Have you ever been to a football game and seen the marching band? Do you remember the girls on the field with the flags, sabres, and rifles? These girls are the color guard. Color guard is a recreational sport that involves the usage of equipment for a visual effect during a band show or a visual arts show during the winter season.
I am part of color guard and was recently put on rifle and flag. I started using one of the school's used rifles but was sorely disappointed at the fact that the strap continually fell off. My birthday was towards the end of the winter season around the time fall guard would be starting up. Since I knew I would need to practice almost every day so that I could be put on weapon line for the marching band show I asked for a rifle for my birthday.
The rifle I ordered was The Director's Showcase 39 inch Elite 2 Rifle with Black Web Strap. It cost around $30 and can be ordered online from multiple websites. However, I ordered mine from DrillComp.com. If you in guard you need to make sure that you get the same type of rifle as the rest of your guard will have, otherwise you will stick out like a sore thumb.
Once my birthday came I was excited to get my new rifle but then came the hard part which is preparing it for use. This required my dad to hold my rifle while I first wound packaging tape around the major stress points and then electrical tape around the whole rifle for a clean, finished look. Your rifle should come with instructions on how to do this. I looked at those and found a website online that explained the process further.
Once it was fully taped I started using the rifle. While it is lighter than the one I would probably use at school, it certainly makes it easier for me to practice at home. I am very happy with asking for this as a birthday present and it hopefully will be helpful in my aspiration to weapon line in the fall.
Update On Jun 01, 2010: Using my own rifle instead of using a different one each week at practice has made a big difference in my performance. I am very glad we purchased one.