In "Lock and load," meaning "Prepare to fire," what does "lock" mean?
What is it that's being locked?
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
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.Source(s): http://www.sproe.com/l/lock-and-load.html
- ssg/emtLv 61 decade ago
Lock and load as currently used means to lock a magazine into the weapon.
To load means to let the bolt forward and chamber a round.
It seems to be falling from favor lately. When deployed, depending on where we were, we use red, amber, green status.Source(s): 6 years Army, 21 years Guard
- nickusafgermanyLv 41 decade ago
Lock and Load is, Lock the bolt to the rear, load a magazine.
Prepare to fire is, bolt forward, safety off.
This is our procedures for firing on the line. Load open bolt, which means you pull the charging handle of the m4/m16 to the rear and lock it in place. You then place the magazine in the magazine well.
Hence LOCK and LOAD
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- Anonymous1 decade ago
Lock and Load
This imperative phrase originally referred to the operation of the M1 Garand Rifle, the standard U.S. Army rifle of WWII. Its meaning is more general now, referring to preparation for any imminent event.
The original phrase was actually reversed, "load and lock." The phrase refers to inserting a clip of ammunition into the rifle, "loading," and "locking" the bolt forward thereby forcing a round into the chamber. The phrase first appears in Gach's 1941-42 In the Army Now. It was immortalized by John Wayne (who else?) in 1949's Sands of Iwo Jima,
where the Duke reversed the phrase to the current "lock and load."
The term "lock" in this phrase is a different use of the word than in references to the firing mechanism of a weapon, as in "flintlock."
- 1 decade ago
NickUSAF is correct.
Lock the bolt to the rear,
Load the magazine,
release the bolt catch thusly chambering a round.
- Tony GLv 51 decade ago
If I remember correctly, it's referring to locking a magazine into a weapon and then loading a round into the chamber.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Nice post Stryker.