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You may have read Josh’s recent review of the venerable Ruger Mini Thirty. Josh noted that despite the Mini Thirty’s (and Mini-14’s) Garand-style action, it’s not loadable with stripper clips like its famous forbear did with en bloc clips.

Josh was correct. You can’t reload a Mini with a clip. At least not a factory rifle. But our review got the attention of the folks at Cogburn Arsenal who let us know that they make aftermarket stripper clip guides for the Mini-14 and Mini Thirty. How cool is that?

They offer a couple of different configurations depending on whether your Mini has been factory drilled and tapped for a scope mount or not (early models weren’t).

As you can tell from a couple of the photos above, you have to insert the clips at an angle to get around the extractor. But Cogburn says it just takes a little practice to get good and fast at it.

Why would you want to load your Mini with stripper clips instead of magazines?

That’s why.

But if that wasn’t enough for you, Cogburn provides a few reasons of their own:

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 generally a finite number of magazines in any given situation. Proprietary Mini-14 and Mini Thirty 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 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 Thirty (yet). 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.

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 Viet Cong 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.

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. 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 en bloc clip loading should take the place of stripper clip loading. It’s a better overall system for fixed magazines.

They even make clip spoons if you want to load your mags with stripper clips.

We haven’t tried these yet, but it isn’t rocket science. We’ll try to get our hands on one and give it a go.

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  1. Garand style action? I always thought the action was closer to the M1 carbine? I do know the little hole lock up on them mini’s mags suck, I like the gun but that’s a lame way to do it

    • They’re both gas operated, but the M1 Carbine uses the “Tappet” system, A.K.A. a short-stroke gas system (used in most every semi-automatic piston operated rifle from the vz. 58 to the FN SCAR) as opposed to the Garand’s long-stroke gas system (most commonly still used in AKs nowadays and nothing else still produced off the top of my head).

      Difference being the gas is siphoned off a little past the chamber on an M1 Carbine, it goes down and actuates a piston that hits the op-rod to cycle the action. Whereas the M1 Garand’s gas is siphoned off almost to the end of the barrel (almost a gas-trap, something that, IIRC, Garand didn’t want to do and led to some initial issues, but by that time he couldn’t change it) and then actuates the piston that is fixed as a single piece to the op-rod that cycles the action.

      To boil it down: a short-stroke hits a piston that hits an op-rod, with long-stroke the piston and op-rod are a single component. The Mini-14 uses the latter style, so it’s more akin to a Garand. Plus, for marketing reasons, Garand is certainly a more prominent and reknowned rifle than an M1 Carbine, so Ruger would rather call it a “Garand action” either way.

      However the Mini-14 is still quite a bit different, as it uses a dedicated gas block that is a little more than half-way on into the barrel (this is where the nose of the stock fits into) as opposed to a gas tube the Garand uses. Not to mention the whole piston is… maybe not technically a piston? It’s difficult to describe, you may need to look into “mini-14 op-rod” pictures online. The Mini-14’s “piston” is basically a large, cast chunk of steel with a hole in the end of it that fits over the gas bushing that protrudes from the gas block. That is opposed to the Garand’s milled steel rod that goes inside a tube and acts more like how you’d think a piston would operate (the Mini-14 is more like a female piston to a male bushing whereas the Garand may be considered a male piston to a female gas tube).

      Still, the Mini-14 is very similar to a scaled down Garand in many ways: receiver, trigger group, safety, bolt, action, etc. Nevertheless, changes had to be made going to the .223 Remington cartridge and according to the designer, Jim Sullivan (who also scaled down Mr. Eugene Stoner’s 7.62 NATO AR-10 to the 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington AR-15… I guess he had a knack for that) it wasn’t as simple as just scaling down the components and bam you got the same rifle in a new caliber. Not to mention as well that Ruger Co., to this day, relies heavily on using investment cast parts for their firearms, something that if anyone in the firearms industry knows how to do: it’s Ruger. That is opposed to doing milling, although Ruger does it well enough that anything they cast is just as good as a milled counter-part. However using this different method necessitated design changes as well beyond scaling down and design preferences.

  2. “They offer a couple of different configurations depending on whether your Mini has been factory drilled and tapped for a scope mount or not (early models weren’t).”


    My ranch rifle had scope rings, not drilled at all…

    • Ruger says in the info for the Mini’s — “Receiver is drilled and tapped for mounting the included Picatinny rail”

      What year was/is your Mini?

    • Please see reasons 1, 2, 3 and 4 in the article above. Yes, even reason 1 has additional benefits over buying 2 magazines for the price of the gadget described.

    • Thnx for that tip!

      BTW- CZ SP-01 .40 cal mags will work w/ 9mm loaded into a full size M&P Pro 9.
      Just like .40 cal Glock mags will load w/ 9’s and work fine in double stack 9mm Gocks.

      Who knew?!

    • That’s interesting! Thanks for the tip.

      I tried with some of my SKS stripper clips, and that worked like a champ. Might not be a bad way to carry a full reload for a Marlin 1894C.

  3. I’m in the market for a Mini-30 and this is interesting news. Fifty years ago, when I was in Vietnam in a Marine CAP unit, I had traded for an M14 and seven mags. I collected five-round stripper clips and filled them with ammo from machine gun belts. On patrol, I carried the stripper clips of ammo in 3-4 bandoliers. When I was involved in a firefight, that meant I could re-fill my rifle magazine using one or two stripper clips and leave the other magazines in reserve. Now that there is an accessory for the Mini-30 that would allow me to do the same thing (with SKS stripper clips), I can do that in case the zombies come.

    • Is that all you have to offer? Humans encounter probems and work to solve them. You buddy are too immature to own a firearm. You should grow up before you interrupt adult conversations. Go help your mom clean the toilets.

      • …really?

        GS650G makes a cynical point and you dump on him?

        The way things are going in this Socialistic Cesspool of a state (CA), they *will* probably be banned.

        • Lets stick to business. Unless I am mistaken this is a forum on ammunition clips. Lets control the conversation to the topic at hand to share and learn from each others experiences and the sponser make a few bucks.
          Suddenly, I hear a distraction about “them Dodgers”. It is amazing how little focus and self-control some people exercise when to comes to learning and letting others learn. No wonder we now are consuling physicians from Pakistan.
          That guy sounded like a 5th grader wanting to go to recess instead of learning how to write a paragraph. Perhaps, cleaning toilets with his mom will give him a greater focus on what his life will be if he does not grow up. I don’t want this guy in my prepper group. You take him.

  4. I got one of these on my Mini-14. It is a little fiddly. But as Cogburn said, it gets quicker with some practice. My Mini is pretty much just a range toy though and I thought loading it with stripper clips would be cool. If I were to use it for any serious work, I would just swap mags. Or go get the AK.

  5. Clips are not only useful for reloading. They are also good to keep spare cartridges from making noise when moving.

    On a hunting trip my colleagues would ask for my used clips to store ammunition in their pockets even though they could load directly from the clips.

    • I use my Mini-14 for hunting coyotes. It’s equip with a scope. I would think anyone who hunts with this rifle has a scope. I do use the stripper clip for spare ammo in my pocket.

    • Yes, reason #4 is the best reason.
      If you live in a state with restrictive gun laws, such as my state (New Jersey), it’s faster to load from stripper clips than from magazines. For example, at the Fort Dix, NJ civilian gun range, we only get one hour to shoot (punctuated by several “Cease fires” so it’s really only half an hour!), and you’re not allowed to load your magazines (or even open your ammo box!) until the range is declared “Hot.” This means at Fort Dix, when Range Control declares “The range is now hot”, there’s a couple minutes of silences while everyone with magazine-fed semiautomatics or bolt-actions fumbles around opening their ammo can, opening their ammo box, then slowly loading their magazines, one bullet at a time. Everyone with magazine-fed rifles is slow to load, but the people with single-shot rifles or revolvers start shooting immediately, because revolvers and single-shot rifles are much QUICKER to load than semi-autos, when you’re forced to load from a box of ammo. Try it sometime, load a pistol from a box of ammo, then load a revolver, and time which is faster — the revolver is much faster. (And we’re limited to 10 rounds in NJ anyway, and you can buy a Smith & Wesson 8-shot revolver, almost the same capacity).

      This is why we New Jerseyans laugh at claims that “It’s quicker to load a semi-automatic than a revolver,” when that’s totally FALSE in states like New Jersey that make you keep your magazines EMPTY until the RSO declares “The range is now hot.” Lever-action rifles are a little bit quicker to load than semi-auto rifles, but UNLOADING a lever-action rifle in order to transport it to and from the range is a real PITA, unless you have a Henry, because the Henry rifles are quick to unload (front-loading magazine tube, which is a bit slower to load but much quicker to unload).

      Those of you in free states can claim that semi-auto guns are quicker to load, but those of us behind the iron curtain in states that punish gun owners states know that semi-autos (and magazine-fed bolt-action rifles) are the SLOWEST to load, because pushing bullets one-by-one into a magazine is slower than inserting rounds into a revolver, double-barreled shotgun, or single-shot gun.
      Besides, Jerry Miculek can shoot 12 rounds in 3 seconds from a revolver, including reloads, so if you find revolvers slow, there’s nothing slow about revolvers other than the person using them, LOL!

  6. This is actually a pretty cool item for a Mini. If I had a Mini, I might get one to check out. I’m a sucker for stripper clip loading. The stripper clips I bought for 7.62×39 don’t fit a Russian SKS for some reason. So far I haven’t been able to get one that works yet. I’ll keep looking. I tried to load my VZ58 and it worked decent. It takes a bit of practice. If I lived in a ban state, I would probably go with that for my go to rifle. My FN-49 is tough to load with stripper clips, but I think the regular Mauser stripper clips were not meant for this. I’ll have to keep researching and see what the best option is. I also have an order for a BM-59 stripper clip guide for my BM-59 build. That should be interesting to try out.

    • The stripper reload comes home when,in contact,you get those frequent,short lulls in exchanging fire.You can keep searching for a target whilst jacking a few rounds into a partially depleted mag keeping all full ones handy.Experience is a good teacher!

  7. I bought a bullpup kit for an SKS(an old mismatched one with a cracked stock). I live in Ca and have all the goodies as well as full compliancy. I did this 5 years ago, anticipating all the laws on scary black rifles. Since it has a fixed mag and loads with stripper clips, I get my cake and eat it also. It is not like a modern bullpup, but it is still an SKS and works great!

    • I was just thinking myself: “Hey, they invented the SKS!” 🙂

      I’ve had both removable and fixed mags on my SKS and I’ve moved to just the 10-round fixed and have a ton of stripper clips. It’s just handier for most purposes. I’ve got ARs for when you need big mags.

    • We understand, and we really appreciate all the interest! But, it is very hard to keep a website working when the traffic increases tenfold. We worked late last night trouble shooting. It’s back up now.

      Cole F.
      Cogburn Arsenal

  8. This system sounds like the British and the .303, they were too cheap to build spare magazines so they Issued stripper clips! Using a stripper clip precludes the use of a scope so its a trade off!
    Personally I’ll use a scope,
    During SE Asia war games Never had a problem with changing mags in a fire fight the fu*king Rife may not have worked but mags were only a problem if stuffed too full. Water was heavier than the Mags.


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