Once Forgotten; Twice Remembered
This is an old trick I discovered when I got into surplus rifles and the basic issued equipment for these weapons. Which are still quite serviceable if you put in the time and dime.
I enjoy using stripper clips. They are light weight, low profile, disposable at nearly $1 or $2 a piece, and they theoretically last forever.
It’s also VERY satisfying when you stuff one in your gun, load cleanly, and rack that bolt decisively.
Strippers also allow you to top off a 20 or 30 round magazine in a fraction of the time it takes to load by hand. Nearly 3-4 times faster in my opinion. But all of these factors rely on a few key elements.
- Are your magazines clean and serviceable?
- Is your stripper clip guide free of debris, fouling, rust?
- Have you tested every single stripper clip? Discarding the out of spec ones for the trash pile?
- Is everything debur’d? Both the Guide and Clips?
- Familiarization and training? Do you understand the pro’s and cons?
Personally, I believe that strippers are easier to use than magazines depending on the situation…
Especially if you are in the prone shooting long range and want to slow your rate of fire. Instead of wasting your precious magazines, you can switch to strippers to maintain a steady rate of fire and save your magazines for the break contact, flank, counter attack, or assault.
Depending on the weapon system. Some FAL, M1a, and other Cold War weapons have stripper guides built into the action.
There is a reason for this. Controlling your rate of fire and saving your magazines.
Which is exactly what these systems were designed for. You also save yourself breaking a proper shooting position with minimal movement.
They also weigh significantly less and have a lower profile for storage and packing.
Everyone who has loaded a pile of magazines knows that it is quite the process. And it creates quite a mess of paper, cardboard, or even plastic waste. It also takes the better part of an hour to load 10-12 magazines by hand and to properly inspect all your ammo and magazines as you load. Seating every round properly.
Which, if you use strippers, you can do BEFORE you have to. Saving yourself time, headaches, and malfunctions.
Primarily, when I begin to process old stripper clips, I strip all the parkerization off of my strippers and then test fit them once they are LOADED. This coating, the parkerization, is applied for whatever reason, and is a wasted process and added cost in my opinion.
But the fix is easy, though a bit time consuming!
The parkerizing flakes off during use and can make the guide dirty, it also makes the strippers “stick” and they can be hard to remove or not seat properly at all. A healthy and happy polish on the 6 inch wire wheel is the best medicine for this problem.
Of 59 stripper clips I recently acquired, all but 7 of them would fit, 2 got stuck and needed to be removed with my multitool, and one was the wrong design and was discarded into the “Spare parts for something” pile.
The discarded one looks to be a 7mm Mauser design. With the three guide hashes on the sides. Not the one hash design you see below.
It took nearly 2 hours to check fitment, polish, and refit. All 58 remaining clips fit perfectly now. They drop right in and are removed as easily.
The results of the process are show below.
The backside of a dirty stripper.
The Dirty Front: It fed VERY poorly. Stiff with lots of friction.
The Leftside: Note the Wearing.
The Rightside: Note the Wearing.
A polished and debur’d stripper below.
Much cleaner sides.
Smooth as butter: Feeds like a finely polished Mauser action.
It looks dirty, but it’s quite polished. That coloring is from the brass to steel contact.
Smooth sides for better guiding.
No gritty feel or resistance. They drop right in.
Polished, lightly oiled, and ready to be loaded into a rebuilt and serviceable Yugoslavian Mauser Pouch. The old stitching is wore out and dry rotted. The guts from some proper 550 Paracord worked fine to rebuild the pouch.
Thanks for reading guys.
Do the busy work now, and save yourself the headache.