In some situations, the firer can perform a check in addition to the armourer, but this will typically be when that armourer has trained them and they're using modern weapons with mechanisms with which many people are already familiar, such as an M4, a bolt-action rifle or most semi-auto pistols. Part of the issue is when the weapon is different or more complicated, such as with flintlocks or machine guns, and where the armourer's expertise comes into play. For example, I have experience with many dozens of firearms, primarily modern, but I'd still struggle to properly operate and safely clear a Tranter or an 1854 Collette without a bit of training first. We usually had people detailed, which was typically whoever had been ******* around most recently and needed bleeding thumbs to teach them not to do it again. They weren't really supervised either, as such, but then we could generally be trusted to count to 20 or 30 (SLRs or L85, respectively). Declarations were only after a shoot, as it was presumed you'd not brought anything with you, I suppose. Depending on who the RCO was, you either had "No live rounds, empty cases or misfires" in your possession, "Sir!"... or "No rockets in my pockets, no Wombats in my combats, no Shermulies in my goolies and no LAWs in my drawers..... sir!" In response to both quotes above - It was the general conversations from earlier on in the thread suggesting that actors should be conducting NSPs and opening weapons up to check their state, examine the ammo, etc... because it's something "18-year-old infantry soldiers with a reading age of 11 can do, yet you don't think highly paid movie actors should?". As I pointed out, Infantry soldiers train on modern weapons and usually only a few specific ones. Movie weapon companies often supply a far wider range of firearms, many of which require very different training and which is why you have an armourer to take care of those specifics. But if you're going to allow them to start checking their own weapons, even in addition to an armourer doing it, that then does make the actor responsible too... which is another reason for having an armourer. Actors can watch, for their own peace of mind, but allowing them to start messing with it interferes with the safety the armourer has just established. There are often (but not always, in the case of some historic weapons) prop weapons available that are either live weapons modified to only chamber blanks, or replica weapons that are only built to cycle blanks. In either case, a 'real' gun capable of discharging live ammo is not needed.