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Operation of the Mk 5 Pyrotechnic Pistol
Seaman - Military manual for the Seaman rate
Ordnance Handling Safety
WARNING The pyrotechnic pistol is cocked at all times when the breech is closed; it has no positive safety mechanism. Illumination signals must NOT BE LOADED in the pistol until just before use. Unfired signals must NOT be left in the pistol. The  Mk  5  pistol  must  be  kept  in  serviceable condition at all times. Clean it thoroughly after each use in  accordance  with  the  procedure  prescribed  on  the appropriate  3-M  System  maintenance  requirement  card (MRC). When  loading  or  firing  a  pyrotechnic  pistol, NEVER point it in the direction of other personnel or vessels. NEVER use the Mk 5 pistol with ammunition other than  that  authorized  for  use  with  it.  Conversely, illumination signals should never be fired from shotguns or from projectors other than those authorized. PYROTECHNIC SAFETY HANDLING AND STORAGE The  following  general  information  is  taken  directly from   Pyrotechnic,   Screening,   Marking,   and Countermeasure  Devices,  NAVSEA  SW050-AB- MMA-010,  chapter  1. Pyrotechnic   Safety “All pyrotechnic and screening devices, while designed and tested to be safe under normal conditions, can be subject to accidental ignition because of a wide variety of circumstances. The general rule to follow is: Be  constantly  aware  that  pyrotechnics  contain  chemical components that are intended to burn with intense heat, and  act  accordingly.” Pyrotechnic Handling and Storage All pyrotechnics and smoke-screening devices are designed to withstand normal handling. They should, however, be handled as little as possible to lessen the chances of damage, which might cause accidental ignition or leakage. Many devices contain materials of a  dangerous  nature  and  are  therefore  designed  with safety features, which should be maintained in good operating condition. Dents, deformations, or cracks in the outer body may interfere with the proper functioning of these safety features or might cause ignition during handling or storage. It is therefore imperative that extreme care be taken to prevent damage to containers of pyrotechnics and screening devices, and to the devices   themselves. Effect  of  Moisture  on  Pyrotechnics The  proper  functioning  of  pyrotechnic,  dye- marking, and screening devices is frequently affected by moisture.  Some  compositions  may  become  more sensitive  and  dangerous  when  exposed  to  moisture, while others tend to become difficult to ignite and less dependable in operation. Care should be exercised to prevent  damage  that  would  interfere  with  seals  because some screening devices produce their smoke by reaction of their chemical contents with moisture in the air. Also, bear in mind that some marine location markers, such as the Mk 58, are saltwater-activated, and should be stored with that in mind. That fact should also be considered in emergency situations where the markers could  be  inadvertently  exposed  to  fire-fighting  water  or runoff. Effect  of  Temperature  on  Pyrotechnics Pyrotechnics and some screening devices may become adversely affected by excessively high or variable temperatures. These devices should never be stored where direct rays of the sun could generate excessively  high  temperature.  Storage  should  be  in  dry, well-ventilated  places  that  provide  the  greatest  possible protection  from  such  conditions.  All  Navy  pyrotechnics have been designed to withstand temperatures from -65°F to 160°F and, therefore, will probably be safe from  deterioration  or  damage  within  that  range. However,  it  is  recommended  that  every  reasonable effort be made to maintain storage temperature at not more  than  100°F.  (Specific  ammunition  storage temperature requirements are addressed in chapter 2 of this  manual.) Toxic  Hazards  of  Pyrotechnics Many chemicals used in pyrotechnics, screening equipment, and dye-marking devices are poisonous if taken internally. This also applies to the residue of burned  pyrotechnics.  From  the  inhalation  standpoint, the  products  of  pyrotechnic  devices  and  smoke generators often present a serious problem. Many of the smokes and fumes given off by pyrotechnics and screening devices are considered non-toxic and only mildly irritating to the eyes and nasal passages when encountered  in  relatively  light  concentrations  out  of 6-13

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