Basically, it takes three things to be a good sniper, and a wicked shot is the least of them. Discipline and cunning are the important qualities. Snipers do not (usually) roam around looking for people to shoot.
The sniper is alone or with 1 - 3 other people depending on the mission requirements. Taking shots at targets not worth shooting only increases the risks of being discovered or killed.
Discipline and patience are essential qualities to have when faced with a shoot/no shoot descision.
Ask yourself this -- Do you have a hot temper? Do you anger quickly? Anger causes the pulse to quicken and may cause careless or irrational behavior, all of which are bad.
Snipers are not necessarily "loners." In fact, someone who has problems relating to other people may not make a good choice.
Why is all of this important? A sniper may stalk a target for days to get a shot. He may never get it. Could you abandon the mission without shooting anything? The window of opportunity for a shot may last only 3 seconds. If you are daydreaming, fooling around, eating, or anything else, you will not be successful.
You should be studying the kill zone and waiting for your shot. You must remain still at all times to avoid detection. This sounds easy but it's not. Think of a small child who is just learning to fish. It's impossible for him to leave his line in the water for more than a minute or two without pulling it out to check it.
If you have deer hunted, you know how hard it is to hold still in a deer blind. It might be easier if you knew that your prey would shoot you if it saw you first. But it is very easy to relax when you think that no one can see you.
What does cunning mean to you? To a sniper it is everything, and it affects everything he does. Cunning alone can make a sniper successful. A sniper must decide where to position himself, how to get there, how to leave, how to camoflage the hide, where to place alternate hides, and what to do if something bad happens.
A sniper must be able think an entire shoot through from beginning to end and set it up in a manner which will produce results. Anyone who has watched enough television has seen a million wrong ways to do this.
Snipers do not shoot from rooftops, open windows, or any other prominent terrain feature. These are the places which will immediately draw attention and return fire.
A rooftop can be a hard place to escape from, too, as would a climbing stand used by deer hunters.
Marksmanship is the final element. A sniper must be able to engage targets at as long a range as is possible under any circumstance. Distance equals escape time.
Surprisingly, people who have never before fired a rifle can become excellent shots with proper training. Old habits are hard to break and this applies to shooting methods, as well.
As a final note, I want to stress that, despite the title of this web site, and much of the discussion contained herein, this site is really intended to help paintballers develop better skills. I also include the stuff about sniping because it is not generally available to the public.
You must first select an area for your kill zone. The area you select should make success likely. You will base your decision on the probability that the target will appear in this area during the period of time you are there.
You must select a primary and at least one alternate hide.
Cover is the protection the site affords from fire. It may or may not be wise to expend a lot of effort on overhead cover when none is available naturally.
The more time spent in the area digging and cutting the more you will be exposed to enemy detection and fire. You must be very careful to avoid detection. You should use anything available to provide cover, and choose the best cover available that fills other essential requirements.
Concealment is what keeps you from being seen. It is not necessarily cover. A bush will hide you, but it will not always stop a paintball.
Use whatever is available. Do not cut bushes from the area of your hide. If all of the bushes have been cut down and piled up in one spot your hide will be too obvious. Gather materials distant from your hide if you need them.
Gather carefully so that people traveling through the area will not see the cuttings, otherwise they will know that "someone" has been there gathering camouflage for a position.
Personal camouflage is essential at all times. You must achieve two things, break up your outline and blend in. You break up your outline by creating shadows where they should not be and highlighting places that should be in shadow. You can also do this by wearing materials that obscure the outline of your body, face, hands, etc.
From the time we are first born we know what a face is. It is the first thing newborns sees when their eyes open. By the time a person is 4 years old they can see facial patterns in clouds and their closet at night! It is the one feature that is most recognizable to anyone.
When applying camouflage stick or civilian creams use the dark tones on raised facial features and the light tones on recessed (reverse shadows), but run areas together across your face on a diagonal. You don't want a perfect reversal because it will still look like a face!
When using vegetation for camouflage, use very short branches. Long branches and grasses move in an exaggerated fashion when you make slight movements.
Choose vegetation that blends in to the area you are hiding in. Try to select a place for your hide that provides natural concealment, then augment it as necessary. Be careful to position yourself in a way that minimizes the angle at which the flash can be seen.
This usually means keeping the muzzle well back of whatever you are shooting out of. Statecally loacated branches will help.
The sun can be used as camouflage during certain times of the day. When the sun is to your back and at an angle of 15 - 45 degrees to the targets' eyes, anything on the horizon under the sun is difficult to see.
The glare can work in your favor depending on the location of the sun, even if it is in your eyes! Careful analysis of site placement and timing is necessary for this to work. Whatever you do, do not select the most prominent terrain feature for your hide. These areas will always be scrutinized.
If the enemy is fired upon, he will return fire to these features first. The concept of a silhouette is important. Always consider what you will look like against the background. You should try to blend in.
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