Being in line or skirmish line at halt: 1. With dummy (blank or ball)
cartridges, 2. LOAD.
At the command load each front-rank man or skirmisher faces half right
and carries the right foot to the right, about 1 foot, to such position
as will insure the greatest firmness and steadiness of the body;
raises, or lowers, the piece and drops it into the left hand at the
balance, left thumb extended along the st
ck, muzzle at the height of
the breast, and turns the cut-off up. With the right hand, he turns and
draws the bolt back, takes a loaded clip and inserts the end in the clip
slots, places the thumb on the powder space of the top cartridge, the
fingers extending around the piece and tips resting on the magazine
floor plate; forces the cartridges into the magazine by pressing down
with the thumb; without removing the clip, thrusts the bolt home,
turning down the handle; turns the safety lock to the safe and carries
the hand to the small of the stock. Each rear rank man moves to the
right front, takes a similar position opposite the interval to the right
of his front rank man, muzzle of the piece extending beyond the front
rank, and loads.
A skirmish line may load while moving, the pieces being held as neatly
as practicable in the position of load.
If kneeling or sitting, the position of the piece is similar; if
kneeling, the left forearm rests on the left thigh; if sitting the
elbows are supported by the knees; if lying down, the left hand steadies
and supports the piece at the balance, the toe of the butt resting on
the ground, the muzzle off the ground.