In this video, Rick Cendejas, along with longtime teammate and buddy, Michael Baird, reminisce on the history of a classic Line SI Bushmaster that Rick used on the Ironmen.
This Line SI Bushmaster was purchased off ebay, around 2005. It was described as an Ironmen Bushmaster, but it lacked the typical factory engravings. Instead, “Cendejas” was cut into the pump handles, the grip frame and the vl-90 loader.
The VL-90 also has Ironmen cut into the opposite side.
This Bushmaster’s current configuration is a little different than Rick remembers it, and it isn’t identical in any of the various photos he’s scanned showing his classic Bushmasters. But the pump handle is unmistakably his, as are the engraved pump and Nelspot 007 frame.
Rick modified the diagonal perpendicular pump grip on this paintgun to “Make it easier to pump, while you’re crawling.”
I would speculate that this paintgun had the body either replaced or polished, either before or after it left Rick’s possession. Likely after since Rick has mentioned to me that black anodizing (or painted camo) is his preferred finish. The internal brass hammer is likely a piece Rick modified, but the 12 gram changer on the back was possibly added after it left his possession.
Rick and Mike, as well as many other Ironmen players used Line SI Bushmasters from 1988 to 1990, and Rick mentioned he played with Line SI paintguns until he received his Palmer’s Pursuit Shop Hurricane, which he used to help the Ironmen take first in the Line SI / Manufacturer Series 5 man Masters in October 1990.
In the photo above, which Rick scanned from his archives, the Ironmen are posing for their team photo at what Rick and Mike believe was the 1988 National Survival Games Championships, which took place in Nashville, Tennessee (likely in October).
Mike recalls, “I think this was the last tournament with Rick Baird as our Captain. He and Laurie left right after. That’s when Bob Long took over as Captain.”
This NSG tournament, along with Lively series tournaments up until the 1989 Masters (when the 6-Pak made constant air inevitable) would have been 12 gram only.
Tournaments that Rick, and the Ironmen, were playing in California during 1988/89 would have likely allowed constant air. So Rick might have had two Bushmaster, one for “CA” (constant air) and one for “12 Gram Comp” (12 gram air). Or he might have just kept the 12 gram changer valve body handy.
Here is a list of players pictured in the above photo, which was put together with the help of Mike and Rick.
1. Dennis Wolf
2. Rick Cendejas
4. “General” Rick Baird
5. Bob Long
6. Laurie Baird
7. Brett Berger
8. Phil Chachere
9. Scott Rich
10. Gilbert Castillo
11. Matt (Bob’s nephew)
12. Michael Baird
14. Tommy Waltz
15. Chip Hyde
16. Flint Smith
17. Mike Agular
Rick and Mike also look over a classic photo of Rick, taken at the “Anything Goes” tournament in Gardnerville, Nevada (c. 1988-89), from Mike Baird’s photo collection.
In the classic photo that Mike is holding, Rick is wearing his “turtle helmet” which offered a little more head protection than the woodstalk mask with Uvex, or JT goggle GSX system (pre whipper snapper) of the time. Rick writes that the turtle helmet actually housed ski goggles inside, “Those goggles were actually ski goggles that we found gave great protection and even got some bounces with!”
Rick and Mike recorded this video at the Old School Paintball Game at SC Village on November, 8 2015, put on by Chris Iaquinta. Find Chris’ Old School Big Game at:
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And find Line SI Bushmaster parts on baccipaintball at: