1st NC Battalion Safety Regulations




January 4, 2014 (rev 1.0)


















The purpose of these Ordnance Regulations is to promote the enjoyment and historical aspects of the War Between the States, while maintaining the safety and well-being of the participants. These Rules and Regulations will be enforced at all times during any Battalion function. The First North Carolina Battalion (FNCB) will comply with the Ordnance Rules and Regulations set forth by the organizations sponsoring the event attended. The safety officers and appointed representatives have absolute authority over the interpretation and enforcement of these rules and regulations. It is the responsibility of the Safety Officer (Ordnance Sergeant) to have a copy of these rules and regulations available for review at all battalion functions.


1.1 Accouterment – Ordnance or military issue-type military equipment taken on the field. These items include, but are not limited to the cartridge box, cap box, bayonet and scabbard, belt, haversack and canteen.

1.2 Firearm – Device, either hand-held or carried on the shoulder, that fires a projectile or blank charge.

1.3 Military Member – A military member is any uniformed individual who is a unit member of the FNCB, who carries any weapon, flag, or musical instrument during scenarios or other troop movements. The minimum age to carry a black powder or edged weapon is 14 years of age. Non-combatant medical personnel, water carriers, etc. may be 12 and 13 years of age.

1.4 Weapon – Any and all devices designed to fire a projectile or blank charge and all bladed weapons such as, but not limited to swords, sabers, bayonets, lances, and knives, without regard to whether or not the weapon is functional or loaded.


2.1 All military members must attend organized drill and tactics before being allowed to participate at regimental functions

2.2 A member who is 16 years of age and older who qualifies and receives a completed and signed "Musket Proficiency of Operations & Safety Form" may discharge a firearm during skirmish and battle scenarios that the FCNB participates in. A member must attain a rank of corporal or above to use hand-held firearms (pistols).

2.3 Exception for 14 or 15 year-old members to discharge a firearm: 14 and 15 year old members who have qualified and received a completed and signed "Musket Proficiency of Operations & Safety Form" may discharge a firearm during skirmish and battle scenarios that the FNCB participates in. The 14 and 15 year old member must carry the signed form, or signed "Firearms Proficiency" card, on them at all times and present the form or card upon request.

2.4 Qualifications for members 14 years of age and older to discharge a firearm: Must participate in drill and tactics to learn how to be proficient in basic safe firearm handling, loading, firing, miss-fire procedures, and maintenance; Demonstrate proficiency in loading the firearm in "9 times" as per Hardee's drill manual; Discharge firearm successfully a minimum of 20 rounds of standard blank cartridges.

2.5 A completed "Musket Proficiency of Operations & Safety Form" will be provided to the member once they have met the qualifications to discharge a firearm. The form will be signed by the commanding officer, or designee, of the military member's unit. The form will then be presented to the Battalion Commander, or designee, for signature. A copy of the completed form must be on file with the Adjutant.

2.6 Unit members of the FNCB having individual members 12 through 17 years of age are encouraged to have parental consent for medical authorization and medical release in writing and/or a parent present at the event.

2.7 Smoking in the ranks should be discouraged on the grounds of safety and authenticity.

2.8 Absolutely no smoking in the ranks once the firearms are loaded.

2.9 Fireworks and loose powder are prohibited on the field.


3.1 All firearms must be of black powder, percussion type ignition and of the Civil War period. Civil War military type rifled muskets are preferred, especially three-banded muskets (e.g. 1861-1864 Springfield, 1853 Enfield). No Hawkins, Plains or modern weapons or ammunition is permitted. Two band rifled firearms are not permitted in Infantry formations.

3.2 Firearms must be in good firing condition, with the hammer locking securely in both the half and full cock positions. The weapon should not be able to be fired with the hammer in the half-cock position.

3.3 All firearms should be treated as if loaded at all times.

3.4 In the interest of conservation and preservation of historic artifacts, no original firearms are to be discharged or used during a battle scenario. Their use is approved for display purposes only.

3.5 Firearms manufactured in Asia are to be used in scenarios only after examination and approval of the Safety Officer, or designee. No smoothbore .58 cal. Springfield-styled firearms nor smoothbore .577 cal Enfield-styled firearms, including "smoothbore Lorenz", are to be discharged or used in any battle scenario.

3.6 Firearms should be cleaned within 24 hours of firing and must be presented clean and functional for inspection.

3.7 Absolutely no foreign matter will be introduced into the barrel of any firearm used on the field during Regimental functions.

3.8 Any firearm that is dropped on the ground must be cleared by ordnance personnel, provost personnel or a file closer before being returned to service.

3.9 Unsecured blades of any description will not be allowed on the field. Bayonets will be allowed unsheathed only when prearranged by the Battalion Commander, or designee, and Safety Officer.

3.10 Ramrods will not be withdrawn from the firearm on the field.

3.11 Extra percussion caps will NOT be held between teeth or held in the hand during loading and firing.

3.12 Firearms must be aimed at a safe angle above the heads of the enemy before firing.

3.13 Firearms will not be fired on troops within 25 yards.

3.14 At no time will mounted troops be fired upon at close range, and never shoot close to or directly at horses.

3.15 No military member will simulate becoming a casualty with a loaded weapon. The charge should be discharged, dumped, or the firearm passed on to the "living" before falling.

3.16 In the event of a misfire on the field, the firearm should be recapped and fired at least twice. If the firearm still fails to fire, the powder should be dumped and the firearm then fired again with the cap. The firearm should then be reloaded and firing attempted once more. If the firearm still fails to fire, it will be removed to a designated area until determined safe by the Safety Officer, or designee.

3.17 Officers of all ranks and branches of service are encouraged NOT to fire their revolvers during scenarios.

3.18 Officers are encouraged not to carry loaded revolvers.

3.19 Revolvers will only be carried by officers, NCOs, cavalry troopers, artillery officers, and others at the Battalion Commander's, or designee's, discretion.

3.20 No more than 2 revolvers will be carried by individuals except cavalrymen.

3.21 Hand-held firearms, revolvers, will be carried in holsters with a flap capable of being fastened, not tucked in belts.

3.22 No "wander wads" will be allowed. Wading material such as cream of wheat or corn meal is recommended. The charge and wad shall be completely seal to the top of the chamber with grease.

3.23 Only mounted troops are allowed to carry spare cylinders. Spare loaded cylinders will be capped only after being installed on the frame of the revolver. Spare cylinders must be carried in a proper, period leather case and worn on the belt.

3.24 The maximum load for a revolver is 30 grains of fffg black powder.

3.25 When loading revolvers, personnel will load in pairs, each watching the other for errors.


4.1 Blank cartridges will be made of plain paper. No writing or lettering is allowed. No coin wrappers or cartridges with staples will be allowed. There is to be no use of glue, wax or any type of adhesive to secure the cartridges.

4.2 It is recommended that cartridges be made prior to an event. Members should be cautious when rolling rounds. Never roll rounds in proximity to an open flame.

4.3 Cartridges may not exceed 70 grains of ff/fffg black powder for .577 or .58 caliber firearms or 90 grains of ff/fffg black powder for a .69 caliber firearm. Only use black powder to make cartridges. Never use "Pyrodex" or a smokeless powder.

4.4 Wadding should not be used unless specifically required for that type of weapon.

4.5 Felt muzzle loading products, commonly known as "wonder wads", are prohibited.

4.6 A cartridge sample must be presented for review at inspection. No live rounds (powder and Minie Ball) will be permitted at any time except as determined by the Safety Officer.

4.7 Projectiles used for display in camps or for living history demonstrations must be kept separate from blank cartridges. NEVER store projectiles in a cartridge box. Cartridges with projectiles for display must be constructed with non-combustible, simulated black powder. There will be no projectile on any member who is participating in a scenario.

4.8 Extra cartridges will not be laid on the ground for easier access. Dropped cartridges will be inspected for debris before being used. Under no circumstances shall cartridges be held in the teeth except to tear the cartridge during loading.

4.9 When loading weapons, cartridge paper will not be loaded except in breach-loading firearms. The spent percussion cap should not be removed before the next powder charge is put in the barrel.

4.10 Six wing caps designed for modern in-line black powder firearms will not be carried or used by military members at events. Any person found to have them in their cap pouch will immediately return them to his camp or surrender them to the provost or inspector.


5.1 All members of FNCB who desire to carry a firearm in scenarios or in camp, loaded or unloaded, shall be subject to firearms inspection.

5.2 Inspection of all firearms will be conducted at each event.

5.3 Muskets, with or without bayonets affixed, shall not be laid on the ground during inspections or at any time after inspection and prior to the simulation of casualties.

5.4 Initial pre-scenario firearms inspections will be conducted by company officers or their designees in camp prior to battalion formation. There will be no snapping of percussion caps or firing by files in camp.

5.5 Capping off and discharging of weapons will not be allowed without consent of both Commanding Officer and Safety Officer.

5.6 The Safety Officer or their designee will be responsible for conducting inspections.

5.7 Final pre-scenario firearms inspection of the battalion, beginning with the snapping of percussion caps, will be conducted in the presence of the Safety Officer, or designee, prior to moving onto the field. The snapping of percussion caps shall not be conducted in the camps except under individual firearms servicing. (See "In-Camp Inspection" and "Pre-Scenario Staging Area Inspection" below)

5.8 Prior to each scenario, battalion and company officers shall present their firearms for inspection to the ordnance officer, or designee.

5.9 Any firearm found to be defective or of questionable reliability will not be carried in any scenario, formation, or demonstration until repairs are made and the firearm has been re-inspected.

5.10 Company 1st Sergeants are encouraged to maintain a list of company firearms. This list should include the owner's name, firearm description and serial number.

5.11 Revolvers which are to be loaded for a scenario will be inspected in camp before the battalion forms up for battle.

5.12 The Safety Officer, or designee, will ensure that all revolvers and spare cylinders carried by personnel are inspected prior to their being loaded and carried to the field.

5.13 Revolvers will be inspected in the following manner:

• Revolvers will not be loaded. The cylinder will be removed, if practicable, from the frame. These parts will be handed over to the inspector.

• The cylinder will be checked to make sure light can be seen through the nipples while looking through front of the cylinder. Nipples will be checked for condition.

• The barrel will be checked for obstructions by looking down the barrel and using a piece of wooden dowel, which is placed in the barrel and allowed to go through the entire length of the barrel.

• The revolver is now reassembled, the safety checked, and the action inspected for proper function.


In-Camp Inspection:

Prior to leaving the company bivouac area en route to the staging area, company officers will insure that the following inspections are completed:

5.14 Canteens are full.

5.15 Cap boxes and cartridge boxes contain approved caps and cartridges in sufficient quantities for the impending scenario. Pyrodex and six-wing musket caps are strictly forbidden. The use of ffffg (four f) black powder is prohibited. The inspector shall check for oversized cartridges. The maximum load for .577 or .58 caliber firearms is 70 grains of ff/fffg powder. The maximum load for a .69 caliber firearm or larger firearm is 90 grains of ff/fffg black powder. Black powder products containing a combination of different granulation sizes of black powder are prohibited.

5.16 The company to be inspected will be formed up in "open order" with bayonets fixed and ramrods inside the firearm barrels.

5.17 The company inspector will go to each file and, as he does so, the file member will present his firearm to the inspector.

5.18 The inspector will raise and lightly drop the ramrod, listening for the clear "PING" that indicates the barrel is clear and clean.

5.19 The inspector will check the firearm's bayonet-locking feature. If the bayonet is of the type that employs the front sight and the front sight is missing, the bayonet may not be used on the firearm.

5.20 The stock will be checked for cracks.

5.21 The half-cock will checked by applying pressure to the trigger, equal to but not exceeding the weight of the firearm. The hammer will be checked for looseness, proper alignment, and tight closure on the nipple.

5.22 The nipple will be checked for deformity, cracks and stability.

5.23 Bayonet blades must be covered by the scabbard, with a metal scabbard tip, or containing a wooden plug. The scabbard must be stitched and closed down its length.

5.24 There will be no snapping of caps or firing by files or by company in the camps.

5.25 Breech-loading carbines will be inspected in the same manner as muskets except that, with the action open, visual check must be made of the interior of the barrel and a ramrod inserted into the barrel in its full length to the muzzle.

5.26 The maximum load for breech-loading carbines is 60 grains ff/fffg black powder.

Pre-scenario Staging Area Inspection:

5.27 With the company or battalion in Open Order, bayonets shall be removed.

5.28 Have the rear rank, About Face. Clear the area of persons in front of and behind the company.

5.29 Snap percussion caps with the firearm's muzzle approximately two inches from the ground.

5.30 Each company will then load and fire one cartridge by file. Personnel having misfires at any time during the inspection will step out of ranks and to the rear where ordnance personnel will clear the firearm, take corrective action and have the soldier reload and fire one cartridge prior to rejoining the ranks.

5.31 Any firearm that has failed to operate safety by the end of the inspection process will not be taken onto the field.

Safety During Scenarios:

5.32 Once the battalion has completed the final inspection and has departed for the scenario, no one may enter the ranks of any company without being inspected by the Safety Officer, or designee.

5.33 The Safety Officer and company ordnance personnel and file closers will be responsible for dealing with non-functioning firearms during scenarios.

5.34 If a firearm misfires during a scenario, the soldier will recap the firearm and fire again. If the firearm does not fire with a second percussion cap, the soldier will retire from the firing line and call on company ordnance personnel or file closer for assistance in clearing the weapon.

5.35 Each file closer and company ordnance personnel will have a vent pick with his accouterments. The Safety Officer, or designee, should have a CO2 discharge tool.

5.36 No FNCB personnel shall take photographs during scenarios and/or while in character and in public view.

5.37 Officers of all ranks and branches of service are encouraged NOT to fire their revolvers during scenarios.

5.38 No person will simulate becoming a casualty with a loaded weapon.

5.39 When simulating becoming a casualty, personnel shall take care not to throw themselves backwards without ascertaining if it is safe to do so.

5.40 One or two-man "suicide charges" are not authentic and not authorized.

5.41 All firearms, including revolvers, will be cleared on the field before returning to camp.

5.42 There will be no hand-to-hand combat unless previously arranged and approved by the commanding officer of the battalion and units involved.

5.43 Tampions will not be carried onto the battlefield.

5.44 "Medic!" is the call for an actual emergency. At the call for a medic, only qualified medical personnel should respond. The location of a medical emergency shall be designated by affixing a yellow flag to a ramrod partially withdrawn from the musket and raising and waving the yellow flag.

Inspection Procedure:

5.45 The inspector will drop a ramrod down the barrel to insure that there is no foreign matter or obstruction in the barrel. The ramrod should make a distinct ringing sound when it strikes the breech plug. The inspecting officer will then check the half and full-cock locking abilities. Following this, he will insure that the nipple is free of obstruction and in good condition. Barrels should be checked for cleanliness, thin walls, worn breech, and unsafe welds. Stocks will be checked for cracks and breaks. Long guns and single shot handguns will be capped and fired with the muzzle pointed downward, a few inches from the ground. The inspecting officer should insure that the nipple and barrel are clear in each weapon. Breech-loading weapons will be inspected from the loading end with the breech open. The inspecting officer will check cartridges for the correct construction and volume of powder. Pistol cylinders should be pricked to insure that there is enough wadding to prevent chain fire. Weapons that do not pass all of the above mentioned steps will be barred from the field until they pass all steps to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer.

Conclusion of an Event:

5.46 No weapons will be allowed off the field after a scenario until cleared by the commanding officer or designee. This will be accomplished by capping off and firing the firearm at high elevation a minimum of two times to insure the barrel is empty.


6.1 Bayonets must have a working locking mechanism and be locked in place when the bayonet is fixed. If the bayonet employs the front sight of the musket, the sight must be present or the bayonet will not be approved for use on the field.

6.2 Sheath knives will be allowed in the field only if secured (tied to their scabbard) and approved by the Safety Officer, or designee. Knives will not be unsheathed at any time during the battle scenario.

6.3 All edged weapons and tools should remain sheathed/secured when not in use. Naked blades will not be left unattended at any time.

6.4 Swords and sabers may be worn only by officers and certain non-commissioned officers ranking above sergeant.

6.5 Swords must be of proper period type and be in good serviceable condition. Leather sword scabbards must have a metal tip. Metal sword scabbards must be in a safe and serviceable condition. Persons carrying swords into battle should do a self-check of hilts to ensure they are tight.

6.6 All axes, saws and camp implements for cutting will maintain a sharp edge.

6.7 All blades will be secured by dusk.


7.1 Canteens will of the proper type, constructed of wood, tin, or steel. Glass bottles, slung or carried in the haversack are not acceptable without approval of the ordnance sergeant, or designee.

7.2 Canteens will be carried on the field, they will be full of water, and will be checked before leaving for the field.

7.3 Cartridge boxes will be of the proper type, with a flap that can be secured. Cartridge box tins are recommended. Many events require tins in boxes. At no time will caps or cartridges be carried or held in the mouth.

7.4 Cap boxes must be of the proper type, with a flap that can be secured.


8.1 Any firearm that malfunctions and is repaired, while on the field, must be re-inspected by the Safety Officer, or designee, or a file closer before being placed back in service.

8.2 If a firearm is repaired, using replacement parts, during the course of an event, it must be re-inspected by ordnance personnel.


9.1 Artillery units will adhere to the safety guidelines as developed by the Army of Northern Virginia, 1st Division Chief of Artillery, or his designee.

9.2 At no time will troops fire their firearms within 25 feet of an artillery piece or limber.

9.3 A 50 yard Danger Zone shall be established and marked in front of artillery positions.

9.4 Troops will not move through artillery positions without permission from the battery commander.

9.5 Approach all artillery positions with caution. Watch for signals warning of a misfire or a loaded piece. The signal for a loaded artillery piece is sponge rammer on the hub of the wheel. The signal for a gun that is loaded and misfired is rammer and sponge staffs crossed above the cannon barrel. All troops should know these signals.

9.6 No one may touch an artillery piece without the permission of the crew.

9.7 No smoking within 25 feet of an artillery piece or limber.


10.1 Cavalry will follow safety guidelines as developed by the Army of Northern Virginia, 1st Division Chief of Cavalry, or his designee.

10.2 At no time will there be a cavalry charge against dismounted troops unless the scenario is previously arranged and approved by the commanding officers of the units involved.


11.1 Camps shall be constructed according to Confederate Regulations, as conditions/terrain permit or allow.

11.2 Firewood will be cut, stacked and secured by dusk.

11.3 The fire-pit should be located a safe distance from all tents.

11.4 The fire-pit must be constructed in accordance with the rules of the event.

11.5 When the fire-pit is allowed to be dug, the sod should be cut and placed to the side, to be put back and well watered when the fire is extinguished and fire-pit filled back in. The fire-pit should be stone lined or sunken.

11.6 No powder or explosives, metals or flammable liquids will be thrown in the fire or used to start any fire.

11.7 A one gallon (minimum) container of water will be kept within ten feet of each campfire.

11.8 Campfires must be supervised by an adult and shall not be left unattended.

11.9 The last person awake will make sure that the fire is at a safe level before turning in.

11.10 No loaded weapons will be kept in camp, except revolvers, which will not be capped.

11.11 There will be no discharging of weapons in camp.

11.12 Camps will be kept clean. It is the responsibility of all members to keep a clean camp.

11.13 Personal items will be put away when not in use.

11.14 All powder shall be stored away before dark.

11.15 No fireworks will be allowed in camp.

11.16 No alcoholic beverages will be consumed until the evening or by direction of the Commanding Officer.

11.17 State alcoholic beverage laws will be observed and enforced.

11.18 Intoxicated individuals will not be allowed to handle any weapon or tools (axes, shovels, etc.).

11.19 Work details will be assigned by non-commissioned officers to collect wood, water, etc.

11.20 A complete first aid box will be kept in camp, except during battles, when it will be kept near the field. This box will be kept stocked at all times and will be the responsibility of a person designated by the Commanding Officer.

11.21 No one shall ride or lead any horse, mule, etc. through company streets, staff areas, civilian camps, or sutler areas without the permission of the person in-charge of such areas.

11.22 No pets allowed in camp.

11.23 Use of illegal drugs is prohibited.


Recommended cleaning supplies:
Cleaning solution (made up of 1 quart water, 2 tablespoons liquid dish detergent and ¼ to 1/3 cup household ammonia)
Bucket of hot water
Cleaning rod with jog and brush (20 gauge shotgun cleaning kit can be used)
Paper towels or rags
Cleaning patches
12-18 inch plastic or rubber tubing that fits snugly over nipple
Fine steel wool
Birchwood-Casey Gun Scrubber
Any name brand firearm lubricant, RemOil, bore butter, etc.
Boiled linseed oil for stock


1. Scrub nipple and surrounding area with tooth brush dipped in cleaning solution.

2. Tilt tubing over nipple and place funnel in muzzle of musket.

3. Pour hot water down bore of musket until it comes out clear from tube.

4. Pour some cleaning solution down bore and on bore rush, and run brush up and down bore several times.

5. Rinse bore with more hot water.

6. Run cleaning patch, dipped in cleaning solution, through bore several times.

7. Rinse bore again with hot water.

8. Remove nipple with wrench and scrub with tooth brush to remove residue; also scrub threads in breech plug where nipple screws in.

9. Run wet patch through bore several times. If the patch comes out dirty, repeat steps 4 through 7 until patch comes out clean.

10. Run dry patch though bore to remove remaining moisture.

11. Spray Gun Scrubber down bore and onto clean patch, then run patch through bore several times. This should remove any residue remaining from the previous steps.

12. Run another dry patch through the bore.

13. Apply lubricant down the bore and onto a clean patch, then run patch through bore several times.

14. Wipe down outside of musket with paper towels or a rag to remove any dirt or moisture, then run all metal parts with oiled patch to prevent rusting. If there are any rust spots, rub with fine steel wool and oil.

15. Rub a very small amount of linseed oil into all parts of the stock to prevent drying and to protect from moisture.

It is recommended that occasionally the musket be completely disassembled and cleaned thoroughly. This should especially be done any time the musket is exposed to excessive moisture, such as rain. When the musket is stored for any amount of time, it should be inspected occasionally and lightly oiled.

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