The Delta Rifles compete in N-SSA sanctioned competitions, which of course are conducted under the rules of the N-SSA. For complete rules and regulations, including approved firearms and the usual "courses of fire", please visit the N-SSA web site.
Prologue on Equipment
When the 4th Louisiana was formed as a team back in 1976, the below by-laws were created. This included the uniform that they chose at the time to be inspected and approved at the Nationals when the team was formed.
Over time, the uniform we wear has changed. While not strictly in keeping with the N-SSA rules to wear the uniform your team was approved in, since all members already have the "new" uniform, we will stick with what members currently have.
Please contact the commander if you have any questions.
Here is an itemized list of the kinds of things you will need for N-SSA competition in the Delta Rifles. Note that this list is intended to provide an idea of a basic, low-cost, startup. There may be better options for a little more money - check with the team commander before making any purchase.
New members should note that some of this equipment might be able to be borrowed from veteran team members to get started.
You do not need all of this equipment right away to get started!
Clothing / Accouterments
This is a basic suggestion of clothing and accouterments. Many people opt for a period-appropriate wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off of them. Likewise there are sources for 4th Louisiana-specific period items like belt buckles and buttons if you wish to embellish your impression. The jacket is optional as most of the year it is simply too hot to wear it. The links are to a sutler known as S&S Firearms. You are not required to purchase from them, the links are provided only for reference. S&S Firearms is a vendor of "sutler row"-grade reenacting gear. There are higher-quality options out there but they are not required for N-SSA participation.
CW Muslin Shirt
CW Adjustable Suspenders
Jean Cloth Kepi
Brogans (You can also just wear brown or black leather shoes or boots).
.58 Caliber Shooting Equipment
Most people start out with a rifled musket as their first firearm. The below links are for items suitable for .58 caliber firearms. Obviously you will need similar but different items for other calibers. You are not required to start with a rifled musket - a revolver, smoothbore musket, or carbine will do also.
100 Plastic Shooting Tubes
While it is possible to purchase pre-made bullets, most people end up casting their own. Casting bullets is relatively easy and cheap to get started doing. We recommend not buying any molds or sizing equipment until you check with a team member. They can help you determine your bore size and a suitable bullet before you waste money buying something that may not work. The team members collectively have a large collection of molds and sizing dies. Below is a minimal entry-level list of equipment to get started casting bullets, along with an example bullet mold. Note that the mold listed is an example only; it may not be the best choice for your particular firearm. A team member usually makes a run down to Sanders Lead at least once a year to buy 60-pound pigs of pure lead from the foundry. You can get in on a team purchase.
Lee Melter Furnace
Lyman Lead Dipper
Lee Minie Mold (Reference only - obviously you will want a mold for your caliber)
While you may get lucky and have a mold that drops at exactly the size you need, most people cast slightly oversize and use a sizer to make the bullet perfectly round and a precision fit for your firearm.
The following document shall be the by-laws of Co. F, 4th Louisiana Infantry. ( The Delta Rifles). They are divided into parts, with each part pertaining to the necessary requirements that must be met to maintain the standards of the team and the North-South Skirmish Association, Inc. (N-SSA).
Part I. Basic Membership requirements (Pages 1-3)
Part II. Offices Within the Unit (Pages 4 & 5)
Part III. Equipment regulations (Pages 6-9)
Part IV. Uniform Regulations (Pages 10 & 11)
Part V. Unit Safety & Training Program (Pages 12 & 13)
4th Louisiana Infantry
THE DELTA RIFLES
BASIC MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
All members must be at least 15 years of age. Members under the age of 18 must have a signed letter of consent from parent or guardian to be given to the team adjutant and kept in the team files allowing him to participate in team functions. All members must pay any required dues, range fees, or other necessary fees in order to participate in team activities. All members must have the equipment and clothing listed herein in order to participate in team functions. The equipment of each individual member is subject to inspection by the team commander or his alternate, so that the quality and/or appearance may be judged fit and appropriate for team functions. Each member must undergo the team safety and training program before becoming an active member.
An active member is defined as an individual of the team that has met the following standards:
1. Has acquired all mandatory equipment.
2. Has undergone the team safety and training program and has been certified by the instructor of said program.
3. Has paid any and all required fees.
4. Has been voted into active membership by the active members.
Active members shall be allowed to participate in any and all team events. They will be allowed to participate and/or enter any company match. They will be allowed the privilege to run for any office within the unit or the N-SSA. They will be allowed the right to vote in any election within or held by the unit.
Any person wishing to join Co. F, 4th La. Inf. (The Delta Rifles) shall be considered a probationary member. A probationary member shall be further defined as:
1. Any individual wishing to join the team that has not paid any required fees and has not acquire the mandatory equipment.
2. Has not under gone the team safety and training program.
3. Has not been voted into active membership by the active members.
An individual may, after he has acquired his mandatory equipment or before he has acquired all of his required equipment, be voted into active membership by the active members if the members see fit. (See definitions of required and mandatory equipment in Equipment Regulations.)
At the same time, however, the individual that has not met the uniform and equipment requirements, even if he is an active member, will not be allowed to participate in the company matches. The individual must remember and be aware that skirmishing is a sport that requires a certain code of dress. This code is part of N-SSA policy and must be met.
All members in probationary status will be able to participate in all individual matches; and if they have the proper equipment, all other matches the team participates in. The probationary member shall have all the rights of any active member except voting and holding office.
The probationary member will not, under any circumstances, be given a position of responsibility within or without the unit unless so designated by the company commander or his alternate. He may be given assignments by the commander or his alternates during a shoot. Examples: spotting, timing, etc. He may participate in any and all events that he is qualified for. All new members will be required to display any equipment they wish to use in the unit functions to the team commander and/or his alternate so they may determine the quality and/or appearance are appropriate and correct for team functions.
At the same time, all new members will be required to shoot the arm or arms under the watchful eyes of the unit commander and/or his alternate.
Notice to all New Members
The above mentioned task is a method of determining your experience and ability with firearms. You will not be criticized nor will lack of experience be held against you in any way. You are being observed for you maturity, you attitude, and your safety consciousness. Remember, you are entering into a sport that deals with laded firearms that are quite capable of killing. The arms being used in competition are in no way toys or playthings. They must be treated with respect and care! This can not be emphasized enough!
After the probationary member has completed the unit training and safety program, paid any necessary fees, and has met all the equipment requirements, his case shall be put before the active membership for a vote of acceptance. Upon passing the vote, the new member will obtain active status and all rights therein.
A charter member shall be defined as those individuals that are responsible for the organization and formation of Co. F, 4th La. Inf. (The Delta Rifles)
These members shall be considered active members immediately and shall have all rights as defined within this document. They will not undergo any probationary period, but will undergo the unit safety and training program. At the same time, they will be required to obtain all mandatory and required equipment.
The following shall be known as Charter Members:
Merle D. Grabhorn
Sam Wall III
Sam Wall IV
OFFICES WITHIN THE UNIT
An office shall be defined as a position within the hierarchy of the team. These positions shall be known as : Commander, Second-in-Command, Adjutant, and Treasurer.
The commander of Co. F, 4th La. Inf. Shall be elected yearly by a vote of the active membership/ Such vote will take place during the first meeting of the new year.
It is the duty of the Commander to oversee the activities of the unit and its members and to guide the unit and membership properly. It is his duty to maintain the authentic appearance of the unit by way of equipment inspections, clothing inspections, and arms inspections. Said inspections are to be carried out at company meetings at the discretion of the commander. The commander will be required to attend all N-SSA team commander’s meeting at the N-SSA shoots and to maintain liaison between the officials at the shoots and this unit.
He will be required to oversee the training of new members to assure himself of the qualities and abilities of the new members. He may allocate some of the above mentioned duties to his Second-in-Command, or other volunteers within the unit. He may also assign an alternate to comply with his duties in case the Commander and Second-in-Command will not be present at a function.
The commander will be given the rank of Sergeant as a symbol of his station. This rank does not in any way give him the right of military command nor any special privileges given to military officials of this rank. He will not conduct himself as a military commander, but as a member of a team with the added responsibilities of team command. He will wear the chevrons of sergeant so that officials at N-SSA shoots or people unfamiliar with the team will seek him to resolve any problems.
It will be the duty of the Commander to maintain correspondence between the N-SSA and the unit, along with the adjutant of the team.
The Second-in-Command shall be elected yearly by a vote of the active membership. Said election shall take place at the same time as the election for unit commander.
It shall be the duty of the Second-in-Command to assist the Commander in the management of the unit. He is to assist in training and inspections necessary to maintain the quality and authenticity of the unit. He will be required to attend all N-SSA team commander’s meetings with the Commander. He is to be prepared to take command of the team if the Commander is unable to be present at a unit function.
The Second-in-Command shall be given the rank of Corporal as a symbol of his position within the unit. This rank does not give him the right of military command nor any special privileges given to military officials of this rank. He is to conduct himself as a member of the team with the added responsibilities of Second-in-Command.
The adjutant shall be elected yearly by a vote of the active membership. Said election will take place at the same time as the election for unit commander. It shall be the duty of the adjutant to maintain correspondence between the N-SSA and the team. He is responsible for the records of the team and maintains contact between the team members. He is to assist the commander with the paperwork involved in maintaining a team. He is to be aware of sources of supply for new members and is to help them in locating various articles that they many need for membership. He is to make himself available to new members and is to explain the various requirements for membership. He is to handle all publicity involving the team.
The treasurer shall be elected yearly by a vote of the active membership. The election will take place at the same time as the election for the unit commander.
The treasurer shall be responsible for unit funds. No funds shall be withdrawn from the treasury without permission of the team commander and the treasurer. The treasurer will report to the membership every six months on unit expenditures and will turn over said report to the adjutant for his records.
A special election may be called to replace any of the officers if the officer no longer wishes to or is no longer able to continue to fulfill his capacity within the unit. Said officer must announce that he wishes to resign his position within the unit. An election may be held immediately after his announcement or within one month of the announcement of resignation.
4th Louisiana Infantry
Co. F, The Delta Rifles
The following guidelines are not comprehensive, yet are official unit policy. The main point is this: Don’t guess. Be certain that what you purchase for your N-SSA related activities is necessary, safe, and appropriate. This is an expensive and dangerous hobby. Don’t make it any more hazardous or expensive than it already is be purchasing unsafe or inappropriate uniforms, weapons, or equipment. If it isn’t correct you will not be allowed to use it. Contact you Commander and make certain that you contemplated expenditure is appropriate.
Definition of Terms
Mandatory – must be acquire before full membership can be awarded
Required - must be obtained during the first year of membership
Optional - use and ownership is left up the member’s discretion.
Musket - The rifled-musket is the premier weapon the N-SSA and is mandatory equipment. Any currently manufactured reproduction which is approved by the N-SSA or an original musket can be used. Original muskets must be inspected and by the unit commander.
Carbines - Carbines can be used for individual and team completion. Any reproduction or original carbine approved the N-SSA may be used. Originals must be inspected and approved by the unit commanders. Carbines are optional.
Pistols - Hand guns can be used in individual completion and are also optional equipment.
Members must first acquire a musket and compete in musket competition. Carbine and pistol completion supplements team musket shooting. The unit recommends the following guidelines in choosing a musket: (1) original muskets, carbines, and pistols should not be used due to their historical value and the unavoidable wear and tear that comes from competitive shooting; (2) the Model 1841 Rifle (Mississippi) be avoided due to its crude, nonadjustable sights; (3) the original 4th Louisiana Infantry was probably armed with Cooke Brothers musket; (4) the most common muskets issued in the American Civil war were Springfields and Enfields; (5) new members keep in mid the Model 1862 in the interest of authenticity; and (6) the Remington Zouave musket probably never saw active service.
4th Louisiana accoutrements shall consist of any standard issued, authentic reproduction Civil War infantry cartridge box (Union or Confederate), cap box, and waist belt. Belt buckles, breast and cartridge box plates (if any) shall be of the approved unit pattern. All the above items are mandatory. Bayonet and scabbard are optional. Any equipment shall be ordered from approved sources know for authenticity and high quality or from sources approved by the unit commander.
3) Haversack and Canteen
These two items are optional, but are recommended. The unit commander or adjutant can furnish appropriate sources for both items.
4) Pack and/or Bedroll
Optional, but strongly recommended. During a shoot, we will compete rain or shine.
6) Musket Sling
Optional. It can be of lather or canvas, but must be authentic. Recommended.
7) Cartridge Tins
These open tin boxes fit two to the standard infantry cartridge box to hold ammunition.
8) Mess Gear
Tin knife, fork, spoon, plate and cup were standard issue. The cup is recommended.
All are optional.
9) Cleaning Equipment
The following items are mandatory. Each member must know how to properly maintain and clean his weapon.
a. Worm – A double corkscrew device used to hold cleaning patches which fit into the end of the ramrod. Brass brushes are not an acceptable substitute. The can only be used effectively when the breech plug has been removed; otherwise they leave the most critical part of the barrel unclean (the last ½ inch around the touch hole).
b. Nipple Wrench - Used to remove musket nipples (cones) for replacement, cleaning and priming.
The following items are optional:
a. Tompion - A round wooden plug used to keep dirt and moisture out of the barrel.
b. Ball-puller - A screw-tipped device which fits on the end of the ramrod and is used to draw out unfired rounds.
c. Screwdriver - Original screwdriver and nipple wrench sets are still available and are recommended.
d. Wooden Cleaning Rod - A separate sturdy wooden ramrod used to clean the musket only. It is easier to hence that the steel rod which is used to load the musket. It will be necessary to clean a musket several time in the course of a shoot.
10) Loading Equipment
The following items are mandatory. Each member should eventually load his own ammunition. It is less expensive and the ammunition can be tailored to the individual weapon for greater accuracy.
a. Ammunition Tubes – These can be of plastic or cardboard, but the plastic ones are recommended. They hold the powder and ball until actual loading. No rolled paper cartridges are allowed in musket completion.
b. Powder Measure - Indispensible tool in loading ammunition. Simple volumetric measures that are adjustable are acceptable.
The following items are required:
a. Bullet Mould – An N-SSA Approved mould casting hollow based Minnie balls, carbine or pistol balls are acceptable. Before purchasing any mould experiment to make sure that it will cast the bullet which performs best with your weapon.
b. Lead Dipper – A specialized ladle make to fit the pouring hole in a mould.
c. Cast Iron Lead Pot – A small pot used to melt lead in.
Optional Loading Equipment
a. Electrical Furnace – A quicker yet more expensive appliance which combines the melting and lead dipper operations.
b. Sizer – A precision tool which rounds off, trims, and conforms each bullet to exact dimensions.
c. Powder Scale – A precision scale used to weigh powder for more exact powder charge measurement.
11) Recommended order in which to acquire uniforms and equipment for N-SSA activities:
3. Nipple Wrench
4. Powder Measure
5. Ammunition tubes
6. Cartridge box
7. Cup box
8. Waist belt & buckle
10. Pants with suspenders
12. Bullet Mould
13. Iron Pot
14. Lead dipper
15. Uniform coat
16. Optional equipment
Note: Items 1-8 are mandatory and must be acquired before full membership is granted.
The following shall be the uniform requirements for Co. R, 4th La. Inf. The requirements are designed to give maximum authenticity for as minimum as possible to the individual. The clothing listed herein is required.
The headgear shall be the grey bummer Kepi of the approved unit pattern. In accordance with N-SSA regulations, there will be uniformity of headgear. No mixing of slouch hats, etc. will be permitted.
The shirt shall be of the approved unit pattern: 1850-1865 pattern civilian or military shirt. The material of the shirt is to be made of a material not of modern sheen to give the aura of authenticity. Buttons shall be of an authentic style; i.e. wood, metal, bone, pewter, etc. Plastic will not be allowed! All shirts of military style must be sewn with brown thread as the pattern of the time. The shirt must be inspected by the unit commander or his alternate as to the authenticity, quality and style.. Modern shirts or fabrics will not be allowed.
Pants are to be of sky blue kersey wool of the approved unit pattern. They are to be worn with button-on suspenders. No clip on suspenders will be allowed! Buttons shall be of authentic style; .e. wood, metal, bone, pewter, etc. No zippers of any sort will be allowed! No metal snaps will be allowed! All pants will be inspected by the unit commander or his alternate as to quality and style.
It is desired to have authentic footgear. However, certain requirements must be met. All shoes shall be black in color. Boots, if worn, shall have square toes as was the style of the time. Halter boots with halters will not be allowed! Combat or any time of lace up boots will not be allowed! Members must remember that boots were not readily available to the infantryman unless they were captured. If you are planning to buy footgear, it is better to buy authentic footwear that is available than to buy boots. The prices for boots and authentic footwear are about the same. Black time shoes are allowable, however, they must be plain, without any adornment; i.e. wing tips, etc.
The above regulations are written rather loosely because of the following reason: It is the intention of the unit to depict the “look” of the 4th La. Inf. as they might have looked towards the mid or latter part of the war years. The Confederacy was hard pressed to supply its men. Therefore, the soldiers of the Confederacy gave a unique appearance with a mixture of military and civilian dress, all either issued, captured, or stolen. Each member is required to choose with care his clothing. All clothing will be inspected by the unit commander or his alternate.
The individual may add to his clothing such additions that he feels may add to the authenticity of his uniform. However, any additions made must be inspected. Further, any additions made must have documented proof that such additions did in fact exits. The statement “prove that it is not authentic” is not considered proof of authenticity. Example of authentic items are:
Patches - Uniforms may be patched, however patching material must be of the proper type in regards to sheen, etc.
Watch & Chain - Must appear authentic.
Bowie knife - Confederate soldiers were know to carry bowie knives. No modern style knives are allowed. The knife must appear authentic.
In view of the of and humid weather conditions in the South and in the interest of individual comfort, the shell jacket will be optional. It is known that the 4th La. Inf. did in fact wear coats, however, due to the shoddiness of the original material issued to the men, it is doubtful that the coats lasted until the mid and later parts of the war. Coats will become mandatory for membership, as the team will be competing in areas of adverse if not downright cold weather. The coat will be of the proper pattern and will be inspected by the commander or his alternate. It will not be worn in company matches until it becomes mandatory for the unit. However, it may be worn in individuals or in carbine and artillery matches.
All members are asked to check with the commander or his alternate before purchasing any item of clothing that he wished to use in N-SSA functions. If it is not correct, you will not be allowed to use it. Make certain that your contemplated expenditure is appropriate.
UNIT SAFETY AND TRAINING PROGRAM
The following is a short description of the safety and training program. This is by no means a complete description, but a general outline.
The musket program shall be covered in three parts:
Part I: Will cover musket disassemble and reassemble. Nomenclature of the musket will be covered. Cleaning and care will be covered along with proper maintenance procedures. The N-SSA loading procedure will be covered and all members will be required to “dry” load their muskets under the eye of their instructor. Procedures of a skirmish will be explained. Any and all questions will be answered.
Part II: Will take place at the unit’s shooting facility. Actual skirmish conditions will be simulated if possible. All members will review the N-SSA loading procedure and then apply said procedures under skirmish conditions. Sights, aiming, selection of proper loads will be explained. Each member will be required to load and fire his arm under the eye of the instructor. Proper cleaning methods will be explained and all members will be required to clean their muskets at the shooting facility. Range procedures and competition procedures will be covered.
Part III: Will be concerned with bullet casting, selection of mould, lead, and the proper way to select charges for the musket. Methods of experimentation and accuracy will be discussed.
The revolver will be discussed in one part:
Part I: The basic types of revolvers will be covered. Disassembly for cleaning will be discussed along with maintenance and safety. An explanation of N-SSA loading procedures, competition, events, types of cartridges, ball and accuracy will be covered.
Breech-loading carbines will be discussed in two parts. Muzzle carbines will not be covered in the section as they will be covered under the musket program.
Part I: The type of breech-loaders available will be discussed. The types of cartridges available or modifications to the cartridges in the form of gas seals etc. will be covered. Care and maintenance, selection of loads, sights available, gas leaks, etc will be covered.
Part II: Will take place at the unit’s shooting facility. All members will be required to load and fire his arm under the eye of the instructor or commander. Skirmish conditions will be simulated. Proper cleaning methods will be covered.
Seconds-Between-Hits and Skirmishers Effectiveness Index (SEI) will be tabulated for all skirmishers and averaged over the last three skirmishes. Statistics will be collected at each skirmish event and turned over to the Statistics Officer. Data collected will be event time in seconds, Name, Weapon (musket, carbine, smoothbore, or revolver), number of hits, number of shots, and target type. The following tabulations will be used:
SEI means Skirmishers Effectiveness Index.
DOD means Degree-of-Difficulty and will be provided by Stats Officer.
Seconds-Between-Hits = Seconds / Hits
SEI = Seconds-Between-Hits / Degree-of-Difficulty
Team rank will be determined by sorting SEI in ascending order. Lowest SEI value ranks first. The Degree-of-Difficulty (DOD) is determined by the following ratios:
At 50 yards, DOD=(area of N-SSA 50 yard bull) / (area of target)
At 100 yards, DOD=(area of N-SSA 100 yard bull) / (area of target)
Members will be assigned to the musket, carbine, smoothbore, or revolver teams according to their ranking in SEI or Seconds-Between-Hits (Commander's choice). The team Commander may make contingency substitutions based on current exigencies. This may be, but is not limited to such things as a fouled weapon, a cold streak, the member requests or agrees to a substitution, replace a shooter not participating in work details, lack of sufficient data, poor attendance, member not feeling well, etc.