How Does It Work: Clips! (Not Magazines)

Today we are looking at clips and how they work. There are two different types; Mannlicher-style and Mauser-style.

Mannlicher clips were introduced circa 1885, and are also known as en bloc or packet loading clips. They include a set of feed lips, and are inserted completely into a gun. Once the last round is chambered (or fired, in some cases) the empty clip is ejected from the action.

Mauser clips were introduced in 1889, and are also called stripper or charger clips. On these, the clip acts only as a guide to load the cartridges into a separate magazine, either a fixed internal magazine or a detachable box magazine.


  1. Can I ask which pistols used a mannlicher type clip? Also; are there any modern firearms that used the mannlicher?

  2. I’m sure they’re impossible to find, but I would love to see a Lee Navy clip. Supposedly the clip goes in the magazine like a Mannlicher style, but is then somehow ejected when the first round is chambered instead of the last round.

    • Until you start looking for rare item whose production stopped sometime in the early 20th Century…

      Then, you’d best be treating those “disposable” clips like fine artwork, and lavish more care and consideration on them than you would your child’s favorite stuffed toy…

    • In operational use, I think an awful lot of magazines were disposed of without a second thought, and I think this was expected. You’d *try* to get them back, and you wouldn’t issue at a rate of one magazine per thirty cartridges or whatever, but neither would you issue a rifleman his ten magazines and expect them to last the war, campaign, or even prolonged battle.

    • Well, they both are. I’ve been known to shoot holes in a bad magazine so no one else could find and use it.

      Corrected: design, yes. Daily use, no.

    • I’d count it a “Mannlicher-style” clip, at least on the 40mm Bofors used on the AC-130 gunships. The rounds stay on the clip until stripped off by the gun, but there’s no spring and follower assembly as on a true Mannlicher system, just gravity.

  3. Who invented the first double-row Mannlicher clip, that is, the en-bloc clip familiar from Pedersen and Garand rifles?

  4. love them. you should maybe look to do a 90s cheapo grendel stripper fed 9. qualifies for (an ugly) forgotten weapon I assume.

  5. The M1 “enbloc” clip actually cost less to make, and used less “strategic material”, than the brass Mauser/Springfield clip. I’ve found that reloading a SKS is taxing due to their poorly designed and executed clips. The M1 clip is so quick and positive to use that I now prefer them to heavy box magazines. Just another reason for why the M1 rifle remains the finest MBR ever made.

      • Main Battle Rifle.

        A construction that the immature and sycophantic gun press created back in the 1980s, along with “Battle Rifle” to describe the oversize and overweight 7.62 NATO individual weapons class.

        Never had any official provenance, and whenever I hear either term, I start to twitch. Mostly because the majority of people who use it have not the slightest clue about what they’re going onandonandonandonandon about–Usually lovers of the M14 and M60, the passion for which I’ve never understood. I can only look at it all as being akin to a sexual fetishization, like latex full-body suits or furries. It’s something you observe with toleration, fully aware that there’s essentially no logic or real cognitive thought going on with the participants, merely the scratching of some atavistic behavioral itch that defies explanation or understanding for anyone not subject to that particular warping of the mind.

  6. Returning to the idea that some designers and many bureautwats, can studiously avoid understanding an idea.

    The American Krag, adopted in 1892, with the first ones produced in 1894, might have offered the best single loader, with a magazine held in reserve, and a magazine that could be topped off with the bolt still closed and cocked on a full chamber…

    But, as the war in Cuba showed, that was not as effective in a fight as the Mauser stripper loading system.

    I forget the name of the device developed to allow an American Krag to be stripper fed through the side door

    It was already too late, politics had moved on, and like thetripple masked sheep in “animal farm”, the chant of

    “foreign rifle bad, new American rifle best rifle evahh!”

    Had begun and continues still.

    Here’s the first irony

    The united state army could have had model 1889 Mausers with stripper loading (They did very well in the trials) along with a case very similar in size, shape and performance to the 7.62×51 that it took them another 60 years to develop

    And an even bigger irony.

    Krag and Jorgensen’s first patent shows the Danish 1889 style action and a stripper clip to go with it!

    Reinvent the wheel much?

      • By the way: is the clip or the cartridge automatically opens the loading gate, when the Parkhurst device used? I found the patent, and I think the answer is no.

    • I think an awful lot of that “…studious avoid(ance of) understanding an idea.” stems from the fact that the people that don’t understand the ideas or issues are somehow always the ones in charge of making the decisions.

      This is observable all around us, increasingly so, as the world gains more and more complexity. The people in charge are usually the sort of halfwits that prosper in bureaucracies, promoted because they work the system rather than because they actually know what they’re doing. Actual practitioners are too busy managing the chaos and destruction wrought upon their subject areas of expertise by the idiot apparatchiks who’re usually motivated more by the desire for bureaucratic power and one-upsmanship than any real desire to solve the problems.

      Longer I observe things, and the more history I read, the more I’m convinced that humanity just doesn’t do hierarchy much above that of an informal hunter-gatherer band very well at all. It’s always the wrong people in charge, with the wrong motivations, who set the wrong goals and select the wrong solutions. Classic case in point would be the eminence grise behind the Lebel’s premature adoption, who wanted to be “in charge” when the new French rifle was adopted–Which forestalled any truly rational choices and led to a rifle/cartridge system that crippled French small arms design into the 1930s.

      We don’t do this at all well. You can see the same thing all over the world in all fields–The rare exceptions to the rule usually stem from some iconoclastic nut job like John M. Browning or Soichiro Honda, who are universally opposed by all right-thinking bureaucratic types that just want them to behave like normal good little minions…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.