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Rules Governing The Carrying Of The Piece

Military Handbooks: The Plattsburg Manual Advanced Training

Third. The cut-off is kept turned down, except when using the magazine.

Being at order arms: 1. Unfix, BAYONET.

If the bayonet scabbard is carried on the belt: Take the position of

parade rest, grasp the handle of the bayonet firmly with the right hand,

press the spring with the forefinger of the left hand, raise the bayonet

until the handle is about 6 inches above the muzzle of the piece, drop

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

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

and 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 lying down, the bayonet is fixed and unfixed in the most

expeditious and convenient manner and the piece returned to the original


Fix and unfix bayonet are executed with promptness and regularity, but

not in cadence.

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

At the second command, take the position of port arms (TWO). With the

right hand open the magazine gate, turn the bolt handle up, draw the

bolt back and glance at the magazine and chamber. Having found them

empty, or having emptied them, raise the head and eyes to the front.

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


At the preparatory command, push the bolt forward, turn the handle down,

close the magazine gate, pull the trigger, and resume port arms. At the

command arms, complete the movement ordered.

Pieces being loaded and in the position of load, to execute other

movements with the pieces loaded: 1. Lock, 2. PIECES.

At the command Pieces turn the safety lock fully to the right.

The safety lock is said to be at the ready when turned to the left,

and at the safe when turned to the right.

The cut-off is said to be on when turned up and off when turned


Being in line or skirmish line at halt: 1. With dummy (blank or ball)

cartridges, 2. LOAD.

At the command load each front-rank man or skirmisher faces half right

and carries the right foot to the right, about one foot, to such

position as will insure the greatest firmness and steadiness of the

body; raises or lowers the piece and drops it into the left hand at the

balance, left thumb extended along the stock, muzzle at the height of

the breast. With the right hand he turns and draws the bolt back, takes

a cartridge between the thumb and first two fingers and places it in the

receiver; places palm of the hand against the back of the bolt handle;

thrusts the bolt home with a quick motion, turning down the handle, and

carries the hand to the small of the stock. Each rear-rank man moves to

the right front, takes a similar position opposite the interval to the

right of his front-rank man, muzzle of the piece extending beyond the

front rank, and loads.

A skirmish line may load while moving, the pieces being held as nearly

as practicable in the position of load.

If kneeling or sitting the position of the piece is similar; if kneeling

the left forearm rests on the left thigh; if sitting the elbows are

supported by the knees. If lying down the left hand steadies and

supports the piece at the balance, the toe of the butt resting on the

ground, the muzzle off the ground.

For reference, these positions (standing, kneeling, and lying down) are

designated as that of load.