The tournament primere of the Autocockers was, in the hands of The Ironmen, March 1991, at the Texas Lone Star Open. And, despite a slight change in scoring for the Lone Star Open, the Ironmen took 1st.
It didn’t take long before shops started cutting the early slab Autococker bodies up. Unfortunately most of the custom work done in the early 90s is difficult to identify. Many shops produced highly custom autocockers with many innovative features but they aren’t easy to place the work since their stylistic patterns might not have been as consistant and each example of a shops cuts on an Autococker may have been unique.
Some shops were lucky enough for their customized Autococker work to appear in printed literature. Others airsmiths/shops continued their same stylistic modifications and cuts onto later Cocker bodies through the years make identifications a little easier to place. Unfortunately the majority of early custom cockers remain a mystery.
This mystery is part of the draw to Autocockers. Even a body with the most minimal cuts will often leave you guessing who might have done the work. Was it a small unrecognized shop? Or was it a more well known machinist who just wanted to try something different, or was filling a customers request?
Autocockers cut by Bad Boyz Toyz, Carter Machine, Belsales, and Bob Long are some of the more easy to identify examples and in this article I wanted to list some of the common traits present in early Carter Machines modified Autocockers.
Many of Carter Machine’s low end and high end Carter cockers share a few common features which can be help in indenfitying them even when some have more unique cuts.
Features common on Carter Machine Autocockers from the early custom semi era are:
•Thin flat diagonal milling (or “ribs”) on the back top tube on autococker bodies, which Marc Pascual identifies as, “Shark Gills.” This Cocker was likely cut earlier, 1993-1994.
•Wide flat line diagonal shark gill milling on the top and lower tube. Likely 1994 and later. Can be seen with shark gills going both directions.
•Carter half delrin/half aluminum venturi bolt with knurled end (late 1993-1995?).
•Screw together 2 piece beavertails (I got a bunch of these from Earon Carter a few months back) and while looking back at early Carters have noticed these occur pretty frequently on their autocockers.
•White Full Blown Grips. These grips were made by Robert Ferguson and Robert Vaughn who were both Team America Players and Ferguson also played on The Good The Bad and The Deadly.
Youngblood Cocker with Breech hole cut can be seen in this video. No sound in video.
•One cut that isn’t as common to Carter cockers is the Breech hole cut. This cut appears on higher end Carter Machine modified Autocockers from 1994-1996 and marks the cockers as a high end job.
Marc Pascual who worked for Carter Machine at the Fullerton locations between 1994 and 1996 remembers these cuts in the video above. In messages back and forth Marc explains the cuts:
” The breech holes were only done to a relatively few number of guns. It was primarily done as a blowback relief to prevent the gas from the shot from going back up the feedneck and slowing federate.
From memory, I believe Fernando Castillo was the one who developed it first. It wasn’t a standard thing as it was more on the complex side of work we did. As you can tell, we had to angle the mill head correctly to get that cut. And you had to be careful not to mill it too far forward or air from the shot would escape and you would lose velocity.
I remember that after milling a few of my guns, I would put it back together and test it by putting a sheet of tissue over the feedneck and shooting it. If the paper got sucked in the feedneck, it was timed right and it worked. If the tissue blew out, it was out of timing. I cut a few myself, as did Fernando & the others.
I would guess those appeared more on our personal guns and close friends than the general public. I think I worked [at Carter Machine] from 94-96.
Also, I forgot that it also aided with clearing broken paint from the breech. Because it would leak out the whole when squeegeeing the breech.”
And while the following accessories don’t help identify Earon’s cockers they do lend to the paintguns accuracy, regardless whether it’s been reassembled/rebuild or remains original.
•Unireg (not sure the correct dates on the solid uniregs).
•Brass or aluminum pinned rock reg (brass regs are dated late 1992 early 1993 and Aluminum regs are later and would likely be found on these cockers. Most times Carter Machine would use whatever they had available.
•Stock WGP frames with adjustable triggers or Proline 45 frames (same brand used on Bob Long cockers, pre Benchmark frames).
Here are a few examples of Autocockers from this period which I will do my best to dissect and point out accuracies and inaccuracies.
This black cocker featured the wide cuts and the vent hole. I bought nicely milled P block off ebay a long time ago used and set it up as a loaner pump but after fearing that the thin Pblock would strip out I took it apart again and have been meaning to put it back together as a semi with the stock frame it came with.
The Body, back block, bolt, and possibly cocking rod are original, the other parts were added on for loaner usability. It does have the wide line diagonal shark gill milling and half delrin venturi bolt. I put the proline frame on there.
The original frame (a one hole cast WGP slider) has a glued in mirco switch for attuating a revy (Intellie Feed) and maybe the front block. It will add some Full Blown grips, an early full width unireg with a Fred Shultz or Tsunami Air America system (similar to a raptor).
Because of the P block I would date it around 1995-1996. I imagine the p block was done at WGP. I haven’t checked for match serials on the pblock and body but some STOs and Jeff Orr customs will have those markings.
This left feed raw cocker, belonging to Adam Shultz, originated from players on a team named Illusion (or Tropical Illusion?) and was purchased from the original owner by Paul Schreck who sold it to Adam.. The body lacks a serial and I believe this was because the original owner was based out of Southern California, was sponsored by WGP and possibly worked at WGP. This cocker has more standard cuts but includes the Carter shroud. I don’t know if the frame was original but likely wasn’t but since Adam plans on annodizing this cocker will be a nice upgrade. This body does have a vent hole on the right side.
Adam also owns this green Carter Cocker which popped up on ebay a few years back was sold and then Adam bought it off that owner. This cocker has a regulator which I don’t know the brand of and is not a unireg.
This cocker features a carter shrould, an Evo style P block, a Evo bolt, the two piece beavertail, a super nice PK Selective splash typical Carter milling and a Palmer’s rock on the front. The frame is likely a proline.
Some vented breeches were likely made for teams but I doubt this green Autococker was built for a team considering the beatuifu shape it appears to be in. It is likely an example of a really expensive custom job ordered by a shop or customer and I would date it 1995-1996.
Adam says it has Breech hole cuts in the left and right side of the body.
Another Carter cocker can be seen at:
Here is another Carter cocker with the vent hole, flat-wide shark gill line milling, half delrin venturi carter bolt, Full Blown Grips and cut shroud which was owned by Wolf13 of http://www.customcockers.org
This Carter has a unique shrould, Full Blown grips on the frame and on the side of the shroud. Wolf13 writes this was a team gun and Marc Pascual confirms it was one of Fernando Castillo’s Autocockers:
“The team gun was definitely Fernando’s. It was his own personal gun- complete with the bondage theme.”
A couple months back Tim at Paintball Tek http://www.paintballtek.com) had a customer quiz him on this bolt. The owner quizing Tim remembered the exact event he acquired the bolt from Carter Machine, the Zap Amatuer open which took place August 15th 1995.
This bolt was also sold to other companies that were modifying cockers though so it isn’t a good identifier that the cocker was milled by Earon’s shop. Below I’ve included a photo of an early Pacfic (Pre Kapp) Razorback (from december 1994) that used the same bolt).
This is one of my favorite early Autocockers since Pacific/Kapp was my local shop in Santa Rosa California.
Tony Meno, Shop manager at Pacific wrote me this about this cocker:
“I remember that gun, actually. I’d guess it was built, hmm, around December of 1994, or so. This gun was built during a time where Richard, Chris and I were getting on
each others nerves (me on theirs, I guess) and they began pushing me and my work to the side.”
Tony left Pacific in January 1995. I did a video with him about Pacific/Kapp which will eventually get edited to point out futher particulars and custom touches Pacific Performed on cockers.
And here is a Carter Sterling which shares a few of the styleistic features of the cocker posted (and matches). A batch of Sterlings were cut by Carter Machine during the mid 90s (likely 1993-1995) and were made for Leonel Escorbodo of ABC paintball. I’ve also seen a Buzzard in this anodizing so I think Carter had PK Selective do batches of his paintguns in this anodizing.
Dave “Youngblood” Dehaan’s 1994 Ironmen Autococker has the same style flat shark gill milling along with more complex round gills, a left side breech vent slot, the two piece beavertail, the stock matte nickel shorud, and the two piece delrin/aluminum bolt.
The nickel plated Ironmen autocockers were awarded to the Ironmen in 1994 (march?) and was supposedly given to Earon from Dave Youngblood Dehaan (or left at Earon’s shop by Dave and then cut like so many other autocockers left there). This is another indicator as to when Earon and his employees started doing thicker lines as a signature milling and using the half delrin bolts. I would guess this cocker was cut in 1995?
Some Autococker’s built for ABC Paintball in New Jersey were also cut will Breech hold Slots.
Above is Christian Van Horn’s ABC Autococker which has the mid 90s milling with shark gills, the typical Carter Machine barrel porting, the carter bolt and the breech hole cut.
Not all of the Autococker Carter Machine milled for ABC Paintball in New Jersey had the breech hold modification. But from what I’ve seen about half did.
Above is another ABC body I’ve been meaning to rebuild with the breech hole cut. The milling on the body is slightly different than the others I’ve seen.
And the right side. More about this ABC autococker here:
I’ll eventually be adding other Carter Machine Autococker’s to this page if I find more relevant examples.
If you have photos of your own Carter Machine Autococker and are the original owner please email me photos or more information (or corrections) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to Mark Pascual, Paul Searl, Paul Schreck, Robert Ferguson, Adam Shultz, and Christian Van Horn for help, photos and information.