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To Load

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual

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.