Striking fast and running to cover can hold its appeal through hundreds of matches, but sometimes, the most satisfying way to play paintball can be to sit back and pick people off with a sniper rifle. Paintball snipers are a relatively uncommon sight on most playing fields, but a keen marksman can immediately start to dominate an entire section of the area with the help of an accurate long range paintball gun. These markers have the accuracy, range, and room for attachments that make them perfect snipers for a variety of situations.
In a Hurry? Here’s My Quick Take:
- Budget Pick: Tippmann 98 Custom Sniper, Tippmann US Army Alpha or, Empire Sniper Pump Gun
- Value Pick: RAP4 468 Bolt Action Sniper
- Premium Pick: Carmatech SAR12C
Best Paintball Sniper Rifle- Reviews
#8. Tippmann 98 Custom ACT Platinum Series Sniper
The first entry on this list of the best paintball sniper rifles available in stores is a slightly upgraded version of one of Tippmann’s most iconic mechanical markers. The Tippmann 98 has been a well-loved entry-level paintball marker for a long time, and with a few changes, it also represents possibly the best entry-level sniper around.
Featuring an extra-long barrel that improves accuracy and decreases sound, this custom package helps the 98 achieve a new standard of range and accuracy from mechanical Tippmann markers. The package also includes an adjustable buttstock to dramatically increase stability and a red dot sight to provide a clear sight picture.
This cheap paintball sniper rifle brings a lot to the table at an affordable price point while still being viable for regular play. If you want to use the same gun for a speedball match, all you need is a simple barrel swap to retain the close-quarters performance of a stock Tippmann 98.
However, this versatility may also prove to be the downfall of this sniper upgrade package (and other similar packages for different Tippmann models). Unfortunately, the forward grip prevents you from mounting a bipod and restricts the overall capacity to customize and specialize your gun. Thankfully, Tippmann shares their robust internal workings and enhanced barrel options across multiple models of markers, and I discuss how a few other models may perform slightly better than the 98 later in this review article.
#7. Empire Sniper Pump Gun
I’ve been looking more and more at Empire’s Sniper line of pump guns, and plan to pick one up for myself soon. Why? The answer lies in their extremely comfortable feel, unique style of play, and superb reliability.
Pump guns are a sort of in-between for semiautomatic and bolt-action paintball guns. While they support a slower form of play with more focus on accuracy, they also provide rapid enough fire to make them a deadly option at medium ranges.
I think medium range is where the Empire Sniper excels the most. Unfortunately, these guns lack a standardized optic mounting rail, making scopes difficult to mount even with extensive modification.
However, even without mounted optics, these guns do a great job at hitting dead-on at surprising ranges for such a low-pressure system. They’re not for everyone, though. If you are confident enough in your scope-free aim to tag someone in the mask when they dare to peek up from their cover, this marker might feel great in your hands. But, for a truly long-range choice, you may want to keep looking.
#6. Tippmann US Army Alpha
At first glance, this M4 clone mag-fed marker from Tippmann doesn’t appear to be a sniper at all. And, in some ways, you’d be right to assume that. The US Army Alpha was initially designed to be a general-purpose mag-fed marker but, after extensive play testing and customer feedback, stores have started marketing this product as what it really is – one of the best Tippmann sniper platforms around, straight out of the box.
Thanks to its well-designed internal components, long stock barrel, and mag-feeding system, the Alpha represents one of the best general-purpose rifles that can start sniping with nothing more than a bipod and mounted sight. In many ways, it’s a much more affordable version of the Dye Assault Matrix, a very expensive marker that I talk more about below. However, just like the upgraded Tippmann 98, this gun doesn’t have the internals of a pure sniper and is not compatible with shaped rounds that can add range and accuracy to a high-end sniper platform. You’ll out-distance other players with this platform while still having perfect close-quarters capabilities with no modifications, but other snipers may yet have the upper hand against you.
#5. Tippmann US Army Project Salvo Sniper Package
This modified version of the Tippmann Project Salvo is designed to function as something akin to a DMR. Although it only has slightly above average range compared to other paintball markers, it is designed to support a variety of different optics (the package comes with a red dot) and a metal bipod.
So, why did I place this marker above the US Army Alpha, which shares a number of similar features? For one, this gun has a longer barrel (20in as opposed to 12in), giving it greater range and accuracy. Most importantly, however, this Project Salvo sniper package includes quad Picatinny rails to mount as many attachments as you like. Having the ability to attach a bipod, optic, and laser sight all at once makes for a deadly aggressive sniper platform.
#4. Tacamo Vortex Reacher
As the first bolt action paintball rifle on this list, the Tacamo Vortex Reacher is a dedicated sniper weapon designed to deliver an authentic silent and stealthy experience without breaking the bank. I really don’t know how they manage to sell a gun with such great internals and barrel at such a low price point while including a scope. It’s a great value and, while perhaps (barely) outperformed by other options on this list, designed from the ground up to dominate most environments in both range and accuracy. If you’re looking for a sniper to sit back and dig in, the Vortex Reacher may be right for you.
Like most other bolt action paintball snipers, this gun is designed to accept and use highly accurate shaped projectiles. If you want to use regular paintballs, the gun will still fire them if they are precisely .68 caliber, but with a significant penalty to effective range and accuracy. Keep in mind that if you want to get the best performance from your gun, you may need to pay up for high quality rounds.
#3. Dye Assault Matrix (DAM)
This entry is a bit personal since this gun is something of a “dream rifle” for me. I’m fortunate enough to know someone who has one, and it’s awe-inspiring what this marker can achieve. Most tournament grade markers, while high in accuracy and exceptional on all other performance metrics, lack room for attachments and modifications that can make them viable contenders as a sniper platform for woodsball or even the average arena. Enter the DAM.
Dye designed this marker to have the best possible accuracy, range, and trigger pull while keeping it as a versatile platform for all styles of play. If you want to do nothing but snipe targets all day, the gun easily supports high end optics and attachments while feeding shaped First Strike projectiles from a magazine. Precision manufacturing and great barrel length grant it precision and range on par with the Vortex Reacher despite being a semiautomatic gun. After testing this out on the field, I must say I’m impressed. If you want a marker with true all around capabilities, a high quality milsim aesthetic, and great sniping performance, then it may just be worth spending a small fortune on this pro grade marker.
#2. RAP4 468 Bolt Action Sniper DMR
Want to pick off targets across an entire football field? Looking for the kind of paintball sniper used by police snipers to train on live targets? The RAP4 468 is used for both of these tasks, cementing its status as one of the best paintball sniper rifles money can buy. These markers are primarily sold to security companies and police forces as training tools, but find a home in many paintball enthusiasts’ personal collections as one of the best possible options for long distance engagements.
If you look hard enough, you may be able to find these guns as rentals from some paintball tournament organizers and pro shops. An arena near me features them in a rental package (although not with the stock scope, so I cannot personally speak for its potency) and I’ve found them to be an almost unfair tool to have out on the field. The construction is entirely metal and highly robust, and the gun has been progressively updated over the years to include new technological advances to push the limits of what is possible with distance and reliability. Honestly, even though this marker only takes the #2 spot, I’d recommend it to most users over #1 since it has nearly the same performance at just half the price.
#1. Carmatech SAR12C
If money is no object and you want to go for overkill with the best paintball sniper at any price point, the Carmatech SAR12C delivers an even more impressively precise experience than the exceptional RAP4 468. All the things I said about that rifle apply here, but just a little more so. Every component on this paintball gun is designed at or above milspec standards for real firearms, providing just the slightest bit of extra range and accuracy over any other competitor.
Even without a scope, this paintball sniper rifle should cost you over $1000. That may seem like a steep price point, but when you take into account the included lifetime warranty, it starts to become a slightly better value. However, given that it only has a slight edge over the 468 despite costing so much more, I don’t think it’s ideal for most buyers. If you want the best of the best for your ultimate paintball sniper setup, this is the rifle you should invest into.
Considerations Before Buying A Sniper for Paintball
Price should be the first thing you think about when considering a paintball sniper to purchase. If you don’t have a lot of money to buy gear, you may be better off getting a more versatile and affordable marker like the Tippmann 98 or US Army Alpha. Even with more money to work with, top-tier sniping platforms can get very expensive very quickly. Is it worth paying more than twice the price to get a SAR12C over a Vortex Reacher? Considering that the two rifles perform very similarly, I think that may be a tough bite to swallow for most people.
Play-style and Purpose
What do you want your sniper to do? Are you happy digging into some forest cover or climbing up to a sniper tower to pick off targets if they happen to cross your line of fire? Or would you rather sneak up on players and catch them in an ambush? Bolt-action snipers are great for holding a consistent line of fire over long distances and time periods but may struggle even in a sniping role in smaller arenas and environments. Sometimes, a semiautomatic marker with a long barrel and solid optic can be the best sniper for the situation at any price point.
Honestly, if you don’t have strong marksmanship skills before you buy a paintball sniper rifle, you may be wasting your money. The best paintball snipers dominate the field not because of their equipment, but because of their skill. I think some of the first options on this list, like a modified Tippmann gun with an optic mounted on it, can be much more helpful if you’re a relatively new player looking to develop new skills or hone existing ones.
Do you already have a camo outfit or ghillie suit? Do you have a strong sidearm that you can fall back to if someone gets close? Make sure you have the right gear to support the marker you buy – a bolt action alone may not be enough to get the complete sniper experience.
For bolt-action guns, a higher budget usually means greater precision, longer range engagements, and more opportunities to develop your marksmanship skills. Honestly, unless you’re training to be an expert marksman, I think you should look for something that shoots shaped projectiles but won’t break the bank, like the Vortex Reacher.
A skilled marksman can dominate play just the same with that sort of marker with money left over to buy tons of high-end accessories. Whatever you end up doing, just be sure to get some use out of your new equipment – it’s not worth investing in such a powerful weapon if you never use it.