Tag Archives: m1 garand

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┬áis 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


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

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DrillMaster Reviews the Glendale DrillAmerica M1 Garand with Angel Solis

Angel and I were together for this review after I brought him up to Kentucky to give my Cadet Joint Service Honor Guard Academy cadets a taste of what armed exhibition drill is all about.

The DrillAmerica M1 Garand and M1903 are the best ceremonial rifles you can buy especially since they come in chromed versions. For Drillers, no better beginning rifle and these rifles can last well into years of exhibition drill if the Driller does not desire switching to a demilitarized rifle.

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The DrillAmerica M1 Garand Replica Rifle Review

Angel Solis with The DrillMaster

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How to Sand Your Stock

How to Sand Your Stock

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This Sling is too Long!

Many ready-to-use slings that you will purchase are quite long and cannot be completely secured without using tape and the tape then makes that part of the sling sticky and other issues can arise from using tape on the sling. Here is an easy way to shorten a sling ensuring safe spinning without the sling flapping around.

solid_color_webbing slingsBefore I get into cutting and adjusting pre-sewn slings, you can also use the information below to cut and use your own slings that you can buy in 50-yard rolls (without metal attachments). This website has a great selection of colors for rifle web slings which can also be used as belts.

The standard nylon sling that comes with the Daisy Drill Rifle. The sling clasp is laying next to it:Sling Shortening

The same sling now with about 6 or 7 inches cut off the end. Now you can see the other piece of hardware, the sling retaining piece (that the sling is threaded through and then sewn down), from the cut off end. You can melt the end of nylon slings so that they will not fray. Don’t catch it on fire, just hold the flame near the end so that it slowly melts.

Sling Shortening

When cutting multiple slings, use the same sling as a measuring guide to cut the others or you will have small differences in sling lengths.

Sling Shortening

This picture is of the sling quick-change device that is always attached on the rifle’s bottom sling swivel. You can leave this hooked on the rifle, or remove it, your choice. Leaving it on gives you the ability to create sound.

Sling Shortening

Putting the sling back on the rifle. At the cut end, loop it through the sling retaining piece and through the lower sling swivel or the sling quick-change device.

Sling Shortening

Now, feed the cut end of the sling back through the sling retaining piece so that it protrudes about a half inch. Now, pull the slack of the sling through while holding onto the half inch of sling sticking out of the sling retaining piece. A standard for honor guards is to have the sling retaining piece centered on the small groove on the top of the rifle butt.

Sling Shortening Put the sling clasp back on the sling, pinch the sling at the sides to insert the sides of the sling underneath the pins of the sling clasp. You can put the clasp on the sling so that the solid piece faces the rifle or faces away from it (also see next picture). Thanks to Melbourne (FL) High School AFJROTC Cadet Vaughn for the use of his hands in this picture.


Sling Shortening

Feed the sling through the upper sling swivel so that it goes toward the rifle or away from it (this depends on the way you attached the clasp). If you need to perform Sling Arms (for JROTC colors competitions only), you will want to thread the clasp and sling like the picture below. You will want the sling to extend about 4 inches from the clasp.

Sling Shortening

For all other applications, a sling and clasp setup like this will work very well. Pull the sling tight and place the clasp as close to the end of the sling (with the metal tab) as possible.

Sling Shortening

The Stacking Swivel and Stack Arms

Many Drillers who are not aware of what the stacking swivel is and what it is used for assume it is another swivel for attaching a sling, especially since most slings purchased today are very unnecessarily long (if you cut about 6 inches off of the sewn end, it will fit just fine). Here is a typical example:

Even some staff members at Daisy are unaware of purpose of the stacking swivel (image courtesy Daisy.com).Daisy.com Drill Rifle Bad Sling Attachment_400x107

FYI: the nomenclature of a rifle:

M1 GarandThe M1 Garand Nomenclature

Stack ArmsThe Stacking Swivel
This part of the rifle was used constantly used when the rifles were first made (M1903 was made in 1903…). You don’t see it on modern rifles because their either too short (more mobility for the military), or if they are long (variants of the M1903 and M14 are still going strong today mainly as sniper rifles), their use is small in scope and not many rifles like them are issued in a units (unlike long ago, when everyone in the unit had the same rifle) making the stacking swivel useless (no other rifles to hang around with).

Stack Arms
Years ago (as far back as Colonial times and as recently as WWII, and currently, in some cases), Soldiers needed to be able to leave their rifles in a certain area without laying them down in the mud and water. The Army developed the command and procedure, Stack, ARMS. Like Sling Arms, the procedure is not meant to be executed sharply, in unison. Every three Soldiers would be a group to Stack Arms.

As you can see from the picture at left, the rifles form a tripod and thus stay out of the mud and grime. Stack Arms is an alternative to Ground Arms (not as sharp, though) for firing parties of certain funerals where the pall bearers also pull duty as firing party if necessary. The picture below shows how three rifles (Daisy Drill Rifle M1903 replica rifle) are put together for Stack Arms.

Stack Arms Closeup

Katelynthomasphotography.com Stack ArmsCivil War Era rifles at Stack Arms
Courtesy of Katelynthomasphotography.com

hardscrabblefarm.com stackarms_rs_f2Soldiers in Formation (WWII era?) with Rifle at Stack Arms
Courtesy hardscrabblefarm.com

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