MCWRA Officers and Directors
Frequently Asked Questions
Things you might want to know about MCWRA
A list of the events for 2006 Calendar Year
Links to other units homepages
Any new information that you might benefit from
Click here for the membership renewal form
All the info you need to join, host or participate in MSWRA events.
Rules & Artillery Rules of Engagement
Care and Maintenance For Artillery Field Pieces
The Gun (Piece):
1. After each days firings, the bore should be thoroughly cleaned using fresh
water. A mild pure soap (i.e., Ivory) may be used to facilitate the
2. The vent and vent field should be cleaned using fresh water and a soft
3. Vents were originally .2" in diameter. A vent in excess of .3"
in diameter should not be used. On reproduction guns, an extra vent piece
should be purchased with the piece. Vents should be covered with an
appropriate leather strap and vent hole cover when not in use.
4. Polishing and/or burnishing of original guns is prohibited, as this tends
to obscure original markings.
5. Each piece should have a Gun Ledger and kept up to date. Notations on bore
and vent diameters are to be updated at least annually.
6. A minimum gun crew shall consist of five people, of which only the powder
monkey may be under the age of 16.
1. In order to preserve the carriage, it should be stored in an unheated
building when not in use. If the piece must be kept in the field, then it
should be covered with a serviceable tarp to protect it from rain and dew and
other type elements.
2. Paint is to be renewed as necessary (consider at least yearly).
3. Some checking of the wood is to be expected. Filling of cracks or checks
should be done with a soft, elastic filler that will allow-expansion and
contraction of the wood. Hard putty or similar products will sink into the
cracks and act as a wedge as the wood breathes.
4. It is recommended that cracks on horizontal surfaces be filled, since they
would allow water to soak into the wood, shortening the life of the carnage.
5. Be especially aware of cracks and checks on the cheeks and trail of the
carriage since these areas receive the shock of recoil and travel.
1. Wheels are, perhaps the most critical and important part of the carriage.
They should be tight and roll freely and straight.
2. The axle is to be greased as necessary, with a heavy lubricating grease.
Care and maintenance in the field is encouraged, which adds to authenticity.
3. The spokes should give a musical "ring" when tapped with a
wooded mallet. Flat sounds indicate the presence of rot. Spokes that move
when grasped indicate shrinkage of the wood and the manufacturer should be
notified for retightening or replacement.
4. Wheels should be rotated frequently in order to prevent rot on the
felloes, especially if the piece is left in the field (outdoors) for long
periods of time. 5. Any wheel that must be kept wet in order to maintain
tightness is unsound, and should be repaired or replaced.
1. The inspection should be properly made, having non-sparking materials on
the inside. All nails are countersunk and the heads puttied over.
2. The lid should fit properly and be provided with a serviceable lock. The
chest is to be kept locked when not serving ammunition, and lid positioned
away from the muzzle of the piece.
3. The chest is to be clean and free of spilled powder. All equipment and
ammunition are neatly and securely stored in the chest.
Implements and Equipment:
1. Wooden implements should be free from serious cracks and splinters. Paint
as necessary or sand for splinters and then hand rub with black wax, rub to
gloss with a durable cloth.
2. Ensure that rammer and sponge heads are securely fastened with hardwood
dowels and no sparking metals are used in the construction. During non
re-reenactments (off season) it is a good idea to soak the sponge-head in
boiled linseed oil, to minimize deterioration.
3. Leather equipment should be cleaned and kept free of dirt and loose
powder. To preserve the leather Neatsfoot oil, Lexol or other commercial
leather preservative should be applied to prevent drying and cracking.
4. Sponges are to be cleaned after daily firing with clean water and 'spun
out' to prevent matting. Since powder fouling deteriorates the fibers,
sponges should be inspected frequently and replaced as necessary. In no case
should a sponge be allowed to deteriorate to the point where there are loose
threads and rotting of the material.
- Submitted by Company M, 1st Missouri Light Artillery, US Federal
Artillery Safety Regulations
November 13, 1993
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT:
Each gun (piece) will be equipped with the following required tools and
1. Water bucket - filled with a good measure of water, prior to engagement.
2. Sponges (1 or 2) - that fills the bore. The staff of sponge to be marked
to show a full-length of insertion.
3. Rammer - should have NO metal parts to prevent sparking, and staff of
rammer to be marked to show full-seat of charge.
4. Vent brush - should be stiff enough to clean the vent bore effectively.
5. Vent pick - made of non-ferrous metal, preferably brass.
6. Gimlet - or other appropriate device for removing failed primers.
7. Thumbstall - of leather and in good repair.
8. Haversack - of leather and in good repair. Only one (1) charge permitted
to be carried to the piece, at any one time.
9. Gunners pouch - of leather and in good repair. To contain vent pick,
primers and lanyard. Unspent primers to be returned to primer box.
10. Friction or percussion primers - of good quality.
11. Ammunition chest - with a stopping device attached that prevents' the lid
from remaining open, when released. All filled powder bags (charges) will be
kept in the chest fitted with a locking device.
12. Ammunition chest (in field battery) - Will be placed 15 to 25 feet to the
rear of the trail when piece is placed in battery.
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT:
1. Primer box - made of metal (lined with wood or of non-ferrous material)
accompanied with lid. Ail unspent primers will be returned to primer box
after "cease firing".
2. Lanyard - of a length that will permit the gun to be fired, while standing
outside of the wheel.
3. Worm - of good repair, adequate length and sharpness of points, in order
to effectively retrieve residue.
4. Gauntlets - numbers 1 and 2 (when serving) shall at all times wear
gauntlets extending over wrists.
5. Charges - maximum charges limited to 4 oz. of BLACK POWDER per I inch of
bore diameter. Charges will be wrapped in a single-layer of heavy-duty
aluminum foil. Will be stored in ammunition chest except when being delivered
to the piece. The lid of the ammunition chest will be closed at all times
except during removal of powder charges.
It is recommended that artillery charges NOT be prepared at the event site.
Charges should be prepared and located in a locked ammunition chest PRIOR to
arrival at the event. It is not recommended to bring bulk powder to an event.
SPECIAL NOTE (1) - If the gun crew wants to store black
powder in plastic baggies (prior to wrapping), it is permissible.
SPECIAL NOTE (2) - However, if the gun crew obtains its bulk
powder rations at an event and must wrap black powder charges on-site, every
precaution should be taken to insure that no lighted objects are in the
immediate area (i.e., cigarettes, pipes, lanterns, etc.). Spectators must be
removed from the charging area, prior to wrapping powder.
6. Interval of guns - spacing of guns (in field position) will be a minimum
of 10 feet (hub to hub).
In accordance with the artillery practices of the Civil War. The following
precautions will be observed:
1. All members of the gun crew will perform their duties while serving the
piece, at a walk.
2. The Gunner will regulate the rate and correctness by which the gun crew
serves the piece. He will halt and correct any improper movements or sequence
3. The vent will be brushed once every three rounds (minimum interval),
before the bore is wormed and sponged.
4. The bore will be wormed, sponged thoroughly with water and visually
inspected after firing each round. Care must be exercised not to sponge in
such a way that a pool of water will be left in the chamber to soak up into
the powder and form a glowing coal. During sponging, the sponge must be given
two full turns while held firmly against the bottom of the chamber. Number
l's thumbs MUST NOT be wrapped around the sponge staff.
5. The vent will be stopped with a leather thumbstall from the time the
sponge enters the muzzle until the rammer is removed from the bore after the
charge has been rammed. Again, Number l's thumbs MUST NOT be wrapped around
the rammer staff.
6. In the event of a misfire (for any reason) the command is given "Do
not advance the primer has failed" At this point the No.1 and No.2 shall
cross implements over the piece as a clear indication of the misfire. With
this the crew shall go into the proper failed primer drill after a minimum of
a 3 minute wait. During this time the cannon shall not be left unattended or
OVERALL ARTILLERY SAFETY OFFICER OR DESIGNEE:
A Safety Officer will be assigned who is familiar with artillery safety
requirements. The duties are as follows:
1 Inspect implements, powder charges prior to firing and make certain that
all comply with established safety rules.
OVERALL ARTILLERY SAFETY OFFICER OR DESIGNEE:
1. Observe loading and firing procedures.
2. In the event a gun misfires three (3) times in succession, he will order
"CEASE FIRE" and cause the crew to flood the vent and bore with
3. Rate of fire - shall be no faster that one (1) round every minute (at a
maximum), until ammunition is expended, or until action is halted.
4. Loaded artillery piece - when approached by Infantry and/or Cavalry, the
gun crew will "cross" their rammers and worms above the bore of the
piece, indicating that the piece is "loaded and unsafe to
approach". Also, the piece should be "unprimered" and the vent
5. Emergency "STOP ACTION" - when an emergency occurs such as, a
gun crew member(s) being hurt, the battery officer or ranking NCO will not
hesitate to stop the engagement, by displaying a "green flag" and
"blowing a whistle" loud enough to gain attention of other unit
6. MCWRA Artillery Safety Regulations - will be kept in ammunition chest,
read and disseminated (on-site) to all gun crews. The Safety Officer (or
designee) is responsible for this action.
OTHER SAFETY RULES:
1. No smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages within 25 feet of any piece.
Any crew member showing signs of the effects of alcohol or other drug should
2. Both sides shall place easily
observeable markers on the field denoting the artillery safety ranges of 50
yards in front and 30 yards on the flanks.