Probably the most iconic and remembered advertisement by Line SI was the Gun’s of Navarone Bushmaster grid that was printed in APG in the Summer of 1990. Although this ad came at the end of the tournament reign of pumps in the early 90s (with Automags introduced as prototypes in 1990 and Autocockers introduced March 1991) it summarized the paintgun choice of many competitive tournament teams.
Here is the full scan (my scanner is dying so please excuse the blurred left side):
Pictured are 16 Bushmasters belonging to players from Navarone. It’s neat to see that at the time all 16 were still using 12 grams when many other teams had switched to constant air (which was allowed in most tournaments after the introduction of the AGD six pak at the Line SI 1989 Masters).
Navarone Player, Mark Bower, writes in a 1989 Navarone promotional packet (which I’ll post at a later time):
“While we have consistently rejected constant air as a way for new players to learn the sport or for tournament play, we do realize the tremendous economical reasons behind the trend. We are completely against automatic paintball guns of any type as it is the team’s belief that paintball is first and foremost a [test] of skill, daring, and strategy – not machine guns and hand grenades.”
Looking at the photos though you can make out some individual details on the specific players paintguns. Mike Zacharia’s Bushmaster has the bras Navarone pin embedded in his lonestar grip frame. Randy Kamiya’s grip frame has a snatch grip coming off the back of the receiver, and Henry Gilbert’s Bushmaster has a rounded trigger frame.
After seeing Henry Gilbert’s rounded trigger guard, and based on his associated with Line SI and the Skirmish store I was curious if this was a factory option or just a custom job.
Above is another photo of Paul “PwPaintball” Weber’s Navarone Bushmaster he purchased off ebay a while back. Paul’s Navarone Bushmaster also featured a rounded trigger guard. Paul posted the description from the original owner who sold him this Bushmaster in a post on Automags.org. Paul says the seller wrote:
“This is a Used Factory Team Navarone Line SI BushMaster Deluxe Pump Paintball Marker. …Checkered 45 Frame By Ken [KIDD] Hovanian !!!…Custom Trigger Shoe !!!…Custom Engraving !!!…Wrap around Custom Grip !!!…Extended Cocking Bolt On Left Side… Co2 or Compressed Air Ready…Limited Edition ,Factory Team Tournament Paintball Pump Marker, you had to be ON TEAM NAVARONE to get one.
This Paintball Marker probable shot Bert Vigil and Randy [Kamiya] …… your welcome.
Deluxe comes with a barrel that slids out With a twist of a screw , mine is stuck and is sold as is.”
I would guess based on this description that that former owner was a Navarone member but I’m not sure which member.
In March I visited Earon Carter of Carter Machine with Paul Schreck and I found a Bushmaster in horrible shape hanging on Earon’s wall. The bolt, a non stock steel Bore Drop Bolt, had seized up from likely sitting outside, and was rusted solid.
But this bushmaster featured the rounded frame so I decided to purchase it from Earon. I later discovered the rail was cut for a comp pump handle? And inside the barrel was a business card for “Ryan Kaltman, Comedy Magician and Illusionist.” Maybe a past customer who had left the gun at Earon’s and forgotten about it?
Yesterday I decided to email Randy Kamiya, past editor/writer/photographer at Action Pursuit Games, employee at the Skirmish Store and member of Navarone (and probably many other credits I’m forgetting) about the rounded frames and ask whether this was a factory modification to the frame or just something done at Earon’s shop?
Randy emailed me back this morning with a little insight:
“I rounded the trigger frame on Henry’s gun. I did that to a couple of customer guns. So did Ken Kidd who worked at Earon’s shop and Skirmish. I think I rounded the trigger frame on my gun and also checkered the frontstrap.”
Sure enough, from the Guns of Navarone ad you can see that Randy’s Navarone Bushmaster also has the rounded frame.
Kamiya went on to write, “I think Ken Kidd may have done the frames in your pictures. I rounded mine out a little more so it looked more like a Colt 1911.”
Randy explanation make sense for this Bushmaster since Ken worked at Carter Machine before moving to Hawaii and the previous seller of Paul’s Navarone Bushmaster also mentioned Ken doing the checkering on the frame.
Edit: Randy clarified Henry Gilbert’s position with Skirmish / Line SI. Kamiya says, “Henry was Ross’s right hand man. Henry ran the store in Reseda and the Skirmish paintball fields.”
This frame will likely go on the Navarone Bushmaster pictured below and the rail will go on a comp project I’m slowly putting together.
This Navarone Bushmaster was purchased from Samuel Riley who worked at Unique Sporting Goods. I wrote some of the information from Riley here:
Find more photos from Paul “PWPaintball” Weber in his gallery on mcarterbrown here:
Thanks to Randy Kamiya and Paul Weber for their help putting this information together.