Why does clip vs magazine even matter? We all know the correct terminology, and it seems we often correct people not to make sure they’re using correct phrases, but rather to shame them for not knowing that “everyone” should know.
There are certainly times when it is appropriate to use the correct, precise terminology about guns. But, if we’re using precise terminology to gatekeep other people from a firearms experience, it has a net negative effect. If a first time gun owner asks about what kind of clips to get for his new Glock, don’t be a dick, help him buy some magazines. You might want to politely correct him later, but right then and there at the point of interaction, it’s not proper, and it makes you look like a jerk. Another great example of a bad time to be pedantic is when you’re interacting online with strangers. The whole “assault rifle” issue is a perfect example. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen someone say that “assault rifles” should be banned, and the first 100 comments are all from people correcting them saying “well assault rifle isn’t a real thing” or something along those lines. That’s why the longer I do this, I don’t think “clip vs magazine” matters at all.
Are there times when precise language is appropriate? Of course. The best time I can think of is when you’re engaging with fellow enthusiasts that are either seeking more skill, or already on your level. Your peer group, as it were. When I teach classes, whether civilian or military, I focus on using precise, correct terminology for everything, because I’m getting paid to instruct. A classroom environment is not the place for colloquial language, and it’s the perfect opportunity to give educational information such as the difference between clip vs magazine.
The goal for all of us is to still be able to shoot well into our old age, and pass our love for shooting on to our children, right? We don’t preserve the shooting sports by gatekeeping people or being pedantic. We preserve them, and grow them, by opening our arms to people, and educating them when it’s appropriate.