Rob Pincus

"Clip" vs. "Magazine" Gun Terminology

Rob Pincus
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Duration:   1  mins

Calling a gun’s magazine a clip is a common mistake among new gun owners and shooters. And there are a lot of new gun owners right now. If you hear someone make this mistake in a gun shop or at the range, Rob Pincus urges you to refrain from pedantically correcting them about this terminology.

There will be opportunities for their firearms instructor to explain the difference to them and encourage them to use the two words properly. You, their fellow shooter, should let it go and say nothing about it. More new gun owners are a good thing and we should make them feel welcome in our community of defensive shooters, not embarrass them because they used a wrong word.

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21 Responses to “"Clip" vs. "Magazine" Gun Terminology”

  1. James Bloyd

    It seems everyone missed the whole point of the video. Rob was actually trying to see if anyone would catch the fact that he said "the magazine that holds the bullets", which is, technically correct. But, a more correct way of saying it would be "the magazine that holds the cartridges". He knows, of course, that the bullet is a component of the cartridge. Yikes, I think I'm becoming pedantic! What's that thingy he was shoving the magazine into anyway? A handle? A grip? A magazine well? I've lost it.

  2. Les

    My Dad was in the war in the Pacific in the Amphibious Corps from Guadalcanal to the entering of Japan. He was a competition shooter for quite a few years. His best friend was infantry with Patton all over Europe including the relief of Bastogne, also a competitive shooter. They used the terms interchangeably between a "clip" for a government model 45, or M1 carbine and a "clip" for a M1 rifle. The M1 clips were always "clips", but the other weapons magazines could be called a clip (excluding 20mm) or magazine. I did not correct them.

  3. Cary


  4. PaCo

    Nothing screams COD like an idiot calling someone out on terminology of a piece of equipment, it seems that people are more worried about others thinking they have some sort of secret knowledge due to their knowing the proper term for crap then anything else.

  5. Sam F.

    If you can see that their newbies I might "lead by example." But. if their "Old hands" or should know better, I'll leave it alone

  6. doug sayler

    Hey!! I like the part in the video when he said to put it (mag or clip) into the "gunny thing".

  7. ColdGripVA

    When I was new to the shooting sports I was glad to have someone correct me when I misused terminology. I wanted to learn about my new endeavor. I didn't consider them to be asses unless they acted like an ass, and that usually had nothing to do with whether they were helping/correcting me or not. They were generally asses long before that ... btw - what would you do if they misused up-range vs down-range?

  8. Sean Neeld

    Some people get the point of the video, some people don't. And there are always those who flitter in to argue. I think attention should be paid to the written line in the video's description "With that in mind, Rob Pincus talks about how you should not react if you hear someone mistakenly use the word “clip” when you are on the range or at the counter in a gun store. " Nowhere in that sentence does the term 'training' appear. It specifically states (emphasis is mine) " ...when you are on the RANGE or AT THE COUNTER in a gun store." Rob knows what he is talking about and many here agree. If this irks some folks so much, perhaps they are having a really bad day and they come to the internet to try to kick up a shit storm but fail miserably.

  9. Ron

    IMHO, I think all Rob was saying is that there's a time and a place for politely explaining the difference in a friendly manner (e.g. in a training course) and a time and place for not doing so, depending upon the situation and context. We gun owners should use the common sense and good judgment that the anti-gun crowd (including the media) does not use.

  10. David2u

    If I'm having a conversation with a newbie about handguns & rifles [especially when it comes to AR's] and they misspeak and call a magazine a clip, if they are friendly and show genuine enthusiasm in learning about firearms ...I have sometimes politely pointed out to them that clips are used to load magazines. Then explained that there are strips / clips that are used to load fixed & detachable magazines. I explain how for example military 5.56 rounds comes on strips and can be fed into a magazine using a stripper clip guide.. while some bolt rifles have fixed box magazines which are loaded through a open bolt. But I would never ever be condescending or sarcastic about it. Heck, before I went through basic training at 19 yrs old, I didn't know what a stripper clip was or the difference between a magazine & a clip. We should exerciser tolerance & patience with others new to firearms.

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