Home Classic Paintball Scans Lori Wilcox on the Palmer's Tornado and the Blazer

Lori Wilcox on the Palmer’s Tornado and the Blazer

In this video, Lori Wilcox, shop manager at Palmers Pursuit Shop, http://www.co2reg.com, discusses the early Tornado semi auto paintgun, as well as some of the history behind the Palmer’s Blazer with Tim Firpo and I on May 2nd, 2013.
Tim at Paintball Tek and I recorded this video with Lori on our way to Oregon before the Super Game.

Classic Palmer's Double Barrel patch.
Classic Palmer’s Double Barrel patch.

This will be the first of a series of videos with Lori Wilcox, Glenn Palmer and hopefully Craig Palmer about Palmer’s Pursuit Shop’s innovations and interactions in the paintball industry.
We have filmed with Glenn but those probably won’t be edited for a while.

Palmer's quiksilver display which was at the EMR paintball museum. Photo c.2009.
Palmer’s quiksilver display which was at the EMR paintball museum. Photo c.2009.

Lori has been working at Palmer’s for the last 25 years. Lori started working for Glenn Palmer, in March or April of 1988, when they were still based out of Glenn’s garage in Rancho Cordova.
This was shortly after when Glenn’s quicksilver went on the market, and Lori has also played with the Northern California team “The Dogs of War” during that same time.

Left side of Lori Wilcox's original Palmer's Tornado, c. 1989-1990.
Left side of Lori Wilcox’s original Palmer’s Tornado, c. 1989-1990.

In 1989 to 1990, as Glenn was working on refining his Semi Automatic Sheridan paintgun platform, Lori was playing with a Nelson pump paintgun, which she prefered because they were lighter. Many of the other Dogs of War players were using Sheridan based guns with Glenn’s Quicksilver changer and as Glenn designed semis, they were outfitted with them.
But Lori explains, in the video, that she “wanted Glenn’s [semi automatic] system on my gun.”

Tornado from the EMR Museum. Photo taken in 2009.
Tornado from the EMR Museum. Photo taken in 2009.

She estimates her Tornado was made in the early 90s, likely 1989-1990. She estimates that Palmer’s built 12-15 Tornados and about 3 or 4 of those were for Dogs of War players and then the rest were shipped across the country (and North America).

Right side of Lori Wilcox's original Palmer's Tornado.
Right side of Lori Wilcox’s original Palmer’s Tornado.

And Glenn confirms he built Lori’s Tornado between late 1988 and early 1989. He started playing with Camille, his first semi auto rifle in February of 1989 and if Lori’s Tornado pistol hadn’t already been built it was likely constructed shortly after that.

Left side of Patrick Lee's Palmer's Tornado Semi Automatic. Zoomed out.
Left side of Patrick Lee’s Palmer’s Tornado Semi Automatic. Zoomed out.

Originally Glenn built the Tornado just for Lori. “I wanted his semi system on my gun and then a few other people wanted it.” She continues, “[Glenn] stopped building them because they aren’t nearly as air efficient as the Sheridans or the Typhoons.” And a little discussion she says what we’ve all been thinking, “in all honesty they’re inferior to our typhoons…or blazers so [Glenn] just quit making them.”

One of the first pistol grip semi automatics that Glenn Palmer built, P101. Photos courtesy Glenn Palmer.
One of the first pistol grip semi automatics that Glenn Palmer built, P101. Photos courtesy Glenn Palmer.

Lori also mentions P101 and Hugo, which both used the Clippard style switches before Glenn started mounting the switch design in the grip frame.

Close up on the left side of P101. C. mid 1990. Photo courtesy Glenn Palmer.
Close up on the left side of P101. C. mid 1990. Photo courtesy Glenn Palmer.

Typhoon P101 is shown in the video with the horizontally mounted switch, and was one of the first pistol semi / Typhoon Glenn constructed.
Early pistol semis include (time frame late 1989 to early 1990).
•Lori’s Tornado
•Glenn’s double barrel Nasty Typhoon (Hugo) which was requested by Glenn’s employee, Dan Debone.
•A Pistol with a sheridan swing frame but with the switch mounted horizontally.
•P101.
•Another double barrel, nicknamed Domination, which may have also used the Wintec frame.

Patrick Lee's Palmer's Tornado semi automatic Nelson based gun. Left side showing ram, zoomed in.
Patrick Lee’s Palmer’s Tornado semi automatic Nelson based gun. Left side showing ram, zoomed in.

Glenn wrote me:
“Well, the number 101 came from, it was the 101st chasis that I built for a Hurricane rifle. So the chasis was built late in ’89 and I used a sliding trigger, on a WinTec frame, because I hadn’t yet figured out how to do it with the original Sheridan swing trigger.
Can’t recall the exact date of completion of production but January of ’90 would be a safe bet.”

Paintball Sport Magazine ad scan from January of 1990, for Palmer's offerings.
Paintball Sport Magazine ad scan from January of 1990, for Palmer’s offerings.

Glenn went on to write:
“…Bud got to see [the Double Barrel typhoon with the horizontally mounted switch] at the Easter Seals Game at Paintball Hill in April of 1990. He showed up at the Bay City Open, 2 months later, with his first attempt at a ‘cocker, but he still didn’t know how to make it work.”

Early Foxhunters patch.
Early Foxhunters patch.

Sometime after the Bay City open in 1990, Gerry Helwig, of Fox Hunters showed Glenn his conversion of a Hurricane to a pistol. Helwig’s design became inspiration for Glenn in grip switch guns and Glenn gave Gerry a Typhoon shortly afterwards as thanks.

Dogs of War player shooting a Semi Automatic Palmer's Tornado kit. Scanned from the February 1992 issue of Paintball Magazine.
Dogs of War player shooting a Semi Automatic Palmer’s Tornado kit. Scanned from the February 1992 issue of Paintball Magazine.

And regarding Helwig of Foxhunters, Glenn writes:
“I don’t remember the date that Jerry showed me his rig but I think it was soon after the Bay City Open in June of ’90. I gave Jerry a complete Typhoon a few months later at an event [(Great Western Series)] in San Diego, as payment for the ideas he shared. Jerry was floored by what I had worked out.”

July 1997 APG spread featured Lori Wilcox, and her husband Rick shooting the Palmer's Blazer.
July 1997 APG spread featured Lori Wilcox, and her husband Rick shooting the Palmer’s Blazer.

Lori also describes some of the early history of Palmer’s Blazer with the transition from the development to the prototype phase in 1994-1995 and then public release in 1997.
Both Lori and Craig Palmer started using Blazers around 1995 and she explains they both used them until 1996 and 1997. In the July 1997 issue of APG Lori and her husband Rick are both picture with some of the earliest production Blazers and Lori estimates the first Blazers went on sale to the public 3 to 4 months before that article was published.

Dogs of War Patch jacket, photo taken at Palmer's pursuit shop.
Dogs of War Patch jacket, photo taken at Palmer’s pursuit shop.

Lori, along with many other Palmer’s employees have played with the Dogs of War. The Dogs of War were a democratic team and captains were voted in. Glenn was never the Captain, but “he sponsored them and played with them” says Craig Palmer.

Rick, left, and Lori, right, with their Palmer's Pursuit Shop Blazers, scanned from APG, July, 1997.
Rick, left, and Lori, right, with their Palmer’s Pursuit Shop Blazers, scanned from APG, July, 1997.

Lori’s husband Rick was an on and off captain.

Thanks to Lori Wilcox, Glenn and Craig Palmer, Tim Firpo, Jim Lively and Curt Hough for their help with this video.

Find another article and video with Lori at:
https://paintballhistory.com/lori-wilcox-palmers-stroker-p27

And you can checkout Palmer’s Pursuit Shop online at:
http://www.co2reg.com/

And find Palmer’s videos on youtube at:
http://www.youtube.com/user/PalmersPursuitShop

And PPS on facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/PalmersPursuitShop

Find Tim at Paintball Tek dot com at:
http://www.paintballtek.com

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