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Why Use Stripper Clips for Loading?

Many times when I see the idea of stripper clip loading proposed, usually someone quickly asks “but why?”

For a lot of people, the sight of stripper clip loading is self explanatory. If this is you, feel free to read no further. For other people, they look at stripper clips as an inferior and out dated loading method. In all honesty, they are correct. It’s slower and more finicky than changing a magazine. People take that correct view and go one step farther and think something that is inferior and out dated doesn’t have a place. That’s where I disagree.

Reason 1) Stripper clips prove their worth as a supplementary loading method. They don’t replace magazines, they supplement magazines. There is generally a finite number of magazines in any given situation. Proprietary Mini-14 and Mini-30 magazines cost significant amounts of money. On the other hand, stripper clips flood the market at a nearly disposable price. The average shooter can afford to buy stripper clips for most of the ammo they have on hand. Some ammo is even sold prepackaged on stripper clips giving the shooter a steady supply of loaded clips. When the loaded magazines run out, the shooter can reload magazines using pre-loaded stripper clips. The U.S. military still employs this method, although they issue a magzine filler (or colloquially a loading spoon) to load the magazines directly. These “spoons” are available for the Mini-14 and I encourage their use. Keep in mind no such product exists for the Mini-30(until now). I don’t see a good reason why someone should complain about stripper clip guides attached to a rifle but not the little spoons currently still issued to U.S military personnel for resupply. It’s the same thought process for both. 

STANAG magazine and USGI stripper clip spoon with USGI stripper clipMini-14 magazine loader

Reason 2) Shooting with outdated technology is more fun than you’d think. I point to the continued popularity of lever actions, revolvers, and black powder for proof. When you can envision what it was like for a Vietcong soldier using a Chinese made Type 56 SKS against the French in a jungle, it enriches the shooting community with some history. I think we can all embrace a little novelty into shooting. Not every item in your safe needs to be for the protection of your life. There are a lot of people not interested in shooting for fun, but that’s okay. If that’s you, no problem, but it’s also okay to let others have our fun. Keep in mind, it has never been recommended by us that you use a stripper clip to reload your rifle while being shot at, unless that’s your only means of reloading. 

SKS / Siminov 7.62x39 carbine

Reason 3) Gadgety things captivate me and make my soul hum.  I know others feel the same deep pull. I’m fascinated by adapting things together that normally have no business together. (See Other post) There is no foreseeable end for the tinkering with my rifles. I need to re-zero my rifle on every range visit because I’ve changed so much that I can’t trust the zero anymore. It’s a real problem, but it’s not one that will stop in the near future. Let us tinker. Sooner or later we’ll come up with something you really like. There are things in the works that we think more people will like, so keep that in mind.

Reason 4) Gun laws and legal restrictions determine new sets of requirements for others. I commonly hear “just move” like it’s a simple concept to leave family and friend networks. Our products weren’t specifically built for this purpose, but I absolutely understand the demand for more loading options in several restrictive U.S. states. Going back to the first point, ten round magazine restrictions or fixed magazine restrictions accentuate the cost benefits of stripper clip loading. In the long term, Garand style Enbloc clip loading should take the place of stripper clip loading. It’s a better overall system for fixed magazines.

If you still aren’t convinced, that’s ok. Take a look at our other products and see if there is anything else you’re interested in. Feel free to share what you think.

-Cole F.

P.S. I’d like to leave a big thanks to The Truth About Guns for featuring our blog post and products in their article!

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Do you ever daydream your Mini-30 is that unicorn VZ-52/57? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to use a Rasheed? Do you wonder what it would be like if NATO had adopted .280 British in the 1950’s? What if someone scaled up the M1 carbine to take 7.9×33 Kurz? Here at Cogburn Arsenal, we wonder those things a lot.

Czech cold war era VZ-52 ins 7.62x45mm

The Mini-14/Mini-30 rifles hold my interest as a rifle that should have been thought of 70 years ago. There were a few people thinking of it, but never had it’s day. In my mind, the Mini-14 in 6.8 SPC is a functional equivalent to hypothetical U.S. Army’s successor to the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine if .280 British were the standardized NATO cartridge. The FAL was already being developed in this caliber, but the U.S. might have still opted for a home grown design for their service rifle. Logic would dictate that the Army would come up with a hybrid of design features from the Garand and M1 carbine. The resulting rifle would be a near copy of the 6.8 SPC Mini-14. I would love to see a AC556 converted to 6.8 SPC. It would show the hypothetical BAR replacement like the M15/M14E2 was intended to be. Of course, it would need a custom wooden pistol grip stock. Those M14E2 stocks handily score ten out of ten in the Cold War aesthetic category. 

M14E2 or M15 drawing

A similar story rings true in post WWII Czechoslovakia. The famous Czech weapons designers took what they learned from some of their fantastic interwar auto-loading 7.92x57mm rifles and meshed it with a German lesson in intermediate cartridges. The child of this was the VZ-52 in 7.62×45. At the demand of standardization, the Soviets killed the development of what could have been a great cartridge. The Czech rifle limped on as a VZ-52/57 in 7.62×39, but it was ultimately doomed. My Czech weapon loving self is left longing for that ten round magazine, stripper clip fed, intermediate cartridge carbine. So I took my Mini-30 and I made some modifications. In all fairness, the VZ-58 carbines that would go on to replace the VZ52/57 were probably the best rifles in the communist side of the Iron Curtain until the AK-74’s entered the scene. Then again, a 5.45×39 VZ-58 would be even better. 


Ruger Mini-30 loaded with VZ-52 stripper clips and 7.62x39 ammo
Wood stocked Mini-30 getting loaded with a 5 round VZ-52 clip

The same story is retold a few times over. Winchester wanted to create a small bore light weight alternative to the M14 and developed the Winchester Light Rifle in .224 caliber. The Soviets took some SVT design elements and shrunk them into the SKS. The Egyptians shrunk the Hakim into the Rasheed. Oddly, the Spanish went the other way and increased the M1 carbine to accept the 7.9×33 Kurz. The resulting Spanish rifle has some striking similarities to a Mini-30 or Mini-14 in .300 Blk. Some of these designs are more obscure than the others, but they all have a distinct cold war intermediate caliber carbine that was based in a more traditional rifle layout. Very few of these rifles saw widespread adoption or use. Instead, large western militaries adopted more modern designed rifles using large calibers on par with previous wars. When the West realized the 7.62 Nato was a mistake, they opted for new rifle designs with pistol grips, plastic furniture, and Aluminum. Those decisions led to the skipping over of the rifles that really hold my interest. Light weight, carbine variants of the large caliber, WWII era, auto-loading rifles. 

Winchester Light Rifle in .224 caliber

I’m tired of seeing SKS’s in bullpup stocks with duck-bill magazines. I’m tired of the ACR-esk stocks for Mini-14’s. I just don’t care for taking old designs and forcing them into modern disguise. It’s not just that they are ugly and they never really live up to the new designs. I often find that they don’t live up to the standard configuration. What if we took more modern designs and run them back a little? What if we add a little WWII/cold war aesthetic to our firearms? I think there are a few lessons to be learned from the historical rifles. I think this idea is catching on. Recently we’ve seen retro AR’s, STG-44’s, and Fightlight SCR’s come to the marketplace with some amazing reception. I’m pretty excited about it.

Brownells retro AR-10

I have nothing against your AR-15 decked out in lightweight aluminum M-lok rails, 800 Lumen flashlights, 1-6x variable scopes, and 2-point slings. There probably isn’t a better self-defense weapon on the market. My problem is that everyone has one, and it’s a little boring. Here at Cogburn Arsenal, we’re trying to cut through the monotony.

-Cole F.

Post Script: When is Kel-tec going to start selling the M43?

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Choosing the Right Clip Guide

This is a guide to help you choose the correct parts for the rifle you own.

581- Vs 582+ Mini-14 and Mini-30 comparison

For the 582, 583, and 584 rifles with the drilled and taped receiver, the choice is an obvious one. Get the part that mounts with the factory supplied screws and don’t worry about it. The side mount parts will work, but if you need to access the ejector/bolt hold open, you will need to disassemble the clip guide first. Found here.

For rifles with serial numbers 581 and below with integral Ruger scope mounts; I have a clip guide that attaches to the side plate (bolt hold open/ejector cover) and it contours to the integral Ruger scope mounts. Found here

(It would be possible to use a 582+ part on these rifles but you would need to drill and tap the receiver with #5-40 holes in the correct locations. The hard steel of the receiver makes this a difficult process and should be left to people with the necessary skills to do this)

Mini-14 ranch rifle receiver DrawingMini-14 side mounted stripper clip guide

If you do not have the integral Ruger scope mounts, you can use our “Pre-Ranch” model of clip guide found here. Mini-30’s were never made in this variety. These models didn’t have the pesky ejector getting in the way, so you can load these perfectly vertical.

If you have a 180 series rifle, I have no practical way to add a clip guide. This shouldn’t really come as shock, but I have no plans for developing one. There isn’t a good way to do it and the relatively small number of rifles makes this not very feasible.

Were working on an argument in favor of the Thermold-type clips for people who have no experience with them.

If you are still confused, contact us and we will help you sort it out.