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Difference Between Clip and Magazine

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


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

Clip vs Magazine

The difference between a clip and a magazine is that clip is a device that stores ammunition in a row to reload bullets quickly, whereas a magazine is a device that holds clip devices to set the firearm ready. The magazine is a metal device with a spring, whereas a clip is a still device. 

Clip vs Magazine

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Clip device is used to speed up the reloading of ammunition in the firearms. Its design varies for different firearms. 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 firearm.

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

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

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 fromOld English word clyppanMiddle french Magasin, Italian magazzino, and Arabic makhazin, 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 firearms, it is an internal part, and in some, it is external.

Various types of ammunition available are used in different firearms, and each firearm has a different clip device to hold the ammunition.

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

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

Clips are designed for military purposes where the speed of shooting is required to be maintained at high. Clips come in various shapes depending on the type of firearm.

Today, clips are not used in the firearms as only en-bloc clips and stripper clips are used in the internal magazine firearms. Full moon and half-moon clips are used in the revolvers where the former holds six ammunitions and the latter one holds 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 ammunition 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 10 ammunitions with the help of technology. Magazines are important in the field of the military, where the speed of fire matters. Soldiers need to be ready for the next fire before the defender protects themselves.

The design of the magazine has evolved since years to make the holdings of rounds more than before. The Classic rifles that are used by the young generation for casual Target Shooting practice hold more than 16 rounds in the 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.  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 is manufactured using steel stampings, and the magazine is manufactured using plastic polymer or any metal.
  5. Clip increases efficiency, and magazine improves the reliability of the firearm.
Difference Between Clip and Magazine
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