It happened again on Sunday. I went out for a lovely camouflaged romp through the paintball fields and there they were. Wannabees. You know? “Want to Be’s”. Wannabe paintball snipers. They mean well. They really do. But they’re walking around with camo that doesn’t blend in and markers that would be more suited to a cheap action flick. I’m totally cool with the whole milsim marker business. It’s awesome. BUT, most of those markers are not ideally suited to paintball sniper. Here are three mistakes I see people making when they try to create a paintball rifle, sniper style.
Hopper Too Big
Hoppers are the bane of my existence. If I didn’t have to play with it, I wouldn’t. (I know, magazine fed markers are out there and believe me, my eyeballs are on them.) That being said, as a tactical paintball sniper, you should not need a hopper larger than 50 rounds. 100 rounds at the max. When engaging a target, think along the lines of using 2-3 balls per target, realistically. I routinely squeeze off two rounds when I get the drop on someone just because of the uncertainty of a paintballs notoriously inconsistent flight. And you must get in the mindset of avoiding long, drawn out, paint-wasting engagements. Leave that to your wingman or the other members of your team. You’re a sniper. Act like it. By the way, I recently added a 50 round cyclone hopper for my A5 and I love it.
Barrel Too Long
Longer is not better! In fact, the first 8″ of the barrel is used to get the paintball up to speed. After that, barrel length is only to keep the paintball straight a bit longer. In my experience, a 12″ to 14″ barrel is the absolute max you should be using. Beyond that, you’ll be losing velocity, propellant and maneuverability. In fact, in future articles, I’m going to be discussing how to play as a sniper with pistols or 6″ barrels.
Scope Too Low
This applies to players with a “one-shot, one-kill” mentality only. As a note, I don’t play with a scope. And there are a lot of guys who will give you the gears about whether a scope even works or not. Piss on ’em. Of course it works. Try it at the practice range. But, where I see guys making the mistake, is mounting their scope directly on the receiver of their marker, right on the dovetail or picatinny rail. With a stock coming right off the back of the marker, you’ll notice quickly that if you try to look through that scope with your mask on, you can’t get your cheek low enough to see through the scope. Three solutions. One, get rid of the stock.. You’ll lose stability and cool factor but you’ll be able to use your sights. Two, raise the scope on a mounted rail. Two inches should be plenty. Three, use an offset rail that mounts your scope to the inside of your receiver and hopper, closer to your eye. Personally, I’d be more likely to lose the scope altogether. It looks sick, but practically speaking, I think it gets in the way of the paintball sniper effectiveness.
Smaller hopper, shorter barrel and, if you have to use it, raise the scope. You’ll lighten up and improve mobility, both critical assets for tactical paintball snipers.
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