The Best Paintball Sniper Rifle of 2021

(+3 Features of Long-Range Paintball Markers You Need to Know)

David McBryan, Paintballer-in-Chief

David McBryan
Paintballer-in-Chief
Updated: 10/23/20
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Out-stealth your competition with the best paintball sniper rifle. These are our picks for the 5 best long-range paintball guns in every price range.

Best paintball sniper rifles - primary image

Ask anyone who's done it.

There's no better feeling than eliminating an unsuspecting opponent from 200 feet away.

Sniping requires skill and patience (a lot of patience) but it also requires good gear.

Take your long-range game to the next level with the best paintball sniper gun.

3 Paintball Sniper Rifle Features

There are a lot of different types of paintball guns, which makes it challenging to pick the single best paintball sniper rifle. While you're looking for the best long-range paintball gun, keep these three features in mind:

  1. Pump vs gas-powered sniper rifles
  2. CO2 vs HPA sniper rifles
  3. Mag-fed vs hopper-fed sniper rifles

1. Pump vs Gas-Powered Sniper Rifles

This is all about propulsion. Pump-powered sniper rifles use hand-pumping power to load the paintball into the chamber and cock the firing spring, which is released when you pull the trigger.

Gas-powered sniper rifles use a gas tank to propel your paint downfield with the blowback process chambering your next round.

  • Pump-powered sniper rifles are quieter and never need gas tank refills.
  • Gas-powered sniper rifles can fire at higher rates and usually have better velocity and downrange accuracy.

2. CO2 vs HPA Sniper Rifles

Among gas-powered sniper rifles, you have two choices: CO2 vs HPA.

  • CO2 is more affordable and can be refilled almost anywhere.
  • HPA fires more consistently at a wider range of temperatures and is required in electronic markers.

3. Hopper-Fed Sniper Rifles

Some paintball sniper rifles feed paint from a top-loader or hopper, which sits on top of the barrel (like the Tippmann A5). Others have a traditional bottom-feeding magazine (like the First Strike FS T15).

Which is better? That's up to you.

  • Hopper-fed sniper rifles usually have larger capacities and different weight distribution, since they sit on top of the barrel.
  • Mag-fed sniper rifles offer more realistic gameplay, both in design and in strategy (you can't spray and pray with lower paint capacity and live to tell about it).
The Tippmann A5 is the Best Paintball Sniper Rifle
The Tippmann A5 is the Best Paintball Sniper Rifle

1. Tippmann A5 Sniper Rifle

Best Paintball Sniper Rifle

One of the most popular and recognizable paintball guns ever, the Tippmann A5 Sniper Rifle has a 16" barrel, fires with a 250-foot range, and works with either CO2 or HPA. Its lightweight and streamlined for easy maneuverability and offers a ton of aftermarket parts for an upgraded shooting experience.

If you want durability and performance in an affordable base model with a ton of potential upgrades, stop scrolling and get the Tippmann A5.

Key Features

  • Mechanical paintball gun
  • Works with CO2 or HPA
  • 200-round stock hopper
  • Long 16" barrel
  • 250-foot range
  • 500-shot capacity on a single gas tank
  • Durable body made with aluminum die-cast receiver
  • Cyclone feed system increases loading speed
  • Vertical front grip for a stable shooting experience
  • Maximum feed rate of 17 bps
  • Shock-absorbing end cap
  • Can be assembled and disassembled easily

Pros

Long 16" barrel and powerful firing pressure give you accuracy up to 250 feet
Shock absorbing end cap improves durability
Durable with Tippmann's brand name reliability

Cons

Long barrel makes it harder to maneuver in the field
Can't achieve long-range sniper status with a regular round paintball type
The Empire Pump Paintball Gun is The Best Pump Paintball Sniper Rifle
The Empire Pump Paintball Gun is The Best Pump Paintball Sniper Rifle

2. Empire Pump Paintball Sniper Rifle

Best Pump Paintball Sniper Rifle

Ditch the air tank and fire with impunity. The Empire Pump Paintball Sniper Rifle is a tournament-level marker with a 14" barrel and solid-yet-lightweight pumping action for consistently strong downfield firing among comparable pump-powered markers.

The Empire Sniper's 14" barrel isn't as long as the Tippmann A5's 14" barrel (though its much longer than the Tippmann 98 Custom Pro's 11" barrel below) but that doesn't affect its accuracy.

In fact, the Empire Sniper's silent, smooth, pump-only action makes it supremely reliable and accurate to the edge of its firing range, though admittedly that isn't super far at just 50-75 feet.

Key Features

  • Pump-powered firing action (no gas)
  • Hopper-fed
  • Aluminum 2-piece, 14" barrel
  • Low-pressure operation
  • 300 PSI gauge with dual position on either side
  • Auto-trigger for rapid firing
  • 3 barrel inserts (.675, .680, .685)
  • Auto-cocker barrel threading
  • Removable vertical pump assist plate
  • Delrin pump handle and sled
  • T-mounted on/off ASA with bleed
  • Dual stainless steel pump rods for stability

Pros

Gasless pump action is smooth and nearly silent
Doesn't require gas refills for cheaper ongoing use
Auto-trigger functionality for rapid firing

Cons

Not as upgradeable as the Tippmann sniper rifles
Low-pressure operation means shorter firing range
Base model is more expensive than the Tippmann A5
The Tippmann 98 Custom Pro is the Most Reliable Long-Range Sniper Rifle
The Tippmann 98 Custom Pro is the Most Reliable Long-Range Sniper Rifle

3. Tippmann 98 Custom Pro Sniper Rifle

Most Reliable Long-Range Paintball Gun

You could put just about any Tippmann marker in the "most reliable paintball gun" category, but the Tippmann 98 Custom Pro gets the nod because it's the gold standard for durability and versatility.

In fact, its biggest plus is right in its name: its customizability.

The base Pro model, shown in the image above, looks like a plain old marker. When fully loaded with whatever upgrades you like, it looks like something from Call of Duty.

By pure sniper standards, the base Custom Pro isn't quite as effective as the Tippmann A5 or Empire Pump Sniper, mostly due to its 11" barrel (only on Custom Pro models, the standard Custom model has an 8.5" barrel). But like the A5, which is our pick for the best paintball sniper gun, the Custom Pro can be upgraded as needed for a true-to-you paintball experience.

Key Features

  • Mechanical paintball gun with semi-automatic firing
  • Hopper-fed
  • Compatible with CO2 and HPA
  • 11" barrel on Custom Pro (8.5" on Custom model)
  • Vertical removable foregrip
  • Built-in adjustable iron sight
  • Bottomline air feed
  • 3/8" Dovetail accessory rail and 7/8" Weaver-style rail
  • Removable feed elbow
  • Moderate weight at 2.9 lbs

Pros

Probably the most customizable marker available
Has Tippmann's signature durability and longevity
Efficient gas use and compatible with either CO2 or HPA

Cons

More recoil than you'd probably like
Stock barrel is just 11" on the Custom Pro model and 8.5" on the Custom
Base weight isn't too bad but tons of accessory add-ons can make it heavy
The First Strike FS T15 is the Best Paintball Sniper Rifle for Experienced Players
The First Strike FS T15 is the Best Paintball Sniper Rifle for Experienced Players

4. First Strike FS T15 Sniper Rifle

Best Paintball Sniper Rifle For Experienced Players

A dual-use marker capable of firing both accurately downfield and rapidly in close-quarter combat, the First Strike FS T15 is a beast of a sniper rifle. Its lightweight, aluminum body is easy to maneuver with a realistic MilSim design, and it has the durability to match.

However, that amazing build-quality and enviable accuracy come with cost: the highest price point of any paintball sniper rifle on this list.

That makes the First Strike FS T15 the best paintball sniper rifle for experienced players. It comes with everything you need out of the box, but it takes some use and refinement to dial it in to your liking.

Key Features

  • FS T15 semi-automatic firing and full-auto compatibility
  • FS remote buffer tube adapter
  • 12" floating keymod handguard
  • 14.5" FS Lapco Raging Donkey smooth bore barrel
  • 7" hand guard
  • Collapsible stock
  • FS mock silencer barrel tip
  • Adjustable riser
  • Realistic MilSim design with matte black finish

Pros

Amazing build quality, durability, and performance
Comes with more high-end parts and accessories than base Empire and Tippmann paintball snipers
Capable of firing in either semi-automatic or full-auto mode (with remote line and high-pressure regulator required for full)

Cons

Most expensive paintball sniper marker on this list
Takes practice to dial in and not suited for beginners
Not very air-efficient and loses firing power toward end of tank
The Tippmann Cronus Tactical Marker is the Most Realistic Paintball Sniper Rifle
The Tippmann Cronus Tactical Marker is the Most Realistic Paintball Sniper Rifle

5. Tippmann Cronus Tactical Marker

Most Realistic Paintball Sniper Rifle

A realistic-looking paintball sniper marker with a 150-foot firing range and semi-automatic firing capability up to 8 bps, the Tippmann Cronus Tactical Marker is a hybrid long-range and close-quarters paintball marker.

In addition to semi-auto firing, it also has Tippmann's best-in-class inline bolt system for reliable, jam-free performance. And with its authentic design and open bolt blowback system, the Cronus Tactical looks and plays the part of a realistic sniper rifle, making it a great pick for anyone who wants a realistic paintball sniper rifle.

Key Features

  • Mechanical paintball gun
  • Hopper-fed
  • Reliable firing mechanism accurate up to 150 feet
  • Up to 8 bps firing speed semi-automatic
  • 9" ported barrel for quieter shooting
  • Open bolt blowback
  • Tactical MilSim design
  • High-impact composite build
  • Molded rubber grips are comfortable and slip-proof in wet conditions
  • 4 x 20 mm Picatinny rails to add attachments like red sights and scopes
  • CO2 and HPA (high pressure air) compatible
  • Heavier at 3.7 lbs

Pros

Tons of ability to upgrade or customize thanks to Picatinny rails
Cool tactical design
Features Tippmann's reliable inline bolt system that fires smoothly even with sub-par paint

Cons

Low price point means entry-level quality with few accessories
Down-range accuracy up to 150 feet is serviceable but not great
Needs to be fully disassembled for cleaning, which is a pain

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