Disassembling a Sheridan pump and finding a lightened hammer and ported Airgun Designs Turbo Valve is always nice, but finding a Piranha Long Barrel with the Turbo Valve engraving is even more exciting!
Last week I purchased this Sheridan Long Barrel on ebay. It came equipped with Stan Russell umb panels, left hand wood grips, WGP female remote asa and Annihilator pump handle.
Upon receiving this Sheridan Long Barrel pump I looked it over and planned to break it down, listing the body for sale and using the parts for a couple other projects. The next I took another look at the PMI LB before disassembling it and was shocked to notice that the body has the “Turbo Valve / Airgun Designs” logo laser engraved (or acid etched?) on the side.
Piranha Long Barrels with the Airgun Designs Turbo Valve Engraving
Over the years I’ve come across a few Piranha Long Barrels with the engraving for the AGD Turbo Valve.
- One came from ebay and was in poor shape.
- Two came from Glenn Pensinger, at Hole in the Wall Paintball, and belonged to Steve “Cope” Copeland of the Lords of Discipline.
- Another belonged to Rossco on mcb.
- And one engraved for D.C. Farside (D.C. stands for Direct Connect) belongs Michael Karman.
AGD’s Turbo Valve for PMI / Sheridan paintguns was developed by Tom Kaye at AGD around 1989 and was available as an optional upgrade on most models classic valve (non Cartridge Valve) models.
Tom Kaye, of AGD, on the Turbo Valve and Factory Engraving
When asked about the Turbo Valve and engraved PMI Long Barrels on the automags.org forum in May of 2004, Tom Kaye wrote, “The Turbo Valve was actually one of our first products. That engraved gun is an EXTREMELY rare piece of AGD memorabilia. We made several thousand turbo valve kits until Sheridan knocked us off and incorporated the design into their standard markers.”
Elaborating further on the engraved markers, Kaye writes, “That engraved gun was one of only about a dozen we made that were for PMI’s sponsored teams. At the time the top guns were nelson based so we rolled out the Turbo Valve to show them we were now just as efficient.”
Tom’s numbers for the Turbo Valve engraving are a little low, since the Lords of Discipline competed with a 15 man team, who likely each received an engraved marker. Some of the members of the Lords of Discipline (Copeland and Tom Klein) may have even received two (one PMI LB in back bottle constant air configuration and one PMI 1 DF (Direct Feed) set up for 12 grams).
PMI Sponsored Teams in 1989
Sponsored teams at the time would have included:
- The PMI Piranhas, who PMI President Jeff Perlmutter competed with.
- The Lords of Discipline, who took first in both the Five Man and the Fifteen Man using turbo valved Piranhas at the 1989 Line SI Masters.
- Sudden Death, who took second in the 15 man at the 1989 masters.
- Farside, who was sponsored by Direct Connect at the time, which was run by David Freeman, but owned as a partnership between Perlmutter and Freeman (as was PMI).
For the 1989 Masters, Sudden Death picked up PMI as a sponsor and moved from the Nelson based VerbeekOlater (used in the 1988 NSG National Championships) to the the PMI Long Barrel. I am not sure if their models were engraved for Sudden Death on the barrel in the same manner that the Lords of Discipline and Farside’s were.
This Piranha Long Barrel’s History
The PMI Long Barrel this article is centered around came from a seller in Torrence, California. Torrence is about 40 miles from Malibu, where Conquest, Sudden Death’s home field would have been located in 1989. I asked the seller about the history of this marker and they replied, “It was found in a locker of vintage stuff. I buy storage lockers [and I] don’t know much about it.”
If the “Turbo Valve” engraving was, as Tom Kaye says, made “for PMI’s sponsored teams,” then it would make sense that this Piranha Long Barrel is a Sudden Death 1989 team marker. But I think it’s more likely that the “Turbo Valve” engraving was added on a small batch of Piranha Long barrels.
This Piranha Long Barrel also features a unique quick strip notch, located at the rear of the drivers (left) side.
And another interesting post from Tom Kaye going into the detail of how AGD perfected the Turbo Valve: