Unknown Clip

OK, all you clip guys…what is it ? I was told it is an early Winchester clip. When I got it, it held 5 .30 Army cartridges. They fit, but quite “loosely”, so it is possible the clip is for another cartridge. There is a U.S. Patent that is close, #587,584, although the clip shown in the patent is curved, which makes perfect sense with tapered cartridges like the Krag. The clip I have is perfectly straight, as shown in the attached drawing. The .59" and .15" dimensions are “inside” dimensions.


I think your information about this was most probably correct. In his July 89 catalog Buttweiler shows a picture of a clip that looks suspiciously like yours. His caption states that it is a hand-made prototype .30 Krag experimental clip, by Winchester, featuring a rolled blue steel base with two tabs of lightweight steel soldered on the ends, showing no markings or stamps, and in excellent condition. His estimate at that time was $35-50, so you may be sitting on a goldmine now!

In this issue he also offered several other experimental Krag clips of various patterns.

Thanks, John…This is THE same clip you see in that Buttweiler Catalog…But…the Krag cartridges flop and bounce all over the place while in it…leading me to believe it might be for say…405 Winchester…or something…However, being experimental, anything and everything may have been tried until they reached a point where the cartridges “fit” properly…

A guy named Parkhurst was really into clips and designed the Rube Goldberg design used in the Winchester-Lee Navy straight pull, with its wire that retains the cartridge in place. He also designed the clip and attachment used to convert 100 M1898 Krag rifle to use a stripper clip for loading.

You may want to do a search for all the patents he got.

This seems to fit in the general 1880-1900 period, and maybe is an early design for possible use with the Lee magazine rifles, either those made by Remington for various countries or those made in the UK as Lee Enfields (or Metfords)

It looks like the square part pushed out in the center was a possible stop to hold the clip in position while “stripping” the cartridges.


Perhaps the cartridges were meant to fit loosely in the clip, and the tabs at the ends were pressed up to prevent them falling out before use. I have never had a chance to study the Krag rotary spool magazine in detail, but I understand that unlike conventional box magazines the rounds do not have to be forcibly stripped into it against the pressure of the magazine spring. Hence they can be held in the clip more loosely than usual and just dropped in through the opening in the receiver wall.

Denmark devised a box-like conainer to hold five rounds for loading into their Krag-Jorgensen, and here the rifle was simply turned on its side and the cartridges virtually poured into the open magazine. Norway developed a similar method for theirs.

But both these “clips” are quite scarce in Europe so presumably neither proved very popular. And even Parkhurst’s Krag clip was never widely adopted by the US Army, so there must have been some inherent problems with all of them. I suspect the loading of the rounds into the magazine against nil resistance may have proved more awkward than they thought under service conditions.