Magazine (firearms)

A magazine is an ammunition storage and feeding device within or attached to a repeating firearm. Magazines can be removable (detachable) or integral (internal/fixed) to the firearm. The magazine functions by moving the cartridges stored within it into a position where they may be loaded into the barrel chamber by the action of the firearm. The detachable magazine is often colloquially referred to as a clip, although this is technically inaccurate.

Magazines come in many shapes and sizes, from tubular magazines on lever-action rifles that hold only a few rounds, to detachable box and drum magazines for automatic rifles and machine guns that can hold more than one hundred rounds. Various jurisdictions ban what they define as "high-capacity magazines".

With the increased use of semi-automatic and automatic firearms, the detachable magazine became increasingly common. Soon after the adoption of the M1911 pistol, the term "magazine" was settled on by the military and firearms experts, though the term "clip" is often used in its place (though only for detachable magazines, never fixed). The defining difference between clips and magazines is the presence of a feed mechanism in a magazine, typically a spring-loaded follower, which a clip lacks. A magazine has four parts as follows; a spring, a spring follower, a body and a base. A clip is made of one continuous piece of stamped metal and has no moving parts. Use of the term "clip" to refer to detachable magazines is a point of strong disagreement.

The earliest firearms were loaded with loose powder and a lead ball, and to fire more than a single shot without reloading required multiple barrels, such as pepper-box guns and double-barreled shotguns, or multiple chambers, such as in revolvers. Both of these add bulk and weight over a single barrel and a single chamber, however, and many attempts were made to get multiple shots from a single loading of a single barrel through the use of superposed loads. While some early repeaters such as the Kalthoff repeater managed to operate using complex systems with multiple feed sources for ball, powder and primer, easily mass-produced repeating mechanisms did not appear until self-contained cartridges were developed.

The first mass-produced repeater was the Volcanic Rifle which used a hollow bullet with the base filled with powder and primer fed into the chamber from a spring-loaded tube called a magazine. It was named after a building or room used to store ammunition. The anemic power of the Rocket Ball ammunition used in the Volcanic doomed it to limited popularity..

The Henry repeating rifle is a lever-action, breech-loading, tubular magazine fed rifle, and was an improved version of the earlier Volcanic rifle. Designed by Benjamin Tyler Henry in 1860, it was one of the first firearms to use self-contained metallic cartridges. The Henry was introduced in the early 1860s and produced through 1866 in the United States by the New Haven Arms Company. It was adopted in small quantities by the Union in the Civil War and favored for its greater firepower than the standard issue carbine. Many later found their way West and was famed both for its use at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and being the basis for the iconic Winchester rifle which are still made to this day. The Henry and Winchester rifles would go on to see service with a number of militaries including Turkey. Switzerland and Italy adopted similar designs.

This page was last edited on 22 May 2018, at 04:42.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magazine_(firearms) under CC BY-SA license.

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