Safety precautions must be observed during all marksmanship training. This appendix recommends safety precautions for the ranges described in this manual. Range safety requirements will vary with the different courses of fire.
A-1. TRAINING RANGES
The following safety precautions will be observed when using any training range.
a. A red flag will be displayed at the entrance or in some other prominent location on the range during firing.
b. Firing limits will be marked with red and white striped poles visible to all firers.
c. Firing lanes must be clearly marked for easy identification.
d. All communication equipment, such as microphones, PA systems, loudspeakers, and radios, must be in good working condition.
e. When not in use, all MGs will be kept in a prescribed area with proper safeguards.
f. No smoking will be permitted near ammunition, explosives, or flammables. Fire fighting equipment must be installed in ammunition shed/area.
g. Hearing protection devices will be worn by all personnel during firing.
h. Obstructions will never be placed in the muzzles of guns about to be fired.
i. Always assume that guns are loaded until they have been thoroughly examined and found to contain no ammunition.
A-2. RANGE PROCEDURES
Safety requirements must be followed by all personnel on the range before, during, and after firing. It is the responsibility of the safety officer, OIC, and safety NCO to ensure all procedures are met. They are as follows:
a. Before Firing.
(1) All prescribed roadblocks and barriers will be closed and necessary guards posted.
(2) All guns will be checked to ensure that they are clear of ammunition and obstructions, and that the covers are up to show they are cleared.
(3) All individuals will be briefed on the firing limits of the range and firing lanes.
(4) Range clearance will be obtained from the installation range-control office.
(5) The downrange area will be checked before firing to ensure that all personnel and equipment are clear of the area.
(6) A complete first aid kit will be on the range.
(7) Medical personnel will be located on the range or nearby where they can be contacted quickly.
(8) All guns will be checked by an officer or NCO to ensure that they are operational.
(9) Guns will not be handled except on command from the tower operator or OIC.
(10) Ammunition will be drawn and issued only on command of the OIC. When two or more lots of ammunition are used for firing, the OIC must ensure that the lots are separated and properly identified so that identification can be made by lot numbers in case of an accident or malfunction. Also, retain original packaging for possible repacking of ammunition.
(11) All ammunition must be protected from the rays of the sun. Do not put oil on ammunition.
(12) No one will move forward of the firing line without permission of the tower operator, safety officer, or OIC.
b. During Firing.
(1) Should an unsafe condition be noted, the person noting the condition will immediately call CEASE FIRE. Firing will not resume until directed by the OIC.
(2) All personnel must be aware of the danger in moving forward of the firing line to score their targets. Before the firing line is cleared and anyone is allowed forward, all machine guns will be cleared by the OIC or the safety officer.
(3) In the event of a runaway gun, keep the barrel pointed downrange. Do not unlatch the cover.
c. During Darkness.
(1) The downrange area will be checked before firing to ensure that all personnel and equipment are clear of the area. This will be done by asking three times over a public address system, IS THERE ANYONE DOWNRANGE?, pausing each time long enough to permit a response.
(2) A blinking red light must be used in addition to the red flag. It should be displayed at the entrance to the range or at some other prominent location.
(3) Two red lights will remounted on the striped poles marking the limits of fire. They must be visible to all firers.
(4) No one will move from his position until told to do so by the OIC.
d. After Firing.
(1) Safety personnel will inspect all guns to ensure that they are clear. All guns on the firing line will be rodded whether they were fired or not. A check will be conducted to determine if any brass, links, or live ammunition is in possession of the troops.
(2) When guns have been cleared, they will be kept in a prescribed area with the bolt lock to the rear, and the feed cover raised.
A-3. WEAPONS MAINTENANCE
Before disassembly can be conducted, the gun must be cleared as discussed in Chapter 1.
a. Make sure the bolt is forward before removing the backplate assembly.
b. Never attempt to cock the gun while the backplate is off and the driving spring assembly is in place. If the backplate is off and the driving spring assembly is compressed, the retaining pin on the driving spring rod can slip from its seat in the sideplate and could cause serious injury to anyone behind the gun.
c. When lifting the receiver, barrel, or the tripod, hold it with a firm grip to avoid dropping it and possibly injuring someone.