Building a paintball sniper rifle the correct way is extremely important if you want to perform well on the paintball field. But what separates a good paintball sniper rifle from a bad one? Here’s what I recommend to anyone looking to build their first paintball sniper rifle.
To build a paintball sniper rifle the first step is to purchase a magfed marker capable of shooting First Strike rounds. Once you have a magfed marker, begin to add accessories such as a scope (or red dot), a buttstock, and a rifled barrel to help improve accuracy. After that, remove anything on your paintball marker that adds unnecessary weight that could be avoided. Then conceal anything that’s sticking out (shiny, bright, or oddly colored) with some form of earthly colored material or camouflage to further conceal your weapon from your enemies.
Below I’m going to discuss everything I told you above in-depth to help you build the best paintball sniper rifle possible. So without further ado, let’s get to it.
Purchase a MagFed Paintball Gun
As said before, you’re going to have to buy a magfed paintball gun capable of shooting First Strike rounds if you want to be able to play the role of paintball sniper. Back in the day when First Strike’s didn’t exist, many players would say that there was no such thing as a paintball sniper.
Since all paintballs flew the same distance, there was no way to technically “snipe” enemy players unless you bought an Apex or Flatline barrel that could put a backspin on the paintball to increase the distance. Unfortunately, putting a backspin on the paintball would reduce the accuracy of your shot as well.
Luckily those days are long gone and you can now shoot First Strike projectile rounds as long as you purchase a magfed paintball gun with First Strike capability. What makes First Strike rounds so great for sniping is the angled fins on the backside of the paintball. These angled fins made from a photodegradable polystyrene material help to impart a spin on the paintball by acting as a form of rifling. It’s also my belief that these angled fins give the First Strike round stability in the air and further help to increase the overall accuracy.
When you buy a box of First Strike rounds it says right on the box that they have 2x the distance and 25x the accuracy of a regular .68 caliber paintball and this isn’t an overstatement either. Once you shoot First Strike rounds for the first time the game of paintball will entirely transform before your eyes. Suddenly you can shoot paintballs long-range and make one-shot eliminations to live out the sniper motto of OSOK (One Shot One Kill). Although it would technically be OSOE (One Shot One Elimination), but that doesn’t sound as cool..
Attach a Scope or Red Dot
The next step I would recommend when building a paintball sniper rifle is to buy a scope or red dot. Now, you don’t need to invest in $100+ optics when just starting out. Who knows, you might even realize that you don’t like your scope or red dot and wish you had the other. Or maybe you bought a scope with too much zoom and realize you can’t even see the flight path of your paintballs when shooting.
For the reason above, I recommend avoiding scopes that begin at 2.5x zoom or higher. Instead, a scope that begins at 1.5x zoom would be optimal for playing paintball, although they can be hard to find. A scope that begins at 2x zoom is the next best thing, but it really is worth it to get the 1.5x zoom if you can. You’ll still be able to increase the amount of zoom on your scope if needed for scouting purposes as long as you have an adjustable scope.
Another factor you want to pay attention to when buying a scope is the amount of eye relief the scope has. Eye relief is the distance you can view the scope before the vision begins to get blurry. If the scope has a 4-inch eye relief, then you can only view the scope up to 4-inches away before you start to lose focus. Some scopes (commonly labeled as a pistol scope or scout scope) have a much longer eye relief and are typically better fitted for paintball usage.
Now you’re not required to use a scope when playing the role of paintball sniper. Using a red dot is perfectly acceptable and for many situations, it’s probably the better form of optics for playing paintball. Especially if you plan on using your magfed paintball gun in non-sniper situations.
Attach a ButtStock
Now a buttstock isn’t a requirement by any means to be a sniper, but a good quality buttstock can increase the stability of your marker and thus increase your accuracy as well. A cool buttstock can also help create that sniper rifle look that so many players love so much.
Not all buttstocks are made the same though, which is why I recommend that your buttstock or paintball gun have a drop-down design (or a tall riser) to help you aim correctly without having to strain your neck in the process. A drop-down design is when your buttstock “drops down” in elevation so the top of the stock is lower than the top of your paintball gun. This drop-in elevation ensures you can correctly position your head to where you can easily look down the sights of your marker without having to crank your neck sideways to aim.
Upgrade to a Rifled Barrel
If you have a magfed marker capable of shooting First Strike rounds then the last step to increasing your accuracy is to upgrade to a rifled barrel. A rifled barrel will help by increasing the velocity at which the First Strike round spins to further increase the accuracy of the paintball round.
When the RPM (Rotation Per Minute) of the First Strike round increases the stability of the projectile round increases as well. This increase in speed and stability means better overall accuracy for your paintball gun.
Avoid Unnecessary Weight
A common mistake that many paintball snipers make is to attach too many accessories to their paintball gun. This extra weight really wears you down when you’re crawling through the woods or forced to hold your marker still for extended periods of time. Trust me, when you’re playing your first scenario game with your new sniper rifle and you can’t move for 10+ minutes at a time without giving away your position to the enemies, you’re going to wish you had a lighter paintball gun.
Camouflage Your Paintball Gun
Once your paintball gun has been transformed into the ultimate sniper rifle then there’s only one thing left to do. That’s to make sure nothing on your paintball gun is sticking out by covering anything shiny, bright, or oddly colored for the forest with some form of camouflage material for concealment.
The camouflage material can be anything from paint, to camo-tape, to ghillie suit material. Many paintball snipers are even switching to leaf suit materials that are made from mesh. These leafy suits are much lighter and offer better concealment in forest environments. Since I didn’t want to spend the money to buy a premade rifle wrap made with 3D leaf materials I went ahead and made my own. My rifle wrap is made from camouflage netting (link to Amazon.com) and dyed materials such as raffia (link to Amazon.com), 3D leaf strip material (link to Amazon.com), and artificial leaves (link to Amazon.com).