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Paintball Success Tips, Issue #006 -- Sniper Tactics Guest Article
November 22, 2004

Guest Article -- Paintball Heros Reveals A Few Sniper Tricks...

Becoming A Paintball Sniper:
Tips for Accurate, Elegant Shooting

-by Andrea Wilson

So you want to be a sniper, eh? Well, take seriously the target practice tips we suggest here, and you'll
soon find yourself regularly asked by your friends and teammates to play the elite position of sniper in one game after another.

Put up a paper target in your backyard against a tree or on the side of your garage or garden shed. Be careful where you place your target. You don't want to find yourself aiming at the neighbor's yard, house, car or Pit bull!

Stand back at least 25 feet from the target and take careful aim. Shoot several times to get a good idea of where your shots are going.

The pattern of your hits to the target will reveal something about you as a shooter.

1. If you're hitting in a horizontal pattern across the bull's eye and across the target, you're moving when you pull the trigger. Stand as still as possible without jerking the trigger and without jerking your gun. This will give you the best result. Keep practicing and you'll see the difference. The longer you remain still while pulling the trigger the more often you're going to hit the center of the target.

2. If you're hitting around and below the bull's eye, but never quite in the center of the target, you're not breathing steadily. You could be excited and breathing too fast when you're pulling the trigger. Calm down, breathe slowly and your shots will start hitting the middle of the target more often.

3. If you find that your hits are all over the place, you need to learn to aim properly with your particular marker. Practice, practice and more practice is the answer to this problem.

To help you stay still and steady while shooting, try resting your marker on a porch railing, picnic table, or other solid object. Also try kneeling or lying prone on the ground.

Kneeling is a hard position to shoot from if you're down on only one knee. Instead, you might want to lower yourself further so both knees are stabilizing your body before actually firing.

In a game, you're going to have to move quickly after firing, so you also need to practice keeping one knee up to act as a lever to get you off the ground. To stay as stable as possible in this
position, raise the knee opposite to the hand you're shooting with.

A sniper who's forced to shoot from a standing position should take careful aim, control their breathing, and then shoot. While standing, it's difficult to hit a target unless you're very still and able to hold your gun without shaking or moving. If possible, use a tree to steady your body and a branch to steady your gun. Try not to shoot from a standing position unless absolutely necessary.

Practice running while trying to hit the target. Try several tactics: zigzag, come at the target from various distances, run quickly, run slowly, crouch a little while running. This practice will serve you well in a game because most players run and shoot with little or no control over their movements. They have no idea what difference a change in their position, speed, angle or breathing will make to their rate of success.

Here's a winning tactic that most players don't bother to learn. Practice running backwards and shooting, while glancing over your shoulder to see where you're going. Done properly, this can turn a retreat into a win.

Just remember, you'll need to spend many hours practicing if you want to become a sniper and shoot like a pro. Popping a few shots in your backyard is great for starters, but to get serious practice, you'll need to take your marker to the shooting range.

Yes, it's expensive to use up paint balls on target practice, but the time and money will be well spent. You'll win more games and have far more fun and satisfaction. And ultimately you'll save money because you won't need to lay down a ton of paint during games to mark opponents. Instead your shooting will be accurate and elegant...the mark of a good sniper.

Copyright 2004 Andrea Wilson. All rights reserved.


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