A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 14

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In an advertisement from 1918 the In-Vu Mfg. Co. address is listed as 8 Lehigh Ave. Geneva, N.Y. It should be noted that Lehigh Ave. was renamed Lehigh Street in the 1930’s to be consistent with the orientation of streets and avenues in Geneva. During WWI this area was on the northern edge of the City of Geneva and was comprised of warehouse type buildings. None of the Business Directories for that period list the In-Vu Mfg. Co. This would indicate that they were being manufactured by some other company. The Assessor’s Office in Geneva has indicated that in the early 1920’s the property at 8 Lehigh Ave was owned by the Torrey Park Lumber Company. This company is listed in the Geneva Business Directory from 1901 through 1910. In 1901 they are listed as ”Dealers in Lumber, Lath, Shingles, Sash, Doors, Blinds, Wall Plaster”. This would be an indication that they must have had a production facility as well as a lumber yard. The 1905-6 directory lists the Torrey Park Lumber Yard address as “North Genesee Street near the L V R crossing”. The letters stand for the Leigh Valley Railroad. The rail line crossed North Genesee Street just south of Avenue D, which places the Torrey Park Lumber Yard less than a block away from 8 Lehigh Ave. The 1907-8 directory also lists the Torrey Park Lumber Co. at this location. In 1909-10 Torrey Park Lumber Co. had no special advertisement but were listed as one of three lumber yards in the area. It is interesting to note that a Eugene Cuddeback is listed as manager of both the Torrey Park and Rogers Lumber Companies at this time. They were not listed in the Geneva Business directory between 1910 and the early 1920’s, but there is evidence that they remained in business during this period.

Although there is no positive documentation, it seems highly probable that the Torrey Park Lumber Company was associated with the In-Vu Manufacturing Co. Due to the proximity of the two locations it is possible that the In-Vu name was derived from the fact that the two buildings were in view of each other. I suspect that the Torrey Park Lumber Co. supplied the lumber for the wood rifles and that they were produced in their warehouse facility at 8 Lehigh Ave.

In a 1918 advertisement they indicate that 60,000 of their Drill Rifles were in use. They advertised widely during 1917-18 and this combined with their low cost makes the 60,000 figure seem reasonable. There is no evidence that they had any military contracts for these wooden rifles, although their advertisements do imply that the Ordnance Chief of the US War Department endorsed them. There are no markings on these drill rifles to indicate the manufacturer or the number produced and they have no moving parts. I find their description of their training rifles to be an exaggeration at best. They have the same general profile of the 1903 Springfield but are Non-Firing Drill & much thinner and lighter in weight. They are considerably short of being an exact copy of the 1903 Springfield, as stated in their advertisements. Their primary assets were that they were durable and very inexpensive. With WWI ending, I suspect that demand dropped to the point that it was no longer profitable to produce these drill rifles. They probably stopped production by 1920 but they may have continued to sell their remaining stock until the supply was depleted.

The earliest advertisement that has been located was in the June 30 issue of the Literary Digest. In this advertisement the list 5 different styles. The No. 100, 75, and 50 styles were all of the 1903 pattern. The No. 25 Boy Scout and the No. 10 Young American basically simplified toys. It should be noted that later in 1917 their advertisements did not list these “toys”. I suspect that there was not sufficient demand for these items to warrant the cost of their production. Later in 1917 they introduced a different No. 25 style that was a shortened version of the 1903 Springfield pattern. The full size No. 100 was 43″ long while the new No 25 “Rookie” was only 38″ long. The Rookie style had a similar stock profile to the No. 100 but had no round wooden dowel for a barrel. The No. 75 and No. 50 were the same size and shape as the No. 100 but had fewer accessories. The Lee Enfield pattern was not listed in their advertisements prior to 1918. Therefore, the majority of their production would have been of the 1903 Springfield pattern. The stocks appear to have been made from a soft wood and stained to look like walnut. The wood was probably harvested locally. All of the models had a similar profile and thickness. The No. 150, 100, 75, and 50 had a short wooden dowel that was inserted into the front of the forarm for a barrel. The No. 25 “Rookie” was the lowest grade and had no barrel or swivels.

The following advertisement was found in the Literary Digest dated June 30, 1917.

The following advertisement is undated but was found in a 1918 periodical.

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

The next installment: Carson Long Military Institute

A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 13

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INDIANA QUARTERED OAK CO. – Military Drill Rifle

This drill rifle was made in un-weighted and weighted models. Both of these had the same external appearance. The rifle illustrated above is the weighted model. To bring the weight up to 8 ½ lb. a 1″ diameter steel rod 8″ long was inserted in the action area and a 3″ piece was inserted into the butt stock. These holes were then plugged with a short wooden dowel. The barrel on both models was a 5″ length of 5/8″ diameter steel rod. The added weights gave their rifle the same weight and balance as the 1903 Springfield rifle.

The advertisement below shows a rifle with a sling attached although no sling is specified in the list of included items. I suspect that you were required to provide your own sling if one was needed.

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

The next installment: In-VU Wood Rifle

Does Drill Team Style Matter to Win?

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Q: I am the coach of a High school in MA and former captain of the armed drill team. Northeast drill seems to vary drastically from other parts of the country. We are a bit slower with more emphasis on military bearing, style and flavor, than much of the speedy Texas style drilling. Is this us not being with the times, or is our style still legitimate?

A: Thanks for the post and thanks for working with your team.

Never judge your own performance by what someone else or another team does.Competition is about being the best you can be with what God gave you to work with. It’s not about Team ABC being better than Team XYZ. Sure, having a trophy is nice, but if that is all you shoot for, then what happens when the celebrations are over? Nothing. You have to do it all over again and it’s not worth all of the effort for a piece of plastic, metal or stone. It is worth the effort to feel that sense of accomplishment; pride in a job well done and if you are on a team, what a sense of teamwork! What if you don’t feel it? Then something needs adjusting and that needs to be figured out to move on and progress.

Give some thought to this scenario: Team ABC and Team XYZ finish a big competition and come in 1st and 2nd, respectively, and also come very close in points. However, if the competition had been an hour later or a day earlier, the placements could have been reversed. Do you see that what our society calls “winning” is actually empty? “Winning” is really about the great feeling you get coming in 5th place and having the best performance you ever had in your life and being happy for all of the other teams around you!

Having said that, there is always room for improvement in all kinds of areas for drill teams and individual Drillers. Styles can be mixed or one can stick to a single style like glue. The choice is yours.

As for judging, the World Drill Association Adjudication System does not take style into account. What matters is effectiveness, communication, clarity, entertainment, plus so much more in each visual caption. (See: http://drillmaster.wpengine.com/professional-judges-for-the-military-drill-world-now/.)

One more thing: Nationals is not the be-all and end-all of military drill. You and your team should do their best when creating, practicing and performing the routine. Educated Drillers, instructors and coaches are the makings of routines with great effect, vocabulary and overall entertainment.

Check out www.thedrillmaster.org to begin more in-depth learning regarding military drill.

America’s Got Talent and New Guard America

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Before New Guard America was officially dissolved (it has now been resurrected, but all of the members are not returning), it took part in a great adventure competing for a spot on, and hopefully winning: the America’s Got Talent TV program. Winning was not to be. However, with NGA making it to the small screen, millions of people will now be introduced to, not only armed, but bladed exhibition drill. This is a huge plus for the military drill world.

Even with Howard Stern, one of the AGT judges, calling NGA, “Glorified baton twirlers,” the team members did an outstanding job- even if there were some problems. Watch this ground-breaking performance this Monday, 28 May, 2012. If you miss it, I’m sure the dedicated fans of exhibition drill will record it and upload it to video channels everywhere!


See the show here. NGA is on for 4 seconds from 30:08 to 30:13.



Update: Monday’s show did not have NGA. Teusday’s AGT show will apparently have more from the Tampa, FL auditions.

Update 2: I give up. At one point NGA was told by one of the AGT staff that the team’s performance would not “translate well” to the American audience and so they were cut. I don’t know what that means, but it seems that exhibition drill is not yet ready to be given a wider audience. We will al keep plugging along and progressing drill to work toward the day when XD will “translate well.”

Update 3: Finally. Jun 12th saw New Guard America on America’s Got Talent. For three seconds. Literally. It’s better than nothing, but I know Drillers want more. That will come in time and not by someone who is going to throw something together tomorrow. Patience, Grasshopper.

For this photo, Summer Ryan, former Madame Commander of the NGA, said that AGT judge Sharon Osbourne, said that Summer was “Voguing.” :-)

Update 4: Well, this coming Monday, 25 Jun 12, is going to be the episode to watch according to Constantine Wilson, head of New Guard America.

Finally! After weeks of waiting, here it is! Here is the NBC Web site Video!

NGA Official site videos

A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 12

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The “HAUBERT, H.” – Dummy Training Rifle

This training rifle is somewhat of an anomaly. The butt plate is marked as follows:


It appears to be identical to the Model B-M-30 “Senior Drill Team” Trainerifle that was produced by the Parris Mfg. Co. following WWII. Due to the fact that there is a fixed rear sight this rifle was probably made about 1960. This “training rifle” is certainly a drill rifle. It would be interesting to know who Haubert, H. was and what connection he had with the Parris Mfg. Co. It seems likely that Haubert purchased a small quantity of these drill rifles from the Parris Mfg. Co. and had his name stamped on the butt plate.

US NAVY TRAINING RIFLE – Model 1903-A3 Springfield

The following images are from “The Springfield 1903 Rifles” by William Brophy.


This training rifle was made by the Detroit Composition Company. Nothing is known about the company at this time. It is patterned after the 1903 Springfield rifle. It weighs 6 1/4 lbs and is 43 ½ inches long. This is slightly lighter in weight but very close to the Springfield dimensions. This is one of the better reproductions of 1903 Springfield rifle. The barrel muzzle, front barrel band, and front sight are made in one piece out of cast iron. This casting also has a stacking swivel and a bayonet lug. The receiver, rear barrel extension, and the rear sight base are also cast as one piece. There is no barrel section running through the stock. The trigger guard is formed from a steel strip. It has a functional bolt with an operational safety. The bolt handle, safety, and cockling knob are made of cast iron. The bolt body is a steel shaft. When the bolt is operated, it cocks the striker and the trigger will release the striker shaft when the safety is released. There is no cartridge chamber or firing pin. The rear sight has a functional slide. The butt plate is also made of cast iron and has the name and address cast in place. The stock is made of walnut and very well shaped and finished. There are no serial numbers or markings on any part of the rifle other than the butt plate. It was originally purchased from a man who stated that it was made early in the 1900’s for the Detroit Armory. I would speculate that they were made between 1915 and 1920. It seems probable that a relatively small number of these training rifles were made at the start of WWI and used by trainees at the Detroit Armory. To date, no advertisements or contracts have surfaced for these training rifles.

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

The next installment: Indiana Quartered Oak Company

Why “Equipment”

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Why do I use the term “equipment” and not just say “rifle”? Good question; here’s the answer.

When I was writing my second book, The World Drill Association Adjudication Manual and Rule Book, I quickly found that I had a slight dilemma. When I came to write the section for the judge who judges armed routines, I realized that I could not just label this caption “rifle” and have it apply to all types of teams. Not all teams are armed with rifles, some carry swords or sabers or even flags. Also, what about a team that is armed with rifles, but the commander carries a sword/saber? What about the guidon? “Equipment” fit perfectly.


For ProAm, Constantine Wilson and I decided to label the Equipment score sheet with “Rifle” since that is what the Pro America Drill Meet is all about: rifle exhibition drill.

Other competitions

Any competition that uses the WDA adjudication system has five judges:

  1. Overall Effect
  2. Composition Analysis
  3. Movement
  4. Equipment
  5. Timing and Penalties


The Drill Meet

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drill meet, drill competitionWhat is a Drill Meet?

In America, the drill meet, after putting in hours of hard work designing, choreographing, practicing, rewriting and practicing some more, is a competition for drill teams, Drillers and color teams (NOTE: military-based: “color team;” music-based: “color guard“). The organizations that compete are each services’ Jr., high school, and Sr., college, Reserve Officer Training Corps, Army Cadets, Young Marines, Sea Cadets, Civil Air Patrol, private schools and academies and also independent Drillers and teams.

What are the Competitive Phases of a Meet?

Armed, unarmed, colors, inspection, regulation and exhibition. Solo, tandem, tetrad, squad and platoon. Here is the breakdown:

There are two divisions for competitions: armed and unarmed. Armed teams carry some type of equipment:

  • Rifle (M1 Garand, M14, M1903 or equivalent)
  • Swords/sabers
  • Flags
  • Teams can also march a guidon who carries the standard or a modified guidon

Unarmed teams do not carry a piece of equipment, but can have a guidon.

A typical drill meet has the following phases for platoons/flights in both divisions:

  1. Inspection (IN): a platoon/flight goes through a rigorous inspection.
  2. Regulation Drill (RD): a platoon/flight march within a marked-off area of 50′ x 50′ using all of the commands from their service’s drill and ceremonies manual. Timed.
  3. Exhibition Drill (XD): a platoon’s/flight’s drill routine marched within a marked-off area of 50′ x 50′ using the Drillers’ imagination. Timed.

These phases are the minimum in which a team must compete to be eligible for the overall trophy. Usually, first, second and third place trophies are awarded in each phase for each division.

Other regulation-type phases:

  • Color Guard (CG): a team of four march within a marked-off area of 30′ x 30′ following a set list of commands. Timed.
  • Posting Colors: a team of four march within a marked-off area to post the colors.
  • Open Color Guard(c): a team of four march within a marked-off area of 30′ x 30′ using all of the commands, in any order, for colors. Timed.
  • Open Regulation Drill(c): a platoon/flight march within a marked-off area of 50′ x 50′ using all of the commands from their service’s drill and ceremonies manual, in any order. Timed.
  • Casket Watch*: a team of at least four (usually five), post two watches for a mock casket watch.
  • Mock Funeral*: a mock full honors funeral (Pall Bearers, Firing Party, Colors and bugler)
  • Two-Man Flag Fold*: a team of two or three enter, fold the flag and present it to the mock next of kin (NOK)
  • Six-Man Flag Fold*: a team of six or seven enter, fold the flag and present it to the mock next of kin (NOK)
  • WDA Ultimate Inspection(c): a single member from a drill team inspected inside and out, top to bottom.

*These phases are incorporated into the drill meet when honor guards (military, police, fire, EMS, veteran organizations, etc.) are involved.

Other exhibition phases:

  • Solo: a single Driller’s drill routine marched within a marked-off area of 30′ x 30′ using the Driller’s imagination. Timed.
  • Tandem: Two Drillers’ drill routine marched within a marked-off area of 30′ x 30′ using the Drillers’ imagination. Timed.
  • Tetrad: a drill routine consisting of four or five Drillers (the fifth is the commander) marched within a marked-off area of 30′ x 30′ using the Drillers’ imagination. Timed.

For more information about drill meets, please see The WDA Adjudication Manual. See also how to judge military drill.

The Manual of the Firefighter’s Ceremonial Pike Pole

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The Manual of the Firefighter’s Ceremonial Pike Pole

What about the manual of arms for the Firefighter’s Ceremonial Pike Pole? I have the solution! For my fifth book for the military drill world, The Honor Guard Manual, I developed a manual for manipulating the firefighter’s ceremonial pike pole that mimics the manual of arms for the honor guard.

What I have done is to try to match, as closely as possible, the honor guard manual of arms for the rifle and present a standard that everyone can use regardless of where they are or the size of their team.

Here is a sample of going from Order Arms/Attention to Present Arms and then Present Arms back to Order Arms/Attention:

Pike Pole Order Arms/Attention to Present Arms

These movements mimic the ceremonial manual for the rifle for color guard, which tends to be a bit complex for those unable to put in consistent practice. A simpler version is relatively easy to create by skipping steps 3 ad 5 here, for example.

A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 11

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The Daisy Museum in Rogers, Arkansas was helpful in providing information on the Sport Trainer. Daisy introduced a line of sport trainers in April 1966 and produced them through 1969. There were five lever action models ( 626, 630, 631, 632 and 633). The 634 was a bolt action model and the largest of the line at 33 1/2”. This line was designed to compete for a market share with the Parris Mfg. Co. The Model 634 retailed at about $4.00. The design of the Model 634 is similar in many ways to the Parris Mfg. Co. TraineRifle models, although most of the parts are a slightly different shape. The short sheet metal barrel and the bayonet lug are nearly identical in shape and location to the Parris models. There is a short cartridge that retracts into the bolt face when the bolt is closed that is similar in principle to the Parris models. The model 634 uses two metal clips on the bolt face to retain the cartridge instead of a screw through the side of the bolt on the Parris models. It is uncertain which company first started using the retracting cartridge. The early Parris Mfg. Co. TraineRifles did not have this feature and it is uncertain when this practice started, as the early production information has been lost. The Parris Mfg. Co. was producing their TraineRifle models in the early 1950’s, which is well before the start of the Daisy production.

There are two features on the Daisy 634 that are significantly different from the Parris models. The base of the bolt handle guides the bolt in the receiver and becomes the locking mechanism when the bolt is rotated closed. This approach is more like a modern bolt action rifle. The butt stock has a pistol grip which also makes it look more like a modern rifle. It is uncertain if Daisy or Parris produced the metal parts that were used on their trainers or got them from a sub contractor. Due to the similarity of many of the parts, it is possible that both companies purchased the metal parts from a third party. I suspect that both companies produced the wooden stocks for their toy rifles and assembled them in their respective factories. The side of the receiver is marked:


There is a round paper label on the right side of the butt stock that is marked:


The model 634 was equipped with a rubber bayonet. It has been verified that Daisy purchased these from another company. The design of the bayonet mounting lug is identical on the Daisy and Parris rifles that were produced in the 1960’s. The early Parris TraineRifles had the bayonet lug mounted on the barrel rather than being inserted into the end of the forearm. The grip design of both bayonets are nearly identical. The Daisy bayonet is the same length as the Parris bayonet but the blade is double edged. I suspect that both Daisy and Parris Mfg. Co. contracted with the same firm to supply their bayonets. The following pictures clearly show the shape and marking of the Daisy bayonet.

Next installment: Haubert, H. Dummy Training Rife

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

A History of Drill and Training Rifles Part 10

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Rubber Bayonets and Kadets of America

Rubber Bayonets

I have spent considerable time and have made many contacts in the toy field and have found no definitive information relating to the production of rubber bayonets that were used on the Parris Mfg. Co TraineRifle and Daisy Sport Trainer. The Daisy Sport Trainer Model 634 was produced from 1966 through 1969 and all of this production had a bayonet lug on the fore arm and carried a rubber bayonet. The first illustration of the Parris Mfg. Co. rubber bayonet appears in their 1954 catalog. It is shown as a separate item but indicates that it can be attached to the #4, #2A and MO-1 TraineRifles, which were all lever action cork guns. All models that were later offered with a bayonet attached carried a B prefix (B-MO-1). There is no mention of the Model 23 or 30 bolt action TraineRifles in the 1954 catalog. In their 1956 catalog both of these bolt action models were offered with a bayonet attached. It is unknown when the Parris Mfg. Co. stopped providing a bayonet with their toy rifles. It seems likely that production stopped about the time of the Vietnam War in the early 1970’s.

During the 1960’s most of the companies that had been producing rubber toys had converted to the use of vinyl materials rather than rubber. This presents a problem as the bayonets are clearly made of rubber and this material is identified in some of the advertisements. There were several companies that had produced rubber toys prior to WWII that stopped producing any toys by the early 1950’s. It appears that the Auburn Rubber Co. which was located in Auburn, Indiana, is the only company that continued producing rubber toys into the time period in question. It is known that they produced toy rubber knives. However, there is no record that they produced any rubber bayonets. Unfortunately, there are no identifying marks on either the Parris or Daisy rubber bayonets. The Auburn Rubber Co. began utilizing vinyl material about 1954 and by 1957 was
primarily using this material for their toy production. Although this would have been very late in their production of rubber toys, I believe that there is a high degree of probability that both of these bayonets were produced by the Auburn Rubber Co.

It is hoped that additional information or advertisements will be discovered that will confirm this suspicion. In recent years, Parris Mfg. Co. has only produced a Kadet model (29-1/2” long) and a slightly shorter version of the M-30 model that is 42″ long. This model has less detail than the earlier M-30 rifles.

Some odd Trainerifles have surfaced that are marked differently or that have no identification of any kind. Most of the Trainerifles that have been produced have a decal on the right hand side the butt stock. The design of this decal has changed at various times but they all identify the as a Trainerifle. All of the full size Trainerifles that were produced in Clarinda, Iowa had a butt plate that is stamped with the name and the Clarinda, Iowa, address. Some of the models produced after the company moved to Tennessee have metal butt plates and do not. These butt plates may or may not have any identification markings on them. Unmarked specimens that were produced by the Parris Mfg. Co. are easily identified by the characteristic bolt and action which has remained unchanged since the 1940’s. White stocks became available for all models about 1958. Currently Parris is marketing several different toy rifles that carry the Parris name but are being produced in China.

The decal shown below has a distinctive BB on the Trainerifle logo. This does not appear on the early Trainerifle logo’s. Since it has the Kadets of America symbol it probably was used between 1960 and the early 1970’s. There is no documentation that clearly identifies the meaning of the BB letters. It is known that the Parris Mfg. Co. produced a lever action toy rifle that shot either corks or BB’s. Although the model No. 11 bolt action was designed to fire corks, there is no evidence to suggest that any of the later bolt action drill rifles had a mechanism to fire BB’s.

Soon after the move to Savannah, Tennessee, the Parris Mfg. Co. started using a wooden cartridge in the front of the bolt. This was spring loaded and retracted into the bolt body when the bolt was closed. As the bolt was opened the gold colored cartridge reappeared. It also applied pressure on the bolt to hold it in the closed position. In later production the wooden cartridge was replaced by a plastic cartridge. Often a cartridge is incorrectly called a bullet. I suspect that this was the case here. It appears that all of their early toy drill rifles had a bayonet lug. The BB may stand for – Bullet & Bayonet.

Kadets of America

It appears that the development of the different size Drill Rifles is associated with the formation of the Kadets of America organization. This organization was founded in the spring of 1953 by Cecil Parris to encourage boys and girls to become interested in being members of an organized drill team. There was a complete line of Kadets of America merchandise. This included Official Kadet Trainerifles. In their handbook it states that the Official Kadet Trainerifles had nickle plated metal parts. It appears that only the barrel, bolt body and bolt handle were nickle plated. During the same period they were also producing Trainerifles that had painted metal parts for the general toy market. Obviously the “Official” designation was a merchandising ploy to enable them to sell more drill rifles and related accessories, but it also appears that Parris believed that young people would benefit from a paramilitary experience. The following brief history appears in a 1960 copy of the Kadets of America Handbook.

I located the cover sheet and back page of “The Kadet News” which was a bi-monthly newsletter of the Kadets of America. It is dated June, July 1958 and has a picture of founder Cecil Parris on the cover. The Kadets of America stopped functioning in 1970. They very likely went out of existence due to the antiwar sentiment relating to the Vietnam War.

Next installment: The Daisy Sport Trainer

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