It took three months to create the final version of the Ultra-Reinforced DrillMaster bayonet. The DrillMaster worked with the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team and Supply Airmen to create this extremely reinforced bayonet.
The picture below is the final version. extra spot welds and a small plate of steel to reinforce the handle. This DrillMaster Bayonet* is the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team’s new practice bayonet.
How it Began
An Airman on the current AFHG Drill Team, SrA Jason Black, contacted my about my bayonets since they do not have a sharp edge or point- a much safer alternative than what they use in performances. The issue was training new members of the team and having them more comfortable with not only spinning a rifle, but having a bayonet on the end.
The Welded DrillMaster Bayonet was the answer, or so we thought. That and two more versions broke after training with it for a while. They needed something extremely strong to take the rigors of a new drill team member constantly dropping the rifle without the constant breakage that the team experienced. SrA Gabriel Goldsborough and finally, A1C Johnathen Howard finished the whole process.
A friend of mine, Antonio Carreras, asked for some advice for his rifle tape design. This first picture is what he had accomplished:
In the picture above you can see black and red tape in horizontal stripes on a white stock (this is the Glendale DrillAmerica 1903 replica rifle- the only rifle available with a white, black or brown stock). This is a great color combination on a white background. Blue would also work well. A lighter color like yellow might work, but only if it has tape of a darker color on either side and even then it may not work all that well with the larger white background.
On with the critique of the picture above I wrote, consistency in tape design would work better. The red-in-black on white is very eye catching. A sling is a must- a sling completes the look of the rifle.
As you can see in the tape design in the first picture, the inconsistency of the design looks a bit confusing. While having the red-in-black in the middle of the rifle, one may be able to pick up either single color in a place here or there, but if it is too far away from the middle, the color use may be lost and look confusing.
For the second picture I suggested that Antonio may want to remove the tape at the upper sling swivel (less is more). But for him to see what it looks like when spinning, it may be too much color. The key here is seeing what the design looks like when spinning.
School Colors Many replica rifles come in black and this is the perfect palette on which to create a design. The Army JROTC unit that I’ve worked with on Merritt Island has school colors of gold and black. Yellow tape was perfect for the black Daisy Drill rifles that the male cadets use and the black DrillAmerica Parade Rifles (also available in brown and white) that the female cadets use.
A Spinning Design
Creating a design that looks different or actually reveals a recognizable image during spinning can be a challenge, but it has been accomplished! Eron “Spinsane” Fayson, I friend of mine for a number of years, created the design pictured below. The tape design on the rifle at the bottom of the picture reveals a the number “5” when the rifle is spinning fast enough.
When Eron developed this design and revealed it to the drill world we were all amazed at how the “5” appeared. It was a first back then, a few years ago, and now needs to be further explored. Notice how the tape is minimal (again, less is more) and works well.
Horizontal stripes all over the rifle don’t necessarily work all that well. Vertical stripes really don’t work at all unless they are strategically placed on the rifle and specifically part of a design. However…
Night drilling? Do I have an idea for you! A friend of mine works an odd schedule with school taking up most of his time, so he mostly works on his drill routine at night. But he has a black Daisy Drill Rifle. It’s difficult to see. Until now:
Besides the, uh, colorful background, the tape, as you can see, is quite eye-catching and Max, my friend who sent me this picture, really like the look as well as having it help him see the rifle in low light.
Experiment, find your design. Have fun!
Here are some wonderful designs submitted by Omar Zamora, a drill coach and exhibition Driller.
drill rifle, drillamerica, daisy drill rifle, parade rifle, 1903, tape a rifle, how to tape a rifle, taping a rifle
You don’t really need to practice! You will be able to throw a rifle around in just a matter of weeks, especially if you sleep with your drill rifle under your pillow.
OK, enough sarcasm, you need to practice. Every day. For a couple of hours at least and then wake up and do it again. World-class Driller Sam Gozo and I spoke a while ago about a question I received. The question was, “How did Sam Gozo get to be so good?” Years of practice. I knew and judged Sam while he was still in high school and he was very good then. Now, Sam’s work in the box is absolutely stunning at times. How did he get that way? Well, he practiced a little bit here and there and lamented that he was not better and by him being concerned that he was not better, he magically started to get better at drill. NOT! He practiced for countless hours over the last several years- and still practices! It takes time.
The cadets I work with at Merritt Island High School here in Florida here me say “One more time” at every practice and they know that it’s not going to be just that one more time. You need to do the same thing over and over and over and then do it again. Learn a new skill, perfect it and then move on to another skill.
Are you new to the military drill world? Learn how to stand at Attention, execute facing movements, the rest positions, saluting, static dress and cover, perfect them and then start marching. Learn columns, flanks, dress and cover while marching, perfect them and then pick up a rifle. Learn the basics: Port, shoulder, Present, Order, Sling, perfect them and move on. Learn the Port Spin, single-hand spins, the single toss, double, triple toss. Perfect each and move to the next exhibition/fancy drill move. Learn and perfect. Learn and perfect. The cycle never stops. Do you know why Adam Jeup is so good at performing individual moves? Practice, practice, practice. How did Matt Wendling do so well when he was in high school? Practice! These Drillers didn’t have their skills handed to them on a platter and that moment start drilling with an amazing style and perfect execution, they practiced for years.
Have you been practicing for a year or so and can’t seem to better yourself? It could be that you need to do more than just practice with a rifle. Weights and aerobic exercise will help with general health and will also help you improve your drill? Are you winded after one intense sequence in your routine and have to stop and rest? Start running and some other aerobic exercise- running through that same sequence back-to-back is also a good way to increase stamina. Do you have shaky muscles or does the rifle jolt your body around? Work your core muscles so that they are nothing but solid.
The point is that it takes months of unending practice; constant repetition and more practice. It is true for the armed or unarmed JROTC Driller or the Olympic athlete.
The DrillMaster Education and Training System: Drill Team Training- The DrillMaster: Filling in the Gaps
Knowledge is key: educate yourself!
Drill Team Training: Filling in the gaps for the Exhibition Drill books and the Honor Guard Manual. After publishing these books, questions arose that I answered and ideas came to me, all of which I wrote in articles on my website, thedrillmaster.org. This is a collection of all of those educational articles from 2012. Collected and published to help independent Drillers, drill teams and honor guard units who are seeking to constantly improve and increase their knowledge.
The DrillMaster Education and Training System: Drill Team Training- Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team, Vol II
The follow-up to Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team. Where the first book left off, Volume II gives you in-depth and broader information. Continue your education with the second book in the only series for drill team training.
A reader’s review: Exhibition Drill For The Military Drill Team, Vol II, is an excellent resource for those who have very little to no drill experience and yet still contains information for those experienced in drill. Volume II is written in an easy to understand style and is directed towards instructors and cadets. It contains all you ever wanted to know about drill and maybe more. One could actually build a team from scratch using Volumes I and II and be extremely competitive
The Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1: DRILL TEAM/DRILLER INFORMATION.. 9
The Professional Driller 9
Exhibition Drill: Building from the Foundation. 9
Things to consider for a performance: 10
Reporting-in or -out: 11
Speaking When Spoken To. 12
Uniform and Equipment How-To’s, Care and Maintenance. 13
But, how do I really make a routine?. 15
Performing to Music. 21
The Commander: Rifle or Sword/Saber?. 22
Offering Feedback. 22
Which Service Has The Best Drill Team? The Final Answer! 25
This article could be easily based on bias: Joes Rivas, the owner of Glendale Industries, is a friend of mine. I could say that his rifle is the best, but I won’t, I’m going to let you make the decision after listing the pros of each rifle:
The Daisy Drill Rifle has been around the longest, so Daisy goes first.
The Daisy Drill Rifle was the first M1903A3 replica to be mass produced on a very wide scale specifically for drill. It is a very durable toy rifle (yes, legally, it is nothing more than a toy). The Daisy has been replacing JROTC demilitarized rifles (M1, M14 & M1903) now for several years and cadets have been using it just as long with great benefits. The parts are even interchangeable with a real M1903 rifle. The stock comes in a black resin only. If you damage the stock, scars can be sanded and even filled-in. What’s not to like?
Well, here is a point to not like: rust. The Daisy’s metal parts are bare, just like a real rifle, and are subject to rusting. The schools I work with in Florida, store their rifles in rooms that are not air conditioned in the summer and that moisture builds up and rust is the outcome. You then have to disassemble the rifles, sand the rust and oil or paint the metal and then put it back together. The stock is also slippery. Tape is usually the workaround for this, but it’s still not the best surface for gripping if you don’t want to tape it.
The Glendale DrillAmerica M1903 Rifle
The newest addition (Aug 2012) to the replica industry, the DrillAmerica M1903, in many respects, is like the Daisy. Here are some differences: all of the metal parts are painted black (no rust!) or, and this is a huge plus, the rifle comes in chrome! The stock comes with a wood grain-like finish and, another big plus, the upper band comes with a bayonet lug! It is a truly beautiful piece of equipment. The stock is smooth, but not as slippery as the Daisy and easy to grip. What’s not to like with this rifle too?
Here’s something that may be not pleasing: the stock. If you damage the stock, you’ve just scarred the wood grain layer and that cannot be fixed to look the same. Of course, you can completely sand down the stock and paint it whatever color you wish (as you can with the Daisy). Some individuals think the DrillAmerica is the “wrong color.” UPDATE (June 1015): There are now three stock colors! and Glendale also has new stocks with reformulated resins to create a virtually unbreakable stock!
What’s DrillMaster’s choice? I own a Daisy Drill Rifle and I like it. It’s a good, solid rifle and I’ve been working on mine to make it black and gold and attach an upper band with a bayonet lug. I’m going to use it as my tinker rifle, since I cannot physically spin anymore. For the pluses listed above and the sheer beauty of the rifle, I’m going with the DrillAmerica M1903, of which I own three, as my choice for performances. I can attach a DrillMaster Bayonet to it right away. I’ll deal with the scarred stocks when they happen.
And, the DrillAmerica M1903 is $70 less in black and $130 less in chrome.
Well, I did it. I bought a used Daisy Drill Rifle and decided to see what it would be like to paint it. I wanted to go through the process, learn what to do and then share it here. Here we go!
If you have a new rifle, follow the directions below. If your rifle has a couple of dings, gouges or scratches, you can sand down the scratches and, if you want, you can fill in the gouges and even deep scratches with a sandable epoxy (do not use a regular epoxy, it has hundreds of little bubbles in it- I know…), let it dry and then sand it down ready for priming.
You must be patient during this process, it takes a couple of days at least!
Start by taking the rifle apart (you need a Philips screwdriver, Allen wrenches), wiping it down with a damp rag, letting it all dry and then spraying all of the pieces with primer. Spray one side and let the primer dry for an hour or so and then spray the other side. You must make sure that the primer is dry! The only way to paint the round swivel nuts was to put them on a pair of needle nose pliers(third picture)
Epoxy filled and sanded ready for primer:
The Upper hand guard of the rifle I purchased has a split in it and I decided I would try to epoxy it together and see if that would work- It didn’t. However, I did drill small holes into either side of the split, put epoxy along both sides of the split and put pieces of a paperclip in the holes for the epoxy to hold on to. It’s a fair job and suffices, but I really need to replace this piece. Here is a picture of the holes I drilled.
The epoxied pieces and the epoxy filler for the gouges. The upper hand guard pieces are already painted because I tested the paint I wanted to use on them.
Here is the end result after putting the rifle back together, not the most desirable look, but it was worth testing.
After one coat of primer, wipe down with a damp rag and start painting. I decided to paint everything on my rifle and use a black and gold color theme: all the metal pieces gold and all of the resin pieces (the stock) glossy black (I used Krylon Fusion For Plastic). I also painted all of the metal pieces, even the parts that do not show, to prevent rust.
In the picture below, you can also see a flagstaff ferrule (the bottom piece of a flagstaff) that I painted silver toward the bottom of the picture. I’m trying to figure the best way to paint silver pieces to avoid the high costs of re-plating scratched chromed metal pieces. All post an article on that soon.
A note on a top coating: I tried a clear gloss (Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch), but would recommend what Driller Sam Gozo uses: several coats of polyurethane to make incidental dings as unnoticeable as possible.
OK, the metal parts are all painted and one thing I discovered is that the upper and lower retaining bands, where the sling and stacking swivels are attached, should not be painted at the bolt holes so that you can reattach the swivel pieces. Use painter’s tape on the butt plate to not paint the bottom. You can paint the bottom black.
For the Retaining Bands, don’t paint the area indicated in the circle since, as you can see it chips off anyway.
I let all of the pieces sit overnight between coatings of paint and clear gloss so it took a few days to get everything painted and dried and then coated and dried and then put back together.
When you put the rifle back together, be careful so as not to remove the paint on the stock!
Pieces Parts: M1, M1903 and M14 Drill Rifle, DrillAmerica, Daisy Drill Rifle parts
This is Drill Life: rifles break or lose a ***. Where does a Driller go to find parts for his/her rifle? Need a *** plate for your M1? An upper band with a bayonet lug for your Daisy Drill Rifle? Look no further!
How to buy a demilitarized Rifle It’s relatively easy to purchase a demilitarized (demil’d) rifle from the the companies below. If you already have a Federal Firearms License (FFL), then you can order the rifle straight from the company. If you do not have an FFL, you can go to your local gun dealer and explain the situation to them, they will give you paperwork and you will pay a fee to have the rifle delivered to the dealer (who has an FFL) who will then give the rifle to you.
Replica rifles that are not created specifically for spinning/drill, could be a hazard waiting to happen. Real rifles are made from steel and wood, plastic or a resin composite. Theatrical replica rifles are usually not made from steel, but from zinc or another cheaper, softer metal that MAY NOT hold up to slams and the rough use that happens with exhibition drill. An example of this type of rifle is here: http://replicaweaponry.com/ and hwww.collectorsarmoury.com/. Denix of Spain is one of the theatrical replica rifle makers. They are great to look at, but exhibition drill is almost impossible since the wood and metal are weak.
Training Rifles (Red/Blue Guns)
Thanks to Matt Rogers for this info:
1903 Springfield 03A3 (Approx 8.5lbs.)
Old Western Scrounger Price 199.95 WWII 1903-A3 Military drill Rifle – NO FFL OR NICS NEEDED! These U.S. surplus 1903-A3 drill rifles are all complete, all original parts with original finish with rare Navy issue wood grain synthetic stocks. These guns have their barrels plugged and welded, boltface and cutoffs welded as well and the lower chambers removed to render them permanently deactivated so they can be sold WITHOUT AN FFL OR NICS CHECK! Both the complete rear sight and front sight blade has been removed by the government to ensure they do not cut the hands during the manual of military arms.
Picture: OWS 1903
From the outside you cannot tell these rifles have been changed except for the weld spot on the cut off. These rifles are perfect for a gun room display, reenactors, enhancements for your military vehicle, or just WWI or WWII nostalgia. A perfect gift for a youngster who is not old enough to have a firing military rifle. All parts function and click perfectly except the bolt stop.
1903 Springfields will be Springfield Armory or Rock Island Armory. 1903A3’s will be Remington or Smith Corona. You may choose and we will ship that model if available at no extra charge – however this is not guaranteed.
Not for Sale to Puerto Rico, NY, MN, WI, KS, CT, MA, or CA Sarco 1903A3
Daisy Model 1903 Drill Rifle Replica (Approx. 8.5lbs.)
At first glance, the Daisy drill rifle looks like a fully functional 1903-A1 Springfield rifle with a black synthyetic stock. But the only feature this rifle shares with a firearm is the opening bolt. The design and durable steel components and synthetic stock make this drill rifle capable of withstanding the abuse that is inherent in drill team use. (Approx 100-150$ more, A Chromed Version can be Purchased.)
Picture: Daisy 1903 Replica (Black)
To ORDER Contact Daisy at:
Daisy Outdoor Products
P.O. Box 220
72757-0220 Or Order Over Phone: (800) 643-3458
Demilitarized M1 Garands
BattleField Relics Price 450$(Standard Bluing) 550$ (Fully Chromed)
With functional bolt, trigger, safety and cut-off. Available in wood or synthetic stocks or hand guards.
Savannah, GA 31402-0306
By law, the CMP can sell surplus military firearms, ammunition, parts and other items only to members of CMP affiliated clubs who are also U.S. citizens, over 18 years of age and who are legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
If you have any difficulty in locating a club, please contact the CMP at 256-835-8455 or by emailing CMP Customer Service. We will find one for you. In addition to shooting clubs, the CMP also has several special affiliates. Membership in these organizations satisfies our requirement for purchase.
Fits the description of our Rack Grade with the additions of: gas cylinder lock *** is welded to lock and gas cylinder, barrel is drilled, plugged and welded at chamber mouth. Barrel is welded to the receiver, firing pin hole is welded closed on bolt face. Rifle wear will be exhibited by worn and mixed colors of the finish; there may be some pitting on the metal parts; wood will be basically sound but may be well used with minor hairline cracks, poor fit, and many dings, scratches and gouges; wood may not match in color, type of wood or condition. Wood may be Walnut, Birch, Beech or other variety.
The DrillAmerica® rifle is the only available weapon of its type, weight, and balance for parades, drill, and competitions. Thousands of individuals are using this rifle for drill teams, honor guards, color guards – active duty military personnel, reservists, veterans, cadets, law enforcement personnel and firefighters.
•It is the first 8.5-pound balanced drill rifle in the United States.
•Length is 43”.
•The DrillAmerica® rifle is made of high-impact plastic with a wood-grain appearance and exterior chromed metal parts.
•The basic rifle has a one-piece bolt with no moving parts and a trigger that “clicks” for effect.
•An interchangeable moving bolt or a safety bolt without a handle may be purchased separately.
•All bolts can be engraved at $15 each – 24 characters maximum.
•Each rifle has a reversible black rubber pad and a metal plate.
•There is no bayonet lug.