USV Safety Regulations

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SOP-1. SAFETY REGULATIONS
                                                      MUSKET SAFETY INSPECTION POINTS - Annex A(1)

         A. At inspection arms, ramrod should be inserted in barrel with button end down. It should strike the bottom of the breech plug with a clear, metalic "ring". If the ramrod sticks or makes a dull thud, it is an indication of dirt, corrosion or lead rings in the bore. Run the ramrod slowly up the bore angling it to touch the inside of the barrel to check for residue build-up in the bore. The Springfield ramrod should protrude no more than 1/4" from the muzzle due to its longer barrel. Enfield ramrod threads should protrude no more than 1/4" or to the extent of the threads due to its shorter barrel. If the ramrod extends excessively from the muzzle, then there may be an obstruction in the breech. Any musket suspected to have an obstruction in the bore will not be used at all during the event and will be removed from camp. Muskets that are dirty will be excluded from the event until cleaned under the supervision of a qualified NCO. It is recommended that any musket used for live fire NOT be used reenacting due to the possibility of lead rings forming in the breech area during live fire and then becoming a projectile during blank fire. Any musket used for live fire shold be carefully inspected for lead ring formations either with a bore light or by careful probing with the ramrod.

         B. The nipple should then be inspected. The nipple should be fully seated into the bolster. If a nipple appears to be not fully seated, it should be checked with a nipple wrench. The nipple must screw fully into the bolster with no undue resistance. A nipple that does not screw in fully is indicative of cross threading. One that is loose may indicate an improper or loose thread. Any musket with a nipple or bolster that is questionable will not be allowed on the field and will be removed from camp. The nipple area should be bright and clean, free from all dirt and powder residue. The cleanout screw on the 1861 Springfield must be fully seated into the bolster.

         C. The musket lock should then be checked to insure that the half-cock notch is operable. Any musket that fires from the half-cock position will be excluded from the event and removed from camp. Under no circumstances should the hammer be struck forward with the heel of the hand by the inspecting officer or in any manner tampered with. Even pressure only should be applied to test the half-cock position, at the same time checking for side to side play.

         D. The musket hammer must solidly engage in the full cock position with no play in the lockwork. Any musket that does not properly function in the full cock position will not be used in the event and will be removed from camp. The face of the hammer should be inspected to insure an even strike on the nipple. A solid circle indicates a solid strike where a crescent or figure-eight mark indicates an off-center strike, possibly resulting in cap fragments breaking off on impact creating a severe hazard to the eyes!

         E. Musket stocks should be inspected for substantial structural cracks. Any musket with stock cracks that could pose a safety hazard may not be used in the event and will be removed from camp.

         F. The musket should be returned to the soldier in the half cock position.

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