Secure Arms

Secure Arms

(Mil.) a command a a position in the manual of arms, used in wet weather, the object being to guard the firearm from becoming wet. The piece is turned with the barrel to the front and grasped by the right hand at the lower band, the muzzle is dropped to the front, and the piece is held with the guard under the right arm, the hand supported against the hip, and the thumb on the rammer.

By Daniel O’Connell; Diagrams by Scott Tomlinson

Figure 1

There is a Smoke and Fire News article, most likely February issue, that will deal with Securing Arms… I won’t give away details but it has come to Scott Tomlinson and my attention that at a great many reenactments, although we Search Arms at the beginning of a battle, we only Secure Arms at the end of the battle. The forthcoming article will share an experience of a live shoot and Securing Arms being not enough to ensure even a blank charge remaining exits the barrel. More detail in article.

While standing at attention (Figure 1) the lock to the front, and seize the musket with the right hand under the guard, without moving it from the shoulder; thumb and fingers round the stock, arms close to the body. (Figure 2)

Figure 2

Without moving the musket from the shoulder, turn it, with the right hand, so as to bring the sling to the front, and the cock close to the body, at the same time seize it with the left hand, little finger as high on the shoulder, the left arm to be close to the musket. (Figure 3)

Figure 3

With the fingers of the right hand, give the butt a cant under the left arm (Figures 4-5), then drop the right hand to the side; the cock to be close under the armpit, the barrel slanting downwards, and inclining to the right front; the musket to be firmly grasped with the left hand, which is to be in front of, but rather lower than, the hip, left elbow a little to the rear. (Figure 6)


Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6

Sometimes the ‘ping’ doesn’t catch it…. (Figure 7) (details in article)

Figure 7
Figure 8

Pounding with your hand is USELESS, makes you look like a right twit and is right out! (Figure 8) D.O.

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