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So, you wanna be a sniper?

Posted 07-06-2009 at 01:15 AM by TacMedic
For most, the term strikes a fear and respect all at the same time. The mythology that surrounds this battlefield surgeon is an all powerful grip that plucks the minds of those new to the sport, and drives them into an overbearing obsession. However, there comes a time when cruel reality must be thrust upon them.

Visit any board for any airsoft group, and you shall find them. The noobs, rooks, newbies, and kiddos come out in droves to post yet again the same mind numbing questions? What is the best x-sniper rifle for $100 bucks? Where can I get a ghilli suit? Why, because I am 12, can I not shoot over 600fps? This has become an epidemic I fear. I can only hope to give some information to those new, and willing to read.

The very concept of the "sniper" is largely improperly applied to the airsoft realm. In real life the role of a sniper is one based around a highly-skilled individual selected for several qualities. They spend countless hours, if not days, lying in one spot. They become the surgeon's knife on occasion with weapons that are accurate out to 1000 meters. This concept, due to limitations of our equipment, doesn't translate very well into airsoft. Not that there isnít a role for them in airsoft, the role is just often misunderstood.

In the airsoft arsenal, a sniper rifle can realistically be capable of accurately firing 20 -30 yards further than that of an upgraded AEG. That gives the weapon a 10-15% increase as opposed to the 300% of the real steels. Keep in mind though to be capable of that requires a LARGE amount of money in upgrades and maintenance. The fact is the $100-150 clone bolt actions are not in this category no matter high uber-high their fps out of the box may be.

Secondly, having a ghilli suit does not make you a sniper. Unless you are experience with them, I would advise on not buying one. A ghilli suit is a very difficult piece of kit to perfect. A lot of time and devotion goes into making one from scratch that is custom made for a specific environment that it is intended to be used in. I have seen too many times where a misguided player has purchased the awesome $50 "woodland" ghilli online only to look like a neon green bush in the middle of winter.

Finally, fulfilling the role of the sniper must be preceded by time and experience in the field. In the military, a recruit must complete basic training, infantry training, show potential, be accepted to a school, endure extreme training, and then finally earn the title of sniper. Where airsoft does not have this type of structure, I recommend that all of those new to it examine that sequence. It is there for a reason, and some it does translate into airsoft. With owning and using a high power airsoft rifle comes responsibility. High fps can be a real safety risk, and most fields impose minimum engagement ranges. I know when I first started; I couldnít tell you exactly how far away 70ft was for engagement. What if I shot somebody at 40ft with 500fps? What if that person was wearing sub-par eye protection? What if I shot them in the head or neck? Time is needed to acquire maturing on the field and accrue the experience to make these decisions. You donít have to be 12 to not have experience, this rule applies to any who steps foot on the field for the first time. Remember, we are out there to have fun; not hurt somebody.

So what does all of this mean those new that are leaning towards the sniper?

Airsoft is a big pool and you donít need to be jumping off into the deep end. Buy yourself a good AEG that can serve many different roles. Explore what the sport has to offer before you commit yourself to such a selective field. Talk to guys that have been playing for a while that have become snipers and DMs. Ask them how they started, and youíll find it wasnít where they are now. Talk to guys that tried to start there and youíll find that they are now in a different direction. Make your decisions of what direction you want to explore off of the experience you gain on the field; not what you see on TV and movies.

If you fit this description, try not to be offended. I am not telling you to not be whatever it is you want to be. I wonít tell what you can and canít buy. I wonít tell that you have to play with an AK and a rubber knife for a minimum of 4 years before you can buy an upgrade. You are here because you want to have fun. If thatís what you have your heart set on then it is what it is. I am giving a couple cents worth of thought because people get into this game to HAVE FUN. I have seen too many go down that road and lose interest before even scratching the surface of what this sport has to offer.
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  1. Old
    masterelmo's Avatar
    Good post, a lot of my friends wanted to get straight into sniping from the get-go without realizing the true requirements of it.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 10:32 AM by masterelmo masterelmo is offline
  2. Old
    Red's Avatar
    Yep. It has been said many, many times on this site, and it is never a bad thing to have it rehashed like this. Good blog.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 01:07 PM by Red Red is offline
  3. Old
    Brodown's Avatar
    Indeed, a good post. I jumped straight into sniping and what you say rings true. It can get frustrating when you are limited to 400 fps. I still have a good time because I have a solid crew that keeps me covered. Which since im with them i guess im more of DM with a bolt action right now.

    But I love doing it and cant wait until I can upgrade. Like you said, it isnt for everyone and some people lose interest after getting outgunned at an event.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 01:07 PM by Brodown Brodown is offline
  4. Old
    Duo Chan's Avatar
    Good post, one that should be read by all who say they want to be a sniper.

    I for one, have been sniping for five years, and still have no intention of stopping. It's not for everyone, that's for sure.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 01:10 PM by Duo Chan Duo Chan is offline
  5. Old
    Texx's Avatar
    Velocity is only one hurdle in sniping or DMR. Once you have your rifle performing to your liking, you'd be surprised to find a "sweet spot" with lower velocities. First step should not be upgrade to XXX fps. Its about finding the level of performance that allows you to hit what you're aiming at, at X distance. That doesn't always require massive fps, but simply a turn of the the nob on your hop.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 03:08 PM by Texx Texx is offline
  6. Old
    artimus's Avatar
    Very wise and good post. I completely agree with all that has been said here. When I began airsofting I wanted to be a sniper also. I now have found myself prefering a CQB/CQC style of combat, and have no problem sticking even under 350FPS. Thank you for taking the time to write this.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 04:08 PM by artimus artimus is offline
  7. Old
    Brodown's Avatar
    Indeed Texx, a good example being the TM M14, 280 fps right out of the box but the hop up is so nice it can easily hold its own rangewise against hotter guns.

    Unfortunately the hop on my gun isnt so great. That can be fixed though
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 05:00 PM by Brodown Brodown is offline
  8. Old
    Thanks for the advice; I'm a rookie airsofter and I normally use an AEG/CO2 pistol combo, but have been looking into purchasing a sniper rifle and sniping my friends. Some information that I knew in there like the patience a sniper needs because I come from a family of hunters and to a lesser extent has a lot of the same qualities.

    Also a lot of information that was useful like the advice of not jumping into sniping and the ghilli suit advice.

    Thank you TacMedic.
    Posted 07-06-2009 at 06:54 PM by Bertimus Bertimus is offline
  9. Old
    NWOA shadow's Avatar
    very well written. i started out with an AK and after a year of playing with that i bought my first sniper rifle. i have always loved reading, watching, and playing games that involed snipers. im going into my 3 year of sniping and im still working on my psg-1 in getting it up to where i want it. the sniper role in airsoft is a very aquired position that takes months to years to develop and perfect. but we will still have noobs always going out and buying one and asking the same questions. and all we can do is offer our advice to start off with an aeg first.
    Posted 07-07-2009 at 12:07 PM by NWOA shadow NWOA shadow is offline
  10. Old
    Wraith's Avatar
    I laughed when I read this. How right you are. Nice blog.
    Posted 07-07-2009 at 04:19 PM by Wraith Wraith is offline
  11. Old
    Shadow_mercinary's Avatar
    Its good but please spell it right "ghillie"
    Posted 07-07-2009 at 10:20 PM by Shadow_mercinary Shadow_mercinary is offline
  12. Old
    Texx's Avatar
    That is humorous coming from a person who misspelled "Mercenary" in their handle.
    Posted 07-08-2009 at 08:46 AM by Texx Texx is offline
  13. Old
    Odin37's Avatar
    Yeah, I think the whole being at a long range and killing people with 1 shot really appeals to people. I think at one point EVERYONE has wanted to be a sniper. I know I have. Then I started to prefer CQB style games. Don't get me wrong I would still like to snipe, and a little bit down the road I plan on buying some kind of gas rifle, but only after seeing the way I play with my current AEG, it is accurate about 200 ft and I find myself simply using 1 shot to "kill" people, which is kind of fueling my desire to become a sniper/ DM. Good post
    Posted 07-12-2009 at 08:43 AM by Odin37 Odin37 is offline
  14. Old
    Dougrich's Avatar
    I have to say this is an excellent blog. The fact of the matter is most the young players coming in have played "sniper" in video games and think that translates into real life and airsoft. They've also watched million of hours of movies, tv shows and etc and think they know how to be a sniper. The delusion they watch or play douesnt come near to fact of real life snipers or even airsoft snipers.
    Posted 07-12-2009 at 04:45 PM by Dougrich Dougrich is offline
  15. Old
    i AGREE with Dougrich.
    Posted 07-14-2009 at 05:53 PM by SideSwipe SideSwipe is offline
  16. Old
    night runner101's Avatar
    Sorry if I double post this but my computer is acting up. I'd just like to thank you for this post. It managed to get my friend who was bent on sniping. After reading this he had the since to go get an aeg and see if he liked that first.
    Posted 03-20-2010 at 01:29 PM by night runner101 night runner101 is offline
  17. Old
    zachtheairsoftlord's Avatar
    whats a good noob sniper right now i have the shadow ops utg sniper
    Posted 04-02-2010 at 12:42 PM by zachtheairsoftlord zachtheairsoftlord is offline
  18. Old
    viper's Avatar
    Great!!!!!!! loved it!!!!!! I wanted to be a sniper right when i started and then i got an AEG just to make sure i loved it! i do!!!! but playing i can tell long range rifleman would be better for me!!! i have yet to have the title of "sniper" but i think i can do it; with a lot of work!! great brother!!!
    Posted 08-12-2010 at 06:53 PM by viper viper is offline
  19. Old
    Cody Chaos's Avatar
    ha! i mean sure im not perfect at sniping and havnt done it yet on an a war yet, but i have fallin in love with sniping since i was young, ive practiced with real guns, bb gun airsoft, moving and standing targets, and im not saying i hit right on all the time, but i can extremely say that i have heard people come up to my friends (and even me) and ask me this stuff. (mainly cause theyve seen it on COD and they think that this is how all sniping is.. its not "oh look! i can shoot a gun with a scope on it and get head shots all the time!" its concentration, steady aim, a trust gun, and enjoying every second of it.. well in a airsoft game that is..) and i saw the title and had to read this, and i do get what your talking about, and i agree on all of it! good post man. { i feel in love with the black l96 ever since ive seen it, it's cheap, but its fun and thats what makes me happy }
    Posted 09-16-2010 at 11:45 PM by Cody Chaos Cody Chaos is offline
  20. Old
    StahlWerfer's Avatar
    This I completely agree with. When I started out, I was actually your standard CQB/Mid range rifleman using a nice AEG. At a certain point, I figured that I should give the sniper shindig a try. I didn't even play as a sniper in video games or anything at that point, I just knew I was good at sneaking up on people, remaining hidden, and I wanted just a little more range. I then did some research on sniper tactics and gave it a try the next game. It was a blast, and it just all clicked together that this is my playstyle. So, criticize me if you will, but I got my sniper origins from personal experience on the field, and not from terribly unrealistic games such as CoD or Battlefield.
    Posted 07-24-2013 at 11:11 AM by StahlWerfer StahlWerfer is offline

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