View Full Version : Better Sniping 101.
04-16-2007, 07:48 PM
Wanna bet there's no such thing as a paintball sniper? Stand over there...
By: James Dawson / Photography by: Jean-Noel Pechi
Article from: FAC3FULL JUNGLE Issue 4, May 2007, The Sniper Issue. Pages 44-47
This is for snipers; snipers who want to do a better job of shooting specific players, lots of players, and lots of specific players.
When you don't know the field, find a map. A topographical map of the area is ideal if you're hardcore. You're looking for your team's starting point, the other teams' starting points, and where stated objectives-or ones you think will be important at some point-are located. Also look for marked trails... and never take them. These are routes you can ambush, set traps upon, and the like.
Find creeks that might have dry banks, ditches, valleys, and steep ridges. having limited time, energy, and lacking the "I could die..." fear soldiers have, paintball players usually take the paths of least resistance and only perfunctorily check out the thick stuff. This is where you want to hide... and ditches and creeks are your superhighways across the field. Marked sections that are unlabelled on the game map-such as a village that is seemingly ignored are good bets for special mission objectives and the locations of hidden props. Plot approaches to them, figuring that at some point your opponents are going to come poking around there. Also plot your tactical withdrawals from each position-after taking out your target, you'll need to move, lest you be compromised and shot mercilessly. Also, your targets will have the annoying tendency to move once you take one of them out. PPlot withdrawl paths so that you move through additional ambush points and places with vantages on where your opponents will likely go next.
04-16-2007, 07:49 PM
The proper gear is essential-but not necessarily other-worldly. Snipers are successful in plain camo with off-the-shelf markers... they are also effective in handmade ghillie suits with thousand-dollar wonder widgets. It's up to your budget, your style, and the demands of the game. Your marker may be a pump or semi; contrary to popular belief, there is no inherent accuracy difference, so long as you have a good paint to barrel match and consistent volume and pressure of gas released for each shot. With a pump, you'll have to shuck the forearm for each shot, the movement for wich will attract attention. Also, you'll have to work harder to take out a group before they notice your position... but pumps are much lighter, and stock class setups avoid easily-spotted hoppers.
Most of the noice when you shoot is made by the marker, about wich you can do little unless you feel like slipping a housing of 3" ABS plastic over the marker body and padding the internal space with foam. But you can minimize the sound signature of your barrel by selecting one with good porting-most aftermarket barrels are ported, making your choice easier. Just don't charge into the game with a non-ported stock barrel, or you're asking to be compromised.
You'll need paint-one hundred rounds per hour is a high figure, so plan accordingly. The method with wich you feed the paint into your hopper is critical. Players are adept at spotting things like goggles and hoppers in the forest-those shapes don't belong. So, since you need to play in goggles, eliminate the other primary shape by making a good stick feed. 3/4" PVC pipe painted black (or wrapped with electrical tape) is a good start; with a 90 degree elbow, and little sanding on the street nub (between the elbow and the feed port or hopper elbow on your marker), you can make it work with any marker.
Smaller hoppers are also available: from thirty rounds to a hundred. Frequently used by pump players, these smaller hoppers present your opponents with a much smaller target, and are easier to conceal in the woods. A5 owners have discovered the Proteam Products Tac Cap Loader, which replaces their hoppers with a stovepipe-looking tube with a lid on top. The unit comes in three heights: thirty round, forty, and fifty wich you can set based on your paint needs.
As accurate shots are essential, you must have two peices of gear regardless of everything else: a squeegee (not just a swab), and some sort of sight. Paintballs are inherently less accurate then you'd like them to be, but they give you a reference point by wich to calculate for drop and drift. If your paint hits dead-on at twenty yards, and you have a target at thirty, you'll knowjust how high to aim-and be able to aim exactly that height to hit your opponent square in the goggles. Once you train with a sight and learn it's relation to the real world, you'll be amazed you ever played without it. Crosshair scopes are usually overkill, even for sniping. Occulated sights work just fine, and generally don't require batteries... but the most luck players have is with red dot sights. They don't magnify anything- and our ranges are too close to matter-while giving you a bright red dot to aim with, and a wide field of vision to watch your target and everyone else. With unlimited eye relief, they can be mounted anywhere on your marker and used from any angle or distance.
Your camo-and you should wear camo-should fit the terrain. Realtree patterns are great, and military surplus stuff works just fine. Digital vs old-fashioned? It probably won't matter, so long as you make sure the colors are complimentary with the colors on the ground. A ghillie suit is your best bet for extreme concealment, but is beyond the ken of most casual players. There are plenty of ways to hide without one.
Radios are helpful, especially when they're paired with a throat mic and ear buds-you don't want crackling radio traffic to give away your position. Throat mics help you speak more softly, and effectively, without having to move the radio itself.
SNIPERS ARE RATHER UNPOPULAR, ESPECIALLY AMONG THOSE THEY SHOOT... MAKE SURE YOUR TARGET IS WORTH THE TROUBLE
04-16-2007, 07:50 PM
SET OFF, SET UP
Know your team's plan, but resolve not to charge off with their masses. Thundering groups attract attention. When you deploy, do so in a sniper team of no more then three-or alone. Take a parallel course, following several dozen yards to the side, if you plan to assist them in executing a mission. For regular games, this usually means taking a tapeline. Otherwise, strike off to your ambush position and wait-patience will pay off in scenario games. For shorter, timed games, you'll want to ghost your team, and then tear into your opponents from side angles. When possible, let the other team walk past you... the skirmish line is usually defined as a roughly straight line between the forward-most players on a team. Those players are frequently unconcerned about what goes on behind them, as logically, it's just their teammates advancing and retreating... so once they slip past you, their guard is down. Sniper teams can thus blow sections of the skirmish line wide open by waiting until their opponents are several yards ahead, with none behind them. When you engage, your opponents will be totally exposed to you shooting them from behind, and in trying to take cover from you, will likely get shot by your teammates in front of them. This wreaks holy havoc in recball games, and is great for taking out squads in scenario as well.
Commanders are your ideal targets; failing that, players who seam to be in leadership role. Many scenarios award points for shooting commanders; even when they have no point value, taking out their command structure disrupts their ability to run missions, and messes with thier overall organization. In revball, taking out the 'star' and the 'hotshot' players will leave the rest of the team fearful, slightly disorganized, and demoralized... giving your team a tactical advantage. Otherwise, snipers are great at taking outlone players wandering through the forest... but this should always be done with caution, as you must move after any engagement lest that player come back for you or send his buddies to hunt you down.
Attack them from the rear; attack them from the side; shoot for parts of the body where they'll feel your hit, and where it'll likely break rather than bounce. Only use one paintball at first-they will be able to figure out where you're hiding if you you rattle off a string. Choose your targets carefully-if you can't get all thirty, then focus on the most important seeming one of them. Shooting three or four players will compromise your position in a heartbeat... but using one ball to hit one player will unnerve them without giving away your position. Wait a few minutes, and hit someone else.
When you've done the most damage you can to their ranks, pause for a minute (so they get distracted and stop looking for you-at least, in the right place) and then retreat. Fall back to a secure location where they won't be able to find you, such as under a fallen tree on the backside of the hill you shot down from atop.
If you move along a ridge, or through a creek, plot your withdrawal to take you past more ambush points, and take a few more of them out while you're at it! You should always be moving tward either a better vantage point, or a more secure location to reload and plan your next move. Never lose sight of your goal, and try to walk that thin line between patience and wasting time.
Snipers are hidden threats... and paintball players generally lack the fine discipline to fully investigate a threat before dealing with it. Thus, if you move, expect to get shot by anyone who sees you, regardless of what team they're on. Further, when you operate behind enemy lines, expect to take paint from your own team. Much of it will be stra ypaint from the skirmish, but should you be spotted by your team, they will most likely assume that you're an opponent by virtue of being among them.
Thus, stealth is of paramount importance-hide from your own team as well as theirs, lest you get shot now and answer questions later.
INTO THE JUNGLE
Paintball snipers exist; but we're just as glad if people don't acknowlege us... it helps us better take them by suprise. When you have the patience, the discipline, and the gear to be a sniper, give it a try-undetected behind enemy lines, you'll see things you never expected... and shoot players who never expected you.
Dark colored marker
Dark colored goggles
50 or 100 round pods
04-17-2007, 03:09 PM
Damn, thats a pretty good aricle. You've overhyped me into wanting to play.
04-17-2007, 06:26 PM
I liked it because it's the position I play... and it expresses my feelings and own stratigies. I saw this and was amazed. I actually didn't consider myself a paintball sniper untill I read this and realised that I work best alone, behind enemy lines, lieing down and picking off people from behind. That's what I've been building my MR1 to be able to do.
04-19-2007, 04:14 PM
the only tough thing about being a sniper w/ an MR1 would be how loud it is... even though my J&J quieted it down a LOT, its still kind of a beast
04-20-2007, 07:41 AM
Mine is really quiet. I've also got it running on HPA and it has a M4 shroud around the barrel.
04-25-2007, 01:21 AM
haha, that's what my friend and i do. we go so far out into the feilds woods that we're undetected, then sneak up behind the enemy's, hiding in the brush, till some of them get a bit to close. since our main team is in front attacking, they don't notice an attack from behind since we only shoot once per person basically. very effective method. my gun broke down one game, but my friend took out 6 people before they found him. that's 6/10 XP
04-25-2007, 02:18 PM
Ah, I can think of a few awesome times when I've pulled off amazing flanking maneuvers with various people. Definitely makes the game so much more interesting when you can get behind them without their knowledge.
08-25-2007, 07:24 AM
Wow, nice article, thanks for sharing. All that should come in useful when I play sniper for the first time.
slim and shady
09-03-2007, 05:28 PM
I just wanted to say that is a great artical. i have sniped a long time and I dont think I have ever seen it spelled out so plain befor. The artical really gets ride of all the complication that people make sniping sound like. The only other thing i would have liked to seen is some mention about the Apex, not really flatline because they are horrible unaccurat but the apex isnt bad at all. But great artical none the less thanks for posting all snipers will apreciate this peice.
01-05-2008, 11:47 AM
oh wow man, great article, it really clears a few things up for me.
01-06-2008, 07:04 PM
I'm glad people are still noticing this thread hehe.
01-19-2008, 06:33 PM
im trying to start into the sniping position. with my MR1. (i used to play a lot of forward man and attack) would the 20" J&J cermic barrel be a good investment. is it accurate, does it get good distance? help would be appriceated thatnks.
slim and shady
01-20-2008, 09:41 AM
I think your questions about this have been answeared in the MR1 threads buy Vike