Home Classic Paintball Scans Early 1988 Ralph's KILLBOYS Carter Comp Gun

Early 1988 Ralph’s KILLBOYS Carter Comp Gun

Earon Carter, pictured holding his prototype Carter Comp gun. Scanned from the November 1988 issue of Action Pursuit Games.
Earon Carter, pictured holding his prototype Carter Comp gun. Scanned from the November 1987 issue of Action Pursuit Games.

One of Earon Carter’s earliest Comp Gun prototypes is pictured in the November 1987 issue of Action Pursuit Games.  I would guess the photo was taken in the summer of 1987.  During this period a ton of open class 12 gram comp (competition) nelsons were beginning to flood the market. Earon Carter’s creation stood out because of the smooth undercocking, the elimination of thumb screws (which would constantly loosen), the addition of the bolt velocity adjuster (which wasn’t as common early on) and the stainless 3 hole powertube.
And in late 1987-1988, as many teams in the Southern California area began switching from 1st generation Annihilators to more configurable Nelson based pumps, Carter Machine’s Comp Gun became a popular choice (along with Line SI Bushmasters).

Right side shot of long barrel 1988 Carter Comp Gun.
Right side full shot of early 1988 long barreled Carter Comp Gun purchased from a Ralph’s Kill Boys player.

In the two or three years before building the Comp gun (1984-1987), Earon Carter had been working with Stanley Russell, as South Bay Arms, on various projects including the first generation Annihilators, which were sold through Mac 1, the Master Blaster / Elevator Gun, built off a Crosman MkII pellet pistols, aluminum barrels for Darkside MK1 and MK2 Uzis and other various nelsons, including a bore drop nelson which he called the Tommy Gun.

Early Nelspot 007 framed Comp Gun.
Early Nelspot framed Carter Comp gun that was in for repairs at Earon’s shop. Earon wouldn’t sell Paul and I this Comp gun because it belongs to a old friend and Kamikaze shooter.

Most of the Carter Comp Guns built in 1987 likely used Nelspot 007 frames, plastic pumps handles, and lower angled feeds.
In early, 1988 Comps (and Termites/Buzzards) began coming with the Tri Jay / Carter / NW frame, and towards the middle of 1988, likely moved to an aluminum pump handle.

Grady's Ralph's KillBoy's Annihilator.
Grady’s Annihilator. A unique bolt length and no quick strip slot set this second generation Mac 1 Annihilator apart.

In April of 2013, I met a member of Ralph’s Killboys (at Ralph’s) named Grady. Grady sold me his radical Mac 1 Annihilator which was likely built in early 1988. Ralph’s Killboys were all employees of the Ralph’s supermarket chain in southern California and were captained by Steve “Mongo” Brett. 
Grady also teased me by mentioning a beautiful early “Comp Nelson Gun,” that he had.  He told me he’d need to wait and see if the Comp, which belonged to a teammate, was okay to sell. Okay, probably an Adventure Game Supplies Devastator or Skirmish, I thought. Maybe if I was lucky it would be a Bushmaster. But I thought he was just leading me on and wouldn’t end up selling it to me.

Ralph's Kill Boys patch
A Ralph’s Kill Boys patch that Steve “Mongo” Brett gave me.

But a few weeks later, Grady got the okay to sell the “Comp Gun” and we met up again.
The “early comp” ended up being a stunning Carter Comp, which dates to early 1988.

Early 1988 Carter Comp left side close up.
Early 1988 Carter Comp left side close up.

It might be obvious that I almost never choose condition over history and uniqueness with the paintguns I collect and write articles about. Most painguns I own are well used, many feature engraving, some have weird modifications, and nearly all have a story that sets them apart from nicer examples. With this early Carter Comp I didn’t have to choose one or the other, since it features many unique aspects and is in amazing shape!

Earon with similar Carter Comp gun.
Earon Carter holding a very similar Carter Comp. Photo reshot from image in Carter’s office. Photo dates to before Summer 1990 when Thunderpig passed away.

This early 1988 Carter Comp gun has several features unique to Comps of that period.  Some of which I didn’t even notice until Paul Schreck pointed them out to me. One of these features is the top back “wings” of the wood grip panels. Most Carter and NW wood grips are straight up on both the panel’s top forward and back (looking down the barrel) sides and only start to widen out on the bottom base. Paul pointed out that the wood panels on this comp are not straight up at the rear top side. The photo of Earon pictured above also shows wood panels that have a “wing” in the back.

Right side view of early 1988 Carter Comp.
Right side view of early 1988 Carter Comp.

The grips screw in the center of the grip panels, which is a trait mostly attributed to Nicky Wilson’s pumps of the same period, which used the same frame.  Most enthusiasts will say that the screw in grips are a determining factor in the identification, but as shown on this Carter Comp, this is not the case. Likely in 1989, Carter Machine would start glueing their grips on Buzzards, Termites and Comps.

Plastic pump handle on early 1988 Carter Comp.
Plastic pump handle on early 1988 Carter Comp.

This early Comp also came with a plastic pump handle, a featured I hadn’t noticed on early Carter Comps (aside from Earon’s pictured prototype in the November 1987 issue of APG). But after looking around I started to notice many early photos showed plastic pump handles.  After examining the pump handle and linkage on this Comp, which has barely been used, it’s obvious why Earon moved to an aluminum handle.  The plastic is cracking at the bolt to pump handle linkage. Most of the Carter Comps of this era have likely had the pumps replaced as they saw more use.
Dale “Sugarstump” Price posted photos of a personal Comp on facebook a while back that he used regularly that still featured the plastic pump so others did survive over the years but I would guess most were replaced.

Front sight bead on early 1988 Carter Comp Gun.
Front sight bead on early 1988 Carter Comp Gun. Same sight used on first generation Annihilators.

The sight bead on the front of the Comp’s barrel uses the same hard chrome plated brass screw with a glued in red fluorescent pin / bead. This is the same front sight that most early 1st generation Annihilators came with.

Top view of carter comp shows screwed on sight rail.
Top view of carter comp shows screwed on sight rail.

The top sight is the standard style that was used on direct feed Carter and NW comps during the late 80s.  It is secured onto the body with a screw in the center and is low and flat. An exception are more custom Comps as well as team Comps, which used the taller drilled through style.

Date on Carter Comp Gun's early thermo tank.
View of date on thermo tank shows, “1 – 88.” Comp was likely produced and sold within a couple months of this date.

The Thermo Tank is underslung in a tank cage and is dated January 1988. This means the paintgun was likely produced within a couple months after that date.

Top view of Cobra stock on Carter Comp.
Top view of Cobra Stock. According to Earon, most early comps came with the Cobra stock.

Earon refers to these stocks as the Cobra stocks but I’m not sure who the manufacturer was. I don’t think it was Stan Russell, although Stan did modifiy some of them.

Early Carter Comp Internals feature a velocity adjuster.
Early Carter Comp internals feature a velocity adjuster, but otherwise look close to stock Nelspot.

The bolt and hammer look like standard Nelspot internals. The bolt has been drilled out for an adjuster in the center. A new spring has also been added (not the stock steel Nelspot spring).

Fornt view of early 1988 Carter Internals.
Front view shows the hex adjustable interior of the early Carter Comp internals.

The adjuster is hex, and not the later 4 hole venturi style that Earon uses on most Carter Machine Nelsons from the mid 90s onward.

Close up right side shot of Carter Comp.
Close up right side shot of Carter Comp.

The rear valve body is drilled for 1/8th npt, although this Comp also included a drop out changer.

Earon Carter, Jessica Sparks, John Barber and Bill "Thunderpig" Harvey.
Earon Carter, Jessica Sparks, John Barber and Bill “Thunderpig” Harvey. Player on far right unknown (if you know him please post!). Photo reshot at Earon Carter’s office.

Also included with this Carter Comp, but not pictured in this article, are a brass Carter stick feed, with the round collar and a 12 gram drop out valve.

Eventually I’ll find an early Nelson framed Carter Comp to compare this 1988 model to. And later this year I might even try shooting this Comp (okay, I’ll definitely try shooting this comp).

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