Southern Brisbane Nerf Club

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Clip vs Magazine and why you will always be wrong.

It's the never ending debate that plagues our beloved hobby. Is it a clip, or is it a magazine, or simply mag. Both sides of the argument claim to be correct, but they're also both wrong.

Marketing can heavily influence how we think about, perceive or name things. A few examples are:

Santa Claus.

His suit was originally green, until it was changed to red by Coca Cola for an advertising campaign.

Kiwi Fruit.

They're Chinese Gooseberries but were imported to, and farmed in New Zealand and then marketed to the world as 'Kiwi Fruit'.


A lot of people believe Denim was invented by Levi Strauss, when in fact it was originally made for and by the French prison system. The convicts needed something hard wearing.

These are just a few examples. There are also examples of this in our hobby.

Take these for example.

If I were to ask you to name these, some of you would say "mag", some would say "clip", and some wouldn't care. Hasbro call these clips, real-steel gun guys will call them mags. Me, being one of those whom don't care, use both terms, it all depends on which word comes to mind first.

Now name these.

Just like before, some say "clips", some "mags", others don't care.

Now, I want it known right now that I KNOW the difference between real-steel mags and clips, and if this were a firearms blog, I'd be using the correct terminology. But these ARE NOT real firearms. They are toys. I'm willing to bet good money that there are a few gun-guys working for Nerf, so there would be people there that know the difference too. So why did Hasbro call them clips? For the same reason they've never used the word 'gun' in reference to a Nerf blaster. To separate Nerf and real guns by as much as possible. Which is important, especially in this day and age for, what I would hope to be, obvious reasons.

Now, if you've run out of ammo for your AR-15 and ask for a clip, someone will probably smack you. Run out of ammo for your Rapidstrike and ask for a clip or a mag, whomever you're speaking to will know what you're talking about.

I collect Hot Wheels. I know that most Hot Wheels don't have tyres. They have black plastic wheels that look like tyres. But if I were to say "I like the tyres on that one", any other collector will know what I'm talking about.

Back to Nerf though.

If we're calling our 'guns' blasters and our 'bullets' darts. If we prime our blasters and not 'cock' them. Then why is it that clip/mag is the one technicality people debate? There are more too:

Nerf Term = Real Term
barrel = chute*
plunger tube = cylinder
plunger = piston
screw post = boss
inner wall = ribbing
turret = cylinder
air restrictor = valve
smart AR = auto dart selection

*it's a barrel if using tubing to maintain pressure, ie, brass or PVC

So, why pick that one technicality? Out of all of the incorrect terms used in the hobby, why is it that clip vs mag is disputed more than any other? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that when Hasbro used the word 'clip', that made is an absolute, and the 'mag people' got upset with that. And now, 10+ years later, Hasbro have been calling them clips for so long, it's now Nerf canon. Which only irritates 'mag guys' even more, so they feel even more of a need to correct people. 

Try to correct a 'clip-guy' by saying "it's a mag". The response you'll get is "Nerf call them clips, I'll call them clips". Clip-guys don't like being corrected, why? Because THEY ALL KNOW WHAT IT'S CALLED, and they are BLOODY FED-UP WITH MAG GUYS QUEUING UP TO CORRECT THEM! Call it a mag, guess who corrects you? No-one. Why? Because 'clip guys' know that they're talking about toys and, ultimately, it doesn't matter what terminology we use. 

And that is the point. Nerf are toys. In the same category as unicorns with hair you can brush, mutants and alien action figures and plush monster toys. If you're going to start correcting people for saying "clip", then you should start walking up to random kids at the toy store and tell them that unicorns don't exist. To stop at just one technicality makes the 'mag guys' hypocrites, because I can say without a doubt, they'd have habitually used the wrong word for something else also.

So, if you call them 'clips', you're wrong because the 'mag-guys' say you are. Call them 'mags', and you're wrong according to Nerf lore. However, it's only the 'mag-guys' that correct others. Which leads me to the following conclusion:

'Mag-guys' are butt-hurt real-steel firearms enthusiasts that crave attention, or, they're preteen kids that play way too much Call of Duty whom also, crave attention.

In closing. Clip or Mag?


Just don't call them clipazines, or you'll end up getting smacked from both sides of the argument.


  1. "Now, if you've run out of ammo for your AR-15 and ask for a clip, someone will probably smack you."
    Not so. You're going to be handed something specific:
    This is a clip, used to reload magazines faster than manually loading each round in.
    There was one rifle that used a magazine AND clips: the M1 Garand.
    See those grey pieces with cartridges in them below the rifle? Those are enbloc clips, used to reload the Garand. The Garand has a built-in box magazine with a capacity of 8 rounds, and works best when reloaded with clips. This is probably when people first mixed clips and magazines.
    The Magstrike and it's predecessor, the Powerclip DX-1000 have a magazine: the batteries where you drop the clip.

    I know, I'm gerring in an argument with a foreigner on the internet about terminology for dealing with toys. It's ridiculous.

    1. All firearms that use clips for loading have internal magazines
      Other than the en bloc clips the Garand isn't special

    2. Actually, it kinda is. Have you ever heard the "ping" after the 8the shot from a Garand? That's the clip ejecting.
      Unlike other rifles with an internal magazine, the Garand NEEDS to be reloaded with clips, unless you only needs to load a single cartridge in.

      Why would you do that? Most of the time, when he loaded a single round in, a GI would be loading a blank with an exceptionally high powder load. Also, he would have a cup-like piece fixed to his muzzle. What for? To fire a grenade. This was a conflict or two before the 40mm grenade was introduced.

    3. Did you even get the point I was trying to make?

    4. They really don't.

      What about maglipazines?

    5. Did you see the last sentence in my op? Does any of this really effing matter? Are we any less ridiculous than Bronies?

  2. Every hobby needs something to argue about I guess. If this is the worst we get with Nerf, we're lucky! Haha

  3. I'm gonna call them "speedloaders" and really irk the mag-folk.

  4. Awesome Article. You can also visit to read reviews on best nerf gun

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