Taping Your Color Guard Rifle

Maybe you just got a beautiful, brand new rifle or maybe it’s the start of a new season – either way, Band Shoppe can help you keep it from breaking the first time it hits the ground.

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photo courtesy of Boston Crusaders

Wood rifles require taping to reinforce naturally weak areas. While plastic molded rifles are definitely tougher, no rifle is indestructible. Many color guard instructors suggest taping your plastic rifles too. This little bit of extra care allows your rifle to withstand more shock without cracking.

Remember, there are plenty of ways to tape a rifle, this is just one basic way. You can also tape the entire rifle, tape the bolt, or tape the strap to make it a different color! Some people use sparkle tape or glow in the dark tape to create different effects. 

The most crucial supply you need for taping your rifle is strapping tape.  Strapping tape has nylon filaments for additional support. You can find it on bandshoppe.com for less that $5.00 a roll. Band Shoppe also suggests electrical tape for taping over the strapping tape. Electrical tape has a little stretch that helps the tape cling tighter, it’s economical at around $2.00 a roll, and comes in a range of colors. Professional quality gaffers tape such as our Deluxe Rifle Tape also works really well. The choice is yours!

Start with a clean rifle, free of old tape and adhesive residue. Wipe your rifle down clean soft cloth to remove skin oils, this lets the new tape stick better.

Ready to get started? Great! First, gather your supplies.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Phillips-head screw driver (the one with the + shaped tip)
  • Nylon Strapping Tape (item #64324)
  • White Electrical Tape (item #64320)
  • Electrical Tape that matches your strap

Remove all rifle hardware with your a Phillips head screwdriver including the two screws holding the bolt in place and the two screws that hold the strap in place. If your rifle has rubber end pads, like the Endura Rifle, you can go ahead and leave them in place. 


Wrap separate pieces of strapping tape all the way around the nose (1), front strap bolt hole (2), under the bolt starting at the neck and moving forward (3), and round the back bolt and butt pad (4).


  1. Referencing the diagram above, wrap the electrical tape continuously around the rifle starting at the neck and moving forward to a couple inches past the bolt. *Be sure that the tape slightly overlaps on each turn. 
  2. Attach your clips and o-rings with the screws provided then wrap the tape a few turns around the area over the front screw. This will help prevent the screw from coming loose or scratching you while you spin.
  3. Next, place a few strips of tape paralel over the rifle butt from top to bottom long ways. Repeat this step on the rifle nose with shorter strips of tape to hold the pads in place protect the ends from additional wear.
  4. Wrapping continuously toward the nose and over the strips of tape from step 3, repeat on the butt of the rifle taking care to wrap over the back screw.
  5. Attach the rifle strap to the o-rings. Using electrical tape that matches the color of your strap, wrap three times around points A and B to ensure that the strap screws don’t come loose.


Author: Band Shoppe

Since 1970, Band Shoppe proudly continues to provide quality products, prompt delivery and outstanding customer service to music educators and guard instructors around the globe. First Place Starts Here! Shop Online @ bandshoppe.com

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