The three-volley salute is a ceremonial act performed at military funerals and sometimes also police funerals. The custom originates from European dynastic wars,[ which? ] in which the fighting ceased so that the dead and wounded could be removed. After this was accomplished, three shots were fired into the air to signal that the battle could resume. [ better source needed ]
It should not be confused with the 21-gun salute (or 19-gun or 17-gun, etc.) which is fired by a battery of artillery pieces.
In the United States it is part of the drill and ceremony of the Honor Guard. It consists of a rifle party firing blank cartridges into the air three times.
A rifle party usually has an odd number of members, from three to seven. The firearm used is typically a rifle, but at some police funerals, shotguns or handguns are used. The party usually stands so that the muzzles are pointed over the casket. However, if mourners are present near the grave, the party stands some distance away (often recommended at least 50 feet) so as to not deafen the attendees and to minimize the disturbance. If the service is being performed indoors, the firing party stands outside the building, often near the front entrance.On the command of the NCO-in-charge, the party raises their weapons and fires three times in unison.
Modern United States military parties use M1, M14 or M16 rifles. The use of blank cartridges means these weapon's semi-automatic gas action will not function, requiring manual cycling of the next round between shots.Some parties equip the rifle with a blank-firing adapter, which eliminates this step from the drill after the first shot, though this is seen by some as less traditional. Similarly, the M1 and M14 are generally preferred over the current issue M16 because the appearance of these older rifles is more traditional and the charging handles are more easily operated in a dignified, ceremonial manner.
A similar ceremony is used by the armed forces of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Irish Republicans also fire a three-volley salute at the funerals of IRA and INLA volunteers.
A carbine is a long gun that has a barrel shortened from its original length. Most modern carbines are rifles that are compact versions of a longer rifle or are rifles chambered for less powerful cartridges.
The M16 rifle is a family of military rifles adapted from the ArmaLite AR-15 rifle for the United States military. The original M16 rifle was a 5.56×45mm automatic rifle with a 20-round magazine.
The M1 Garand or M1 rifle is a semi-automatic rifle that was the service rifle of the U.S. Army during World War II and the Korean War.
The M14 rifle, officially the United States Rifle, Caliber 7.62 mm, M14, is an American selective-fire battle rifle chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO cartridge. It became the standard-issue rifle for the U.S. military in 1957, replacing the M1 Garand rifle in service with the U.S. Army by 1958 and the U.S. Marine Corps by 1965. The M14 was used by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps for Basic and Advanced Individual Training from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s.
An automatic rifle is a type of autoloading rifle that is capable of fully automatic fire. Automatic rifles are generally select-fire weapons capable of firing in semi-automatic and automatic firing modes. Automatic rifles are distinguished from semi-automatic rifles in their ability to fire more than one shot in succession once the trigger is pulled. Most automatic rifles are further subcategorized as battle rifles or assault rifles.
The M1903 Springfield, officially the United States Rifle, Caliber .30-06, Model 1903, is an American five-round magazine-fed, bolt-action service repeating rifle, used primarily during the first half of the 20th century.
Drill commands are generally used with a group that is marching, most often in military foot drills or in a marching band. Drill commands are usually heard in major events involving service personnel, reservists and veterans of a country's armed forces, and by extension, public security services and youth uniformed organizations.
A military funeral is a memorial or burial rite given by a country's military for a soldier, sailor, marine or airman who died in battle, a veteran, or other prominent military figures or heads of state. A military funeral may feature guards of honor, the firing of volley shots as a salute, drumming and other military elements, with a flag draping over the coffin.
A magazine, or simply called mag, is an ammunition storage and feeding device for a repeating firearm, either integral within the gun or externally attached. The magazine functions by holding several cartridges within itself and sequentially pushing each one into a position where it may be readily loaded into the barrel chamber by the firearm's moving action. The detachable magazine is sometimes colloquially referred to as a "clip", although this is technically inaccurate since a clip is actually an accessory device used to help load ammunition into a magazine or cylinder.
The ArmaLite AR-15 is a select-fire, gas-operated, air-cooled, magazine-fed rifle manufactured in the United States between 1959 and 1964. Designed by American gun manufacturer ArmaLite in 1956, it was based on its AR-10 rifle. The ArmaLite AR-15 was designed to be a lightweight rifle and to fire a new high-velocity, lightweight, small-caliber cartridge to allow infantrymen to carry more ammunition.
The .30-06 Springfield cartridge, 7.62×63mm in metric notation, and called the .30 Gov't '06 by Winchester, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 and later standardized; it remained in military use until the late 1970s. The ".30" refers to the caliber of the bullet in inches, .300 and the "06" refers to the year the cartridge was adopted, 1906. It replaced the .30-03, 6mm Lee Navy, and .30-40 Krag cartridges. The .30-06 remained the U.S. Army's primary rifle and machine gun cartridge for nearly 50 years before being replaced by the 7.62×51mm NATO and 5.56×45mm NATO, both of which remain in current U.S. and NATO service. It remains a very popular sporting round, with ammunition produced by all major manufacturers.
A battle rifle is a service rifle chambered to fire a fully powered cartridge. The term "battle rifle" is a retronym created largely out of a need to better differentiate the intermediate-powered assault rifles from full-powered rifles as both classes of modern firearms have a similar appearance and share many of the same features such as detachable magazines, pistol grips, separate upper and lower receivers etc. Battle rifles were most prominent from the 1940s to the 1970s, when they were used as service rifles. While modern battle rifles largely resemble modern assault rifle designs, which replaced battle rifles in most roles, the term may also describe older military full-powered semi-automatic rifles such as the M1 Garand, SVT-40, Gewehr 41, Gewehr 43, Type 4, FN Model 1949, and MAS-49.
Gas-operation is a system of operation used to provide energy to operate locked breech, autoloading firearms. In gas-operation, a portion of high-pressure gas from the cartridge being fired is used to power a mechanism to dispose of the spent case and insert a new cartridge into the chamber. Energy from the gas is harnessed through either a port in the barrel or a trap at the muzzle. This high-pressure gas impinges on a surface such as a piston head to provide motion for unlocking of the action, extraction of the spent case, ejection, cocking of the hammer or striker, chambering of a fresh cartridge, and locking of the action.
The two most common assault rifles in the world are the Soviet AK-47 and the American M16. These Cold War-era rifles have been used in conflicts both large and small since the 1960s. They are used by military, police, security forces, revolutionaries, terrorists, criminals and civilians alike and will most likely continue to be used for decades to come. As a result, they have been the subject of countless comparisons and endless debate.
The M6 Bayonet is a bayonet used by the U.S. military for the M14 rifle, it can also be used with the Mk 14 Enhanced Battle Rifle as well M39 Enhanced Marksman Rifle. It was introduced in 1957, at the same time as the rifle itself. It is the only bayonet made for the M14.
A drill purpose rifle is a rifle which has been altered so that it can no longer be fired. This is generally undertaken by either removing the firing pin or leading the barrel. These rifles are used solely for drill purposes, training and teaching, usually by cadet forces. These rifles can be marched with and can also be used to perform exhibition style individual or group maneuvers.
An intermediate cartridge is a rifle/carbine cartridge that has significantly greater power than a pistol cartridge but still has a reduced muzzle energy compared to fully powered cartridges, and therefore is regarded as being "intermediate" between traditional rifle and handgun cartridges.
An assault rifle is a selective fire rifle that uses an intermediate cartridge and a detachable magazine. Assault rifles were first put into mass production and accepted into widespread service during World War II. The first assault rifle to see major usage was the German StG 44, a development of the earlier Mkb 42. While immediately after World War II, NATO countries were equipped with battle rifles, the development of the M16 rifle during the Vietnam War prompted the adoption of assault rifles by the rest of NATO. By the end of the 20th century, assault rifles had become the standard weapon in most of the world's armies, replacing full-powered rifles and submachine guns in most roles. The two most successful modern assault rifles are the AK-47 and the M16 designs and their derivatives.
The 7.62×51mm NATO is a rimless, bottlenecked rifle cartridge. It is a standard for small arms among NATO countries.