Calculating distance to be in the sniper zone
Last week in a game I was in the zone for about 10 minutes. There were dozens of opposing players behind a number of small buildings in the woods. Their rapid fire was just reaching me so I ran about 30 feet back. Suddenly, I was in the zone. I hide behind a tree but soon realized this was not necessary. The hundreds of rounds being shot at me fell short. So I just lined up shot after shot with my scope and took a number of players out. For the first time in my short sniper airsoft experience , I was Novritsch, but for only 10 minutes. As usual with dynamics always changing in airsoft, my 10 minutes in the zone was up after being flanked.
In my case I got lucky, but, I thought how do you utilize finding the zone or sweet spot for range quickly for a number of shots then moving on to a new spot and repeating the process? If you want to be a active push ahead type of sniper, this is absolutely necessary.
Airsoft sniping has two advantages. Remaining stealth and silent and out distancing your opponents. The stealth aspect is sometimes limited by the field, but the distance advantage should always be present. Yes, weather can affect your shot but to a much lesser degree than most of your opponents using an AEG with lighter bb's. You have more FPS, a tighter barrel, and heavier bb's at your disposal.
Ideally, if you stay in the range of 240 to 280 feet, [ 73 to 85 meters ] you should be able to outrange most of your opponents with the exception of other snipers. You are in the sniper zone.
The question is how to utilize this advantage since most people have a hard time measuring distance with their eyesight. If you play the same field time and time again, you may be able to use landmarks to measure distance but most of the time you are relying on human's poor judgment of distance. Some may disagree, but measure 130 feet and ask 10 people what distance it is. You would be lucky if one person gets within 20 feet answering the question.
Is it possible to train your perception of distance? For example, if you spend a lot of time playing airsoft, play golf often, constantly use a range finder, or spend a lot of time at the shooting range getting use to distances etc.? Or is all this useless with a constantly changing environment and landmarks in the game?
Another useful tool would be if a scope had a decent effective range finder that you could use quickly or mounting a separate range finder on your gun. Has anyone had success with this?
Any other advice from the more seasoned players and how to find the sniper zone quickly in a game?
Over time you will get used to the ranges.
To get used to the ranges, measure distances around your home and then walk them thinking this is this range. (A good one is the mailbox and each day as you go to get the mail, think that this is 50,60,70 meters or whatever it may be). After doing this for 6 months to a year, you become reasonably accurate out on the field.
I mean of course, eventually, you improve your ability to judge distance by eye- if you have some way of actually knowing the true distances you're looking at as you practice.
The following is also relatively common:
As you get more experience it will become instinct. Only challenging stuff is judging distances at night, and maybe on the hills.
Practice shooting at known distances, use a range finder if you can, and get used to how people look like in your reticle at a known distance. All of that will help you get there faster. But at the end of the day, it's just practice, practice, practice.
Another trick is learning to use the mill dots on your scope, thats kinda what they are there for. But you dont have to nessasarly use them the way they are intended for long range shooting with charts and stuff, as a matter of fact, thats actualy NOT what you want to do.
As you use your scope in game, start paying attention to those dots and use objects of a given size like a human head, or full length height as the are standing to compaire with the dots you see in your scope. Just kind of reference them especaly when you find the sweet spot or get in the zone as you called it. Don't worry about doing any of the math, just notice them as you play. Your brain will automaticly start to learn and reference them on its own. You CAN count dots and do the mental math if you like, i dose speed this process of learning, but you really don't have too
but like Dimetri said, its practice, practice, practice.
here is a good exersize I used way back in the beginning . I had access to an area where we could go anytime we wanted to. So i took a small watermelon and a helmet and would put it in random places on the field the pick a random direction and started shooting at it at different and again random intervals and distances. What i was doing was actually testing my rife between upgrades, that was why i was there, but It had the side effect of training my brain to judge distances along my bb arc and since I always use the mill dots to judge bullet drop, my brain was see the dots, seeing the watermelon and seeing the helmet and over a pretty short time I was able to one shot guys ALOT more often. A little later i realized what I was doing, I was learning relative distance as the side effect of just testing my rifle
Now a days, this is second nature. Heck, I can (and many many here can too, probably without realizing it) look down a scope and tell if your we're in the sweet spot without even thinking about it, we just look, and adjust our distance kind of automaticly now
Protip: If you got a GOOD build, your BB drop will be fairly consitant. You can judge distance by firing a ranging shot, compare this to you mill dots and you'll know how far out you are from the target. Some anti tank weapons in the real world use this technique using a ranging rifle or spotter rifle attached to the weapon itself btw
A simple scientific method:
Find a decently large field, your cell phone or a range finder, a dude you know or a target, and bring your own rifle.
Have your dude or have the target positioned in a certain location, stand next to him/it and walk away from him/it.
Estimate your distance from your target with the range finder or use Google Map in your phone, then shoot it with your rifle to have a better idea on where your BBs will land.
Eventually through looking into the scope you will have a general idea of how far your enemy is, and how high you should be aiming in order to score a hit.
But yeah it's just practice in the end. There is no particular shortcuts as in the end you also have to have your rifle tuned for that.
I set targets up in a field I have access to at, 200, 250, 275 feet, [60 to 83 meters] but now I have become accustomed to using reference points like trees and landscape to judge the distance without the targets. At my airsoft field these reference points are gone and I am back to square one, especially since the distance between being in the zone or being out of it, [too close or too far] is so minimal. I can easily figure out 100 feet, [ 30 meters] but once the distance is over 200 feet, it gets much harder.
Thanks for the scope dot trick. I never thought of that. I usually look without the scope to judge the range.
what works for me is my scope, i make it work, i have a CP scope with graduation lines. i leave it at 4x 99.99% of the time. i set a target (man sized) out at 40 60 80 100 and 110 meters, i note the size in my scope by via the graduation lines, on my stock i have a dope sheet that indicates to me if i somehow forget size in scope vs. range. voila, no need for a range finder.. if your a sniper and shooting closer than 40 meters then remember your jouls.... snipers are the precision shooter not the pain deliverer
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