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Number 2 reports: CARTRIDGE ADVANCED
Gunner orders: RAM
Number 1 runs the cartridge down the tube using one hand on the rammer shaft, thumb out, keeping the body behind the muzzle as much as possible. Prior to seating the charge, he gives a final thrust, releasing the rammer as the charge is seated at the breach. Simultaneously, Number 1 thrusts himself toward the axle of the carriage (being careful not to actually contact any part of the gun with his body) and his hand passes underneath the tube. The rammer is then completely removed, one-handed, thumb out. Number 1 then moves to the right wheel axle hub and places the rammer on top of the hub. He holds the rammer shaft upright in his left hand with the sponge slightly forward. This indicates to all that the gun is loaded.
NOTE: Rounds that are poorly made can introduce powder to the bore and cause serious accidents. Do not use excessive force ramming, as it may also cause powder to be introduced to the bore and chamber area. As the round is being seated in the chamber, the danger level is highest.
Number 1 reports: RAMMED
Gunner orders: SIGHT THE PIECE
(The purpose of this action is to allow the Gunner and the Chief-of-the-Piece to determine
that the field of fire is clear of spectators, vehicles, etc.)
Position E: The Gunner advances and stations himself along the left side of the trail, left foot forward, right leg extended alongside the trail. He sights along the tube or, if a slight hand is used, conduct a sighting routine. The Gunner may manipulate the elevating screw. As the Gunner approaches the piece, Number 3 uncovers the vent, steps to his original post, pauses momentarily, and then moves to the handspike. Number 3 may point the gun as indicated by the Gunner who taps on either the left or right side of the trail indicating the desired direction. Being satisfied the field of fire is clear, the Gunner stands and returns to his post. Satisfied that the loading is complete and that the area in front of the gun is clear, the gunner initiates the firing sequence.
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