Safety Guidelines
(Adopted January 2020)
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Units of the Boston Garrison portray 18th Century Military Organizations. As part of this portrayal, “Officers” and “Non-Commissioned Officers”, will issue “commands” and give “orders”. These commands and orders are expected to be followed by the “Common Soldier” on the field during any tactical demonstration, be it for the public or “for the participants by the participants”. When members are “on stage” they’ll be expected to follow all “orders” and “commands”, unless such directions are unsafe for those partaking in the event.

First and foremost, all participants are responsible for their own safety and the safety of those about them. All participants are expected to refuse an unsafe direction and to initiate a halt to activities when an unsafe condition is observed. Accordingly, if following the direction of an Officer or NCO would compromise safety, each participant has an affirmative duty to point out the danger and has complete discretion to fall out of ranks. The following safety provisions are to be followed by all participants. These Safety Guidelines, however, are not comprehensive, and may be superseded by safety rules specific to a particular event. Remember that your good sense must be your guide at all times.

General Camp Safety

1. Camp kitchen areas will be separate from the company and officer streets. Fires in camp may only be kept in the camp kitchen area. A fire must never be placed closer than 20 feet from any tent (flies excepted). Fire pits shall be filled in and returned to original condition at the conclusion of an event. No member of the public shall be allowed within 10 yards of a firepit. No solider carrying powder will be allowed within the boundaries of the camp kitchen area.

2. Every campfire must always be attended by an adult. A bucket of water must be kept by the fire and used for no other reason than as a response to a fire emergency.

3. Children must always be supervised and must not be allowed to run through or play in any location where fires are present. Children are also not permitted to handle weapons or any sharp object.

4. No lit candles are permitted in a tent unless the tent is free of straw, or the candle is securely mounted in an enclosed lantern that has a door with a fascinating mechanism.

5. All powder must be stored in a safe location and/or in a fireproof casing.

6. Animals in camp are the sole responsibility of the owners. Horses, when not being ridden or led by their riders, shall be kept in the Horse Park, securely tethered or corralled. No members of the public shall at any time be allowed inside the Horse Park.

7. Any Unit wishing to partake in “Campaign” style camping, must set up in an approved location set by the Event Organizer.

Musket Safety

1. All participants should be aware of all local, state, and federal laws concerning the transportation and possession of their muskets.

2. Participants must never bring a weapon into ranks that has not been officially sanctioned by their Regiment.

3. Participants shall never demonstrate the firing sequence of their musket if the musket has recently been fired and not yet cleaned.

4. Participants must take special care that their muskets are placed in a safe location while at an event attended by the public.

5. Each man-in-arms should be well versed in the British Manual of Arms before taking the field. If a “rookie” is participating, they must be under the careful watch of a safety officer or NCO. If at anytime a participant is conducting an unsafe practice on the field, the safety officer or NCO has a right to remove them from the ranks, or at least prohibit them from firing rounds. No person not authorized to handle weapons as part of their role may load cartridges or carry ammunition.

6. Before appearing in ranks, each participant should inspect his own musket, running the rammer down the barrel, making sure the rammer “pings,” indicating a clean barrel. Remember, each man is responsible for the safety of his musket.

7. No weapon should fire when pressure is applied to the trigger while the musket is at the “half cock” position.

8. At NO time is a participant to surrender control of a musket to a member of the public. Likewise, edged weapons must remain under total control.

9. Rammers will be carried, but they may not be drawn or used when firing with live cartridges. Hammer stalls must be employed when the musket is in a non-firing sequence.

10. A functioning flash guard shall always be employed.

11. No loose-ball, or ball loaded cartridges of any type, may be carried when firing is involved.

12. If a weapon has a hang fire, the weapon is to be kept pointed downfield for a minimum of 10 seconds, the person holding the weapon must also notify those around him/her of the issue.

13. All muskets should be kept well-cleaned and oiled. They should be kept in complete and thorough repair. Every weapon should be able be held on the safety or half-cock position without firing when a normal amount of pressure is applied to the trigger.

14. There’ll be no discharging of weapons inside the camp. No loaded weapons or cartridge boxes shall be carried inside the camp, the sole exception to this policy will be at those times that the camp itself is intentionally included as a part of the tactical scenario and prearranged with site coordinators.

15. If a participant wishes to display an actual “live” cartridge for interpretive purposes, it must be a “dummy” round, filled with sand or other inert powder substitutes.

16. Loose powder is forbidden in the camp. All loading of cartridges must be done away from the event location.

17. Bayonets shall only be fixed upon the specific order of the Officer in Command. Whenever bayonets are fixed, all members must be constantly aware of where the bayonet is pointing and what is near that point. The same rule applies to drawn swords or pole arms. Hatchets and Axes may never be unsheathed on a battlefield.

18. No muskets shall be loaded if there is a bayonet charge.

19. If a Unit is not comfortable advancing and/or firing with a bayonet fixed, they may keep their bayonets in their scabbards.

20. Pistols are only to be fired from Horseback. The practice of discharging a pistol must be done upwards at a 45-degree angle.

21. Whenever a Unit is closing with or being closed with by opposing forces at 10 yards, weapons will be held at the “recover” or back to “shoulder” position and remain there until whatever confusion on the field is fixed.

22. Participants should never be directly in front and with their backs to the crowd. They should also never fire in the direction of the crowd.

23. When the event is finished, all participants must return all unused powder to their designated Regimental powder handler or personal secured storage container. Powder shall not be carried unless it is housed in an appropriate powder chest.

24. No “hand-to-hand” combat shall be portrayed unless it is part of a scripted scenario.


1. All artillery is subject to inspection by the senior Boston Garrison Royal Artillery unit commander.

2. Gun crews ideally have six or more crew members, as few as four may operate the gun. No less than four are permitted.

3. All drill used by the gun crew is subject to approval by the senior artillery officer for the BG.

4. All artillery cartridges are to be made of at least 3 thicknesses of heavy gauge aluminum foil, the width of which is the bore of the gun.

5. Battalion guns (3#) are to fire no closer than 50yds of opposing forces.

6. Battery guns (6#+) are to fire no closer than 100yds of opposing forces.

7. Gun commanders and infantry commanders are to be mindful of the “cone” which extends at a 45-degree angle from the gun outwards.

8. No person not a member of the gun crew shall pass between the ammunition box and the gun unless approved by the gun commander.

9. In the event of a misfire, the crew will wait 2 minutes and re-prime the gun. If the gun misfires a second consecutive time, the crew will wait 2 minutes. The gun commander will then pour water from a canteen down the vent, water from the bucket will be poured down the barrel. The gun commander will then carefully extract the round using the worm and deposit the round in the bucket. The gun is then retired from the field. Once the issue has been sorted and resolved the gun may return to the field for the NEXT tactical engagement.

Artillery Signals

1. Loaded gun: worm and rammer are at PRESENT ARMS.

2. Misfire: worm and rammer are crossed over the barrel forming an “X”.

Cease fire

1. A cease fire should only be called if there is a safety emergency on the field, or it is part of the scenario. A cease fire should never be called because the battle has gone “off script”. It is the responsibility of the Officers to think on their feet and adapt to the situation. The signal for a cease fire is the Cease Fire drum/fife melody to which all troops must be aware of, or a hat held on top of a sword. Once cease fire is called, all participants must stop firing.