Every range I have ever been to I see the exact same thing going on. Shooters spend somewhere near 70% of their time loading magazines and less than 30% of their time actually pulling the trigger. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but think about your last range trip and how much time you spent reloading. Don’t you wish there was something to make that go quicker? Turns out it was invented a little over 150 years ago…
There was a time when stripper clips meant the difference between life and death. The ability to load your weapon faster than your enemy is crucial on the battlefield, and so every military bolt action firearm (and many semi-auto firearms) manufactured after the 1880’s used some form of clip to hold a number of rounds together and make it easier to reload the gun. This example, a 5-round stripper clip designed for the Mosin Nagant m1891, may be somewhat tricky to master but if used properly can reload the rifle much faster than placing each cartridge in the gun one at a time.
Even modern firearms take advantage of this system. The AR-15, for example, uses military style magazines which were designed to allow a metal “guide” to be attached to the back and 10 round strips of ammunition inserted into the magazine. Three clips later and your magazine is full while the rest of the people on the range are still loading one at a time and starting to hurt their thumbs.
If you look at it in total, stripper clips probably don’t save you much time. It’s faster to load the magazine directly than to load the stripper clips then feed them into the magazine. But what you can do is trade off some of that time while you’re lying on your couch for some extra trigger time. If you load the clips while you’re otherwise just being a vegetable you can shoot more at the range.
These can be found at any gun show and most gun stores, usually mixed in with the assorted gun parts dealers. The guides ran me $2 each, and the strips were $10 for a pack of 40. And having used them a couple times now there’s no way in hell I’m going to waste any more time at the range.