When You start to think about modifying your sniper marker into the ideal weapon, there are a lot of things that you are going to need to consider. These modifications should make your marker into something that every other sniper dreams of owning. They are just basic ideas, and there are many other options. It basically goes over the options that you have for upgrading.
there is a lot of decisions involved in buying and assembling your whole sniper setup, and it is a complicated process. My best advice here is to look through the volumnes of text written in these forums and ask questions about what to look for in the perfect marker setup. The ultimate setup is only achieved through hours and hours of testing and refining. This is something very few of us actually get to do. The following hints and tips on marker setup should give you a general idea of what is needed.
While I do think that a lot of these modifications are extremely helpful, I do not think that they will work for everybody. Everything that is done to your marker should be based on what you need, and not what other people think that you should have. There is no set in stone way that any marker should be set up, it all really depends on what you need and expect from your marker. Please keep in mind that these are suggestions to guide you, and are not "rules."
First of all you will want to consider using the best quality paint that you can afford. Quality paint will increase your accuracy and give you more consistent trajectory, or less balls that wing off to the sides. This type of accuracy is essential for making one shot kills. I have written a whole thread that is devoted to this exact step, so I will give you a link to it here. This is one of the biggest steps, or modifications you can make to bring your accuracy up a notch.
How To Choose Your Paint
You would do well to switch to HPA, go remote, and get a stock for your marker. This step is very important because it balances the gun and increases you accuracy. You will be able to bring the gun to target more quickly, and have less of a backwards tilt to the gun as you go to aim. You are also going to want to have an extremely lightweight marker. A light marker can be brought to aim very quickly, making quick and precise shots possible. These items for the most part work best if used together. They all serve to do the same thing: increase accuracy.
Basically any of these items will have the same performance. Remotes and stocks all really come down to personal preference, so try them out and see what you like. You will want something that simply feels right for you. Try and test them out by using somebody else's or feeling them over at a paintball shop. Remotes that are brand name are usually all good, and have the same qualities for the most part. You should consider getting a slide check for the remote, as they are only about $10 dollars more and very handy.
HPA tanks are pretty much all the same in performance too. Get something that you like the looks of, and will work good for you. As far as sizing is concerned, snipers generally use smaller tanks because they shoot far less then most players, and also because they are so lightweight. This is an advantage, but some snipers still prefer the larger sized tanks.
With Stocks, you want something that is the right length for your reach, looks appealing to you, and works for the application that you are going to apply it to. You will need to consider a raised sight rail for some stocks, as they do not allow you too look down your sights while wearing a mask. Some stocks are designed not to require the raised sight rail, such as the dogleg stock. Remember, there is usually a drawback that comes along with benefits. With the dogleg, you do not have a place to rest your cheek, and it hinders your snapshooting. These are very important to many players.
Also, many people simply prefer to use their tank as a stock. Whatever your preference is, you should not feel that anything is necessary to be a sniper. You need to be comfortable with your gear, even if it is a normal tank used as a stock.
In my opinion, using a red dot sight is very important to the sniper. Many people feel that they do not need one, but I find they are almost essential for me to play well. This all comes down to what works for YOU though. Try stuff out and you will know what you like.
The red dot will increase you first shot accuracy. It will allow you to get a good aim on the target, and take one shot that is very likely to end up being a kill. That is always important, as the first shot is the most likely to connect. I recommend getting a scope with high eye relief so that you can use it with your mask. It is simply a mod that makes sense. Most red dots function very well no matter their price, so a cheaper one should work fine for you.
Red dot sights will often require the use of a raised sight rail if you have a stock like I said before. This is because of the masks interference with the stock. The sight rail is the most obvious choice to take, but you can also get a stoack that feels comfortable when you are using a sight. You will also need to make sure your marker has the right rail and you use the right mounts. Check into all of this before you make any purchases.
You are going to want a quiet marker, and this is a big issue with the sniper role. A quiet marker is going to make it harder for the enemy to locate you if you only make one shot. The inability to determine where you are is highly advantageous, and is a great concern when choosing a marker. The only thing keeping you hidden is superior concealment techniques. When you shoot you are giving the enemy a beacon to identify your position by. Make it so that beacon is as dimly lit as possible. Make your marker as quiet as you can, and put some time into considering your options in this matter.
It is not really much of an option to always buy the most quiet marker right out of the box. People don't usually base their decisions for a marker on how quiet it is to start with. That is why I think it is important to cover mainly how to make your marker quiet after the purchase. Also, you probably already have a marker to begin with.
For the most part, you are going to want to focus on a quiet barrel and a quiet hopper. These are the two most important modifications you can make to the gun to keep yourself unnoticed. For a quiet hopper you will probably want to add some felt to the inside, or get a hopper with thick walls, which reduce the amount of sound as well. I feel that this should be bookmarked for most people, simply because you cannot enjoy sniper success if you are noisy.
Another option that I have recently seen for making your pods or hopper quiet is the use of some shelve padding from Wal-Mart. This handy stuff is extemely cheap and can be glued to the inside or pods or hoppers. This is a good way to quiet down your paintballs a bit. Pictures of this mod are to come.
You might also want a hopper, which does not block your view down thebarrel so that you can have better accuracy. You can use a Q-loader which can be mounted below the marker to solve this problem. The Q-loader is also very quiet. Although I worry about the feeder tube getting snagged, many people claim good success with this loader, so there is no reason for me to doubt its performance. These are some of the most popular ways to go about making the hopper smaller or out of the way.
Here is a link to the Q-loader website:
Another great option is the Tac-Cap for the A-5 or 98 Custom. This reduces the capacity of the cyclone hopper, and makes your marker much lighter. This will help balance your marker a bit better, and simply will feel better overall when you are playing. Why carry around extra ammo that you are not going to use anyways?
Here are some things to consider when purchasing or using a hopper. It is a good idea to have pods that are half the capacity of your hopper. That way it will be easier to keep your hopper full, and more quiet. If you have to wait until your hopper is nearly empty until you can refill, you are going to be making a lot of noise. Another hopper consideration is putting a neoprene cover over it. This will further reduce sound.
Another way to have a quiet barrel is to use a Stiffi. These barrels have been proven to be the quietest thing out there, and they are definitely worth a try. Here is a link to the Stiffi site so you can read all about it and make some decisions for yourself here. For the most part, porting is what quiets the sound of any barrel, and Stiffi addresses this concern very well. The carbon fiber design is also extremely light, and that is a benefit to any marker. It is not a huge gain, but something nonetheless.
Another consideration is the length of the barrel that you choose. Mostly it just comes down to preference in my opinion. You can get a long barrel up to 21" and possibly see the benefits. Most will argue that this type of barrel wastes gas because of the length. While this is true, it only really uses enough gas to reduce the shots per tank by about 20 paintballs. Depending on the gun that number might increase or decrease, but really if you feel you need a longer barrel then go for it. Shorter barrels can be beneficial though because they are easy to maneuver. No matter what length you have, just make sure that the barrel is quiet and accurate, That is the biggest concern in this department.
One other modification that you might make to your marker is a bipod. Now, there really is not a large need for a bipod when you are sniping, but to some it is very beneficial. If you spend a lot of time in the prone position (crawling) then you can definitely use the added stability of the bipod. It gets the marker off of the ground and makes it easier to shoot while prone. This can come in very handy. Another reason for a bipod is to use it for recon. This gives a good brace while you are scanning an area, and makes life a bit simpler.
Some of the disadvantages are the weight of the bipod, and it simply is not used an awful lot if you do not crawl or have a need to use it enough. Now, if you have a need to use one a lot, it will outweigh the con of weight, but if you never use it then it is doing you no good whatsoever. Again, this is a mod that you make depending on the way that you play.
In conclusion, there are many things that the sniper can do to make their marker work better for you over the course of a game. What you really need to do in order to decide which of these will work for you is spend a lot of time on the field figuring outt what you like, and testing other equipment if possible. These modifications will not work for eveyone, but they are some of the most popular. You need to modify your marker into something that you can take onto the field and use as a tool designed to accomplish what you expect form it. Anything short of that is not good enough for an experienced sniper.
This post has been edited by Femur Breaker: 14 February 2006 - 03:30 PM