The purpose of this document is to set some minimum standards of procedures that Texian Volunteers will use in their pubic appearances. The intent is to reduce your personal liability to the public and to insure your personal safety. The rules will be enforced by the safety officer - but any member can point out an emergency situation by yelling the command "Cease Fire!" at any time. Up hearing the "Cease Fire" order from any member, all members shall cease all demonstrations, loading of weapons, or firing them until the safety violation is identified and resolved.
Minimum Rules of Conduct:
1. Each appearance shall have a designated safety officer. That person is responsible for the enforcement of these rules.
2. All edged tools (including belt axes or tomahawks) shall be sheathed in a leather case and will not be taken out of the sheath while participating in a public activity - this especially includes your Bowie knife!
3. Absolutely no horseplay.
4. Each participant will be responsible for the safe operating condition of his individual firearm. If you have any doubts, that the firearm to your gunsmith for inspection and testing. DO NOT bring firearms that you have not fired on a range or tested prior to a pubic demonstration.
5. All flintlocks will be required to be equipped with a flash guard -- No exceptions!
6. All demonstration firing with the muzzle pointed well into the air - at least 45 degrees from horizontal. Visitors will be located behind the shooter at a distance of not less than five yards.
7. Upon the completion of a firing demonstration, the safety officer will be informed of any loads not discharged. The participant with a "hot load" will keep the muzzle pointed directly in the air and will not reprime or attempt to fire the weapon until the safety officer gives the command.
8. Black powder weapons will not be loaded by pouring black powder directly to the weapon from a powder horn. Use of a measuring medium is required (exception: flintlock owners will be allowed to put prime only, but this shall be from a small horn commonly referred to as a priming horn. Priming from the main horn shall not be allowed.
9. All participants will treat their firearms as if they were loaded at al times and never point the muzzle of a rifle or a pistol at a participant or a member of the public.
10. Maximum loads for demonstrations purposes shall not exceed twice the manufacturer's recommended minimum load for firing the weapon with a projectile (i.e. 45 grains for a 50 caliber Kentucky long rifle -therefore, no more than 90 grains for a demonstration load). FFg powder: can use FFg but must decrease the load proportionately.
11. No Smoking will be allowed when wearing or using any container that contains gunpowder. Store the powder horn in the linter box or let another participant carry the powder horn.
Safety Officer Responsibilities:
1. Before any firing demonstration, the Safety Officer is to make sure that the Texian Volunteers are a safe distance from the public. The minimum distance for a musket demonstration is five (5) yards to the rear and ten (10) yards on a 45 degree plane to the left and right of the firing team. Absolutely no pubic will be downrange closer than 25 yards (cannon - 20 yards to the rear and 30 yards on a 45 degree plane to the left and right of the cannon and 100 yards downrange).
2. Before a faring demonstration and after all the members have loaded and primed, the Safety Office will inspect to make certain that all ramrods have been properly secured and that all powder horn caps have been replaced.
3. Before the first demonstration, the Safety Officer will insure that the safety "half cock" position is functional and that all arms are unloaded prior t the demonstration.
4. Safety Officer will check to make certain that all flintlocks are equipped with flash guards.
5. Safety Officer will instruction any participant after a faring demonstration who had indicated that he has a "hot load" as to when and where the load can be discharged.
Firing Demonstration Procedures:
1. All participants will assemble in a line as directed by the Safety Officer or Commander at approximately an arms length distance from each other.
2. Upon orders from the Commander, the fire arms will be loaded and primed.
3. Once the firearm is loaded and primed, it will be held at a 45 degree angle in front of the participant facing in the direction of fire. The weapon will be held with both hands - one hand being on the small of the stock and the other hand being on the upper barrel.
4. Upon being given the order "Ready!", the participant shall raise the weapon in a 45 degree plane in the air and point it downrange.
5. Upon the order from the Commander to either aim left or to aim right, the participant will turn approximately 45 degrees in the direction of the order. When the order is given to fire, all the participants will discharge their firearms.
6. Any participants with a "hot load" will return the rifle to the Ready position keeping the muzzle in a downrange direction.
7. The Safety Officer will be informed of the problem by the participant yell "Hot Load!"
8. By participating in public demonstration, a Texian persona must be characterized at all times. Modern things such as cell phones, pagers, etc. should be turned off or put on silent (and out of sight). Name tags and SRT medals should not be worn. Absolutely no cowboy hats, ice chests, drink containers, etc. should be taken to the demonstration area, especially not placed on top of the linter box!
Manual of Arms:
All participants in the demonstration should be familiar with the basic military maneuvers as follows:
2. Left (or Right) Shoulder Arms
3. Court Arms
4. Forward March
5. Left (or Right) Face
6. About Face
7. Order Arms
Ask the Safety Officer for a warm-up or reminder before the demonstration so that we will all look like we all got out of the same wagon! The purpose of these movements is not drill team accuracy, but only to make the unit appear to be a "trained" Texian unit.
Article courtesy, Dick Reese, San Jacinto Chapter, Sons of the Republic of Texas.
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