Military strip clips

Please be patient with a novice here. I’d like some education on these clips of ammo.

L-R A brass clip with tabs on each end. The ammo is Headstamped F A 30 and it is .30 cal. The steel clip also has tabs, .30 cal, headstamped F A 42. Third appears to be brass, holding misc. 8mm but it has no tabs on it.

Why are the tabs on some, not on others?

Would the tabs have to be opened or would charging the magazine do this? One smooth transfer?

Was brass discontinued in the US during WWII and thereafter(for clips)?

I’ve always believed the 5 shot clips of 30 cal would only be for the Springfield and Enfield. Since the Garand was dominant during the war and used a different clip would ammo such as this (in strips) be unusual?

Is there a specific year when the 30 Cal corrosive primed ammo manufacture stopped?

This next clip has 7.62X54R soft-tipped ammo in it.

Since this is soft-tipped that means it is not military, correct?

Is this clip for this round or is this just something put together?

The earlier brass M1903 Springfield (and 1917 Enfield) clips had end tabs. The steel clips from WWII that I have seen have end clips too. The broke off in use with some regularity. Now, there is third type of clip - steel also - that is pretty much like the clips for the M14 rifle in 7.62 x 51 caliber. The M14 clips (I don’t know the military designation and can’t take time to look it up right now) were of a better design and didn’t need any end clips to hold the shells in. I don’t know when they were introduced, but there were clips for the Springfield that were designed like the M14 clips, and had no end clips. They had two bumps on each side (stops for the charger guides on the rifles), as opposed to the single, central bump on the later M14 clip. Your middle clip, I believe, is one of those. I used to have some and I preferred them for match shooting with my 03A3 (dolled up a bit with new sights and trigger). I gave them all to fellow shooters when I stopped shooting position rifle.

The M1 rifle was the dominant U.S. Service rifle of WWII, but thousands of M1903 variants and M1917s were used as well. In Europe, by the time of the Italian campaigns and the D-Day landings after, the M1 was really in wide-spread issue, but even there, a lot of rear-echelon troops had the older bolt-action rifles, not to mention some combat troops and snipers.
In the Pacific, the Marines hit most of the earlier-invaded islands with the Springfield. They started the battle for Guadalcanal with the Springfield, but as it went on, and M1-equipped Army troops started arriving, the Marines starting getting M1s through various means, and were pretty much equipped with them by the end of the battle, although I am sure plenty of 03s were fired in the last days of battle on that Island, none-the-less.

There were even some o3s and l3A3s issued in Korea to rear-echelong, and the Springfield 03, 03A4, and M1Cs were issued to snipers, with the Springfield dominant with Marine snipers, I believe. Could be wrong.

The first completely non-corrosive year for U.S. Ammunition was 1953, with some lots non-corrosive in 1952. I forget if any of the 1952 lots were .30-06, but probably. The .30 M1 Carbine round was non-corrosive from the get-go. They never issued any corrosive carbine ammo due to the problem of cleaning behind the captive, short-stroke pistol in those weapons. They are staked in, and while pistol-nut wrenches used to be plentiful at gun show, they were not an item of issue to every soldier, and the soldier was not authorized to ever break the staking with a wrench. That was 2nd or 3rd Echelon maintenance only.

The clip on the right is simply a standard brass German-style Model 98 Mauser stripper, and the never had end clips nor did they need them.

aYour 7.62 x 54Rs appear to be in a proper charger for them. They may just be reloads, or remanufactured military ball made into sporting rounds. Can’t tell with seeing the headstamps. Better 7.62 x 54r answer a question about them anyway. I don’t collect them, and have never even shot a Mosin rifle. Only had a mint Polish carbine version for six months because it was pretty, and then someone wanted it worse than I did, so I sold it to them. Good rifles, but not in my interest.

Thank you John.
As a Shipboard SA instructor for several years when I was active, I must have thrown away thousands of strippers. However, I kept about a dozen or so and they will hold the 30 cal just fine. I never realized that there was any interest in clips/chargers.

About the bolt-actions and M-1s with the Marines on Guadalcanal. I have interviewed several veterens of that campaign and one of the strangest things I came away with was their disdain for the M-1. 3 of them were adament about preferring the Springfield, to the point they would swap M-1s for Springfields in later conflicts, whenever they could. One of them, a Sgt, preferred a pump 12 ga shotgun. These 4 men were all Old Breed, having enlisted before 12/7/41. I asked one of them how they kept ammo for the Springfields and he said it was available thru supply sometime but he saved clips and converted it from M1 clips when needed.

The 5-round clips were also used with an adaptor to fill BAR mags. The spring of the clips with the little tabs were not a very secure design. The ends of the clip were rounded to avoid sharp corners chafing into bandoliers. This rounding, combined with the spring which only touched the rounds at its edges, allowed rounds to shake out of the clip readily. The bent up tabs prevented this. They are pushed out of the way automatically when the rounds are stripped into the rifle. The M98 mauser design is better but, being shorter that the rounds, also tends to “leak” the end rounds. Current NATO clips go right to the extreme ends of the rims and, with a wavy spring pressing at these ends, holds much more securely.

The “U” spring and end tabs was also used for the .30 M1 carbine and 5.56x45mm NATO clips.


Shotmeister - the Marines are a funny bunch, God love them (and he does and so do I). The old timers resist change like crazy. The Marines originally didn’t want to adopt the M1 Carbine - they preferred the pistol. Yet you see more pictures of Marines with carbines in the island fighting than you ever do of Army front-line personnel with them.

I talked to an older retired Marine for hours in a gun shop in Fairbanks, when I was stationed in USARAL at Ladd AFB, and we talked about the Garand too. He didn’t like it all - said it was wasteful of ammunition and wasn’t slim and trim like an '03. I didn’t argue much with him because he was a veteran of just about every major Island Assault in WWII. I was a peacetime soldier with no combat experience.

However, talking to others, including a veteran of Guadalcanal, he told me that the leathernecks were scooping up every Garand they could get their hands on, mostly from Army casualties - dead, wounded, etc. - or midnight requisition from Army stores. I suppose they later got their own issue of them there, although this fellow couldn’t remember any legitimate Marine issue of M1s there.

Old soldiers are old soldiers. When I first saw an M14 at the Arctic Test Center at Fort Greeley, Alaska, I thought it was the pits. The big magazine got in the way for a short-armed guy like me, and I thought the full auto feature was useless on it (the only thing I was right about). I also thought they would not stand the rigors of contact with their long, skinny unprotected barrels. Of course, other than the full auto feature, which proved unusable for the most part, I was totally wrong. I was convinced that the M1 rifle could not be improved upon or replaced as a battle rifle. Again, dead wrong, although I would still not be afraid to be in a fight if I had one of mine and a couple of bandoleers of ammo.

Despite the advantages of the light weight of the ammunition, I still have reservations about the small assault rifle cartridges for other than some special ops.

Edited for typos errors only

Gravelbelly: There’s another explanation for the rounded ends on the '03 clip I have heard, and accept, but for which I’ve seen no documentation. That is the fact the '03 rifle has an ejector without spring power, relying on the camming function of the left locking lug when the bolt is brought all the way back during the loading cycle. Since the ejector is loose, it can drift slightly to the right and foul the clip during loading. By making the clip end somewhat rounded the clip can urge the ejector to the left, out of the way, and permit the clip’s full seating. As I say, can’t document it, but it is plausible. JG

John, I have the deepest respect for ALL Marines. Certainly not every Marine felt as my Vets did, nor did all I even talked too but until interviewing them, I just assumed anyone would prefer an automatic rifle with more ammo per load. I was wrong. But these were guys that began with the 03, not someone who started with the Garand.

I think I loved the M14 from the day I first saw one and I was like a kid in a candy store when the Navy gave me 3 of them to keep clean and functioning! Of course, I did not lug one around much. I never had to fire one under fire nor lug a ration of ammo (except once). The first time I fired one in the line throwing configuration, it almost dislocated my shoulder! Next time I fired it from the hip! We had selector swithes on some but you and everyone else I have ever talked to, who knew the weapon, agreed with the statement; its useless in full auto. I used to demo the full auto during classes for submariners, trying to convince them not to use the dang thing. Useless for certain but fun to shoot!

Also had time with the wonderful M60, but I didn’t have to carry it far either! At the range I fired prone and at sea, prone or propted on something. Believe it or not, the links and brass were a hazard on a submarine, you had to keep them away from things that moved, like mast and antennas.

Man, do I miss those days! Fully automatic weapons, tons of ammo and plenty of help to tend targets… and I got paid to do it for FREE! What a job!

The 7.62x54R cartridges look like some of the ones coming out of Russia over the last few years for the commercial market. You could probably find the headstamp at
They aren’t military. Brass clips were made for military use by China, and I think that someone may be making new ones for the shooters market at the present.

For a completely unbiased opinion of combat weapons,I think of a German Paratrooper.He was at Stalingrad,just before the collapse,and at Normandy,on D day plus two.
His origional arm was a 9mm Shmietzer,which he did not care for.When selecting a replacement from the numerous guns available in the last remaining months of the war,he rejected the Mi Garand,as too big,too clumbsy.He also rejected the M1Carbine,as too small.The"just right"gun for him,was the old Thompson 45 cal “Tommy Gun”.


Can you post an image of one of the Springfield clips described above please? Were they marked in any way? Some years ago I bought a pack of 20 US clips which were described as .30 Springfield but they had a single bump and I believe that they are for the M14 in 7.62mm NATO.


As far as I know, ever since the introduction of charger loading with the 30-03 Springfield the only chargers made without the end tabs were those for drill or exercise cartridges. This was to allow the chargers to be re-used as the tabs on chargers with them would break off after a while.

The spring design of the 30-06 charger has a basic fault in that it applies pressure only at the edges of the cartridge base. I believe this pattern of spring was used because the pressure does not vary with the number of cartridges in the charger. The problem was that the spring had to have a relatively weak rate in order to allow the cartridges to be easily stripped. The more usual ‘W’ shaped spring found in other types of charger based on the original Mauser design applies pressure uniformly across the cartridge base but the pressure varies with the number of cartridges.

I can only assume that the variation in spring design was done so as not infringe on the Mauser patent. A sizable sum in damages was paid by the US government to Mauser for infringement on rifle patents, are there any papers extant which detail what these infringements were?


Gravelbelly - I gave away all my Springfield chargers that I was using in matches to shooter friends when I quit the sport to go into pistol shooting.
I dragged my old shooting box out from under the house and found none in it. Not wasted effort. I found my five-shot .223 clips for my SAKO Vixen varmint gun that we converted to a position match rifle (longest range in a 50 mile radius of my house is 200 yards, so went to a .223 rifle for its very fast, short action, excellent accuracy, and lack of recoil. No disadvantage to a .308, to speak of, at 200 yards).

Don’t get excited guys. These aren’t collectible. They were custom made by a friend for my gun and other similar conversions, out of the ten shot clips. They work pretty well once you get used to them, but they aren’t perfect.

I hope that I was remembering correctly. They could have been after-market (for Springfields and Winchester Model 70 Target models - same charger guide shape). Its been a long time and I don’t recall any markings, but then I had zero interest in chargers then, other than for guns I used them in.

If it were not for Enfield’s comments, I would worry about whether or not I was remembering correctly. Perhaps he could supply photos and/or markings on this type. I made the comment about memory, because in the few times I have shot a Springfield (I still have two, but not the one I used for match shooting) in the past twenty years, I have used Swedish Model 96 chargers rather than the military 03 clips I have. They hold the rounds better and work quite well, despite being originally for 6.5 x 55 (a different head size from .30-06). It would not be impossible that I am remembering them as being Springfield clips, but I have a memory that the clips in question were very dark metal, almost black, and the Swedish clips are silver in color.

Here is a scan of an unmarked brass stripper clip with steel spring without the end tabs that came in the box of Dummies.


Thanks for your post, If no one else pops up with an answer to this query then we may have to assume that your black clips were M93 types of some sort.


A nice packet and very well photographed and posted, thanks


It’s worth pointing out that the '03 clip with the spring of uniform trough cross-section dates from the 1920s; the earlier designs have an undulating spring much like the original Mauser type. These earlier types have the spring attached to the body in much the same manner as the Mauser rather than at the ends. This latter manner of attaching the spring to the body is well-illustrated in Phil’s pics. JG