So you want to be an airsoft sniper

What now?

First, don’t play with a bolt action airsoft rifle your first time out.  You’ll feel undergunned when everyone else is using an AEG.  Try airsoft out a few times before you rush out to buy that BAR.  While using an AEG try it in semi auto and get a feel for giving your shots some delay.  Does this appeal to you?

Second, go out and buy that BAR.  I would suggest a Mk96 or BAR-10 as good starting guns.  Both are fairly easily upgraded and fire pretty well stock.

Third, forget most of the stuff you think you know about real steal sniping, most of it doesn’t apply to airsoft.  You won’t be making 300 foot kills every pull of the trigger.  You are shooting a round ball through a smooth barrel.  The physics are working against it flying straight each time.

What you do get by using a bolt action gun are three things: quietness, more power generally(most fields let you use higher fps on bolt action guns), and patience to place a better shot because you’re not going to get another for a second or two.

Next, learn some field craft(sneaking, stalking, ambushing).  There is too much in that statement to go over here, so I’ll just give you a wikipedia link. Ghillie suits are a part of this.  While not needed, they really do help, especially in the close ranges that you must fire at in airsoft.

Airsoft sniping is generally a slow game that requires lots of patience to get the one good kill.  You won’t be taking out a whole team most days.  Sometimes you might not even shoot.  The primary roll of a sniper is to recon.  Your radio is your best weapon.  Calling in enemy activity instead of killing the enemy is usually a better bet.

Don’t forget, there is a difference between sniping and being a squad designated marksman(DMR).  A sniper generally works alone or with one other person call a spotter.  A DMR will work within a squad with a bolt action or semi auto gun to take precision shots at enemy positions.

In conclusion, being a sniper in airsoft is very rewarding when you do accomplish your goals, but a lot of the time you will be slowly moving not taking any shots all day.  Don’t go in expecting something that it is not.

On a side note, sniper rifles are great items to upgrade, but they get expensive quickly.  The average cost of most upgraded sniper rifles is in the $500 to $600 range.  So don’t expect that a $130 gun is the end to your money spending while being a sniper.

2 thoughts on “So you want to be an airsoft sniper

  1. Sit right down there while ol’ Uncle Brude tells you a longwinded story about ‘back in the Day’.

    I learned that I did not like being a pursuit games sniper back when I played paintball (the real kind where you creep around in the woods, not the bling bling speedball game).
    Being fresh off active duty, and having over a dozen real world confirmed kills under my belt, I thought it would be the perfect role for me.
    So, I went out and got myself a pump gun, upgraded it with a sweet barrel, venturi bolt, silencer, very small hopper and a nice tactical paintjob.
    I still had plenty of camo on hand, and even my old ghillie suit (you make them yourself, they don’t get issued to you, so it is yours to keep). So I headed out to the nearest outdoor field, and got set to creep.
    That’s when everything went to hell.
    You see, a sniper usually has lots of time to get into his position, set up a good hide, and pick off a generally unaware enemy. That’s why your there, to be where they don’t expect you, when they don’t expect you. So, I started moving slow, in a circuitous route to sneak up on a high value target (clue here, there are none). By the time I’d gotten 50 yards into the field, and my teammates had all run ahead like a herd of half crazed water buffalo, everyone came back slapping each other on the back (or worse) and talking about what an awesome game that was.
    Sooo, I figure out I have to get the lead out, and get closer. I started moving forward with the rest of the crew (ghillie suit snagging on every third branch, sweat obscuring my goggles, and heavy equipment wearing me down) until we get pretty close to the objective.
    I laid in in a hasty hide and got to scoping for the enemy.
    Once I had one lined up, I took a shot. As I watched the ball arc through the air, making a perfect ballistic arc for his forehead, a slight sidewind (so light in fact I had discounted it in my shot calculation) and veered off harmlessly into a tree to his left.
    Silent as I was, at a mere 100 feet he heard my shot, and worse yet saw the CO2 discharge from my muzzle.
    My target-to-be turns toward me with his suped up autococker, and yells to his buddies. Within second I have hundreds of little gelatin balls flying in my direction, and three guys running at me full speed, guns blazing.
    I did manage to pump off a couple more hasty shots, and even took one of them out, but it took them less time to cover the open ground between us than it did for me to get out from under that bush and back on my feet, and I got punked down!
    Now if this had been the only day that happened, I may have stayed with it, but it wasn’t. All or part of this scenario has occured again and again in these games, and eventually I came to accept that the ranges are too close, the games too short, and the action too fast paced for a really good sniping experience. I’m not saying it can’t be done (I got sniped out twice today alone), I’m saying that traditional sniping fieldcraft and concepts require major adaptation to function.
    Unless you are fully prepared to spend all day taking 1-3 shots, here are some alternatives:

    Long barreled accurate rifle on semi-auto. Allows you to put up a few rounds, and increase the likelihood of one of them being on target, and from a greater range than most of the M4s and MP5s.

    Soviet style squad rifleman. The Soviets issued one man in each rifle squad a dragonuv rifle, and gave them (some) additional training in accurate fire. This rifleman stayed with the squad, but was able to reach out farther to take out distant targets. This is what most airsoft snipers end up doing, but if you go out with that concept in mind, perhaps it will be easier to swallow.

    Radio/Observer/Recon. This is the closest to real world sniping you can acheive in airsoft. To do this you need a good dependable radio, clear optics, and a team that will pay attention to you (it also helps if they have radios).
    Essentially you find a good spot on the field where you can get a good view, and spend youtr time spotting the enemy and directing your teammates to avoid or outflank them.
    You get no kills this way, but you do help your team out a lot.

    The one exception to all this is often the all-day scenario game. As long as you have the patience to let skirmishes happen as they may, and truly take your time to stay hidden and creep up on the objective, you can get in several good shots at your liesure. Just remember to move to a new hide after each engagement, or they are gonna run you down like a steamroller when they respawn.

    >> End tirade <<

  2. What Uncle Brude is saying is very true. In an airsoft Mil-Sim scenario a “sniper” will be placed in more of a recon role to allow them more game play. Unless your the type that wait day for that perfect kill.
    Kenneth

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