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Updated Jan 4, 2013

Automags

Automags.  I scrimped and saved and got my first one in the early 90's and loved it - until I had to play a game in the cold with bad paint and chopped about 50 paintballs in a row.  After getting a first generation VL2000 I was a happy camper again.  Since that time loaders have come a long way, and so has the venerable automag.  I enjoy these guns, they've have some interesting innovations not seen on other markers, and they usually "just work" - especially compared to autocockers.

Bone Daddy C&C X-mag E-mag eXtreme Banzai Eclipse Minimag

Shocktech SFL E-mag  

"Bone Daddy" or "Nightmare Before X-Mag" C&C X-mag - customized by ODD (Odis Driftwood Designs)
I bought this marker when AGD/AKA collector A-Tach-One purged his collection in Dec 2009.  The original owner commissions this piece in 06/07 and had issues with the anno - which came out wrong.  This resulted in a lot of drama and time spend to redo the anno and engraving - all told around 1 year to get it complete.  Apparently it left a bad taste in his mouth and he sold it the next year - and it passed through 2 more hands before landing in mine.  This marker was his "dream project" and no expenses were spared it seems, there is additional milling done by RRFireblade of Automags.org and other mods include a clamping no rise CCM feedneck and a tuna blade trigger (which I happen to quite like).  The barrel kit is a Sanchez Machine SM1 and takes the same inserts as my racegun kit.  There are a few errors in the anno/laser - including a milling error at the lip of the body that went to deep - and vertical module lettering doesn't quite line up.  Regardless - this marker is truly a sight to behold. 

Hot linking to A-Tach's pictures for now:

E-mag eXtreme: aka- European non C&C X-mag.

I manage to pick up markers from all over the place.. especially the rare ones.  Now a days, all the popular sites like PBNation will ensure that you either miss the marker (because some vulture jumps on it before you), or you will pay a lot of $$.  I don't like either of those options, so I had to find more creative ways to grab interesting markers. 

The aurora, for example, I got off e-bay when a friend let me know it was miss-listed.  The camo half block I worked out a trade with the Racegun rep directly.  The Westwood's I also contacted the owners directly and said "when you're selling, let me know." (Don't do that to me btw!) The zebra one ended up coming from the UK.  In fact, once I bought that one I started buying more from there... if you can get a decent shipping rate you can almost always get great prices since there is much less demand than here in the US (currency conversion also is part of the equation).  So I got the Eclipse mag from there, the Eclipse cocker from there, and now.. this X-mag.

I have always been intrigued with X-mags, and they came in basically 3 flavors: the C&C version, the non C&C version, and Shocktech's SFL version.  The SFL is the rarest, and I would guess the non C&C is the second, since it was never released in the US (AGDE had a non compete clause as part of their licensing terms).  Mine is a very early example of a non C&C X-mag, which I had actually been searching a while for.  More honestly, I bought an x-mag from a guy in the UK in 2006 but it turned out that he didn't send it, withdrew the money from paypal, etc.  I managed to recover my funds 6 months after the fact through an online prosecution tool that Her Majesty nicely provides, but it was a hassle.  Soooo, 8 months later I decided to look for another one.

This was owned by a former member of Storm, Air Gun Design Europe's factory team.  The thing I love about x-mags is the interchangeable breach.  You can swap from vertical to warp feed in like a minute... its just cool as hell.  The module is then retained by the barrel.  Other cool features of the x-mag are the fact that it has an Anti Chop Eye, and this particular one also has a level 10 kit install, which is basically an anti chop bolt system that is functionally the same as the wonderful JAM bolt on all my cockers.  You can also tell it is an early model because it has an on/off switch on the bottom of the battery pack (besides the fact that it has an emag valve with a serial # in the one thousands).  Later they went on and used a pin.

What don't I like about this gun?  Well, the fact that it doesn't take standard wrap around grips is lame.  The battery is too big (they had to use a large solenoid).  Cool things?  Besides the modules, ACE, and Level 10 bolt, I like the electronic and physical safeties.  I'll have to play with it more and report back though.

Oh yea, I also got a warp feed as part of the deal - and something from AGD Europe call the 'X-Power' module.  This and a warp interface cable allow me to trigger the warp every time the trigger is pulled, and power it off the Xmag batter.  Speaking of, I had to replace the stock 650 mAH NiCAD one that crapped out on me with a 1000 mAH NiCAD one.  More power!  Also lately it is sporting XMOD 1.8 ramping software.  Very slick.

Banzai Eclipse Minimag   I picked up an ~1999 Level 7 Bonzai Green splashed Eclipse automag from the UK that came with an old WDP Govnair nitrogen system and matching 1.9 Liter bottle, as well as a matching Jacko Infinity barrel.  Unfortunately I can't use the Govnair because the bottle is not DOT approved (which means I can't even hydro test it).  Oh yea, another nifty thing you can see in the picture is a matching squeegee holder mounted on the rail (a 'side car').

Lately I added a Pro Line autoresponse frame on it, which shoots on pull and release.  Like the Boston Paintball Reflex kit, the autoresponse was outlawed at tournaments.  Not sure how many are out there, but I think this came out around 1992-1993.  When shooting it, you notice a long heavy trigger pull due to the spring in the grip frame.  But once you get in a rhythm with it, you can really shoot a lot of paint fast (especially in 1992, when most folks were still sporting pumps).  Also very quick for 2 ball snap shots.  The design btw is interesting... because of the spring, you don't drop the sear down into the frame, but you push it up through the rail to put the pin in.  Also, my frame was modified by Pro Line with a set screw behind the trigger to allow it to shoot in non response mode.

This clip shows the sear moving without air, and then a quick demo of it shooting with air (youtube)

Shocktech SFL E-mag.  Good lord this took forever to track down, at least for a decent price.  My problem is I remember when these sold for $800-1200 in mid 2005.  Yea, not so much now - they are all $1800 and up, usually in the $2500-3000 range.  Well, I finally tracked down this dust silver one.  Needs a little TLC on the battery pack (anno and new battery) and is in average condition, but it is all stock (no ACE, Shocktech 2.1 software) and pretty sweet.  I plan on using this in play on a regular basis.  Since it is the most expensive marker in my collection I damn well should!