Where did the saying "lock & Load" come from?


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RDCL
April 23, 2012, 06:56 PM
I don't ever recall hearing it as a kid in the 1970's......matter of fact, I don't recall hearing it in the 1980's either.

Internet speak? Movies? Video games......genuine military term perhaps?

Just thinking out loud today:)



Russ

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bbuddtec
April 23, 2012, 07:15 PM
lock magazine and load chamber.

M1 days it was load n lock

range orders

buck460XVR
April 23, 2012, 07:18 PM
I've heard several different versions.One is it comes from a training film covering the M1 Garand Rifle. As in lock the bolt back and then load the clip into the magazine. According to the manual, loading the clip without first locking the bolt back could result in a AD. Another theory is it comes from the use of Flintlock rifles which require the hammer to be locked in the half-cock position before priming the pan. The other theories have to do with artillery and the Browning 50 cal. They all mean the same thing, get prepared to shoot!

Vern Humphrey
April 23, 2012, 07:28 PM
M1 days it was load n lock
Nope -- it was lock and load. I trained on the M1 in '62.

All US rifles from the Krag onward had bolts that could be opened while the safety was locked -- including the M1. The command means to lock the safety, then load.

Shoobee
April 23, 2012, 07:32 PM
Lock magazine into the magazine well and load a round into the chambre is what it had become by 1976 in the USMC. Speaking only from memory and experience. Appertained to both the Colt M16A1 and the Springfield 1911A1 both being detachable-magazine fed.

The range commands would have been --

- Ready on the firing line!

- All ready on the right!

- All ready on the left!

- With a magazine and 5 rounds, lock and load!

- Commence firing!

In the classes leading up to rifle range and/or pistol range day, the instructors explained it involved locking a magazine into place and loading a round into the chamber, and not doing so until commanded to do so.

Note that you can lock and load a .45ACP or an M-16A1 whether or not the bolt has been locked open or not. Thus by the 1970s lock and load had come to mean getting a cartridge into the chamber and ready for firing with a detachable-magazine fed weapon.

Buck460 is probably correct about the history. The M-1 does need to be locked-open before the clip can feed cartridges into the box-magazine well for loading. I have shot that rifle and I know how it works.

Not sure about a flintlock though. A blackpower shooter will need to tell us more about that issue.

We are probably going to need someone like F. Lee Ermy to settle this one for us. And even he is going to need to look it up, since Ermy is only from Nam daze, not from WW2 or earlier.

Russ, my friend, I take it you also never had to deal with --

- From now on you maggots will only speak when spoken to,

- And the first and last words out of your mouths will be Sir,

- Do you maggots understand that???

:D

303tom
April 23, 2012, 07:54 PM
muzzle loaders.................

mac66
April 23, 2012, 07:57 PM
The hammer mechanism on a flintlock musket is called the Lock, as in "lock, stock and barrel," the main components of long gun. I believe the term "lock and load" originally derives from setting the "lock" in half cock and then loading the barrel.

armoredman
April 23, 2012, 08:06 PM
I heard John Wayne say it in Sand of Iwo Jima, going into a bar, IIRC...

rcmodel
April 23, 2012, 08:10 PM
It was used in the Army in 1964 when I went through basic training.

I assume it was used WAY before that.

rc

Shoobee
April 23, 2012, 08:22 PM
What kind of rifles did you train with in 1964 RC?

The M-14 is my guess?

303tom
April 23, 2012, 08:24 PM
muzzle loaders.................
What I said, had to go look & make sure....

Lock and load

Meaning: Get ready.
Example: Lock and load, we need to go.
Origin: This phrase refers to the actions required to prepare a gun for firing.

"Lock" is an archaic term for what is now called the "action" or the "receiver". It was originally called the "lock" because the mechanism locked the hammer back in the cocked position. The trigger releases the lock to fire the weapon.

"Load" is to load the cartridge into the firearm, or the charge and ball in a muzzle loaded musket.

rcmodel
April 23, 2012, 08:28 PM
M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1911, BAR, .30 Browning MG, and 105mm RR in the national guard, and then M14, M79, M60, and 106mm RR in the regular Army later.
Then the M16 when it came along.
Then AMU and the National Match M14, and Model 70, Model 700 and M14 Sniper rifles.

It was lock & load on the ranges formally and informally with all of them over a 6 year span of Guard and Regular Army from 64 - 70.

rc

Vern Humphrey
April 23, 2012, 08:40 PM
Lock magazine into the magazine well and load a round into the chambre is what it had become by 1976 in the USMC.
The term was used long before the US had any detatchable magazine firarms.

The "lock" in "lock and load" is the safety lock.

- With a magazine and 5 rounds, lock and load!
or

- Lock! With 8-round clip, load!

Jim K
April 23, 2012, 10:07 PM
Boy, has this gone off into the wild blue. Vern is correct; the term "lock" applies to the safety, not to the bolt, the hammer of a Model 1861 rifle-musket, or the cock of a Model 1812 musket. Not even to the slow match that was used by you real old timers.

And the Army did not change its manual of arms because of a John Wayne movie.

As I said, in the M1903/M1917 days, it was "load and lock"; the shooter loaded five rounds from a clip, chambered the first round ("load") and then set the safety ("lock"). On the command "commence firing" the shooter took off the safety catch and fired the first shot.

When the M1 was adopted, it could be loaded with the safety on, so the command was changed to "lock and load"; the shooter pulled the bolt back, engaged the safety ("lock"), then loaded a clip of eight rounds into the magazine which released the bolt to chamber ("load") the first round. On the command "commence firing", the shooter released the safety catch and fired the first round.

In a period when most men served at least some time in the service, the term became common, so "lock and load" came to mean to get ready to open fire, to prepare for action or, more loosely, to get ready for any kind of trouble. Today, most of us get our ideas about military service from movies and magazines full of nonsense, so the term is not understood.

Jim

Shoobee
April 23, 2012, 10:50 PM
So for most of us in our military training it was lock and load.

And for most of us we were locking a detachable magazine into a magazine well.

Going back as far as 1962 (50 years ago) and the M-14.

And a couple of us have locked and loaded the M1 Garand as well, in which case there was no detachable magazine, just a bolt that was locked and an internal box magazine which was then loaded with a clip.

A bunch of pilgrims have seen John Wayne on TV. He was Davy Crockett in The Alamo as I recall.

Still waiting for anyone with an extensive firearms library to settle this one authoritatively.

Or GYSGT F. Lee Ermy to weigh in between casting calls, proof you can be ugly as a modern art masterpiece and still have a successful Hollywood career.

bbuddtec
April 23, 2012, 11:07 PM
LOL just knew that m1 stuff would slap me, thanks Vern

awgrizzly
April 24, 2012, 12:27 AM
You guys are wrong, like some here said it came from the flintlock days, and the 'lock' has nothing to do with locking a safety, a door or anything else. The hammer mechanism is called a lock from back in the days when they used a lit fuse to ignite the powder. Lock as in wheel lock, flint lock, and percussion lock. Lock and load was since popularized by Hollywood.

Cosmoline
April 24, 2012, 12:42 AM
Well there are plenty of manuals of arms from the musket days, and I don't remember any having "lock and load" as part of the drill. The drills were more like this:

http://www.doublegv.com/ggv/battles/Manual.html

There is a half cock step before loading, but it's one of many. And in that sense, lock and load would still be several steps before giving fire.

And in fact I don't ever remember seeing the term "lock" in the sense referred to here. Yes there were locks, but to tell a soldier to "lock" would not have meant much of anything. You could cock the lock, half cock the lock, prime the lock, etc. All sorts of things were done with the lock.

IN CONTRAST you will find the term "LOCK" being used in Garand drill manuals in combination with "LOAD." Check out para 43-44 and even more to the point para 59-60 here:

http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleitem/collection/p4013coll9/id/810/rec/1

You will note the safety catch is called the "LOCK" I suspect Vern is correct, and I'll wager if you could find a Krag manual it would also use the term "lock" in this same way, to refer to the safety:

All US rifles from the Krag onward had bolts that could be opened while the safety was locked -- including the M1. The command means to lock the safety, then load.

gc70
April 24, 2012, 12:44 AM
And a couple of us have locked and loaded the M1 Garand as well, in which case there was no detachable magazine, just a bolt that was locked and an internal box magazine which was then loaded with a stripper clip.

I trust the Garand was loaded with en bloc clips rather than stripper clips.

MrDig
April 24, 2012, 12:53 AM
The exact origin of the phrase is indeterminate,
Some say it originated with the advent of Brass Cased Rounds, Some say it originated with the "Lock" mechanism of the old muzzle loading rifles. Still another theory says it originates with the Artillery. The last theory is from the Garand and its introduction to military troops.
It is considered slang even on the range and when training in the military if I'm not mistaken.

jmstevens2
April 24, 2012, 01:00 AM
Boy, has this gone off into the wild blue. Vern is correct; the term "lock" applies to the safety, not to the bolt, the hammer of a Model 1861 rifle-musket, or the cock of a Model 1812 musket. Not even to the slow match that was used by you real old timers.

And the Army did not change its manual of arms because of a John Wayne movie.

As I said, in the M1903/M1917 days, it was "load and lock"; the shooter loaded five rounds from a clip, chambered the first round ("load") and then set the safety ("lock"). On the command "commence firing" the shooter took off the safety catch and fired the first shot.

When the M1 was adopted, it could be loaded with the safety on, so the command was changed to "lock and load"; the shooter pulled the bolt back, engaged the safety ("lock"), then loaded a clip of eight rounds into the magazine which released the bolt to chamber ("load") the first round. On the command "commence firing", the shooter released the safety catch and fired the first round.

In a period when most men served at least some time in the service, the term became common, so "lock and load" came to mean to get ready to open fire, to prepare for action or, more loosely, to get ready for any kind of trouble. Today, most of us get our ideas about military service from movies and magazines full of nonsense, so the term is not understood.

Jim
You mean Dr McCoy didn't make it up for loading a photon torpedo?:rolleyes:

Whatever the origin, it means "make ready to fire".
For me that started in 1980 in Ft Benning Before that, ??

bobalou
April 24, 2012, 11:44 AM
I thought it came from some old porno flick.

Shoobee
April 24, 2012, 01:28 PM
Cosmoline -- Well there are plenty of manuals of arms from the musket days, and I don't remember any having "lock and load" as part of the drill. The drills were more like this:

http://www.doublegv.com/ggv/battles/Manual.html

There is a half cock step before loading, but it's one of many. And in that sense, lock and load would still be several steps before giving fire.

And in fact I don't ever remember seeing the term "lock" in the sense referred to here. Yes there were locks, but to tell a soldier to "lock" would not have meant much of anything. You could cock the lock, half cock the lock, prime the lock, etc. All sorts of things were done with the lock.

IN CONTRAST you will find the term "LOCK" being used in Garand drill manuals in combination with "LOAD." Check out para 43-44 and even more to the point para 59-60 here:

http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm/singleit...9/id/810/rec/1

You will note the safety catch is called the "LOCK"... .

Cosmo the 2nd citation does not work, so maybe you can try cutting and pasting for us please.

The first citation was rather nostalgic. Very much like the modern manual of arms.

About face is always a turn to the right now, no longer to the left as an option.

But these old guys back in the 1700s certainly knew what they were doing as they were figuring out these newfangled fire weapons!

Cosmoline
April 24, 2012, 01:54 PM
The link works for me, but if you google this:

FM 22-5 1939 (OBSOLETE) : Basic field manual, infantry drill regulations.

You'll come up with the same source. The phrase "lock" is used many times to refer to the action of engaging the safety catch on the Garand in particular.

Can anyone find a source prior to the Krag where the term "lock" is used in this manner?

Woodyard
April 24, 2012, 02:13 PM
Engage safety.
Load the weapon.
As John Wayne said in "Sands of Iwo Jima," "Line of departure. Lock and load."

R.W.Dale
April 24, 2012, 02:34 PM
Growing up with an artillery Sargent father I always heard it in reference to the big 8" howitzers.

LOCK AND LOAD

ONE ROUND

FIRE FOR EFFECT!

Cosmoline
April 24, 2012, 02:47 PM
What do you "lock" on a howitzer before you load it?

Shoobee
April 24, 2012, 02:56 PM
Cosmo, thanks for the citations in the google search.

These are however drill manuals, not rifle range manuals.

They don't help us, sorry.

Shoobee
April 24, 2012, 02:57 PM
I hope we don't get side-tracked on artillery.

Cosmoline
April 24, 2012, 03:00 PM
These are however drill manuals, not rifle range manuals. They don't help us, sorry.

For flintlocks and caplocks the concepts are one in the same. The drill was how they trained for combat and how they practiced shooting. There was no separate range practice for the formal military, and no difference between how you drilled and how you fired at the enemy. Only after the traditions of massed fire and stiffly sequenced loading became a liability in the Civil War and after did the "drill" become something for the parade ground only. And only later did soldiers start to train with more independent, practical methods.

For the later manuals, I'm looking to the use of the term "lock" as a reference to a safety catch and sure enough it's there. I do not find any similar reference to muzzleloaders, where "lock" is a command. If you can, please do. Otherwise the only actual PROOF supports Vern's theory that the phrase emerges from the American tradition of engaging safety catches on small arms prior to loading.

I suspect people assume that because there is a phrase "lock stock and barrel," that kind of "lock" must be linked to the "lock" used in "lock and load." But that appears to be a false etymology. The real loading sequence of a smoke pole would be fire-lock-load-lock-fire. Or just fire, load, lock for speed. "Load and lock" might make sense, but not really the other way around.

But if you can find a printed use of "lock and load" predating the 1890's that would be fantastic. There's a solid ton of first person Civil War narrative out there on the web and elsewhere, so chances are if someone in that era was using the phrase it found its way into print. As it stands now we have Gach's "In the Army Now" using the exact phrase, and the Duke as well.

http://www.wordorigins.org/index.php/site/2006/09/P5/

rcmodel
April 24, 2012, 03:02 PM
Maybe it really is a generic term meaning prepare to fire whatever it is.

I don't remember it used with 81mm & 4.2"morters, but it was universally used with everything else, whether it had a safety lock or not.

Maybe it meant operating the lock, or bolt, or opening the breachblock in the case of a cannon all along??
And not put the safety on, or lock in a mag!

All I know for sure is when the command was Lock & Load, you were about to bring smoke on something.

rc

Shoobee
April 24, 2012, 04:05 PM
Drill manuals are drill manuals Cosmo, they are for the grinder and parades. Off topic, sorry.

jcwit
April 24, 2012, 04:21 PM
Lock & Load phrase

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/lock_and_load
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090115131743AAFjM3o

I joined in 1965, took basic in Ft. Knox, trained with an M-14. Can't remember if the phrase Lock & Load was used or not, I do remember the range commands, Ready On The Right, Ready On The Left, Commence Firing.

Shoobee
April 24, 2012, 05:43 PM
JCWITT is right, wiki explains the possible sources for the command as originating with the M1 Garand. Here is a 1942 US Army training film from the wiki:

http://archive.org/details/Rifle_Marksmanship_with_M1_Rifle_Part_1

At 56 mins 10 seconds into the training film, the range officer (a captain) gives the command:

- ready position

- lock

- load.

He then goes on to complete the range commands:

- ready on the right

- ready on the left

- ready on the firing line.

Lock means lock the bolt open, in the open position. I doubt this is a "safety" rather just a bolt lock.

Load means load an 8 cartridge clip.

If done correctly, the bolt is supposed to close by itself, hopefully without also giving you M-1-thumb.

Otherwise the captain in the film tells you to shove the operating rod handle forward to close the bolt.

If you think about it, the WW1 rifle being a 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifle with a five round internal box magazine, the LOCK command would not necessarily have been applicable prior to WW2. Nothing to lock, on a standard single-shot (non-semi-automatic) bolt action rifle of WW1.

As far as I can tell, on pages 83 - 87 of the 1903 Springfield training manual, the commands for the WW1 era were:

- lie down

- load

- ready on the right?

- ready on the left?

- all ready on the firing line

- commence firing

- cease firing

- unload.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/12980403/1940-Us-Army-Wwii-Rifle-m1903-237p

And unless someone can come up with a training manual from the 1700s for the flintlocks, this is all we have to go on so far.

It is possible that the LOCK command might go back to the 1911A1 pistol, although I looked and could not find a training manual for it available on the internet however.

RDCL
April 24, 2012, 06:53 PM
Thanks for everyone's opinions. Interesting stuff. As I recall I THINK the first time I'd ever heard the phrase was in the movies. As other posters have said, John Wayne comes to mind now that I think about it.

Russ

Gtimothy
April 24, 2012, 07:24 PM
I can't resist this...:evil:

What about "Cocked and locked"???

I take this to mean hammer in full cocked position and the safety "locked" in the safe position. If that is in fact the meaning of the term, then it stands to reason that to keep things simple, you would use the same term "locked or lock" for things like a safety. But you can't rack the slide on a 1911 with the safety locked in the safe position. Therefore it has to mean the bolt or slide is locked back and is not the safety being on in "Lock and Load". It wouldn't do to confuse those poor recruits! It was tough enough getting things done right without having the range officers yelling at you for messing up!:banghead:

I guess it means for full preparedness, you "Lock and cock and load and lock"!

:D:neener::D

jcwit
April 24, 2012, 07:37 PM
- ready on the right

- ready on the left

- ready on the firing line.



Dang it. I forgot the, Ready On The Firing Line.

I should have remembered as we use the same range commands at the Regional Bullseye Matches. Where I help as an RSO.

Cosmoline
April 24, 2012, 07:54 PM
Good catch there Shoobee!

Drill manuals are drill manuals Cosmo, they are for the grinder and parade

That was how soldiers learned to fight back in the day. They would march, quite literally march, into battle with the sergeant or officer giving them those listed commands or some variation on that theme. The drill WAS training. That's how they hoped to fight--in absolute rigid ranks following precise commands no matter how many were getting torn up. There was no separate marksman training apart from some very ad hoc and poorly recorded target practice by the riflemen in the Rev. war. And riflemen were a small minority disliked by most of the regular soldiers. Soldiers prided themselves on fighting upright in bright uniforms while standing shoulder-to-shoulder and keeping absolute discipline. Quite a different world back then. If you actually dropped to prone you'd be shot by your own officer as a coward.

In any case, nowhere do we see "lock and load your piece" or some combination of those words that would suggest "lock and load" was a command prior to the smokeless era.

In any case, unless you can find an earlier printed reference to "LOCK AND LOAD," then there is no evidence of that phrase being connected to the lock of a muzzleloader.

What about "Cocked and locked"???

I'm thinking it has to be M1911 connected.

rcmodel
April 24, 2012, 08:06 PM
Nothing to lock, on a standard single-shot bolt action rifle of WW1There were no single-shot bolt-action rifles in WWI.

The last American single-shot rifle was the 1873 Trap-Door Springfield.
It was replaced by the .30 Gov. Krag bolt-action repeater in the late 1800's.
It was replaced by the 1903 Springfield & 1917 Enfield repeater by WWI.
It was replaced by the M1 Garand by WWII.

All had safety's that could be locked.
But not necessarily locked & loaded.

For instance the 1917 Enfield locked the bolt shut when the safety was engaged.
The safety has to be off to "lock & load" it.
The 1903 Springfield did, or didn't, depending on where the wing safety was positioned.

rc

WALKERs210
April 24, 2012, 09:47 PM
This just got my curiosity up so here is what I found.
The phrase "Lock and load" did not exist until 1949, when Marion Morrison (better known as John Wayne) had immortalized it in the movie "Sands of Iwo Jima." The "Duke" was supposed to say, "Load and lock" but erred and said, "Lock and load, boy, lock and load."

To "Load and lock" refers to the operation of the M1 Garand Rifle, a standard WWII army rifle, where one would load a single round into the Garand, and then strike the bolt handle with the heel of the hand thereby forcing a round into the chamber and ensuring that it was fully closed and locked into place.

You can find use to the phrase "Load and lock"in Gene Gach's 1942 movie, "In the army" where it's said, "One round, ball ammunition, load and lock!"

It was also used during the Spanish-American War. The Annual Reports of the War Department shows a dispatch from the Philippines on June 15th 1899, which reads: "The line was under strong long-range fire and the order was given to load and lock the pieces; investigation proved that the white objects seen were the marines returning to their ship."

rcmodel
April 24, 2012, 09:53 PM
Right, I'm pretty sure John Wayne did it in 1949.

Unless it was Cheech & Chong in 1968.

rc

303tom
April 24, 2012, 10:02 PM
I can't resist this...:evil:

What about "Cocked and locked"???

I take this to mean hammer in full cocked position and the safety "locked" in the safe position. If that is in fact the meaning of the term, then it stands to reason that to keep things simple, you would use the same term "locked or lock" for things like a safety. But you can't rack the slide on a 1911 with the safety locked in the safe position. Therefore it has to mean the bolt or slide is locked back and is not the safety being on in "Lock and Load". It wouldn't do to confuse those poor recruits! It was tough enough getting things done right without having the range officers yelling at you for messing up!:banghead:

I guess it means for full preparedness, you "Lock and cock and load and lock"!

:D:neener::D
The Muzzle Loader....................Could`nt resist !

WALKERs210
April 24, 2012, 10:55 PM
RC Cheech & Chong had a completely different meaning. Loved them tho

awgrizzly
April 24, 2012, 11:43 PM
In any case, unless you can find an earlier printed reference to "LOCK AND LOAD," then there is no evidence of that phrase being connected to the lock of a muzzleloader.

Flint Lock

There's your evidence. The lock is the firing mechanism of a gun and was more commonly used when guns were fired by a fuse, or a flint powered by a wheel or the cock of the familiar flint lock. To load you had to move the flint out of the way by pulling back the cock (which btw was the origin of another familiar term, to cock your gun).

No doubt the word was applied (correctly I believe) to the US .30 M1 and used by shooting instructors.

From Wikipedia under flint lock:

A cock tightly holding a sharp piece of flint is rotated to half-cock, where the sear falls into a safety notch on the tumbler, preventing an accidental discharge.
The operator loads the gun, usually from the muzzle end, with black powder followed by lead shot, a round lead ball, usually wrapped in a piece of paper or a cloth patch, all rammed down with a ramrod that is usually stored on the underside of the barrel.
The flash pan is primed with a small amount of very finely ground gunpowder, and the flashpan lid or frizzen is closed.
The gun is now in a "primed and loaded" state, and this is how it would typically be carried while hunting or if going into battle.

To fire:

The cock is further rotated from half-cock to full-cock, releasing the safety lock on the cock.
The gun is leveled and the trigger is pulled, releasing the cock holding the flint.
The flint strikes the frizzen, a piece of steel on the priming pan lid, opening it and exposing the priming powder.
The contact between flint and frizzen produces a shower of sparks (burning pieces of the metal) that is directed into the gunpowder in the flashpan.
The powder ignites, and the flash passes through a small hole in the barrel (called a vent or touchhole) that leads to the combustion chamber where it ignites the main powder charge, and the gun discharges.

Shoobee
April 24, 2012, 11:55 PM
We covered that in the discussion and research above, no John Wayne movies.

WALKERs210
April 25, 2012, 12:30 AM
All I take from the statement is some kinda SH** is about to hit the fan.

Shoobee
April 25, 2012, 11:49 AM
Well it aint from John Wayne, pilgrim.

Cosmoline
April 25, 2012, 11:57 AM
The "lock" of a flintlock is a set of parts, not a command. It describes a third of the musket, with many individual parts. To give the command "lock" would not make any sense, and there's no evidence that anyone ever gave such a command. Here are a few of the things you could do with your lock:

--Move to half-cock
--Open frizzen
--Clean pan
--Clear flash hole
--prime pan
--Close frizzen
--Move hammer to full cock

So which action was being ordered with the command "lock"? Lock is a noun here, not a verb.

To load you had to move the flint out of the way by pulling back the cock (which btw was the origin of another familiar term, to cock your gun).

No, you didn't. You could simply load after firing, then half cock the hammer, then prime, full cock, and give fire. Some drills call for moving the hammer to half-cock after firing but before loading, but these do not refer to that order as "lock." No manual or other printed source uses the phrase "lock and load."

Contrast this to the M1 Garand, where we *know* as an absolute fact that the phrase "lock and load" was used in this sense, referring to the safety catch as the "lock" and using it as a verb. To claim that this was borrowed from some much earlier use of "lock and load" referring to the lock of a flintlock, you'd need to find a printed reference that so far nobody has been able to identify.

jmstevens2
April 25, 2012, 02:11 PM
To the "Cocked and Locked" comment that refers to how a 1911 is carried. Being a single action, to be ready, it was designed to be carried with a round in the chamber and then cocked (the hammer) and locked (the manual thumb safety).
Nothing to do with lock and load.
You can however still lock (a magazine) and load (a round by pulling back and releasing the slide) before you cock and lock.

Shoobee
April 25, 2012, 04:43 PM
We have a whole separate thread on "cocked and locked" for the semi-auto pistols.

awgrizzly
April 25, 2012, 10:45 PM
Cosmoline, when I said load I meant the entire loading operation up to and including priming the pan. You can do it as you stated but at some time along the way you have to move the cock out of the way so you can open the frizzen and prime the pan. The fact that one can safely set the cock back without the danger of it setting off a spark and blowing your brains out is a distinct advantage in the overall process. :banghead:

The verb lock is the act of performing some operation with the noun lock of a flintlock rifle or musket, just like the verb cock is the act of performing some operation with the noun cock of a flintlock rifle or musket. The exact operation involved might depend upon whether you're locking a flintlock or a US .30 M1. So though times have changed the terminology lingers from back in the early days of the gun. BTW, I don't know why they called it a lock, perhaps because it locks back out of the way of the frizzen and pan, just as other more learned shooters here have reported. But I understand they called the hammer a cock because it resembled the neck and head of a rooster.

So just accept the fact that you're wrong and don't go off half cocked. :neener:

Shoobee
April 26, 2012, 09:08 AM
Cosmo -- I suspect people assume that because there is a phrase "lock stock and barrel," that kind of "lock" must be linked to the "lock" used in "lock and load." But that appears to be a false etymology... .

That guess is my guess as well.

The modern trend is to assume.

Way too much assuming though.

In some obscure corner of the internet there may be a copy of a manual on point earlier than the 1903 Springfield. Or maybe the early 1911A1. 'Til we find it we just need to keep looking.

"Never assume." That's one of the first things they teach you in basic recruit training.

Right after "from now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be sir, do you maggots understand that?"

Cosmoline
April 26, 2012, 01:21 PM
The verb lock is the act of performing some operation with the noun lock of a flintlock rifle or musket

Is there any usage in the historical record like that? COCK, yes most certainly. But not lock as a verb referring to the lock. As in lock your lock.

So just accept the fact that you're wrong and don't go off half cocked.

Very funny, but that's not how etymology works. You have the burden of finding a printed reference earlier than the WWII era ones we know about. So far nobody has even been able to identify the use of "lock" as a verb when referring to flintlocks. Let alone find a command "lock and load" given to soldiers with muzzleloaders. Until they do, there is no proof only some anachronistic assumptions that really look like a false etymology.

jcwit
April 26, 2012, 02:08 PM
Maybe it has something to do with earlier times? Placing the "nock" of the arrow into the bowstring there by locking the arrow and making it "loaded" and ready to shoot?

Or perhaps it has something to do with locking the spear onto the "Atlatl" there by having it loaded and ready to throw?

Did they even speak English then? Were they familar with nouns, verbs and all that?

Then again maybe I'm streaching it a little.

Just got a new Henry .22 rimfire, guess I'll "lock & load" and have some fun.

awgrizzly
April 27, 2012, 12:25 AM
Is there any usage in the historical record like that? COCK, yes most certainly. But not lock as a verb referring to the lock. As in lock your lock.



Very funny, but that's not how etymology works. You have the burden of finding a printed reference earlier than the WWII era ones we know about. So far nobody has even been able to identify the use of "lock" as a verb when referring to flintlocks. Let alone find a command "lock and load" given to soldiers with muzzleloaders. Until they do, there is no proof only some anachronistic assumptions that really look like a false etymology.
Actually I read about it in a book, perhaps 'The American Rifle'. Without knowing what the lock of a gun is the term is pretty much meaningless. What's kind of ironic, perhaps silly, to me is that the term is macho commonly used when when the tough guys get going. But even here, the home of guns, it's not commonly known what it means, just that somebody's gunnery sergeant used to say it. So next time you hear a guy say "lock and load" you can assume he's a weenie. =o)

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