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Manual Of Arms





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.





Next: To Dismiss The Squad
Previous: Change Step



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