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How to be a SNIPER
By: Matthew "MaxPower" Roberts

As my 7-man team, including 2 friends of mine, Chet Carter and Christian Gardner, prepared to start a game against another 7 man amateur team in North Carolina, 2 years ago, we went over our game plan.  I was elected to be the sniper, because I had the best barrel and the most experience as a sniper out of the 7 of us.  (I used a Spyder, which isn't the greatest gun to have for a sniper and many pros would not recommend having a semi-auto, but I like it).  Then the ref sounded the horn and the game began.

It wasn't long before I heard my teammates start shooting as they encountered 2 players from the other team in the center of the field.  Chet and Chris got stuck at a bunker on the right as they came across another 2 players from the other team. This left 3 others unaccounted for.  Later I discovered that these 3 players stayed back by the flag and covered their team.  I continued slowly up the left trying to pinpoint the other team.  I came across 1 player that was trying to outflank the part of my team in center.  So I stayed where I was for a minute to assess the situation, then I took a shot.  It missed, so I took another and missed again.  By now the opposing player saw me and started shooting.  I quickly retreated and relocated to another spot.  I saw the same player and took another shot, this time it hit, giving me the kill. I could relax for the moment.  Then pressed on.
Then I sneaked up to a point where I became parallel to the 2 players in the middle shooting at my team, I took a shot and it curved, I took another and it hit one of them right in the arm.  The other player turned and ran, getting hit by my team in the process.   After center was clear, 2 of my teammates went right to help Chet and Chris.  The 2-opposing players holding Chet and Chris were easily taken out.  That left 3 guarding the flag.  So, ran up center and right and gave suppressive fire as I sneaked up left.  They did not see me cause they were too busy with my team on the right. So THE PLAN HAD WORKED.  I was somewhat behind them when I got up and fired at the player closest to me and I nailed him in the side of the head.  By now, the last 2 players turned but by the time they saw me and started shooting I had already launched 2 shots at 1 of the opposing players.  The first missed but the second one hit him.  The third opposing player I could not get and since I had no cover, I was easily hit and out of the game.  After I shot the 2 players on their team, my team had no trouble getting the third.
 The only reason I told this story of me being a sniper is to show you how much damage, if you know how to do it properly, 1 sniper can do to an opposing team and how much confusion he can cause.
Now into the basics.

What is a paintball sniper?  Many people say sniping is a "bad idea," because it is an easy way to get yourself out.  But it's not.  Lets assume you are at a big, 24-hour game or a small woods game, since sniping doesn't work in a speed-course or any other fast-paced speed game.  A game that is played in a large area in the woods and is continuous for some time is the perfect element for a sniper.  A paintball sniper, therefore, is someone who supports his/her team by delivering precise long-range hits on selected targets.  By doing this he/she takes out opposing team members, which also keeps them off-balance by adding and element of confusion to their tactics.

There are risks in sniping.  The one criticism that is correct about sniping is vulnerability when working by yourself.  However, I have fallen prey to this on only a few occasions.  The simple way to avoid this, if you are spotted or miss with the first few shots, is to retreat quickly and relocate to a different position.  Chances are, they are not going to pursue back into your territory.

The other big problem is that of friendly fire.  There have been a couple of times where my team has shot me in the back, but it does happen.  So, I recommend that you tell your team the basic area you will be located.  Sometimes you may not be able to follow your own plan, therefore you should just take a chance. Anyway, your team should know or you should tell them not to shot anything they are unsure of.  This will help prevent them from accidentally shooting you or other members of your team.

What gear should you use?  Gear is a very important of being a successful sniper.  First, you will need camouflage to make it harder to be seen (And donít where any white sox with that, because if you do you are one dumb ass).  You also need a good goggle system.  You will spend a lot of time on the ground, and will most likely get hit in the facemask.  You also want to keep it clean to make it easier to spot opposing players.

Another item needed is a paintgun.  A lot of snipers will use pumps because they are more accurate and have better range.  I use a spyder because I like it, but I wouldn't recommend it to other snipers.  Use what you feel works best with your abilities.  It is important to keep the gun clean and smooth.  You also should try to get a dark gun instead of any stainless steal.  It kind of ruins your cover.  A good sight is also important.  You have to make the first or second shot count so a sight is needed.  This will force you to aim at your target rather than shoot from the hip.  The ADCO Champ dot sight is very effective and durable.
Now you are ready to snipe.  Here is a basic summery of this article and some steps to remember  the next you want to snipe.
1) Make sure the paint you're using is the right size for the barrel.  Paint that is too big can burst easier in your barrel.  And paint that is too small will decrease your precision and accuracy.  At the bottom of the page I have a chart giving you the correct sizes for barrels and paint.
2) Plan your shots.  Observe and analyze the situation and be patient
3) Utilize good ground cover to help with camouflage.
4) Clean your barrel regularly on the field for optimum performance.  Bring a squeegee onto the field.
5) Use your team to help you survive.  Make sure they know where you are so they can give you basic cover.
6) During a larger game I recommend you to have a partner with a semi-auto to give you cover.  He can also be an extra pair of eyes for you.  He can watch your back and help you out, increasing your survival rate.
7) Donít let lose with a furry of paint without aiming. All it takes is a couple of shots.  If you do they might spot you, but if you only take a couple of shots it will make it harder for them to find you.
8) After you shoot, look, listen, and stay still.  Move if your spotted but if not, stay still.  It makes it harder for them to find your location.

Information about paint sizes and barrel bore sizes can be found here.

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