Safety

Safety precautions must be observed during all marksmanship training. This appendix recommends safety precautions for the ranges described in this manual. Range safety requirements will vary with the different courses offire.

A-1. TRAINING RANGES

The following safety precautions will be observed when using any training range.

a. A red flag will be displayed at the entrance or in some other prominent location on the range during firing.

b. Firing limits will be marked with red and white striped poles visible to all firers.

c. Firing lanes must be clearly marked for easy identification.

d. All communication equipment, such as microphones, PA systems, loudspeakers, and radios, must be in good working condition.

e. When not in use, all MGs will be kept in a prescribed area with proper safeguards.

f No smoking will be permitted near ammunition, explosives, or flammables. Firefighting equipment must be installed in ammunition shed or area.

g. Hearing protection devices will be worn by all personnel during firing.

h. Obstructions will never be placed in the muzzles of guns about to be fired.

i. Always assume that guns are loaded until they have been thoroughly examined and found to contain no ammunition.

A-2. RANGE PROCEDURES

Safety requirements must be followed by all personnel on the range before, during, and after firing. It is the responsibility of the safety officer, OIC, and safety NCO to ensure all procedures are met. They are as follows: a. Before Firing.

(1) All prescribed roadblocks and barriers will be closed and necessary guards posted.

(2) All guns will be checked to ensure that they are clear of ammunition and obstructions, and that the covers are up to show they are cleared.

(3) All individuals will be briefed on the firing limits of the range and firing lanes.

(4) Range clearance will be obtained from the installation range-control office.

(5) The downrange area will be checked before firing to ensure that all personnel and equipment are clear of the area.

(6) The NCOIC or range safety officer places a complete first aid kit on the range.

(7) The NCOIC or range safety officer places medical personnel on the range or nearby to enable quick contact.

* (8) Due to the potential injury hazards associated with improper headspace and timing, either the NCOIC or RSO will assume personal responsibility for ensuring that all weapons are set for proper headspace and timing. He will do this before emplacing weapons on the firing line. This applies to all manually fired weapons. It does not apply to mechanically fired weapons.

* WARNING

Before placing any manually fired weapon on the firing line, personally check each one for proper headspace and timing.

(9) Soldiers handle guns only on the command of the tower operator or the OIC.

(10) Soldiers draw ammunition only on command of the OIC. When using two or more lots of ammunition, the OIC keeps the lots separate. He identifies ammunition by lot numbers in case of accident or malfunction. Soldiers should retain original packaging for possible repacking of ammunition.

(11) Protect all ammunition from the rays of the sun. Keep oil away from ammunition.

(12) Avoid moving forward of the firing line except with permission of the tower operator, range safety officer, or OIC.

b. During Firing.

(1) Should anyone note an unsafe condition, that person will immediately call CEASE FIRE. Firing resumes only when the OIC so directs.

(2) All personnel know the danger of moving forward of the firing line to score their targets. Before the firing line is cleared, and before anyone can go forward, the OIC or range safety officer clears all machine guns.

(3) In the event of a runaway gun, the firer should keep the barrel pointed downrange. He should leave the cover latched.

c. During Darkness.

(1) The NCOIC or range safety officer checks the downrange area before firing. He ensures that the area is clear of personnel and equipment. To make sure, he asks three times over a public address system, "Is anyone downrange?" pausing long enough each time to permit a response.

(2) A blinking red light must be used in addition to the red flag. It should be displayed at the entrance to the range or at some other prominent location.

(3) Two red lights will be mounted on the striped poles marking the limits of fire. They must be visible to all firers.

(4) No one will move from his position until told to do so by the OIC. d. After Firing.

(1) Safety personnel will inspect all guns to ensure that they are clear. All guns on the firing line will be rodded whether they were fired or not. A check will be conducted to determine if any brass, links, or live ammunition is in possession of the troops.

(2) When guns have been cleared, they will be kept in a prescribed area with the bolt lock to the rear, and the feed cover raised.

A-3. WEAPONS MAINTENANCE

Before disassembly can be conducted, the gun must be cleared as discussed in Chapter 1.

a. Make sure the bolt is forward before removing the backplate assembly.

b. Never attempt to cock the gun while the backplate is off and the driving spring assembly is in place. If the backplate is off and the driving spring assembly is compressed, the retaining pin on the driving spring rod can slip from its seat in the sideplate and could cause serious injury to anyone behind the gun.

c. When lifting the receiver, barrel, or the tripod, hold it with a firm grip to avoid dropping it and possibly injuring someone.

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