Airsoft Sniper Tactics and Equipment
Playing as a sniper is one of the more unique positions you can chose on the battle field. The sniper fits a niche that not everyone is interested in playing; not to mention, a good sniper is few and far between. However if you enjoy precision shooting at long distances, trying to quietly sneak up on enemies, or wearing shaggy ghillie suits then an airsoft sniper may be for you. Take a look at Novritsch’s sniper video to get an idea of what is involved.
So if snipping is an aspect of airsoft you think you may like to pursue it’s important to have the necessary equipment. The most vital piece of gear you’ll need is a good gun. As an airsoft sniper you may end up shooting from distances as far as 100 yards, if not greater. Needless to say a gun with a high FPS rate is key. Now there are quite a few airsoft sniper rifles to choose from and they are all a little different. We’re going to classify guns into three different categories.
Not sure if you really want to be an airsoft sniper, but are willing to try. The objective here is to not spend too much money (under $100) but to get a nice rifle that is equipped with everything you’ll need so that you can test your skills on the airsoft field.
You like snipping but equally like being in the thick of it, clearing corners, rooms and hallways. Here the objective is to find a gun that will not only perform well at a distance but that has semi and/or full auto capabilities.
Things to consider when looking at Sniper Rifles
From beginner to expert there are some necessary things you’ll want to make sure your gun is capable of. For one you are going to want a FPS of at least 400 if not 500+. The higher the FPS the further away you can be from your target and still maintain some accuracy. Although most airsoft sniper rifles do come with a top rail for mounting a scope, some don’t so make sure that you will be able to mount an optical scope. A red dot sight is not practical for being a sniper, you’re going to want a scope that has at least 3x zoom.
Occasionally you may find yourself in a spot where it’s difficult to keep your gun steady, although not a mandatory add-on, a bi-pod can be real handy. Keep in mind this add-on may impede your moveable by making your rifle slightly heavier and more bulky. Most but not all airsoft sniper rifles need to be cocked after each shot, keep this in mind as well while looking at rifles, you may want something with more versatility.
Things to consider when looking at Scopes
Every sniper needs a scope but how do you know if what you’re getting is going to work for a sniper application. When looking at scopes make sure you’re getting something that has at least a 3x zoom. Say you’re look at a scope that is 3-9×32; what does all that mean? The first two numbers 3-9 are the zoom, this particular scope has the power to go from 3x up to 9x meaning the object you’re looking at through the scope is 3x or 9x bigger than it actually is. You may see scopes with just one number say a 3×32 which means that this is not a variable scope, it will only view things at 3x.
A variable scope is not a necessity however it is quite convenient to be able to really zoom in on a specific target or zoom out and pan a specific area where you may have heard some noise. The number after the x refers to the size of the objective lense in our example the objective lense is 32mm. The larger the lense the more light that can come through, however this is not quite that big of a deal on lower zoom scopes. When the scope gets into the 14x – 36x range a bigger objective lense is necessary to see.
In airsoft, being that we really can’t get too far away because of FPS limitations and bb weight you shouldn’t need to crazy of a scope. Figure that anything over 9x – 12x is excessive. Something else to consider when looking at scopes is whether or not you want cross hairs that light up. For the most part this isn’t that big of concern however occasionally you may be in a blind or hiding someplace that is dark, being able to switch on your cross hairs can be useful.
One last note on scopes; some scopes you look at may also have a laser, as a sniper I would advice against this. Although it may seem like a good idea a good airsoft sniper wants to be as stealth as possible, a laser is like a beacon especially if it’s damp or foggy. Not to mention any self aspiring sniper would laugh at a laser and should be good enough to not need one.
Finally let’s touch quickly on camo. There are many different ways to go about blending into the background and good camouflage obviously depends on what kind of field you’re playing on. But there are some basic things to keep in mind. Skin tends to exude oil and sweat, add sun and you get reflecting light. Try to cover all of your skin, especially your face.
There are a few ways to go about doing this, in the video above Novritsch applies more face paint at 5:28. Face paint is one great option to reduce glare not only to help you see better but to keep reflections down. Another choice snipers tend to use is ghillie suits. These artificial heaps of grass basically turn the wearer into a walking bush. A ghillie suit isn’t always going to be applicable and in a lot of situations you can improvise with what’s around you to patch together a modest ghillie suit.
But there is really nothing like being so well hidden that people walk right past you not realizing that they’re about to be hit.