Firearm Magazines and Clips 101

A magazine is, essentially, the device that allows any firearm to hold more than one bullet at a time. Bullets in a magazine feed directly into the gun’s action, meaning they can be chambered immediately after firing the gun, either automatically or manually with a bolt, lever, or pump. There are various types of magazines (“mags” for short) that come in all different shapes, sizes, and capacities, such as box mags, drum mags, stick mags, tubes, or internal magazines.

A clip, or a stripper clip, is used to quickly insert many bullets into a magazine at a time, and is most often used in older, historic rifles that had internal, non-detachable magazines as a way to quickly reload them. While the devices are not identical, you may hear the word “clip” used colloquially to refer to the most popular type of magazine used today, the box magazine.

A modern-day semi-automatic firearm (think any AR, AK, or autoloading pistol) is going to use a detachable box magazine in some capacity, and for good reason. They are light, don’t take up much room, and allow a firearm to hold a generous amount of ammunition at one time. They can also be reloaded extremely quickly and effortlessly. However, be wary when dealing with higher capacity stick mags for pistols or drum mags for rifles or pistols. They are often heavy, inconvenient, and don’t fit in regular mag pouches. Large magazines can also affect how visible your firearm is, in the case of concealed carry.

Lastly, beware magazine capacity laws that might exist in your locale. Major cities will often have magazine capacity restrictions, especially on long guns. Illinois in particular has a preemption on all local handgun laws, which would void any of these restrictions on handgun magazines. Do your own research to decide your best course of action. For more information about magazines, clips, or magazine restrictions, contact Dennis Leifheit at:

Northern Illinois Carry, LLC

405 Somonauk St.

Sycamore, IL 60178

(815) 501-9421