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lock and load

Attested since at least 1793, when a document describes flintlock weapons that are ready to fire as well locked and loaded.The variant load(ed) and lock(ed) is found since at least 1815.The phrase may have originated from the use ofgunlockson naval artillery (in use by the Royal Navy since 1745); as gunlocks were not required for firing (alintstockcould be used) it may have been necessary to specify cannon was locked as well as loaded.

As an imperative, used since at least 1940, in the U.S. Army Field Manual for the M1 Rifle.3Compare e.g. German laden und sichern (load and secure).4Popularized in culture after being used byJohn WayneinSands of Iwo Jima(1949).

Acommandto prepare a weapon for battle.

A record from 6 August 1793 from the British colony of New Brunswick says afterwards Carvell brought in two musquets [sic] andJustice Hubbardasked him if the guns were well locked and loaded. See

Documents of Old Congregational Church at Maugerville

Collections of the New Brunswick Historical Society

, volume 1 (Saint John, NB: Daily Telegraph Steam Book and Job Print, 1894), page 147 ).

The transposition loaded and locked is used byWalter Scottin 1815, unambiguously in reference to a flintlock pistol. See

, volume 3 (Edinburgh: James Ballantyne and Co, 1815), page 278 (

The instructor, after announcing the range and the position to be used, commands: 1. with dummy cartridges, lock and load…. United States War Department,

FM 23-5 Basic Field manual: U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1

(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1940), pages 60 and 71 ( The transposed form load and lock is known since at keast 1899 when Captain John A. Baldwin reports the order was given to load and lock pieces. United States War Department,

Annual reports of the War Department for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1900

, part 3, page 337 (link to cited page at

Drill Regulations for the Infantry, German Army, 1906

, (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1907), page 24 (

This page was last edited on 15 August 2017, at 04:17.

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