Tag Archives: daisy drill rifle

The Ultra-Reinforced DrillMaster Bayonet

DrillMaster and Air Force Honor Guard Airmen
TSgt Carmen Hassell and the proud Airmen of the USAF Honor Guard Supply

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.

DrillMaster Ultra-Reinforced 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.

You can now benefit from these three months of work and information exchange between the USAF Honor Guard Drill Team and The DrillMaster. Click here to go to the DrillMaster Bayonet page.

*Patent pending


About Rifle Tape Design

Rifle Tape Design- Less is More

A friend of mine, Antonio Carreras, asked for some advice for his rifle tape design. This first picture is what he had accomplished:

Rifle Tape Design

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.

Rifle Tape Design

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.

Rifle Tape Design

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:

Tape a Rifle

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.

Omar's Rifles1 Omar's Rifles2 Omar's Rifles3 Omar's Rifles4 Omar's Rifles7 Omar's Rifles8 Omar's Rifles9 Omar's Rifles10 Omar's Rifles11 Omar's Rifles12

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You Don’t Really Need to Practice?

exhibition drill, drill team, drill 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.

exhibition drill, drill team, drill rifleAre 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.

exhibition drill, drill team, drill rifleHave 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.


exhibition drill, drill team, drill rifle

exhibition drill, armed drill, drill team, drill meet, drill competition, drill team training, bayonet, m1 garand, m1903, daisy drill rifle, glendale drillamerica

Which Drill Rifle is Better: Glendale or Daisy?

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 1903
The Daisy Drill Rifle M1903 Replica

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.

DrillAmerica M1903
The Glendale DrillAmerica M1903 Replica

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.

Assembling and Disassembling the Daisy Drill Rifle M1903 Replica

This is simply an excellent job. THe only thing I could suggest would be close up views at certain points in the video. Having said that, this is a must see video for all Daisy Drill Rifle owners!


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Painting a Daisy Drill Rifle

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

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!

If you have a demilitarized M1 Garand, M1903, DrillAmerica 1903 or a Daisy Drill Rifle, Numrich Gun Parts Corporation, Old Western Scrounger SARCO, Inc. (a direct SARCO link for a set of 1903 parts: E-SARCO), Liberty Tree Collectors and Battlefield Relics (BFR) are your best choices for parts.

“I need an upper band with a bayonet lug for a 1903!” OK, See this article.

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