A number of duty assignments in the Navy may
require you to be armed with a rifle or pistol.
Examples of shipboard duty assignments include the
forecastle, fantail, and pier sentry watches,
quarterdeck, and magazine security watches.
Examples of ashore duty assignments include base
security forces and duties of Seabee personnel.
Although none of these assignments may be your
normal watch-standing duties, you may be required to
support these or other security forces at any time. For
this reason, you must be familiar with the proper use
and care of small arms.
Strictly defined, the term small arm means any
firearm of .60-caliber, 15-mm, or smaller bore.
However, the term is generally considered to mean a
weapon intended to be fired from the hand or shoulder,
such as a rifle or a pistol.
At most naval commands, the small arms carried by
security watches are maintained by armory personnel.
Armory personnel should give you instructions on the
proper use and handling of small arms.
SMALL ARMS SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Learning Objective: When you finish this chapter, you
will be able to
Recognize the purpose for and identify the safety
precautions to follow when using small arms.
Before you learn to use any firearm, you must learn
to handle it safely. Remember, firearms are
dangerous. Their purpose is to kill or to cause injury.
When at the firing range, follow all safety
Every firearm used by Navy personnel has some
type of built-in safety device, and some have more than
one. The safety device guards against accidental
discharge of a firearm. In almost every case of
accidental shooting, negligence or carelessness is the
prime cause. A weapon is only as safe as the person
using it. Learn to respect each firearm as a deadly
You should observe the following general
precautions when handling any type of firearm:
1. Treat every weapon with respect. Consider it
2. Never point a weapon at anything or anyone you
do not intend to shoot.
3. Always make sure that the bore is clear and that
all oil and grease have been removed from the
barrel and chamber before firing.
4. Use only the proper size of ammunition.
5. Unload firearms before transporting them to and
from a shooting area.
6. Always carry the firearm so as to control the
direction of the muzzle. Keep the muzzle
pointed in a safe direction until ready to fire.
7. Keep the safety on until you are ready to shoot.
8. Never shoot until you have positively identified
9. Unload unattended weapons. At home, store
firearms (with trigger locks installed) and
ammunition out of the reach of children.
10. Do not climb trees or fences with a loaded
11. Do not pull a firearm toward you by the muzzle.
12. Avoid shooting a rifle over a hard, flat surface or
body of water because of possible erratic and
lengthy bullet ricochets.
13. Like oil and water, firearms and alcohol do not
mix. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or
partake of any narcotic or drug before or during
A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guarantee of peace.