Real Rifles At Parris Island

Real Rifles At Parris Island

At Parris Island in August of 1960, we still had the “REAL” rifles (M1 Garands) with stacking swivels. The stacking swivel actually had two very important uses. Number one was to enable the weapon to be stored in the upright position when hooked to two other rifles in a “teepee”. The second was as a motivator as in “All right girls, gettum’ out by the stacking swivels”, which was used by our Drill Instructors when somebody was out of step in the platoon. On this command we had to hold the 9.5 pound weapon straight out from the body by the stacking swivel between the thumb and forefingers of both hands. On a hot August Parris Island grinder, it wasn’t long before the strongest among us was in serious pain trying to stay in an upright position. The stacking swivel was indeed a very important part of Marine Corps lore and the source of sea stories. I hated to see it go.

Cpl Norm Spilleth
’60 – ’64

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20 comments


  • dominick m sieni

    I GOT TO PARRIS ISLAND ON APRIL 19 1954 BOY WAS IT HOT. THE DI MET US AT THE BUS STOP AND ALL HELL BROKE OUT WE KNEW IT THEN THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE A CAKE WALK HE SURE GOT US SQUARED AWAY FAST .WE CARRIED TH M1 GARAND ALL THROUGH BOOT CAMP WE SLEPT WITH OUR RIFLES SOME NIGHTS WHEN WE DID NOT PLEASE HIM. HE ALSO DUCK WALKED US TO MORNING CHOW. WHEN WE SCREWED UP.WE COULD NOT TALK TO ANY ONE NO RADIOS AND NO MAGAZINES WE WERE NOT ALLOWED TO READ ANY BOOKS EXCEPT THE MARINE CORPS HAND BOOK. THEY SHIPPRD MOST OF US TO CAMP PENDELTON FOR COMBAT TRAINING AFTER GRADUATION WE THEN GOT SHIPPED TO JAPAN.SEMPER FI CPL DOM SIENI I AM STILL A MARINE AT 84 YEARS OLD.


  • WILLIAM SCHRADER

    I got to P.I. August 1960 also plt 277 Charlie co. I also am familiar with the stacking swivel. I also remember D.I.’s Law, Swan and Eldridge they were such nice guy’s. But all n all would not change it for nothing.


  • Donald McKeon

    Thats my memory from 1958. The younger Marines have no idea how much fun this was.


  • Joseph Drobniak

    The M14, I remember, had no stacking swivel but used a loop in the sling to make the stacked arms tripod. I was in Platoon 161 at Parris Island in August of 1962. We were issued M1’s when we went to ITR at Camp Lejeune.


  • Bernie Randolph

    Yes I also remember all this an more,there were many times I hated the M1 but was one of the best rifles ever for other reason. I was at PI in Feb 1960, 2nd By. Promotion 222. Semper FI. Bernie Randolph


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