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Old April 22, 2013, 10:17 PM   #1
shootsafe
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Moon Clips

I have not seen or talked to anyone who is using moon clips.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

How would you go about getting a GP100 fitted for this system?

Thanks,
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Old April 22, 2013, 11:51 PM   #2
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I have a 640 Pro. I can load RN bullets faster with moon clips, anything else speedloaders are faster for me. All fired cases eject at the same time. INHO they are better for short stubby rounds like the 45 ACP revolvers then the long skinny 357. They are nice for have lots of rounds ready to go for training or range sessions.

You can send the gun to TKS customs.
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:29 AM   #3
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I'm not that familiar with them but wouldn't a speed loader accomplish the same thing much faster and easier?
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Old April 23, 2013, 01:35 AM   #4
Frank Ettin
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The primary purpose of moon clips is to allow revolvers to function properly using rimless cartridges designed for use in auto-loaders. The moon clips hold the cartridges and give the ejector star something to push against.

I believe they were originally developed around the time of World War I. At the time 1911s were in short supply. So Smith & Wesson and Colt produced revolvers chambered in .45 ACP so sufficient numbers of sidearms using the then standard Army pistol cartridge could be available.

But since the .45 ACP used a rimless case, there would be nothing for the ejector star to bear against to eject spent cases. So the cartridges were fitted into clips. Originally they were called half-moon clips. Each held three cartridges so two were needed.
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Old April 23, 2013, 06:03 AM   #5
Sevens
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The advantage, beyond the original purpose as Frank mentioned, is that (when well practiced), you have a VERY fast reload and you don't need to buy a bunch of speedloaders nor do you need to carry a bunch of speedloaders as the moonclipped ammo simply goes in to the cylinder as all one piece. If you watch someone like Jerry Miculek with this setup, you'll be blinded by the speed.

Disadvantage? I found it absolutely annoying to load up moonclips and much worse to remove the empty brass later. Also, if you aren't careful, you can bend those clips and once you've done that, they'll never be the same.

For a revolver that was never designed to run moonclips -- it's a not all too cheap proposition to have someone machine your cylinder to accept them. And as was also said, longer and skinnier rounds are not nearly as easy to handle quickly as are the fat, stubby .45 Auto rounds. The .45's almost seem to find their own way in while .38/.357 need to be guided to find the holes.
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Last edited by Sevens; April 23, 2013 at 01:52 PM. Reason: fix minor detail
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Old April 23, 2013, 10:11 AM   #6
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@Mr. Sevens & Mr. Ettin: Great posts. Very informative.

Plus I like the fact that we're talking about something that is REALLY A CLIP.
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Old April 23, 2013, 10:58 AM   #7
Dan-O
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I have two guns that use Moonclips. A Smitty 625 and a Smitty 610.

To answer the second part of your question, here are a couple places that can do the conversion for you.

http://www.clarkcustomguns.com/moonclip.htm

http://www.pinnacle-guns.com/revolver.asp
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Old April 23, 2013, 12:33 PM   #8
Super Sneaky Steve
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A lot of the clipping and unclipping annoyances can be solved using plastic moon clips. For practice they are super easy to use.
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Old April 23, 2013, 02:28 PM   #9
Dan-O
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A lot of the clipping and unclipping annoyances can also be solved by using the proper tools. It's really not that difficult.

http://www.mooncliptool.com/

And for de-mooning if you put the spent moonclip back onto the arbor, and use a wooden dowel, pencil, pen, etc., put dowel into the spent case and pull the case in the opposite direction of the arbor, they will pop right out of the moonclip.
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Old April 23, 2013, 02:35 PM   #10
buckhorn_cortez
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Quote:
Disadvantage? I found it absolutely annoying to load up moonclips and much worse to remove the empty brass later. Also, if you aren't careful, you can bend those clips and once you've done that, they'll never be the same.
Moon clips are relatively inexpensive. I have about 30 of them for my S&W 625. I just load up all of them at one time so I'm not loading / unloading in the field.

While expensive, the BMT mooner / demooner is about the fastest tool you can find for loading and unloading moon clips. Takes about 30 seconds to load a moon clip and less than that to unload. There are other tools available from Dillon, and more listed on Brownell's and Midway.

The North Mountain Moon Clip Holder makes carrying additional loaded moon clips easy for field or competition use. With a little practice and moon clip holders, you can unload / load a revolver nearly as fast as a semi-auto.
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Old April 23, 2013, 02:44 PM   #11
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For competition, or perhaps self-defense, where reloads are done "on the clock", I much prefer being able to carry the ammo clipped together into a single unit, rather than rounds retained in a speedloader, and do like that the expended rounds are still clipped together after the reload.
I can pre-load as many clips as I want before going to the range, and then never have to deal with loose rounds.
Downsides include the hassle of demooning, but it can be done any time, doesn't require focus, etc.
I don't know that I'd modify a revolver chambered for a rimmed cartridge, unless speed of reloading was of extreme importance, and as noted, that advantage varries with chambering.
I have two .45 ACP revolvers, and even though I have some Auto Rim brass and speedloaders for same, I've never used either.
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Old April 23, 2013, 02:57 PM   #12
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I'm well aware of the methods for making moonclips easier to deal with -- the tool I figured "would make these evil things much easier to deal with" was like fifty bucks and I was having a hard time throwing more money at the project just so I could enjoy the project.

Don't get me wrong-- for sure, if you intent to compete with a revolver for speed, this is the game and these are the tools you need and those tools and high quality moonclips are all part of the equation.

For me, my very short little relationship with a S&W 625 and the moonclips was just more hassle and more expense for something that just didn't grab me.

In it's role, it's absolutely the way to go. But I couldn't find a way to get on board with it for my needs and the things I like & enjoy in handgunning.
I gave up on my 625 in horribly short order, which is very much out of character for me...but I found myself in a situation where I could get my dream gun and getting rid of the 625 I'd had only a short time was the shortest route there. If not for that, I likely would have given the 625 much more of a chance. And then... I may have ended up with better moonclips and a $50 hand tool to make them a pleasure to deal with. Or maybe not.

I find myself very fortunate that I have many different toys in handgunning to play with. I'm absolutely addicted to handgunning and have enough different things to occupy my time. To be honest, I just don't see me ever going back down the moonclip road ever again...but that's just me.

When I see a guy with a 625 and a belt full of moonclips ready to roll, TWO things occur to me:

1) "Now that guy there is an enthusiast! Cool setup!"
and
2) "I'll never do THAT again!"
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Old April 23, 2013, 10:29 PM   #13
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I have four 45 ACP revolvers which obviously all take moon-clips. I think they are "the way" to carry spare ammunition and to reload these revolvers. Nothing is as handy or fast. Someone above asked if speed loaders would be just as good and faster. Simple answer: No and not even close! The trick to using them is, as advised above is to have the proper loading and unloading tools...and keep a good supply of full moons on hand. I have about 150 of them and keep an ammo can full of the loaded clips at all times. Going to the range with one of the 45 ACP wheel guns is actually easier than taking a semi automatic. No magazines to load either!

I also have two PC S&W L-frame 7-shots cut for moon-clips. They too load more easily and faster than the HKS speed loader. The problem with these is the clips for rimmed cartridges are much thinner than for the 45 ACP and thus they are more prone to bending. Still they make loading so much easier it's worth the hassle of occasionally replacing one.

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Old April 24, 2013, 08:15 AM   #14
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I use moon clips for my Colt and S&W 1917s, and Webley MkVI. Great for loading and an absolute MUST for extraction. For range use you can't beat Rim-Z plastic moon clips.
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Old April 24, 2013, 10:21 AM   #15
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@jonnyc: For range and plinking use, I found the ranch products, 1/3 moon clips much easier to use. Or I just use .45 auto rim.

I had heard about the plastic rim-z full moon clips. I think I may try them. What is the service life? Do they last very long?
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Old April 24, 2013, 11:21 AM   #16
Don P
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Quote:
'm not that familiar with them but wouldn't a speed loader accomplish the same thing much faster and easier?
For 45 acp moon clips can't be beat for speed reloads.
38 spl in moon clips tend to wobble quit a bit. Most folks that I shoot with that are shooting 38's are reloading 38 short colts. A WHOLE lot less wobble.
In my opinion for 38 spl use Safariland Comp 3 speedloaders. I use them when I shoot my GP 100 and they hold the rounds nice and firm.
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Old April 24, 2013, 01:46 PM   #17
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I would only go to moon clips on a rimless cartridge like a .45acp ...where I really had no choice...except to use them / or unless you were really trying to work on your reloading speed for competition with a revolver.

For standard revolver cartridges like .38 spl, .357 mag, .44 mag....using speedloaders is way cheaper - and still effective and reasonably quick with a lot of practice ( not Miculek quick - but that's different ! ) ...and personally I prefer the Safariland or the Jet speed loaders - especially over the HKS brand or style....but you'll have to find the right model of each brand for your gun.
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Old April 24, 2013, 07:29 PM   #18
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My new Rhino 357 came cut for Moonclips, it's cut in some magical way that you don't have to use them. The clips are easy to load/unload with the included tool. I don't bother with them usually but it's nice to keep a few around just in case.
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Old April 24, 2013, 08:00 PM   #19
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Hammie, I've had a few wear out after at least hundreds of rounds.
Just so easy to load and unload.
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Old April 24, 2013, 08:52 PM   #20
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@Mr. jonnyc: Thanks. I couldn't find them at midway, but they do have their own website and you can order directly from there (ezmoon, as I recall). Fifteen clips for approx 30$. And they claim that they last as long as the steel ones.
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Old April 25, 2013, 01:08 AM   #21
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I happen to like moon clips. As was mentioned above, they do work best in 45acp, and 10mm/40 S&W.
I have the above in a 3" 625, a 2.5" 310 Night Guard, as well as my 610.

I also have a 686 that has been cut for moon clips by Clark, as well as a factory 442 Pro Moon Clip.

Moon Clip 38/357

My 442 Pro Moon Clip reloads fairly well with moon clips. It is probably a toss up between a moon clip reload and a reload using a J Model Jet Loader.
Added advantage with a short ejector stroke revolver like a J Frame is being able to get all 5 shells out of the gun during a Tactical Reload.

The conversion for a 686 and GP100 for moon clips probably needs a hair more thought. As far as speed you will need to practice reloading with the moon clips to come up to speed. You also need a Moon Clip belt carrier to access the clips. With all the right gear it would be a toss up on speed between a moon clip 38 and a Safariland Comp III or L Model Jet Loader.
ADVANTAGE: On a range where you do not get to pick up your brass. You get to pick up your moon clips with all your brass still in place.

I believe all modern moon clip conversions of the J, K, and L Frame as well as the GP100 allow loading with loose rounds, speed loaders, as well as moon clips. So basicly you are just gaining another option for reloading the revolver.

Also moon clip are not allowed in IDPA SSR Division. Just for information.
If you are thinking about competition, you probably need to check the rules before you start.
I personally wish moon clips were approved for SSR Guns. It would be nice getting all your brass back when you leave the range.

I have owned several moon clip revolvers over the years. I like them just fine.

Bob

Last edited by Viper225; April 25, 2013 at 01:16 AM.
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Old April 26, 2013, 07:54 AM   #22
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Hammie-They definitely won't last as long as steel, but you should get some good life and shooting out of them.

Viper-How do rimless cases extract/eject without rims or moon clips?
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Old April 26, 2013, 08:24 AM   #23
Mike Irwin
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Price of mooning/demooning tool -- $20 to $100+

Price of metal moon clips -- .50 to $1.50 each

Price of a polymer moon clip from Rimz -- $1 to $2.

Price of mooning/demooning tool for Rimz clips -- $0. One isn't needed.

I've tried steel moon clips and the many different "It's a better mousetrap" mooning/demooning tools.

I was never all that impressed with any of them. Generally fiddly, expensive, bulky, and slow to use.

Then there was always the chance that no matter how careful you were, you'd end up with a bent moon clip. Once that happened, that was that. Trash it.

When I first heard of the Beckham Rimz polymer moon clips I figured it was yet another attempt at the mousetrap.

I was pretty dismissive of the concept, and then the people from Beckham sent me a couple to test out.

Instant convert.

I ended up throwing away all of my metal moon clips and gave the demooning tool I had to a friend.

The early Rimz clips did have some issues. Primarily, they didn't hold the rounds all that firmly and dropping one on the ground usually caused several of the rounds to pop free.

That was addressed in a later, stiffer, version that holds the rounds far more securely.

I dropped one of those from shoulder height repeatedly and only once in about a dozen drops was I able to get a round to pop free.

Even better, the Rimz clip was totally and completely unharmed, where with a metal clip an inadvertent drop from even a lesser height can result in a sprung, damaged clip.

Another benefit I've found is simply speed. Loading and unloading one of the polymer Rimz clips takes a few seconds, FAR quicker than with steel clips. The only tool you need is your fingers.

And, if you screw up and twist the Rimz clip into a pretzel while loading a round? It doesn't matter because, unlike a steel clip, the Rimz polymer clip returns to its original shape.




They definitely won't last as long as steel...

Jonny, based on how much testing do you make that statement?

Regarding my experience with how long they will last...

I've run probably 3,000 or more rounds through the few polymer Rimz clips that I have, and they are showing no signs of undue wear, loosening, failing to hold the rounds in the clips, etc.

That's as good, or better, than I ever got out of any of my steel moon clips.




Brownell's carries them, and they're cheaper there...

http://www.brownells.com/shooting-ac...prod20526.aspx
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Old April 26, 2013, 08:42 AM   #24
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I use a small flat screwdriver to de-moon my .45 ACP moonclips (625-3 and 22-4), and it works just fine. I also check flatness by laying them on a table. If one of the wings is a little bent, it's easy to move it back to where it needs to be.

IIRC I bought a pack of 20 blued steel moonclips from SG for $10.

I think some of you guys make it harder than it has to be.
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Old April 26, 2013, 09:20 AM   #25
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Moon Clips

I have a 625 with moon clips. Moon clips are faster than a speedloader but not so much so for me that I would modify a 38/357. For a competition guy that may be a different deal.

The steel clips and tool are cheap. I bought 10 steel clips back when I bought my gun with a tool for $8.95. You could get just 10 clips for $4.95 back then. The tool is dirt simple to use and you can unload the empties from a clip in about 10 to 15 seconds. Putting the rounds in just takes a little rolling motion and again is done in less that 30 seconds for 6 rounds; little more effort than loading a speedloader. The prices on the clips is not that much more now. A quick search shows 12 clips and a tool for $15.99 and free shipping. Some shopping around and you could probably find them for less. Here is a link to the sample I found. YMMV

http://compare.ebay.com/like/1409493...Types&var=sbar
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