'Clip' vs. 'Magazine': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on December 8, 2022

'Clip' vs. 'magazine': two terms used widely in the gun user community. But what is the difference between the two? This article will help clarify that.

In short, a 'clip' is a strip of steel where you can place ammunition to insert it into the magazine. A 'magazine' is a chamber that holds a supply of ammunition and feeds it into the firing chamber.

What is the Difference Between 'Clip' Vs. 'Magazine'?

Knowing the difference between a 'clip' vs. 'magazine' is essential if you're in the gun community. If you're not, it can still be helpful to differentiate between them since they are, after all, English words. It's essential to grow your vocabulary over time to express yourself freely.

Plus, you never know when you might be able to pull out your fancy vocabulary and impress others!

Let's learn about the meaning of a 'clip' and a 'magazine.' Then, we'll look at the differences between the two.

When to Use 'Clip'

A 'clip' is a small device used to store ammunition that you can then feed into the magazine. This saves you from wasting time loading the gun with ammo one by one. You can insert a clip and reserve ammunition for when you need it.

They are usually made of steel, and there are several different types. Two prevalent ones are a Stripper Clip and an En Bloc Clip.

All clips hold different amounts of ammunition.

When to Use 'Magazine'

A magazine is a chamber into which the clip feeds the ammunition. It's then fed into the weapon, ready for firing.

There are different types of magazines, which can be detachable or internal.

Detachable magazines must be removed from the firearm to be loaded, while with internal magazines, you need to load rounds directly into the gun. That's why it's helpful to use a clip: you don't have to load them one at a time.

How to Remember the Difference Between 'Clip' Vs. 'Magazine'

Now we've clarified the difference between a clip and a magazine; you might be wondering how you'll know which one to use in a sentence. For this, I'm going to give you a simple trick.

Think of these words outside of the firearm context. A magazine is a periodical publication containing articles, photos, and advertising on your chosen topic. And if you cut out an article or image that you like - maybe for the purposes of scrapbooking - those are called 'clippings.'

This analogy can help you remember that clippings are inside magazines and not the other way around.

Using 'Clip' and 'Magazine' in a Sentence

Back to the firearm context now; let's look at some examples of the words' clip' and 'magazine' in a sentence.

I've brought several clips filled with cartridges for easy loading into the magazine.

A clip feeds a magazine, while a magazine feeds the gun.

I'm grateful for my clip right now, so I don't have to load my cartridges individually.

Do you have loaded gun magazines? I need a refill.

My cartridge clip is almost empty.

We'll need to load our magazines before we go.

My clip still has enough cartridges to last me until next time.

Concluding Thoughts on 'Clip' Vs. 'Magazine'

I hope you feel more confident about using the words' clip' and 'magazine' now. If you ever need to use these words, you can always return to this article to ensure you're using the right one.

And remember to check out our other confusing word articles over on our blog.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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