Every time I go to the range I see the exact same thing going on. Shooters spending somewhere near 70% of their time feeding magazines and only about 30% of their time actually pulling the trigger.
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 a way to speed the process and make it easier?
It turns out that there is, and it was invented about 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 feed 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, it can reload the rifle much faster than shoving each cartridge in the gun one at a time.
Yes, even modern firearms can take advantage of this system. The AR-15, for example, uses magazines that were designed to allow a “guide” (Maglula makes a good one) to be attached to the back to allow 10-round strips of ammunition to be inserted quickly.
Three clips later and about 15 seconds later, your magazine is full while the rest of the people on the range are still loading individual rounds and hurting their thumbs.
If you look at it in total, stripper clips may not save you much time. It’s as fast or faster to load the magazine directly than to load the stripper clips, then feed them into the magazine.
But it all depends on when you do it. You can trade time spent in front of the tube loading stripper clips for extra trigger time behind the gun at the range when it counts.
You can buy ammo pre-loaded on stripper clips, then re-use the empties. Or you can buy the clips themselves pretty cheaply and do the work yourself. Having used them a number of times myself there’s no way I’m going to waste any more perfectly good shooting time at the range any more.