My personal choice for a 12 gram changer is the late 80s to late 90s style Rat Attack bucket changer. I like this style drop out because of the quick threads (which I believe are quad lead threads) and the thick body of the bucket.
During the early 90s stock revival, the Rat Attack was the common set up on Carter Machine Comp and Buzzard stock guns. I know for a fact that during the 90s this style of 12 gram changer was produced by Taso (after AGS and Taso split). And lately, Earon Carter has still been producing them for his modern Buzzards, Comps, Box Guns and back bottle Ducks.
In the video above, William Kapes, who worked at Carter Machine in the early 1990s, and later at Unique Sporting Goods and the Best in the West Tournament series, talks about the transition back to stock class in the early 90s, in Southern California.
Explaining that when fields in Southern California started throwing stock class tournaments and established traditional stock rules, the Rat Attack changer was a players best choice.
“[The Paintguns had to be run off a] 12 gram, and it had to be a twist changer, no lever changers, and it had to drop out. So it was like a Rat Attack, that was like the best you could get cause it had to drop out!”
I asked William recently if he knew any of the history behind the Rat Attack. He remembers Carter Machine receiving them from Taso, and then fitting them to custom pump guns.
And early on, the Rat Attack was offered by large distributors such as Adventure Game Supplies and I believe Direct Connect. I had assume these changers originated out of Southern California. But did these changer originate in Southern California? And who was first to produce them?
Last month, as I looked through the July 1988 issue of Frontline I came across a small new products ad for the Rat Attack which offers some insight into the earliest version of this extremely quick bucket changer.
As pictured in the July 1988 issue of Front Line Magazine, the new product write up states,
“Rat Attack Products is now marketing a single CO2 adapter designed primarily for the Magnum, PMI2 and the SMG 60 paint guns that takes the aluminum 7oz CO2 bottle that screws into the back of the gun. This product was developed by Sam Harrison and M.C. Levey.”
Although brief, this write up offers some great insight into the history behind the Rat Attack. Both M.C. Levey and Sam Harrison played on the Texas Boonie Rats, who competed nationally in NSG tournaments.
The winter 1988 issue of “Paintball” magazine featured a comprehensive list of team captains for most larger California teams, and nationally competing United States teams. “Paintball” lists Sam Harrison as the Boonie Rats captain.
From small scraps of information on rec.sport.paintball, some members of the Texas Boonie Rats went on to play with Texas Storm in the early 1990s.
In 1991 M.C. Levey was shot and fatally wounded by a real firearm when he stood up to a robbery at a convenience store.
After this point AGS, or likely Taso by the time, took over manufacturing of the Rat Attack and the vertical line cuts were replaced with a knurled pattern. A later batch made by Taso was even engraved with “TASO” and featured a diagonal cut. This style was likely made post 1995/96?
The July 1988 issue of Front Line Magazine also featured an add for Rat Attack Products which reiterates the paintguns the changer can be used on. This is helpful since it points out a few of the factory ASA pumps guns that were available in the summer of 1988.
Along with the SMG 60s, PMI was offering two of their Sheridan pumps in the summer of 1988 which used the ASA back bottle adapter. The Pursuit Pistol was no longer available, but the PMI II was essentially the Pursuit Pistol with a center fire bolt, the back bottle and no front 12 gram changer. The PMI 68 Magnum was the same body as the PMI-II but featuring a direct feed PVC feedblock instead of the PMI II’s stock class feed.
I’ll be posting more on the Boonie Rats as I find more relevant articles.