Home Classic Paintball Scans Opening of Paintball Connection in 1989

Opening of Paintball Connection in 1989

Opening of Paintball Connection in 1989
Close up crop of the NW/Carter framed Ghost in the Lapco ad.

Lately I’ve been researching when Paintball Connection opened and closed to try and build a more accurate timeline of where and when Colin Thompson was employed.  

grand opening of paintball connection apg december 1989
Grand opening of Paintball Connection as advertised in the december 1989 issue of Action Pursuit Games.

This article from the December 1989 issue of APG announces the grand opening of Paintball Connection in San Diego and shows an earlier photo of a Lapco Ghost with the NW/Carter style frame. This advertisement ran in the December 1989 issue of APG and was likely submitted 3 months earlier for print meaning that Paintball Connection was likely opening around September. 

By the end of 1989 I believe Wintec had already started manufacturing Colin’s slide frame and standardized sight rail.

I don’t think Colin had moved to Mirmar to work at Paintball Connection at this time though and Paintball Connection was likely just distributing for him.
Colin wrote me:
“In 1991, I moved from LA to San Diego to set up a manufacturing business to build [Lapco pumps]. John Seivers funded it. He hired Russ [Maynard] after that and we worked together…”

crop of 12-1989 apg paintball connection ad
Close up crop of the NW/Carter framed Ghost in the Lapco ad.

Features shown on this Ghost include:
•NW/Carter frame (likely manufactured by Tri Jay Machine
•Stan Russell / Lapco Stock in Ghost Grey
•Grey Anodized Knurled Thermo Knob
•Matched tank
•1/8th inch npt valve body
•Lapco knurled front grip frame screw
•Possible 14 inch barrel, standard nelson spec with side valve body screws coming straight out
•Possible standard High sight rail
•Nylatron one piece pump and arm with later rounded corners
•Ammo box with extender

The Ghost pictured looks to have a standard Lapco Sight rail with an NW/Carter frame. I think this Grey Ghost was photographed earlier in in 1989 and used in earlier ads and then used by John Seivers for this ad.

NW framed ghost, photo by Colin Thompson
An earlier photo by Colin Thompson of a NW/Carter framed Grey Ghost taken at Conquest. Photo courtesy that Colin Thomspon.

When I had the chance to meet Colin in March of this year I grabbed what Lapco items I had on hands to show him.  This included a parts Ghost I had been slowly rebuilding. I didn’t think the parts I had slapped together were too accurate but Colin enjoyed it.

Parts NW Framed Ghost
Left side of parts Ghost I assembled and showed Colin in March of 2014.

I’ll be changing a few parts around on this Ghost including the front grip frame screw, the back bottle asa (to a 1/8th npt valve), adding a stock and matched tank and thermo knob.  

Right side view of parts ghost
Right side view of parts Ghost.

Unique features on this parts Ghost include:
•Engraved Receiver to Body rail
•The Sight rail on this Ghost is lower than normal.
•The body has more of a greenish grey tint to it.
•Grips are attached with two screws rather than one. From what I’ve seen this was unique to Lapco pumps.
•Side valve body screws coming straight out of body.
•Straight corner Nylatron pump arm back.
•The current screws (except for pump arm screw is correct) are taso and need to be changed to Lapco brass screws.

close up of side of parts ghost
Close up of the engraved rail and the side valve body screws coming straight out rather than being angled up.


Another left side close up of parts ghost.
Another left side close up.

 I’ll be posting this parts Ghost again probably next year when I have time to switch the parts.

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  1. I just happened across your artice “Opening of Paintball Connection in 1989” asking for information on Paintball Connection in San Diego. I worked there from summer of ’91 until the end of February ’92 (joined the USAF after that). Had a blast working there. Not sure when Paintball Connection moved from a back room at John Seivers’ dental clinic to the actual store with production shop in the back. I think early ’91 that occurred. I can’t remember when I bought my Lapco Spectre, but I was out of that back room before I started work at the store (I still have it, it was the first Spectre sold in the US. S/N 0127, they started at S/N 0100). Colin was already there. I remember him working with Russ on the Auto-cocker and testing prototypes in the back ally. That was around when they came up with removable/swappable barrels. Hope this info is of some help with your quest.

    • I forgot to mention I have one of the very first Bottom line set ups of Colin’s on my Spectre. He brought all of us “kids” into the shop on a Saturday morning. We were told to bring our paintguns and he taught us how to install the the bottom line. Once installed, we were allowed to keep them. I want to say that was around October of ’91 or so, give or take a month or two.

      • I suppose I should make a minor correction. We learned to install the first production bottom line adapters as before then, they were only installed on custom paintguns by Colin.

  2. Good ol’ Paintball Connection!
    I remember seeing John and Colin in there often. Colin ported a barrel for my VM68 purchased there and I later bought a Stock Ghost from him.
    I’m pretty sure that Russ and John had some interest in the local park at the time, Borderland Paintball Park near Otay Lakes. I remember seeing them there all the time. John mostly played and Russ was running things.
    Great memories of both places!


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