Meaning of "Lock and Load"?

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Meaning of "Lock and Load"?

    Curious about "Lock and Load"

    OK, I've asked this at my range, and have gotten 10 different answers from 5 different people.

    If it means using the safety, wouldn't it then be "Load and Lock?" If it means inserting the magazine, isn't that actually "loading", or is that term reserved for one in the pipe. Anyway, you get the idea.

    I would love to see how many different responses we get here, or is there one correct answer?
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    Member Array CharlieMike's Avatar
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    Wow. It is a coincidence that you bring this up today. There is a local radio show host who asked this question last week I think.

    In looking for an answer, I found this page:

    Saving Private Ryan: lock and load

    From the article:

    The origin of the phrase "lock and load" is not entirely clear, as there are two similar, yet distinct, explanations for its origin. Regardless of its exact origin, the phrase has come to relate to any activity in which preparations have to be made for an immediate action.

    One explanation of the phrase comes from the actions needed to prepare a flint lock rifle for firing. In order to safely load a rifle of this type it was necessary to position the firing mechanism in a locked position, after which the gun powder and ball could be safely loaded into the rifle barrel without any chance of the rifle misfiring.

    The second explanation is that the phrase (as "load and lock") originated during World War II to describe the preparations required to fire an M1 Garand rifle. After an ammunition clip was loaded into the rifle the bolt automatically moved forward in order to "lock" a round into the chamber.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    My take is lock a magazine in and load a round in chamber
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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    I've always understood it as the bolt is locked in the lugs with a round in the chamber, and loaded being the feeding source.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    Member Array Roland of Gilead's Avatar
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    Hmmm, even Google is no help, who'd have thunk it.

    Back on the M16 qual range, the command would be given to "lock and load one magazine of ten rounds," indicating that the range was going hot real soon. "Lock" would be insert the mag such that it's secured in the rifle, and "load" would be chamber a round.

    I say any generic "getting ready for imminent action" fits the bill.
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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I knew this to be an origin from flintlock mechanism muskets of the day.
    As noted above the hammer w/ striker must be manually pulled back into a locked position prior to loading and preparing the arm for use and work.



    A musket arm that does not have it's hammer locked back and thus down is then not ready for use and work.

    - Janq
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    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    reurtar your Google-fu is good.

    In the Marine Corps we used "load and charge".
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    I knew this to be an origin from flintlock mechanism muskets of the day.
    As noted above the hammer w/ striker must be manually pulled back into a locked position prior to loading and preparing the arm for use and work.



    A musket arm that does not have it's hammer locked back and thus down is then not ready for use and work.

    - Janq
    Janq's explanation of the term 'lock and load' is the same understanding that I had after researching it years ago. There had been several understandings of the meaning, but his is what stuck with me.
    One can find it with a 'lock and load' term search.

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    I knew this to be an origin from flintlock mechanism muskets of the day.
    As noted above the hammer w/ striker must be manually pulled back into a locked position prior to loading and preparing the arm for use and work. A musket arm that does not have it's hammer locked back and thus down is then not ready for use and work.

    - Janq
    Great explaination Janq. Thanks. And, I love the word "frizzen". Never came across that one before!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    Member Array chester1006's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C9H13NO3 View Post
    I've always understood it as the bolt is locked in the lugs with a round in the chamber, and loaded being the feeding source.
    This is the meaning that I've always known.

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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    We still use it with our calls for the .50 cal which is why I understand it that way...

    "Right gun locked, loaded, on safe." Maybe it's just a standard phrase from way back though. It would be kind of weird saying "Right gun condition one, on safe" or something similar. I'm gonna go with the flintlock explanation for the origin though.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    All it meant when they shouted it at me was we're getting ready to shoot!
    Ksgunner likes this.
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    Member Array Army22rpr's Avatar
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    In the Army lock and load is the term for locking your M16 bolt to the rear and load the magazine. This is for extreme safety, usually in basic training. When at the range we lock our bolt to the rear prior to stepping on the range; a range safety then rods our weapon to insure that nothing is blocking the barrel. The rod usually trips our bolt to ride forward. Then we enter onto the range and wait to be given instructions to prepare ourselves to shoot. Then lock and load is given. We lock the bolt to the rear, load our magazine and prepare to be given the command to take our weapon off safe and shoot. Down range in the sandbox we would actually do what Semperfi said. Load our mag and then charge the weapon.
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    Senior Member Array briansmech's Avatar
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    i always understood it to mean the aforementioned flintlock reference, myself

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    Member Array stolivar's Avatar
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    lock and load

    Verb

    to lock and load

    1. (US) A military command to put a weapon's safety catch on, and load it with ammunition.
    * 1949 John Wayne in the film Sands of Iwo Jima

    Lock and load, boy, lock and load.

    2. (slang) To prepare for an imminent event.

    [edit] References

    * M1 Garand Manual from Springfield Armory
    * Wordorigins references back to the Spanish American War
    * Search Google for "lock and load" As of December 5, 2007 there were about 744,000 hits for "Lock and load" on Google.

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