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Exhibition Drill Equipment

Updated on July 16, 2014

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.

The M1903A3 with Bayonet
The M1903A3 with Bayonet

Demilitarized

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!

DrillMaster Says:

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 DrillAmerica® 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 DrillAmerica® 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:

A "Spraisy"
A "Spraisy"

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 Color
The Color

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 Guidon

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.

Saber and Sword Drill on YouTube

Please Leave a Comment

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    • The DrillMaster profile image
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      John K. Marshall 4 years ago from Florida

      @Mr Criminology: Thanks for the comment!

    • Mr Criminology profile image

      Bigwas 4 years ago from Philippines

      pretty nice drill rifle.In the Philippines, university ROTC uses wood rifle.

    • Mr Criminology profile image

      Bigwas 4 years ago from Philippines

      pretty nice drill rifle.In the Philippines, university ROTC uses wood rifle.

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 4 years ago from Florida

      I hope that in the future you will not spam this and other sites. Your product may be good, but you have turned me off from it. Please refrain from spamming.

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Hi Al,

      Thanks for the question. Since ROTC (college) and even Basic Training both use real rifles one would logically assume that OCS (Officer Candidate School) would use real rifles. All three need to qualify their trainees on the rifle (military branch depending).

      DrillMaster

      www.thedrillmaster.org

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I would like to know if the rifles used at NAVY OCS for drills are real or replicas of the M1 Garand rifle.

      Thanks,

      Al

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 4 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Hello Alexander,

      So, more research is required on your part! Go here and find out what rifles are available and where to buy them: http://www.thedrillmaster.org/2012/03/20/armed-dri...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I want to buy a rifle not read about it!

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 5 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Hello Trey,

      Thanks for the question. The weight for an M1 Garand or M1903 rifle is 8.5lbs. An M14 weighs in at just over 10lbs.

      You'll find what you need here: http://www.thedrillmaster.org/pssst-hey-buddy-wann...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      where can i get an average weight rifle for a good price?

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 5 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Hi Kris,

      Thank you very much for your comment!

      Lever action rifles would be difficult to use due to the lever being so prominent. M14s are currently used throughout the drill world. M16s are not as prevalent, but they are used with some college teams. My opinion on drilling with M16s is that this rifle is not at all ceremonial and is quite compact (compared to an M1903 or M14) and is not as easily manipulated as standard drill rifles which hinders a Driller's abilities readily to explore rifle movement. I don't recommend lever action or (semi) automatic rifles for drill.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi I've seen a few comments of people hating on the Long Beach Poly AJROTC Dark Knights drill team for using fake rifles, because they are white. As a knight myself, I'd like to clarify that the rifles we use are REAL. We use demilitarized M1903 with hard plastic stocks (for durability, but weighs the same as a standard, wood M1.) We paint the stocks white, but it blends well because we actually sand our stocks before painting for a better paint job. Because of the paint every rifle's weight is different varying from 8.5 to 10lbs.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was wondering about rifles involving a Lever Action like Henry Rifles or if M16 or even M14 rifles were allowed

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 5 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Terence,

      No! You came across just fine; as you reiterated: you were telling me about those who have a lack of understanding and are quick to judge without having understanding.

      Good luck to you, keep me posted through my web site on how your team is progressing.

      DrillMaster

      www.thedrillmaster.org

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @The DrillMaster: Sorry if I came or sounded ignorant or arrogant. I wasn't trying to be. I just wanted to let the haters know the rumors are false. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @The DrillMaster: Sorry if I came or sounded ignorant or arrogant. I wasn't trying to be. I just wanted to let the haters know the rumors are false. Thanks

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 5 years ago from Florida

      @anonymous: Hello Terence,

      Thanks for adding a comment!

      You won't get comments like that from me or on any of my web sites. Rifle type shouldn't matter, but ignorance and sometimes even arrogance interfere with one's judgement. You may like my blog post here: http://www.thedrillmaster.org/armed-driller-altern...

      DrillMaster

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Where can you get the Demilitarized rifle at

    • The DrillMaster profile image
      Author

      John K. Marshall 5 years ago from Florida

      @rainbowruffles: Thank you for your comments! I've been involved with (mostly judging/teaching) marching bands, drum corps and color guards/winter guards for many years. I'm glad you keep up with your spinning, good instructors are always hard to find. Take care!

    • rainbowruffles profile image

      rainbowruffles 5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading over your lens! I was never in ROTC but I was in the marching band as a color guard. I also taught it at a high school. I used the flag, the white rifle pictured above, and also the military saber. I still have them and keep them in my van for tossing around on nice days at the park. Good lens!

    • The DrillMaster profile image
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      John K. Marshall 6 years ago from Florida

      @moonlitta: Thank you very much. I'm glad you find it useful!

    • profile image

      moonlitta 6 years ago

      That's whole lots of interesting information!