About a year ago, Keith Roll, of Carpe Diem and Team Xtreme, posted a comment on the following article covering one of Russell Breeden’s Stage 3 Minicocker / Snipers 3s:
Keith confirms the Minicocker above was cut by Breeden, writing, “That is definitely Russell’s work. I’m fairly certain he did the first Minis. Most did not have the bolt or hammer windows though.”
And then Keith points out something pretty interesting which I did not pick up on until recently from his original comment. He writes, “[Russell] also did the first one piece 3 ways and made his own rams. Russell’s real job was animatronics. He made the bears dance at Showbiz pizza.
The Animatronic Bears are interesting but what demands a little more investigation is Keith’s recollection of Russell’s pneumatic components being the earliest aftermarket aluminum Autococker switches and rams.
After some digging I found an email for Breeden and contacted him about his history in paintball.
Russell K. Breeden, of RKB Engineering, replied with some information on his pneumatic components. He explained how his early RKB Mini Snipers caught Bud Orr’s attention when his team, the Doom Troopers were playing and “winning with them.”
Breeden writes, “I had built custom Mini Sniper pump guns with auto triggers for the Doom Trooper prior to the release of the auto cocker and Bud was impressed with the design and work that I did and the fact that we were winning with them.
After having spent some time with Bud over drinks at a hotel bar during a tournament in late 1991 and I became the south east service rep for WGP.”
And on the subject of the RKB aluminum three ways and rams, Russell confirms they were the first aftermarket switch and ram available for the Autococker. He dates them to “1992 for the 3way and 1993 for the ram.”
Keith Roll still owns one of Russell’s RKB 3 way switches and uses it on his WGP engraved Minicocker. Keith bought his custom WGP Minicocker in September of 1993 and received it in October at the Nashville Lively Masters from Bud Orr. He later purchased his RKB aluminum 3 way in 1994-95.
Roll remembers buying the switch:
“I bought the 3 way new from Russell around 94-95 and was told by someone at WGP that the bore would scratch and it would be trash. 20 years later it still works good”
Russell explains that WGP didn’t really sanction his pneumatics until other customizers started picking them up for their Autococker builds.
“Bud did not like the aluminum 3way at first, until all the big name gun builders were using them on all their high end cockers [2-3 years later], then he decided to include a new RKB/WGP aluminum 3way “stock” on all new guns.”
WGP also incorporated Russell’s ram design on later models as well.
Russell also specifies the performance improvement over the stock WGP switches of the time, “The 3way had a shorter trigger pull of .070 compared to .125 stock and was made up of 2 parts instead of 6.”
Keith explains first seeing one of Russell Breeden’s Minicockers in 1993, anodized the same color as his Purple Minicocker:
“I met a guy with a purple Russell Breeden cocker at a Wayne Dollack scenario game in 1993 I think. It caught my eye and I talked to him about it. He gave me Russell’s number and I called [Breeden]. He had purple [3ways] already made. I asked about the rams and he said they offered no performance benefit, just matched his guns. I was a broke kid and didn’t buy one. I had never seen aftermarket pneumatics except clippard rams, palmers rocks and chrome plated stock 3ways.”
Keith goes on to explain that the RKB 3 way didn’t originally include a rod, since the stock WGP rod couple be used:
“I bought it without a rod [but] It uses [the pictured] style rod. The space between barbs is about like an ANS. The rod in [the pictured RKB 3 way] is a brass one that Bob Long turned down the grooves in the mid ninties so I don’t want to take it out for fear of damaging it.”
Thanks to Keith Roll and Russell Breeden for the informations and Keith Roll again for the photos used in this article.
I’ll be posting more of Russell Breeden’s history and photos of his markers in upcoming articles. Russell Breeden / RKB Engineering can be reached at the information listed below.
5308 McIntosh Point
Sanford Florida 32773
rkbeng at cfl dot rr dot com