The following is to be used for all safety inspections. It actually comes mostly from Pickering’s manual, written for Massachusetts militia before the War for Independence. For the sake of safety, we use this in all four units, the Piscataqua Company, Benjamin Church’s Co., John Harmon’s Co., and Jeremiah Eames’s Rangers. Safety inspections should not differ through all four time periods. Best to be consistent.
We usually have the front rank poise, locks inspected half-cock safe, flash guard not loose, hammer stall present), and then the rear rank. This is done in Open Order. Once that is completed the following command will be given:
Search Your Arms!
- Bring right hand over and grab wrist of stock
- Release left hand, and reach up and grab the musket by bending left elbow only, the forearm laying alongside of musket
- Release the right hand and lower the musket with the left, as low as is comfortable, but without the butt on the ground. Grab the rammer with right thumb and forefinger
- Pull out rammer from pipes, turn it and place butt end in barrel (shorten if needed).
At his point the inspector will walk down the line, and as he reaches your position, allow rammer to fall the rest of the way into barrel to show it is clear. When the inspector passes to the next man, continue:
- Pull rammer out of barrel, turn it, and run tip end into pipes, slide rammer in until about six inches remain. Hold the butt end of rammer with the edge of the right hand (hand should be clear of the muzzle).
Return Your Rammers! (2 motions)
- Seat rammer the rest of the way
- Bring musket straight up by simply bending your left elbow, and grab at the wrist with the right hand
Shoulder Your Firelocks! (2 motions)
- Release left hand and grab butt
- Drop right hand to your right side