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
Last edited by Sheps : 02-08-2006 at 10:07 AM.