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White Tail Outdoor Products
13445 Hendrickson Rd.
Gowen, MI 49326

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by Bill Mills

OK, so you fancy yourself to be the ultimate paintball sniper.  You've got a Flatline m98, Flatline 'cocker, Z-Body, mag or some super quiet tricked Phantom...  You've studied all the ambush tactics you can find online and every military training manual you can get your hands on.... You've got 6 sets of camo, something for every environment, but what about ghillie?

In days of old, Scottish game keepers, known as ghillies improvised their own camouflage by building suits of burlap strips, which allowed them to hide in order to catch poachers and predators.  In more recent years, the ghillie suit has been adopted by hunters and military snipers.  The reason a ghillie suit can be more effective than traditional camouflage is that it has depth.  The strips of cloth reflect light differently, the way natural vegetation does - this is something that can not be achieved with a printed camouflage pattern.

The goal of camouflage is to blend the human body with the background so that the shape of the person can not be distinguished, or spotted.  The lumpy nature of ghillie suit, combined with the pieces hanging from the arms and hood helps to further break op the body shape into something that will not be immediately recognized.

Paintballers too, have taken to ghillie.  While ghillie suits are not legal in tournaments, they find their place in scenario games and big games, where the format of the game allows for sniper tactics and ambushes to be employed.

There are some problems associated with ghillie suits though.  If you are making your own, it's a time consuming process.  If you want one custom made for you, it's quite expensive.  They are heavy, and don't "breathe" so they can be quite uncomfortable to wear for an extended period of time, and because they are made from fraying material, they can tear and tangle themselves in a washing machine.  Then there is that distinctive "ghillie smell" they pick up after a someone's been sweating in them in the woods and not washing them.

So how could it be done better?  White Tail Outdoor Products thinks they have the answer.  Their sniper suit is built of lightweight synthetic materials.  They start with a mesh base, and overlay it with a camouflage pattern that is cut into jagged strips.

This construction method leaves loose leafy shapes that are solidly attached to the suit.  It makes the suit easy to clean and maintain.  More importantly, it allows air to flow freely in and out of the suit, making it much more comfortable to wear than a traditional ghillie suit.  It also means that items like a watch can be worn, and used yet concealed.

White Tail's Sniper Suit is of a two piece design, a pair of pants with an elastic waist slide up over the wearer's pants.  The cuffs are wide enough to allow them to be put of over shoes.  The top half of the suit is designed with a front zipper, like a light wind breaker jacket.  Its hood has a drawstring which allows it to be closed tight around the face.

With the benefits of the construction method over traditional ghillie suits, the Sniper Suit does not unfortunately break up the body shape as much.  The loose, leafy design does reflect light in a very natural way, and this still allows the suit to be very effective.

I gave the suit a try at Wayne's World Of Paintball in Ocala, Florida during a 24 hour scenario game, along side "Squeegie" of team Air Assault.  Squeegie is known for playing sniper style paintball, and when he can bear the heat, he wears a full ghillie suit. 

Walking onto the field, the only downfall I noticed with the suit was the binding feel of the hood when trying to look left or right.  Rapid head movement is a dead give-away when trying to remain concealed, and a bad idea, so it's not that limiting overall, it just takes a little getting used to.  The suit has enough space beneath it to allow for a pack and even a remote air system to be worn underneath, but access to the pods can be a bit combersome.

The two of us crawled up to a position about 80 feet from the enemy base, while other members of Air Assault moved to our left laying a hail of paint, distracting the defenders from our move.  I was shooting a Tippmann M98 with Flatline, while Squeegie used his Angel.  We each found a good position, with light brush around us and a good view of the base's Northeast wall.

After a short wait, the attack on the South side of the base lightened up and one or two defender's heads popped up over the wall.  They didn't see either one of us, but shot over our heads at people behind us.  Laying out short bursts, we managed to take out defender after defender, drastically weakening base security.  The suit was a success which, combined with sound tactics and good shooting made a positive impact on the field.

White Tail's Sniper Suit provide the concealment associated with a ghillie suit without weight and discomfort, or the patience needed to assemble a custom suit. 

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