In December of 2013 I recorded a batch of quick autococker videos, one of these was on a Green Left Feed Mini Belsales Evolution Autococker. In the video I mention that the front block is chopped off and that I picked it up from a seller in Pennsylvania because it’s a left feed green similar to the original Evolutions that the Predators shot (before the Predator Autocockers).
A month or so after I uploaded this video I had been emailing back and forth with Adam “Riddler” Schultz and he mentioned that I should check my back block and the front underside of the body to see if the chopped off serial was restamped. If it was, then the Mini cutdown job was done by Belsales.
“…I just saw your YouTube video of the green Evo. Without a year stamp next to the Evo logo, it dates to about ’95. On yours, the top rail milling is of particular significance. Per Steve Belsey, that identifies it as an All Americans team gun shipped to their primary stateside contact, Graham Easton. If the Mini cuts were done by Belsales, they’d have stamped the serial number on the bottom of the body, just behind the frontblock. It should also be stamped on the backblock. If the front block gas screw and ram were original, they’d likely have the last 3 digits scrawled on them as well. They were meticulous about mixing and matching individual WGP components for the utmost performance.”
I checked over the summer while I was in Northern California, and Adam was correct, the serial had been restamped on the back block and underneath the body. I didn’t see the serial restamped on the ram and banjo screw and unfortunately I forgot to take photos. Based on Adam’s info, the lack of a year stamp points to this Mini’d Belsales Evolution Autococker likely being a 95 model.
Last week I talked to Jason Henley of B.L.A.S.T., who had ordered a few items off Baccipaintball. Jason told me about his past in the sport including how he played on Outrage out of Oregon in the Great Western Series and Pan Am tournaments and went on to work for Dan Bonebrake, then CP and eventually ended up working for BLAST doing product design.
Jason is working on rebuilding a couple of his Belsales Evolution Autocockers and was wondering if I had a few additional parts. He mentioned that the Mini Evo he’s working on has the serial, that was removed when the body was cut down, restamped on the underside of the body and inside of the back block. I mentioned mine had the similar serial stamps from being mini’d and Jason was nice enough to send me a few photos showing the stamps.
Jason writes, “Bolt is original to the body. No original frame though. Silver is anodize, not the satin nickel plate.”
Based on this body’s serial, 17007, I would guess it was machined by WGP is 1994. It lacks the Evo and year stamp on the side of the body as well so it was likely machined by Belsales into a Evolution Minicocker that same year.
Searching for photos of other Mini Evolution bodies with similar restamping I came up empty handed but I did come across the following link from 2007 which shows Jason’s Evolution changing hands, a few owners before he picked it up:
The owner at the time, “Anonym”, writes:
” It was chopped from a WGP body (SN 17007) and Belsales Bros copied the SN under the body between the frame and front block as well as onto the inside of the backblock! First run indicators (besides the serial number engraving) include a matching gray backblock (with pull pin indentation), matching gray shroud, and full diameter charger bolt (not hourglass shaped in the middle).”
Jo Pitts also commented on the youtube video above that “The Saints,” a team out of New Zealand, shot similarly configured Green Left Feed Evolutions:
“[The] Saints (in New Zealand) were using these (left feed, ball detent, p-block, cut sight rails) during the mid through late 90s. Typically they were Autocockers, not minicockers.”
Pitts goes on to writes about the Saint’s Belsales Evolution Autocockers, gussing how this body could have made it to the US from the Saints, if it were a Saint’s gun:
“I’m not sure how [one] would have got to the US, but ya never know. I’m looking at mine (I played in the Saints back in the day) right now. Still a sweet piece of hardware.”
Thanks to Jason Henley, Adam Schultz, and Jo Pitts for the tips and photos used in this article.