Introduction: Paintball Sniping

Picture of Paintball Sniping

The goal of this instructable is to teach you how to become a paintball sniper

Step 1: Getting a Gun

Picture of Getting a Gun

To play paintball you have to have at least a gun, or in some cases, a rocket launcher.

I trust all readers will follow safty guidelines set by the owners of your local field.

You can use any gun to snipe, some just work better than others.

-Pump guns, like the WGP Sniper, are more accurate than semi-autos, but are hard to find and can get pricey

-Semi's, like a Model 98, are usually fairly accurate, they are easier to find and often cheaper, but not as accurate.

Step 2: Barrles Galore

Picture of Barrles Galore

The barrel that comes with your gun, or stock barrel, is sometimes not as good as an aftermarket one.

For pumps, Anything is okay, but a long, ported barrel will work well. Good companies are Smart Parts and Stiffi.

Semis need a litle more help with accuracy. For them I would reccommend a multi bore insert barrel. They cost more, but can br realy helpful. Good companies are Smart Parts and Redz.

If you have a gun made by Tippmann, nothing will work better than a flatline. The flatline is honed so that it will give you super longball shots at high accuracy.

Th reason you want a barrel with ports is that the holes will bleed of air, quieting the shot. Most of the noise you hear is from the shot exiting the barrel, not the bolt moving

Step 3: Doing It for Real

Picture of Doing It for Real

The easiest way to start being a sniper is to practice. Hit the target range and test your accuracy at different ranges.

-Keep steady and hold your breath until after you shoot
- Invest n camo or ghillie, to better hide you from the people you are trying to kil
-some experiencied players will be happy to teach the younger generation the lost art of sniping
- always push yourself, if you can't hit something, keep trying until you do
-If your shot start dropping, it culd yiur air is getting low

Step 4: Other Stuff

Picture of Other Stuff

Some accesories that could realy help
-laser scope
-gun cleaning kit
-field map
-extra tank

-Note about scopes: a paintball is not like a bullet. The fluid inside can move, changing the trajectory of the ball. Mag scopes, for that reason, are not that great. I would recomend a scope that throws a laser dot on the target. Be careful though. Some expierenced players can tell when a dot is on them, and will move accordingly.


deer-slayer51 (author)2008-11-10

pump actions are not more accurate it is just the fact that since yur hand is up at the barrel it doesn't move around so if u just get a semi-auto or even a full-auto if you get a bi/tri pod it will be just as accurate and be faster wut i do instead of buying that stuff is find a good place on a small hill w/bushes in front of me and stuff so i can be more hiden and put the barrel on sumthin. (log, stump,ect) i am making an instructable w/more info on good pb stuff like this check it out. k

Darthscout (author)deer-slayer512011-03-21

Actually they are more accurate than normal semi auto markers.

No, all markers are just as accurate, it is the paint quality and barrel cleanliness.

The only marker, "More accurate" than any other is a first strike equipped marker.
And that is only the paint.

Well actually there is a big difference in how Pumps work vs how Semi's work which makes for a massive difference in accuracy.

In a Semi, the ball is dropped into the breech from the hopper and it sits there, the Bolt is in the Open position, held by a spring (your general Woodsball markers) and the ball is resting against a ball detent to prevent it from rolling down the barrel. When the trigger is pulled, the sear releases the hammer which is forced forward by a spring, it is linked with the bolt in front. It hits the valve, opening it to let the air or gas explode out, and the bolt hits the paintball, slamming into it and pushing it past the detent and into the barrel followed shortly by the expanding gas that propels it down the barrel and the shot is made.

This causes a complete change in inertia on the paintball and the gel / liquid inside by first being hit violently by the bolt (that's why tournament grade paint tends to breaks in a Woodsball marker) and following that the gas hits it. Many different forces enact upon the ball, making it slightly more unstable.

Now in a Nelson design pump, the bolt is held in the closed position. Pumping it moves the bolt and hammer backwards, allowing a ball to fall into the breach. Then the bolt returns, leaving the hammer behind, sealing the gas expansion chamber. The bolt is no in the closed position, gently resting against the paintball that has been pushed into the barrel. Many older Pumps didn't even have a detent and the balls could just roll out.

When the trigger is pulled, the sear releases the bolt, which in turn opens the valve (doesn't slam into it) and the gas expands, rushing through the mechanism and shoots out the resting paintball. No bolt hitting it, just the air / gas. It begins its journey down the barrel less violently and this results in a constant acceleration on the paintball being the the only force it experiences, instead of a spring powered bolt hitting it first followed by the air acceleration of a Semi.

This is what makes a Pump more accurate. I've personally played with all types of markers, Open-Bolt Blowback, (Tippmanns), Open-Bolt Flex valves (Tippmann X7 Phenom and PE Etha), Poppet Valves (Etek / Ego 10), Spoolies (Dye) and a Nelson Type, Closed Bolt (Hammer 7, Empire Sniper, Armson, AirowGun)... I have tried numerous barrels, Bigshot, J&J Ceramic, Tech-T iFit, Shaft 3/4, Knightstick Carbon Fibre, etc...

And of all the markers I can honestly say there is a major difference in accuracy between Pumps and everything else. It's just a matter of physics, less forces enacting upon a gel filled sphere results in less inertial play on the fluid inside. Bolt + Air, or just Air...

ausman08 (author)2010-12-14

plus there in no such thing as a sniper only back players

facilitator476 (author)ausman082011-07-29

In speedball, snipers would be found in a woodsball or scenario game, you know the ones where all the guys but you have ghillie suits and thermal scopes on their guns

No one has ever put a thermal scope on a paintball gun.

Actually you are dead wrong. It has been done heres the proof:

Zekfrek (author)four_eyes9542012-08-26

They have but it's totally useless.
And there are to many variable to have a true paintball sniper. ie, wind and trajectory.

Trolling paintballer (author)2013-01-24

If you loving trolling peps in paintball (like me). Sniping is the job for you.
The looks on there faces when there hit is always funny its always a wtffffffffffffffff face. Again <3 trolling=Sniping

Zekfrek (author)2013-01-04

Haha ooooh 16" big deal. I gots a 20" and it helps a little bit all it does is look bad ass and scare the noobs.

a_scooby_snack (author)2012-08-26

Paintball sniping is a myth. Yes, you can have very accurate shots. but the trajectory of the ball is so inconsistent from shot to shot, that it is simply impossible to "snipe" consistently from long ranges. On top of that most guns have about the same ranges, as long as the FPS is consistent and air is consistent. yes, the barrel length can play a role in how far the gun will shoot, but there is and "optimum" barrel length. once you pass that the ball will stay in the barrel for too long, thus decreasing range, but increasing accuracy. with that i conclude, a longer barrel will help you to a point, but simply the ranges of the guns are to similar, thus sniping is a myth.

zachjulian36 (author)2010-07-14

I just bought a jt excellerator with a 14'' barrel and was wondering if that would be a good gun for sniping????

Darthscout (author)zachjulian362011-03-21

it probably won't be a great gun for snipping because it's a speed ball gun. Paintball guns always put curves onto the ball so it's not the best accuracy. Speed ball guns are meant for close range fighting/fire fights. BUT DON'T GET ME WRONG THE JT EXL. IS A GOOD MARKER. Some times I wish I could buy one but don't have the money for one. Good buy. Have fun shooting it (and people)

Sorry, but the JT EXL would not be a good marker for sniping. Unless you could get a first strike mod. The only way you can get the publics version of sniping is to use first strike rounds. Its true.

itri45 (author)2011-04-07

Most silencers are illegal, even on paintball guns:(

PerfectPantaloons (author)itri452011-12-06

What? thats BS... Where did you get this nugget of information???

Molybdenum (author)2011-09-30

Pumps are not more accurate.

A t9.1 with first strike rounds is.

ziberoo (author)2011-09-14

Apparently there is no snipers in paintball.
Then can you shoot targets from concealed positions OR distances, which is the modern definition?

The answer to this question is the same as the other.

The answer is yes. I have done it.

ttimothyp16 (author)2011-08-01

On my ROTC marksmanship team (not paintball but it would still work i guess) they said don't hold your breath but aim above your target and exhale while lowering your sight till your on the target by this time you should be done exhaling and then fire. BTW we are 2 years in a row National champions

ausman08 (author)2010-12-14

pumps are not any more accurate than a semi

hightekrednek2396 (author)2010-12-04

j&j barrels are good too they also make a kit for differant bores

xarlock667 (author)2010-10-30

The problem with a paintball sniper is three fold.

1) Paintballs are filled with fluid. They have tiny bulges, and soft spots that can hinder accuracy. Check for soft spots first.

2) You need greater pressure to make a longer barrel more functional. Most fields will not let you exceed 300psi. That means you are SOL for longer range shots.

3) High pressure=loud noise. Loud noise means you will be heard, and then hosed. Make a good supressor, and keep it quiet. Sniping is all about stealth.

Cotty (author)2008-12-13

Just a warning, most laser sights are outlawed at most fields, for obvious safety reasons. An extra tank, for a paintball sniper is a little excess. Depending on the amount you're shooting and the size of your tank, you should usually have enough unless you're in a really long game. A 20 oz CO2 should get you 800+ shots which is more than enough for any sniper to work with. A handgun is another thing you could probably do without. No barrel should ever exceed 16-18 inches, otherwise it decreases accuracy and uses more CO2. Whatever gun you have, should be good enough for close combat, probably much more efficient than a handgun.

Croatianspartin (author)Cotty2010-08-04

I agree, except about the handgun part i own tippmann tpx and it works wonders when my a5 1. breaks paint or chops 2. when in a tight location, where i just disconnect my remote line from my a5 and only use my tpx and 3. when i run out air or have techincal difficulties. Otherwise I agree=)

qazrat (author)2010-07-29

i fully disagree with deer slayer i own a pump gun and it is far more accurete then my 98, x7, and my 05 ego the reason they are more accurate is they dont have the mass of the bolt being shot back like semi's do and it forces you to play a better game and one question what pump gun are you basing your comment on if its a walmart gun then shut the up check out chipley custom machine, cci or any autococker pump i personly own a 1 of 2 ccm s5 halfblock

xXxMattThePossumxXx (author)2010-07-23

Just going to add to everyone's points here. 1. Pumps are not necessarily more accurate, accuracy comes down to paint quality, barrel quality (not length) and player skill. 2. long range sniping in paintball is nonexistant, nothing is funnier than watching new kids try to longball people from their spawn point, doesnt work. 3. Fields usually don't allow lasers, simply because of their insurance or their being afraid that some dumb kid will blind everybody. If youre going to be the "uber sniper delta recon ranger" and wear a ghillie suit and use a 26 inch barrel. For Gods sake guard the flag, because you'll be useless anywhere else

DeTrevni (author)2008-03-12

Urbancommando, for someone who claims to have been paintballing for a while, I'm almost disappointed in the almost word-for-word repeating of the Special Ops drivel they try to pass off as "tips." I've been playing paintball for around 10 years now, and every time I see any tactics similar to what Spec Ops offers, I regret to say the player is fairly new or doesn't last too long... Aside from what Carl has said, which I may add is accurate to a degree*, "sniping," or attempting to do so, only hinders your team. While your team is out there completing objectives and scoring eliminations (NOT "kills"...), the "sniper" is simply laying on his stomach, hoping someone will mosey by, or taking his sweet time trying to be stealthy. That is one less marker for engagement by your opponents, and one less man for your team. Also, on the subject of ghillie, simply slapping on ghillie and going out to a field is a GREAT way to stand out like a sore bleeding thumb. For ghillie to be remotely effective, you have to match it to your surrounding. For it to be truly effective, it needs to exactly match your immediate surrounding. Military snipers actually construct their ghillie on location, and use actual terra and fauna (read: vegetation) from the land around them. In short, you actually have to be trained in ghillie for it to be of any use. Otherwise, it will not make you look like a bush, you will only look like a man in ghillie. Which, I might add, is rather easy to spot... *The only point I disagree with Carl is on the inaccuracy of a Flatline. At normal paintball ranges, the Flatline has proven to be quite accurate. Where it loses accuracy is at range, because of the extra distance, combined with the back-spin, combined with wind effects, any error on aiming is exaggerated, causing inaccuracy.

120012 (author)DeTrevni2010-02-20

 Im srry dude but i disagree wth u completly on the fact of a guille. if u r wering a ghuille and use it effectiflly u can be a big pain in the arse for the other team shure u shouldnt sit in one spot for the entire time shoot and move and dnt stay in the same spot if you do thats how you get eliminated. If the team is always worrying when you will pop up your team can eliminate more pple well they are distracted. Most ghuilles will work for the sesion  ill agree wth you there. but if you have a woodland ghuille than it will work mostly for the spring and summer(paintball sesion mostly) But i wil agree wth you on the flatline it is garbage.

the achilles heel of your argument is the moving. If youre wearing a ghillie and you move, then your big burlap suit is worthless, it's meant to blend in, and running around like a big green lint-ball negates that purpose.

JamesRPatrick (author)DeTrevni2008-05-20

There isn't much wind in a forest.

MadMechanicMike (author)DeTrevni2008-03-21

once again i completely agree with everything you have said.

carld2002 (author)DeTrevni2008-03-12

The flatline is an opinion I suppose. I have seen way too many disappointed flatline owners to recommend them. However, I own an apex and it is fantastic.

LBlinkinbiz (author)2008-07-08

I'd just like to go more in depth into the barrel issue sine it's a rather hot topic so far.

In my experience there are MANY factors to look into a barrel and all of these factors should be decided upon the kind of player you are.

Jesus, I do this all the time....Silly long informative posts. If you wanna skip like half of this least takethis.

If you did not know already, air moves faster than the ball itself. This contrast of velocities between the air and the ball allow for inconsistent shots. Porting allows air to essentially escape bit by bit out of the barrel before the ball escapes the barrel itself, allowing for an accurate shot. However, In rainy or even just wet conditions ported barrels can make a mess of a shot.

Like PBstar (article above) said, Length DOES NOTHING other than reduce sound, but that's what our ILEGAL silencer is for :P. It also adds to the psyche that you can pin point shots better with a longer line of reference. So don't go playing "sniper" with an absurdly long barrel if possible.... (Sound vs. Profile)

This topic, although carld2002 has thoroughly discussed, is rather two-sided. Sure, the barrel allows for backspin, (and apparently some manufacturers offer bolts that pull the same effect). In my opinion, backspin is a very well patented gimmick as far as it is concerned in the sniper ring. Due to the fact that backspin requires less force to fire the ball, sure it allows for a consistant, and longer/accurate shot, but it also still means, that your ball is not moving straight. The flatline's backspin pattern offers a more upper arched trajectory.
Now, on an open field, this is the greatest thing since bacon (and I love bacon). But in the woods and other high foliage locations, backspin is almost like throwing the paintballs yourself. Due to the weaker velocity shot and the predisposition of the SPINNING ball, the second it starts hitting leaves, the ball will just start going everywhere.
CONCLUSION: Great idea, but never to be used in the woods. Open fielded paintball targets beware.

I've only heard rumors and silly paintball stories about this barrel. The amazing ability to modify your trajectory with a click of the tip. I guess though I cannot really rip on the idea, just so long as it's end users have the knowledge of its proper tactical uses.

Type of barrel:
Over my years in paintball, I've tried, aluminum, ceramic, steel and carbon fiber barrels. And it is in this exact order do I swear to them (right being the best). I love Stiffi barrels, but there is a sense of responsibility to maintaining them. Otherwise. just look for the shiny barrel. Clean barrel means good shootin' times.

Lastly and most importantly:
You could have any barrel in the world, but without proper paint to bore matching, you will never have that edge of accuracy. Basically you wanna make sure that your paint itself fits well in the barrel, not too tight, and not so loose. This helps not only with better accuracy, but with better barrels, a good paint to bore match can clean your barrel up god forbid, you break paint in your gun. I'm not one to preach to get a full kit of freak bores or what not, but keep in mind the kind of paint you shoot. And yes, bores are fractionally different, but they do help and you can see the difference.

And my leaving thoughts for the rest of the sniper page:
- Phantoms and ADG mags have the best consistency by far due to their valves.
- A cheep 2000+ WGP cocker and a stock pump kit is the affordable, effective sniper choice
- Don't shun a pistol just because it's smaller, Sheridan PGP2 can shoot just as far as any other gun.
- And just like any other player MAINTAIN Fire discipline. Silencer or not, there are many ways your shot, can give away your location....take a shot you know will work. Otherwise, take another approach.
- Lastly, enjoy. A good sniper gets a good kick sniping a very confused mob. Snipers work wonders on the confidence of others.

P.S. If you so happen to be coming to Invasion of Normandy this weekend you can come meet me. I'll be the only "asian" in a kilt :P
(lolz to being 3 months late)

120012 (author)LBlinkinbiz2010-02-20

 Hey man i agree wth u completly i have a flat line barrel and quite frankly it suks horribly and it lowers the fps from 300 to about 220 at 100 feet. IT IS GARBAGE!!! Save ur money and by a 32 degrees barrel from much better!!

Celtic_Monkey (author)2008-02-13

I was thinking of doing this, the whole paint ball thing, but I don't know rules. But now I know how to snipe more efficiently I'll learn. Great instructable(s)

Most Fields havew a 280 FPS limit, so if your bringing your own gear, make sure it's,NEVER,EVER,EVER take off your mask!!! then theres No shooting at referres,signs,or people without masks.All fields  have borders (limits where you can't go). hope this helps!

IT is way fun you should really get into the sport. Just rent or borrow some gear and get on to and use there game locator to find a game that's close to you.

iBurn (author)Celtic_Monkey2008-08-04

I wanna do it's more a question of funding though..........

joerubberboots9 (author)2009-07-20

i thought having camo when playing paint ball dinnt relay help! i was proved wrogn. i made a thing on how to make a camo paintball gun barrel cover. those Gilly suites are f**ing awesome!

the "wow shammy" (author)2009-06-01

dude! i had trouble finding you!!!!

Then you are really stupid. You will die by sniper.

abadfart (author)2009-05-24

get an optic dot scope it will give you a dot with out giving you a way

DA_MiG (author)2009-02-24

I just got a Tippmann X7 with a 16" Barrel and an M16 style buttstock. I plan on painting some of the parts so they aren't as noticeable out in the woods. But the easiest way to snipe is find a good spot that you can blend into and just lay low. don't fire unless your sure your gonna hit him or you give away your position. Other than the basics, its a ghillie suit, silencer, scope, etc. But I used to snipe with a PMI Piranha that only had a 10" barrel and the I had camo taped the whole thing (sky blue doesn't blend well in the forest). Then key is staying still and quiet and making sure you only shoot what you know you can hit

Bridel568 (author)DA_MiG2009-05-15

hey do you have a view loader orion because mines a view loader and its sky blue too

triplehigh (author)2009-03-09

Actually the blowback construction of a marker such as the Tipp. 98 is actually less accurate because the bolt isn't sealed. Pump action such as the Phantoms are much more accurate for the reason that the bolt is sealed, not because your hand placement is different. Why do you think most sniping rifles are bolt action where each round is individually loaded = more accurate.

muffin man (author)2009-01-28

where can I get a laser like that one. I got a sawed off 12 gauge thats really hard to aim. id feel a lot better if I stumbled upon a snake and knew I could hit it without hesitation.

koolkid12 (author)muffin man2009-02-14

I have a Two hundred dollar laser for my autococker but you can find a good shotgun one at and its only 39.99 and it attaches to the choke

koolkid12 (author)2009-02-14

What you really need is a good silencer for the gun i made mine off of a instructable andmine was two feet long and 3 inches wide. I cant even tell when i shoot.

SKULLRAGE (author)2008-10-03

*sigh* i evn don't if im a sniper but i want to be one cuz i like to crawl alot and hide alot....but some of my teammate think im jst waste of a player cuz i always hide and nvr go assault to, i wish there some in here that can teach me how to become a good sniper...

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