t’s one of those lines we’ve all probably heard in half a dozen war and action movies: ‘lock and load’. But, what does it actually mean?  ‘Load’ seems pretty obvious, but ‘lock’?  Our first thought was that it might refer to the ‘lock’ mechanism of a flintlock or matchlock, but is the term really that old? And for those firearms, wouldn’t you ‘Load and Lock’ instead?

Perhaps it refers to a bolt-action rifle. Do you lock the bolt back before you load it? I’ve never heard it said that way, but I’m no expert.

We’d love to hear from anyone who can provide a little insight on the subject.