Almost everyone who just get into the Airsoft sport or is even starting to get into Airsoft, decided to choose to play the Airsoft Sniper role. And I totally understand that. Your so passionate about the Airsoft Sniper role, mainly because of what you saw in war movies, that you want to get into this role immediately. Well, I did the same. I was passionate, more than everyone else. The main thing we are so passionate about is the idea of hunting in the field and being the “LONE WOLF”, operating on his own, away from the infantry and waiting for that ONE SHOT…
If you are an Airsoft beginner, I wouldn’t recommend starting out as an Airsoft Sniper. It might be disappointing when your enemies start with AEG automatic guns and outperform you. If you want better results in the beginning then start with a budget AEG and grow into the Airsoft Sniper position.
If you are ready to become an Airsoft Sniper you probably wonder what kind of load out, gun (accessories) and skills you need. Read this guide and you will find out.
1. What skills does an Airsoft Sniper Possess?
Well, if you have been playing Airsoft for a while you may have already some of the skills needed to become a better Airsoft Sniper. The main skill of an Airsoft Sniper is to be patient because you will spent a lot of time observing the area, planning for the next shot. But as an Airsoft Sniper you need to have a variety of skills in order to operate effective and efficient without getting shot. Learning these skills will make you much more effective and efficient. And don’t forget: it’s all about long distance accuracy…
1.1 Situational awareness
Situational awareness is simply paying attention to what is going on around you.(3) Check box… Well let me first explain a bit. As an Airsoft Sniper you constantly scan the environment while laying down somewhere behind cover and using concealment.
While scanning the environment you establish an environmental baseline. That means that you get a feeling for what is normal and what isn’t. That instinct grows during your stay on the field. You become aware or your surroundings and after a while you know what kind of sounds and activities are normal and which are not. That knowledge is the foundation to react on uncommon and unnatural decisions.
So imagine that you have to defend an important building. You decide to find a good spot from where you have great overview. Of course you thought about an escape route too. When lying down there behind the bush or behind some other cover you scan the environment looking for something strange or uncommon that suggest that there is something out of the ordinary going on. Any movement could be your opponent that is trying to conquer that building.
As an Airsoft Sniper you constantly scan the environment to establish an environmental baseline. That means being aware of your surroundings, and knowing what kind of sounds and activities are normal, and which are not. This means that you determine what your environmental baseline is, so that you can react on uncommon and unnatural circumstances. This normally comes down to seeing something strange or uncommon that suggests that there is something out of the ordinary going on.
1.2 Using Concealment and finding cover
Concealment, What? I didn’t know either till I did a bit research on how to cover and use concealment as an Airsoft Sniper. It seems very important to survive. Concealment is technically any object that prevents the enemy from seeing you(1).
What exactly is cover? Cover is any material than can reasonably be expected to stop the travel of a bullet fired from small arms such as handguns, shotguns and rifles. Cover consist of hardened thick, bulky material and manmade structures(2). You got it right? 😉
Finding good cover is a very crucial part of being an Airsoft Sniper. You want to choose your cover wisely. You spent most of the time waiting for that one best shot. you wait, and wait, and wait until you et that rare opportunity to take you opponent out. You’d better be prepared… and don’t miss!
Once you found good cover be sure to cover your body as much as possible. Use hills, cliffs, objects and obstacles to cover yourself. In woodland you probably find bushes the best place to hide even if they don’t properly protect you from BB’s to cover up your silhouette. A common mistake there is to hide way to deep inside the bushes. Of course it will be harder for the enemy to spot you but you will see less and you will regularly miss your opponent passing. Besides that when shooting a BB is likely to hit a twig when shooting out of the bush. The main goal as a sniper is finding a good spot. That spot is not necessarily high up but is a place where you have good visibility and where you are mostly hidden (in shadows).
Last but not least, make sure that you’re covered from behind. Always make sure that you have something behind you or that no one can get your back while you expect your opponent being in the front…
1.2.2 Concealment / Camouflage
Your apparel should be dark or camouflaged, in order to aid in your concealment. Common forms of camouflage:
- Face camouflage
- Gun camouflage
- Vegetation around you
- Ghillie suits
A mesh mask or a scarf can be used as face protection. You can also just paint your face but as a matter of safety I would recommend a mask. Normally I would recommend a mesh mask with ear protection but as an Airsoft Sniper you won’t get hit to often so you can also go for a regular mesh mask. A scarf will be used over the face for concealment. Choose one that retains heat and absorbs sweat.
To camouflage your gun you have 2 ways to do that. Either you with camouflage tape or just by painting your gun.
A Boonie has the advantage of breaking the silhouette of your head. That way you reach a better concealment of your head. A faster solutions is to buy a full cover ghillie facemask.
Use the vegetation around you by putting it on you and your attachments – like your sniper- so you blend in the environment. A camouflage pattern also helps to blend into your surroundings. Your camouflage is actually all about how you blend into your surroundings so you will not being spot by your enemies. Choose a camouflage pattern that matches your surroundings.
A ghillie suit is purely designed for sniper who are laying down and want to blend in their surroundings waiting for that one shot. The ghillie you choose should fit your environment, depending on the climate in which you live and play.
Which types of camouflage?
There are 5 camouflage patterns out there. They are meant to different climate environments. Each one has his own pattern, mix of colors. Most of the information I got from multicampattern.com which is a great site.
This pattern is designed to work in most environments arund the world that consists of soil and green. The color pallets exists of brown, tan, beige, and green color.This camouflage pattern is used by the US Army in combat but also during the Afghanistan operations.
This pattern is designed to work in an environment that consists of open sand and rock and overlap portions of the multicam pattern(4). Let both being part of you apparel and you have a well-coordinated concealment system for almost every environment.
This pattern is designed to work in an environment that consists of lush vegetation that remains relatively unaffected by seasonal changes. it is mainly designed for heavily vegetation areas. These areas can be found in South America and South East Asia with surroundings of green and open sand.
There is also the alpine and black pattern but these are less common than the ones mentioned above.
1.3 Become familiar with your Sniper Rifle
Once you find out what your sniper style is be sure that you become familiar with the right sniper rifle. Only in the most difficult circumstances it becomes clear how well you know your gun. You need to know what kind of malfunction you may be able to expect and how to address them. So practice is key here.
Practice by firing regularly in different situations and clean and maintaining your rifle. That way you become more familiar and experienced with you externals and internals of your Airsoft Sniper rifle. You also get a better understanding of what to do in case of malfunction.
1.4 Airsoft Sniper Load Out
The most important tool of an Airsoft Sniper is the Sniper Rifle. I think you agree ;-). There are several great ones out there so you have to do your own research. Find out what style you like and what your style of playing is. The Novritsch Airsoft Sniper seems to be a good one but cost you a lot. A good sniper is expensive so that’s also why you shouldn’t start as an Airsoft Sniper. In this article I wrote something about different price ranges. Don’t buy one below $150.
To select your Sniper Rifle here are some tips to come to your right choice:
- Do you want a cheap Chinese model with low quality parts or are you going for the one with decent upgrades? Choose one which allows you to customize the internals and externals. Check if there are quite a lot of uniparts out there on the marketplace.
- Which system do you want to operate? You can choose semi-automatic or bolt action powered. With semi-auto, most fields will limit you on on FPS. For making really long range shots the best way to go is a bolt action sniper rifle. You can choose a green gas, CO2 or spring powered version. We prefer the spring powered because it is not caused by temperature and is very consistent.
- Possible stock adjustments. Every sniper rifle has a different system to adjust the stock. Some stocks don’t even have the possibility to adjust the stock.
There are many sniper rifles out there with different mechanisms and ammunition. So choose one based on your preferences and environmental situations.
What kind of accessories do you need in your sniper role? By far the most important one is the optic. A good quality optic will give you much better accurate shot but also the ability to get a better distance view. A red dot fits more with an Assault Rile than a Sniper. As a sniper you looking for something more accurate and a zoom. I think you you don’t need more than a 4 times fixed zoom. Your scope mount should be as low as possible so that is in line with your boor.
Second important accessory is the sling. The sling give you stability of you gun. Sling mounts on the sides are preferable because then you gun hang more natural.
In comparison with other guns ammunition is more important here. The quality of the BB’s and what they made of is a crucial factor on your gun. As an Airsoft Sniper you don’t need much so don’t save on your BB’s. Make sure that they are nicely polished, heavy weight and perfect white. Once you open the box check the quality. If you find grates and inconsistent surface then you are dealing with a lack of control. You risk that they will stuck in your barrel.
1.5 Sniper Tactics
- Choose the right cover. That is so important. I know I have said it before but I can’t tress it enough. Think about the cover of your back and blend into your surroundings.
- Do not shoot immediately when you spot the enemy. Try to wait until the whole body of the enemy becomes visible in your Crosshairs. Aim at the middle of the torso and pull the trigger.
- Don’t scan only your front but look regularly to the left and right side if you don’t want to get flanked.
- Be patient. Always wait for the best opportunity. If there is a bigger change hitting vegetation and miss your target then wait for another opportunity.
- Choose your spot wisely. Every movement or noise can give away your position
- Change your position immediately if the enemy spotted you. Moving slow and silent is no longer needed.