Home Classic Paintball Scans Clayton Kyle's Nickel Ironmen Autococker (c.1994)

Clayton Kyle’s Nickel Ironmen Autococker (c.1994)

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Frisbee size Ironmen logo off an early Ironmen patch jacket. I purchased this jacket from Scott Rich who played for the Ironmen until 1989. SKW=Shoot, Kill, Win.

Clayton Kyle’s 1994 Nickel Ironmen Autococker (c.1994)

In 1994 the Ironmen continued to dominate the tournament paintball scene. They collected sponsorships from Air America, Tiger Stripe, JT and most notably Worr Games Products (just to name a few). In April 1994 they received custom engraved matte nickel plated Autocockers from WGP.

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Ironmen show off their Nickel Cockers on the cover of April 4, 1994 Paintball News

Definitely one of the neatest team guns for the mid 1990s. In the middle of September of this year one of these guns surfaced on Customcockers.com and I purchased it. The seller picked it up on craiglist in San Jose. It arrived quickly and I began restoring it with correct era parts.

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Clayton Kyle’s Ironmen Cocker before the rebuild

This particular gun belonged to Ironmen player Clayton Kyle who played on the team through most of the 1990s. Kyle was a northern California player who earned the name of “Lurch” because of his resemblance/stature to Lurch from the Adam’s family.

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1993 Team Realtree L to R: Gadberry, Bush, Long, Trent, Pestana, and Kyle

Here is a photo Tim Schloss of Pursuit Products/Tiger Stripe Products sent me of Team Realtree which was comprised of mostly Ironmen guys. This pictures was from a Reno, Nevada event in 1993.
Left to right, Dirk Gadberry, Marty Bush, Bob Long (in the back with the sun glasses), Darryl Trent, Shane Pestana, and Clayton Kyle.

It looks like Clayton Kyle is not holding this gun but instead a polished nickel Cocker.

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Right side
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Left side

The Side of this Autococker is engraved, “Bud Orr’s Factory Team, Team Ironmen, Clayton.” The Ironmen received these cockers around April of 1994 and most likely predate the release of the first batch of Bob Long’s Signature Series Autocockers. Shown to below is the cover of Paintball News from April 2, 1994 showing the Ironmen posing with these cockers.

A few months later APG featured a cover of Ironmen player, Shane Pestana holding his gun and the next month Dave “Youngblood” Dehane with his nickel Sniper 3.

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The Ironmen show off their new Matte Nickel Cockers on the cover of the April 2, 1994 Issue Paintball News
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Shane Pestana with his Matte Nickel Ironmen Cocker on the cover of the MAy 1994 issue of APG.
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Dave Youngblood on the cover of APG with his Matte Nickel Cocker. His Cocker is likely slightly different than the rest with Carter modifications, no engraving on the sides and an electric VL-90 feeding.

But probably the best example of these Autocockers in action is the documentary, Ironmen: Road to Glory. Filmed during 1994 NPPL season, the entire film shows the Ironmen shooting these particular nickel Autocockers. Below are screen captures of Clayton Kyle and the cocker show above.

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The 1994 matte Nickel Team Ironmen Cockers came with the standard non 45 WGP frame, matte nickel barrel, matte nickel shroud and most came with match back blocks, front blocks, and vertical asas. When I received this gun is had definitely been upgraded to play with and it showed with lots of wear from the back block slamming, the bolt cycling and the matte nickel starting to flake in a few small spots. The inline reg, entire front block, grip frame, asa/drop were all replaced to keep it as a gun that was being used. I had originally wanted to restore this gun totally stock but decided to leave the Bob Long Signature Series Ironmen engraved frame as it was a nice touch and just put early 90’s parts on it.

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1994 Team Ironmen Cocker. Engraving says, “Bud Orr’s Factory Team, Team Ironmen, Clayton”

Mostly stock WGP parts were used when rebuilding with the exception of Pacific Paintball Smoothie Delrin Bolt (Pacific Paintball of Northern California (KAPP) who sponsored or tech’ed for the Ironmen in the early 1990s but probably not when these bolts were released). The barrel is a hard chromed J and J straight rifled with a pacific sticker on it. The inline is a classic Air America unireg which some of the Ironmen were if they weren’t using the huge Air America expansion chambers. The front LPR is an early Palmers Brass reg and the rest of the pnuematics are stock. The matching nickel front block was already missing so a stock matte black front block with a Cooper T Bleed valve was used which the Ironmen did use on these cockers. The Beaver tail is a Bob Long beaver tail and not the original matching matte nickel tail.

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Non stock 45 Bob Long Signature Series frame.

The Bob Long Signature series grip frames with the “Used by Team Ironmen” engraving were common on most of Bob Long’s early Signature Series Guns and do not mean the gun was used by the Ironmen. The 1995 to late 1990’s model Signature Series guns used these frames with guns after 1999(?) using the Bob Long Series 2000 frames. The 2000 frames featured the finger groove and the integrated drop forward.

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Bob Long Signature Series Ironmen frame. “Used by the Ironmen” is on the back of the frame.
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Bob Long 2000 Signature Series Frame.

Ironmen: Road to Glory can be purchased from I&I sports or look on ebay.

Written material and photographs copyright Daniel Bacci baccipaintball.com 2011. Scans copyright respective owners and screen captures from “Ironmen: Road to Glory” copyright Peregrine Productions, 1995. For permission to repost please ask.

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17 COMMENTS

  1. It’s wonderful to hear all the stories about the auto Cocker. For all of us who was lucky to be part of the Ironmen it’s for life. shoot shoot shoot kill kill kill win win win !!!!!!!!!
    Clayton kyle
    For the guy that has my gun please take care of it it won us a lot of tournaments..

  2. I just picked up an 95 autococker SN in the 21000, nickel plated with a 97 benchmark, looks an awful like the one up there but without the engraving, it even has the same ivg type installed as the ironmen. My question is, is mine just a typical someone trying to copy the ironmen of the time? or could it be an extra gun that was made but never made it to them?

  3. Dirk Gadberry is paintball hall of fame! The original paintball toughguy.

    All this story needs is Machine Gun Mike Baird and Rick Zendahaus to make it complete old school Ironmen

  4. Jason,

    Thanks for the comments ! I was blessed to play for the Ironmen at that point in paintball history. The 10man format in the woods Rocked!
    Dirk G (Ironmen for Life)

  5. Actually in the photo you have all Ironmen present . This was the 93 Music City Open 5 man in Nashville. We beat Bad Co in the finals for the win. We lost three in first few minutes to make it a 5 on 2 , Me a Darrel Trent pulled this one out of our Asses.

    • Makes me all giddy inside to see Gadberry comment! You guys are one of the major reasons I have soo much heart for this game. The two top team pics are on my wall of paintball nostalgia.

  6. Dan,

    I just started a thread on Custom Cockers aimed at gathering info on Dirk Gadberry cockers. I started this because I picked up a marker I thought was a John Gross, but it had the initials DG scribed on the bottom of the body. Someone suggested it might be Dirk Gadberry. If you have a chance to check the page out and add any info I would be grateful. Heck, my marker might not even be a Gadberry.

    http://customcockers.com/forum/showthread.php?56149-The-Dirk-Gadberry-Marker-Thread&p=461460&posted=1#post461460

    Thanks,

    Travis

  7. Thanks for the comment Garett!

    In the Ironmen Road to Glory documentary the Ironmen are being followed throughout their 1994 season and Marty Bush is still shooting his sniper and wrecking havok.

    You can also see on the cover of paintball news pictures above he is holding it and that’s from April 1994.

    If you enjoy old Ironmen action then definitely get your hands on that dvd.

    • I know im years late but I just came across a gun like the one picture but dont know the maker. Has serial number 43881 on it. Any help thanks.

  8. ok, my brain is spinning right now, does anyone remember what year marty bush gave up his pump sniper for a autococker??? was it 94′ or 95′? he still had the pump in 93 season…if anyone knows please enlighten me

  9. If you are interested I have Youngblood’s cocker. It’s not in the original form since Earon Carter put some cuts in it but you can see the name and the serial number I have is sequential to Clayton’s.

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