Airsoft sniping is one of the hardest roles to master. When you think of it, you think to get in a comfy place and start taking people out. It’s much more than that. It’s as much of a mental mindset as the actual physical part. Get yourself in a mindset of a sniper; light-weight, precision, hidden, shadowy, mobile, something the other team fears. As you read through this post on sniping, think of all these things and how they apply to you, and taking those things into perception, how you’re going follow the next Airsoft Sniping 101 steps (and how it applies to you; factor in your climate, your weapons’ capabilities, and your budget) to being the greatest airsoft sniper ever.
The first thing you need to find is a place to snipe from. If possible, it’s always better to be elevated. Not like in a tree; the perfect setting would be on a hill or something like it. Another thing to seek in a sniping spot is brush and cover. Not so much cover that it looks like a obvious sniping place either, pick a nice dense spot that doesn’t look any different than everything else around it. A good ghillie suit never hurts, either. Also try to have your backside safe and the only possible way for your enemies to get to you is come straight at your face, you don’t want enemies to be coming from all sides, because if they do, you’re as good as dead.
Make sure wherever you pick there’s always a escape route. The biggest threat for a sniper is a full out rush attack. Have a safe escape route set in your mind, so you can take flight if they rush you.
Once you’ve found a perfect place to lay down and shoot from, you should start thinking about your physical and mental state. You want to be as calm as possible, while staying alert. Try to slow down your breathing by repeating a calm word in your head over and over very slowly. Also never take your eye of your scope. You should be locked and loaded and ready to shoot at any sing of an enemy.
Some snipers (in the real battlefield) take antidepressants before shooting, to slow down their heartbeat. I don’t recommend doing that at all, but that’s just something that real-life snipers do. A safer way to slow down your heartbeat is to steady your breathing. Don’t completely hold your breath (that will only make you rush the shot), take long deep breaths (like at the doctors office), and when you’re ready to shoot, take the shot while you’re releasing air.
When you do finally get a hostile player in your sights, a lot of new snipers get exited and start firing. Usually they miss. So, take your time and wait for the opportunity to present its self. Wait until your target’s stopped and maybe listening then aim for center mass and take your shot. As soon as you’ve pulled the trigger reload your gun, don’t even worry about your target. The second you’re locked and loaded again, check your target, if you missed and the target runs don’t follow-up, you’ll only give your position away. Airsoft guns are relatively inaccurate, anyway, so the chance of getting a follow-up shot on a running target is close to none. In the case of a miss, though, immediately change your position.
Don’t let misses let you down, though. Whatever you do, you don’t want to get frustrated and start flinging inaccurate shots. Just stick to the basics, slow heartbeat, patience, and confidence in your shots.
Another necessary part of up keeping the role of a sniper is to invest in your equipment. Think about what you need. Don’t blow your whole budget on a gun, factor in the cost of high-quality ammo, gun lubrication tools, speed reloading equipment, maybe a ghillie suit, and other supplies you’ll need on the battlefield. The point is, just don’t expect this to be a cheap hobby, make sure you don’t get in so deep that you have to resort to buying low quality .12 gram ammo to save money. In my many years of airsoft, the one most important thing is to keep your gun happy; lube it as needed, spray it, and keep it running smoothly.
So, you might wanna know then how do I spend my money? Well, first off buy a nice gun, I highly recommend a Bolt Action sniper rifle, due to its power, accuracy, and quick reloading times. If you’re just starting out, anything over $150 is too much. Opt for a smaller $80-$130 gun. Look for good FPS, range, and a quality scope in a gun. But, if you know you’ll be playing in a small environment (like a backyard) you can even just buy a cheap spring M14 replica, you don’t need tons of power just for a backyard skirmish.
The gear essential to a sniper includes a nice backpack, a sidearm (such as a simple $20 spring pistol. I personally love the Stinger P9 from Crosman), and make sure to have camouflage clothing. Just make sure everything you choose is light-weight and versatile, because you don’t want to be weighed down if you have to run.
Take every advantage you can. Like mapping. If it’s possible, go to the field you’re going to play at and make a easy to read map of the place for yourself, it’ll come in handy when you want to change spots and don’t know where to go. And make sure to scout travel ways that enemies could possibly come though so you can pick them off.
And, if you can, try to get a list of the other teams players. Pretend you’re stocking them, learn each of their interests, what kind of weapons they have, if they have a history of being scared easily in the field, so when you go to play, you can know if you should take time to let this player come out in the open to shoot, or to shoot as soon as he pokes his nose out. Stuff like that will pay off when it comes down to it.
The saying “practice makes perfect” is absolutely true, also. Practice pin-point sniping whenever you can. And push yourself and your guns in practice. If the sniping range on your rifle is 300 feet, practice from 350 feet. If you push yourself to the limit and accept nothing but perfection from yourself, and get angry when you can’t nail a quarter from 300 feet; that’s what makes a great sniper. If you insist on hitting a quarter from 300 feet in practice, imagine how easy it would be to hit a person from 200 feet in a airsoft match! Also, practice your steady breathing on every single shot. Basically, the closer to a real match that you can get, the better; practice the exact same things that you would be doing in a fight.
Also use drills in practice. Drills that focus on one skill at a time; for example, if you wanted to work on your biceps in a work out, you’d lift some weights. Same thing with airsoft; if you want a clean escape in a airsoft match, practice a silent, quick flee over and over again. Here’s some examples of drills:
Escape: As stated above, practice making a quick and quiet escape encase you had to flee in a match. Make a route that you will take, almost like a fire drill.
Accuracy: As I’ve said, if you push yourself to imposable standards, then it’ll be like shooting fish-in-a-barrel when you actually line up a shot with a enemy. Seriously give it your all to shoot a 8-inch target from 100 feet. Then, once you can hit the target each and every time, move the target in 50 foot intervals further and further away.
Reloading Time: Practice reloading as fast as you can. Don’t even bother with aiming, just jam the magazine in, cock the gun, shoot, and repeat. AS FAST AS YOU CAN!
Speed: In the case of being rushed, you want to hold your ground for as long as possible. Set up multiple targets all around you at various ranges (50, 20, 60, 25, 70, 40 feet, etc.). Then as fast as you can, go from target to target making sure each one gets hit, until the field is empty. There are a few ways you can do this; Some people prefer to clear the field left to right/right to left, and others shoot the closest first. Going from left to right, like a book, is the fastest way, but going for the closest will probably save you from getting shot a couple times.
In any of these drills redundancy is key. Do them over and over again until you’re board with them, and then do them a additional 10 times.
So seriously take these tips to heart and don’t stray far from it. Even read this post several times to drive it in your head. I hope this post helps you to become a legend, and happy hunting.