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

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

20 comments


  • alan robinson

    Semper Fi Marine Corps strong,I was in PI in 1975 we had the m16’s but stillh ad it bad there,but not anymore they say that it’s a walk in the park,there is no longer a motivation camp to go through if you’re gettingo it of line ,they are not event throwing gernades there anymore


  • Rich (aka) Bearsy

    Semper Fi Marines, your stories bring back memories that will never be seen again. I served from 3-61 through 3-67…..Platoon 117… P.I.S.C. with a 1924… service number. Originally from Flushing N.Y. The Corps was responsible for and shaped my life especially in later years. Still have my Graduation photo on my wall and remember all my D.I.’s as if it were yesterday. Stay Safe and continue with the stories….Rich G……Hwy2930@yahoo.com


  • Roger R. Pelkey

    I arrived at PI April 26, 1961 was with the 3rd Bn. for a few days and was set back 2 wks. as I didn’t go to a class and stayed in the Barracks. Is went to Pl.125, 1st Bn. where I met 2 of my hometown friends I talked into joining the Corps. Oh Happy Day. I had my M1 Garand # 2728921 for 3 years and fired 221,223,and 227 then they gave a piece of doggy doo called theM14 and I dropped to 197. Got my Honorable Discharge at Camp LeJeune H/2/6 on July 29/1965. I had to make up some Brig Time in a Red Line Brig at Pearl Harbor. All said I would do it all over today but I guess this “Old Salt” is 73 and probably couldn’t walk from the Yellow Prints Reception to the 3rd Bn. We didn’t say OOH RAH back then but we did have a “Semper Fi”,Mac.


  • Michael Miller

    I am so glad there is a comment section here. Marine Spilleth, when did you arrive at PI. We were basically in at the exact same time. I arrived at PI on 1 July 60 and was assigned to Plt 257, 2nd Bn. I served from ’60-’64 as well, and also finished out as a Cpl. At Camp Lejuene I served as a radio (2531) and radio telegraph (Morse Code-2533) operator, in H&S Co, 2nd Bn, 6th Marines, 2nd MARDIV. I know I’m getting old when my MOS’s either one or both don’t even exist anymore. (michaeldmillerphotography@gmail.com) West Hartford, CT


  • Gregory E Kirkland

    I remember that exactly the way you said it. I was there March 1960 and go from there.


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