M1 Garand Clip: Loading Basics and Troubleshooting Tips

M1 Garand Clip: Loading Basics and Troubleshooting Tips
The M1 Garand clip is an 8-round stamped steel part. Photo courtesy garandgear.com.


Nothing can cause the new Garand shooter more headaches than an intractable M1 Garand clip. Here’s how to load it and troubleshoot it.

Basics of the M1 Garand Clip

The M1 Garand clip is stamped steel. It holds 8 rounds of .30-06 Springfield (or .308 Win. for M1s so chambered). 5-round clips available, but the standard 8-rounder can be loaded with fewer rounds. The 5-rounder isn't necessary.

The clip is … not a magazine, for it does not completely enclose the cartridges. In fact, the Garand has a magazine, it’s integral to the receiver and receives the clip.  

The last round fired ejects the clip. That creates that signature M1 Garand stripper clip sound characterized by a “ping” that alerts you it’s time to reload.

When you shove the clip down into the M1’s magazine, and then release pressure, the bolt grabs a cartridge and slams it into battery.

Myth: One claim is that you can load 8+1 into the Garand. You can’t do it.     

Myth: The “ping” sound was not something that alerted enemy troops that a soldier’s rifle was empty. A Military Channel documentary spawned this cliché. It’s almost laughable to think the ping sound could be heard at distance among the thunderous roar of a firefight—or that a soldier would pop his head up and provide an easy target when his rifle ran dry.

Loading Garand Clips

There is a correct way to load the clip so that you don’t slam the bolt down on your thumb and earn the coveted “M1 Garand Thumb” Award.

Just make sure you use the side of your hand to keep the bolt retained while inserting the clip.

Here’s an excellent video on loading:


Seat all the rounds fully. If they're not, you'll have a dickens of a time inserting the clip.

From GarandGear.com:

“As a general rule you want the top round to be on the side of the clip with the indexed bump (Shown below). This positions the top round such that when right-handed shooters press the clip in the round is closer to the right hand. The clip can be loaded either way without issue.”

M1 Garand clip loading. Photo: Garandgear.com
M1 Garand clip loading. Photo: Garandgear.com

Additional causes of M1 Garand clip malfunction:

  • Excessive Parkerizing on the clip that causes binding (remove with abrasive paper)
  • Operating rod locked back fully (don’t touch!)
  • Op-rod correctly assembled
  • Inspect the slideway and follower for any burrs, and remove
  • Look for interference from the bullet guide
  • If clips don’t eject after last round you may have a weak or broken clip ejector

More tips and photos at GarandGear.com

Dig Deeper into the M1 Garand:


Next Step: Get your FREE Printable Target Pack

Enhance your shooting precision with our 62 MOA Targets, perfect for rifles and handguns. Crafted in collaboration with Storm Tactical for accuracy and versatility.

Subscribe to the Gun Digest email newsletter and get your downloadable target pack sent straight to your inbox. Stay updated with the latest firearms info in the industry.

Previous article Video: The Extended Capacity Mossberg MC2c
Next article Stoeger STR-9 Compact Shoots For Affordable Carry
Corey Graff is the managing editor of the <i><a href="https://www.gundigeststore.com/product/2023-standard-catalog-of-firearms-33rd-edition-the-illustrated-collectors-price-and-reference-guide/">Standard Catalog of Firearms</a></i> and <i><a href="https://www.gundigeststore.com/product/gun-digest-2023-77th-edition/">Gun Digest</a></i> annual book. In addition, he is the author of <i>What's In Your Bug-Out Bag?</i> and <i>The Comprehensive Guide to Concealed Carry Holsters.</i> His personal interest in firearms includes handguns for hunting and self-defense as well as bolt-action rifles for western hunting.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.