Lot of 6 clips for Colt model 1911 .45 caliber automatic pistol, $20.

The fact that eBay prohibits the sale of stuff like this has caused many people to needlessly pass on countless profit opportunities. As far as I'm concerned, the benefits of playing by eBay's rules far outweigh the risk of screwing things up by trying to slide in under their radar. But sometimes, eBay isn't the answer at all.

The fundamental message of every Gallery entry related to items like these is that you can't afford to let eBay hamstring your profit efforts. Whenever I run across profit opportunities like these clips, I head to gunbroker.com, which is nothing less than the eBay of any and all items related to firearms. If you are serious about maximizing your profit opportunities, I strongly suggest you check out their site.    

The world of modern pistols can be divided into the two broad categories of revolvers and automatics. Although they look and act completely different from one another, the revolver and the automatic get their names from the way they handle their ammunition. In a revolver, the ammunition to be fired is stored inside a cylinder, which revolves with each shot. As the pistol's hammer is moved back into cocked position, the cylinder rotates, moving the next round into firing position between the barrel and the firing pin. As opposed to the automatic pistol, the revolver's mechanism is completely mechanical, in that it doesn't rely on the firing of one shell to load the next. If you drop the hammer on a misfire (a dud) in a revolver, you just cycle the hammer again to get the next round into place.

In the automatic pistol, ammunition is stored in a clip that sits right between the pistol's hand grips. The cartridges are first loaded into the clip by hand (seven rounds in the case of these clips), and the clip is slid into place inside the pistol's grip. Before the automatic is fired, the slide must be pulled back to load a live round into the chamber. Now, remember that high school physics class law about "equal and opposite forces," where the guy standing in a wagon can make it move forward by throwing bricks out the back? Well, the same force that acts to push the bullet forward out the pistol's barrel pushes backward against the slide. So, when a shell fires, the slide moves backward against the pressure of a spring, ejecting the used brass onto the ground, and loading a fresh round into the chamber on its return stroke.

Note that since the automatic pistol relies on chemical energy - the expanding gunpowder of firing the shell - to get the next one into place. This means that in case of a misfire, the operator has to manually cycle the slide to get another round into place. As with so many other things, there are advantages and disadvantages to both revolvers and automatics, and both types of pistols have their hardcore supporters. But our purpose here is to simply understand what these things are, why they're out there and above all, that our eBay bidders want them.

In the top picture, you can see that the bottom of each clip reads COLT 45 AUTO. Adopted by the U.S. Army in 1911, The Colt model 1911 .45 caliber automatic pistol is without a doubt the most popular automatic pistol ever made. Serving through two world wars, the Korean conflict and the war in Vietnam, over two million 1911s have been produced to date, and it wasn't even replaced officially by the U.S. military until 1985, although some military units still prefer to carry it. In the world of handgunning, the Colt model 1911 is nothing short of a legend, and even in the civilian world, it has no shortage of fanatical followers who shoot, buy, sell, modify, repair, improve and in short, do everything you can imagine with it.

Some of the more unusual examples of these clips will sell on eBay for over $100 apiece, but these more common examples sell for less.

Photo of Colt model 1911 .45 caliber pistol clips