Sniping in Paintball
OK i know that the topic of sniping has been pounded into the ground, that is why i made this forum, because I feel that it is possible to snipe in paintball as long as one has a realistic definition of sniping. I will explain to you what my definition is and why it is that way, if you disagree with anything i say then say so and say why, because simply saying "ur a n00b" does not solve anything.
My definition of a sniper:
1. a sniper usually uses a highly customized marker, normally a very accurate one with a long or specialized barrel. Normally semi - automatic markers like Tippmans or pumps (i can't think of any examples right now, sorry) are used
2. Sights, scopes and other aiming devices are not required to make a sniper, as these are for the most part useless with paintball markers
3. snipers should not play speedball with their sniping setup, as sniping in speedball is suicide
4. snipers often use camoflage or ghillie suits, or at least clothes that blend in with their surroundings
5.a sniper is supposed to be very patient and chooses his shots very carefully, using a minimum of paintballs
6. a good sniper should be skilled in stealth, long range shooting, evasion of alerted enemies, snapshooting, calculating where their first shot's going and basic light infantry tactics (not necessarily training) anyone lacking these skills isn't really a sniper in my book
7. snipers sometimes use silencers (which will not be discussed in great length, because of forum rules)
8. A sniper will move often during a game to get a better shot or complete an objective, if a "sniper" doesn't move then they're not a sniper
Things not necessary to snipe:
1. scopes - just because he has no scope does not mean he isn't a sniper
2. a 21" barrel - it is just n00bish stupidity to think that a 21" is necessary to snipe, as that long a barrel will contribute little to accuracy as increased friction will negate much of the benefit Also 21" barrels are very clumsy and hard to aim on the move (not good in paintball)
3. greater range than a "normal" marker - in real life sniper rifles have the same range as normal guns, it is just that they are constructed to be more accurate at long range (like the Russian SVD, it is almost identical to the AK-47 but has finer parts, a longer barrel and more customization)
Please read this definition before posting, if i find anyones points make sense then i will update my definition. An if you can prove without a shadow of a doubt that sniping is impossible then i will declare you a god.
- edited parts in bold
I will agree, this topic has been tested before...you're asking for a flame war (hopefully it won't happen, but I am a student of history and history on these forums show us it probably will). That said, I would like to amend a few points:
A highly customizable gun is not neccessary for sniping in PB or in combat by your definition. In combat, an M-16A2 can be used to snipe if the shooter knows what he is doing, and there is nothing customized on it. In paintball, since I don't have a problem seeing the 200 ft that my ball may eventually get to off the hop (I always estimate 100-150 feet for maximum target range), I don't need any special equipment to make that shot. I have a longer barrel, but that is another story...I use it because of my setup and how I shoot.
I can hide with a bright hunter's orange jacket just as well as with camouflage. It depends on how much movement you have to catch your opponent's attention.
Finally: snipers (real snipers) don't use silencers. That is a good old fashioned myth courtesy of Hollywood and the video game industry.
Your intentions are good, and I think you set foot on a good path to argue it, but the diversity here is too great and there are many differing opinions as to what a sniper is. I go by the historical definition of a sniper that has evolved from WWI, but somebody else might go by more of the classical "sharpshooter" aspect (which is anything but a sniper, but that is another thread). I suggest that you play your way and forget what anybody else says. Besides, it sounds like you are convinced of this anyway so what should our opinion matter?
As much as it goes against my judgement I'm going to let this thread stay open for a little while.
Please keep it civil gentlemen. I really don't feel like having to come back preach about maturity and all of that stuff to a bunch of people who should ALL know better. In fact I may just skip straight to being down-right mean.
Bottomline: This thread stays b/c I'm feeling giving, if you want to be the one to mess it up go ahead...I dare ya.
As for my opinion, sniping is around in scenarios and woodsball. While there are many who call themselves "snipers", very few are actually good enough to deserve the nomenclature.
There is no such thing as a sniper in speedball, the style of game play is prohibitve to those kinds of tactics.
We need to agree on a definition.
we will never get everyone here to agree on one
truth is, most everyone starting off w/ rec / woodsball goes through their sniper phase. Usually this is because the cinemas places a lot of emphasis in war movies on them, and make make them seem super cool and untouchable. Who wouldn't want to be that? Play a few years on a lot of fields and you'll understand sooner or later that it will simply never be like that.
I voted sniping in all cases. Because sometimes I do eliminate people in one shot (when I am flanking them pfffft), of course it's after I covered the width of the entire field and I am trying to sweep up what's left.
Here's some things to ponder Shep about the sniper title...I know, I know, semantics shemantics, but hey, what is in a name right? (okay, enough of the proverbs and clichés)...
A sniper by the military sense is one who has numerous mathematical computations memorized (or readily available) to compute out exact adjustments for range, wind, temperature, humidity, how much pressure in the air (sort of like humidity, but more like mountatin versus flatlands), and the round being used. Now, granted you could in theory create these formulas, I highly doubt that you will have that much consistency in even one hopper of paintballs let alone an entire box. If you use CO2, then you increase another variable's unreliability. See where I am going?
What about using the term "sharpshooter" or marksman? Hey, originally the "snipers" in the Civil War were called Sharpshooters, because they used the Sharps 1859 rifle which had a high level of accuracy and good range, but these units did not have anywhere close to 100% accuracy. I mean, if you hit 100% with an M-16 you are called a "marksman," not a sniper. Basic combat in woodlands also forces you to use camouflage (in fact, it is outlined in my ROTC manual), so does that make every soldier a sniper?
I hope this opens up just a few of the flaws with your assessment. Like I said, you are welcome to challenge me or call yourself whatever, but it should explain at least one of my reservations about such a title.
You'll get the speedball players flaming that there are no snipers, you'll get the new players with their tippman sniper package saying they are snipers because they play in their back yard, you'll get the rec woodsball players who agree there can be snipers but usually not enough time in a rec game to make them count, and then you'll get the scenario players who agree that there are snipers because they've seen them in action at scenarios.
Personally I think you can be a paintball sniper in woods ball (never in speedball unless you're on the sidelines cheating :P), but you won't be effective unless you have time to set up and get into a good position....ie. scenario games.
OK, let the clarification begin:
apjunkie is basically right about the biases he's listed; they are kinda generalized but nevertheless is right: speedballers tend to be non-believers, rec-ballers tend to believe to some degree, and the scenario gamers and backyard Tippman champs believe 100%.
As far as the military definition of the sniper goes, Cadet2005 is completely right, but no matter what people do the term sniper will always be used to label players who should, in reality be called marksmen. The only reason I use the term sniper is that it is widely recognized and associated with accurate shooting. Anyways, it isn't really possible to create these formula's, like you said, but instinct and training in snapshooting along with a little mental math can simulate this to the needed (IMO) extent, as headshots and extreme accuracy are only necessary in the real world.
Suprisingly the post I found most relevant was Coenen's, I think he's on to something, after all we have all seen someone call themselves a sniper (I have yet to see our area's sniper in action though, still too cold) but quite frankly most of the ones I've read about here seem kinda n00bish, like the backyard Tippman champs:rolleyes: , with their 21" barrels and "sniper scopes" i.e. a Crossman pellet rifle scope. Also his comment on speedball being prohibitive of sniping tactics is dead on, unless the game is all but won and it is becoming a mop-up operation.
Also I noticed a slight problem in your reasoning Cadet2005:
I can hide with a bright hunter's orange jacket just as well as with camouflage. It depends on how much movement you have to catch your opponent's attention.
Basic combat in woodlands also forces you to use camouflage (in fact, it is outlined in my ROTC manual), so does that make every soldier a sniper?
Basically the two quotes contradict, but when viewed individually make sense...BTW no offense is intended, I understand what you mean but it illustrates one of my points which was originally questioned, when you are hiding from people who want to light you up its best to err on the side of caution and have camoflage, just like it tells you in the manual for the most powerful Military in the world.
Anyways...I will update my definition again, check it out, maybe someday we will be able to get some agreement.
Basically what I was saying is that this thread will turn out like the hundred's of thousands of "Sniper" threads posted on various message boards throughout the paintball internet world. This is my 5th year playing, 3rd being truly active in the game, and I've already seen hundreds of these threads. Every single one of those threads end up with people posting the same old arguments and end up flaming each other by the 4th or 5th page. That's why the mods should sticky the best sniper thread and have the same rule apply as it does with silencer threads.
I'll give it some thought, but the worship doesn't hurt.
We'll see how this one goes, if it stays the way its been I'll sticky it.
I'm not exactly surprised that you thought my opinion was one of the most relevant. Like most who have been around this forum for a while I've heard this argument an awful lot. That means a lot of chances to form and refine one's opinion.
We'll let this go for a little longer and then sticky it. Thanks for playing nice guys.
Now the tricky part
OK, I decided to give you people a little bit of a warning before you decide customize your gun for sniping, this is serious stuff, this is not going to be cheap or easy and you should already have a fair understanding of paintball and it's mechanics. Personally I recommend playing a lot before trying to snipe, as you will need some expirience in sneaking, accurate shooting and concealement. This sort of stuff is not for newbies.
OK, so we got a good start, once again, I don't mind constructive criticism on any of my work, now it's time for the heavy work. So, here's what a sniper needs/should have. (tactics will come later)
The Marker and marker accesories
OK, this is a major point of contention, but it should also be relatively easy to solve. I will list the basic guidelines that a person who wishes to be a sniper should follow.
1. The most desirable trait in a marker meant for sniping is consistency (which mostly means good paint, but that will come later), without consistency their is no possible way that a sniper will get the single shot eliminations he craves. This means that a sniper will want at the very least a anti-siphon tank and a regulator. High pressure air and nitrogen powered markers with regulators, are preferrable though.
2. Accuracy is another consideration when buying a marker, this is not usually a problem though, as one of the most important factors in accuracy is the barrel, which most of the time can be easily changed for a more accurate one. The only other real consideration (that I can think of that is directly marker related) is length, naturally the 21" sniper is popular, but personally I find that most people agree when I say that that large a barrel is definitely more of a hindrance than it is worth, it has been proven to be just as accurate as any other 12" or longer barrel and is very unwieldy. One option definitely worth considering is a barrel kit, which will allow a precise match of the barrel's inner diameter to the paint's outer diameter, improving accuracy greatly. Another barrel that is slightly more useful is the flatline, I have read many reviews and it seems that it is OK, as it makes shots arc less (hence flatline), but I've also heard the maximum effective range is decreased, so try before you buy. To sum it up: try out different barrels, look at the reviews here a PBreview and don't fall for marketing gimmicks, buy yourself a good 12"-16" barrel and enjoy.
3. A good sniper will use a hopper modified so it will not make much noise when shaken. This is accomplished by glueing thick, lint-free cloth to the inside. Although special care must be taken with motorized hoppers so as not to interfere with the feeding mechanism.
4. Optics are a good idea for sniper's, generally the most effective scope to use is a simple pellet rifle scope with a small magnification factor, it should not be used to target, but instead to scout area's ahead of your position and get a better picture of the situation.
5. Optics are normally mounted on a sight rail, but as many marker's are vertical feed, this can be problematic. To compensate you can put a custom 3/4" mount on the side of your marker (make sure it's not on crooked).
6. Make sure your marker is not a flashy, chrome coloured one. The best kind of paint job is dark, muted tones, and preferrably more than one colour (although one is acceptable). Then, further camoflage should be added, like a ghillie wrap (although I'm not a fan of burlap, it's too hard to sew/cut/shape, creates dust and smells. So it's not too good to put on a marker) or a camoflage pullover.
7. Your marker should be modified so that it is as comfortable as possible in your hands. Some idea's are:
- comfortable grips so your hands don't cramp up, which is really bad when taking a long range shot
- a remote line (to lessen the weight of the marker), which makes for ease of shooting, although some perople prefer the tank to brace against their shoulder
- Remove any useless parts, like a top mounted sightrail on a vertical feed (unless it actually holds something)
- Maybe lightened internals, to reduce movement while firing (be careful, a delrin bolt will swell if it is lubed, so some markers may be better of with an aluminum bolt, if they are messy)
- use a small tank if you're in a short game
- a small hopper isn't a bad idea, with a couple of spare pods and the pods should have some sort of wadding in them to prevent the balls from moving and making noise
- A carrying strap can be handy in some situations
- A simple bipod might be a good idea, as it makes careful shooting easier
- A good trigger and grip frame is a very wise investment, a good e-grip or very finely tuned mech trigger will provide a much more responsive trigger pull. Also the grip should be comfortable in your hand
Ok, paintballs is easy. When your a sniper nothing but the most high-quality paint you can afford will touch your marker. If you have problems with this then do something else. The good part is that when your a sniper you should use less paint (hopefully) and so shelling over more money for the good stuff is not much of a problem. If you don't know whats good enough then look through the reviews section, or ask a field manager or proshop owner. From what I've seen Draxxus or Evil should work perfectly, but check the reviews and paint/barrel forums for more info.
Also, you will have to check to make sure that the paintballs fit your barrel well, there is plenty of info on the forums here, all you have to do is use the search function. What I've been told is that if a paintball can be placed in your barrel and then blown through with relative ease then it's a good size. Naturally you should shoot some to make sure the paintball is the right size though.
Paintballs should also be carried in pods with some wadding (lint-free cloth) in the top to keep the balls from breaking or making noise, and when you fill your hopper, put some more wadding in the pod to occupy the space the balls were in (unless the pod is empty, then it doesn't make a difference)
When choosing camoflage the best thing to do is be realistic: the realtree stuff looks cool and all but it is not really effective when people are close as it is sometimes too distinct and sharp (why else wouldn't the U.S. military use it, it's not like their cheap, as they account for 1/3 of the world's total military spending). A far better bet is something simple like the camoflage you see on BDU's, as the point of camoflage is not to look like a patch of brush (realtree), but to blend in with the brush and become an indistinct mass. The main consideration when doing this is colour, you should only wear green camo during the summer, during fall and spring go with yellow and during winter you should wear white, grey and light blue.
These are the hallmark of any sniper. Also they are often the target of much hatred, as these wonderful bush look-alikes tend to bounce paintballs. When buying or making a suit you will want several things
1. It must not be too thick, you do not want to be sweating like a pig all day in a over-thick suit, also it helps to keep people happy if your suit does not bounce balls, as if it does they will be slightly resentful and will light you up if you are seen. It also helps when you are crawling if your suit does not catch on everything and drag it along for a ride (although a little catching is not bad, it helps to collect natural camoflage and further hide you).
2. You must have some natural camoflage on your suit, like freshly picked leaves and branches and such.
3. You must waterproof and fireproof your suit, all you have to do is buy certain chemicals and wash your suit in them (I've only heard them mentioned, sorry for being so vague).
4. Ghillie suits tend to be awkward, hot and sometimes noisy, so when you want cover, but do not need to move, you could use a (green) sheet, dyed with different shades of green, olive and brown, and then attach burlap and twine like you would a ghillie suit. This will create a ghillie blanket, which can be unrolled when you find a good spot and rolled when you want to move.
Shoes are a big thing, you will need some good athletic quality shoes like cleats, and they must not be brightly coloured, nothing will give you away better than white nike's
Okay Here's My :2Cents:
Alright growing up with a father in the Marine Corps (Considered the best snipers in the world by most of the UN countries). Alot of war and weapons analysis took place in my lifetime. I at one point asked him what makes a sniper because we just finished watching the movie sniper.
First of all all Military forces wear camouflage, that doesn't make a sniper. A sniper has advanced training and practice with non-general issue camouflage (i.e. ghillie suits). So just wearing a wal-mart "Advantage camo shirt" doesn't make you a sniper.
The .308 rifle, that Marine Corp Snipers use, is standard issue for all Marine snipers. The only thing that is adjusted is the stock, which has different risers, and butt plate lengths to fit the sniper like a glove. So that could translate into a heavily modified Paintball gun, to fit the PB snipers shooting style like a glove.
Marine Corp Snipers are trained at Quantico, VA. They are trained to take shots up to 1000+ yards. However, that is only a small part of the total training. 80% of the program is dedicated to stealth, concealment, egress and regress.
As a qualifying exam a sniper must in a field with spotters shoot a target and remain undetected for a certain period of shots. Not at a 1000yards mind you, but more along the range of 300 yards and in. This is well with in the normal range of any general issue rifle for the military. So that easily translates into fact that all paintball guns shoot within roughly the same range.
So a modern day sniper in the real military sense is someone that is more capable of remaining undetected while stationary and almost undetectable while moving, which was 80% of their training, than taking shots well out of the range of standard issue weapons.
I know people will flame me for sure, but under mine and my father's (22 years in the Marine Corps, several of those posted at Quantico), definition of a sniper they can exist in paintball. If you don't believe me, next time you are playing woods ball and you are walking along and you feel a sting on your chest, or you goggles are covered in paint, and you don't see where they are at just remember paintball snipers don't exist, right?
As a matter of fact on the history channel you can catch a show every so often on marine corps snipers that will support all the information i just gave, except for my references to the PB world of course.
Please feel free to inform me of gaps whether adding to my definition or punching holes through mine. I won't argue, but I will take and listen to your side, and will add to this definition.
Edit: I do not consider myself a sniper, just for those that are wondering, I am more of a SWAT tactic style player, I have no clue what mods on a PB gun make it more consistent, more accurate and more precise. I do however, know the Modern Day Definition of a Sniper according to the Sniper Training School, that all SWAT, FBI, CIA, and Various other federal dept. snipers of the gov't will spend some time in if not all their training time in.
I also do feel that the term sniper is deserving for a few individuals, who dedicate their style of play to absolute concealment, and do not run and gun. The term however, seems to be used more and more by rich kids who have been romanticized on the idea of a sniper and go out and buy the longest barrel, the most "accurate" marker, and so forth. That doesn't make a sniper, what makes a sniper in PB is someone that has dedicated himself to camouflage, concealment, and stalking ones opponent for quite possibly for hours, in BIG games, or Scenario games for that one Day Making shot, that will be talked about for weeks afterwards.
cdwilliams, good post, well thought-out argument, but you have the same loopholes everybody else does. Just because I am concealed for hours on end doesn't make me a sniper...in real combat, I could be an LRRP, SEAL, Ranger, basic rifle squad with an ambush assignment or a smart L-Tee who is aware of an enemy presence, etc, but none of us may be good shots. We see one guy, my best shooter takes a shot, he drops, life goes on...in paintball, it might be someone who can hide really well and just gets a good shot and takes it, that's intelligence, not sniping. We see one guy, my best shooter takes a shot, he drops, life goes on. That isn't sniping, that is ambushing. It is a fine line, but given that range and consistency is one of the most important characteristics of a sniper, I have to question that definition.
As for the recommendations, here are some things to consider about your proposal:
I can't tell you how many times I see "snipers" with CO2...umm, no. It is too responsive to air temperature regarding its phase and therefore could be difficult to have pressure at the same level throughout an entire game or even games week after week unless you play in an indoor environment that is very climate-controlled. HPA would have to be a must, but as the tank runs empty, you lose some pressure. How does a "sniper" compensate then?
Another factor is the barrel length. Yes, I will agree a better barrel is good, but that doesn't always mean better accuracy. Like you mentioned, paint comes into play, and if you break a ball, now you fouled up any remote indications of a system you once had. If the bore is bigger than the field paint, then what? If you get a bad batch of your favorite paint or if one is deformed? These are things to consider when considering the title of sniper. A sniper has physical and mathematical answers for nearly every one of the potential variables thrown at them. What are your calculations?
Yes I did leave out something. Seal are in teams of 6, A rifle Company is a team of 20-30 sometimes but rarely more. A sniper unit is in Doubles but more likely than not singles, who are lone units.
Also snipers do not shoot everything that most "snipers" in PB shoot. A sniper is trained to take out or literally "assasinate" (which is why snipers at least the Marine Corps ones have a bad rapport with other types of units). So just because he sees some guy with a rental say in a woods ball game that doesn't mean he is going to take him out. Save that for the other guys, what he would go for is either fellow "snipers", or other players with expierence. To eliminate key individuals is the snipers job. In scenario ball the sniper has an even better opportunity, since the game play is much much longer.
And the Paragraph about the 1000+ yard training was supposed to signify that these guys are well above the average shot, sorry that didn't make much sense.
The only thing that is close to this description is a seal team. They do have snipers on their teams with .50 cal rifles. However, guess what kinda of sniper training those guys received... thats right...training in Quantico, VA right along side of the Marines. The only difference is a Seal Sniper protects his other units at the maximum range. This could easily be concidered a person on a team that flanks to the side, during a prolong shooting period and takes out key people, unnoticed, and at maximum range of a paintball gun. This is where the key to me is, UNNOTICED.
Rifle Squads, and so forth have a different mantra all together. More ammo, more rifles, to kill more things. Thats why Rifle squads, and companies are the ones that are sent out on "Search and Destroy" or "Sweep and Clear." They will try and take out any available target. So a rifle squad can't be called a sniper unit, even in ambush, because it violates the 1 to 2 person guideline, and if its in groups like a seal team then he still is a sniper, however, his role is to take out key individuals that are either pinning down their fellow teammates, or are the key target all together for the team.
Also the Mantra of a sniper "One Shot, One Kill" is only a guideline, Snipers do miss for miscalculation in math or an inconsistency he didn't take into effect, its rare, but I am told it does happen. A sniper will take controlled shots, until he is discovered, or he feels that the enemy is honing in on his posistion. So a PB sniper that misses the first shot doesn't always make him not a sniper. The rounds that we put down our barrel are the in consistency that we deal with.
Please read my previous lengthy post before you read this one, simply so you will hear the whole argument.
Thanks Cadet for showing me some things I forgot. I was writing this at work. I want to try and get those that don't think PB snipers don't exist to just know all the facts before they start popping off with movie "facts" from all the war movies they have seen, and using the extreme examples of what movies show as a sniper. Which is what most of it I have always read through out all the 100's of threads i have read about snipers.
the real definition of a sniper.
ok here is a quote from a well respected sniper from the vietnam war era some of you may know him his name is Carlos Hatcock, " The sniper is the big game hunter of the battlefield, and he needs all the skills of a woodsman, marksman, hunter, and poacher. He must possess the field craft to be able to position himself for a killing shot, and he must be able to effectivley place a single bullet into his intended target."
Ok now for my definition: a sniper is someone who not just shoots a single shot to kill someone. a sniper is a scout. he is an infromant for the rest of his team. marksmanship is not what makes a sniper. knowing how to stay invisible to your enemy is what makes a sniper. some of the most important things in sniping are cover/concelment( 2 diff things wich i dont feel like explaining but if you want me to pm me) movement, and also the snipers surroundings. if you go into the feild with the idea that a sniper is just an expert marsmen then your wrong. i personally somtimes dont shoot in a game if i dont have to. i do a lot o frecon work when i play. i identify enemy positions an radio back to the rest of my team. now with that said im ready for some comments.....lol
You couldn't have picked a better MARINE sniper than Carlos Hatcock. Big ups to you. That quote comes from a sniper as the definition of what a sniper is. You can't get more real than that.
yea he's probabbly the definition of a marine let a lone a sniper.
one other thing id like to add if your really into sniping in pb you should check out www.pbsniper.com its all bout snipers and scouts in pb.
The entire idea is dumb.
1. From 50 yards, at the best, we're looking at maybe fifty-fifty chance if the shooter is a good marksmen. I saw one guy shoot from 40 yards or so and was able to hit every 2-4 shots. Then, breaking...from 5 yards, balls can still bounce off a human target.
2. From 50 yards, where you wouldn't even want to shoot, camouflage and concealment are greatly reduced since even the smallest part of the body hanging out (shape) can easily be distinguished.
3. Any scouting advantages are usually blown. Radios are not usually encrypted, so the other team knows that you are there and can start searching and knows what you know now so can change it. From there, the dynamic nature of the field makes it so that whatever information you gather is usually old in around five to ten minutes.
4. Stalking on target for any length of time beyond an hour is somewhat wasteful. Why? Okay, pop a general, get a few points, big deal. The other team just blew up your headquarters.
5. Players just re-insert.
I do have a question for you "snipers:" do you work alone or in pairs?
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