Sure. But there is a limit. Over the past weekend I was talking with a relative of mine who is an engineer, he suggested Harbor Freight’s Wheel Weights (about $10, picture courtesy of Harbor Freight). I thought this was a brilliant idea and started researching.
It’s still a great idea, but there is the problem if you want to fully weight your Drillmaster iDrill RifleTM: The stack of weights in the picture equals one pound. You’d have to purchase eight packs of these weights (over $80) and even though they have adhesive strips on the back, you would have to find a place to put all 96 pieces! Here are the concerns: 96 pieces takes up quite a bit of real estate on the outside of the rifle and would make it thicker. Boring into the rifle would work for a few weights here and there, but to space-out all 96 and try to achieve a good balance ratio, the structure of the rifle would become compromised and thus easier to break.
What does DrillMaster recommend?
If you want to add some weight, go get a package and play around with adding a pound or two. But I think that’s where you should stop. Adding any more weights would be detrimental to all of your hard work in creating the rifle.
Experiment with the rifle, add some weight or leave it like it is and then upload a video o YouTube with you spinning your very own Drillmaster iDrill RifleTM!
Why are this M1 Garand and M1903 wood rifle each called the DrillMaster iDrill RifleTM? Because “i” made it and that “i” belongs to you when you make it!
How to make your own practice rifle (M1 Garand or M1903) out of solid wood
I don’t recommend trying to make an M14 out of wood since much of the barrel of the rifle is exposed on the real thing; you just won’t be able to match that size and still have that part of the rifle be as strong as you need.
Either of these rifles are not intended to exactly match a fully weighted DrillAmerica, DrillMaster M14, Daisy Drill Rifle or demil. They are intended to help those who cannot afford their own rifle with which to practice. If you are creative, it may possible to bore a hole or holes in either rifle and fill it with some kind of material to weight it down. Whatever you choose, the rifle is yours!
Special note: The M1 pattern of the iDrill Rifle is a color guard/winter guard rifle. It’s just longer.
What you will need:
2” x 8” piece of wood: Yellow pine is the easiest to find, is sold in 8-foot lengths (you can make two rifles) and costs just under $5.
Permanent marker (one with a wide wedge-like tip would be best)
Circular or hand-held saw
Router with rounding tip (I used a 3/4″)**
*From the advice I was given at the local hardware store, a band saw will be the best option. Update: You can use a jigsaw with a long enough blade, but it will take much longer. I might just try this and see what works better.
**These items are not mandatory; however, they can help you greatly.
If you do not have access to a band saw and/or router, you are going to have quite a bit of work using the file and sand paper.
Lay and tape the pattern together. Don’t overlap the paper, put the papers together ed-to-end. Be careful to not have any wrinkles in the paper.
Carefully cut out the pattern.
Lay the pattern on the wood and pin it to the wood using thumb tacks or something similar. Tape can be used, but will get in the way when you start tracing. Again, be careful to not have any wrinkles in the paper and make sure you have the whole pattern on the wood.
Carefully trace around the image with the marker onto the wood. The arrows on the patterns are for the locations of the sling swivels (see the accessories link below).
Remove the pattern.
Repeat steps C, D and E for the other end of the 8-foot board.
Using the circular or hand-held saw, cut the board in half so that you can work with one rifle image at a time.
Use the ban saw to cut out the rifle. Try to leave about a 1/16th of an inch to sand away after using the band saw. Be careful to cut straight and slowly! If you make a mistake, you have the 1/16th of an inch to play with and you can sand-out the mistake. If you cannot sand-out the mistake, the routing portion of this project will not be as smooth.
After the rifle is completely cut out, sand down all of the cut edges using something like 60 or 80 grit sandpaper. The lower number of the grit, the rougher and faster the sanding. The higher the number, the smoother the sanding.
Note: whatever you do, don’t slam or tap the rifle on the ground! Doing so could chip off pieces of wood. See the pictures, I chipped two pieces off of the 1903- these can be wood glued back on, but I left them off and it doesn’t look good, but this is only cosmetic.
After you have sanded the rifle to your version of perfection, use the router to round the edges of the rifle, or, manually sand to round the edges which will take much longer.
Use sandpaper where needed to smooth the rifle.
Wipe the rifle down with a wet rag to remove all of the saw dust
Tape it (see How to Tape Your Rifle, below)
Spin and enjoy your new DrillMaster iDrill RifleTM!
FYI: the M1 Garand s just like a color guard rifle only much longer and does not have the cutaway to add in the plastic bolt (see the accessories link above). The pattern has the cutaway line if you want to use it. You can also do this for the 1903. You can modify these rifles however you want- they are yours!
iDrill RifleTM Creation Process Pictures (click on each picture to enlarge and see the pictures in sequence- some of the pictures have more detailed info for the creation process)
Cosmetic cotton rounds, cotton pads (not cotton ***), or even a feminine protection pad (yep, I used one on each and you can see it in one of the pics) or something to add as cushion on the *** and barrel ends of the rifle to help it keep from splitting.
Use the strapping tape to add support to the ends and the two stress points.
Tape on your padding for the ends. Make sure the padding is shaped to each end and does not overlap around an edge.
Starting at the *** of the rifle (see the pictures below), apply your tape and carefully wind it around until you reach the end- finished! Don’t “over tape” your rifle. You can add weight to different places depending on how much you add, but that also adds thickness.
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