U.S. Army Infantry

Just a try at etching on steel…


That looks pretty good. I have etched quite a few AR parts, especially dust covers.


They just had their small-arms marksmanship championships. My daughter is 68W, was not involved, but she scored highest overall in BCT. We had been competing in local rifle matches for a couple of years before she signed up.

What was interesting about the championships (besides them using ACOG, we shoot irons only @ 100yds) is that they were resting the rifles on the magazines when prone. We were not allowed to do that in local competition.

She said most of her unit had never even handled a firearm. We have been shooting competitively (pistol, USPSA) since she was in middle school.


I think that’s likely due to the objective of the skill being measured. In local & civilian competition it’s all about control & purity of form - putting the bullet in the center of the target by controlling all aspects of your firing process from position to grip to sighting and breathing.

In the Army they’re more concerned with whether your skills will enable you to put the bullet in the enemy. There’s no reason to add a burden like supporting the rifle if, in real life, you’d have the high likelihood that you’ll be able to support it by resting on the mag. There’s no real positive cost benefit to trying to make soldiers perform with the disadvantages that “normal” competitive shooting entails. The soldier is going to have enough other things to worry about :slightly_smiling_face:


They only shot irons in BCT as well, but I get your point. Her assigned rifle was a mess, but she knew how to clean it up.

She really hoped she would get to qualify yearly as regular infantry does. She can shoot the pants off me, both hand-guns and rifle. She has regular training, but it’s all medic-related. So we just go up to the range when she’s here.


A buddy of mine has a similar situation in the FBI. He gets very limited funded practice range time & rounds. So he comes back here to visit his parents and brings his weapons so he can go to my range and practice all he wants (CT ammo prices are much less than D.C. ammo prices so he can put a boatload more rounds downrange than he can afford to at home).

I’m amazed that we (the U.S.) don’t fund more basic equipment, training facilities/time and ammo for the average soldier/FBI/DEA agent when we can burn 10M on just one missile.


the army teaches you to use different ways of support to be more accurate. there are many ways to do it. prone is simplest, but they teach you to use the sling, sandbags, a tree branch, a wall… all kinds of different ways to stabilize your weapon. obviously on the range it’s a bit different, you’re not being “field expedient” to get the best position (cover/concealment/support).

also, firing prone or in kneeling position and behind something that can support the weapon is what you’d do most often in battle. the last thing you want to be doing is firing standing up in the open. being exposed is being a target. you’re going to be behind cover and can usually use part of that cover for support, regardless of sit/kneel/stand.

all that said, i never used the magazine for support, even prone. elbow on the ground is all the support you need. i guess if i was trying to fire under something really low, i might do it if being up on my elbow was too high. but sticking the magazine on the ground as support is just asking for dirt to get in there and really isn’t any more stable than your elbow in good position.


It’s just a rule for the competition. Although I have 30-rd magazines for our AR, I don’t think I’ve ever used them. We actually compete with a 10/22.


Hi, new to Glowforge. Could you tell me what material you put in for the machine to etch. We have been trying to do metals, but can’t find the proper material or setting to do that. Any and all information you send would be appreciated.

you can’t actually engrave into metal. what’s happening here is the OP engraved the coating off the top of the metal. for example, you can engrave the anodized coating off of anodized aluminum to reveal the aluminum underneath.

the other option would be to use a special metal marking spray, like ceremark. you spray it on the metal, then engrave. the engraving process will adhere the sprayed on ceremark to the metal, and you can rinse the remainder off.