Here's the deal.
Sniper certification: Some people like it, some people don't. It is a good intro if you're new to the sport, and gets you "certified" to shoot higher FPS rifles because you are taught to judge distance and ensured to shoot outside of your Minimum Engagement Distance (MED) that some games put in place. Since you are new to the sport, this is important to prevent players from crying too hard when you hit them.
That being said, I am not sniper qualified, but I've been in the sport 5 years. This doesn't make me king shit, and I can't run whatever FPS gun I want to run at a game.
YOU MUST FOLLOW GAME RULES.
If the posted FPS is 460fps for bolt actions, you can shoot a bolt action at that game under 460fps. If there is no fps limit (rare, but it happens), shoot whatever FPS you like.
Now here's the fun part.
FPS does not translate to distance. FPS + Heavy BB's + Tuned Gun + lots of time on the rifle translates to distance. You can do the other things before putting your gun over 400fps, this allows you to run the gun at every game, and get better shots on target, before you ever take the dive into sniper qualifications and shooting hotter.
If you have any questions, post up here and others (and myself) will chime in. Good to have you in the sport. (PS, come on down to TAC13, you're in Ontario, it's this weekend and will be a blast.)
EDIT: To directly answer your question. No, being qualified does not give you a free pass to shoot at higher FPS. Some games have stipulations in their rules that if you are qualified you may shoot hotter. Honestly, I haven't seen this rule in a effect at too many games, and you often just have to be vetted by game staff. This vetting will only come with experience and making friends. Many games cannot allow hot guns due to insurance regulations. Some don't want it, to provide an equal playing field. The most important rule is to strictly follow game rules, and to PM the game host with regards to hot guns. Honestly, if you're new, shoot under 400. You really won't feel much difference with the added 50 fps.
Ár skal rísa, sá er annars vill
fé eða fjör hafa. Sjaldan liggjandi úlfur
lær um getur né sofandi maður sigur.
Last edited by ShelledPants; March 11th, 2013 at 17:09..