- Education and Science
Exhibition Drill Equipment
Finally Answered: The Best Piece of Equipment to Drill With
It's totally up to you. No matter what rifle you choose, it will be the best one for you if you know how to use it to its maximum effect.
In this article we will look at rifles, swords, sabers, the guidon and even flags that are used in military drill.
This lens contains information from any one of the following books by John K. Marshall: Exhibition Drill For The Military Drill Team, Vol. I, Vol. II, The Honor Guard Manual, The World Drill Association Adjudication Manual or Continuing Education For The WDA Judge and is copyrighted material. When quoting anything written here, please give proper acknowledgement.
Sissy Colorguard Rifles
Actually, they're not
Yes, they are light. Yes, they require strength to use. As much strength as a demiled rifle? No. However, it does require an extraordinary amount of finesse and a certain amount of strength. Do you use one like it's a demiled rifle? Of course not!
Drill that includes this rifle MUST create opportunities that use the rifle's lighter weight to it's most effective. If you pretend to use this like an 8.5 lb. rifle, you will look absolutely ridiculous.
Real rifles that cannot work
Demiled rifles can be expensive. M1 Garands, M1903A3s and M14s can all be purchased after demilitarization. Please see Exhibition Drill for the Military Drill Team, Vol II for complete rifle ino.
Demiled 1903s can be difficult to come by and expensive to maintain since they are becoming more scarce. M1 Garands are relatively easy to obtain, although they can cost a few bucks. The 1903 seems to be the rifle of choice with world-class Drillers, but the M1 Garand comes in at a close second.
Not so prevalent in the USA, the Enfield (Lee-Enfield) rifle, was the weapon of choice for many countries from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s and is still used by some Drillers and teams around the world.
Weight: No, you're rifle does NOT weigh in excess of about 9 pounds. It doesn't. Period. Even if it was demiled by welding a metal rod into the barrel (which is a really, really poor way to demil a rifle for Drillers), which will add weight and completely screw up the rifle's center of balance, it will not weight much more than it's original weight. So, stop telling everyone your unit drills with 14-pound M1s!
Whatever you drill with, drill with pride, do your best and think outside the box!
Drill Rifles on Amazon.com - DrillAmerica rifles are tops for ceremonial work
Glendale's Parade Store is the best equipment outfitter for all cadet (JROTC, ROTC, Army cadets, Young Marines, Sea Cadets, Civil Air Patrol, etc.) and honor guard programs.
Using a Bayonet
Now we're talkin' REAL drill!
Some may think that stub drill (drill without a bayonet) is not the ultimate expression of (dare I say, real"?) rifle exhibition drill. This is purely an individual preference. No matter what you choose to drill with, do the best you can! Sure, there is an element of danger when drilling bladed, but a blade is not necessary to have an effective performance. Just like drilling with an 8.5 lb. rifle is not any more effective or "truer" than drilling with a lighter rifle.
- The M6 (6.625 in.) bayonet is made for the M14 rifle
- The M1905 (16 in.) is made for both the M1 Garand and the M1903 rifles
- The M1 (10 in., a shortened M1905) is made for both the M1 Garand and the M1903 rifles
- The M1 (10 in.) is made for both the M1 Garand and the M1903 rifles
- The M5 and M5A1 (6.625 in.) are made for the M1 Garand rifle
The DrillMaster offers the only 'safer' bayonet for Drillers! Check out the DrillMaster Bayonet.
Replicas: Glandale's DrillAmerica
Fake rifles with the look and feel of the real thing (mostly)
Thousands are using this practically indestructible rifle for drill teams, honor guards, and color guards, including active duty military personnel, reservists, veterans, cadets, law enforcement personnel, and firefighters.
-The first 8.5-pound center-balanced drill rifle in the U.S., the DrillAmericaÂ® is made of high-impact plastic with a wood-grain appearance and exterior chromed metal parts.
-Length is 43".
-It also comes with an available moving bolt to enable Inspection Arms.
-It has a trigger that "clicks" for effect.
-Each rifle has a reversible black rubber butt pad and a metal butt plate.
-There is no bayonet lug.
-This rifle is approved for all JROTC competitions as a demilitarized weapon.
-The DrillAmericaÂ® rifle does not come with a sling, but any Glendale web or leather sling can be used with it.
Overseas military honor guard units use this rifle since it is considered a "toy" and can be easily moved over borders.
Movies that have Real Drill Teams in them!
These are the movies of which I know have at least one segment that has a drill team performance in them. Texas A&M has their team in two of the movies. Do you know which two?
Replicas: The Daisy Drill Rifle
The only M1903A1 replica
The "A1" tag at the end of the name relates to the style of the stock.
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.
-The bolt is the only functioning part. Which is ideal for the "out-of-the-box" Driller.
Some drill videos
All over the web you can find videos. Here is a sample:
What's a "Spraisy"?
Springfiled + Daisy =
The Springfield M1903 is fairly expensive to buy and maintain. One can purchase a Daisy Drill Rifle and make many modifications to it (no, it will never be able to fire a bullet) including replacing the stock. A Springfield stock on a Daisy Drill Rifle has been nicknamed the "Spraisy."
The place to get many of the parts you will need for the modifications is Battlefield Relics. Click on the picture to see their web site.
The Military Sword
There are many type of swords, all have a straight blade; if you are in a specific military service, you must use your service's sword and no other.
The US Air Force Academy has a "saber drill team," but they don't spin sabers, they spin he USAF sword. There are also a small handful of teams across America that spin swords, especially in southern California.
DrillMaster Exhibition Drill Team Books on Amazon
The best manuals for drill teams to help you star on the right foot!
The Military Saber
It's "saber" not "sabre"! (unless you live in Europe)
A saber has a curved blade and is usually carried by commissioned officers in the military. The US does not have many (if any) saber teams that actually spin sabers. An armed platoon's commander can carry a saber while the platoon carried rifles.
The Spinnable Saber!
Marching band color guards strike again!
The "problem" with the two pieces of equipment above is that a few competitions do not allow spinning or, more precisely, the competitions do not allow the saber or sword to leave the hands. So, spinning is out in some cases.
This is the answer for a saber you can spin while it being completely safe! You cannot wear it since it does not come with a scabbard and will not fit into any kind of other scabbard, but this saber is worth checking into for the Driller or team that is willing to step into new territory.
The flagstaff for a guidon is 7-feet tall. When using a guidon in standard drill, it works perfectly. However, when it comes to exhibition drill, it can be a little cumbersome. This is why teams from Hawaii have been entering the Exhibition Drill phase with smaller, easier to spin, guidons.