The other day I was hanging out with my team and this old guy was playing, he came off the field after one of my teammates had landed a happy one all over his goggles. The man looked at me and said "That guy is quite good". My reply was, "He does a very nice snap shot", to which the man replied, "Son, I am here to play paintball, not talk about someone's camera skills."
The largest question I get on the field by newer players is "Just what is a snap shot? And how do you do it?" Well Let's look at this like we look at everything. From the beginning of the game.
Before the Game: It's important to know the field rather well to be a good snapshot. Now many people can have a great snapshot without ever looking at the field, but it doesn't hurt to know where you can shoot and just what you can hit.
The concept: The Idea of paintball is to hit the other guy first. This is the exact basics of snap shooting. The idea is to come out of your bunker lightning fast. Shoot 1-3 balls and then shoot back into cover before your opponent has time to see you, aim and fire. Your "Snapping" out and "Shooting".
Get comfortable: You need to be in a position that you can move the fastest. Many people find that on their knees they can move their upper body more quickly, giving them the edge they need. You need to find what position lets you come out and get back in the fastest.
One time snap: Make one snap without the intention of shooting. You need to look, and look fast. Don't bother looking for streams of paint or where your teammates are, all you need to worry about is one bunker, and one side of it. The side you see someone coming out of. When you snap back in keep a mental picture of what you say in your mind. In theory you need to look through your bunker at the world beyond it. Now take aim at where you last saw your opponent. Best bet says he wants to get you out, and if your transition between your looking snap and your shooting snap is fast enough he won't even be back in cover yet.
Aim and Let rip: Take aim at your opponent, then let your coiled spring go. Start shooting before you even clear your bunker. Yeah, its okay to shoot your own cover as you come out, that way by the time you are in the open you have a nice fat stream going. Get about 2-4 shots off and then get back to cover, FAST!!!
Greed Kills: Now the largest problem i see is when people get greedy. You see your opponent. You want to see if you hit him or not and watch your ball explode into a million bright gems of paint as it covers his face. Well that might make for a good ego trip, but when his own shots hit you in the face your trip will be short lived. You know you've made a good snap when you come out, shoot 2-4 rounds and get back to cover before the first one even reaches your opponent. And trust me, It's a much better feeling to pop back out to see a ref hauling him away to the bad boys box hearing him curse "There is no one there!"
Left hand, Right Hand: A very key aspect of any paintball players skill is his ability to use both his left and right hands equally. This is even more so important in snap shooting, When every inch of you that is exposed makes for a worse chance at a kill. Work on begin able to pop out of both your left and right side, and be able to switch up gun hands quickly.
Snap the neck: Now all you back players are chewing your nails saying "Please Ghost...Please, stop telling them how to beat up on us"...have no fear. There is a way to counter the dreaded snap shot. All too often I see someone posting on a snapper waiting for him to come out so they can get a good shot at them...hate to tell you, NOT GONNA HAPPEN! You need to be 2 steps ahead of him, the he'll fall right into your trap. So keep a steady stream going past where his head will be coming out. Not when you see him...BEFORE you see him. And DO NOT get into a pattern. Shoot 3, wait 1, shoot 4, wait 2, shoot 1, wait 1, shoot 2, wait 1, etc...But be ready for him to come out as well. You keep these coming at him, chances he'll come out for his snap and will be met by the second ball of a stream to the grill. Once again fronts, it's a reason to learn to use both hands, so you can snap out of either side to prevent this.
The snap shot is the toughest skill to master, in reality it's a lot more feel then know how. It's a skill you'll pick up on as you play. It's called the sixth sense of paintball. Be one with the paint, feel the paint FLOW, may the paint be with you.....(Picks up Yoda cane and walks off the field).