Earlier this year Glenn Logie, original co-owner of Joe Survival Adventure, based out of London, Ontario, Canada, saw this article written about the Mk V 50. Glenn commented on the article and I then emailed back and forth with him. Responding to my questions he put together the following article on his paintball history.
This will be one of a several articles on Joe Survival Adventure and Glenn’s interesting innovations in 50 caliber paintball.
Joe Survival Adventure’s involvement in early paintball history has been mostly overlooked and unfortunately forgotten by most paintball history enthusiasts since they specialized in .50 caliber and their equipment sold never appear very far from the source (although Law Enforcement Agencies might be an exception to this).
But a few snippets across the internet sparked my interest in the MK V 50 pistol and I managed to find one a couple years back. These references were an article on SunyJim’s paintball club page by Colin Wells and posts on mcarterbrown by Acrewofone.
SunyJim’s page does mention Glenn’s site, Joe Survival Adventure, existing as early as 1986, but what really surprised me was that Glenn Logie’s business dates all the way back to 1983 and his negotiations with RP Scherer and Crosman are also significant in paintballs overall timeline. These dates will be covered in later write ups and Glenn’s article below does an excellent job explaining the history behind his business.
And now Glenn’s article:
My name is Glenn Logie. After participating in a National Survival Game site in 1982, I did some research into the company and found that it was a franchised operation that we were at, and no local franchises were available.
I was very interested in the whole idea of the game, and having background in firearms, airguns etc, I began exploring several options as to equipment procurement. ie. Nelson Paint in Iron Mountain Michigan.
I determined that in order to operate our own game site, a new type of marking pistol would be needed. After studying the Nelspot Marker (the only marking pistol produced at this time), I found it had many limitations, most notably, bolt action, right hand grips and poor gas use. As well, the projectiles available were filled with oil-based paint. These projectiles were designed to mark semi-permanently, things like trees, cattle, rock outcroppings and really not designed for hitting softer targets. I believe that production on this system started in the late 60’s. Nelson Paint was not interested in either supplying a different projectile or modifying the pistol for ambidextrous use. With so few options available, a plan for an ambidextrous pistol that fired a washable, bio-degradable non-toxic projectile was set in motion.
This pistol had to have a protected magazine that could be quickly reloaded and that would also protect the projectile until firing. The pistol would need to be easily used by novice players with quick assimilation in functions like loading, cartridge change, point shooting etc.
After studying many different CO2 pistols that were on the market, we settled on two styles of pistol layout – Crossman and Daisy
The Daisy chassis would have been in a semi-auto ie. Colt 45 lay out with a tube feed under the barrel. This was unacceptable due to projectile breakage in the tube and at the valve lift location. As well, the zinc chassis was weak and did not take to modification machining. Loading was slow and we expected that the spring feed would be lost during play.
Crosman Arms was introducing a pistol called the 357 6 and large numbers of their very popular 38 Series were being sold at discount. This chassis was very strong and had been in production since the early 60’s. The pistol had a great valve system with robust seals, a great starting point for me to test bed.
The pistol was stripped to bare chassis and all machining was done in-house. Barrels were made off site and cylinders made of sintaris steel. Each pistol was hand assembled. Total pistols produced, between our game and police market, numbered at about 257 units. The police models are different in that the pistol came with wood grips, choice of 4” or 6” barrel and was a powder-coat finish.
The Joe Survival Adventure was started on Oct.12, 1983, with first game operations in spring of 1984. Game pistols were just painted barrels, which wore off after many uses. All game pistols carried plastic grips and were identified by numbers on the side panel.
We had approximately 110 to 120 pistols for site use. All new modifications were tried on site to test for reliability issues. If you check the bore in any pistols that are in good shape, look for the flute rifling, notice the direction of the spin. These pistols were in continual use on site until June 1986. These pistols and all game site equipment were being stored in an equipment van. This van was stolen by a former employee and a former business associate in an attempt to put us out of business.
This would explain why you are seeing the numbered chassis pistols showing up in the market. We had a few of the police models in the van as well for show pieces and that would be the wood grip model in the pictures.
The 5-shot pistol was a great gun- shot great, felt good in your hand and tough as nails. I used to say it was built like an AK47, always worked.
The projectile for this gun is a 50 cal. round designed for use out to 100 ft. We had RP Scherer in Windsor, Ontario, Canada work on the projectile. After many test batches, we came up with the perfect formula! This broke easily on target and was non-toxic, washable and bio-degradable. All projectiles were bright red as this showed up the best on O.D clothing.
We only allowed 50 cal. guns on site, as the impact of the 68 cal. at close range was something not enjoyed by all players. As well, insurance companies were quite particular on the equipment used etc.
As for other 50 cal. pistols allowed on our site? Yes, when our game equipment was stolen we had to spool up very quickly, within 5 days, as we were booked for games for the rest of the season. At this point, I will tell you the story of the 3357 Spot Marker.
In the spring of 1985, Canadian Coleman Crosman approached us about putting a hybrid of the Mk V 50 into production. After meeting with their production team and showing our police model to them and giving them all our data, we could not agree on terms for collaboration. A short time later, the 3357 Spot Marker was in production and on the market…
As we all know, site rental equipment go through a lot of abuse, wear and tear etc. It was based on the 357.6 chassis, the barrel is made like all other Crosman barrels, but is smooth bore and blued. This causes premature corrosion and was also oversized to the projectile. The cylinder is polystyrene plastic and is easily damaged by sand, mud etc. The pistol was a good start, but needed tweaking. We purchased 96 chassis for the game site. I proceeded to rework this pistol and came up with a very good field gun.
I installed a .496 rifled alloy barrel insert that dropped the overly heavy muzzle weight and installed a loading port for quick reloads. The valve and trigger spring problems were solved, as well as sight issues.
For test purposes, I also constructed 15 Carbine models with 10” barrels and fibreglass stocks. These were also used on site. (10) 16” barrel rifle versions were produced, some with full stocks, others with skeletonised frame stocks. All rifles worked single action only. These units operated with great success in all conditions.
The 3357 series is, with work, a great gun, very accurate, good range and good reliability, with many pistols still operational today.
The Joe Survival Adventure was always a one off. We often wanted to franchise out, but manufacturing costs, changing markets and things like theft really hurt our ability to get this part of our operation off the ground.
We ran continuously from 1983 to 1996, sponsoring players to various tournaments in the US and Canada, Wolf’s Lair etc. As far as staying in the industry, I have watched the developments, especially soft air, as we also ran a few games in 1996 using player supplied gear.
On our site, you could purchase M33 marking grenades, a 6 second fused marking device with approximately 25’ to 30’ coverage. These grenades are 3” in diameter and use a dry mark medium. I was always trying new and different things and developed this grenade, and acquiring a patent on this particular item. We introduced these in late 1987, and have sold thousands of the economy model version. They became very popular.
We also have a mortar version of this and for added fun, developed a 75mm canon to shoot these. A claymore mine was also developed using the same technology.
The 6 minute video and 1 minute video were shot in mid july 1984 and extra footage used in the 1 minute video was shot about 1 week later, I am still looking for a good location to shoot video demonstrating the marking grenades, 75mm mortar and claymore remote detonated mine. We will shoot footage demonstrating the 5 shot and 6 shot pistols as well as the carbines as well.
As for Paul Safr and any pistol or other deals (as mentioned in the previous article on the MK V 50) with David Freeman… I have no knowledge. Paul was a game referee and was not involved in day to day operations or decisions on gun sales etc.
It gives me great pleasure to know that our equipment is out there and being appreciated by others.
Additional notes (by Dan):
After seeing my MK V 50 pistol, David Freeman, of PMI, Tippmann, and Direct Connect remembered a meeting with Paul Safr and a machinist who David believe was building the MK 50V pistols. Safr and his associate brought examples of the pistols and David attempted to broker a deal to receive pistols to offer through Direct Connect. After the meeting Paul’s associate decided the price that was agreed upon in their discussion wasn’t favorable and nothing happened.
After reading Glenn’s story, it could be very possible that Paul Safr’s attempt to broker deal with David Freeman, and Direct Connect took place after the pistols were stolen. And several factors led Safr’s and the other man to not go through with the deal with Direct Connect (all speculation on my part):
•Limited number of pistols (only quantity in van).
•Safr and the associate didn’t want to bring any additional interest to Joe Survival and after the initial supply runs out, Direct Connect might have to contact Survival directly. If Freeman found out that there was shady circumstances involved, and the other men were no longer affiliated with the business then this deal might impede future discussions.
•Fear of possible legal repercussions, or conflicts with Direct Connect if the pistols were traced back to being stolen property. Glenn Logie and Joe Survival Adventures likely would have found out if the pistols appeared in one of Direct Connect’s advertisements.
•I doubt David would want to offer used goods, and since many of the pistols were engraved this could pose a problem.
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