SNIPER TRAINING DRILLS
Carson “Squeegie” Jenkins
Train like you fight, fight like you train. A sniper must train every chance he gets. A sniper’s skill is a deteriorating one. Without good training techniques and discipline, a sniper will find their skills slipping away. Regular drills are an excellent way to challenge yourself and sharpen your edge. Drills need to be more difficult than situations you would normally come in contact with in the field. This makes it easier for you to contend with situations without fear or hesitation. Plus it kills the down time between games. Not all of these drills are indicative of snipers. Most of them can benefit a multitude of different play styles. I have broken the drills down into four groups: Acquisition & Elimination, Long Range Shooting, Precision Shooting, and Fieldcraft. Some of the drills will require additional players. In the instances that other players are needed, it preferable that you use other snipers. This will help make the drills more effective by increasing the difficulty level.
These drills are designed to help you locate and eliminate targets under adverse conditions. For these drills, you will need additional players.
Against the odds:
A very good drill for keeping your mind focused on the objective, regardless of the odds. This is a very hard
Players – Sniper, Guard
Setup – You need a bunker or other structure (woods will work too), 5 two-liter soda bottles (target)
Layout – Place the soda bottles in various positions around the field as to represent a player’s hopper
Objective – Sniper must hit all 5 bottles without getting shot. The guard’s job is to eliminate the sniper
Rules – Sniper may only have 10 rounds, the guard may have as much as they can carry. The sniper may NOT shoot the guard. The guard must stay behind all the bottles but can move laterally as needed, regardless of cover. The sniper has unlimited movement. Time limit is 15 minutes (although the drill rarely lasts that long).
A very fast paced drill that hones your ability to identify and eliminate a target quickly.
Players – Sniper, Target handler
Setup – Bunker type structure that a player could sit behind comfortably, a 2-liter bottle or old hopper (target)
Layout – Have your Target handler remain behind a bunker, the Sniper fires from concealed position as they would be in during an actual game. Distance is up to the discretion of the sniper.
Objective – Sniper is to hit the target as many times as possible in the allotted time
Rules – The Target handler randomly pops the target up over the bunker. The sniper may move up to get a better shot, but must fire while stationary and in a concealed position. The time limit is 10 minutes
The long ball game is so very important to the success of a sniper. Without the ability to hit a target at a distance, the player is forced to move closer thus placing him in greater danger of being eliminated. These drills will help you get a better feel for how your marker shoots at extreme ranges. It’s a good idea to run these drills with several different types of paint to help you adapt to “field paint only” games.
Line ‘em up
Simplicity is the key to this one. The best way to know understand marker is to shoot a lot of paint through it. This is the ONLY way you will ever gain a “ sixth sense” about what your marker is capable of doing.
Players – Sniper
Setup – Large playing field, four 2-liter bottles (target)
Layout – Bottles are placed in line, starting at around 20 yards all the way out to a range that is just inside the range of your marker
Objective – Hit the bottles as many times as possible (I told you all it was simple!)
Rules – The bottles must be hit in order from closest to farthest. If one is missed, you must start back at the first target. Paint is limited to 16 rounds. Fire while in full gear and in a position you are most likely to be shooting from.
A lot of you may have seen a similar type drill in the movies. The combination of fieldcraft with long range marksmanship makes this a very well rounded drill. With the addition of the human element, the drill can be used to train for scenario games (General Assassinations).
Players – Sniper, Observation player (op)
Setup – Large playing field, 2 liter bottle (target)
Layout – The OP remains in a stationary position with the soda bottle no further than 5 feet from his position. The sniper starts at an undisclosed distance and position from the OP. The OP should not see the sniper’s starting position. The sniper has only 20 rounds; the OP is armed to the teeth.
Objective – Sniper is to hit the target as many times as possible without being spotted or eliminated. The OP is to attempt to find and eliminate the sniper.
Rules – OP may not see the starting position of the sniper. The sniper may not fire at the OP directly. Op may not leave his post. The sniper may move as far forward as needed. Time limit is 30 minutes.
One on One:
To help ease the pain of training, a little friendly competition will most definitely help take out some of the sting. This drill comes straight from the O.S.O.K. sniper groups’ training files.
Players – two snipers
Setup – large playing field, 5 two liter bottles, 5 20 oz. Bottles
Layout – Place the bottles at ranges between 15 & 50 yards, with the 20 oz bottles at the 50 yard line. Try to keep the bottles positions equally accessible to both snipers.
Objective – Get more points than your opponent
Rules - Paint is limited to 20 rounds. The 2 liter bottles are worth 5 points, the 20 oz ones are worth 10 points. Snipers compete against one another at the same time, so try to use different color paint to distinguish each other’s hits. Losing sniper must set-up the next round.
Sometimes when a target presents itself, it does so in the tiniest way. A boot heel, pack, or hopper may be the only opportunity you have of eliminating that particular target. Knowing exactly where that ball will strike will make a big difference. The precision shot is not some mythical skill. It is easy trained for. Here are a few that drills that may help.
Thread the Needle:
Many of us have tried in vain to hit a player through a crack or slot in a bunker. This drill is an attempt at recreating that frustrating situation. Hopefully when it presents itself in a game, you will be better prepared for it.
Players – Sniper
Setup – Large board (approx. 4’ x 4’) with several 2 inch diameter holes in random locations, notebook paper, stapler
Layout – Staple a sheet of notebook paper over each hole on the backside of the board. This will give you the ability to tell if you hit the your mark. Set the board up at a moderate range. Limit paint to 10 rounds
Objective – Put a ball through the holes.
Rules – No rules. Just shoot slowly and precisely.
I call this the impossible shot because after you hit the target for the first time, it as almost impossible to do it twice. That’s what makes it such a good drill. If you do manage to hit it twice, don’t tell anyone because they won’t believe you.
Players – Sniper
Setup – Approx. 18 inches of heavy fishing line or rope, tennis balls
Layout – Run the fishing line through the tennis ball and tie tightly. Suspend the tennis ball from a tree branch so that it can swing freely.
Objective – Hit the ball.
Rules – You may not get frustrated and chop down the tree. No full auto fire either. Fire from a moderate range in a concealed position.
Fieldcraft can be described as the movement techniques of a sniper in the field. A sniper must be able to move freely through enemy lines without the worry of detection. Training in extreme conditions will help you do this with more confidence. It is hard to recreate game play conditions that will help you better your stalking abilities. The human element is essential in the training ritual. Try to remember that your are stalking a living, thinking person just as cunning as yourself. Always assume that the enemy is watching your every move. Plan your attack on your target as though YOU were the target. Ask yourself what you would do in the current situation if the tables were turned. That will help you predict your enemies movements and reactions when it comes time to take the shot. To properly train in the ways of fieldcraft, you need someone or something to watch for your movements. So here are a couple of simple drills that will help you hone your stalking skills.
Capture the Flag w/o a guns
A good drill to perform with a fellow sniper. This will teach you how to move briskly through your surroundings with as little noise as possible.
Players – Two Snipers - One Flag
Setup – Hunter has a marker, Hider does not. Players start on opposite ends of field. Hunter's side has the flag at his station.
Objective – Hunter: Find the Hider, & eliminate him before he reaches the flag
Rules – Hunter must be on the move. The idea is to find the hider BEFORE he is even at the flag station. No camping on the flag. Hider must make it to the flag in allotted time limit ( depending on the field size)
Dogs have acute senses of both hearing and smell. However dumb they may seem at times ( drink out of a toilet? Sniff someone's butt to say hello? I don't think so) they are pretty hard to sneak past on occasions. This is a simple little drill that can be done while at home. It will teach you good foot placement, and how to walk softly and still keep your eyes on your objective. It should be noted that you should use a do that you know ( and knows you) , don't go sneaking around someone's guard dog, it's just bad form. Also, cats may not be substituted because most of them could care less about what is going on around them, let alone make any noise about it.
Players – Sniper - Dog
Setup – Dog in one spot, sniper in another out of view of dog.
Layout – You can do this in a yard, in the woods, or even in the house.
Objective – Sneak up behind the dog without him hearing you. Its easier said than done.
Rules – No rules. Just don't get bit, and make sure you know the dog. I don't want to hear about you getting mauled on the next "When Pets Attack" show.
Clear & Present Danger: the drill
You've seen the movie, you've built the 20" thick Ghillie suit, you've even got your hair trimmed "bowl cut" style and changed your name to "Chavez". So here is the sniper drill made famous in Hollywood Ca.
Players – Sniper, Observer, 2 Hunters
Setup – One target, next to Observer. Sniper in field, Hunters in field
Layout – Sniper starts off out of view of all other players. The observer sits next to the target, searching for the sniper ( yes, you can even use binoculars), Hunters search for sniper and tag him when he is located. No markers needed.
Objective – Sniper: Hit the target 3 times without being caught. Observers & Hunters - Find the Sniper and prevent him from hitting the target.
Rules – Sniper may only shoot target. No other markers need be used. Hunters must find sniper, not shoot him. They may be helped by the observer. Radios may be used as well.
Try these drills out. Combined with regular play will really help you refine your skills. If you have any drills that help you out, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post 'em here. Happy Hunting & Play Safe!!