April 9, 2019

If you spend time around gun enthusiasts, you will often hear certain gun specific terminology used. Clips, cartridges, magazines, ammo-it is enough to make your head spin. Even more confusing is that many people sometimes use terminology interchangeably like clip and magazine. Let’s just clear up the confusion right away.


A firearms magazine is not a publication meant for reading about firearms or looking at pictures of guns. A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines can be removable (detachable) or integral to the firearm. The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored in the magazine into a position where they may be loaded into the chamber by the action of the firearm. The detachable magazine is often referred to as a clip, although this is technically inaccurate.


A clip is a device for holding cartridges together to facilitate the loading of your firearm. Magazines are loaded with cartridges by clips, The magazine feeds the ammunition into the chamber of the firearm.  On most firearms a magazine is detachable and replaceable and has a feeding spring. The defining difference between clips and magazines is the presence of a feed mechanism in a magazine, typically a spring-loaded follower, which a clip lacks.


All cartridge-based single-barrel firearms designed to fire more than a single shot without reloading require some form of magazine designed to store and feed cartridges to the firearm’s action. Magazines come in many shapes and sizes, with the most common type in modern firearms being the detachable box type.


In the United States a number of state laws have banned high-capacity magazines.High-capacity or large-capacity magazines are generally those defined by statute to be capable of holding more than 10 rounds, although the definitions vary.