Josh Flaherty Professor, Jenkins Composition I 4 April, 2013 Spinning a Drill Rifle Since the 1970’s, rifle spinning has emerged as a coordinated, militarized dance routine. Spinning rifles was originally used by military honor guards during ceremonies. It has been used more recently in college R. O. T. C. and in high school J. R. O. T. C. as exhibition routines for drill competitions. The “armed exhibition” teams, as they are called, provide a routine of precision and skill. These routines last over seven minutes long. It takes skill and hard work to be able to spin the rifles for extended periods of time.
Having the stamina and learning to spin the rifle with precision, is a process in which lots of time and work must be put forth to master the skill. The first thing that must be done is determining which rifle to spin. There are two commonly spun rifles and those are: the M1 Garand, and the 1903 Springfield bolt action rifle. Both are obviously replicas, but it can be done with actual ones, there is just more of a risk. Knowing everything about each rifle is a key point in learning how to spin each of them. The 1903 Springfield can be considered the easier to spin of the two.
It is well balanced, and a lighter and sleeker alternative to the M1 Garand. The Springfield is made up of mostly a poly-carbonate material with metal where it is needed. The Springfield is forty-four inches in length providing a comfortable grip while utilizing the rifle. The weight of the rifle is eight point six pounds providing a tolerable amount of weight for any gender. The rifles length makes the rifles weight balance throughout the entire rifle, making it easier to spin. The Springfield is more common among exhibition teams as opposed to the M1 Garand. The M1 Garand is more difficult to spin compared to the Springfield 1903.
The M1 Garand is heavier and bulkier rifle to be spinning. The M1 Garand is made up of wood and metal, more than what is in the Springfield. The M1 is only forty-two inches in length making it, not by much, shorter and a little more awkward to grip while performing. The M1 weighs ten pounds making it a bit heavier and harder to spin for either gender. The weight of the M1 is mainly in the center of the rifle, where the large metal bolt for this rifle is. With the weight mainly centered on the rifle it provides too much torque, causing the rifle to spin to fast and be harder to control.
With the M1 being heavier and rather harder to spin, it makes the 1903 Springfield the rifle of choice while spinning. The first thing that needs to be done is learning proper handling of the rifle. Port arms is the most used position while preparing to spin. Achieving this position can be done with two simple hand placements. First one hand must be placed close to the center of the rifle. The other hand must be placed at the start of the stock or right below the trigger. Once this position is achieved the spinning process can begin. The most important thing while handling and spinning a rifle is to know the sweet spot.
The sweet spot is where the rifle spins around, and where the rifle is most balanced. Without finding the sweet spot the rifle will be unbalanced and will be a lot harder to control while spinning. The sweet spot is normally one to two inches above or below the center of the rifle. If the sweet spot is not found, then the next step called the drop will be a lot harder to do. The drop is the last step before actually spinning the rifle, and if not done properly the spin will be sloppy and look atrocious. The drop, done properly makes spinning the rifle smooth and easy to control.
The drop consists of turning the rifle vertically 180 degrees and only moving one hand. The hand on the center of the rifle follows the rifle down and stays in the same place, slightly moving towards the sweet spot. The other hand, on the stock, slides up as the rifle goes down so the edge of the hand is flush with the butt of the rifle. With hands in this position it provides a full length of motion and an overall quick and smooth spin. The actual spin itself is very simple to comprehend. All that needs to be done is push down with the hand on the butt of the rifle, and push up with the other hand.
Doing this properly can provide an easier catch. Catching the rifle is the final step of the whole process. The key to the catch is timing and how well the spin was performed. If the spin was performed improperly then the catch will be very awkward, and it can hurt someone. The rifle could be spinning around sloppily and the hands will not be in the right position to catch, this could cause the rifle to fall. However, if the spin is done properly then the catch will be a breeze. The rifle will be spinning smoothly and the hands will be ready to catch.
All that needs to be done is the hand that has been on the sweet spot stays where it was as the rifle spun, the rifle should spin around the hand. The other hand reaches across the body to stop the rifle in the appropriate spot, which should be closer to the barrel of the rifle similar to port arms. So once the rifle has come to a stop one hand should where it started, and the other just above that hand. All that needs to be done after that is, the hand closer to the barrel needs to be moved back to the position of port, which should be at the start of the stock.
If all motions executed correctly then spinning a rifle will be a very fun skill to enjoy. There is a lot of time and work needed to be put into learning to spin a rifle, but it all pays off in the end. Those steps are for a basic spin called the port spin. Once the port spin is mastered then many other spins can be mastered in time. There are many risks in doing any of these spins, so always spin with caution. For beginners, start out learning the basic spins before doing anything fancy or serious injuries could occur. So start out following these steps and once they are mastered spinning the rifle can be a very fun thing to do.