4 Tactical Requirements of an Effective Sniper

September 17, 2014

There are many tactical advantages to having a sniper team in your squad. Contrary to popular belief the role of the sniper is not head shots and hitting people from ridiculous ranges. The main role of a sniper is to serve as a forward observer, scout, and intelligence. As well, it takes more than good aim to make a good sniper. While this skill is important, snipers also need to have excellent concealment skills, impeccable situational awareness, and perfect communication.

1 The Sniper Team

A sniper team usually consists of 4 people, 2 snipers and 2 spotters, each sniper paired with a spotter. The sniper and spotter need to work in unison to stay undetected and accomplish the mission. A sniper team can turn the tide of a battle by locating opponent positions and movement to report back to the squad leader, taking out key personal on the enemy team such as medic or squad or team leaders, and making contact with the enemy to divert them to a longer path to reaching their objective. Being a Spotter is just as important as being a sniper it is your job to watch his back and make sure you both get back to base alive. If done right a sniper team can be crucial to winning a game.

2 Concealment

The most useful skill of any good sniper is their ability to conceal themselves in any environment. Snipers need to understand how to camouflage themselves appropriately in the surrounding area. This means sticking twigs and small plants in your Kevlar, Boonie, other headwear, goggle straps, chest rig, etc. ghillie suits are popular among snipers, but too many operators don’t know how to properly use them. By covering yourself in the same material as your background, you will be less likely to be seen. It is important not to overdo it, because everybody sees the running bush. Don’t be that guy.

3 Firing Positions

It is important for snipers to practice different firing position. There are four main firing positions, Standing, Kneeling, Sitting, and Prone.

Standing is fairly simple and should be adapted to the shooter preferred stance whether squaring up with the target or vertical to them (making a T with your direction of fire and their immediate front).

There are three main types of Kneeling positions, the high kneel, the medium kneel, and the low kneel. In the high kneel you put your bottom on your ankle with your toes straight down to the deck. In the medium kneel you put your bottom on the bottom of your foot with your laces to the deck. In the low kneel you have your strong leg bending out to the strong side (firing hand side) with one side of your foot to the deck while sitting on the other side of your foot while extending your weak side leg, with your toes pointing to the target like in golf. This allows you to use your weak side knee as a brace for your weak side arm.

The sitting position requires you to sit Indian style using the pocket of your knees to brace your elbows in. This can be modified for the use of bipods by having your legs forward at a slight V shape and having the bipod legs sitting on your feet.

The Prone position is fairly simple as well. In real steel combat you lay down with your feet sticking out at a wide V to brace for recoil, however in airsoft this can be modified to bring them in to reduce your target size. You can also have one of your legs staggered forward if you need to raise the height of the rifle.

4 Equipment

Snipers should be equipped with a variable zoom scope or binoculars for long range reconnaissance. It is also smart for a sniper to bring a few smoke grenades for cover if they hit any contact that is too large for them to handle. The most useful asset the sniper has at their disposal is there spotter. Every sniper should have a spotter, as the spotter will have a wider view than the sniper. The spotter can run a sniper rifle as well however it is advised for the spotter to run an Assault Rifle or sub-machine gun. If the sniper team is going to continuously be long range the spotter can run a designated marksman rifle, however sniper may be allocated for longer ranged area inside of city so it is recommended that the spotter take something with a higher rate of fire with better CQB applications than the sniper. It is also recommended that the sniper has a pistol in case they need something for CQB, if their spotter is hit, or they are separated.

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