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  #1  
Old 08-07-2009, 08:39 PM
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What exactly does "lock and load" mean?


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I've heard it used plenty of times, probably have said it myself a few times, but was never really sure of the meaning. Does anyone know for sure? I assume some gunnery sgt. or gunners mates know the true meaning. Thanks- rsambo
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2009, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsambo View Post
I've heard it used plenty of times, probably have said it myself a few times, but was never really sure of the meaning. Does anyone know for sure? I assume some gunnery sgt. or gunners mates know the true meaning. Thanks- rsambo
This is from http://www.sproe.com/l/lock-and-load.html...


"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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Old 08-07-2009, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THE ICEMAN View Post
This is from http://www.sproe.com/l/lock-and-load.html...


"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.
....
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."
That is more like "load" and "lock". Just guessing here as to the origin of the phrase, but if it does come from the m1, before you can load the clip (and the first round automatically after that) you have to LOCK the bolt back. Now that's "lock and load".
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:26 PM
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I'm sure others on the forum will respond, I thought it might have been to the effect of locking a full magazine into the weapon, then loading a round into the chamber by working the action (such as the bolt)
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2009, 09:37 PM
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Firelock

16th & 17th century armies compromised safety for speed of fire. Soldiers bit open the paper cartridges, primed the pan, THEN loaded their already primed flintlock!
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Old 08-08-2009, 01:37 PM
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I'll ascribe to the "lock and Load" being birthed in WWII.

You lock back the bolt on the M1 by pulling the operating rod to the rear. When you insert the enbloc clip, the bolt releases (usually) and chambers a cartridge.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph McLaney View Post
16th & 17th century armies compromised safety for speed of fire. Soldiers bit open the paper cartridges, primed the pan, THEN loaded their already primed flintlock!

So how do you load the flinter without the pan powder spilling out?
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Old 08-08-2009, 05:04 PM
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Once you close the frizzen, the priming charge is held in place.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2009, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdub View Post
I'll ascribe to the "lock and Load" being birthed in WWII.

You lock back the bolt on the M1 by pulling the operating rod to the rear. When you insert the enbloc clip, the bolt releases (usually) and chambers a cartridge.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
Makes sense to me...

I have loaded guns locked in my safe...but, again that's "loaded and locked".
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  #10  
Old 08-08-2009, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsambo View Post
I've heard it used plenty of times, probably have said it myself a few times, but was never really sure of the meaning. Does anyone know for sure? I assume some gunnery sgt. or gunners mates know the true meaning. Thanks- rsambo
"Meaning" is the key word here not origin. Anyone who has ever been on a US Army firing line knows exactly the meaning. Commands from the range officer located in his tower, "Lock and load one twenty round magazine. Ready on the right? Ready on the left? The range is ready, commence firing." Lock and load simply means lock your safety and load a magazine into your weapon or at least that's what it meant in 1966 when I was in Basic Training.
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Last edited by clubkey; 08-08-2009 at 06:42 PM. Reason: more information
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:00 AM
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The term LOCK is derived from the hammer assembly part of a firearm.
An earlier similar phrase that used the term LOCK was the phrase LOCK, STOCK, and BARREL. It has come to mean "all that is necessary to complete a task".
The early use of the word LOAD usually meant a ball and patch and powder, but also meant performing the task of loading a weapon.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tebsinar View Post
The term LOCK is derived from the hammer assembly part of a firearm.
An earlier similar phrase that used the term LOCK was the phrase LOCK, STOCK, and BARREL. It has come to mean "all that is necessary to complete a task".
The early use of the word LOAD usually meant a ball and patch and powder, but also meant performing the task of loading a weapon.
Doesn't explain to me what "locked" means. Maybe it refers to the lockwork...maybe not.

"Loaded" is obvious.

I still like the M1 analogy.
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Old 08-13-2009, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsambo View Post
I'm sure others on the forum will respond, I thought it might have been to the effect of locking a full magazine into the weapon, then loading a round into the chamber by working the action (such as the bolt)
That's exactly what it means.
When we were flying into an LZ (landing zone) back in good ol Nam, we would also use the term (coming hot) to mean all guns were locked and loaded with safeties off.
good luck
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2009, 10:50 PM
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one thing it means is,, if you are approaching an area an hear somebody yell it...its time to get real low or behind something ,,,until you know for sure whats going on.slim
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  #15  
Old 08-14-2009, 07:20 AM
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M1's don't need to be locked back manually in a fire fight (they lock themselves back after ejecting the spent clip), and soldiers out and about in a combat zone will already keep them loaded and safeties on (if they are smart). At Gunsite that was called "cocked and locked". On the firing line, guns are kept with bolts open so the RO's can see live ammo (at least, they are today, and plastic safety flags are now also put in the action to prove it is not in operable condition), though "lock" in that context may simply mean to set the safety before loading? That is how the M1 range commands are given at Camp Perry today (safeties on, and with # rounds, load). So the command to lock and load a modern weapon would have to apply to the range loading sequence or to an emergency grabbing of Garands from stacking or from racks, wherein the guns would be kept unloaded and bolts closed to keep dust and dirt out. Under that condition the op-rod would have to be manually pulled back to lock the bolt open before loading.

Those are all pretty specific situations. I like the muzzle loading sequence, but have no clue as to the historical validity of any of the explanations?

(Later)

The Wikitionary thinks it is modern and is either my safety explanation or refers to loading open breech firing mechanisms, like machineguns. I never know how much faith to put in any given Wiki-anything entry, having seen many errors, but this one at least has some references.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikitionary
Verb

to lock and load
  1. (US) A military command to put a weapon's safety catch on, and load it with ammunition.<dl><dd>"Lock and load, boy, lock and load."</dd></dl>
  2. (slang) To prepare for an imminent event.
  3. (US) A military command to open the bolt of a machine gun (Lock Open) and load it. This is because most heavy machine guns, as well as the Browning Automatic Rifle, and many submachine guns such as the Thompson, and the M3 "grease gun" fire from an open bolt.
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Last edited by unclenick; 08-14-2009 at 07:29 AM.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:05 AM
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Now this is getting really interesting.

1. The machine gun reference makes perfect sense. It also fits for the M1. Wouldn't troops be carrying the rifle unloaded w/ the bolt closed until ready to go into combat? At that time they'd have to "lock" back the bolt and "load" the 8 round clip.

2. Who was the Duke yelling at in the movie? ANd what firearm were they carrying?

Last edited by leverite; 08-14-2009 at 11:09 AM.
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  #17  
Old 08-15-2009, 10:55 PM
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I understand this to be in reference to loading a flintlock.
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  #18  
Old 08-21-2009, 07:34 PM
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Lightbulb

Wiktionary states: "A military command to put a weapon's safety catch on, and load it with ammunition".

Marksman
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Old 08-22-2009, 07:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marksman View Post
Wiktionary states: "A military command to put a weapon's safety catch on, and load it with ammunition".

Marksman
wikipedia is not always a reliable reference.

This definition would not fit a M1911 handgun, or an M1 Garand from WW2. It doesn't fit the M14.

These have to be loaded before the safety can be locked on.
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Old 08-22-2009, 03:50 PM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by leverite View Post
wikipedia is not always a reliable reference.
So far, leverite, and I've only read a few posts, but just between you and I, looks like you're the only one who referenced wikipedia here... since you quoted something I did NOT get from "wikipedia".

Marksman

Last edited by Marksman; 08-22-2009 at 05:56 PM.
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