At the Old School Paintball Big Game on November 8th, 2015, Ric De La Cruz, aka “paintballedbackin88,” stopped by our Paintball History booth to show off his Belsales / WGP Team Sniper 2.
Ric got his start in paintball in Southern California during the late 1980s, working for “Tom’s Adventure Supplies.” Ric played a little with the shop team at his work, which was named Stormtroopers of Death. He went on to play with other local teams and groups at fields in the San Fernando Valley, north of Los Angeles, and still plays at Field of Fire and with Local Resistance group.
In a message to me, from back in January of 2012, Ric writes:
“The [Stormtroopers of Death] patch was a team patch from Tom’s [Adventure Supplies] where I worked/learned how to work on nelsons and solder direct feeds on pgps.”
Tom’s Adventure Supplies was not affiliated with David Craig’s Adventure Game Supplies, but the owner, Tom would purchase inventory from Craig’s store. Ric remembers the location as a “small strip mall shop, located next to a pizza place and tae kwon do school. It was on Colima Blvd in Rowland Heights, Ca.”
Ric goes on”
“Storm Troopers of Death was the shop team [from Tom’s Adventure Supplies]. I was not a part of the original squad, and played only a handful of games before joining another team that was based out of Field of Fury at the time, which became Field of Fire.”
But back to Ric’s Sniper 2. I’d been following a few of Ric’s post on CustomCockers about this Sniper 2, and I was excited to look it over in person when Ric stopped by. I immediately asked him to record a video while bombarding him with questions.
As Ric explains, “this [ Belsales Sniper 2] was an original team gun from Bart’s Stud Squad, and they were the first English team sponsored by Belsales. And this was an original square body that they brought back for a retro fit.”
And Ric traces this Sniper back to its origin in Europe:
“This marker actually belonged to a friend of Keith Belsey and it was sent to me by Doc Manhattan in France.”
One thing that Ric and I noticed while looking at this WGP Sniper 2 is that the steel trigger more closely resembles the trigger out of a later Sterling frame and is not a trigger that would have come in that style WGP Sniper 2 swing frame.
I’m not totally sure, but Belsales could have some involvement in machining parts for Arrow Precision, based on the later / current Sterling’s frames resemblance to the Belsales’ Angry frame.
Looking up Ric’s post on this Sniper on the CustomCockers Forum, Ric posts the original message that Steve Belsey sent him:
“That gun would have originated as a pump sniper 2 and was one of the guns that we sponsored our first team with. The team in question was the “Barts Studs Squad” who were one of the most successful teams in Europe at the time. The Evolution conversion happened at a later date.
I think the gun probably belonged to “Big Will” in the “Barts Studs Squad”. Will is actually a long term childhood friend of my brother Keith.”
Find Ric’s post on CustomCockers at:
I would say the comment by Belseys on this Sniper 2’s “Evolution conversion” would point to the satin nickel finish and P block. This was likely originally a stock black body, when engraved (prior to the early Evolution Autocockers). With a serial around 4K it would date to likely 1990.
And then around the mid 1990s this pump was returned by it’s owner to Belsales and was cut for a P block and prepped for the satin anodizing and that is why the engraving has a smooth finish.
Find more articles on Belsales at:
For dates and info on the next Old School Big Game check out http://www.oldschoolpb.com which will temporarily direct to the Old School Paintball Big Game facebook group.
Find more video from the Old School Paintball Big Game at SC Village on November 8th, 2015 at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJC7papTosfWueq8epPWWD0HYFJiin5XH