Strategy and Tactics

Here are a few things I've found over the years to be helpful. Some may be obvious, but sometimes the most obvious things are the most difficult to nail down. Some of the things I've found out on my own, but others I've gleaned from my time on the forums.

First off, I think there is a misconception of what  "sniper" is. You can give a noob a $2500 custom, built from the ground BA sniper rifle, and give a Marine S-S a springer pistol, and guess what... he is a still a sniper, and the kid is still a noob. Essentially his springer pistol became a "sniper rifle" as soon as he picked it up...There is so much emphasis placed on extending the range of guns (which is also very important to me), but not enough is placed on the rest of what makes up a sniper. Most of the time, you will never really have to take the 100+ yard shot because of field limitations, weather, etc, so I think airsoft as a sport has grown enough that a "sniper" is no longer limited by their weapon, so I leave you my list of tips to help you out. Feel free to add any :D

 - One shot one kill at range is a bit unrealistic in airsoft except in the most perfect conditions. Personally, I shoot the first to get close as a tracer to gauge the next shot. This mindset has proven very valuable. 

 - Just because you have semi-auto, doesn't mean you need to keep shooting until you get a hit. After a few hits nearby, your target will get suspicious, so leave some time after your initial few shots. By becoming greedy, you turn an easy shot into a very very difficult shot once they get behind cover. Unless you're in a firefight, you don't need to be trying to make impossible shots nor getting impatient and spraying.

 - Gun levels are very useful, especially for longer shots. They allow you to quickly determine "level" in places with unreliable vertical or horizontal references. Without a reliable way to gauge the level, it can be as bad or worse than a strong crosswind. 

 - For scopes without parallax adjustment, set your eye slightly out of the maximum eye relief distance, so you begin to see a black ring around the outside. By centering the reticle within the ring, you now have a reference for the amount of parallax there is. 

 - Proper Cheekweld: In order for you to get consistent shots, you need to get into the habit of always having the same cheekweld. This goes along with the parallax, but it can have a big effect downrange, depending on the amount of change and the amount of magnification. 

- High Quality Heavy BB's: I can't stress enough how much this can effect your shot. Differences between the geometric center and the center of mass can be the difference between an amazing shot and an embarrassing failure. In addition, an unbalanced bb will bleed energy more quickly as it needs to travel farther to go the same distance. Secondly, drag on our bb's (assuming the same diameter, surface finish, and eccentricity), is only dependent on velocity. (pressure drag is dependent on cross-sectional area and skin-friction drag is dependent on surface area which are the same regardless of mass) This means that the acceleration from the drag force is going to be lower, so ultimately, they will maintain their velocity better and better as you get heavier and heavier. Another factor is that the velocity is lower for the same energy, and drag is proportional to the square of the velocity.

 - Hopup can be used for more than just extending range. If you tilt the gun into a crosswind, you can use a fraction of the lift generated to go against the crosswind. Once you get good, you can still shoot straight even with a decent amount of wind.

 - Positioning: To get to where you're going, avoid stepping on sticks. This seems so obvious, yet very few people are mindful of where they step. Rustling leaves can be wind, but cracking branches is almost never anything other than someone being careless. Unless you have really good cover, don't go sitting on the top of a hill. Your silhouette is going to be very obvious, and won't take people very long to find you (this is called skylining). Similarly, leaning out the side of cover exposes less of your body than poking over. 

- Sneaking: When trying to sneak up, walk from the heel of your foot through the outside ridge of your foot towards the ball. Rather than rapidly shifting your weight between two points, using the outside ridge allows for a more gradual shift. This allows you to feel or hear what you are walking on and shift your weight to the other foot before creating a loud noise. 

 - Movement: If you think you're spotted, don't freak out. I believe the statistic is the eye can detect movement 5x faster than something not the correct color. If you think you're spotted, either stay still and wait, or slowly/smoothly get behind cover, and pay attention to body language. 

-Defilade: Being in defilade means that you are behind cover, whether natural or artificial. 

-Enfilade: Being in enfilade means that you are being flanked or that the enemy's fire is along the longitudinal axis of your force.