Shooter's Glossary: Magazine Feed Lips

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Shooter's Glossary: Magazine Feed Lips

"Feed lips" are an integral part of a firearm's magazine, playing a crucial role in the feeding process of ammunition from the magazine into the chamber of the firearm.

Magazine Feed Lips are found on rifle, pistol, and shotgun magazines and are responsible for the final feeding of a round from the magazine into the weapon.

The feed lips taper the rounds from being stacked side by side sometimes, down to a single-file stack to be fed into the gun. Modern magazines usually use metal feed lips but many magazines still use plastic or polymer materials. 

 
Feed Lips - Pistol Magazine

Here's a breakdown of their function and importance:

Function
Feed lips are the uppermost part of the magazine, through which cartridges exit the magazine and enter the firearm's chamber.

They hold the rounds in place within the magazine and guide each cartridge as it is stripped off by the firearm's bolt (in rifles) or slide (in handguns) and fed into the chamber.

Design
The shape, width, and angle of feed lips can vary depending on the firearm design and caliber. These design specifics ensure that the cartridge is presented at the correct angle and timing for reliable feeding.

Material
Feed lips can be made from various materials, most commonly steel or polymer, depending on the magazine's construction.

Importance
Properly functioning feed lips are crucial for the reliable operation of a firearm. If the feed lips are damaged, bent, or worn out, it can lead to feeding malfunctions, such as double feeding, nose dives, or stovepipes.

Wear and Tear
Over time and with use, feed lips can wear out or become damaged, especially if the magazine is dropped or abused. Regular inspection of magazines, especially the condition of the feed lips, is essential for ensuring consistent firearm function.


In summary, the feed lips on a firearm magazine are pivotal in guiding and controlling the positioning of cartridges as they move from the magazine into the chamber, ensuring smooth and reliable operation of the firearm.

Feed Lips - Rifle Magazine
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