Benji’s Red, Black and Silver Splashed and Cut Minimag
A couple years back Benji picked up this splashed Minimag with a Predator Marketing branded valve. We didn’t know if the valve was original and hadn’t seen examples of Predator Marketing Oh-Mags so we began brainstorming who might have done the modifications.
Research Indicates this is Not a John Gross / Team Strange Automag
Based on the splash pattern I initially assumed this was a Team Strange paintgun and possibly milled by John Gross. So Benji and I compared he Splash, cuts and looked for identifying initials, which John Gross would add to most paintguns he modified.
Robert Peterson, of Team Strange told me several years back that the splash pattern pictured on his Russell K Breeden (RKB) Sniper above was typically done for Team Strange by PK Selective. He writes, “At one time we required any player that played for [Team Strange] to get their gun anodized that color.”
Closely comparing the splash patterns between Benji’s Automag and the RKB Sniper we can see that the white/silver splash is more prevalent in the Minimag’s pattern. In the Team Strange pattern (on Peterson’s RKB Sniper) the whites/silvers are more minimal.
When comparing Benji’s Minimag to other Airgun Designs Mags cut by John Gross we couldn’t pin point any similarities. The cuts on the rail, frame and vert foregrip were visually different than John Gross’ mags. This wasn’t too surprising since many of John Gross’ paintguns were unique one offs.
But what did show we were not on the right track was that Benji’s Minimag lacked any initials cut into it. Most paintguns (Automags and Autocockers) built by John Gross, out of Florida Paintball Supply, featured either his initials, JG, or the acronym for Florida Paintball Supply, FPS, cut in.
A Clue from Action Pursuit Games
Looking through Action Pursuit Games several months later we found a photo of a nearly identical Automag sold by Oh Pawlak, out of Predator Paintball in Sacramento, published in the December 1996 issue. The Automag in this small write up featured a nearly identical splash pattern and the same Oh Mag sticker on the valve.
A couple of the take aways from this clear photos of an “Oh” Mag are the following:
- Circular cut on left side of body.
- Flat milled indentations in the rail (4 flat cuts on either side).
- Match anodized Pro Teams or Gun FX frame
- Flat milled indentations in the barrel.
- Spiral porting in the barrel.
- Oh Mag Badge on the valve.
- Powerfeed attachment
Benji’s Minimag contains many of these details but is equipped with a Minimag body and a raw or clear ano vertical foregrip.
History from Dirk Gaderry of Innovative Manufacturing
I emailed Dirk Gadberry, of the Ironmen and Innovative Manufacturing, to ask if he knew any details on who did the machining for Oh Pawlak, since he was located in close proximity to Predator Paintball during the time these were made. He explained that he did the cuts on these Automags at Innovative Manufacturing, and that they started with internal mods and later did external modifications between 1996 and 97.
Dirk writes, “At first we were doing internal mods to customer guns. [We] added transfer holes, from one to approximately 8-12 and a face groove in [the] reg side, all to increase flow through [the] reg.
We also modified and later just completely replaced the brass spacer in the trigger on off switch. Later we stared making vert asas, milling slots in the trigger rail and in the stainless body on the barrel end.
I think [Oh Pawlak] was selling [Oh-Mags as] complete guns [in] 1996-97. [There were] probably less than 200 total. [Anodizing was] done by Tod and Mike at Anotech. Oh [Pawlak] was playing for Tour de force and Bad Company [at the time].”
The valve does have the Oh-Mag badge, with Oh Pawlak’s signature, and Predator Marketing’s logo. I haven’t opened up the valve so I can’t say what internal mods this specific Minimag has.
Oh Pawlak talks about why he shoots and sold Automags with Warpig in the following article (first archived in December 1996 by web.archive.org):
Above is a close up of the embossed metal sticker on this Oh-Mag. You can see a blue sticker underneath, similar to how old car registration tags stack up on a license plate.
Dirk also Cut the Barrel
Looking at the cuts on the Oh Mag barrel. the back portion has flat indentations and the front half is spiral ported. On seeing the barrel Dirk commented, “I made that barrel also out of a stock barrel.”
The back edge fades to black where this barrel would fit into the breech. Again the silver splash is more bold than the splash pattern on the Team Strange paintguns and completely different.
Oh Pawlak T Shirt
And of course a look at an Oh Pawlak product would not be complete without some mention of Oh marketing himself. He was well known for his product endorsements and ads campaigns while wearing his signature plaid jersey. Although I don’t own one of the plaid jerseys here is a stained up Scott shirt.
Probably should wash this carefully but I’m afraid I’ll wash off the precious signature.