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SaltyDog

Black Powder Regulations

92 posts in this topic

OK, I added a few edits, replaced "fire in the hole" and added a couple of items including a ban on alcohol/drugs.

I removed the term "firearm" as the BATF does not consider our guns as firearms and I don't want to confuse them or anyone else. I substituted the period language "small arm."

I changed "Artillery Piece" to "Great Gun" in keeping with period language and to include swivel guns.

I added difinitions for both of the above.

I added language for caplocks. If the definition of "small arm" was changed to exclude caplocks, simply drop the language.

I deliberately did not address wadding or individual pyrates wishing to participate or 10/12 gauge blank-firing cannon.

While there are still a few things to clean up, I have this in a Word file for anyone who wishes to PM me. Somehow cutting and pasting lost some of the signature blanks. It also dropped some of my quotation marks. Go figure.

BLACK POWDER REGULATIONS for

THE LONG ISLAND PIRATE FESTIVAL

JUNE 2009

Any person from an authorized and recognized pirate organization, as determined by "Ye Pyrate Brotherhood" or their authorized representative, who wishes to participate in displaying and/or discharging working replica or antique small arms and/or great gun at this event will read and sign each item on all pages of this form in the presence of a designated Black Powder Marshall (BPM), attesting that they understand and will adhere to these rules and general guidelines. It is the responsibility of each individual to follow these rules. These rules and guidelines are for the safety and security of all participants and spectators. Any non-working replica small arms or great gun are not subject to these rules.

For the purposes of these rules "small arm" means any pistol, blunderbuss, musket or rifle capable of firing black powder only. No cartridge weapons shall be allowed.

For the purposes of these rules "great gun" means any cannon, swivel gun or artillery piece capable of firing black powder only. No cannon utilizing shell casings shall be allowed. (Exception for 10/12 gauge blank firing cannon?)

1. For those wishing to enter the Firing Zone and discharge either small arms or great guns the use of alcohol or intoxicating drugs of any sort will not be tolerated. Persons seen using alcohol will not be allowed in the Firing Zone. Reporting violations to this rule will be the responsibility of each participant in the festival whether or not they intend to enter the Firing Zone themselves. It only takes one incident to lose the privilege of firing black powder at this event.

Initials

2. All working replica or antique small arms and great guns are to be surrendered for inspection and inventoried prior to being allowed on site each day of the event. They are to be fully inspected and approved for use by the appointed BPM for functionality, cleanliness and safety. Each participant that is approved will be given an identifying tag, button or ribbon. Any violation of the rules will result in confiscation of the identifying mark and revocation of shooting privileges for the day or event at the discretion of the BPM. Decisions of the BPM are final.

Initials ______

3. All working replica or antique small arms must have a mechanically sound, fully working lock and a well-knapped, sparking flint where appropriate. Half-cock shall be tested on small arms. Any failing to hold the cock at the half-cock position when the trigger is pulled shall be deemed to have failed. They must have a secure pan cover where appropriate, the stock shall be in good repair and the barrel firmly seated in the stock. Other conditions not listed may be considered by the BPM. The decisions of the BPM are final.

Initials ______

4. Any small arms or great guns that do not meet the above criteria are to be immediately removed from the event area or secured in a locked enclosure away from public access and view.

Initials ______

5. Gun Captains and crews of great guns shall demonstrate knowledge of proper procedure prior to placing the gun on the firing line. Gun captains shall also present for inspection all necessary loading and cleaning tools as well as a secure cartridge/powder box. At no time shall the cartridge/powder box be left unattended unless secured in a locked enclosure away from public view and access.

Initials

6. All working replica or antique small arms and great guns are to be cleaned at the end of each day or after two (2) consecutive misfires caused by fouling.

Initials ______

7. AT NO TIME WILL ACTUAL AMMUNITION (BALL) OR OTHER PROJECTILES BE ALLOWED ON SITE. THERE WILL BE NO EXECPTIONS! ANY PERSON FOUND TO BE IN POSESSION OF AMMUNITION (BALL) OR OTHER PROJECTILES WILL BE ESCORTED OFF THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY. Only soft tissue paper is to be used for wading and the thickness should not exceed the bore of the gun.

Initials______

8. All working replica or antique small arms may be carried on your person for display and educational purposes only on the condition that the small arm shall not be loaded at any time outside of the Firing Zone. Re-enactors are not to allow the general audience to handle any working replica or antique small arms or great guns even when not loaded. An exception to this rule for "dry training" the public on gun crew procedure may be allowed for designated gun crews only in an area separate from the Firing Zone. The great guns used shall be inspected by the BPM prior to dry training if/each time that the guns have been used in the Firing Zone. At no time shall a cartridge/powder box, lighted match or friction primer be used in dry training nor shall any be in evidence near a gun used for such training.

Initials ______

9. All working replica or antique small arms and great guns are to be loaded and/or discharged only in the designated Firing Zone under the supervision of the BPM and designated Line Captains on duty.

Initials______

10. There shall be a "Neutral Zone" surrounding the Firing Zone that shall be no less than six (6) feet wide, separating the general audience from the re-enactors. No small arms or great guns are to be allowed in or passed through this area. All participants will enter and exit the Firing Zone via a designated and marked entryway.

Initials______

11. There will be a designated BPM on duty at all times overseeing the Firing Zone along with any Line Captains that they may designate. All participants will obey any and all directives and procedures given by them. Any participant that does not follow all directions may be asked to secure their arms and leave for the duration of the day or event at the discretion of the BPM. The decisions of the BPM are final.

Initials______

12. No propellant other than approved commercial black powder shall be used. All black powder storage magazines will be properly marked and secured from view. At no time shall a powder storage magazine be left unattended unless secured in a locked enclosure away from public view and access. There will be no handling of black powder in the direct view of the general public or spectators except in the Firing Zone.

Initials______

13. No small arm or great gun shall be discharged prior to receiving the command "Give Fire!" from the BPM. If volley fire is to be the order the BPM shall command "Prepare a Volley!" followed by the command "Give...Fire!" at which time the participants shall discharge on the word "...Fire." Gun Captains in charge of a great gun shall use audible commands during the loading of the piece and shall use the warning "Have a Care" prior to the command "Give Fire" to discharge the piece. No small arm or great gun shall ever be aimed at a person or animal and attention will paid to the direction and velocity of the wind in order to avoid any backwash of smoke or black powder flash endangering any person or property.

Initials______

14. All firing shall cease at the command "Hold Fire." This command shall be given at the end of the designated firing time by the BPM or at any time by anyone on the firing line that observes any behavior or condition that they perceive to be dangerous. "Hold Fire" is the universal order to cease firing, NOW. The BPM may then command all weapons still loaded to be discharged. Alternately, at the end of the designated firing time the BPM may command "Discharge and Hold" as a signal not to reload.

Initials

15. Any misfires will be identified by yelling "Misfire!" and brought to the immediate attention of the BPM. Under the direction of the BPM or Line Captain the participant will then attempt to safely discharge their small arm or great gun. If a second misfire occurs the pan will be cleared and the touch hole/nipple un-fouled using the proper pick tool, the flint inspected and pan re-primed with fresh powder/nipple re-capped and a discharge attempted. If it still will not fire, the participant will retire to a designated end of the firing line and will not attempt to discharge the arm again. After the end of firing the arm will be handed over to the BPM at which time and in a suitable location they will attempt to safely discharge or unload the arm.

Initials______

16. LAST, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, ALWAYS TREAT BLACK POWDER, SMALL ARMS AND GREAT GUNS WITH THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE. ALWAYS CONSIDER YOUR ARMS AS LOADED AT ALL TIMES. ALWAYS USE COMMON SENSE WHEN HANDLING AND ALWAYS THINK SAFETY FIRST. REPORT ANY DANGEROUS ACTIVITY OR CONDITIONS TO THE BPM.

Initials______

I HAVE READ AND INITIALED ITEMS 1 THROUGH 16 ABOVE AND UNDERSTAND EACH ITEM AND MY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM. I WILL ABIDE BY ALL THE ABOVE RULES AND GUIDELINES TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AND ATTEMPT TO ENFORCE THEM WITH OTHERS FOR THE GENERAL SAFETY OF ALL.

Group:

Print Name:

Sign: Date: ___________________

BPM: Date:

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Now this is something our group has had a lot of success with in a "Wild West" style venue...where damn near everybody wants to shoot BP.....

Only those who have attended the mandatory saftey meetings every morning....would get a pin....something simple...to wear on a lapel.(or somewherenondescript but visable to other participants)...the pins(or ribbon) would notify all other participants that not only are they also a registered participant but has also attended the mandatory saftey meetings.....

and anyone NOT wearring a pin or ribbon...was NOT to be handling a weapon.....thus using the participants themselves to help police the attendees.....

if anyone was found to have a weapon and was not pinned they were directed to one of the host group(who were pinned in a different ribbon and thus easily recognisable)...and either registered as a late participant,given a saftey standards...or asked to remove said weapon from grounds(if not a participant)...or escorted from grounds.

this worked beutifully....for our 6-10 "saftey" officers turned into 150 saftey officers......

just an idea that worked for us.

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Many thanks to all the suggestions. I am glad to be getting the feeling that I'm not going over the top on this. I will certainly consider all of the replies and will be revising my document. Please, if anyone else wants to chime in, feel free. The more opinions the better.

I will be contacting some local fire departments to see what thier take on this is. I would feel a whole lot better if we had an actual "permit" in place for our event. The hunt continues....

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I do like the Dogge's "tagging" idea to identify shooters. Good, quick reference both on the line and off. If you see a participant with a tag imbibing, just take the tag. No more shooting for him. I have added this to the edited version of the form.

Should the gun be tagged as well as the participant? That way an inspected shooter could not show up on the line with an uninspected gun. This would also serve to help identify costumed patrons that are not shooting but are carrying functional small arms and keep those arms as well as the non-shooting patron off the line. Perhaps I'm being a little paranoid here, but sometimes people do stupid things like fire a weapon not known to them.

As for item #4, I would rather keep a loaded misfire on the line rather than let it wander off unsupervised. The participant can still wave it about (pointed up naturally) and yell insults at the English Pyrate-hunting rabble we were shooting "at" while still being under supervision. Keeping all misfires at one end of the line (the far end, away from the crowd) helps to keep them from getting away at the end of shooting.

As for wadding, I like to use it because I get a more consistent discharge. But that may be simply because I haven't practiced with non-wadded loads all that much. Must do more research...

As to black powder grades, I would recommend 2F in rifles/muskets and 3F in pistols and 'busses and 4F only to prime. Of course cannon grade for cannon. As to loads, I have seen great lattitude used in charges. I use 75 gr. 3F in my .69 cal pistol which, when wadded, gives a decent bang. I suppose some standardization/max loads relative to caliber and model should be written into the rules as well. Anyone got a provenanced list of standardized loads, either from a powder company or gun manufacturer?

I agree with the concept of not loading from a horn, but all horns are not created equal. What about spring-loaded flask and horn spouts with attached powder measures? Should the rule be to load only by cartridge or separate powder measure? (Here be a can of worms...I know of several well-respected Pyrates that load from flasks...) I load by cartridge but carry a flask as a backup in case I run out.

OK, enough pot-stirring for now.

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but becareful of having tooo many regulations for your event....i have seen to many events run to the ground for being to much over your shoulder and too strict where it was no longer fun....and keeping away good experienced talent....but i also agree...safe is safe....and newbies always need more attention.....i could stand here all day with the "on the other hand" shtick....

i'm not sure how i feel about the one guy checkin all weapons idea yet....i know several events do....others leave it to the saftey officers of the individual groups....i can see the ideas behind both...still thinkin on that one....

the shooter "SHOULD" know his weapon and its quirks better than the guy checking....if hes done this for any real length of time....but how to accomodate the "newbie" on the feild...seems like the trick..we have always put a new guy next to an old experienced shooter...to guide him durring a scenario....so far works pretty well....but thats in for the bigger groups who have experienced guys in it...not a new and upcomming group...

so ...i seem to be rambling agian....nevermind ;)

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Too much or too little regulation, always that balancing act. We dont' want to scare away the new blood but we don't want to get shot by them either. At PiP last year I supervised two new guys on the line that I only met at PiP but they had brought weapons and powder and wanted to shoot. They were fine and shot independently after the first session. Silkie's first shoot was at PiP and Patrick and I helped her out. Pip is loaded with unaffliated pyrates and the only way to regulate them is to watch out for each other, cover the basics and don't be all pompous about it. It's not rocket science, just simple step-by-step procedures. We are, after all, out there to burn powder and have fun.

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Aye, Jim...

Loading directly from a horn is dangerous. I have been dealing with this stuff for well over 40 years, and I have seen several accidents of various types. I remember back when Park Service rules were instituted. Back then, besides paper cartridges, they also approved the use of a "secondary container" or powder measure to be used. This also prevented having a full flask or horn over the barrel. The spring loaded flasks are no safety factor at all, merely a convenience because of being able to be used one-handed.

I am starting to see quite a bit of incorrect info appearing in this thread. Most of which will not get you hurt, but simply not the best methods. It is amazing the amount of misinformation that has been repeated over the years !! No need for me to step on anyones toes at this point, but if I spot anything really dangerous, I'll speak up.

>>>> Cascabel

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As for item #4, I would rather keep a loaded misfire on the line rather than let it wander off unsupervised. The participant can still wave it about (pointed up naturally) and yell insults at the English Pyrate-hunting rabble we were shooting "at" while still being under supervision. Keeping all misfires at one end of the line (the far end, away from the crowd) helps to keep them from getting away at the end of shooting.

Not a bad thought... however, I've witnessed a hangfire that took 30 seconds or so to go off. Just a thought, but having a bucket, much like a gun bucket for the great guns, full of water at the line. If the small arm misfires the allotted two times and is not wadded, pour the powder into the bucket of water, thus neutralizing the powder. I've even seen a fellow be extra safe (if there is such a thing), he had a wadded small arm and had several misfires, so he took his water flask and poured some water in the pan/touchhole. No worries there, just a good cleanup needed after. Maybe have a ladle in said gun bucket...

As to black powder grades, I would recommend 2F in rifles/muskets and 3F in pistols and 'busses and 4F only to prime. Of course cannon grade for cannon. As to loads, I have seen great lattitude used in charges. I use 75 gr. 3F in my .69 cal pistol which, when wadded, gives a decent bang. I suppose some standardization/max loads relative to caliber and model should be written into the rules as well. Anyone got a provenanced list of standardized loads, either from a powder company or gun manufacturer?

As a rule in all the groups I've been involved with, it goes 'one grain per calibre', thus .69 cal gets 69 grains of powder, .75 cal gets 75 grains, etc...

And 3F for arms below .60 cal, 2F for .60 cal up to 1.25, and cannon grade for anything above. 4F for priming ONLY.

Just my tupence...

This is from doing ECW, F&I and Pennsic War Field Artillery

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(Dorian) Not a bad thought... however, I've witnessed a hangfire that took 30 seconds or so to go off. Just a thought, but having a bucket, much like a gun bucket for the great guns, full of water at the line. If the small arm misfires the allotted two times and is not wadded, pour the powder into the bucket of water, thus neutralizing the powder. I've even seen a fellow be extra safe (if there is such a thing), he had a wadded small arm and had several misfires, so he took his water flask and poured some water in the pan/touchhole. No worries there, just a good cleanup needed after. Maybe have a ladle in said gun bucket...

A little water, for a short period of time, never hurt anything. Shot in the pan and one down the barrel, no going off. Mind you that one may need to unship lock and barrel, but that isn't a big deal. Someone at the gathering should have the tools and expertise. The BPM perhaps?

(Quartermaster) I hope I didn't cross the line with my last post, I know I said a whole lot and I greatly appreciate a place to speak.

Please. We are here to share information. As long as you don't call anyone out in an insulting manner or post blantantly dangerous advice we all play nice.

(Dorian) As a rule in all the groups I've been involved with, it goes 'one grain per calibre', thus .69 cal gets 69 grains of powder, .75 cal gets 75 grains, etc...

And 3F for arms below .60 cal, 2F for .60 cal up to 1.25, and cannon grade for anything above. 4F for priming ONLY.

I like that. Simple, easy to remember. But does it produce consistent discharge unwaded? Need more research...

(Cascabel) I am starting to see quite a bit of incorrect info appearing in this thread. Most of which will not get you hurt, but simply not the best methods. It is amazing the amount of misinformation that has been repeated over the years !! No need for me to step on anyones toes at this point, but if I spot anything really dangerous, I'll speak up.

By all means speak up, mate. Point out anything that you disagree with. As I said before, this isn't rocket science and there is a lot of "wiggle room" for some things. If we point out the "wiggly areas" and agree on the hard and fast "don't do that" stuff, we will all understand the whole BP experience that much more. Wadding is one of those "wiggly" areas. Loads are a little less wiggly but where you point the big round hole is a "no wiggling at all" place.

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Agreed...

Nothing wrong with good info and ideas presented in a nice manner...

Jim, as for the one grain per calibre rule, unwadded... 90% of the reenactments I've done, this is the deal. makes a good bang every time, 'In my humble opinion'...

Now, I'll get into more depth with the formula...

I've always used rolled paper cartridges... Never directly poured from a horn, even with a spring-loaded tip. The closest I've come to that is the priming powder on a great gun out of a horn that held maybe 3 or 4 oz of 4F.

With the small arms paper cartridge, all powder for the piece comes from said cartridge, prime and main charge.

Example;

I have a .75 Cal Brown Bess Musket for F&I reenactment.

I make up my cartridges with 90 to 100 grains of 2F.

So, I first prime the pan from said cartridge, using ~15 to ~25 grains of powder, and the rest goes down the barrel as the main charge.

I've never had any issues with this method. Only after around 20 rounds have I had any misfires - and that's been cleared up by wiping off the frizzen and flint on most occasions.

Now I will agree it doesn't look as good when no use of the ramrod occurs (unwadded firing), but there have been events that we were not allowed to take a ramrod onto the field. Yes, we were to leave our ramrods in camp, because of an accident at some time in the past where a ramrod had been fired out of a musket!

I know for a fact it happened during the making of Last of the Mohicans, not something I want happening to me or my friends.

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now i have heard...well read somewhere and cant find the damn book...that the more shots fired...the barrel on some of the earlier muskets....would loosen up....so much in fact...that one would only have to "tamp the butt against the ground to set the ball"....course this was going on the asumption that no patch was being used either...and i believe thats where the patch was used to counteract this tendencey...

sooooo.....not using a ramrod in a battle scenario where several shots in succesion are used....seems accurate as well as historical.....?!?!?!

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one point that has not been stated about wadding that is a pertinent factor in the decision to use wadding for an event ....once wadding is introduced the compression in the barrel increases when firing; thus it brings up the condition of POINT BLANK LOADS ..simply put this term means that even the concussion of a load within a certain proximity can be lethal without ever having to load a projectile the resulting force from discharging the loaded charge of powder can release enough force to cause force impact that can rupture soft tissue such as eyes or even cause a heart to stop the same as a punch to the sternum can produce.

I for one would rather have the occasional fizzle when firing than risk the health or safety of one of my fellow reenactors. wadding can be used if the fire is to be in a controlled direction of fire when the line of fire is not facing an opposing force on an open field or over open water

...the one occasion I personally witnessed of the unfortunate use of ramrods occurred when a tip of a ramrod came loose and remained in the barrel of a "Blank Load" and became a projectile (Bullet) and wounded another reenactor that was 35 years ago at a F&I event

From strictly a safety point of view i prefer to keep loads standardized for pistols and a standard for long guns and preloaded under controlled circumstances in paper cartridges with white paper for pistols for example and all loaded to the level of the smallest caliber on the field and musket/long guns at another load again for the smallest caliber weapon on the field and in say blue paper or with a black stripe on the cartridge to differentiate the level of the load ...to me there is nothing scarier than having somebody load a pistol with a cartridge that was intended for a musket at double the grainage. Horns, flasks or the like on the field can be very dangerous ..again I have witnessed even supposed experienced shooters loading in event situations directly from nozzled pound cans of powder with audience members just a few feet away. From my experience of over 4 decades of historical displays of weapons and tactics I would rather error on the side of safety every time than have to go into emergency mode to handle a wounded comrade or patron which in the long run adds more likelihood of having additional adverse effects on this hobby/passion. One of the worst experiences I have had was the field triage of a friend who had a mishandled cannon load go off in his face that severely disfigured him and blinded him.

Temprory "inconvenience" is well worth it if it keeps any of us from having to carry the burden of the results of accidents from ignorance or willful pride. I have withdrawn from the field (even withdrew my company of artillery from a large event at a national park event) when I have seen others doing things I felt were unsafe; at F&I events and RevWar events and also Pyrate events.

That might appear to some as being overly cautious or a "Nelly" but unless you enjoy telling a friend's wife or mother that their son or daughter was hurt, blinded or God forbid killed by accidental fire, safety should be all of our concerns ...I will step down off my soapbox now ...but I have had my say on the matter. Thank you.

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As the one who started this topic, I must say I am well pleased with the reaction. All comments have been quite reasonable, cordial and informative. As one who is new to reenacting and using BP I am heartened to know that this subject seems to be quite important to many and I do not stand alone in my concerns for not only providing the general public a very entertaining diplay but also allowing the reenactor community to practice thier BP artistry in a contolled and safe environment at our upcoming pirate festival in 2009.

I would also like to add, that a fully stocked first aid kit with an eye wash kit placed in a conspicuious location would be a must.

Agian, keep the suggestions comming. I am revising my BP regulations and adding quite a few of the fine points mentioned here.

Edited by SaltyDog

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I got a little winded there, good luck with your form =)

Edited by Thequartermaster

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from a safety standpoint we try to use ramrods as little as possible. less chance of it getting forgotten in the barrel from the excitement of the moment, of course this means no wadding. the other advantage is if a misfire occurs you simply upend your weapon to render it safe- hard to do if its wadded.

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By all means speak up, mate. Point out anything that you disagree with. As I said before, this isn't rocket science and there is a lot of "wiggle room" for some things. If we point out the "wiggly areas" and agree on the hard and fast "don't do that" stuff, we will all understand the whole BP experience that much more. Wadding is one of those "wiggly" areas. Loads are a little less wiggly but where you point the big round hole is a "no wiggling at all" place.

At some point when time permits, I'll take each point I disagree with one at a time. I don't feel right about publicly stating that someone is incorrect without a full and complete explanation. I believe I owe that person that consideration, because I'm sure they are posting information that they truly believe is correct, and has been taught to them as "gospel truth". When I do post about these things, they will need to be fairly lengthy posts in order to fully address the issues, and I don't have time right now. I also find that many times on forums, contrary opinions are taken as personal criticisms, rather than constructive information, and this leads to bad feelings. As stated before, if I see anything actually dangerous, I'll speak up immediately.

>>>>> Cascabel

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I can spot three things that I tend to disagree with. The first is the use of "Fire In The Hole," a phrase not used until the advent of dynamite and its use in mining operations at least 120 years (more of less, I'll look it up later) after our time period. I think that the more appropriate "Giving Fire" works better.

Second, in the "Free Fire Zone" having to call each shot is distracting. A "fire at will" command should be sufficient as all in the zone expect there to be shooting and would have been out of place in a real setting with the exception of cannon that requires that the crew be on the same page. Establishing and maintaining a firing line would prevent anyone from having a shot go off behind them.

Third, some of us do not belong to a "recognized pirate group" but are recognized as individuals. Venues such as PiP allow all shooters with inspected guns and uses strict self policing. Some of the folks who come there have never shot before and are trained there. Would they be allowed to play?

There are also some little spelling and grammar errors that I could address later if you would like.

My first post on the pub! While this may be a bit out of date in answer to the discussion, I use "fire in the hole" because it is the phrase that everyone understands. Righto, it is definitely not period authentic, but nobody mistakes what is to happen next. Wish we pirates had a better warning that would be as crystal clear.

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My first post on the pub! While this may be a bit out of date in answer to the discussion, I use "fire in the hole" because it is the phrase that everyone understands. Righto, it is definitely not period authentic, but nobody mistakes what is to happen next. Wish we pirates had a better warning that would be as crystal clear.

I've always used "Have A Care!!" Quite period, and pretty much standard usage in 17th Century re-enacting, which is the closest re-enactmnt period to GAoP. In the later 18th C British Army, it changed to 'Take Care". Either way, it is a call for all about to pay attention to what is going on.

Hawkyns

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I can spot three things that I tend to disagree with. The first is the use of "Fire In The Hole," a phrase not used until the advent of dynamite and its use in mining operations at least 120 years (more of less, I'll look it up later) after our time period. I think that the more appropriate "Giving Fire" works better.

Second, in the "Free Fire Zone" having to call each shot is distracting. A "fire at will" command should be sufficient as all in the zone expect there to be shooting and would have been out of place in a real setting with the exception of cannon that requires that the crew be on the same page. Establishing and maintaining a firing line would prevent anyone from having a shot go off behind them.

Third, some of us do not belong to a "recognized pirate group" but are recognized as individuals. Venues such as PiP allow all shooters with inspected guns and uses strict self policing. Some of the folks who come there have never shot before and are trained there. Would they be allowed to play?

There are also some little spelling and grammar errors that I could address later if you would like.

My first post on the pub! While this may be a bit out of date in answer to the discussion, I use "fire in the hole" because it is the phrase that everyone understands. Righto, it is definitely not period authentic, but nobody mistakes what is to happen next. Wish we pirates had a better warning that would be as crystal clear.

The thing is, the way things are done won't change until we change 'em. The next time you're at an event where all are trying to be "period correct" bring this up at the safety meeting. See what happens.

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The thing is, the way things are done won't change until we change 'em. The next time you're at an event where all are trying to be "period correct" bring this up at the safety meeting. See what happens.

Not sure what you're saying, Jim. Should we start to use non period terms, just because some people don't want to learn the correct ones? Maybe it's because I work mostly with re-enactors, but "Fire in the hole" is pretty much looked down on with them.

Hawkyns

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I think Jim's saying that if we want to use something else that's more period, we should bring it up and the safety meeting and all use it. This is particularly important at a place like PiP, where the audience is very close to the rounds being fired.

Someone has to explain to them what the terms mean before firing commences, otherwise, they won't protect their ears when necessary or be alert that there is about to be gunfire. The general audiences do understand "Fire in the hole" because it is common parlance - that doesn't mean they can't learn another call, but it has to be explained to them first. And this all begins at the safety meeting.

Perhaps elsewhere where the audience isn't 10 feet away from the firing it's not as important. But at PiP it's close quarters and the cannon can be deafening if you're not ready for them, as can the small arms which are the closest to the audience on the ramparts.

-- Hurricane

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Agreed, the standards and signals need to be laid down at the safety meeting before any powder box is unlocked. Signals for loaded guns, powder handling regs, minimum time between shots, signals for misfire, misfire drills, and chain of command need to be clear, agreed to, and enforced right from the start.

For the 25 years I've been owning and firing cannon, I've used the drills and regs from the Brigade of the American Revolution and the British Brigade. They are simple, clear, and designed to deal with battle scenarios with spectators. With a few minor modifications to meet the needs of earlier period guns, they are the best thing I've seen out there.

One thing though. If you have spectators within 10 feet of a loaded and firing piece, that is breaking every safety rule in the book. Every set of safety rules out there, from National Muzzleloading Artillery rules, to BAR and BB to Civil War and NPS require a much greater stand off. If they are no more than 10 feet away, they would be between the powder box and the piece, since the powder box should be at least 20 feat away, to prevent touch hole debris from landing on it.

Hawkyns

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I'm curious, what's the "by the book" distance between cannon?

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