A Common Error

As a gentle reader noted in the comments, we are in the season of Advent, the period of time during which we anticipate Christmas. This is all Catholic in it’s origin. Advent traditionally is a time of waiting and reflection in anticipation of the memorial of the coming of Jesus as an infant. The Christmas season begins at Christmas and extends into January, ending with the Feast of the Epiphany, where Jesus is revealed as the Savior and King. Hence the 12 Days of Christmas. There are lots of traditions and lots of different variations. YMMV.

The reader felt this was an important, if subtle distinction, and likened his irritation at calling Advent “the Christmas season” to the way we all feel when magazines are called clips. He used an analogy that not everyone is familiar with and on the off chance that someday some non-gunnut stumbles across my words, here’s my post for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, 2010.

Magazines hold and feed ammunition. Magazines usually have a spring, a housing, and a plate called a follower. They can be independent devices that are inserted in a firearm, or they can be built into the firearm. So, a .22 rifle might have a tubular magazine that holds ammunition in a row under the barrel. An AK-47 has a box magazine that is inserted in the rifle, holding the ammunition stacked. There are lots of possible configurations.

A clip holds ammunition in a cluster or stack to speed up the process of loading it in a magazine. Here is a clip sitting on top of a magazine, when the cartridges (or rounds, but not bullets, bullets are just the…never mind, that’s another post) are pushed down inside the the rifle, the clip falls off and the cartridges will then be in the internal magazine.
The most commonly known clip is probably the enbloc clip, which held the rounds 8 at a time for the M-1 Garand rifle of WWII fame. Once again, the clip was inserted in the rifle magazine which was integral to the rifle, and once the rounds were expended, the clip was ejected, clearing the magazine for a fresh clip. Look for the clip at 2:11 in this video as it comes out of the magazine. .

The liturgy of Advent…helps us to understand fully the value and meaning of the mystery of Christmas.
–John Paul II


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