1. Known as the “Piling Swivel” in British parlance I believe. As in the great Henry Reed poem “Naming of Parts”
    “And this is the piling swivel,
    Which in your case you have not got.”

  2. Stacking hooks, rods, and swivels allow soldiers to put their rifles aside in order to perform camping chores without risking the chance of mud getting into the receivers. Rifle “tepees” therefore are the most hygienic approach for secondary line storage outdoors. Nobody wants to shoulder a weapon with mud all over it. Note that this is going to be a feature for long guns wielded by infantry, engineers, and artillerymen, none of whom carry main weapons in holsters. Or am I wrong?

  3. The German Kar 98a Mauser is the prize winner for the most obvious stacking hook in history;


    In fact, for decades collectors and shooters wondered what the heck that rod sticking out was for. You still find 98a’s with it cut off, because dealers and etc. had no idea what its purpose was and thought it made the rifle harder to sell on account of “looks”.

    BTW, the shortage of Kar 98k’s in the hands of the Wehrmacht in 1939-40 is easily demonstrated by photos showing large numbers of 98a’s, with their tell-tale stacking hooks, in the hands of frontline troops.



  4. “Stacking rifles” is still a common practice today, or at least it was as of 22 years ago when I attended US Marine Corps officer candidates school. We’d stack rifles outside the mess hall every visit. Wish the M16A2 had an accessory for this purpose, can still be done without it but takes a bit more coordination. Stacking happens primarily at classroom-type events in garrison/training, I can’t remember ever doing it in the fleet (although I had a pistol, except for annual rifle requalification, so I lack credibility there)

  5. I “stacked arms” with the M16 throughout my military career ending in 2010. Sometimes rifle racks went to the training ranges with my units, sometimes not. In my last unit, when I demonstrated how to stack arms, it became SOP whenever the rifles were put aside under guard while setting up equipment.

    Note that motorized units frequently have weapon racks in vehicles. The HMMWV has built-in weapon racks as did several older vehicles. The vehicle weapon racks were preferable to stacking arms because that kept the weapon cleaner.

    • Good of you to mention the practices done for real. I can’t understand why anyone would believe that rifles get tossed flat on the ground when not in use.

  6. Somewhat related trivia: according to my father, a frequent threat by Drill Sergeants and other persons in authority would be to “Take you up by your stacking swivel.” As no one wanted to find out exactly what part of the human anatomy that referred to, compliance was swift.

  7. After the M-16 came into use, they modified the command “STACK ARMS” for the base rifle to have a loop made in the nylon sling web and fed up into the stacking swivel, with enough room in the loop that the other 2 rifles could feed the barrel in past the front sight, and then twist out to form the pyramid, and 2 more rifles rested in the triangle area made by the stacked rifles.

  8. Wow!My L1A1 British parts Fal has one of those swivels and I always thought it was a messed up sling swivel. Now knowing what it really is also clarifies why it does have a rear sling swivel.

  9. Saw it in training in the 70s but never saw it after that. Why would you be worried about dirt getting in the action but not worried about rain and dirt getting in the muzzle. Anyone leaving his rifle standing around unattended in the weather would experience the fun of lapping the base in battle order till your legs fell off.

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