Stripper clips aren’t in particularly widespread use among civilians, even among those who practice recreational or competitive shooting. Most people looking for them are probably looking for historical models that were used to load rifles of bygone eras.
However, stripper clips are still produced and still have military applications today - and, believe it or not, have a place in the arsenal of a recreational shooter. We’ll get into why, but first, let’s provide a short intro of what they are.
What Is a Stripper Clip?
For some of you reading this, it might not be readily available what these types of clips are. You’re probably familiar with a magazine, which is where repeating and semi-automatic arms store their ammo and which feeds the ammo into the action. Stripper clips are not the same as magazines; in fact, they are used in conjunction with them to load the firearm.
Some firearms have detachable box magazines that can be removed from below the gun, whereas others have internal magazines built into their design. Stripper clips are useful for loading these types of firearms from above when the action is open. They can’t realistically be used with other types of magazines such as tube mags.
In essence, the stripper clip is a device that contains a set of cartridges, typically in a row. It can be placed into the top of the internal or box mag through the opened action, where there will typically be a slot for it.
When arranged in this manner, pressing on the cartridges in the clip will cause them to release from the clip and into the magazine of the firearm, therefore “charging” the mag. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that theseclips are sometimes called chargers.
Many famous military rifles had magazines that could be charged with the use of a stripper or charging clip, including the Springfield M1903, the M1 Garand, and the Lee-Enfield Rifle. However, these types of clips are still produced today and there are models made that are useful for charging the magazines of popular civilian rifles, like the AR-15 and other sporting variants.
Why Are Stripper Clips So Useful?
Before we go any further, we need to draw a distinction between stripper clips and speed loaders, which serve a similar function but are not the same thing. Speed loaders are used by a lot of recreational shooters because they dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to load loose rounds into a magazine. Clips, by contrast, must be loaded manually but decrease the amount of time it takes to charge the loaded mag once the clip is charged.
So, for example, instead of using a speed loader to load your mags (which you could also do) you could carry a bunch of pre-loaded clips to the range, and then when your mags runs dry, instead of swapping it out for a different, loaded mag, you can just pull back the charging handle, drop the mag, insert the clip, press down, and have a freshly loaded mag in a matter of seconds.
With that in mind, there are quite a few good reasons that clips are still very useful in recreational shooting. One of the chief reasons among these is in the time it will save you at the range.
Now, before you go and shout that you can just carry a bunch of loaded mags to the range - you can, but that’s cumbersome. Besides, you can burn through ten loaded mags in less than a minute. You need a way to reload them quickly.
So you can bring a speedloader - or you can just bring a bunch of pre-loaded stripper clips and one or two mags, and spend only a few seconds between each mag recharging it. Besides the value of increasing your comfort and convenience at the range, it’ll also save you money.
Most of us have to pay to shoot at public ranges. That means the more time we spend loading mags, the more money we’re burning. That makes these clips anything but a thing of the past.
In addition to this, clips are great because they can keep you much better organized. Instead of carrying around a bucket of loose rounds, you can carry 10 or 20 loaded clips. They’ll weigh the same, but one will be much better organized than the other!
Get Them Here!
So there you have it - stripper clips are more than just a historical collectible - although, since we mention it, they are also collectibles. If you’re looking for a selection of clips for famous platforms like the Lee-Enfield, Mosin-Nagant, a Mauser or a Carcano rifle, you’ll find them right here.
Just check out our collection of stripper clips and if you can’t find what you’re looking for, give us a call at 610-250-3960, and be sure to check back for more helpful information in our blog!