The Reenactors Group General Safety Manual

This Safety Manual lists minimum safety standards.  We encourage each group to develop and routinely update a Safety Manual that addresses the specific needs of the group and genre.


Weapons Safety


1. All firearms should arrive at the field unloaded.

2. All Flintlock weapons must have installed flashguard and hamerstall.

3. No weapon will be allowed to field if it slips out of half cock when activated by the trigger on your finger.

4. All parts of the firearm must fit tightly and properly and no weapon may field with cracks or checks in the stock.

5. No smokeless powder in brass cartridge fed weapons or muzzle loading weapons.

6. Muzzle load weapons to use black powder and brass cartridge fed weapons to use either manufacturer’s blanks or reloads made to manufacturer’s specifications.

7. Never aim at an opponent.  Instead aim above head or at feet.

8. When firing a safe distance is 30 feet or greater.

9. No unplanned hand-to hand combat.


Edged Weapons

1. A proper scabbard is required for edged weapons, including but not limited to swords, bayonets, knives, tomahawks, and hatchets.

2. No engagement of swordplay.

3. No knives, tomahawks, or hatchets drawn on the field

4. Bayonet charges no nearer opposing side than 20 feet.

5. No unplanned hand-to hand combat.



1. All members on a team to know job requirements and relevant safety rules.

2. The powder box to be maintained 15 feet to the rear of the trails.

3. No more than 4 oz per inch of bore per charge.


Maximum Blank Loads

Pistol, Rifle 70 grains FFFG/ 90 grains FFG
Fowler, Brown Bess, Charleville 110 gr. FFFG/125 gr. FFG



Camp and Field Safety

Gun Powder

1. No loose powder in camp, maintain in pre-rolled cartridges and stored in spark resistant, fireproof containers – no plastic containers.

2. Keep powder away from fire pits, pipes, cigars, cigarettes and other sources of fires or sparks.

3. Store powder no less than 25 feet from the fire pit.

4. Powder horns should not contain powder at any time, including weapon loading.



1. Build fires in a firebox, pit or on a steel plate.

2. Fires to be built 20 feet from tents with a bucket at each pit.

3. Fires to be attended at all times.

4. Children must not tend fires without supervision and are not to play around fires.

5. No garbage in the fire.

6. When done, the fire should be soaked with water, stirred and soaked again.  The earth should be leveled to original appearance.


First Aid

1. Groups should maintain a list of members who are medically trained.  When possible, first aid should be administered by those medically trained.

2. Each group must maintain a list of members who have illnesses or medical conditions, as well as, a list of medications to help medical personnel if needed.



1. When animals are present, a knowledgeable safety officer should be present and animals should be in direct control of their owner when in camp.

2. Only working animals to be allowed, and should be kept away from the public and tents with a picket, rope line or corral.

3. Be aware of proper paperwork required by state laws.


Alcohol Use

1. No alcohol to be consumed during reenactment day.

2. Drunkenness, non-prescribed drug use or being under the influence of a hallucinogenic substance is a safety violation and requires immediate event expulsion.


Public Safety


1. Maintain walkways through and around camp.

2. Attend camp fires and keep spectators at a safe distance.

3. No bonfires.

4. No firing of weapons in camp areas.



1. The public must be no less than 30 feet to the action.

2. The public to be located at rear of closest participants or parallel to opposing lines.  Participants to never fire in direction of the public.  Opposing lines not to get closer than 100 feet to public lines.

3. Public to be at least 20 feet away from powder boxes and not ahead of the end of the trails. The size of guns should be considered when planning public lines.

4. Public should not be closer than 100 feet from gun muzzle and allow greater consideration for larger guns.

5. A cannon crew should be 25 feet from roped off public viewing area and artillery must be fired away from the rope line.  Public should be no closer than 100 feet from cannons on field (200 feet for Civil War artillery).

6. No firing or handling of weapons by public.



Do not use if there is any possibility of causing damage.

1. If building use is allowed, be careful of all glass and old wood.

2. Clean up before leaving building.

3. Do not fire cannons at buildings unless permission granted by site. Cannons should be at least 100 feet from the building with greater distances with larger guns.


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