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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate and understanding of the operating principles in the maintenance of firearms 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
119783  Demonstrate and understanding of the operating principles in the maintenance of firearms 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Combat Weapons Maintenance 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Safety in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04  18 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
Learners credited with this Unit Standard are able to identify and explain the operating principles of various firearms within the Firearms Maintenance Industry. This unit standard is purely theoretical, it is foundational to the other unit standards in this qualification. The reason for this is that learners need to know how firearms work before they can actually maintain them. A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Explain the operating systems of firearms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding the types of firearm locking mechanisms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding the types of firearm feeding mechanisms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the types of firearm trigger mechanisms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the types of firearm safety mechanisms.
  • Demonstrate an understanding the components of firearm barrels.

    This unit standard will contribute to the full development of any learner within the Firearms Maintenance Industry and more specifically to the operating principles of firearms by providing recognition, further mobility and transportability within the field. The knowledge, skills and understanding demonstrated in this unit standard are essential for social and economic transformation and upliftment within the Firearms Maintenance environment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that the learner embarking on study towards this unit standard will have the following:
  • Communication at NQF level 3.
  • The unit standard "Select, use and care for engineering hand tools" at NQF level 2 or its equivalent. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The operating principles contained in this unit standard are derived from the workshop repair manual specific to each firearm. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Explain the operating systems of firearms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Blowback operation and its mechanical principles are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Includes simple, advanced primer ignition and retarded blowback.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Recoil operation and its mechanical principles are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Includes long stroke and short stroke recoil systems.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Gas operation and its mechanical principles are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Includes short and long stroke gas systems.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Electrically operated weapons and their mechanical principles are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Applicable to relevant organisations.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Manually operated firearms and their mechanical principles are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Includes bolt action, lever action, pump or slide action.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the types of firearm locking mechanisms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Rotating bolt is explained and its operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Includes multiple locking lugs and interrupted thread locking systems.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Tilting breech is explained and its operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Includes horizontal and vertical breech locking systems.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Toggle joint is explained and its operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Falling block is explained and its operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Locking link is explained and its operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the types of firearm feeding mechanisms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Magazine feed is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Belt and links feed are explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Manual feed is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Revolving-feed mechanisms are explained and their mechanical operations are demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the types of firearm trigger mechanisms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Single action trigger mechanism is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Double action trigger mechanism is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Automatic trigger mechanism is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Semi-automatic trigger mechanism is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Multi-round trigger mechanism is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the types of firearm safety mechanisms. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Hammer lock safety is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Trigger safety is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Firing pin safety is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Sear safety is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Mechanical safety is explained and its mechanical operation is demonstrated in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the components of firearms barrels. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Different types of rifling of barrels are identified and explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Chamber and cartridge head -space is explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Barrel defects are identified and their causes are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Barrel manufacturing processes are described in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Different types of crowning are identified and explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Barrel conditions are identified and their causes are explained in terms of maintenance of the firearm. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • An individual wishing to be assessed (including through RPL) against this Unit Standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA, or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Unit Standard or assessing this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be conducted by the relevant ETQA at its discretion. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and logical thinking when identifying the operating principles of firearms. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation and community with respect to the operating principles of firearms. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information with regards to any situation pertaining to the operating principles of firearms. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively using visual and language skills in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion pertaining to operating principles of firearms. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively with regard to the operating principles of firearms. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation when identifying defects in firearm operating systems. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Participate as responsible citizens with regard to operating principles of firearms. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Access to this unit standard:

    For safety requirements, learners embarking on study towards this unit standard must have completed the unit standard "Apply safety precautions in the maintenance of firearms". 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  49739   Further Education and Training Certificate: Firearms Maintenance  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.