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"My first sniper rifle"...

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  • "My first sniper rifle"...

    "My first sniper rifle"...

    So youíve just bought your first sniper rifle, and youíre not sure where to go from here. My advice is to do a few modifications to the rifle (as below), and take it to at least 1 skirmish before you throw money into it...


Test compression and disassemble: Take the stock off, then the outer barrel, so you have just the receiver assembly and trigger unit. Cock the rifle (no BBís are needed) and hold your finger very firmly over the cylinder head and the pull the trigger. The ideally it shouldnít move at all, but if the piston hits the cylinder head in under a minute, then take note. You will be fixing this later on. Take apart the rest of the rifle. (if you have any trouble with this, check Youtube for quick help).


Clean almost everything and lubricate necessary parts:
- Clean the barrel; You can either spray some silicon spray down the barrel and then squeeze cut pieces of kitchen towel through it (roughly 10 times), or (the better way) you can spray some silicon spray onto some kitchen towel, and push that through several times, then use dry towel (roughly 5 to 10 times).
- Clean the bucking with a little hand soap and water and then leave to air dry. Some like to spray a little silicon spray on the outside of the bucking afterwards (I donít).

    - Clean the hop up unit
    - Clean the cylinder, cylinder head, piston, spring, and spring guide. Then spray the internals of the cylinder with a little bit of silicon spray (you donít want a puddle at the bottom of the cylinder). Then use teflon grease (if you have it) to do a light coating of the outside of the cylinder (NOT the cylinder head).

    A few modifications and reassembly:
    - Put the bucking back onto the barrel. Then wrap the bucking in PTFE (plumbers) tape (roughly 3 wraps) and continue the wrapping onto the barrel until the point that the end of the hop up unit reaches when assembled.

    - Wrap the hop up arm (the pronged end) in 3 wraps of PTFE tape. If you just so happen to have some shims that fit, then shim the hop up arm as well (although the PTFE tape should do an ok job of this by itself).

    - Wrap the cylinder head threading in PTFE tape several times.

    - If when testing your compression, you found that your piston hit your cylinder head in under a minute, you have 2 options; 1, go and buy yourself a slightly thicker o-ring for the piston, or 2, take the o-ring off, add several wraps of PTFE tape and put the o-ring back on over the PTFE. Test that the piston still slides into the cylinder. Do another compression test later on, as you may need to add more PTFE underneath the o-ring (or buy an even thicker o-ring).

    - Reassemble the inner barrel and hop up unit.
- If you have an outer barrel that is not tapered (e.g. a VSR-10 G-Spec outer barrel): Use electrical tape to create barrel spacers. Iíd say 1 spacer every 10cm is enough, but I like to have the entire length of the barrel covered. Check every spacer fits perfectly into the outer barrel. Not too hard to get it, but it shouldnít just drop in.
- If you have a tapered barrel (e.g. VSR-10 Pro outer barrel): Take the barrel spacers that came with your rifle. Start with the smaller one, and drop that into the outer barrel (making sure itís facing the correct way) then jam that in there with something so that it is very stuck. Then do the same with the larger spacer. Then youíll just slide the barrel and hop up unit in.

    - Now just finish reassembling the rifle


    If your rifle is severely underpowered, then you may want to invest in a new spring straight away. Donít go over 400fps with .20gís with your stock internals (unless your stock internals are metal with steel sears in the trigger unit). But if you are at 350fps+ with .20gís, then leave it alone until you use the rifle first. If you have an air break, you could cut that down a little to up the fps a bit (make sure you sand off the tip of the air break to keep it smooth and rounded off). You can pick up an Element spring for under £10 pretty easily.

    Your first real upgrade purchases should undoubtably be a new inner barrel and bucking. I really recommend a Raven PDI barrel (for me, THE best barrel for the money) and PDI Bucking (these buckings are a happy medium for low to high fps). Youíll need to make sure your get these for your respective rifle, e.g. VSRís specifically take VSR cut barrels and buckings (unless you buy a different hop up unit).


Other good alternative brands for barrels:

Prometheus Ash


Deep Fire


Other good alternative brands for buckings (hard bucking for 420fps and above, hard bucking for anything below 420fps):

    KA Red Air Seal (420fps < )

    Nineball Purple Air Seal (420fps > )

Firefly (another happy medium bucking)
Madbull hard
Madbull soft
TM (if you bought a clone in the first place)

    If you decide you like your sniper rifle enough, and you want to go one step further than a barrel and bucking, then my advice is the following (VSR example)...
    Make this order from (just under £72 before shipping):
    VSR PDI Raven Barrel 430mm 6.01 TB
    VSR PDI Bucking
    VSR Piston Sear
    VSR Trigger Sear
    VSR Set Pin
    VSR 240 Spring - 430fps w/ .20g BB's

    The above are premium parts and will allow you to further expand in the future (piston, spring guide, higher rated spring etc)...

    Lastly, I have left out a few modifications, e.g. the TDC mod. I've done this to simplify the guide, and because I think the above will get you pretty far as it stands. However, if anyone feels I have left anything out (e.g. brand names for other buckings or other modifications), please feel free to let me know.

    Thanks for reading, and good luck on your build!


    P.s. Just to add; If you haven't already bought your first sniper rifle but are thinking about it, here is an example of a what I believe is a great build without the heavy price tag (pictured at the top of the thread):

    A&K M24
    PDI Raven 6.01 TB
    KA Hard Bucking
    Laylax SP170 Spring
    Alloy Piston (stock)
    Steel Spring Guide (stock)
    Steel Cylinder/Tapered Cylinder Head (stock)
    Steel Trigger Asembly (stock)
    Electrical Tape Barrel Spacers (entire length)
    Kydex Cheek Rest (DIY)
    M1 Leupold Replica w/ Scope Shade
    Harris Bipod
    US Woodland Camo paint job

    This could be done for around £200, and throws .43's at close to the same accuracy and range as my previous £600 VSR builds.
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