Thinking that all you need to do during a paintball game is point your gun and pull the trigger is a mistake. It’s much more than that. You should know where to stand at any instant, how to hold your marker, the best way to aim, and when to shoot.
One of the things that make a good paintballer is the ability to hit your target accurately. Aside from making you feel powerful, it can be helpful to your team. Moreover, it allows you to use fewer paintballs, meaning you’re able to save money. Here are some tips to becoming a sharpshooter.
How to Shoot a Paintball Gun?
It’s worth to mention that safety is very crucial when it comes to paintball. Whenever you’re intending to practice shooting, ensure there’s adequate protection. If you’re going to fire live paintballs, make sure you get to the right environment to avoid hitting someone accidentally.
Know Your Equipment’s Weight
Another important thing that may affect your shooting capabilities is the weight of your equipment. Bulky pieces are a great disadvantage when you’re playing on the field. Weigh what you’re able to handle comfortably. When choosing equipment, consider the duration of the games you’re going to play.
Holding Your Gun
Many standard paintball guns have hoppers that are attached above their bodies. If you’re using this type of marker, understand that the hopper feeds paintballs into the breach through gravity before you can shoot them through the barrel. You need to keep the gun in an upright position since trying to twist it at a great angle can stop its feed system from working.
Although paintball markers are generally safe, remember that you’re supposed to behave sensibly when handling them. Press the gun’s tank against your shoulder. Use a side that’ll allow you to utilize your most dominant hand.
With your dominant hand, operate the paintball marker’s trigger. You use the other hand as support to stabilize the barrel. It’s important to attempt alternating both hands so that you can shoot with either of them. This can give you a major plus in the game.
Make sure you’re holding your gun steadily. Try to keep the upper part of your body strong and stable. While you’re crouching, walking, or running, maneuver through your body’s lower half. At the same time, your upper body should always be stable and strong. One hand should get a firm grip on your gun.
Positioning the Marker
Positioning is very important in paintball. When learning about this, always put on your mask to simulate firing during play. Use a laser pointer that is taped to your marker’s barrel to represent the place you’d hit if you fire a ball. With both the pointer and mask on, put it into a firing position.
If possible, put your barrel down and try to approximate where the paintball would hit before bringing up the marker. Quickly bring the marker up into firing position. Continue practicing this until you can do it without the need of the laser pointer. When learning about positioning, be careful not to let your opponents see the light as they may trace it back to you.
Checking Your Posture
Just like in any other sport, proper positions and movements are key to shooting accurately. In paintball, posture affects your aim. It can be hard to angle your marker and fire straight when you’re in an awkward position. Your chest and toes should always point toward your target and the gun centered with your body.
Aiming the Marker
Aiming is very crucial when it comes to targeting your enemies. Paintball is about taking out your opponents anyway. A costly mistake that many beginners make is to close one eye. While it may seem like a good idea, it affects your peripheral vision, leaving you susceptible to attacks from your opponent who might be hiding.
It’s more preferable to hold the marker central with your nose and just below the eye level so you’re able to see over the gun’s barrel with your two eyes. Ensure that your head is steady all the time. This allows you to get a good aim.
It’s harder to judge angles when you’ve not centered the marker with your body. Centering it helps you ensure that the ball flies where you’d like it to go. Tilt the gun slightly to the side if there’re parts that are blocking your view. However, you should be careful with markers that recoil a lot as the paintball can fly back and hit your face.
If you’re a beginner who is used to handling a conventional gun with your eyes on top, then it can be challenging to adjust to paintballing. Aiming with a big loader unit or hopper in the line of your sight may seem awkward at first. However, regular practice sessions can help you move on quickly.
Firing and Judging Trajectory
First-time paintballers find it really difficult to judge the general trajectory of the paintball when they aim and fire their guns. This is because the average distance that a marker can shoot while maintaining its accuracy is about 300 feet. Beyond that, it loses precision and wholly depends on your own personal judgment to hit the target.
You need some practice before mastering this. Besides, following some basic guidelines can help you start striking your targets more precisely without wasting many paintballs. All this can take time, but with patience, you’ll become a pro. Each time you miss your target, adjust your marker’s horizontal or lateral plane and shoot again.
Also, remember that paintballs differ in shape from conventional bullets. Besides, the gun fires the balls at a lower velocity. Moreover, a paintball is a round plastic capsule that tends to arc or drift through the air depending on the fire’s range. Once you get used to their flight trajectory, it becomes easier to aim at your target much more accurately.
Dealing with Moving Targets
Often, you’ll be aiming at targets that are on the move. This usually takes plenty of time to master. You should aim your shot in the direction that your opponent is running. This way, they’re more likely to run into your paintballs. Don’t accept the temptation of shooting many balls.
A better technique for moving targets is to lead them. Estimate your opponent’s speed and maintain your gun’s pointing ahead of them. Make a prediction of where the target might be at the time you pull the trigger. Similarly, calculate how long the paintball would take to reach your opponent. After combining the calculations, shoot at the right moment.
Running and Shooting
Running and shooting are mandatory in paintball. Put your marker into firing position with the laser pointer. Aim the laser at any wall in your house. Try to keep it steady on the wall as you begin with walking to jogging to running. You should feel comfortable after some time.
Hide in a bunker whenever you’re in a match of three against three. Once you find your target, begin firing. Make sure that is the only person who is shooting at you. Keep your enemy in or let them run out of paint. Then, run towards the target and fire off a few rounds, making sure to hit home. You can also involve your teammates in this.
This is the art of popping out of a bunker during a gunfight just to get a few shots and then get back in. One of the best ways of perfecting your sharpshooting capabilities is by practicing in front of your mirror. Pop out from your bunker or hiding place and try to make accurate shots at an object that’s between you and the looking glass.
Make sure your harness has paintball pods. When you’re starting out, you’ll need to tell your teammates in low tones that you’re reloading so they may cover you. However, once you’ve mastered the art, you won’t need to do so. Avoid yelling as it may make your opponents hear and attack you when you’re not ready.
After informing your teammates that you’re reloading, open your hopper. While keeping a finger on your trigger, take a pod out and pop its top. Then, pour paint into the gun. After this, throw the pod down, close the hopper, and begin firing.
How to Resolve Issues
Imagine you’re in the middle of the game and your paintball marker suddenly won’t release any paintballs after pulling the trigger. It can be quite unfortunate. Under such circumstances, you should first check whether the safety trigger has popped out. If that is the case, push it back in. You’ll be ready to shoot once again.
There are some issues that you may not resolve on your own. For instance, when your balls suddenly can’t go as far as they usually should, you should call out to the field marshal for assistance. In such a case, you can raise your hands and get out of the game for a moment to take another marker if necessary.