CAUTION: WHEN LOADING AND UNLOADING ALWAYS HAVE THE SAFETY ON AND THE RIFLE POINTED IN A SAFE DIRECTION.
1. Load the cartridge clip. Insert a cartridge on the lower left side of the clip so that its base is against the rear wall of the clip and its extractor groove engages the vertical inner side of the clip. The next cartridge should be inserted on the opposite side. Continue inserting cartridges until eight have been loaded. The last cartridge will snap in place and be on the right side. The cartridge being on the right facilitates locking the clip into the rifle by a right handed person.
If all the cartridges are uniformly seated the clip is ready to load. If some cartridges stick out further then the others, remover the top cartridge, push the cartridge that is sticking out back until the extractor groove is engaged and replace the top cartridge.
Caution: Do not try to align the cartridges by hitting the loaded clip against a hard object. This could drive a bullet back into the case and create a dangerous condition.
2. Follow these safety rules before inserting the clip into the rifle.
1. Point the muzzle in a safe direction
2. Put the safety "ON"
3. Do Not load the rifle in your home, car or other buildings other than a shooting range. There is no safe direction your rifle can be pointed in these places as a bullet will travel through floors and walls, property damage and personal injuries will always occur.
3. Prepare the rifle for loading. Pull the operating rod handle to the rear until the bolt is securely locked open. (See Figure 21-1).
Caution! Make sure the bolt is not simply resting against the follower. (See Figure 21-2) If the bolt is not correctly locked back the bolt may slam forward ' while you are loading the clip unexpectedly.
4. Loading a full clip. Grasp the rifle with your left hand just forward of and under the receiver. Place the butt of the rifle on or against something fairly solid such as your thigh, a table or the ground. Using your right hand place the clip on the top center of the cartridge with your hand extended down the right side of the rifle so that your hand is just forward of the operating rod handle. Push the clip down until it latches. The operating handle and bolt should stay to the rear as long as downward pressure is maintained on the top cartridge. (See Figure 21-3).
Caution: Before pushing the clip down into the magazine you must keep in mind that the bolt will slam forward immediately after the clip is latched and you remove the downward force on the clip. So plan to quickly move your right thumb and hand quickly up and to the right to clear the bolt as it slams forward. If by chance you do this too slowly the edge of your hand should catch the bolt and prevent it from smashing your thumb. When loading a Garand clip the first time and thereafter, visualize the entire process including the quick removal of your thumb and hand before attempting it. Only by concentrating on proper loading technique will you avoid an "Ml - thumb." If the prospect of having your thumb hit by the bolt is unacceptable do not attempt to load your Garand.
5. If the bolt fails to completely strip the first round from the clip it will be necessary to bump the operating rod handle forward with the heel of your right hand to close the bolt.
6. Loading a partial clip. Start by holding the rifle as you would when loading a full clip. (It may help if the rifle is closer to horizontal for this.) Place an empty clip into the magazine and place one cartridge into the clip on either side of the follower slide. Then remembering to keep your hand along the side of the rifle in front of the bolt handle press the second cartridge down with your thumb until it snaps in place. Additional cartridges may be inserted in this manner.
Caution: Always keep your hand in front of, not on the operating rod handle to catch the handle and prevent the bolt from slamming forward if the bolt is inadvertently released. (Once attempting this procedure you will realize the benefits of always loading a full clip.) When you have completed adding cartridges, carefully use the edge of your hand to push back against the operating rod handle until the bolt is unlatched. When the bolt is unlatched press the clip down with the right thumb and allow the bolt to start forward pushing the top cartridge toward the chamber. Once this is done remove your right thumb and smartly flip your hand up and to the right allowing the bolt to slam forward and close.
7. It is not recommended that cartridges be loaded one at a time. However, a single loading device is available for NRA competition where loading single rounds is required.
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