Manual Of Arms


Categories: SCHOOL OF THE SOLDIER
Manuals: The Plattsburg Manual

To acquire proficiency in the Manual of Arms, you should practice,

practice, and practice.



Position of order arms standing, i.e., the position of attention under

arms.



No. 1. Arm and hands hang naturally. Right hand holding piece between

thumb and fingers. Butt rests evenly on ground. Barrel to the rear.



No. 2. Toe of the butt on a line with toe of and touching the right

shoe.



To execute the movements in detail, the instructor first cautions: By

the Numbers; all movements divided into motions, are then executed

singly. That is to say, make one motion and then wait until a further

command for another. This is for the purpose of correcting erroneous

positions and giving detailed instructions. We are explaining the manual

by the numbers.



Being at order arms: 1. Present, 2. ARMS. It takes two counts.



At command arms, with the right hand carry the piece in front of the

center of the body. Barrel to the rear and vertical. Grasp it with left

hand at the balance. Left forearm is horizontal and rests against body.

The balance of the piece is approximately the position of the rear

sight.



At command two, grasp the small of the stock with the right hand.



No. 1. Thumb along barrel.



No. 2. Piece held too low. The front sight will be a little above the

eyes when the left fore arm is horizontal.



No. 3. Piece not vertical; too close to body.







Being at order arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS. It takes one count.



At the command ARMS, with the right hand raise and throw the piece

diagonally across the body, grasp it smartly with both hands; the right;

palm down, at the small of stock; the left, palm up, at the balance;

barrel up, sloping to the left and crossing opposite the junction of the

neck with the left shoulder; right forearm horizontal; left forearm

resting against the body. The rifle is held in a vertical plane parallel

to the front.



In executing this movement, it is a common error with beginners to raise

the piece as though it weighed much more than it does. No part of the

body should move except the arms, in coming to port arms from order

arms.



No. 1. Arms held away from side.



No. 2. Piece held too low and too close to body.



No. 3. Piece held too high and not in a vertical plane parallel to the

body.



Being at present arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS. It is executed in one count. At

the command arms, carry the piece diagonally across the body and take

the position of port arms.



Being at port arms: 1. Present, 2. ARMS. It is executed in one count. At

the command arms, carry the piece to a vertical position in front of the

center of the body and take the position of present arms.



Being at present or port arms: 1. Order, 2. ARMS. It is executed in two

counts.



At the command arms, let go with the right hand; lower and carry the

piece to the right with the left hand; regrasp it with the right hand

just above the lower band; let go with the left hand and take the

position shown here, which is the next to the last position in coming to

the order. The left hand should be above and near the right, steadying

the gun, fingers extended and joined, forearm and wrist straight and

inclined downward. Barrel to the rear. All the fingers of the right hand

grasp the gun. Butt about 3 inches from the ground.



Being in the above position, at the command Two, lower the piece gently

to the ground with the right hand, drop the left hand quickly by the

side, and take the position of order arms.



The common errors are to slam the gun down on the ground and to drop the

left hand by the side in a slow and indifferent manner.



Common errors in the next to the last positions of order arms.



No. 1. Thumb is up. Gun too far from the ground.



No. 2. Gun too near to ground. Thumb is up. Butt of gun too far to the

right.



No. 3. Gun held too high and too far away from body.



Being at order arms: 1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS. It is executed in three

counts.



At the command arms, with the right hand raise and throw the piece

diagonally across the body; carry the right hand quickly to the butt,

and at the same time grasp the heel between the first two fingers as

shown. Note the position of the first two fingers of right hand.



At the command two, without changing the grasp of the right hand, place

the piece on the right shoulder, right elbow near the side, the piece in

a vertical plane perpendicular to the front; carry the left hand, thumb

and fingers extended and joined, to the small of the stock, wrist

straight and elbow down. Barrel up, and inclined at an angle of about

45 deg. from the horizontal. Trigger guard in the hollow of the shoulder,

tip of forefinger touching the cocking piece. Right fore arm horizontal.



No. 1. Right arms not by side. Left arm too high. Remember that the left

arm rests on the chest. This is very commonly confused with the rifle

salute.



No. 2. Thumb is up. Butt of rifle carried to the right.



No. 3. Trigger guard not against shoulder. Butt held too low. Hand not

straight.



At the command three, drop the left hand by the side.



No. 1. Right arm not by side. Right forearm not horizontal.



No. 2. Heel of gun too far to left.



No. 3. Trigger guard not against shoulder. Butt held too low.



Being at right shoulder Arms: 1. Order, 2. ARMS. It is executed in 3

counts.



Press the butt down quickly and throw the gun diagonally across the

body, to the position shown here.



At the command two, lower the gun and assume the next to the last

position of order arms. At the command three, come to the order arms.



The common errors in this movement are to move the head to the left and

to throw the gun too far to the front.



Being at port arms: 1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS. It is executed in three

counts.



At the command arms, change the right hand to the butt.



At the command two and three, come to the right shoulder as from order

arms.



Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS. It is executed in two

counts.



At the command arms, press the butt down quickly and throw the piece to

the diagonal position across the body with the left hand grasping it at

the balance; the right hand retaining its grasp of the butt.



At the command two, change the right hand to the small of the stock.



Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Present, 2. ARMS. It is executed in

three counts.



At the command arms, execute port arms. (This requires two counts.) At

the command three, execute present arms.



Being at present arms: 1. Right shoulder, 2. ARMS. It is executed in

four counts.



At the command arms, execute port arms. At the command two, three, four,

execute right shoulder arms as from port arms.



Being at port arms: 1. Left shoulder, 2. ARMS. It is executed in two

counts.



At the command ARMS, carry the piece with the right hand and place it on

the left shoulder; at the same time grasp the butt with the left hand,

heel between first and second fingers. Thumb and fingers of right hand

closed on the stock. Barrel up, trigger guard in the hollow of the

shoulder.



COMMON ERRORS IN THE NEXT TO THE LAST POSITION OF LEFT SHOULDER ARMS]



No. 1. Right arm too high. Butt too high.



No. 2. Butt too close to center of body. Not grasping gun correctly with

fingers of left hand.



No. 3. Right arm too high. Butt too high.



At the command two, drop the right hand by the side.



The incorrect positions are usually the same as are found in the right

shoulder arms, and as illustrated here.



Being at left shoulder arms: 1. Port, 2. ARMS. It is executed in two

counts.



At the command arms, grasp the piece with the right hand at the small of

the stock.



At the command two, carry the piece, with the right hand to the position

of port arms, regrasp it with the left.



Left shoulder arms may be ordered from the order, right shoulder or

present, or the reverse. At the command arms, execute port arms and

continue to the position ordered.



Being at order arms: 1. Parade, 2. REST. It is executed in one count.



At the command rest, carry muzzle in front of the center of the body,

barrel to the left. Grasp piece with the left hand just below the

stacking swivel, and with the right hand below and against the left.

Left knee slightly bent. Carry the right foot 6 inches straight to the

rear.



Being at parade rest: 1. Squad, 2. ATTENTION. Executed in one count.



At the command attention (it is a custom of the service to execute the

movement at the last syllable of the command), resume the order, the

left hand quitting the piece opposite the right hip.



Being at order arms: 1. Trail, 2. ARMS.



At the command arms, raise the piece, right arm slightly bent, and

incline the muzzle forward so that the barrel makes an angle of about

30 deg. with the vertical.



When it can be done without danger or inconvenience to others, the piece

may be grasped at the balance and the muzzle lowered until the piece is

horizontal; a similar position in the left hand may be used.



Being at right shoulder arms: 1. Rifle, 2. SALUTE. It is executed in two

counts.



At the command salute, carry the left hand smartly to the small of the

stock, forearm horizontal, palm of hand down, thumb and fingers joined,

forefinger touching end of cocking piece. Look toward the person

saluted. At the command two, drop the hand by the side; turn the head

and eyes to the front.



No. 1. Left elbow too low. Forearm should be horizontal.



No. 2. Left elbow too high. Fingers not extended and joined.]



Being at order or trail arms: 1. Rifle, 2. SALUTE.



At the command salute, carry the left hand smartly to the right side,

palm of the hand down, thumb and fingers extended and joined, forefinger

against piece near the muzzle; look toward the person saluted. At the

command two, drop the left hand by the side; turn the head and eyes to

the front.



No. 1. Fingers not extended and joined.



No. 2. Fingers not joined. Gun held too high.]



Being at order arms: 1. Fix, 2. BAYONET.



If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: execute parade rest;

grasp the bayonet with the right hand, back of hand toward the body;

draw the bayonet from the scabbard and fix it on the barrel, glancing at

the muzzle; resume the order.



If the bayonet is carried on the haversack: draw the bayonet with the

left hand and fix it in the most convenient manner.



Being at order arms: 1. Unfix, 2. BAYONET.



If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: Execute parade rest;

grasp the handle of the bayonet firmly with the right hand, pressing the

spring with the forefinger of the right hand; raise the bayonet until

the handle is about 12 inches above the muzzle of the piece; drop the

point to the left, back of the hand toward the body, and, glancing at

the scabbard, return the bayonet, the blade passing between the left arm

and the body; regrasp the piece with the right hand and resume the

order.



If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the haversack: Take the bayonet

from the rifle with the left hand and return it to the scabbard in the

most convenient manner.



If marching or laying down, the bayonet is fixed and unfixed in the most

expeditious and convenient manner and the piece returned to the original

position.



Fix and unfix bayonet are executed with promptness and regularity but

not in cadence.



Exercises for instruction in bayonet combat are prescribed in the Manual

for Bayonet Exercise.



Being at order arms: 1. Inspection, 2. ARMS.



At the command arms, take the position of port arms; at the command two,

seize the bolt handle with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand,

turn the handle up, draw the bolt back, and glance at the chamber.

Having found the chamber empty, or having emptied it, raise the head and

eyes to the front. Keep your right hand on the bolt.



It is a very common error to change the position of the piece while

drawing the bolt back. Guard against this.



Being at inspection arms: 1. Order (or right shoulder, or port), 2.

ARMS.



At the preparatory command (i.e., at the command order), push the bolt

forward, turn the handle down, pull the trigger, and resume port arms.

At the command arms, complete the movement ordered.





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