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Internal Production Capacity (Update)

As previously mentioned in our blog, we are working hard to develop internal capacity to produce our plastic parts and we have come a long way in the last month. We have resolved a few technical issues. A discerning eye will catch some other cosmetic defects in the pictures we would still like to resolve, but we like to share the progress. We should take this time to reiterate that we are trying to produce parts that are cheaper for the end user, shorten lead times, and produce better colors.

Grey, Blaze Orange, OD Green, Khaki

We have ultimately chosen colors for our initial release and have all of them on hand except black. As shown above, the colors are Grey, Blaze Orange, Olive Drab green, and Khaki. The Grey is a nice gun-metal color that actually matches U.S. military clips, clip guides, or any other U.S. Military parkerized steel. The orange is a UV reactive vibrant orange. It’s a bright color under any light, but UV rays from the sun are reflected into the visible light spectrum making it bright and easy to see if dropped it in tall grass. The olive drab green is a staple in the outdoors community and will match up with surplus bandoleers and ammo cans nicely. We were really excited to find this dark tan/khaki color. It’s not quite a true Flat Dark Earth match, but it’s close enough for all but the most fashion sensitive shooters. Black was delayed at the time of writing. It needs no commentary as it currently makes up over 50% of our sales by volume.
We will go live with these 5 colors available, but we are going to add more as we go. Send us a message if you have a different color request. We will likely have a minimum order quantity for new color requests, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for new colors.

Another perk with the redesign is that these parts will work with U.S. military surplus clips as well as Thermold and Canadian surplus plastic clips. This will provides much more flexibility without sacrificing usability. There is no more need to choose between the two anymore.

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Internal Production Capacity

Typically we have used 3rd party production capacity to get the highest quality prints we can. We think we can make some of the plastic parts in-house that offer the same functionality and durability. We also think we can provide a lower cost to the customer than the current products we offer. There is the added benefit of using colors we think are more typically associated with the shooting sports (tan, OD green, blaze orange) and we can ship sooner than waiting for the third party production.  We are currently still investigating multiple different plastic types, and are attempting to balance ease of printing, durability, and color availability. It seems like a win for everyone involved.

Top two are from our supplier, bottom two are our prints. We are still fine tuning

On the topic of color; we would love to hear your input on what colors you are interested in for plastic parts. We would love for people to take part in our survey on just that(Click here for the survey). We’ll compare the information from the survey with the purchase history that we have(shown below). It’s clear to us that black, green, and orange are the top three color choices, but our data can’t tell us what shades of greens you like or if you would prefer tan to orange. We need help from the customers to determine a few of those things. We hope you take the time to give us input.

Above is the current distribution of colors for Clip Spoons and Magazine Couplers.

For the time being, we’ll be offering the normal parts as always. In the near future you might see new listings for clip spoons as a trial run while still selling the old parts for the people who want the same great parts. We hope that doesn’t cause too much confusion and will allow you to get the parts you want. As time progresses we will attempt to expand our internal production to encompass all of our plastic parts, but only if it meets our expectations of quality.

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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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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. cogburn.arsenal@gmail.com