles, it loads bullets into the guns as the magazine is an internal part.

Clips are designed for military purposes where shooting speed must be maintained high. Hooks come in various shapes depending on the type of firearm.

Today, clips are not used in firearms as only en-bloc and stripper clips are used in internal magazine firearms. Full moon and half-moon clips are used in the revolvers where the former holds six ammunitions, and the latter has three. 

Clips increase the efficiency of firearms.

What is Magazine?

Magazines are the part of firearms in which ammunition is stored. Magazines and clips are two different devices that go into the rifles. The clip-holding bullet is inserted into the magazines, which are then inserted into the rifles of the firearm. 

Magazines are made of metal sheets with a spring that holds the cartridge tightly. Magazines come in two models one is detachable magazines, and the other is built-in in the firearms.

Magazines can hold more than ten pieces of ammunition with the help of technology. Magazines are essential in the military, where the speed of fire matters. Soldiers need to be ready for the subsequent fire before the defender protects themselves.

The magazine’s design has evolved in the years to make the holdings of rounds more than before. The Classic rifles the young generation uses for casual Target Shooting practice hold more than 16 cartridges.

AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle, uses a standard magazine that holds up to 30 rounds of ammunition.

Today, magazines are manufactured using plastic polymers, and the shape of the lips of magazines is also improved. Technological improvements made spring designs more reliable than before.

Main Differences Between Clip and Magazine

  1. The clip is a device used to store rounds of ammunition, whereas a magazine is used to store clip devices to set the firearm.
  2. The clip is fed into the magazine, whereas the magazine is fed Into the firearm to push bullets into the fire chamber.
  3.  The clip holds bullets in a row form, without a spring, but the magazine has a spring to push ammunition one after another.
  4. The clip uses steel stampings, and the magazine is manufactured using plastic polymer or any metal.
  5. Clip increases efficiency, and the magazine improves the reliability of the firearm.
Difference Between Clip and Magazine

Last Updated : June 11th, 2023

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