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The Sniping Guide - How to get set up with an airsoft sniper


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#1
Archer-OK

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Yo,

 

Archer here from Oklahoma. After taking (an essentially forced) break from airsoft and its subsequent forums because of school (the toughest GD finals that I hope to never experience again) and relocating to SoCal for summer work, I thought I would do a rather in depth look on how to get started as an airsoft sniper. I will be going over A LOT including: Various setups and  the pro/cons of each, what to upgrade and what to avoid for each setup, Styles of play and their pros/cons, kit to use, and anything else I see fit. If I don’t interest you, Oh well. This is mainly a STARTING point for anyone wanting to try airsoft sniping. This will be broken into sections as I don’t have some of this written out yet and the shear size of what I have now would make posting at once worthless. 

 

If in wrong section, can mods please move to correct one? Thanks!

 

Xcehgsu.jpg

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#2
Archer-OK

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PART 1 - Foreward and Background

 

I Started playing airsoft about 7 years ago when the group I started to hang with in high school started playing. They all started with some solid aegs such as echo1's and the like, but one guy had a JG bar 10 that fired lasers out of the box somehow. So when I decided to purchase an airsoft gun I decided to go down the sniping trail even though everyone said not to do it.

 

Why?

Well first of all, I have always enjoyed walking through the woods near home and have always loved sneaking about whether in video games or real life. So, I wanted to test my skill against people who were hunting me for a change.

 

Second, I had no clue at the time that sniping would suck the money out of my pockets right when I got it. I also didn't know how tough it is to find good parts for and tune the SOB.

 

Third, I always played the sniper in games as I enjoyed the thrill of having a powerful weapon while being weak if precations weren't taken.

 

 

So here I am 7 years down the road and not having done anything but play a sniper role in airsoft as I now can't really afford to do much else.

 

Here is my current setup

 

UTG L96 base

 

Internals
-Angel Custom Cylinder Set (includes)
---Teflon coated Cylinder
---Aluminum Piston with two guide rings
---9mm Spring guide with bearings
---A rather well designed (or copied) cylinder head
---Sp170 spring (not used)

-Laylax sp170 spring
-Guarder APS-2 Piston Head
-PDI Maruzen L96 Hop-Up chamber
-Prommy 550mm 6.03 Tightbore cut to 500mm
-Guarder 70% Bucking
-Metal Trigger Box
-Extra Sears for Trigger box
-Rubber Dampener on Cylinder Head
-Electrical Tape centering rings
-Threading tape(Teflon Tape) mods to bucking, cylinder, anywhere that has threads.

-Tons and tons of time tuning

 

External
Centerpoint 4-16x42mm Scope - Red/Green Illumination
2x CCW Thread adapters
Winchester Spring loaded Bipod
M82 Style Flash Hider
King Arms 200x40mm Suppressor
Custom Paint

 

Even with out the suppressor, the gun is very quite. And with it, it only makes a whisper. I currently run about 545fps. Also, I have an accurate range at 350ft and beyond.

 

f785YGh.jpg

 

I'm currently tinkering with an r-hop setup and a new barrel so it should help a bit.

 

 

And here is a vid of me playing against the group I ran with in Missouri. Its a pretty bad vid but it shows exactly what sniping is about.

 



#3
Archer-OK

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PART 2 - Choosing a base rifle

 

Choosing your base rifle is a very important descision and should not be taken lightly. What you choose can effect upgrade potential, logetivity, and overall costs. Here are some of the options to consider:

 

SPRING

 

Probably the most cost effective and consistant form of airsoft sniping, Springers are the go to rifle that most everyone starts with. They are uber reliable if you take care of them also. Here are some of the options to consider with a springer.

 

1) TM VSR10 or any of its clones. Needless to say if you get a clone, make sure its a better quality one. The TM L96 uses a lot of VSR10 parts so that is pretty good to have also.

    Pros- The VSR10 has the most aftermarket support. It's lighter and shorter than many other BAR's. The TM stock hopup and a good bucking are the best the hop up can get for the rifle. (Unless you want the get the PDI chamber which allows for side spin adjustment, but is a POS to adjust. It also allows for AEG barrels).

    Cons- The VSR10 and its clones are the most popular. (Its like the M4 of sniping). To get the hopup super stable takes some mods and tuning time. Mags like to get stuck in wag well. the stock trigger sear is 45 degrees so it may not hold up to high power springs, which mean you have to either buy 90 degree sears and a compatible piston, or a zero/v-trigger and a compatible piston. 

 

2) Maruzen APS-2 and L96 systems. This is what I run. There are not many clones of the APS-2 but there are a lot for the L96. Only difference between the systems is a different cylinder head for different models. Triggers are different for the different models though.

    Pros- Good after market support. I believe most of the clones have stock 90 degree sears ( though the trigger boxes are plastic so reinforce if putting in a heavy spring. The stock sears are pretty good) Very easy to quite, mod. Stock hop is ok, but switch out the plastic arm with a metal one)

    Cons- Hop up is hard to adjust unless you TDC it no matter which unit you are using. Heavier than most BAR's (The L96 is anyways). The APS-2 clones ARE NOT actual clones. They like to use proprietary parts and that severely limits upgrade potential unless you can lathe out your own aluminum and steel parts.

 

If you stick with Tokyo Marui or APS (Maruzen) guns, you will have good aftermarket support.

 

Snow Wolf M28's now have PDI support for upgrades, It is now viable to purchse one for a base.

 

GAS RIFLES

 

These can be somewhat tempremental, inconsistent, and or heavy, they can become great when tuned to perfection. Gas rifles are good for when you want a gun that is hard shooting straight away and take minimal amounts of work to get ok results.

 

1) KJW 700's Don't know all that much about the clones.

    Pros- No mods needed immediately for power. Able to short stroke for faster reloads. Pretty good out of box.

    Cons- For consistency, this needs to be polarstared or else there is too much fps fluctuation throughout the mag. Hop up can be hit or miss, to get the best possible hop, it needs to be R-hopped. Not much aftermarket support.

 

Tanaka gas guns are pretty good, but build quality can be hit or miss.

Research ANY gas rifle before purchase extensivly, it will save your bacon later.

 

AEG Snipers (DMRs)

 

These take a WHOLE lot of money, time, skill, and labor to do right. There ae many paths to achive a good DMR platform, but plan your path to make sure its what you want. Good platforms are M14, AR-15, G3, SIG550, PSG-1, essentially any gun that has great support for upgrades.

 

 

 

Notes for other stuff and upgrades.

 

Things to stay away from.

1) NEVER BUY A ARES SNIPER! They suck. The externals are great, but the internals are both proprietary and of bad quality. They're hard to upgrade and if it is possible expensive. That new ARES MSR only lasts 50 shots because the piston lip shears off and its not compatible with anything.

2) Never buy a super cheap clone. They like to have bad tolerances (which disallows upgrades), sealed cylinders, and proprietary parts. 

3) While a lot of the M24/28 are nice, they  don't have very many compatible parts. And if parts are compatible, they like to come from different guns, making it hard to know which part to get. The Echo1 M28 is not compatible with many VSR parts unlike what the sellers say. Their ASR is the same way.

PDI now makes a full upgrade kit for M28 platforms. This is extremely good news.

 

4) The APS M40A3 looks good, but again, most of the parts are incompatible.

5) Stay away from the Angel custom springs. They suck

 

Notes-

-Use a softer bucking, as it is easier to break in and is a little more consistent. Though I have found that harder silicon bucking work well too.

-Always upgrade the accuracy components first. It doesn't matter what your range is if you can't hit it.

-Cylinder sets are one of the easiest ways to overhaul the cylinder. All of the parts are meant to fit together and its cheaper than buying parts individually.

-Good brands are: Laylax/First Factory, and PDI. Angel custom is making some pretty good quality clones of Laylax or PDI at a fraction of the cost, but the percision isn't quite there and its still relatively new. Pretty safe to buy aside from the springs.

-The way to get the most range is to R-hop. ER is good, but you have to cut the barrel.

-If you have good compression, a SP170 or equivalent spring is the hottest you can possibly get if max fps is 550. I believe a sp150 is around 500fps.



#4
Archer-OK

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Part 3 - Upgrade path

 

This is where the nitty gritty of airsoft sniping comes into play. Upgrading your sniper is a must as most guns on the field will have the same range and accuracy of your gun when stock. To start upgrading, be prepared to spend upwards of $400 total if you what to get the best performance.

 

Remember, consistency is he main goal when setting up a sniper. Being able to hit that consistent shot every time is the most important aspect in sniping.

 

Step 1 - Accuracy

-ALWAYS upgrade your accuracy components first. It doesn't matter what your fps is If you cant hit the broad side of a barn.

-When upgrading the components, you pretty much have to upgrade everything at once. If you don't, your accuracy may not improve much or any at all.

 

---For the Barrel, you want to stick with reputable brands such as pdi and prometheus. It has been reported (and somewhat tested) that the wider the bore, the better your consistency. A Prometheus 6.03 is the most cost effective solution, but PDI has a few different flavors of barrels: 6.03, 6.05, and 6.08's. X-Fire.org has a choose you own barrel where you can customize your width, length, and hop up window to make sure you have the best barrel you can have (The price isn't to bad either, the shipping can be though).

 

---Hop-up is essential for a good sniper. If at all possible, Flat hop or R-hop the gun as this will give you much better consistency. If you do this you may not need to buy a new chamber. A new chamber (like a PDI) may give you better tunability though so keep that in mind. There are also many mods you can do yourself to make it better.

 

---A trigger is also important to consider for accuracy as if you slap it to much, you can throw off aim. This doubles for airsoft as any contact with the barrel wall will bake the bb deviate from its path.

 

 

Step 2 - Power

If you want range, use more fps right? Yes, but not always. Use as much power as the hop up can handle consistantly. (I.E.- A sp170 spring will get you around 540 fps or so and thats the upper limit of mine). Power is dependent on needs and the area in which you play, so look around and see what works best for you.

 

(Springs)

---Stick with PDI or Laylax for the best performance, anything else can be good but may throw in inconsistency. 

 

---If possible, upgrade the entire cylinder set. The parts set will allow for airtight fitment without piecing together different parts.

 

---If you haven't done so already, upgrade the trigger (or at least the sears) so you can handle more power.

 

Power is dependent on needs and the are in which you play so look around and see what works best for you.

 

(Gas)

--P* that SOB. It will get you the exact power that you want and the consistency you need. Don't overdo or you might damage the internals. Make sure that the gun is lubricated, your O rings are not designed for dry high pressure air.

 

(AEG)

-- Do whatever you do to the kraut space magic that is the gearbox of an aeg to make it consistent and reliable at a high fps.

 

 

Step 3 - Make it yours

 

Customize to personalize the gun. And be proud of it as it is now a powerhouse in the field.

 

First

 

TWyknxm.jpg
 

 

Second

 

BeGk5Te.png

 

 

And my latest is up at the top.



#5
Archer-OK

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Its been a while since I have updated this, sorry bout that. I got busy with work over the summer and then had a move back to school along with a two week rocketry competition in Bulgaria, then catching back up with my senior year of engineering.

 

Anyway we've gotten through the start-up and upgrade paths, so now its time to talk about style of play and tactics. Style of play and tactics are NOT the same! Your style of play depends on the AO, your preference of play, what the team's needs are, etc.. and your tactics depend on your style of play. I will gloss over two different play styles and two tactics sets for the respective roles.

 

Style #1 - The Squad Marksman

 

The squad marksman role is a solid role for those who are getting started in the way of the sniper as it allows for effective communication between the team and the ability for everyone to watch each others back. It also allows for proficient players to give reach to a squad, provide an area denile role, and possibly allow for kills without advertising a squads position. It style is great for most AO's including large urban environments and large fields. In an urban environment, a marksman can cover a corner from a distance and disallow enemies from peeking, allowing for friendlies to move or find cover. In large fields, a marksman can engage form a distance and force foes to find cover, allowing for friendlies to either advance or retreat. 

 

The tactics used for this are the standard DMR tactics. Stick towards the rear of the squad and scan for targets and engage when needed.  You Shall (not) Advance.

 

 

Style #2 - The Lone (somewhat) Wolf

 

This is more of the traditional sniper role, serving as a scout or a target hunter with or without a spotter. It is also one of the most difficult roles to correctly pull off in a milsim event.

 

If you do decide to perform this role, you MUST have certain equipment and skills to do a good job. Some examples are:

- Basic woodsman skills

- Good communication equipment and ability to explain position(s)

- Ability to navigate terrain using maps (and using a compass)

- Ability to stay concealed (Ghillie suit, camo net, sniper nest, etc)

- Anticipating enemy movements

- etc.

 

The entire goal of this style of play is for HVT takeouts or position scouting for the betterment of the team.



#6
Archer-OK

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Gear Loadout Suggestions

 

Honestly, this depends on your style of play and how much ammo you mant to carry. Back when I didn't have to much money I carried all my mags, speedloaders, and other gear in my pockets with great success. Even now I keep as minimalist as possible by using an h-harness and battle belt rig. You can run as much gear as you want or as little as you want, I'll just provide a few pointers.

 

- Keep in mind that if you want to keep a low profile, you may want to carry as little as possible for mobility, ability to blend into the environment, and keep space availible for camo or other things.

- Never load anything on your back if you can. It will be more noticeable when you lay prone.

- Match your camo with the surounding terrain (or with your squad). I still love M81 for most innawoods stuff.

- Use pistol mag pouches for VSR mags. M4 Pouches work well for larger ones.

- Don't use a full ghillie suit. A stalker suit (one with stuff only on the back of your gear) does just fine and allows for gear loading in the front and better mobility.

- COVER THAT FACE! Your pasty white face is a beacon!

 

 

 

Well that all I have for now, I may expound on some stuff later. Hope this helps someone!

 

-Archer



#7
Archer-OK

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If anyone has any questions or wants to add anything, just jump on in. A good place to research some more in depth topics would be the airsoft sniper forum btw.



#8
Catalyst

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I still remember the time I stalked you for almost 15 mins. then got within 20 feet and shot you in the ass with my pistol...


<p>If at first you don't succed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Modified JG P90 w/green dot and flashlight. We hicapa dragon & maruzen walther p99. Utc triburst shotgun.
Condor plate rig with utility pouch,pistol holster and old Vien era battle belt with drop leg holster and mag pouch.

#9
Archer-OK

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I still remember the time I stalked you for almost 15 mins. then got within 20 feet and shot you in the ass with my pistol...

... I should have remembered this, but I don't. Was this at Stillwater? If it was then I blame the fact that I was new to the field and was more focused on the path to take than checking my 6. But good on you! I won't make that mistake again...



#10
Catalyst

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Yeah it was at the Parnell place, me and two other's stalked a group of twelve(including you) for more than 20 min. while you winded your way north on the west side of Turtle Hill, my group stayed to the woods on the hill, popping out, shooting then fading back into the trees, we eventually got your group down to four or five, but my two squad mates got hit as well, I continued to stalk you for another 15 min or so, got two more that were with you then the other two raced ahead and left you behind. I was gonna try to get up to you for a melee kill, but as I got within twenty or so feet i heard them talking in the trees ahead and so just snapped you with my pistol and withdrew. I had to withdraw cause after I got you I only had my hatchet left, I was completely out of ammo. 

 

And in you defense I do believe that was the first time any of us had played on that part of the field before...lol


<p>If at first you don't succed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

Modified JG P90 w/green dot and flashlight. We hicapa dragon & maruzen walther p99. Utc triburst shotgun.
Condor plate rig with utility pouch,pistol holster and old Vien era battle belt with drop leg holster and mag pouch.

#11
MichaelJohn

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Thanks a lot for comprehensive guide on sniper rifle, i am airsoft lover and learning shooting now a day.



#12
L96ixers

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Hey what's up Arch. First I can only say thank you so so much for this in depth review and evaluation on airsoft sniping. I personally find the vsr-10 / m700 model disgustingly boring and could not enjoy playing with the platform for those reasons. I've always loved the L96, but just recently decided to ditch research on the Tokyo Marui L96 AWS and other aws models that include a full size magazine due to their insufficient cylinder volume. This results in limited potential for upgrades. I've been doing hours of research for the best type96 model to buy, and the UTG such as yours has come up a whole lot. I've been seeing lots of competition between the UTG and Well models. Why is the UTG your choice? Range is a priority to me, and when I read that you could touch 350 feet and beyond that was the icing on the cake for me, besides the fact that your rifle looks absolutely badass. I just wanted to know:

 

- Have you measured and evaluated the power of this rifle (it's legit!!!!???)

- And do you have a youtube channel devoted to painting tutorials and such for your rifle

 

Thanks again!



#13
Archer-OK

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Sorry for not getting back to you after you commented, I never saw the alert in my mailbox and I have been swamped with work.

 

A Well L-96 and and UTG L-96 are basically the same. There may be cosmetic and build quality differences (probably not, they probably come from the same factory), but they are based on the same Maruzen L-96 system. This is the main system that you would want to look for in a L-96 style rifle as it is very stable, and has a large cylinder volume that allows for both consistency and FPS. I haven't been active lately, so I don't know what the latest rifle trends are too much. But as long as they use the Maruzen system, you should be good.

 

Keep in mind it takes a lot of work to get a BB to travel long distances accuracy, so please do your research before you jump in. The airsoft sniper forum is a fantastic place to gather info on the latest and greatest tech for snipers. ER-Hop is needed for the range you are looking for.

 

Power? My sniper was Chrono'd at 515fps the last I used it I do believe, but its been about 2 years since I used it last... (still trying to sell it btw...)

 

This is the tutorial I used for the rifle paint. You can either make your own stencils or purchase pre-cut stencils.

 

 

-Archer






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