Welcome to the forums. Thank you for serving our country too! I was planning on going into the military for years, however decided to go to college instead. Good thing for me
The translation between sniping in both paintball and in real life has it's share of similarities and differences. You are playing the most fun, (and cheapest if you don't waste bullets. I am guessing you received the o'l marine one shot one kill lesson. Even though I am answering a few q's that have already been answered, I hope I can give you a little insight to the role
When considering a marker, instead of thinking of an M4, instead think of a sub machine gun. Depending on your marker, it can be a desert eagle, or even a mp5. Also, imagine your clip is 6x as large. Basically, paintball is a, "shoot a lot and hope it hits", sport. This is due to the aerodynamics of the circular round not being very accurate. While a MP5 may have a high rate of fire, it isn't as accurate as a rifle. This does not mean you can't snipe with it!
I don't remember if you said you had a marker, but I suggest a Tippmann. This is because it has the most upgradability of any other woodsball marker, feels the same as a real firearm, and is the best manufactured. I have an old 98 from 1998, and it still works like a charm.
I STRONGLY suggest you invest in a good mask. You will probably want a lightweight, comfortable, and large fov mask. Don't bother with one of those full-head wrap masks. While it hurts, you can't get a concussion from a paintball, (I guess if you are shot within 10 feet at 300fps....). I personally use a Vents mask http://www.paintballmask.com/p737/Vents_Av...oduct_info.html
. It has one of the slimmest profiles, along with best visibility around. It is 70$. I got mine for only 55, because I knew the guy at my shop. It is mid-range priced, however it is probably one of the bests masks for the job. It has an extremely large FOV, has UV protection, (you will probably play during the day, so you will want this. That way you don't have to wear sunglasses underneath your mask), and has little-NO dampening of noise. That means you will be able to hear nearly as well as if you weren't wearing a mask in the first place! Last, but not least it is really comfortable. I have used this as my primary mask all year now, and even in long 12 hr scenario games, it remains comfortable. The last thing you will want is irritated eyes due to cheap plastic, (I'm looking at YOU JT!). You will never want to use the masks with built-in fans. They say they reduce moisture in the mask, but it is never the case. The sad reality is, if you play in a humid state, you will get some fogging in-between games. High quality insulating foam helps with this, along with a mask's snug fit. I have only had the thing fog up on me once so far this year on a 95 degree day while in full ghillie.
When considering paint, think of it as your bullet. Would you load "made in china" mass produced lead-cast bullets in your m4? If you are like me, you want your paint to be accurate and break, so you don't have to use as much. Basically you have a choice between two different brands; Evil, and Marblizers..... Ok there are more, but IMO they are the best 2. Good rule of thumb is more expensive = better paint.
Now, take down this note. When you are buying your paint, have them bring the box to you. Either open it yourself BEFORE YOU PAY, or have them do it. Take out a bag and look at the paint. Also unscrew your barrel and take it with you. You are looking for these things:
- Are the balls deformed or are they perfect spheres?
- Are the paintballs soft and rubbery, or hard like a pill?
- Do you see any paint in the bag?
If you answer yes to any of these, ask to get another box. That means the paint has gone bad. If the paint looks good and you are at a field, take out a round, and do the lob test. Basically, with a gentle underhand motion, lob the round in the air, and let gravity pull it to earth. Make sure it hits a hard surface. If it cracks like an egg, you have good paint. If it bounces, try again with another round. If 2-3 rounds keep bouncing, then get a different box.
After all of this, place a round in the threaded end of your barrel. If the paintball rolls out of the barrel, then either the paint is too small, or your barrel is too wide. What you want is a snug fit. Place your mouth over the threaded end, and blow as if you were shooting a blowgun. If the paintball shoots out, you have a perfect match. If it is stuck and won't come out, the paint is too big. There is about 3 different paint sizes. I forget exactly what they are, (Think .68, .683, .689 but don't quote me). Anyways on to the paint!
- Brittle shell, will crack on anything, great anti-wipe paint
- Very polished, very round (improves accuracy)
- Breaks in your gun easier than marblizers
- sometimes more expensive than marblizers. I have seen it fluxuate between 60-75$
Evil is great paint. I suggest using this in more expensive spool-fed markers. It is really expensive though, (75$ a case at some places!!!)
- Hard, brittle shell. Very hard to chop it
- Polishing equal to evil imo
- Amazingly-long life span. I had a bag of marblizers shoot a year after the bag was open, and had paint inside the bag the entire time!
- Harder shell= less chance of paint breaking at extended ranges
Marblizers are my paint of choice. I like how strong the stuff is. You will definitely want stronger paint if you use a flatline or apex barrel
All-American DXS BLAZE
- Slightly cheaper than the other 2
- Highly polished, little dimpling, hard shell
- Doesn't last as long in humidity
I threw in DXS, because when they don't have my paint of choice, I get this. It is about 5-15$ cheaper per case for the paint. Another paint I will swear by!
Ok, you may ask why I am writing such a detailed article about paint. Well, it's partially because I respect people serving in the armed forces. However, most importantly your accuracy and chance for ball-breakage is all about the paint! As long as you keep your marker at about 280fps, barrel length that is 10-18 inches, and have a clean barrel, then you are universally accurate between markers. Knowing your firearm gets you more kills
As far as engagement range, I suggest 15-100 feet if you want to be accurate. Paintball guns fire up to 250 feet, but you have to fire a lot of rounds. Up to 100 feet you can generally get a kill with 1-3 shots.
As far as playing styles, paintball snipers generally are a lot more active. Ghillie can be worn, but it is really hot. I suggest action ghillie, or simply moving around less. Another smart buy is a hydration camel pack! That way you can drink while on the field with your mask down!
As far as tactics, they really work the same, however there is less range, and more firepower. Stalking, positioning, firing behind cover is all the same imo.
Um.... trying to remember if I missed anything. Sorry if I re-answered questions mate!