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First time I've seen "clip" used correctly in a while. I know soldiers hated the "ping" because it gave away your position and let the enemy know you were empty.
I'm not well informed on clips. I know the Garand clip stayed in the rifle until the last round as you said. There's another "stripper clip" that is inserted from the top. You hold down on the rounds and pull it out. You're "stripping" the rounds off of the clip. I'd guess that's obsolete too.
For the change in caliber, I've also read the .223 and 5.56 were intended to be less lethal. The idea that you don't have to kill the enemy, you just want to take him out of the fight. Taking care of him ties up enemy resources and people.
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