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Posted - 08/28/2004 : 12:04:07 AM

I'll bet a few readers are confused by the terms being used here for cartridge holding devices. Maybe some linguistic history will help.

Near the end of the 19th century, two competing systems for loading repeating rifles arose. One used a cartridge holder that was inserted into the magazine, becoming an integral part of the mechanism until empty. This is the system used in the Carcano. The little metal cartridge holder is called a "clip" in English.

The other system used a disposable holder from which cartridges are stripped into the magazine. The arm can be loaded and functions without it. In British English this is a "charger".

Unfortunately the Brits didn't give it that name soon enough to prevent the Yanks from calling a charger a "clip" - the same name used for the other type of device. This has led to no end of confusion for Americans, who have to invent compound words like "stripper-clip" and "en-bloc clip" to differentiate between the two classes of loading device. (Worse yet, many of us want to call a detachable box magazine a "clip"!)

So when Carcano says there are no "stripper clips" for the Carcano rifle, he's gently noting that the system uses a true clip rather than a charger (or "stripper clip" to confused Americans).

Now I'm confused by "charger clip", since a device can be a charger or a clip but probably not both if we want to use the Queen's English. There's a lot of confusion going around lately, even a catalog from one outfit advertising "M1 Garand Stripper Clips" while illustrating the familiar Garand "en-bloc" clip - from which one would have great difficulty "stripping" anything.

Posted - 08/28/2004 : 04:40:41 AM

Parashooter's explanation of this history of these terms is very helpful. The present and enforced distinction in US English is however that between stripper clips, and charger clips aka en bloc clips.

Evidently, those who know proper English ;-) may not be happy with it. I therefore suggest to adopt the German terms:
Ladestreifen und Laderahmen. The corresponding charging and feeding systems are called Streifenlader und Rahmenlader (see, German is easy).

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