Tippmann A5 Gun to Sniper Rifle
One of the most versatile paintball guns on the market today is the Tippmann A-5. It's affordable, easily available, low maintenance and just about everyone makes accessories for it. Turning an A5 into a sniper rifle is an easy task with all the available sniper specific add-ons.
The first and foremost upgrade most commonly associated with a sniper gun is of course the sniper barrel. Maybe the Flatline system comes to your mind, as useful as it may be, there are a lot of other choices. Two very positive things about the Flatline on the A5 are; its ability to out distance any paintball barrel on the market, and its quick 1/2 turn change. A person can shoot at long distance, then when the battle closes in, take 5 seconds the change the barrel to a more accurate close range barrel(say a 14 inch Tear Drop). Obviously one of its down-falls is the argued about accuracy. The Flatline typically projects a large amount of noise to give away your position vs. a barrel with porting or some sort of suppression.
Other barrel choices are the Tippmann brand of sniper paintball barrels. Generally found in a 12, 14 and 16 inch model. They are less than the Flatline system but more expensive than other options. There accuracy is commonly thought of to be good but they lack the distance of some competitors.
Several 20 or 21 inch paintball barrels are available as well. Most people will contest that a barrel longer than 14 inches only hurts accuracy, efficiency and increases the chances of ball breaks in the barrel. A real long barrel will definitely make your gun look like a sniper rifle. People will have no questions as to your intension. Imagine the fear they will have after they recognized they have been getting tagged by a sniper all day and there you are.
Tippmann A5 Marksman
Probably the second biggest piece of sniper equipment is a Sight or Scope. Lots of people like a magnified scope, others will argue for a red dot type sight. I've seen people who have added two sight rails to their gun and mounted both types of sights to their markers. Deciding what one to mount on top vs. mounting one on the side is personal preference. Although you may be more accurate at distances with the scope mounted on top, the red dot would be more useful in this location in an intense CQB exchange. Either sight choice will take a lot of practice getting use to in excitement elevated environment.
If you utilize a Flatline barrel then a magnified scope may be the hot ticket. Keep in mind while looking through a scope your field of vision is severely reduced. It can be difficult to concentrate on distant targets if there is action close by or just a lot of noise. However, range finding scopes can be useful since a paintball can only be shot so far before it starts to drop.
If you haven't tried a red dot sight I would strongly encourage you to. It offers no magnification but with a little training can be very accurate at distances and it a great quick reaction sight with a full field of vision. I know several people on our scenario team that actually keep both eyes open in a fire fight while using the red dot. I guess that takes a lot of practice.
The third sniper add-on is the Stock. The stock is used to help steady the gun to your shoulder increasing accuracy and stability. Several types of stocks are available. Understanding how the different types will fit your body or application is important. Also understand that certain stocks could allow you to add another accessory. If you want to add a sling find a stock that have a provision for this. On the A5 the velocity adjustment can be integrated into the stock. Even more important, as we will discuss later is how will it effect your air tank mounting location or your ability to move into different positions.
One of the most popular is the collapsing stock made by several manufactures. It's adjustable to fit your body size or position you'll be using it in. Some adjust to two or three positions and some are infinitely adjustable.
A fixed paintball gun stock is offered for the A5 also. Some are a typical solid rifle appearing stock while some are a see through frame type. Both are generally slightly lighter weight that the collapsing stock but may not fit your body if you're a long armed person.
There are some companies that even offer a folding stock. This stock can make your gun quite versatile if you use this gun for CQB when the time comes. Not as commonly available but it can be a great choice.
A four piece of sniper gun equipment is the Trigger. Some people say a true sniper will have a single finger design and semi-auto only and will seek out a single trigger mod. Other will swear by an E-trigger with a double finger trigger. The Tippmann reactive trigger that's available with the A5 could cause problems for some if it were to make you double shoot. Again, how versatile do you want it to be? Is this a sniper only rifle or will it need to be able to get you out of a close quarter fire fight? An E-Trig can be set for semi-auto and be switched for full auto or three round burst if needed. A person could take the time to adjust the reactive trigger for different situations but may put you in a bad position if you aren't practiced up on the adjustment.
The fifth piece of sniper equipment is the Tank Mounting. Most would say to just use a remote. Others are seen with a small CO2 tank attached in a out-of-the-way fashion. The tank location can be one of the most important parts of being functional. What good is it if you have a big tank sticking up on your back when you lay flat. Also, most snipers head for deep cover in thick brush areas. Have you ever tried to stalk someone while fighting your way through brush with a remote cord getting caught on every thing? Depending on your terrain and playing habit's a small CO2 tank maybe the best answer. Which ever method you decide it has to allow you to lay close to the ground. Laying flat and melting into the terrain surrounding you is the key to being an effective sniper. Get that tank out of your way!
Several other sniper mods can be utilized as well. A bi-pod can be added for someone who is able to lay flat or brace the gun on a structure. A camo graphics kit is available for the Tippmann A5 or camo tape is commonly available. Milsim type add-ons can be found as well. An AK47 or M16 barrel, add-on magazines with built in expansion chambers and other real life modifications are available to give your sniper rifle a genuine appearance.
Your imagination and pocket book are your only limits when transforming your Tippmann A5 paintball gun into a lethal Sniper Riffle. How you use it is another thing. Getting the jump on what's available and what will work for you is a process of trial and error. See what others are using and try it out. Think about how you will be using your gun and what add-ons will fit your A5 sniper needs. Good hunting!
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