4th Sep 2017
Sniper Skills - How to Nail Your Target
Sniping is something that every airsofter dreams of doing. There’s nothing quite like a single well placed shot, flying through the air and landing on target; the look on the opponents face as they can’t quite comprehend where they’ve been hit from
(and the subsequent decision making as to whether they should take the hit). Over time and if you’re good enough, you build up a reputation at the site as being the great sniper; people actively avoid lines of sight where you’re watching and if they hear a rare miss, they’re already looking for an alternate route. You become a formidable asset on the field.
However, to get to this stage and level of skill, it takes years of practice and fine tuning – both of your skills and of your airsoft rifle. This is precisely why we suggest that you don’t pick up sniping as your first ‘role’ on the airsoft field (read more about the potential airsoft roles here).
If you’re set on making those long shots, finding the one-shot-one-kill and dominating the field with insane precision, then you’re probably going to be searching for some ways that you can improve your accuracy (and precision). In this guide, we’re going to give you some helpful tips and tricks that should improve your sniping skills and overall, let you have a more enjoyable time on the field.
Consistency is key
The first point to understand when you begin airsofting is that consistency is the absolute key. We don’t mean this in a ‘practice makes perfect’ kind of way (although it helps), the literal consistency of your weapon and shooting will directly affect how well you can nail those targets.
Airsoft weapons, if you don’t know, work by sending the BB down the barrel with compressed gas. Small variances in the amount of gas used will change the FPS that the BB leaves the barrel with. The FPS / Joule of the weapon directly affects the range and accuracy. If the speed of the BB keeps changing, so does the BB’s travel time, distance and impact point. You can’t expect to be accurate without precision.
Accuracy – The ability to hit exactly where you want to hit.
Precision – The ability to hit a point consistently
You can improve your weapon’s consistency by eliminating air-leaks and using a high quality gas (if your weapon is gas). Another huge factor of this consistency is due to BB quality. Ensuring that each BB is the same as the previous in weight, diameter and finish quality, will make shots consistent. This is why you see many ‘dedicated’ snipers washing, individually weighing and inspecting their BBs for the best results.
Another important aspect is hop-up consistency. A quality hop-up rubber will put the same spin on the BB for every shot ensuring the same range. However, if your hop-up gets lubricant on it, it’s going to suffer from inconsistencies. We recommend that you use Abbey Supply’s Brut Sniper Gas, which has NO lubricant in it, so that it doesn’t affect your hop-up.
Heavy BBs and High FPS
There is a reason why many experienced snipers opt for heavy BBs and a high FPS rifle, they perform better and outrange normal AEGs.
In the UK, snipers tend to run their rifles at 2.3 joules. This is around 45% higher than your average fully automatic AEG. Combine this is a BB that is two times as heavy as your standard airsoft BB and you’re left with a projectile that carries its velocity further and – most importantly – on a path that is less effected by wind and foliage.
You can still use a low weight BB with a high FPS, many new players assume that this will give them a further range, but the difference is clear. It’s comparable to the difference between throwing a ping-pong ball and a tennis ball. One will land much further and much more accurately than the other.
Pick a play style
There are predominantly 2 kinds of snipers that you will find in airsoft, the “hide and wait” sniper and the “tactical” sniper.
The hide and wait sniper is your traditional sniper, the kind that you see in movies and TV series. They are all camouflaged up and, as the name suggests, they wait in a hidden position for their perfect opportunity. This method requires commitment, patience and quality camouflage tactics.
The other option is the tactical sniper, the sniper that plays like a normal infantry man, simply with an extended reach and altered engagement tactics. Instead of pushing towards an objective with the rest of the squad, they may opt to push up on a ridgeline and provide over watch.
Whichever tactic you choose, ensure that you’re happy with it and stick with it. There’s nothing more annoying that wearing a full ghillie suit and spending half of your game running around. You can read more on this in our blog – Ghillie Suits: Are they worth it?
Overall, sniping is a hard yet rewarding part of airsoft. You need to be prepared to spend more time and money working on your weapon than you actually do shooting the thing.
Got a Gas Sniper Rifle? One of the best things you can do for your gas and hop-up consistency is using a DRY gas like our Brut Sniper Gas.