A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 25

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There are a variety of drill and training rifles being produced today. Most of them have very high detail due to modern production techniques relating to the injection molding of plastic materials.

There is a category called Airsoft Guns. The sport of Airsoft started in Japan in the 1980’s. In Japan it was illegal to own firearms but there was considerable interest in them, so a company started producing spring-powered replicas of firearms that fired 6mm plastic balls. Since that time the Airsoft sport has become popular all over the world. These Airsoft guns are very highly detailed and can cost over a thousand dollars. Although many of these Airsoft guns could be used for training purposes, they fall outside the scope of this study due the fact that they fire a projectile.

Currently there are a number of retail outlets selling non-firing replica firearms. These plastic replicas range from the flintlock era to modern firearms. They are being used in movies, TV and theater productions. There is also some small interest by collectors of specific firearm models. There is no evidence that they are being used for drill or training purposes and therefore are not included in this study.

Parris – 30 The Parris Manufacturing Co. is still producing a drill rifle constructed from wood and metal. These rifles are covered in detail in another section of this study.

DrillAmerica M1 Garand Replica

This drill rifle is manufactured and sold by Glendale Industries. They are located in Northvale, NJ and sell a broad line of parade items. Their web site is www.ParadeStore.com. They have been very generous in sharing information and a quality photograph of the Garand Replica. Their M1 Garand is the only replica drill rifle that is accurately detailed and also weighted to provide the same handling characteristics as the original rifle. Most other drill rifles are much lighter in weight, which greatly changes their handling characteristics. The production of this drill rifle grew out of an expressed need for a high quality Drill or Parade rifle. The first version of this rifle was introduced in 2002 and since that time has been improved based on customers’ suggestions. It is made of a high-impact plastic and can be purchased with either a fixed or a movable bolt mechanism. The parts that replicate the metal parts on the original rifle have the appearance of being chrome plated. Another notable feature of this rifle is that the metal butt plate and the soft rubber pad are reversible for use indoors or outdoors. The rubber butt pad was designed specifically for use on school gym floors to prevent damage. Glendale Industries is the sole distributor of this high quality replica of the M1 Garand. At this time they are producing about 5000 units a year.

Mark 1 Parade rifle

The Mark 1 parade rifle is advertised as a modified version of the Springfield rifle. However, the stock profile and bolt handle shape have the same appearance as the Pattern 17 Enfield rifle. It is only 39 inches long as compared to the 43″ length of the Springfield or the 46″ length of the Enfield. It is made of polystyrene and weighs 3.25 pounds. It can be purchased with a white, brown or black colored stock. The parts that replicate the metal parts on the original rifle have the appearance of being chrome plated. The Mark 1 has no sights or moving parts. It is sold by several retail outlets dealing in parade items.

Red Guns

Red Guns are new category. These are sometimes referred to as “rubber guns” but they are made from various plastic materials. This category include examples of pistols, rifles and shotguns. For the purposes of this study I will only be dealing with rifles. They are such close replicas that they could be easily mistaken for real firearms. To prevent this from happening they are dyed a bright red or blue color. An Australian firm is distributing similar replicas in black color that are nearly impossible to tell from the original firearm. It is uncertain if these would be legal in the United States. The Red Guns are being used for training purposes by the military, ROTC units and Law Enforcement agencies. They offer the same handling characteristics as the real firearm at a small fraction of the cost.

Armament Systems and Procedures, Inc. (ASP, Inc.) is a company that was founded in 1976 by Kevin Thomas Parsons. They are located in Appleton, Wisconsin and produce a wide variety of police and personal defense items as well as the Red and Blue plastic training rifles. These plastic training rifles are made of a patented solid silicon-epoxy resin and have no moving parts. A number of retail outlets are selling Red Guns but it appears that ASP produces all of the Red and Blue Training Rifles. Currently ASP is producing the following training rifle models.

From the paper, Non-Firing Drill and Training Rifles, by By Malcolm MacPherson

The next installment: The last one, Current Production, Continued

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