In late 2005, Modern Rifles was formed by Dan Deaton, Jon Fong, Daryl Thompson, and Brian Garbark. The name was derived from a misinterpreted 31 Knots lyric. They played their first show at Scolari's Office.
After earning a San Diego Music Award nomination, the band split in October 2009. Drummer Brian Garbark joined the band Boyscout, which included singer Lain Weck, and that duo cofounded the band Nicely in 2013.