ANV Safety Regulations


Revised: 2013

NOTE: The ANV chain of command, beginning at the local unit level, is responsible for the proper inspection and determination of suitability for weapons and equipment. Neither the 1st Division ANV nor any of its supervisory military personnel and corporate officers, through ANV rules and procedures, imply, infer, or guarantee the safety or mechanical integrity of any particular weapon or other reenactment equipment.


1.1 The Provost and Inspections Department of the 1st Division, ANV, supported by the local units’ chain of command, shall be the division’s authority pertaining to safety in camp and on the field.

1.2 The term Provost Marshal refers to the head of the Provost Bureau which is contained within the Provost and Inspections Department of the ANV.

1.3 The term WEAPON shall be defined as any and all devices designed to fire a projectile or blank charge and all bladed weapons such as, but not limited to swords, sabers, bayonets, lances, and knives, without regard to whether or not the weapon is functional or loaded.

1.4 The term ACCOUTERMENT shall be defined as ordnance or quartermaster issue-type military equipment taken onto the field. These items include, but are not limited to the cartridge box, cap box, bayonet and scabbard, belt, haversack and canteen.

1.5 The term FIELD shall be defined as the area in which drills and battle scenarios take place.

1.6 The term ORDNANCE OFFICER and/or ORDNANCE PERSONNEL is defined as the person(s) selected by the division, battalions, or regiments to perform the tasks of inspecting weapons. Battalion and regiment ordnance personnel shall attend division provost and inspections meetings at ANV headquarters, and are responsible for assisting with the pre-scenario "Field Strength Report" prior to the battalion or regiment taking the field. The Division Ordnance Office is contained within the Provost Bureau of the Provost and Inspections Department.

1.7 The term SOLDIER refers to any uniformed ANV unit member, who carries any weapon, flag, or musical instrument during scenarios or other troop movements. The minimum age to carry a black powder or edged weapon is 14 years. Non-combatant medical personnel, water carriers, etc. may be 12 and 13 years of age.


2.1 Every member of the ANV, military or civilian, who desires to carry a weapon in scenarios or in camp, loaded or unloaded, shall be subject to weapon inspections.

2.2 Rifles and muskets, with or without bayonets afixed, shall not be laid on the ground during inspections or at any time other than the simulation of casualties.

2.3 Initial pre-scenario weapon inspections will be conducted by company officers or their designees in camp prior to battalion formations. There will be no snapping of percussion caps or firing by files in camp. (See "In-Camp Inspection" below)

2.4 Final pre-scenario weapon inspections of the battalions, beginning with the snapping of percussion caps, will be conducted in the presence of the division provost personnel prior to the division moving onto the field. The snapping of percussion caps shall not be conducted in the camps except under individual weapon servicing circumstances. (See "In-Camp Inspection" and "Pre-Scenario Staging Area Inspection" below)

2.5 Prior to each scenario, battalion and company officers shall present their weapons for inspection to battalion ordnance or provost personnel.

2.6 Prior to each scenario, division staff officers shall present their weapons for inspection to division provost or inspection personnel.

2.7 Any weapon found to be defective or of questionable reliability will not be carried in any scenario, formation, or demonstration until repairs are made and the weapon has been re-inspected.

2.8 Company 1st sergeants or ordnance sergeants are encouraged to maintain a list of company weapons. This list should include the owner's name, weapon description and serial number.

2.9 The provost marshal may, at anytime, request that an individual, company, battalion or regiment re-inspect their weapons.


In order to reduce time spent in the pre-scenario division staging areas, weapon inspections shall be accomplished in two phases: 1) In-Camp Inspections and, 2) Pre-Scenario Staging Area Inspections:

In-Camp Inspection: Prior to leaving the company bivouac area en route to the staging area, company officers will insure that the following inspections are completed:

2.10 Canteens are full.

2.11 Cap boxes and cartridge boxes contain approved caps and cartridges in sufficient quantities for the impending scenario. Pyrodex and six-wing musket caps are strictly forbidden. The use of ffffg (four f) black powder is prohibited. The inspector shall check for oversized cartridges. The maximum load for .577 or .58 caliber weapons is 70 grains of ff / fffg black powder. The maximum load for a .69 caliber or larger weapon is 90 grains of ff / fffg black powder. Black powder products containing a combination of different granulation sizes of black powder are prohibited.

2.12 The unit to be inspected will be formed up in "open order" with bayonets fixed and ramrods inside the weapon barrels.

2.13 The company inspector will go to each file and, as he does so, the file member will present his weapon to the inspector.

2.14 The inspector will raise and lightly drop the ramrod, listening for the clear "PING" that indicates the barrel is clear and clean.

2.15 The inspector will check the weapon’s bayonet-locking feature. If the bayonet is of the type that employs the front sight and the front sight is missing, the bayonet may not be used on the weapon.

2.16 The stock will be checked for cracks.

2.17 The half-cock will be checked by applying pressure to the trigger, equal to but not exceeding the weight of the weapon. The hammer will be checked for looseness, proper alignment, and tight closure on the nipple.

2.18 The nipple will be checked for deformity, cracks and stability.

2.19 Bayonet blades must be covered by the scabbard, with a metal scabbard tip, or containing a wooden plug. The scabbard must be stitched and closed down its length.

2.20 There will be no snapping of caps or firing by files or by company in the camps.

Pre-Scenario Staging Area Inspection: When the companies are formed in their battalions at the final staging area, battalion ordnance personnel or battalion officers will request the presence of division Provost and Inspections Department personnel to observe the final inspection. With division provost personnel present, the battalion will be inspected in the following manner:

2.21 With the company or battalion in Open Order, bayonets shall be removed.

2.22 Have the rear rank, About Face. Clear the area of persons in front of and behind the company.

2.23 Snap percussion caps with the weapon’s muzzle approximately two inches from the ground.

2.24 The ANV unit, including any non-ANV personnel taking the field with the ANV unit, will then load and fire one cartridge by file. Personnel having misfires at anytime during the inspection will step out of ranks and to the rear where ordnance personnel will clear the weapon, take corrective action, and have the soldier reload and fire one cartridge prior to rejoining the ranks.

2.25 Any weapon that has failed to operate safely by the end of the inspection process will not be taken onto the field.

Safety During Scenarios

2.26 Once the division has completed the final inspection and has departed for the scenario, no one may enter the ranks of any unit without being inspected by battalion or division ordnance or provost personnel, or by the unit commander or his designee.

2.27 Battalion and company ordnance personnel and file closers will be responsible for dealing with non-functioning weapons during scenarios.

2.28 If a weapons misfires during a scenario, the soldier will recap the weapon and fire again. If the weapon does not fire with a second percussion cap, the soldier will retire from the firing line and call on a file closer for assistance in clearing the weapon.

2.29 Each file closer will have a vent pick with his accouterments. At least one file closer in each battalion company will have a CO2 discharge tool.

2.30 No ANV personnel shall take photographs during scenarios and/or while in character and in public view.

2.31 Officers of all ranks and branches of service are encouraged NOT to fire their pistols during scenarios.

2.32 No person will simulate becoming a casualty with a loaded weapon.

2.33 When simulating becoming a casualty, personnel shall take care not throw themselves backwards without ascertaining if it is safe to do so.

2.34 One or two-man "suicide charges" are not authentic and not authorized.

2.35 All firearms, including revolvers, will be cleared on the field before returning to camp.

2.36 No firing at troops at less than 25 feet. No direct aiming at troops within 40 feet.

2.37 At no time will mounted troops be fired upon at close range, and never shoot close to or directly at horses.

2.38 There will be no hand-to-hand combat unless previously arranged and approved by commanding officers of the units involved.

2.39 Tampions will not be carried onto the battlefield.

2.40 "Medic!" is the call for an actual emergency. At the call for a medic, only qualified medical personnel should respond. The location of a medical emergency shall be designated by affixing a yellow flag to a ramrod partially withdrawn from the weapon and raising and waving the yellow flag.


3.1 Only proper reproduction weapons of the period will be allowed. No Hawkins, Plains or modern weapons or ammunition is permitted.

3.2 In the interest of conservation and preservation of historic artifacts, no original firearms are to be used in ANV scenarios. Their use is approved for display purposes only.

3.3 Firearms manufactured in Asia are to be used in scenarios only after examination and approval of division ordnance personnel. No smoothbore .58 cal. Springfield-styled weapons nor smoothbore .577 cal. Enfield-styled weapons are to be used in any ANV shooting scenario.

3.4 Breech-loading carbines will be inspected in the same manner as longarms except that, with the action open, a visual check must be made of the interior of the barrel and a ramrod inserted into the barrel in its full length to the muzzle.

3.5 The maximum load for breech-loading carbines is 60 grains ff / fffg black powder.

Section 4: PISTOLS

4.1 Officers of all ranks and branches of service are encouraged NOT to fire their pistols during scenarios.

4.2 Officers are encouraged not to carry loaded pistols.

4.3 Pistols will only be carried by officers, NCOs, cavalry troopers, artillery officers and others at the battalion/regiment commander’s discretion.

4.4 No more than 2 pistols will be carried by individuals except cavalrymen.

4.5 All pistols will be carried in a proper military holster with a flap capable of being fastened.

4.6 Pistols which are to be loaded for a scenario will be inspected in camp before the division forms up for battle.

4.7 The battalion ordnance inspector or his designees will ensure that all pistols and spare cylinders carried by personnel are inspected prior to their being loaded and carried to the field. Pistols will be inspected in the following manner:

4.8 Pistols will be not loaded. The cylinder will be removed from frame. These parts will be handed-over to the inspector.

4.9 The cylinder will checked to make sure light can be seen through the nipples while looking through front of the cylinder. Nipples will be checked for condition.

4.10 The barrel will be checked for obstructions by looking down the barrel and using a piece of wooden dowel, which is placed in the barrel and allowed to go through the entire length of the barrel.

4.11 The pistol is now reassembled, the safety checked, and the action inspected for proper function.

4.12 Only mounted troops are allowed to carry spare cylinders. Spare loaded cylinders will be capped only after being installed on the frame of the pistol. Spare cylinders must be carried in a proper, period leather case and worn on the belt.

4.13 The maximum load for a pistol is 30 grains of fffg black powder.

4.14 When loading pistols, personnel will load in pairs, each watching the other for errors.

4.15 No "wonder wads" will be allowed. Wading material such as cream of wheat or corn meal is recommended. The charge and wad shall be completely sealed to the top of the chamber with grease.


5.1 Bayonets must have a working locking mechanism and be locked in place when the bayonet is fixed. If the bayonet employs the front sight of the rifle, the sight must be present or the bayonet will not be approved for use on the field.

5.2 Swords must be of proper period type and be in good serviceable condition. Leather sword scabbards must have a metal tip. Metal sword scabbards must be in a safe and serviceable condition. Persons carrying swords into battle should do a self-check of hilts to ensure they are tight.

5.3 Carrying large belt knives into battle is discouraged. If they are carried, they must be tied to their scabbard. Knives will not be unsheathed at any time during the battle scenario.


6.1 Canteens will be of the proper type, constructed of wood, tin, or steel. Glass bottles, slung or carried in the haversack are not acceptable without approval of the Provost and Inspection Department.

6.2 Canteens will be carried on the field, they will be full of water, and will be checked before leaving for the field.

6.3 Cartridge boxes will be of the proper type. Cartridge box tins are recommended. Many events require tins in boxes. At no time will caps or cartridges be carried or held in the mouth.

6.4 Cap boxes must be of the proper type, with a flap that can be secured.


7.1 Projectiles used for display in camps or for living history demonstrations must be kept separate from blank cartridges. NEVER store projectiles in a cartridge box. Cartridges with projectiles for display must be constructed with non-combustible, simulated black powder.

7.2 Blank cartridges will be made of plain paper. No writing or lettering is allowed. No coin wrappers or cartridges with staples will be allowed.

7.3 Wadding should not be used unless specifically required for that type of weapon.

7.4 Blank cartridges will be inspected for authenticity and size.

7.6 Felt muzzle loading products, commonly known as "wonder wads," are prohibited.


8.1 Any weapon that malfunctions and is repaired, while on the field, must be reinspected by ordnance personnel or a file closer before being placed back in service.

8.2 If a weapon is repaired, using replacement parts, during the course of an event, it must be reinspected by brigade or division ordnance personnel.


9.1 ANV battalions and regiments having participants between the ages of 12 and 18 years are encouraged to have parental consent in writing and/or a parent present at the event.

9.2 All firearms will be treated as if loaded at all times.

9.3 Any weapon that is dropped on the ground must be cleared by ordnance personnel, provost personnel, or a file closer before being returned to service.

9.4 Two band rifles will be used at the discretion of the battalion or regiment commanders. They shall be used in the front rank only.

9.5 Extra cartridges will not be laid on the ground for easier access. Dropped cartridges will be inspected for debris before being used. Under no circumstances shall cartridges be held in the teeth except to tear the cartridge during loading.

9.6 Ramrods will not be withdrawn from the weapon on the field.

9.7 Extra percussion caps will NOT be held between the teeth or held in the hand during loading and firing.

9.8 When loading weapons, cartridge paper will not be loaded except in breach-loading weapons. The spent percussion cap should not be removed before the next powder charge is put in the barrel.

9.9 Six wing caps designed for modern in-line black power weapons will not be carried or used by ANV personnel at events. Any person found to have them in their cap pouch will immediately return them to his camp or surrender them to a member of the Provost and Inspections Department.

9.10 Bayonets will not be fixed on the field except to stack arms or after the scenario, after weapons have been cleared, for the purpose of a pass-in-review.

9.11 Smoking in the ranks should be discouraged on the grounds of safety and authenticity.

Section 10. ARTILLERY

10.1 Artillery units will adhere to the safety guidelines as developed by the ANV’s chief of artillery or his designee.

10.2 At no time will troops fire their weapons within 25 ft. of an artillery piece or limber.

10.3 A 50 yard Danger Zone shall be established and marked in front of artillery positions.

10.4 Troops will not move through artillery positions without permission from the battery commander.

10.5 Approach all artillery positions with caution. Watch for signals warning of a misfire or a loaded piece. The signal for a loaded artillery piece is sponge rammer on the hub of the wheel. The signal for a gun that is loaded and misfired is rammer and sponge staffs crossed above the cannon barrel. All troops should know these signals.

10.6 No one may touch an artillery piece without the permission of the crew.

10.7 No smoking within 25 ft of an artillery piece.

Section 11: CAVALRY

11.1 ANV cavalry will follow safety guidelines as developed by the chief of cavalry or his designee.

11.2 At no time will there be a cavalry charge against dismounted troops unless the scenario is previously arranged and approved by the commanding officers of the units involved.

Section 12: SAFETY IN CAMP

12.1 Campfires shall not be left unattended.

12.2 A one gallon (minimum) container of water will be kept within ten feet of each campfire.

12.3 No one shall ride or lead any horse, mule, etc. through company streets, staff areas, civilian camps, or sutler areas without the permission of the person in-charge of such areas.

12.4 Well behaved pets are allowed in camp if they are permitted by event regulations and approved by the commander of the camp.

12.5 The use, at events, of modern fireworks of any type is prohibited.