The following is taken from

Safety Standard Operating Procedures
of the
United States Volunteers
By David T. T. Smith
Safety Officer
January 10, 2004

The complete text in PDF format


These procedures also apply to all single-shot breechloading rifles.

A. At inspection arms, the bore will be visually inspected for obstructions. After inspecting the bore,
the inspecting officer should then close the breech and check the nipple area. The nipple should be fully
seated into the breech block. If a nipple does not appear to be fully seated, it should be checked with a nipple
wrench. The nipple must screw fully into the breech block 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 threads.
Any carbine with a nipple or breech block that is questionable will not be allowed on the field. The nipple
area should be bright and clean, free from all dirt and residue.

B. The carbine should then be checked to insure that the half-cock notch is operable. Any carbine 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.

C. The carbine hammer must solidly engage in the full cock position with no play in the lockwork.
Any breechloading carbine 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 on the nipple where a crescent or figure-eight mark
indicates an off-center strike, possible resulting in cap fragments breaking off on impact creating a severe
hazard to the eyes!

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

E. The carbine should be returned to the soldier in the half cock position.

F. Any repairs made to a breechloading carbine must be cleared with the unit First Sergeant who will
then determine if the subject arm will be allowed on the field. Any arm which fails any of the above
standards or is any manner questionable from a safety standpoint will not be used in the event and will be
removed from camp to avoid any possibility of its ending up on the field.

G. Once unit safety inspection has been completed, carbines will be capped off by file under
supervision of the company commander and/or first sergeant. Carbines will be held at a 45 degree angle to
the ground with the muzzle aimed at a leaf or blade of grass. Order will be given to prime and fire by fire,
with unit officers and NCO's observing each carbine muzzle as the piece is fired to insure that the percussion
cap blast moves the leaf, thereby insuring that the flash channel is clear.

H. Only after this procedure has been followed will a unit equipped with breechloading carbines be
permitted to march for battle.

I. This carbine safety inspection procedure will be accomplished prior to or during dress parade each
day of an event.