Hi, I'm Dan Bacci and I spend my time documenting paintball's history in videos and articles on my site, http://www.baccipaintball.com
I also sell thousands of old used and rusted parts for old Nelspots, Sheridan, Autocockers and Automags and have a pretty large selection of random gear and memorabilia.
For my videos and articles I focus on the early 1980s up to the mid to late 90s.
I interview paintballers, record guns breakdowns, detail unique parts and gear, document early teams, and best of all, shoot leaking paintguns!
Chris from Mountainview Paintball asked me to post some of my paintguns on here sometime last year and after a lot of procrastinating, and some encouragement from John Dresser, I'm finally getting around to it. I wanted to take photos that would work well together so I started reshooting all the paintguns I had around.
My articles and videos are usually very specific, so a post with around 20 different (mostly) unrelated paintguns will be a little different from what you'll find on my site.
I'll be updating this thread, cycling through paintguns to reflect the research, articles and videos I'm currently working on.
Total number of paintguns in this thread will typically be between 10 to 20 and will include (depending on what I'm up to) bolt actions, pumps, double actions, semi automatics and an electronic paintgun every once in a while. Sure, there will be paintguns from California, Chicago and Florida, but there will also be early examples of paintball history from the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Africa and even Brazil!
I'll also arrange these paintguns in chronological order, rather than by manufacturer, since noticing similarities and investigating connections between manufacturers in a timeline is one of the ways I usually structure my articles.
And I always appreciate having errors in what I've put together pointed out to me so if you notice something incorrect either in this thread please post so I can correct it. 1960s - Nelspot 707
This segment of my collection will begin with a paintgun produced long before Bob Gurnsey, Hayes Noel and Charles Gaines considered the first game of paintball.
Based on recent information from an employee at Nelson Paintballs, that will be incorporated into an upcoming article, the Nelson 707 dates to "1958 to 1969 or 1970."
The 007 was later produced by Daisy for Nelson, but the earlier 707 was built around a Crosman platform.
I showed this pistol to Tim McMurray at Mac 1 Airguns, and he hypothesized on it's construction, thinking it might be a product of Nelson contracting Palmer Cap-Chur Company (not to be confused with Palmer's Pursuit Shop). Palmer Cap-Chur (or Chemical) Company made their pistols in the 1960 in a similar style, and based off Crosmans.
Tim's thoughts on this pistol are in the video below:
And trying to shoot some paintballs before all the air leaks out of this 707:
1986-1987 - KBS Eliminator
In August of 1986, Stan Russell, Earon Carter and Wes Potale premiered the first model Annihilator at the 1986 War Zone big games in Southern California. Stan and Earon later went on to produce the first generation of Annihilators for Tim McMurray / Mac 1.
Around this time, in fall of 1986, Frank Postle, also introduced a long barreled, direct feed pump, nelson based pump, of steel construction, which became known as the Frank Gun.
Postle, whose home field was Conquest, in Malibu, California played with the Wolf Pack and the Land Sharks.
These implementations of direct feed and longer barrels on both the Nelson and Sheridan platform quickly lead to many of the stock guns produced in smaller quantity to be forgotten.
One example of this is the briefly produced Gramps and Grizzly KBS Eliminator.
I've only found this pistol advertised in the Command Post mail order catalog, briefly in 1987(?).
Lou and Mike Grubb, of Gramps and Grizzly, who I would credit the pistol to, couldn't even remember the exact details. And as Lou and Mike explain, in the video below, the KBS Eliminator was likely a combination of pieces they assembled, although so far I haven't found any of the items offered separately anywhere.
This pistol, features a giant aluminum stock feed and front sight, on a steel barrel, which can quickly rust if not cared for.
I found this beautiful example of the KBS Eliminator on a shelf at Mac 1, in January of 2013. I couldn't believe my eyes, and to the best of Tim's memory, it was a gift from Gramps.
Video with Mike and Lou discussing the KBS
1987 - WGP Sniper 11
I'm always on the lookout for the lowest Sniper serial I can find. I have come across R9 and R11 and was under the impression these were sequential numbers that were either Rejects or Rentals at Sat Cong Village, or Top Gun Paintball in New Jersey.
The odd thing about R9 and R11 were that they featured reversible feednecks, so they could be right or left feed. And the early hand machines bodies (not extruded, matched construction of very early models).
I asked Bud Orr, and he thought they could be sequential, but with dates back to 1987 it's hard to pin point exact details on a very small run. I figured that either matching the serial stamp style, or finding a Sniper with the identical serial that lacked the R stamp would be the only way to know for sure, but that surely wouldn't happen.
Or at least I didn't think it would happen, until last year, when I bought a Sniper 1 covered in a silver paint (not anodizing).
Scraping the paint away, the serial number of 11 was revealed!
And here is the reversible feed R11 body. It's in horrible shape and was found in Earon Carter's back yard.
Paul "Lucky Duck" Schreck and I visited Earon, of Carter Machine, in 2013, and, after questioning Earon about Bud's reversible feed Snipers, followed him into his back yard. He proceeded to dump out buckets that had been filled with water and dirt which combined to make a rusty slush. In this mush, Earon pulled out this body and said something like, "is this what you were talking about?"
1987 - Early Phantom
In 1987, Mike Casady would introduce the longest running and perhaps most well known pump paintguns, the Phantom.
Mike's earliest models featured Crosman receivers but after a small production, Casady's supply of frames dried up (Aldo Perrone of Brass Eagle secured them for his Brass Eagle Paintguns) and Mike started machining his own frames.
This phantom is equipped with an Eagle Sight, and could have been originally owned by the Louisville Raiders.
Stamped on the rear of the receiver's rail is 1167. I imagine serials started at 1101 for Mike's earliest Phantoms, making this either the 67th or the 57th Phantom.
And I shoot this phantom at:
In summer of 2013, Tim at PaintballTek, Derek, at FogDoc, and I visited Mike at his shop in Oregon and recorded a few videos on his history. In my favorite of the series, Mike goes over his history in paintball.
And Mike Casady talking about the development of the very early Phantom components:
As I wrote above, Frank Postle, who played on the Malibu California team, the Wolfpack (and possibly the Landsharks), created one of the first direct feed long barrel Nelson paintguns in fall of 1986. And in 1987, the Wolfpack (likely combined with the Landsharks) won the 1987 Challenge cup at Sat Cong Village with their Frank Guns.
I've been trying to get in touch with Rob "Termite" Smith, to get the exact detail on the transition from Steel to Aluminum barrels and the time frame from 1986 until 1987 when Postle stopped the production of his paintgun and Termite began selling his barrels.
In the last year, after talking with Colin Thompson, of Lapco, and Tony Verbeek, of Sudden Death and Sigma, I believe I can trace Termite's earliest barrels and parts, based on their construction, back to actually being manufactured at Sigma.
Verbeek, played on the Malibu based team, Sudden Death and worked at his cousin Randy Christoph's machine shop, which was (either named or manufactured products under the name) Sigma. At the time Sigma was making barrels for Line SI, I believe Colin Thompson, possibly AGS and Rob "Termite" Smith.
Here is Kevin Donaldson of Action Sports Outfitters and the Master Blasters, explaining some of his history selling and playing with Termite and his markers.
And Earon explaining making some of the barrels for Termite. After Earon and Termite's friend and teammate, Jay "The Old Buzzard" Jackson passed away in a match between Havok and Who Are Those Guys Mercenary Service, Termite renamed the Termite Gun to the Buzzard. Around this same time Earon Carter took over production, with Termite still selling guns with a few of his own personal touches or components, such as the howdy bolt.
This example of the Termite Gun is one of the neatest I've come across. The pump has a hidden return spring concealed inside it, similar to Ghosts. The rail, between the body and the receiver, has hidden and visible milling, the adjustable internals were likely made by Sigma as some of the first anti Kink internals, the pump handle has a flat top and a non symmetric window milling. The asa and sight were made for (and are stamped) Lapco. The grips were made by Tim Stone, of the Kamikaze Shooters. The receiver was made for an NW pump and is stamped NW1002, and the stock (not visible in this photos) was made by Stan Russell, of South Bay arms.
Later models of the Termite (after the passing of Jay "The Old Buzzard" Jackson) would become the Buzzard and would have a barrels made by Earon Carter and internals machined by Jim "Howdy" Guffog of the Master Blasters.
1988, Summer - Hand Tooled NSG Rapide Prototype
In 1983, Bob Gurnsey, and National Survival Games, introduced the Splatmasters, made of high quality and very durable polymers.
Millions of Splatmasters sold through out the early to late 1980s, but by the mid to late 80s the game was changing. At NSG franchises, the game could be regulated but at the rising number of non NSG locations the game was changing and paintguns were evolving. Stock horizontal feeds and 12 grams were phasing out and direct feed and constant air were replacing them as the desired features.
Another change was also taking place, the implementation of paintguns that were almost semi automatics, or more specifically double actions. The AGA revolver, the Joe Survival Mark V 50 Revolver were being offered and the U.S.A. Crossfire Equalizer was also reaching production. And the Tippmann SMG 60 was released in March of 1987.
National Survival Games needed to innovate, or loose its edge. So in the summer of 1988, National Survival Games released the Rapide.
A double action built from high quality polymers, the Rapide could still retail for under 100 dollars. It wasn't constant air, and it wasn't direct feed (it featured a 20 revolving loader), so it could still be used at most fields requiring 12 gram cartridges, but it could adapt more easily to the Splatmaster and various manufacturers would release conversion kits. The Rapide would go on to sell thousands, or even hundreds of thousands.
This Prototype Rapide came from Bob Gurnsey's collection earlier this year. Bob first sent me photos of this and a few other markers in 2009 and I immediately expressed my interest but at the time Bob decided to hold onto it. Earlier this year, Bob contacted me and I purchased it and hope to share it with tons of paintballers at future events I set up displays at.
I haven't aired it up and shot it yet, but as far as I can tell, it is complete and will function (after a rebuild). I need to modify a magazine for it since I believe the clip plate is slightly larger than standard.
Find two articles I recently put together on the Rapide's features: http://www.baccipaintball.com/oldnew...or-bob-gurnsey
This video from 1988/89 shows what you might expect to experience at a National Survival Games Franchise and how the NSG Rapie could stand up to all types of abuse, including a quick cleaning from an in boundary stream mid game.
1988-89 - Rick Cendejas' Ironmen Line SI Bushmaster
In 1988, the Ironmen took on players from the Northern California team The Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Delta.
Rick Cendejas, who played on both the Mutant Ninja Tutrles and Delta joined the team along with Bob Long and a few others. Around 1989 the Ironmen also received a sponsorship from Line SI and shot Bushmasters pumps.
This pictured paintgun is at least part of Rick's original Bushmaster, with a custom diagonal foregrip extending perpendicular off the pump handle.
Cendejas is cut into the loader, arms, and the receiver. The body was either polished or replaced at some point and I'm not sure if this was done by Rick or by another owner in between Rick and myself.
I sent photos to Rick and he replied:
"That was from the late 1980's and it looks pretty much the same as I used it. I may have used it last with remote air. Those are my etch marks too. I remember that welding the knob on the pump distorted the roundness and I had a hell of a time honing it back to where it would work again."
The Ironmen's sponsorship from Line SI lasted either until they began competing with their Palmer's Pursuit Shop Hurricanes, or until Worr Game Products picked them up in late 1990/early 1991.
1989 - Steve Copeland's Lord of Discipline PMI Long Barrel Piranha
In the mid to late 1980s the Lords of Discipline were one of the most competative professional teams competing in Lively Series events.
In 1989 they won both the 5 man and 15 man Line SI Masters event playing wth their PMI Piranha Long Barrel's and 6 Pak / Micro CA 12 gram changers.
In 1991, during a game with the Crow Warriors at a Lively Event (possibly the Chicago Open), an argument escalated which led to the Lord of Discipline being banned from the Lively Series. After this event, many of the Lord's players merged with Scream to form Aftershock.
This Piranha Long barrel belonged to Steve Copeland, of the Lords, and was sold to Glenn Pensinger of Hole in the Wall Paintball. Pensinger sold it to me in 2014. Pensinger, and his team, Guns of Paradise would skirmish the Lords (and then Aftershock) during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The barrel on this Piranha LB was factory engraved for the the Lords and the side of the breech was engraved for the AGD turbo valve used in it.
The earliest example I've seen of pneumatic automation in a paintball marker designed for the game of paintball was the Adventure Game Supply Rifle, which debuted in 1988 and then Forest Cox's Elite Rifles and Glenn Palmers' Hurricanes.
But a pneumatic special effects device predated these paintguns and dates all the way to 1984.
It was designed by Matt Sweeney in North Hollywood to shoot special effects rounds and even won a technical Oscar in 1987. These are likely still being produced, but the pictured models likely late to the late 1980s and mid 1990s.
I first came across a Sweeney Gun probably 10 years ago and Tim Firpo, of Paintballtek.com, and I demonstrated that example in a youtube video several years back (although we don't actually shoot paint through it).
A few months back I was contacted by an actor in Hollywood who asked me for details about a Sweeney gun. After finding out the owner was thinking about letting this monstrosity go, and that he was only 3 or so miles away I drove over and met up with him. His Sweeney gun is pictured here and in the second video. It's a slightly later model than what Tim goes over.
Unlike the previous example that Tim and I looked over, this model has a couple updated features, including a selector switch between semi and full auto, a pneumatic ram to push the paint into the cycling block where it's pushed infront of the dump valve, and two sets of pneumatic solenoids to add to the weight.
In the video below I take a good look at the later model Sweeney gun and explain how I happened to find it.
1990-91? - Blue Enterprise's BE-90
Originally designed by ACI / Tagline's Brian Sullivan as the USA Crossfire Equalizer and pictured in 1987/88 issues of Action Pursuit Games and Frontline Magazine.
The USA Equalizer would have been one of the earliest examples of a double action trigger in a paintball marker and also featured a spring feed, sliding stock and dual 12 gram in grip changer.
But progress was for some reason delayed and and then updates disappeared.
In 1990-1991, after development stopped and the design was nearly forgotten, the Equalizer re appeared as the BE-90. I'm hoping to uncover more information (and hopefully talk to Sullivan) eventually.
The pictured model came from David Freeman, who told me that although he wasn't able to get one of the original Equalizers he was later able to find this for his collection.
Find an article with a little more of the BE-90's history at: http://www.baccipaintball.com/oldnew...eakdown-videos
And shooting a leaking example that was imported from Norway:
1991, March - Michael "Machine Gun Mike" Baird's Autococker #6212
In March of 1991, the Ironmen premiered Bud Orr's Autococker at the Texas Lone Star Open.
I had been curious about what serial numbers the Ironmen initially received from Bud. Several southern California players who purchased Autocockers around the introduction of Bud's Autococker had told me that the first (non Sniper converted) Autocockers were around serial 7000.
But the Ironmen's guns that were used in the 1991 Lone Star Open would predate these.
Late last year I found, what I thought might be, an Ironmen Autococker dating back to the 1991 Lone Star Open on ebay.
Originally belonging to Mike Baird, whose father, "General Rick" Baird founded the Ironmen in 1984. Mike played with the Ironmen from their conception until the mid 1990s and went on to play for Constant Pursuit, GBD and California Diamonds.
Mike believes this Autococker is his original 1991 Lone Star Open Autococker.
It has been updated and after rebuilding it completely over the summer (aside from the ram), it shoots fantastic.
Watch is cycling in this video:
1991 - David Freeman's Fastech F1 Illustrator
David Freeman (of PMI, Tippmann Pneumatics Inc and Direct Connect) gave this F1 Illustrator to Renick Miller, who sent it to me along with a couple other paintguns from David's collection.
Kenneth Ferrel designed the F1 Illustrator in between 1989 and 1990 and Direct Connect distributed them to fields for testing and to sponsored teams. They first premiered (or at least were used) at the Line SI 1990 Masters in October by Scream. They most likely were available for retail in early 1991.
This isn't a super early F1, since the serial is over 1000s, but it does have "for David, from Kenneth Farrell" cut into the base.
I haven't figured out the exact reason Ferral gave this Illustrator to Freeman, and David wasn't sure either.
I would guess it was a slight design change that needed to be run by David but I don't really know.
And it still shoots great (although my Ammo Box II isn't feeding too well):
In 1990, Russel Breeden, of RKB Enginerring, the Doom Troopers, Team Sasquatch and the Jacksonville Warriors, built a run of Sniper 3s (or more accurately Machine) pumps for his team the Doom Troopers out of Florida.
Impressed with Russell's craftsmanship and the Doom Trooper's wins with the guns, Bud Orr made Russell a Southeast reps for WGP.
With the introduction of the Autococker, Russell built his team guns in bright green, and named them the Green Machine.
Russell built these very early Minicockers and then went on to produce some of the earliest stainless components, the first aftermarket switch (3 way / 4 way) and first aftermarket ram.
More on Russell Breeden's Green Machine Minicockers at: http://www.baccipaintball.com/oldnew...ine-minicocker
This particular Green Machine Minicocker came from a players on the Doom Troopers, and was likely from the original batch Russell made. Originally sporting a Palmer's Rock Reg, the Doom Trooper team Machine Minis were later updated with matched Sledehammers.
I started to rebuild this Green Machine over the summer but couldn't find the correct oring for the ram to seal correctly. Being the earliest aftermarket Ram, the inner diameter of the Ram is slightly larger and doesn't take the normal WGP ram rebuild parts.
Once I resolve the ram seal issue I'll rebuild it and blast some paint thought it.
In April of 1994, the Ironmen received a batch of Nickel played Ironmen Autocockers from Worr Game Products and Bud Orr. This Autococker was given to and engraved for Dave Youngblood DeHaan.
Throughout 1994 Youngblood shot a Sniper 3 / Minicocker, either in Nickel with a Carter L stock. I don't think he played with this Nickel played Full Body cocker much, if at all. Eventually this paintgun ended up at Carter Machine where it was cut up and then sold to a customer.
The buyer, kept it for around 20 years but eventually sold it to Paul "Lucky Duck" Schreck, who traded it to me.
I replaced the Lapco molded grips with Full Blown wrap arounds and on a trip back to Earon Carters found what I believe is the stock asa for it. A little scratch up, but perfectly matching in Matte Nickel.
You can just make out the engraving for Youngblood through Carter Machine's cuts on the body:
Garett Maxwell and his buddy Anthony Granata got into paintball together in Cottonwood, California sometime in the mid or early 1990s. They played together on the Anderson, California based team Blind Fury and made the progression from pumps to Tippmanns to Autocockers and then eventually to electronic markers.
I had always seen the G-Max Shockers but they were a little too new for my tastes. When Anthony placed his Shocker on ebay several months back I emailed him and he agreed to meet and record an interview if I won the auction. A week and 200 dollars later we met up and talked about he and Garett's history.
Brad Nestle, of Olympic Paintball, Barritz, and PbMax remembers building this Sniper around 2001-2002. I purchased it in 2008 and built it up in 2014.
It was made from a post 2k non WGP blank, and after a lot of tweaking I've gotten the shot count up to an average of 20 good shots on non regulated 12 grams. I use it frequently for our So Cal Stock games and it works fantastic.
Here is a video shooting it before devolumizing it as much as possible.
2006 - Redux
Steve "Mongo" Brett's Redux Stock Class pistol went on sale around 2006.
Modeled after the 1988 paintball pistol the DD-68 Desert Duck, which was originally built by Dave Loo, of the Kamikaze Shooters and the Duck Works. Over the years I would guess Steve has built between 60 and 100 of these pistols. An original owner of a Desert Duck, Steve purchased his directly from Dave.
For the Redux, Steve modernized the design and adding removable freak bored barrels, modified phantom internals, and a removable stock feed.
Alex "Tacolex" Vu purchased this Redux new from Steve and I bought it from Alex in 2010 or so.
You can tell it's been used from the dirt and gunk still caked on it. Some critique the distance required for the balls to fall into the Redux's feed, saying the height from the feed tube to the breech creates a situation prone to slicing, but I think avoid more brittle paint don't have this problem.
Here is a shooting video where I demonstrating the typical reload and cycling of the Redux:
2006 - Super Stocker
Palmer's has been building Super Stockers since the mid 1990s and I've been shooting them on and off since 2004 or so. They are brass, stock class pumps with fixed barrels, and vertical asas.
I purchased this Super Stocker from the original owner, who had it built by Palmer's around 2006.
Unique features on this Super Stocker are the non reversible rock forward stock class feed, the nickel 45 grip and internal modifications to use nelson springs.
My valve spring is too soft in the following video from 2014, which, along with quickly cycling, leads to only 17 - 20 shots.
If you made it all the way through thanks for looking and check out some of the other paintball history I post on my blog, facebook, instagram and youtube. Links for those in my signature.
Paintguns in the next update (hopefully November 2015) will include a classic 1988 Carter Comp, the Master Blaster Elevator Gun, a Palmer's Pyre, a Box Gun, a New Zealand Pursuit Supply International rifle and others!
Awesome! Great to see paintball history showcased so well. Keep up the great work and thanks!
Poppits or Spools, they are all cool! Bringing sexy back one Automag & Autococker & Shoebox Shocker at a time! Old Luxes - DLX Luxe #973, #2244, #847, #2067, #5806, #xxx
Luxe OLED #OLED11082
Stockholm Joy Fan Club fan #500
Dude I love all the videos you added. You go the extra mile with era correct renegade and VW gear. Dude I love it. You seriously put a lot of time into these videos and presentations and it shows Thank you.
"Even now in Heaven there are Angels carrying savage weapons."
"Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel?" BALLERS INC DESTROYED MY ANGEL
I've been thinking about this post for too long but I really wanted similar pictures before I put it up.
And I have to use all the old equipment I accumulate for something. As I'm recording videos (at least when I'm in Northern California and have access to more of my old shirts/jackets/etc) I try and tailor my wardrobe appropriately.
The Renegade outfit in the Machine Gun Mike video was probably the best example but in the Redux video the patch vest originally belonged to Ron Kilbourne and he was pictured throughout tons of old magazines wearing it (giant thanks to Paul Yun for the vest!) and the Tiger Stripe Jacket in the Super Stocker video is a team Navarone Jacket. I was so excited to receive it in the mail and find it fit perfectly!
In the F1 and Stock Class Sniper videos I'm wearing an Idema Vest and Carter Machine Shirt under it.